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Developing models of Leadership and Decision-Making for the Social Sector

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  • Full or part time
    Prof K Money
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

This PhD scholarship offers the opportunity to interview leading CEO’s and Board Members (leaders) in the Social Sector about their experience of leadership and decision-making. The scholarship is jointly funded by Henley Business School and Clore Social Leadership with the support of The Big Lottery Fund, using National Lottery Funding. The study builds upon a previous study of for-profit CEO’s at Henley that combined qualitative interviews with an element of neuroscience. Clore Social Leadership will play a key role in providing access to social sector leaders and disseminating the findings. The aim the study will be threefold: 1. To conduct a much needed literature review of models of leadership and decision-making in the social sector. 2. To conduct qualitative interviews with social sector leaders to further inform leadership models and gain insights into the decision-making of these leaders. 3. To include the potential of a quantitative neuroscience based element to the research (most likely Electroencephalogram- EEG) to compare social sector leaders to those from the private sector (previous Henley study)
Year One:
Activity: The study will begin with a literature review of existing models of leadership and decision-making in the social sector. It could also include interviews with sector experts to ascertain views about the future leadership needs of the sector. It would be expected that in this time the PhD student could spend between 2 and 4 days a month at the Clore Social office, to ensure that Clore Social are updated and to conduct expert interviews.

Year Two
Activity: The second year is likely to involve the qualitative and quantitative research with leaders from the social sector. This would include interviews with social sector leaders (n= 25 to 30). It can also offer the potential for a complimentary quantitative neuroscience study (most likely decision-making tasks with EEG) with the same leaders. Clore Social Leadership would play a key role in recruiting leaders for the study. In this time the PhD student would spend most of their time at Henley and Reading campuses.

Year Three
Activity: This would involve writing up of the study. In this time the PhD student could spend 2-4 days a month at the Clore Social Office.

About Clore Social Leadership
We develop leaders with a social purpose so that they can transform their communities, organisations and the world around them. We help make social change happen by supporting and investing in people and enabling them to become leaders with the resilience, self-awareness and capabilities to tackle the social challenges of the 21st century.

For more information, please visit and join the conversation on Twitter @CloreSocial.

About the Big Lottery Fund

Big Lottery Fund uses money raised by National Lottery players to help communities achieve their ambitions. From small, local projects to UK-wide initiatives, its funding brings people together to make a difference to their health, wellbeing and environment. Since June 2004 it has awarded £8.5 billion to projects that improve the lives of millions of people.

Funding Notes

Studentships cover both fees and maintenance costs and are available to all applicants, with no restrictions on nationality.The schorlarship covers the payement of fees and stipend payable is £15,000 per year. Please see:


General: Applicants should have a passion for the Social Sector and Leadership. They should also have the social and research skills to conduct interviews with Social Sector leaders. They will based in Reading, but should willing to travel to London to spend some time with the Clore Social Leadership Team (travel budget will be provided). The successful candidate would be asked to share findings in an on-going manner with Clore Social stakeholders, including speaking at conferences and contributing to blog activities.

Academic: Applicants should normally possess at least a first degree (normally of an upper second class honours standard or above), or equivalent. Schools in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences and in Henley Business School normally require a Master’s degree in addition to a first degree. A degree in psychology or related discipline would be desirable. Experience of EEG would be useful, but is not essential.

Language: Applicants whose first language is not English should normally have attained a score of at least 7 on the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), or equivalent, test. A few Schools will accept students who have attained a level of 6.5. The Dean of Postgraduate Research Studies can approve the admission of students with a lower mark if there is other evidence of appropriate English.

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