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Re-innovating public service delivery through ‘value creation’ narratives and strategies for public service organisations. (RDF23/LHRM/MEMON)

   Faculty of Business and Law

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  Dr Ally Memon, Dr Lorraine Johnston  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The aim of the project is to examine the potential for re-innovating public service delivery through exploring narratives and strategies of value creation (which impact strategy, commissioning, leadership, and service management). Within the scope of the project, the enquiry will examine how public service delivery can be better understood and improved through value creation in public service organisations. This area of enquiry invites research efforts because ideas surrounding value creation (i.e., its theory as positioned in the Public Management literature) can be quite difficult to translate into practice. For this reason, ‘value creation’ as a concept and its application seldom attract the attention of public service practitioners.

Theoretically, there will be scope within the project to explore concepts such as service dominant logic, value creation, co-production, complexity, public policy and reform, professional sense-making, public private partnerships, devolution, deregulation, managerialism, and new public governance. The project and its research will offer the opportunity to address the arising debate that public services do not necessarily lead to value creation and to the contrary, may contribute to making service user’s lives more complex.

The project will offer the opportunity to undertake a study based in health, social care and/or local authority organisation settings. It will also offer the opportunity to undertake a study involving comparative cases across the public sector (i.e., in health, social care and/or local authority organisations). Furthermore, the project also offers the chance to undertake an enquiry based on novel forms of public service organising such as an integrated health and social care partnerships, public private partnership initiatives, and public-sector devolution projects. Such research is welcomed given the broad consensus that there remains a lack of empirical evidence and a lack of case examples surrounding such novel forms of public service design.

This project proposal sits with the Public Policy and Management research group at Newcastle Business School. The project supervision team will consist of Dr Ally Memon and Dr Lorraine Johnston who both have experience of supervising doctoral research in the field of public management.

Academic Enquiries

This project is supervised by Dr Ally Memon. For informal queries, please contact [Email Address Removed]. For all other enquiries relating to eligibility or application process please use the email form below to contact Admissions. 

Funding Information

Home and International students (inc. EU) are welcome to apply. The studentship is available to Home and International (including EU) students and includes a full stipend at UKRI rates (for 2022/23 full-time study this is £17,668 per year) and full tuition fees. Studentships are also available for applicants who wish to study on a part-time basis over 5 years (0.6 FTE, stipend £10,600 per year and full tuition fees) in combination with work or personal responsibilities).  

Please also see further advice below of additional costs that may apply to international applicants.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
  • Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
  • Applicants cannot apply for this funding if they are already a PhD holder or if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

Please note: to be classed as a Home student, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), or
  • have settled status, or
  • have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or
  • have indefinite leave to remain or enter.

If a candidate does not meet the criteria above, they would be classed as an International student.  Applicants will need to be in the UK and fully enrolled before stipend payments can commence, and be aware of the following additional costs that may be incurred, as these are not covered by the studentship.

  • Immigration Health Surcharge
  • If you need to apply for a Student Visa to enter the UK, please refer to the information on It is important that you read this information very carefully as it is your responsibility to ensure that you hold the correct funds required for your visa application otherwise your visa may be refused.
  • Check what COVID-19 tests you need to take and the quarantine rules for travel to England
  • Costs associated with English Language requirements which may be required for students not having completed a first degree in English, will not be borne by the university. Please see individual adverts for further details of the English Language requirements for the university you are applying to.

How to Apply

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see   

For applications to be considered for interview, please include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words and the advert reference (e.g. RDF23/…).

Deadline for applications: 27 January 2023

Start date of course: 1 October 2023 tbc

Northumbria University is committed to creating an inclusive culture where we take pride in, and value, the diversity of our doctoral students. We encourage and welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds a bronze Athena Swan award in recognition of our commitment to advancing gender equality, we are a Disability Confident Employer, a member of the Race Equality Charter and are participating in the Stonewall Diversity Champion Programme. We also hold the HR Excellence in Research award for implementing the concordat supporting the career Development of Researchers.


Cui, T., and Osborne, S. P. (2022). New development: Value destruction in public service delivery—a process model and its implications. Public Money & Management, 1-4.
Kinder, T., Six, F., Stenvall, J., Talonen, A. and Memon, A. (2021) Emerging Governances, different Perspectives. International Public Management Review, 21(1), 5-26
Stenvall, J, Kinder, T., Memon, A. and Six, F. (2021) Relational leadership in collaborative governance ecosystems. Public Management Review DOI: 10.1080/14719037.2021.1879913
Fenwick, J. and Johnston, L. (2020) Leading the combined authorities in England: A new future for elected mayors? Public Money & Management, 40(1), 14-20.
Fenwick, J. and Johnston, L. (2019) Public Enterprise and Local Place: New Perspectives on Theory and Practice, Routledge.
Russell, E, Lloyd-Houldey, A., Memon, A. and Yarker, J. (2019) Factors Influencing Uptake and Use of a New Health Information App for Young People, Journal of Technology in Human Services, 36(4), pp. 222-240.
Johnston and Fenwick (2018) Public Entrepreneurship: Is Local Government Necessary to Deliver Economic Development, The Routledge Handbook of International Local Government, Taylor & Francis.
Memon, A. and Kinder, T. (2017) Co-location as a catalyst for service innovation: a study of Scottish health and social care. Public Management Review, 19(4), pp. 381-405

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