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Re-innovating Public Service Organisations: improving institutional autonomy and public service delivery through narratives and strategies of de-politicisation and secularisation. (Advert Reference: RDF22/BL/LHRM/MEMON)

   Faculty of Business and Law

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  Dr Ally Memon  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 Organisations through exploring narratives and strategies of de-politicisation and secularisation (which impact policy, leadership, and service management). Within the scope of the project, the enquiry will examine how institutional autonomy, performance and public service delivery can be better understood and improved through de-politicisation and secularisation narratives and strategies. It is well-regarded internationally that economic growth and national development are aided through secular and de-politicised institutions, hence this would be an ideological position taken from the outset of this project. Further to this, the context and setting for the study will be the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) region (i.e., a country or countries within) where political and religious factors are known to be dominating influences on organisational cultures, norms, and work ethos in the Public Sector. Theoretically, there will be scope within the project to explore concepts such as institutionalism, public policy and reform, professional sense-making, workplace autonomy, public private partnerships, privatisation, deregulation, managerialism, and new public governance. The project also offers potential for comparative cases between Western and Eastern Public Management ideologies and practices. The proposed study should focus on Public Service Organisations and Public Service Systems in the context of SAARC (i.e., Pakistan; India; Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka).

This project/research topic aligns with research themes and research activity undertaken by members of the Public Policy and Management (3PM) Research Interest Group at Newcastle Business School.

Eligibility and How to Apply:

Please note eligibility requirement:

  • 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 currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere or if they have previously been awarded a PhD.

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

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. RDF22/BL/LHRM/MEMON) will not be considered.

Deadline for applications: 18 February 2022

Start Date: 1 October 2022

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community.

Principal Supervisor - Dr Ally Memon

Funding Notes

Each studentship supports a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (for 2021/22 full-time study this is £15,609 per year) and full tuition fees. UK and international (including EU) candidates may apply.
Studentships are available for applicants who wish to study on a part-time basis over 5 years (0.6 FTE, stipend £9,365 per year and full tuition fees) in combination with work or personal responsibilities.
Please also read the full funding notes which include advice for international and part-time applicants.


Memon, A. and Kinder, T. (2016) Changing management roles in the Scottish NHS: implications for management learning and development, Public Money & Management, 36:1, 47-54
Memon, A. (2017) CPEC and the case for community capacity building. South Asia Journal, Online, Feb 13th 2017
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), 381-405
Memon, A. (2017) Making sense of the PM health insurance programme. The Daily Times, XIV (47), p7.
Johnston, L and Fenwick, J. (2018) Public Entrepreneurship: Is Local Government Necessary to Deliver Economic Development, The Routledge Handbook of International Local Government, Taylor & Francis.
Memon, A. (2019) Political Partisanship and Higher Education. The Daily Times, XVI (372), B2
Fenwick, J. and Johnston, L. (2019) Public Enterprise and Local Place: New Perspectives on Theory and Practice, Routledge.
Stenvall, J, Kinder, T., Memon, A. and Six, F. (2021) Relational leadership in collaborative governance ecosystems. Public Management Review, 23 (11), 1612-1639
Memon, A. (2019) Tax Reforms a Year On. The Daily Times, XVII (196), B2
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.
Kinder, T., Six, F., Stenvall, J., Talonen, A. and Memon, A. (2021) Emerging Governances, different Perspectives. International Public Management Review, 21(1), 5-26
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