Strategic Leadership for Public Services - The Impact and Legacy of the Strategic State in Scotland (Advert Reference: RDF19/BL/LHRM/ELLIOTT)
There is growing interest in ideas of Public Leadership (Dickinson et al. 2018; Brookes and Grint 2010; t’Hart 2014) and the Strategic State (OECD 2010, 2012, 2013). Yet there remains a lack of clarity around what constitutes effective leadership, where it is applied and how best it is supported. Crucially, there remains uncertainty around the place of values in a public service context and how leadership can or should hold an ethical stance. Similarly, the devolution of greater powers to regions and localities has sparked interest in place-based leadership (Beer et al, 2018; Hambleton and Howard, 2013; Hambleton 2011).
Where do values come from? How do these values then intersect with the context of different localities? Do public service values differ from other sectors? And how are these reconciled when working in collaboration across different organisations in different sectors. This research will explore the role of strategy and leadership within a public service context. Traditional theories of leadership have highlighted how, for example, situational factors can influence leadership (Blanchard and Hersey). But the role of localities, particularly in relation to public leadership, remains under researched. This doctoral study will draw on the experience of leaders from different localities and contexts to explore how public leadership is influenced by these environmental factors.
The project will use a qualitative approach to explore issues around the role of leadership and localities. Participants will be selected using both purposive and snowball sampling to ensure that a wide range of leaders are included in the study. The outcome will include a comprehensive model of location-based leadership which will fully recognise the local environmental factors that must be taken into account when considering the development and support of future public leaders.
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.
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. RDF19/BL/LHRM/ELLIOTT) will not be considered.
Deadline for applications: Friday 25 January 2019
Start Date: 1 October 2019
Northumbria University is an equal opportunities provider and in welcoming applications for studentships from all sectors of the community we strongly encourage applications from women and under-represented groups.
The studentship is available to Students Worldwide, and covers full fees and a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (for 2018/19, this is £14,777 pa).
Elliott, I.C. Fejszes, V. and Tarrega, M. (In Press) “The Community Empowerment Act and Localism under Devolution in Scotland: the perspective of multiple stakeholders in a council ward”, International Journal of Public Sector Management. DOI: 10.1108/IJPSM-03-2018-0080
Elliott, I.C. (Under Review) “The Implementation of a Strategic State in a Small Country Setting”, Public Money and Management.
Breckenridge, J., Jones, D., Elliott, I.C. and Nicol, M. (2012) “Choosing a methodological path: Reflections on the constructivist turn”, Grounded Theory Review, 11 (1), 64-71.