Robert Worrall

PhD Research Student

Location: Cambridge

The title of Robert's thesis is 'Illuminating the Way: An Emergent Theory of Place-Based Leadership'


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A more localised and differentiated approach to delivering services to the public and tackling intransigent social problems has led to the development of initiatives focusing on improving the collaborative capability of local leaders. However, there is little theoretical understanding of the process by which collective leadership development evolves within a localised context. Rob’s research is an exploratory study, which draws on the extant literature, and uses semi-structured interviews and pre-interview questionnaires to study the experiences of participants on three place-based development initiatives. The subsequent analysis is then used to help build an emergent theory of place-based leadership development, which will have implications for the theoretical understanding and practice of place based leadership development.

An award winning paper based on an initial analysis of the data from first case study submitted to the BAM Doctoral Symposium in September 2014 was commended  for being "the most complete and assured paper dealing with a topical issue and with results which should be usable by practitioners".

Robert's research is supervised by Dr Rob Willis.

Contact Details:

Selected recent publications

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Academic Journals

(Forthcoming – 2016), McKenna et al., Postgraduate Students Attitudes to Sustainability, Journal to be confirmed

Book Chapters

(Forthcoming) Chambers, D. & Worrall, R. The frontiers of sisterhood: representations of black feminism in A. Smith (forthcoming) Re-reading Spare Rib (1972-1979) (London: Palgrave).

Professional Journals


Wooldridge, E & Worrall, R (2010). ‘Making systems leadership work’, Public Servant, January, 45-45.

Worrall, R. (2009b). ‘Leading Collaboratively’, HR and Training Journal, Issue 6, August,

Worrall, R. (2009a). ‘Leading the way to some real collaboration, Public Servant Scotland, June, 26-26.

Diversity & Identity

Worrall, R. (2014). Full Circle (For Jean, Peter and Gabriel), People in Harmony Newsletter, 1-2 & 4-5.

Worrall, R. (2008). The fish of wisdom and knowledge, People in Harmony Newsletter, March

Worrall, R. (2004). Finding Father, People in Harmony Newsletter, February,

Worrall, R. (2002). Squaring the circle – European governance, English devolution and local government, European Information Service, Issue 231, July, 4-6.

Worrall, R. (2001). Practical Europeanism – Governance and public participation, European Information Service, Issue 221, July, 3-4.

Recent presentations and conferences

Conference Papers (and Presentations)

Worrall, R. (2006). What difference does it make? Are fire and rescue services who have increased ethnic diversity within their workforce better able to deliver the safer communities agenda?, Conference Paper, Leading Improvement Through Leadership Fire Services College, 14 November.

Worrall, R. (2009c). Co-creating public service leadership development in a new era of collaboration, Proceedings of the 5th European Conference on Management, Leadership and Governance, 5-6 November, Athens, Greece, 272 – 284

Worrall, R. (2014a). Illuminating the Way: Towards an Emergent Theory of Place-Based Leadership Development, Doctoral Colloquium, British Academy of Management, Ulster University, Belfast, 8 September.

Worrall, R. & Bryans, T. (2014b). Teaching Leadership. Developing Leaders: What do Lecturers Think They are Doing?, Irish Academy of Management, Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick, 4-5 September