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Personal profile


Stephen is an experienced Honorary Associate Professor (Reader) with expertise in public policy and management, particularly in all forms of leadership, organisational development and essential negotiation Skills.  He was initially appointed as a Senior Fellow in 2006 and was a full-time academic member of the faculty until he retired as a full-time academic and was appointed as an Honorary Associate Professor.

Stephen was the Programme Director for the MSc in Healthcare Management for six years, later relaunched in 2017 as the MSc International Healthcare Leadership, delivered in Dubai and Singapore. He was a regular contributor to the full-time and Global MBA programs. Since his appointment as an Honorary Associate Professor, Stephen has continued to be active as a Programme Director and has just completed the six month unique Saudi British Fellowship Program for Senior Leaders in the Not for Profit Sector across the Kingdom.  This programme was delivered in partnership with the Leaders Development Company in both Riyadh and a full week Leadership Camp at the Manchester Campus.  

Stephen has a broad range of experience at a senior level in multiple sectors, including the military (Royal Navy) police service (three constabularies), central and regional government, and local government. He has a sound academic background, completing his PhD in 2004 (Police Community Leadership).  He has edited and authored a number of books,  published several academic papers and presented at a range of conferences.

Before joining Alliance Manchester Business School, Stephen was the Home Office Director for the Government Office for the East Midlands for six years. During this time, he gained considerable experience working with partnerships, supporting performance improvement programs, and facilitating and leading change. Stephen was a police officer for thirty years and received the Queens Police Medal in the Jubilee Birthday Honours in June 2002 for distinguished police service. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Stephen has been active in research and publishing.  In May 2006, shortly after joining AMBS, Stephen secured funding from the ESRC for a series of five seminars that took place until March 2008. The seminars focused on identifying the challenges and consistencies across the public sector and the impact of reform programs on collective public leadership. Stephen has co-edited two books, initially informed by the ESRC series,  and published his first sole-authored book, "The Selfless Leader," in January 2016.  He was the sole editor and author of four chapters of the Research Handbook of Public Leadership: Re-imagining Public Leadership in a Post-pandemic Paradigm, published in 2023.  The Selfless Leader emphasises the importance of collective leadership and how learning for leadership aligns with practice. He provides international leadership and organisational development to middle and senior managers across the public sector.  The second edited Public Leadership volume addresses the unprecedented challenges facing public leaders brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Stephen's research focuses on the concept of collective leadership and governance. He also identifies the impact of performance regimes on public sector organisations and explores the potential for such organisations to create and demonstrate public value. In his last five years, Stephen was the co-lead for the University of Manchester for the N8 Universities Policing Research Partnership and remains a member of the advisory board since stepping down as a full-time academic. He is also the Founding Editor of the International Journal of Public Leadership, published by Emerald.

Research interests

  • 2015: As co-lead for the University of N8 Universities Police Research Partnership, involved in the preparation of bid resulting in a £3 million grant from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), supplemented by in excess of £4.2 million from policing partners and the N8 universities.
  • 2014: As the representative of the University of Manchester N8 Universities Police Research Network.  Supported the group in the preparation and delivery of successful bid to the National College of Policing “What works” call.
  • 2012: Developed the Crime Science and Security Research Group (CSSRG). The scoping work supported an EPSRC Knowledge Transfer project through the Manchester Institute of Innovation and Research.  This was intended to support a range of foresight and horizon scanning events in the area of security. 
  • 2011: Research in relation to collective leadership and intelligent relationships. A Collective Leadership Inventory was used and formed the basis of research with two partnerships focused on inequalities in health.  A report was published.
  • 2010: Research commissioned by the Standards Board for England to assess and develop governance standards for partnership working. 
  • 2008: Research commissioned by the Audit Commission of England and Wales and the North West Improvement Network to assess the effectiveness of trust networks and the use of intelligence in the delivery of local area agreements. 
  • 2009: Research commissioned by Greater Manchester Police Authority to examine the context of police performance in support of data published through the Police Performance Assessment Framework. 
  • 2008: Research to examine performance regimes and the creation and demonstration of public value within the context of policing in Greater Manchester.
  • 2008: Examination of the potential and barriers to the creation and demonstration of public value within the context of Sports. 


Stephen has successfully supervised three PhD students to completion.  He welcomes further opportunities to supervise postgraduate researchers in the area of public leadership


Stephen has previously led and taught on the following programmes:

MSc International Healthcare Leadership.  This was formerly the MSc Healthcare Management, which is being relaunched in 2016 as a global blended learning programme.  For more information see http://.www.mscihl.com

Higher Specialist Scientist Training Programme (HSST).  Co-lead module A2 (Theoretical Foundations of Leadership) and module A4 (Service Improvement).

Global MBA:  Co-coordinator for the Negotiations Skills Module

Full Time MBA: Co-coordinator for the Negotiations Skills Module

Further information

Executive Education

Stephen regularly undertakes both accredited and non accredited Executive Education in the general area of Leadership.  This includes leadership in the public, private and third sector.  He has also taught extensively in an International context.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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