Current PhD Students

Since 2004, eleven PhD students who have been supervised by the ODSC Group members and whose work has been closely associated with the research focus of the Group have graduated. In 2012, one of our students - Helena Liu - completed their doctoral studies.

Currently, another eight PhD students are engaged in research that directly draws on expertise from within the ODSC Group. These students are active participants in the Group's activities.

Jarrod Ormiston

Assessing impact and performance in Social Investment: Navigating diverse logics in cross-sector collaboration

Supervisors: Richard Seymour and Alex Nicholls

Cooperatives, charities, churches and mutual societies have a long history of directing capital towards social 'good'. Similarly, there is a long tradition of 'ethical' or other forms of screened investments avoiding alcohol, gambling and weapons or other negative externalities. Over the last twenty years, however, a new form of investment activity is emerging on a global scale that focuses explicitly on creating value for society (social, economic, cultural and/or environmental) as well as delivering financial returns for investors. Social Investment involves unlikely cross-sector collaborations between stakeholders who had previously kept their distance (e.g. between government agencies, NGOs, philanthropic foundations, commercial enterprises and investment banks). These collaborations occur at both inter-organisational and intra-organisational levels, and are potentially complicated by the different modes of practice, traditions and backgrounds, implicit assumptions, values and beliefs (held by individuals, organisations and sector).

Sarah Runcie

Complicity - crossing moral boundaries

Supervisors: John Shields and Jane Le

Her project overview is: In the world of work, complicity in wrongdoing can be seen as the negation of personal moral agency. In other words, complicity results from a person losing their willingness to act in line with their own morals. The central concern of this study is to examine how complicity arises in organisations. It aims to identify the micro-dynamics that affect, influence and inhibit moral agency at work. While much research has been dedicated to extreme instances of such behaviour (e.g. corruption or other illegal activity) almost no research has examined the more common blurring of boundaries that occurs in everyday work. This topic is examined with an interview study of executive assistants (EA), who commonly face complex situations that may give rise to complicity. Results from this study will further our understanding of complicity and, hence, provide the micro-foundations for how unethical decisions and actions arise in modern organisations.

Abz Sharma

Routinisation: Organisational Life After Charismatic Leadership

Supervisors: David Grant and Christopher Wright

Abz's thesis investigates the 'routinisation' of charismatic leadership: a process by which charismatic authority is succeeded by traditional and/or bureaucratic authority. In particular, the project brings into focus the ways in which the values, attitudes, behaviours and practices of charismatic leaders, followers, and other stakeholders inform the 'charismatic mission'. Whereas scholars from fields such as sociology, studies of religion, government and political studies have enriched understandings of this quixotic concept, investigations of its practice and effects in contemporary business organisations remain hitherto unrecognised.

Drawing on dramaturgical and discursive leadership approaches, Abz's project develops and applies a conceptual framework of analysis - 'A Model of the Routinisation of Charismatic Leadership' - to the examination of three case study organisations: Hewlett-Packard, Intel Corporation, and Apple, Inc. Through a fine-grained study of texts, the study calls attention to the processes by which charisma is routinised, as well as the contradictions, entanglements, struggles and tensions often generated and experienced by successive organisational leaders and members as a result of these ongoing activities and practices. In doing so, Abz's study seeks to contribute to understandings associated with the contemporary study and practice of charismatic leadership and organisational culture.