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Ian C. Elliott

Senior Lecturer in Public Leadership and Management

Ian Elliot He has significant experience in the development and delivery of postgraduate and doctoral programmes in the area of public administration and public leadership. Much of his prior academic experience has included engaging with employers such as Academi Wales, City of Edinburgh Council, Dundee City Council, Orkney Islands Council and Association of Chief Officers of Scottish Voluntary Organisations.

Dr Elliott’s research includes work on public leadership, organisational change in the public sector and community empowerment. He has extensive consultancy and research experience and has successfully supervised and examined up to doctoral level. He is also the current Vice-Chair of the Joint University Council (JUC) and Chair of the JUC Public Administration Committee and sits on the Editorial Board of Teaching Public Administration.

Ian has been commissioned by a number of organisations to run training courses and has been invited to speak at numerous academic and professional events including for Higher Education Academy, MacKay Hannah and Holyrood Events. His research has been published in trade and popular press including The Conversation, Scottish Policy Now, Public Sector Executive and The Scotsman.

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PhD, BA (Hons)

Research Themes & Scholarly Interests

My research interests are primarily in public administration and public leadership. Much of my research is located within the context of the Scottish Approach to Public Services. My interests within this are based on ideas of adaptive leadership in a government setting, the challenges faced in promoting greater community empowerment, how to demonstrate leadership in boundary-spanning integrated teams and the Scottish Approach to Public Services as an example of the Strategic State. 


My teaching and learning is predominantly informed by my research into the leadership and management of public service organisations. In particular I am interested in aspects of strategic management and organisational change in the public sector. I also have an interest in public leadership including the nature and role of collective leadership within boundary-spanning contexts. Within my teaching I use student-centred approaches and practical cases to illustrate theory and facilitate discussion.

Professional Activity

Vice-Chair of the Joint University Council (JUC)

Chair of the JUC Public Administration Committee

Expert Advisor for Public Sector and Healthcare on CABS Scientific Committee for the Journal Quality Guide

Fellow, The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce

Senior Fellow, The Higher Education Academy

Member, Social Policy Association

Sponsors & Collaborators

I have been commissioned by a wide range of organisations from the public and third sectors to conduct training, education and research. Funders have included the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC), Academi Wales, NHS Health Scotland and Holyrood Training.

Key Publications/Outputs

McVittie, C., Goodall, K., Sambaraju, R., Elliott, I. & Trejnowska, A. (2015). ‘We just have to learn to deal with it’: young workers’ experiences of workplace violence. Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities. Vol. 1, Issue 2, pp.39-47.

Breckenridge, J., Elliott, I., Jones, D., Nicol, M. (2012) Choosing a methodological path: reflections on the constructivist turn, Grounded Theory Review, Vol. 11, Issue 1.

Canduela, J., Chandler, R., Elliott, I., Lindsay, C., Macpherson, S., McQuaid, R.W. (2010) “Partnerships to Support Early School Leavers: School-College Transitions and ‘Winter Leavers’ in Scotland”. Journal of Education and Work.

Valkama, P., Bailey, S.J. and Elliott, I.C. (2010) "Vouchers as Innovative Funding of Public Services". In Bailey, S.J., Valkama, P., and Anttiroiko, A. (Eds) Innovations in Financing Public Services: Country Case Studies. Palgrave Macmillan.

Elliott, I.C., Valkama, P. and Bailey, S.J. (2010) "Public Service Vouchers in the UK and Finland". In Bailey, S.J., Valkama, P., and Anttiroiko, A. (Eds) Innovations in Financing Public Services: Country Case Studies. Palgrave Macmillan.

PGR Supervision

Dr Elliott has extensive experience of PhD supervision and would welcome applicants with an interest in public leadership and / or organisational change in a public service context.

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