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Professor Rob Wilson

Professor of Digital Business

Department: Newcastle Business School

Rob Wilson is a Professor of Digital Business in the Faculty of Business and Law at Northumbria University

Rob Wilson 

Over the course of over two decades (previously based at Newcastle University 1995-2018) I have been actively engaged in over fifty research and development projects. The work is based in three overlapping contexts - the innovation and information aspects of public services (in particular contexts of health and social care - including children, older people and families); the challenges of information and measurement in local governance (the NHS, VCS/Third sector and local government) and the role of information and information systems in education in particular higher education.

Outputs from my work include journal articles, books/book chapters and conference papers. The applied nature of much of the activity in domains of policy and practice has also generated impact through policy and evaluation reports, workshops, invited presentations, expert advice and manager/practitioner toolkits. This programme has been influential in policy making and information systems thinking (including work with UK Government) and much of the research is covered in detail in a co-authored book Digital Government @ Work (with Ian McLoughlin featuring contributions from Mike Martin) published by Oxford University Press. A long term focus has been healthcare and information systems comprising over two decades of working in and around projects looking at electronic health records, telecare and prescribing systems in a range of settings including a recent book on disruptive innovation and Digital Healthcare, also for Oxford University Press (2017).

Keywords:  information sharing; multi-agency and inter-organisational relationships; identity management; public service innovation; social informatics; sociotechnical systems;

Campus Address

City Campus East (CCE)
Northumbria University
Newcastle upon Tyne

+44 (0)191 227 4961


PhD, PG Cert, MSc, BSc (Hons), FHEA

Research Themes & Scholarly Interests

My research interests are in public service innovation and sociotechnical systems: the role that data, information and information systems play in inter-organisational innovation and relationships. 

I have over two decades of experience working on and leading public service information system research and development projects. I have lectured widely on collaboration, information sharing and information systems in public service contexts and have taught on a range of UG and PG management programmes including Research Methods, Information Systems, Public Services Management and Partnership/Collaborative working.

Key areas of expertise:

  • Information Systems
  • Public Service Innovation
  • Social Innovation
  • Digital Government, Governance and Management
  • Digital Health and Social Care
  • Work and Technology
  • Inter-Organisational Relationships: Partnership and Collaborative Working

Sponsors & Collaborators

Since 2002 I have been PI or CI of a projects for Research Councils/Agencies (including ESRC, EPSRC, NIHR, Innovate UK, JISC, EU Framework Programmes), national government departments (including Cabinet Office, DCLG, DH) and a range of other international, national and regional bodies.

Current/Recent Projects


Principal-Investigator Horizon 20/20 programme Co-Creation of Social Innovation in EU (CoSIE) project (2017-2020)

Co-Investigator EPSRC Digital Economy Research Centre (DERC) on Digital Civics: (2015-2020)

Co-Investigator AHSN Connected Health Cities NE programme (2016-2018)



Principal-Investigator ESRC Seminar Series Information Sharing in policy and practice: What needs to be shared (and not shared) when we share information? (2014-18)

Principal-Investigator NHS England/NECS Advancing Innovation with Middle Managers in New Care Models project (2017)

Co-Investigator HM Cabinet Office Evaluation of Ways to Wellness Social Impact Bond programme (2015-2017)

Principal-Investigator Forces in Mind Trust grant Information Sharing for Ex-Services Personnel/Veterans on behalf of ANEC and ILG (2014-15)

Co-Investigator Australian Research Council (ARC) grant Generating insights for the future: A retrospective, comparative study of attempts to implement large-scale electronic health record systems (2011-14)

Co-Investigator Technology Strategy Board/Innovate UK and ESRC/NIHR funded project part of ALIP3 and ALIP4 programmes: Sustainable Business Models for Assistive Living Technologies (SALT) project (2011-14)

Key Publications/Outputs

Lowe T, Kimmitt J, Wilson R, Martin M, Gibbon J. The Institutional Work of creating and implementing a Social Impact Bond. Policy and Politics. In Press. (DOI:

McLoughlin IP, Garrety K, Wilson R. The Digitalization of Health Care: Electronic Records and the Disruption of Moral Orders. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. (ISBN: 9780198744139)

Wilson R, Baines S, Martin M, Richter P, McLoughlin I, Maniatopoulos G. Who is telecaring whom? Exploring the total social organisation of care work in an Italian municipality. New Technology Work and Employment 2017, 32(3), 268-282. (DOI: 10.1111/ntwe.12101)

Lowe T, Wilson R. Playing the game of Outcomes-Based Performance Management. Is gamesmanship inevitable? Evidence from theory and practice. Social Policy and Administration 2017, 51(7), 981-1001. (DOI: 10.1111/spol.12205)

Gray A, Wilson R, Jenkings KN, Harrison D, Martin M. Information Sharing in Services for Military Personnel in Transition to Civilian Life. Public Money and Management 2017, 37(1), 15-22. (DOI 10.1080/09540962.2016.1249226)

McLoughlin IP, Garrety K, Wilson R, Dalley A, Yu P. Doing Infrastructural Work: The Role of Boundary Objects in Health Information Infrastructure Projects. Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems 2016, 28(2), 2.  (

Pell C, Wilson R, Lowe T, ed. Kittens are Evil : Little Heresies in Public Policy. Axminster: Triarchy Press, 2016. (ISBN: 9781911193081)

Garrety K, McLoughlin I, Wilson R, Zelle G, Martin M. National electronic health records and the digital disruption of moral orders. Social Science & Medicine 2014, 101, 70-77. (DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.11.029)

McLoughlin I, Wilson R, Martin M. Digital Government at Work: A Social Informatics Perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. (ISBN: 9780199557721)

Wilson R, Baines S, Hardill I, Ferguson M. Information for Local Governance. Data is the solution...What was the question again?. Public Money and Management 2013, 33(3), 163-166. (DOI: 10.1080/09540962.2013.785682)

Cornford J, Wilson R, Baines S, Richardson R. Local Governance in the new information ecology: The challenge of building interpretative communities. Public Money and Management 2013, 33(3), 201-208. (DOI: 10.1080/09540962.2013.785682)

Cornford J, Baines S, Wilson R. Representing the Family: how does the State "Think Family"? Policy and Politics 2013, 41(1), 1-18. (DOI: 10.1332/030557312X645838)

Richter P, Wilson R. ‘It's the tip of the iceberg’: the hidden tensions between theory, policy and practice in the management of Freedom of Information in English local government bodies—evidence from a regional study. Public Money and Management 2013, 33(3), 177-184. (DOI: 10.1080/09540962.2013.785702)

Wilson R, Maniatopoulos G, Martin M, McLoughlin I. Innovating Relationships: Taking a co-productive approach to the shaping of Telecare services for Older People. Information, Communication and Society 2012, 15(7), 1136-1163. (DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2012.711845)

Walsh S, Wilson R, Baines S, Martin M. 'You're just treating us as informants!' Roles, responsibilities and relationships in the production of Children's Services Directories Local Government Studies 2012, 38(5), 661-680. (DOI: 10.1080/03003930.2012.676439)

McLoughlin I, Maniatopoulos G, Wilson R, Martin M. Inside a Digital Experiment: Co-producing Telecare Services for Older People Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems 2, 1 (

Wilson R, Martin M, Walsh S, Richter P. Re-Mixing Digital Economies in the Voluntary Community Sector? Governing Identity Information and Information Sharing in the Mixed Economy of Care for Children and Young People. Social Policy and Society 2011, 10(3), 379-391. (DOI: 10.1017/S1474746411000108)

Wilson R, Cornford J, Baines S, Mawson J. Information for Localism? Policy Sense-making for Local Governance. Public Money & Management 2011, 31(4), 295-300. (DOI: 10.1080/09540962.2011.586243)

May CR, Finch TL, Cornford J, Exley C, Gately C, Kirk S, Jenkings KN, Osbourne J, Robinson AL, Rogers A, Wilson R, Mair FS. Integrating telecare for chronic disease management in the community: What needs to be done?. BMC Health Services Research 2011, 11(1), 131. (DOI: 10.1186/1472-6963-11-131)

Baines S, Wilson R, Walsh S. Seeing the full picture? Technologically enabled multi-agency working in health and social care.New Technology, Work & Employment 2010, 25(1), 19-33. (DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-005X.2009.00236.x)

McLoughlin I, Maniatopoulos G, Wilson R, Martin M. Hope to die before you get old? Techno-centric versus user-centred approaches in developing virtual services for older people. Public Management Review 2009, 11(6), 857-880. (DOI: 10.1080/14719030903319002)

For a full list please view Google Scholar 

PGR Supervision

I am an experienced Doctoral supervisor and examiner. I have successfully supervised five Doctoral students in the broad research areas of information systems in Business and Management and am currently co-supervising four students in the research areas of Digital Economy, Digital Civics, Information Systems and Public Service Innovation.


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