Dr. Rob Worrall

Position: Leadership and Management Specialist
Email: rworrall@ipa.ie
Telephone: 00353 1 240 3692

Rob is a leadership development professional, academic, researcher and consultant highly experienced in the innovative design and delivery of post-graduate leadership and transformation programmes across the public sector. 

Rob has also worked extensively across the UK and internationally building the capability of leaders enabling effective collaborative between the public, private sectors and civil society.   Rob currently designs and delivers a wide range of leadership, management and collaboration initiatives working with a wide range of public service clients across Ireland including central government departments and agencies, and local government. He also designs and delivers bespoke interventions and consultancy assignments on collaboration and innovation in Ireland and East Africa.  This includes:

  • Co-designing and facilitating the IPA Innovation and Collaboration for Growth seminar series
  • Developing place-based leadership interventions such as the seminar Thinking Strategically and Working Collaboratively
  • Designing and Delivery of place-based leadership development  for Intersectoral Urban Violence Prevention Programmes in Uganda and Kenya

Rob is also an award winning collaborative researcher with a significant international profile on themes such as place-based leadership development, collaborative leadership and identity. He has recently published articles in a number of Irish and International journals including Administration, the Local Authority Times and Aggression and Violent Behavior.

He has been an External Examiner and Assessor at the Universities of Bedford, Middlesex and Coventry and is currently an External Examiner for Healthcare Leadership Programmes at the University of Cumbria. 

Professional expertise

Rob has experience in the following areas:

  • Organisational learning and needs analysis
  • Design and delivery of bespoke leadership, change management and transformation programmes including higher education, local government, children’s services, health and social care, regional government departments and agencies, inter-professional and inter-sectoral collaborative leadership programmes
  • Design and facilitation of workshops, masterclasses and seminars on leading change, creativity and collaboration, leading place, emerging leaders development, strategic thinking, resilience and leadership in complexity
  • Design and development of strategic development and team building workshops, and collaborative consultancy assignments for senior leadership teams
  • Facilitation
  • Professional development for place-based leadership development facilitators
  • Strategy Development, Policy Advice and Review

Rob has previously worked with a range of UK and International clients including:

  • Health: Queen Elizabeth Hospital; NHS Leadership Academy: Strategic Health Authority; Heath Education England North East; Sunderland City Hospital, The Kings Fund
  • Local Government: Sunderland City Council; North East Succession Planning Programme; Local Government Development Trust (LOGON) South Africa; Local Government  European Information Service
  • Government Departments and Agencies: Home Office, Cabinet Office, Government Regional Offices Network, Rent Tribunal Agency; Department for Communities and Local Government; Public Service Leadership Academies Network (PSLA); Welsh Assembly Government; Scottish Government; Defence, Science and Technology Laboratories (DSTL)
  • EU Linked Organisations: European Development and Research & Innovation Directorates; ACP Group Secretariat; EU-NGO Liaison Committee 
  • Civil Society: DIGNITY: The Danish Institute Against Torture; MidRift Human Rights Network (Kenya); The Research Centre for Violence Prevention in Central America (CIPREVICA); Human Rights Activists of Elgin Sub Region, Mbale, Uganda

International Experience

Rob has worked as a practitioner-leader on strategic policy initiatives with partners in the EU, China and South Africa.  More latterly, he has been involved in research consultancy and practice building intersectoral leaders capability to collaborate in reducing urban violence across local municipalities in Kenya, Uganda and Guatemala. 

Rob is also involved in research collaborations with practitioners and senior academics in New Zealand, the UK and the United States.

Rob regularly presents his work at academic and research conferences such as the British and Irish Academies of Management, Developing Leadership Capacity Conference.

Education and Professional Qualifications

  • Certified Practitioner in Conflict Dynamics (to be completed in 2019)
  • PhD by Research - Illuminating the Way: An Emergent Theory of Place-Based Leadership Development (2015)
  • Master of Science (MSc) - Public Sector Management (2003) Newcastle Business School, University of Northumbria
  • Master of Arts (MA) - European Politics and Administration (1993) College of Europe, Graduate School of European Studies, Bruges, Belgium
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA Hons) - Contemporary European Studies (1992) School of Languages and European Studies, London Metropolitan University including Erasmus Scholarship at the Institut Libre Marie Haps, Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Certificate in Training Practice, National School of Government/CIPD (2010)
  • Certificate in Professional Presentation Skills, National School of Government (2010)
  • Certificate in Management Consulting, CMI/Institute of Business Consulting (2009)
  • Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Practice, Anglia Ruskin University (2006)

Memberships of Professional Bodies

  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)
  • Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute (FCMI)
  • Fellow, Royal Society of Arts (FRSA)
  • Member, British Academy of Management
  • Member, Leadership and Leadership Development Special Interest Group, BAM
  • Member, International Leadership Association 
  • Associate Member, CAREED (Centre for African Research on Enterprise and Economic Development
  • Associate Member, CIPD


  • Ruskin Medal award from Anglia Ruskin University in recognition of outstanding impactful research (2017)
  • British Academy of Management Tony Beasley Award “in recognition of outstanding work in the form of a quality academic paper developed by a doctoral student”. (2014)
  • Bursary Award for British Academy of Management Doctoral Symposium (2014)
  • Research Bursary for Doctorate fieldwork from Anglia Ruskin University (2011).
  • Fees Waiver Bursary to undertake Phd studies at Anglia Ruskin University (2006)
  • Nominated for Citizen of the Year, City of Kecskemet, Hungary (for re-launching Coventry-Kecskemet International Partnership) (2000)

Selected Publications

Book Chapters

  • Chambers, D. & Worrall, R. (2017). The frontiers of sisterhood: representations of black feminism in A. Smith, Re-reading Spare Rib (1972-1979) (London: Palgrave).

Journals - Academic

  • Worrall, R. & O’Leary, F. (2019). Towards greater collective impact: Developing the collaborative capability of the local community development committees (LCDCs). Administration, vol. 67, no. 1, 73-83.
  • Worrall, R., & Kjaerulf, F. (2019).  Transforming Minds, People and Places:  Leadership Coalition Building as Catalyst for Intersectoral Collaboratives in Urban Violence Prevention  Aggression and Violent Behavior – Special Issue (In press)
  • Worrall, R., & Kjaerulf, F.  (2018). Building Collaborative capability between law enforcement and civil society leaders to prevent urban violence, International Journal of Public Health –Special Issue Violence, Justice and Health: Implications for Multisectoral Collaboration, Vol. 63, No. 8: 969-976, Available online doi 10.1007/s00038-018-1153-976
  • Worrall, R., & Leech, D. (2018). ‘Will place-based leadership be the right remedy for health and social care? British Journal of Healthcare Management, Vol. 24, no. 2, 90-94.

Journals - Professional

  • Worrall, R. and O’Leary (2019b). Place-Based Leadership Development and the collaborative challenge Local Authority Times, Vol. 22, No. 162, Summer, No.1&2, 14-17.
  • Leech, D. & Worrall, R. (2018). Place-based leadership: both opportunity and challenge, National Heallth Executive, 28th March http://www.nationalhealthexecutive.com/Comment/place-based-leadership-both-opportunity-and-challenge.
  • 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, 51-52.
  • Worrall, R. (2009a).  ‘Leading the way to some real collaboration, Public Servant Scotland, June, 26-26.
  • 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.

Conference Papers

  • Worrall, R. (2019). Developing Collective Capability to Respond to Local Needs, to be presented at the Irish Academy of Management Conference, National College of Ireland, 28-30 August.
  • Worrall, R & Kjaerulf, F. (2018). South-South:Comparative analysis of applying a Place-Based Leadership Development (P-BLD) Framework to Build Coalitions for Intersectoral Urban Violence Prevention in Kenya, Uganda and Guatemala presented at the Irish Academy of Management Conference. UCC, Cork, 3-5th Septemberl.
  • Worrall, R & Kjaerulf, F. (2018). Crossing Borders? Comparative analysis of applying a Place-Based Leadership Development Framework for Leadership Coalition Building for Intersectoral Urban Violence Prevention in Kenya and Uganda  presented at the IRSPM Conference. University of Edinburgh, 11-13th April.
  • Worrall, R.  (2018). Developing Leaders of Place: From the Inside Out or the Outside In? presented at the IRSPM Conference. University of Edinburgh, 11-13th April
  • Worrall, R. & Merrin, K. (2017).  Renewing Place? - A Case Study of the Leadership Challenges of a Higher Education Anchoring Institution Leading Civic and Cultural Renewal, RSA Winter Conference: The Place Dimension of Cities and Regions, London, 16-17 November.
  • Worrall, R. & Jackson, B. (2017). Whose Place is it Anyway? Leadership Development to Traverse Sub-Regional Fault Lines, RSA Winter Conference: The Place Dimension of Cities and Regions, London, 16-17 November.
  • Worrall, R., & Leech, D. (2017). Is a Boundary Spanning ‘Place Based’ Leadership Development Model the Right Prescription for Leadership in the Health and Social Care Sector? British Academy of Management Conference, University of Warwick, 5-7 September.
  • Worrall, R. & Kjaerulf, F (2017). Transforming Places, People and Minds: The role of place-based leadership development in urban violence prevention, 9th Developing Leadership Capacity Conference (DLCC), Brighton, 13-14 July.
  • Worrall, R, Worrall, L. & Worrall, E. (2017). Being, Belonging, Becoming: Intergenerational Afropean Identity Making, to be presented at the Afro Europeans: Black Cultures and Identities in Europe Conference, University of Tampere, Finland, And 6-8 July.
  • Worrall, R..& Callahan, R.  (2017). Place-based leadership, collaboration and creating public value: a US/UK comparative case study analysis, presented at the 2nd PUPOL Conference: 'Leadership for Public and Social Value' Conference, The Open University, 6-7 April.
  • Worrall, R. & Bryans, P (2016).  Visualizing new space and new ways of being for middle managers through Leadership Development, British Academy of Management Conference, University of Newcastle, 6-8 Sept.
  • Cooper, S., Watson, D. & Worrall, R. (2016)  Managing Supply Chain Networks: A framework for achieving superior performance, Performance Measurement and Management: New Theories for New Practices,  10th PMA Conference 26-29 June, Edinburgh
  • Worrall, R. & Bryans, P. (2014). Teaching Leadership. Developing Leaders:  What do Lecturers Think They are Doing?, Irish Academy of Management, Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick, 4-5 September
  • Worrall, R. (2014b). Illuminating the Way:  Towards an Emergent Theory of Place-Based Leadership Development, Doctoral Colloquium, British Academy of Management, Ulster University, Belfast, 8 September. Winner of the Tony Beasley for an Outstanding Work with strong evidence of contribution to knowledge and practice
  • 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. (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.

Seminars - Academic

  • Worrall, R. (2016).  Transforming Places, Transforming People and Minds: Place-Based Leadership Development and its role in Improving Local Leadership, Seminar Presentation to the Shenstone Group, Worcestershire County Council, Friday 18th November
  • Worrall, R. (2016).  Transforming Places, Transforming People and Minds: Place-Based Leadership Development and its role in Improving Local Leadership, Seminar at University of Suffolk (with the Suffolk  Collaborative) Friday 2nd December
  • Worrall, R. (2015d).  Laddism and the Crisis of Masculinity? Just one of the Lads?  Lad Culture in the University Setting, SunGen Network, University of Sunderland, 20 November
  • Worrall, R. (2014c). Holding up the Mirror:  Hearing the Student Voice in Leadership Teaching, Developmental Workshop: Presentation and Discussion, Academic Conference:  Research Enabled Student Learning, Sunderland University, 3 July 2014
  • Worrall, R. (2015a). Getting the Balance Right - working with what organizations want and their emerging leaders’ actual development needs, Seminar Case Study Presentation & Discussion, A Voyage Around the Neglected Middle:  Developing Emerging Leaders, British Academy of Management LLD SIG & International Centre for Research into Innovation, Sustainability and Enterprise, 23 June, National Glass Centre, University of Sunderland
  • Worrall, R. & Bryans, P. (2015b). Teaching Leadership:  Do we need authentic teachers to develop authentic leaders, RISE Lunch Time Seminar Series, University of Sunderland, 13 May 2015
  • Worrall, R & Bryans, P. (2015c). Teaching Leadership. Developing Leaders:  What do Lecturers Think They are Doing? RISE Lunch Time Seminar Series, University of Sunderland, 27 April 2015
  • Worrall, R. (2015d). Ignite Talk: Leadership, Identity and Belonging, RISE Research Conference, University of Sunderland, 24 March 2015

Seminars - Professional

  • “The role of Place-Based Leadership Development in Violence Prevention” for DIGNITY and MidRift Hurinet Human Rights Network, Naivasha Municipality, Nakuru County, Kenya (5-6 December 2016)
  • “The role of Place-Based Leadership Development in Violence Prevention” for DIGNITY and MidRift Hurinet Human Rights Network, Nakuru Muncipality, Nakuru County, Kenya (3-4 October 2016)
  • Designing and delivering effective and impactful leader and leadership development interventions, Leadership Symposium, INTEL College of Higher Education, Nairobi, Kenya (6 February 2016)
  • Leading from the Centre – Transforming Middle Leaders for Sustainable Performance, Leadership Symposium, INTEL College of Higher Education, Nairobi, Kenya (6 February 2016)

 Invited Speaker/Expert

  • Leadership Development for Social Impact,  The Teaching Council Beacons Initiative, Kilkenny Education Centre, 25th May 2019,
  • The unique characteristics of Place-Based Leadership within different contexts and settings, Leading Greater Manchester Conference, Life Centre, Sale Manchester, 11th October 2018
  • Masterclasses: How place-based leadership development can enable the effective delivery of sustainability and transformation plans, Kings Fund Eight Annual Leadership and Management Summit, 10th May 2018 
  • Place-based leadership development and its role in implementing Vision 2025, Seminar,  Institute for Public Safety, Crime and Justice, University of Northampton, June 2016
  • British Identity, Becoming and Belonging: In search of myself, People in Harmony, AGM, 7th October 2017
  • Welcome address to New Members at 30th Annual British Academy of Management Conference Newcastle, Sept 2016
  • Co-Chair – Doctoral Symposium, Research Conversations, 30th Annual British Academy of Management Conference Newcastle, Sept 2016
  • Chair, Leadership and Leadership Development Track Seminar, Full Paper Submissions, 30th Annual British Academy of Management Conference Newcastle, Sept 2016

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