Carolyn Ward

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Senior Lecturer

Phone: +64 9 921 9999 – ext: 6997



  • Doctor of Philosophy (in progress), University of Auckland
  • Masters of Business Administration (MBA) (Teesside University, UK)
  • BA(Hons) Housing Management and Policy (Bristol, UK)
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) specialising in Business and Management (The University of Sunderland, UK)

Memberships and Affiliations:

  • University Forum for Human Resource Development (UFHRD),UK
  • British Academy of Management
  • Australia and New Zealand Academy of Management
  • European Group for Organizational Studies
  • New Zealand Work Research Institute
  • New Zealand Leadership Institute
  • The Higher Education Academy


Before joining academia in the UK Carolyn worked as a management consultant for a number of companies internationally, and has almost 10 years work experience in the not-for-profit, local government social housing sector. She embarked on a full-time career as a senior lectuer in 2007 at Teesside University undertaking a variety of roles which included programme director for Masters programmes; MBA, MA Human Resource Management, MSc Public Management and MA Coaching for Transformational Change.

Carolyn has successfully managed to integrate her work experiences with her research interests in a number of research publications, and is currently completing her PhD at The University of Auckland Business School. Her thesis explores the experiences of governance leaders in New Zealand’s not-for-profit sector using narrative and discourse theory.

 As a reflective teaching practitioner she obtained her fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) in the UK. In 2016 she was granted senior fellow status having completed the Ako Aronui pathway programme with AUT. In 2017 she was selected to mentor teaching colleagues on a pilot project also embarking on the HEA fellowship scheme. Since then she has joined the Ako Aronui programme development team (Centre for Teaching and Learning, CfLAT) and is mentoring and assessing fellowship applications. She also recently accepted the role of reviewer for the UK National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS). This scheme has several awards for excellent practice and outstanding achievement in learning and teaching in higher education.

Teaching Areas:

Level 5
Employment Relations in New Zealand
Business in Context
Management and Organisation 

Level 6
Issues in Employment Relations
Training and Development

Organisational Change Management
Organisational Behaviour

Managing People and Organisations

Coop Education
Workshop facilitator & Academic supervisor 

Research Areas:

  • Leadership
  • Leadership Development
  • Identity work
  • Learning and Development
  • Narrative/Discourse theory

Research Summary:

Carolyn’s research so far has focused on leadership and leadership development within the UK public sector, in particular the National Health Service (NHS), and social housing. In a special issue of the Leadership and Organisational Development Journal she co-authored an article addressing the concept of union leadership. This provided an insight into an area of leadership which has remained relatively ellusive within the mainstream leadership literature.

Her most recent empirical research features an international collaboration exploring the perceptions of nurse leaders undertaking a leadership development programme in the NHS. This paper was awarded the best full paper at the 2016 British Academy of Management conference (BAM) in the Leadership and Leadership Development track. This study provides a unique perspective on leadership in health informatics, which up until now has largely relied  on US studies.

As a qualitative researcher Carolyn’s interests also include sensemaking practices and reflexivity.

Current Research Projects:

  • PhD – The Univserity of Auckland Business School, Department of Management and International Business
  • Two projects with Emeritus Professor Bob Hamlin from The University of Wolverhampton, UK, exploring cultural aspects of leadership in the New Zealand context
  • ‘Exploring the professional identities of scientists',  with Dr. Angela Liew from The University of Auckland (Department of Accounting and Finance)
  • ‘Understanding management and leadership practices of social housing in the 1800’s’, a project using discourse analysis on original written works of the time
  • An autoethnographical account of being a mentor for the HEA accreditation


Smith, P.J., Scott, J.M., Ward, C., & Chambers, A. (2018 under review). The engagement of healthcare professionals in informatics: reflections of leaders in the UK National Health Service,  The International Journal of Information Management (IJIM).

Greenwood, G., & Ward, C. (2018 forthcoming). Delivering organizational change in partnership with     trade unions through interest-based negotiation. In Hamlin, R.G., Ellinger, A, & Jones, J.     (Eds). 'Evidence-based Initiatives for Organizational Change and Development' . IGI Global, Hershey, PA: USA.

Ward, C. (2017) Board work as identity work: A narrative analysis of board member identity construction: Reconnecting in Research with the disciplines: Shaping the research with the social sciences, British Academy of Management, 5-7 Sept, Warwick, UK.

Smith, P. J., Ward, C., Chambers, A., & Scott, J. M. (2016). Leadership and ICT engagement: The case of nurse leaders and health informatics. In BAM 2016 Conference. Newcastle University: British Academy of Management. Retrieved from

Carroll, B., Firth, J., & Ward, C. (2015). Deconstructing Age, Youth and Adults in Leadership and its Development. In 31st European Group for Organization Studies Conference. Athens, Greece.

Lamm, F., Wilson, G., & Ward, C. (2014). Mapping Effective Leadership for Canterbury Rebuild Safety Charter Signatories. Wellington: Site Safe NZ Inc.

Cook, J., Earle, V., & Ward, C. (2013). Tutoring for student employability using a coaching/mentoring approach: a collaborative research study. In Turbulent Seas - Continued Global Economic Uncertainty: Challenges. Brighton Business School, UK. Retrieved from

Preece, D., & Ward, C. (2013). Union leadership in UK social housing. Leadership and Organization Development Journal, 33(8), 763-778. doi:10.1108/01437731211280820

McCauley-Smith, C., Williams, S., Gillon, A. C., Braganza, A., & Ward, C. (2013). From individual leader to interdependent leadership: A case study in leadership development and tripartite evaluation. Management Learning, 15(1), 83-105. doi:10.1177/1523422312466982

Ward, C. (2013). Book review: Leadership and management development: Developing tomorrow’s managers. Management Learning, 44(4), 424-426. doi:10.1177/1350507613490571

Ward, C., Tosey, P., & Cairns-Lee, H. (2013). A strange route to get here: Metaphors of leadership and leadership development. In Turbulent Seas-Continued Global Economic Uncertainty: Challenges and Opportunities. Brighton Business School, UK. Retrieved from

Ward, C., & Preece, D. (2012). Leadership Development: For the 'here' and the 'now'. In HRD Research and Practice Across Europe - 13th International Conference. Portugal: Retrieved from

Ward, C., & Preece, D. (2012). Board member development in the public, voluntary and social housing sectors. Journal of European Industrial Training, 36(6), 630-645. doi:10.1108/03090591211245521


  • 2016 Excellence in Teaching Award, Shortlisted team teaching, AUT
  • 2016 Awarded best full paper in the leadership and leadership development track at the British Academy of Management (BAM)
  • 2016  Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)
  • 2012 Oustanding reviewer of the Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence.
  • 2011 Shortlised for the best international Human Resource Development paper at the International Conference on Human Resource Development Research and Practcie across Europe
  • 2001 Awarded best overall student performance by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) in recognition of MBA studies and dissertation research