Simon Baddeley


Visiting Lecturer at Birmingham University and Associate of the Institute of Local Government Studies

Institute of Local Government Studies

Contact details

Telephone via Sue Platt: +44 (0)121 414 5002

Fax +44 (0)121 414 8452




  • BA Cantab
  • MA Michigan


As an Hon. Lecturer at Birmingham University where he has worked since 1973, Simon Baddeley’s fascination is with working relations between politicians and managers in making government. He has taught in Australia, Sweden, Japan, and Canada. He has invented many training approaches to this sensitive subject, including the ‘owl/fox/donkey/sheep’ model (co-author Kim James), and created a film collection of interviews with politicians and managers working across political-managerial boundaries.

Outside his university work, he started the Handsworth Allotments InformationGroup, campaigning to save urban growing space, submitting evidence to thesub-committee on ‘The Future for Allotments’. He has written a history of hislocal park, co-founded Handsworth Park Association, given evidence to theEnvironment Sub-committee on ‘Town and Country Parks’ and featured in BBCdocumentaries about allotments.


I help plan, tutor and facilitate one-off in-house events through to longer relationships with specific local authorities focusing on competency and capability in the area of member-officer working and political-management leadership. This may involve overviews of issues in working relations between members and managers to tailored work on relations ‘at the top’, including the way Cabinet and Chief Officer teams interact. I offer similar work in the area of overview and scrutiny, specialising in the skills of scoping, questioning, chairing and weighing evidence and also on relations between Scrutiny and Executive members and their officer support.


Research interests



Some of my published texts can be downloaded from my blog (opens in a newwindow)


Current and recent projects


  • Co-organising Inlogov's accredited Post-Graduate Module on Oversight and Scrutiny
  • Leading training and development events for local councils across the UK on Overview and Scrutiny skills
  • Similar events on ‘managing with political awareness’ and ‘political sensitivity for members and officers’
  • Post-election briefings for new members on ‘working with officers’, including tailored sessions for in-house induction programmes
  • Jointly designed events for executives and management teams on ‘political-management leadership’
  • Continued film research on political-management working relationships and the construction of trust at the top of local government
  • Co-tutoring workshops on ‘Negotiating the overlap’ for councillors and managers across Australia in May 2008 and November 2009
  • ‘Political sensitivity’ option on MSc and Postgraduate Diploma / Certificate Programmes
  • Member of the 2005 SOLACE Commission, convened by Cheryl Miller CBE, examining the challenges of working in a political environment 


Baddeley, S & Martin, J (2008) ‘Negotiating the overlap’ in Local Government Managers Australia, Oct/Nov., pp.18-19

Baddeley, S (2008) ‘Political-Management Leadership’, in James, K &Collins, J (eds.)(2008) Leadership Perspectives: Knowledge into action(PalgraveMacmillan) pp.177-192


Baddeley, S (1998) ‘Constructing trust at the top of local government’, inAndrew Coulson (ed.) (1998) Trust & Contracts: Relationships in localgovernment, health & public services (Policy Press) (4) 55-78


Baddeley, S (1997) ‘The Founding of Handsworth Park 1882-1898’ (BirminghamUniversity)


Baddeley, S (1997) ‘Governmentality’ in Brian Loader (ed.) (1997) TheGovernance of Cyberspace (London: Routledge) (5) 64-96


Baddeley, S (1995) ‘Internal Polity’ Human Relations, 48 (9) pp.1073-1103


Baddeley, S & James, K (1987) ‘Owl, Fox, Donkey, Sheep: Political Skillsfor Managers’, Management Education & Development, 18 (1) Spring, pp.3-19

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