Tim Freeman



Health Services Management Centre

Tim Freeman

Contact details

School of Social Policy, HSMC
Park House
University of Birmingham
B15 2RT, United Kingdom


Tim has been involved in health services evaluations since 1991. Tim’s main areas of interest include the governance of health and social care services; leadership and identity and organisational culture (particularly the governance of ‘safety’).

Tim’s main areas of interest include:

  • The governance of health and social care services.
  • Leadership and identity and organisational culture (particularly the governance of ‘safety’).


Tim’s main qualifications are:

  • PhD Public Policy (2004)
  • Postgraduate Certificate Health Economics (1999)
  • MSc Social Research Methods (1991)
  • PGCEA further Education (1989)
  • BA (Hons) Government (1988)


Tim has wide experience of applied research and has worked as a researcher for the Save the Children Fund and Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, and has experience as an NHS manager with responsibility for service improvement and clinical governance. He is co-director of research for the department and co-ordinates modules on a wide range of postgraduate programmes within the department and Business School.

Current and previous projects

Tim maintains an interest in governance and has held funding from the ESRC, SDO and National Audit Office (NAO), among others. Recent and current work includes: 

  • A national study of NHS Foundation Trust safety cultures 
  • Approaches to priority setting
  • Leadership discourses within UK public services
  • A study of a joint commissioning executive board culture 
  • The role of PDPs in the construction of leadership identity


‘Robinson, S., Dickinson, H., Freeman, T., Rumboldt, B. and Williams, I. (2012) Structures and processes for priority setting by healthcare funders: a national survey of primary care trusts in England. Health Services Management Research 25(3): 113-20.

Dickinson, H, Freeman, T, Robinson, S and Williams, I (2011), Resource scarcity and priority-setting: from management to leadership in the rationing of health care?, Public Money and Management.

Robinson, S., Dickinson, H., Freeman, T. and Williams, I. (2011) Disinvestment in health: the challenges facing general practitioner (GP) commissioners. Public Money and Management, 31(2): 145-8

Mabey, C. and Freeman, T. (2010) Reflections on leadership and place, Policy Studies 31(4):505-22

Freeman, T. and Peck, E. (2009) Culture made flesh: discourse, performativity and materiality. In J. Braithwaite, P. Hyde and C. Pope (eds.) Culture, climate and teams in health care organizations, pp. 31-41 Basingstoke: Palgrave

Peck, E., Freeman, T., 6, P. and Dickinson, H. (2009) Performing leadership: towards a new research agenda in leadership studies? Leadership 5(1):25-40

Freeman, T., and Peck, E. Performing governance: a partnership board dramaturgy. Public Administration, (2007) 85(4):907-929

Freeman, T. (2006) Performance measurement and improvement, in Walshe K. and Smith J. (eds) Healthcare Management, London: McGraw-Hill/Open University Press, pp. 300-320

6, P., Peck, E., Goodwin, N., and Freeman, T. (2006) Managing networks of twenty-first century organisations. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Freeman, T. Annual Conference of the European (EPCR) August 2011 (Reykjavik, Iceland) Paper presentation: ‘Managing to lead? The affective realm of the trainee health manager’

Freeman, T. 7th International Critical Management Conference July 2011 (Naples): Paper presentation: ‘Let me think about that for a minute: deliberative priority-setting as governance within the English National Health Service’

Robinson, S., Freeman, T., Dickinson, H. and Williams, I.14th Annual Conference of the International Research Society for Public Management (IRSPM) April 2010 (Berne, Switzerland), Paper presentation ‘Priority setting, commissioning and governmentality: a case of ‘clinician, manage thyself’?

Freeman, T., Dickinson, H., Williams, I. and Robinson, S. 10th International Society of Priorities in Health Care Conference ‘Priority Setting in Difficult Economic Times’ April 2010 (Boston, MA). Paper presentation ‘Priority setting as governance in the UK National Health Service’

Freeman, T. 8th International conference on Leadership December 2009 (Birmingham): Paper presentation: ‘Politicians, moral champions, guardians and charismatics: NHS management trainees make sense of leadership theory’

Freeman, T. and Robinson, S. Interpretive policy analysis. (ESRC funded) October 2009 (Manchester): Paper presentation: ‘Evidence and expertise: a narrative analysis of the application of priority setting in UK primary care’

Freeman, T., Dickinson, H. and Robinson, S. Qualitative Heath Research October 2009 (Vancouver): Paper presentation: ‘Follow the leader? Identity construction, control and the health service manager’

Follow this link for further publications by Tim Freeman (pdf; 90KB; opens in new window)

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