Professor Joanne Murphy

Professor Joanne Murphy

Department of Management
Professor of Inclusive Leadership

Contact details

Birmingham Business School
University House
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Joanne Murphy is a Professor of Inclusive Leadership at Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham. Her research explores leadership and change in volatile environments. She has worked extensively with business, government, not for profits and police and security organisations to build leadership capacity and manage change. Professor Murphy’s latest book - ‘Management and War: How Organisations Navigate Conflict and Build Peace’ is now available. 


  • 2013 PGCHET
  • 2009 PhD (Organisational Change) - Trinity College Dublin, Ireland 
  • 2002  MA  (Cultural Management) University of Ulster, Northern Ireland 
  • 1993 BA   (Political Science First Class Hons) Queen’s University of Belfast


Joanne Murphy is Professor of Inclusive Leadership, Birmingham Business School. Her research explores leadership, change and organisational development in political volatility. She has written extensively on leadership and organisational change in the areas of policing, public management and political geography, including her highly cited study of organisational change in Northern Ireland policing, and her latest book on the role of organisational actors in environments of violent conflict and transition. She holds a primary degree in political science from Queen’s University Belfast, a MA form Ulster University and a PhD from Trinity College Dublin


MSc HRM – Leadership Development (07 24272)

MSc HRM – Managing Equality and Diversity (07 37332)


Her research explores how leadership processes create collective action and contribute to system wide change. She is particularly interested in environments of conflict and contestation and recently published by third book Management in Conflict and Transition: the Organisational Dimensions of Building Peace. The study explores management practices in the midst of ethno-political conflict and subsequent conflict transformation processes. It draws on three case examples of conflict and conflict transformation (Northern Ireland, Kosovo and the Basque region) and asks how organisational managers in the public, private and non-profit sectors engage with ethno political violence and its legacy at a community, organisational and political level. Using interviews and witness seminars with managers and leaders in the three cases, the work provides a background analysis to each case before focusing on emergent themes from the data itself. Some of these themes directly engage in the conflict arena – like those in police and security functions. Others deal with the reality of conflict and its legacy from a cultural or arts management perspective and others on the challenges of delivering services like housing and health or supporting economic regeneration. 

She is currently working on a new book entitled ‘A Duty of Hope: The Anglo-Irish Division and the Work of Peace’. This work documents the activities, development and impact of the Anglo-Irish Division of the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs through the prism of peacebuilding and conflict diplomacy. Drawing on extensive interviews with public officials and those with whom they worked, the book explores the iteration of the Division itself, its relationship with other branches of government and the organisational, political and diplomatic efforts at peacebuilding over almost forty years.


Recent publications


Murphy, J 2020, Management and War: How Organisations Navigate Conflict and Build Peace. Palgrave Macmillan.


Murphy, J, Denyer, D & Pettigrew, A 2020, 'The Role of Framing Mechanisms in Explaining System Wide Change: The Case of the Northern Ireland Conflict and Peace Process', British Journal of Management, vol. 2020, pp. 1.

Murphy, J & McDowell, S 2018, 'Transitional Optics: Exploring Liminal Spaces after Conflict', Urban Studies.

Murphy, J, McDowell, S, Braniff, M & Denyer, D 2017, 'Managing contested spaces: Public managers, obscured mechanisms and the legacy of the past in Northern Ireland', Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy.


Murphy, J 2022, Policing and Peace in Northern Ireland: Change, Conflict and Community Confidence. in L McAtackney & MS O-cathain (eds), Routledge Handbook of the Northern Irish Conflict and Peace Process. Routledge.

Murphy, J 2021, Leadership and change in environments of conflict and peacebuilding. in B Burnes, M Hughes & R Todnem By (eds), Organizational Change, Leadership and Ethics. 2nd edn, Routledge.

Murphy, J & Bratton, J 2020, Power and Leadership. in J Bratton (ed.), Organizational Leadership (1st edition). SAGE Publications.

Murphy, J 2019, Leading in Liminal space: The Challenge of Police Leadership in Northern Ireland. in P Ramshaw, M Simpson & M Silvestri (eds), Police Leadership: Changing Landscapes. Palgrave Macmillan.

Murphy, J 2017, Leading through Conflict and Change: Chief Constables in Northern Ireland. in K Stevenson, DJ Cox & I Channing (eds), Leading the Police: A History of Chief Constables. Routledge SOLON Explorations in Crime and Criminal Justice Histories, Routledge.


Murphy, J & Rhodes, ML 2022, 'Enabling leadership in practice: examining IT implementation in healthcare organisations'. <>

Murphy, J & White, T 2022, 'Organizations, Order, and Peace: Policing Northern Ireland in the Aftermath of Brexit'. <>

Murphy, J 2022, 'Reframing public inquiries as a mechanism for system-wide'.

Hazlett, S-A, Murphy, J & McIlvenna, L 2021, 'Demystifying SDG's: exploring Businesses'contribution towards achieving the Sustainable Developing Goals (SDGs)'.

Murphy, J & White, T 2020, 'Lost in Liminal Space: Brexit and Policing in Northern Ireland'. <>

Murphy, J 2019, 'Doing Business in a Divided Society: How Business Strategically Adapts to Ethno-Political Conflict'.

View all publications in research portal