Bruce Moore

Competing perspectives on the governance role of boards of English housing associations and attitudes to board payment

Supervisors: Professor David Mullins and Dr Rob Macmillan

I have used Q methodology and an abductive approach to discover competing conceptualisations of how housing associations should be governed, the role of their boards and attitudes to board payment.

My research has identified five sets of perspectives that I have characterised as:

  1. Business Focused and Corporately Responsible
  2. Socially Focused and Stakeholder Accountable
  3. Regulator Focused and Professionally Responsible
  4. Leadership Focused and Governance Rigour
  5. Pragmatically Focused and Non-Prescriptive

The results confirm the hybrid nature of housing associations and that their governance is complex, multi-faceted and does not converge on one uniform or consensus view.    Power and payment are identified as two particular issues of contention.

I have not only analysed the characteristics of housing association governance at a sector level, but have also explored the potential of Q methodology to be used as a tool of board assessment on a case basis.   I have also considered the significance that the particular context, conditions and circumstances may have on the assessment of governance from a personal perspective.

My thesis concludes that housing association governance could be enhanced if increased recognition is given to exposing and exploring differences of perspective and ensuring there is clarity about purpose and approach.


As well as studying for a PhD I am also the Chief Executive of Housing & Care 21 (a substantial housing association focused on providing housing and care services for older people).


  • LLB (Exeter)
  • MBA (Henley)
  • LLM (Bristol)

Research interests

Housing Associations, Governance, Q Methodology.