Stephen Osborne Headshot

Chair of International Public Management and Head of Strategy Group

Roles and Responsibilities

Director of the Centre for Service Excellence 

Fellow of the Edinburgh Futures  Institute 


I had fifteen years’ experience of working as a social work practitioner and manager before moving to work in the higher education sector in 1990. Since then, my research has focused on four areas: the role of the third sector in delivering public services, co-production, innovation in public services and public services reform, and latterly the development of the theories of the New Public Governance and Public Service Logic This latter work has shifted public management theory and practice away from a manufacturing and Product-Dominant business logic and towards one that recognises the special challenges of service management for public services.

I was the Founding Editor and am the current Editor of the ABS 3* journal Public Management Review. I was also the founder and Immediate Past-President of the International Research Society for Public Management (IRSPM).

I have published extensively throughout his academic career in the leading journals of the field of public management, including Public Administration, British Journal of Management, Local Government Studies, Non-profit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Human Relations and Public Money & Management. I edit the Routledge Critical Studies in Public Management and Non-profit Management Research Book Series. I am also the editor of the Sage four volume masterwork on Voluntary and Non-profit Management, and, with Louise Brown, of the Handbook of Innovation in Public Services (Edward Elgar).

I have received a best paper award from the European Academy of Management conference and two awards for outstanding contribution to his discipline – from IRSPM and PMRA. I am regularly invited to deliver keynote addresses for academic and practitioner conferences. In 2015 I received an Honorary Doctorate from Corvinus University (formerly Karl Marx University) in Budapest for outstanding contribution to the social sciences. I currently have an ongoing research relationship with Fudan University in Shanghai.

I am currently a Fellow within the Edinburgh Futures Institute, where I  am developing a new MSc in Service Management and Design, to be launched in 2022.

I have a personal interest in Doctoral thesis and Masters dissertation supervision, with over 30 years experience of this.

Research Interests

  • Public Service Delivery
  • Public Management and Public Management Reform
  • Third Sector
  • Service Management
  • Public Policy
  • Innovation and Change.
  • Public Service Logic

Research Video

Stephen Osborne discusses public services research and its positive impact.

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