Carol managed organisations and programmes in public and voluntary sectors for over 20 years before returning to the world of academia. She is a qualified social worker, and as Lead Officer for Early Years and Childcare in the Borough of Poole, she led the process to implement children's centres, building on her commitment to collaborative early intervention services.
Previously, Carol worked for three Councils for Voluntary Service in roles focused on volunteer management, partnership working, and as the Director of Amber Valley CVS. She has also worked for and consulted with national organisations. In both public and voluntary sectors her work focused on change management, project implementation, and cross-sector collaboration.
Carol is a trustee of an adoption agency.
Carol's research interests focus on collaboration and leadership in the particular context of the UK voluntary sector. She is an associate of the OU's Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership (CVSL), and contributes to the centre's engagement in and with the voluntary sector, as well as to academic projects. Carol was a contributor to CVSL's recent research on the value and distinctiveness of small charities commissioned by the Lloyds Bank Foundation and conducted in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University and the Institute of Voluntary Action Research.
Carol's research is inter-disciplinary, extending from organisational theory into social policy, and social care. Carol's PhD at the Open University explored the practice of cross-sector collaboration in children's services, with a particular focus on leadership practice enacted by voluntary sector partners. She continues to explore collaborative ways of working and leading in contexts as diverse as children's services, place-based community groups, and water management, working with practice-based and academic colleagues.
Carol's teaching interests focus on leadership, collaboration, and non-mainstream ways of leading and managing - with a particular focus on nonprofit organisations. She is co-author of the Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership's open access courses on leading voluntary organisations, and a block author for the OU's new level 2 module Developing Leadership. Carol is supervising two PhD students whose research focuses on leadership and collaboration in formal and informal voluntary and community contexts.
Carol's adopts an engaged approach to research that ensures participants share in the learning from ongoing research projects. She has facilitated local community development activities and contributed to learning events on collaboration and collaborative leadership. She works in close collaboration with practice-based partners.
In July 2018 Carol will contribute to CVSL's delivery of free training on collaborative leadership.