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Dr Owain Smolovic Jones

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Senior Lecturer in People Management and Organisation
  • The Faculty of Business and Law
  • The Open University Business School
  • Department for People and Organisations
  • owain.smolovic-jones

Professional biography

I am a Senior Lecturer in People Management and Organisation at The Open University Business School. My research focuses on leadership and leadership development and I am particularly interested in the political, ethical and aesthetic dimensions of leadership and its development. My published work has sought to better understand the dynamics of leadership development programmes, the practice of leadership and also the conceptual underpinnings of leadership. I am a member of the Management Learning editorial board. I chair production of the OU’s new undergraduate module on developing leadership and have produced two OU courses aimed at developing leadership in the voluntary sector. I have an extensive background in leadership development design and facilitation, working at the New Zealand Leadership Institute, University of Auckland, on programmes for senior managers across sectors. Prior to gaining my PhD, I worked in professional politics for the Labour Party (UK).

Research interests

My research focus is largely in the areas of the political, ethical and aesthetic in leadership and its development.
I am particularly interested in how grassroots and political organisations develop and practice leadership.
A list of my publications is available here:



Understanding sovereign leadership as a response to terrorism: A post-foundational analysis (2019-03-14)
Smolovic Jones, Owain; Smolovic Jones, Nela and Grint, Keith
Organization ((Early Access))
‘No More Heroes’: Critical Perspectives on Leadership Romanticism (2018-11-01)
Collinson, David; Smolović Jones, Owain and Grint, Keith
Organization Studies, 39(11) (pp. 1625-1647)
Being more with less: Exploring the flexible political leadership identities of government ministers (2018-08-01)
Lees-Marshment, Jennifer and Smolović Jones, Owain
Leadership, 14(4) (pp. 460-482)
Mapping the aesthetics of leadership development through participant perspectives (2018-04-01)
Carroll, Brigid and Smolovic Jones, Owain
Management Learning, 49(2) (pp. 187-203)
Putting the discourse to work: On outlining a praxis of democratic leadership development (2016-09-01)
Smolovic-Jones, Nela; Smolovic Jones, Owain; Winchester, Nik and Grint, Keith
Management Learning, 47(4) (pp. 424-442)
Public leadership development facilitation and the crossroads blues (2015-09-30)
Smolovic Jones, Owain; Grint, Keith and Cammock, Peter
Management Learning, 46(4) (pp. 391-411)
Promoting better public services leadership: an appreciative critique (2012-08)
Jackson, Brad and Smolovic Jones, Owain
Policy Quarterly, 8(3) (pp. 34-40)
What is leadership: person, result, position or process, or all or none of these? (2016-10-04)
Grint, Keith; Smolovic Jones, Owain and Holt, Clare
In: Storey, John; Hartley, Jean; Denis, Jean-Louis; t'Hart, Paul and Ulrich, Dave eds. The Routledge Companion to Leadership (pp. 3-20)
ISBN : 9781138825574 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon
Seeing leadership: becoming sophisticated consumers of leadership (2015-05-06)
Smolovic Jones, Owain and Jackson, Brad
In: Carroll, Brigid; Ford, Jackie and Taylor, Scott eds. Leadership: Contemporary Critical Perspectives (pp. 253-271)
ISBN : 9781446294376 | Publisher : Sage | Published : London
Essay: authentic leadership and history (2013-10-31)
Smolović Jones, Owain and Grint, Keith
In: Ladkin, Donna and Spiller, Chellie eds. Authentic Leadership: Clashes, Convergences and Coalescences. New Horizons in Leadership Studies Series (pp. 21-38)
ISBN : 978-1-78100-637-5 | Publisher : Edward Elgar | Published : Cheltenham
Theorising moral-collaborative leadership, or, direction-less-than-domination: Gramsci and beyond (2014)
Smolovic-Jones, S.; Smolovic Jones, O.; Winchester, N. and Grint, K.
In : 13th International Studying Leadership Conference (14-16 Dec 2014, The Copenhagen Business School)
A game of thrones: power plays and politics in public collaborative leadership. (2013-07)
Smolovic Jones, Owain and Grint, Keith
In : 8th International Conference in Critical Management Studies: Extending the Limits of Neo-Liberal Capitalism (10-12 Jul 2013, Manchester)
Coming up for air: degrees of freedom in local political leadership (2013-04-22)
Smolovic Jones, Owain; Grint, Keith and Holt, Clare
In : ILA 2013 Oceania Conference: Building the R&D of Leadership (22-24 Apr 2013, Auckland, NZ)
The desiring gaze of political leadership (2013)
Smolovic Jones, Owain; Jackson, Brad and Grint, Keith
In : NZOZ Political Marketing and Management Mini Conference (31 Aug 2013, Auckland, NZ)
Participant perspectives: constructing the experience of leadership development (2012-06)
Carroll, Brigid; Smolovic Jones, Owain; Kennedy, Fiona and Francoeur, Joline
In : 4th Annual Developing Leadership Capacity Conference: Leadership for New Times: Where now for leadership development? (28-29 Jun 2012, Exeter, UK)
An exploration of the value of individualism within a critically-focused process of leadership development (2011-07)
Smolovic Jones, Owain
In : 3rd Developing Leadership Capacity Conference: Leadership Development and Life Experience: Reflections on Becoming Leaders (14-15 Jul 2011, Bristol, UK)