Skip to content

Toggle service links

You are here

  1. Home
  2. Dr Owain Smolovic Jones

Dr Owain Smolovic Jones

Profile summary

Professional biography

Owain Smolović Jones is Director of the OU's Research into Employment, Empowerment and Futures (REEF) academic centre of excellence and a leadership scholar. Owain’s research primarily focuses on power and resistance within leadership practice. Most recently he has been exploring the geographical dynamics of leadership, particularly within urban environments and in relation to climate change and workers.

Together with Keith Grint, Owain has developed the 5Ps model of leadership (person, process, product, position and purpose), in the book Leadership: Limits and possibilities

Owain has investigated the organisational dynamics of political parties, particularly in relation to gender representation and resistance. Working to better understand the language of leadership, he has focused on the ‘romanticization’ of the discourses of individual and collective forms of leadership, exploring the implications of such constructions for disempowering people and groups. Owain has published papers in esteemed journals such as Work, Employment and Society, Human Relations, Organization Studies, Gender, Work and Organization, Management Learning, Organization and Leadership.

Owain tries to design innovative teaching materials at undergraduate and postgraduate level that engage and challenge students to think expansively about leadership and organisational ethics. He recently developed a module unit supporting managers in transitioning to green forms of organisation. His current focus is co-leading (with Fidele Mutwarasibo) a Black Leadership Programme, which will be a mix of leadership development and action-oriented research. 


Theorising gender desegregation as political work: The case of the Welsh Labour Party (2022-10-01)
Smolović Jones, Owain; Smolović Jones, Sanela; Taylor, Scott and Yarrow, Emily
Gender, Work and Organization, 29(6) (pp. 1747-1763)

Developing voluntary sector leadership through Open Educational Resources: a practice perspective (2022)
Jacklin-Jarvis, Carol; Vangen, Siv; Smolovic Jones, Owain; Haslam, Daniel; Mutwarasibo, Fidele; Britton, Helen and Logan, Kay
Voluntary Sector Review ((Early Access))

Patriotism as a conduit to employee environmental engagement in a post-Soviet economy in transition (2022)
Andrianova, Olga; Schaefer, Anja and Smolovic Jones, Owain
Business Strategy and the Environment ((Early access))

Resources of history and hope: Studying left-wing political parties through loss (2021-11)
Smolovic Jones, Owain; Carroll, Brigid and Sinha, Paresha
Ephemera: theory & politics in organizations, 21(2) (pp. 199-215)

Leadership rebooting: The 19th International Studying Leadership Conference, 15–17 December 2021, brought to you virtually by the Open University (UK) (2021-04-27)
Smolović Jones, Owain; Smolovic-Jones, Sanela; Haslam, Daniel and Barthold, Charles
Leadership, 17(3) (pp. 383-386)

Theorizing dramaturgical resistance leadership from the leadership campaigns of Jeremy Corbyn (2021)
Sinha, Paresha; Smolovic Jones, Owain and Carroll, Brigid
Human Relations, 74(3) (pp. 354-382)

‘I Wanted More Women in, but . . .’: Oblique Resistance to Gender Equality Initiatives (2021)
Smolović Jones, Owain; Smolović Jones, Sanela; Taylor, Scott and Yarrow, Emily
Work, Employment and Society, 35(4) (pp. 640-656)

Exposing and re-placing leadership through workers inquiry (2021)
Smolović Jones, Owain; Briley, George and Woodcock, Jamie
Leadership, 18(1) (pp. 61-80)

From “pretty to pretty powerful”: The communicatively constituted power of facial beauty’s performativity (2021)
Hollis, David; Wright, Alex; Smolovic Jones, Owain and Smolovic-Jones, Nela
Organization Studies, 42(12) (pp. 1885-1907)

Dissensual Leadership: Rethinking democratic leadership with Jacques Rancière (2020-10-26)
Barthold, Charles; Checchi, Marco; Imas, Miguel and Smolovic Jones, Owain
Organization, 29(4) (pp. 673-691)

Understanding sovereign leadership as a response to terrorism: A post-foundational analysis (2020-07-01)
Smolovic Jones, Owain; Smolovic Jones, Nela and Grint, Keith
Organization, 27(4) (pp. 537-556)

‘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)

Leadership: Limits and Possibilities (Second Edition) (2023)
Grint, Keith and Smolovic Jones, Owain
ISBN : 9781350333130 | Publisher : Bloomsbury | Published : London

Guerrilla Democracy: Mobile Power and Revolution in the 21st Century (2021-07-20)
Bloom, Peter; Smolovic Jones, Owain and Woodcock, Jamie
Organizations and Activism
ISBN : 978-1529205640 | Publisher : Bristol University Press | Published : Bristol

Creating and contesting space through leadership (2022-11)
Smolovic Jones, Owain
In: Carroll, Brigid; Ford, Jackie and Taylor, Scott eds. Leadership: Contemporary Critical Perspectives (pp. 270-289)
ISBN : 978-1529774078 | Publisher : SAGE | Published : London

Men researching women’s experiences of sexism and discrimination: An impossible position? (2020-10)
Smolovic Jones, Owain; Smolovic-Jones, Nela; Taylor, Scott and Yarrow, Emily
In: Just, Sine Nørholm; Risberg, Annette and Villesèche, Florence eds. The Routledge Companion to Organizational Diversity Research Methods (pp. 50-58)
ISBN : 9780367211486 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon

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)