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Dr Paul Walley

Paul Walley

Profile summary

Professional biography

Dr Paul Walley joined the faculty of Open University in September 2015.  Up to September 2011 Paul worked at Warwick University as an Associate Professor in Operations Management.  At Warwick he was Academic Director for their Distance Learning MBA programme, where he also obtained his PhD in 2012.  He then took time away from academic life to work as a hospital senior manager in the Middle East.

Paul has worked as a specialist in Operations Management for over 25 years, with expertise in areas such as lean thinking, quality management, capacity planning and capacity management in both manufacturing and service settings.

Research interests

Paul is particularly interested in the transfer of contemporary operations management practices, such as lean thinking, from the private sector into public sector organisations.  He is widely known for his research into healthcare management, publishing a number of influential reports into the design and improvement of healthcare systems. His work is now being extended to working with police services across the UK.  The current focus of his work is to study the ways in which police services manage demand and capacity.  He has worked with Gloucestershire Constabulary on an in-depth study of demand had how the service meets that demand.  He is also studying the ways in which work is prioritised, using the "Nationals Decision Model" and methods such as THRIVE+.  The next stage of this research will be to survey demand management methods across the police service.

Teaching interests

Paul is a highly respected trainer and facilitator in lean thinking and quality management approaches to continuous improvement.  He has used his skills to train managers and healthcare professionals all over the world, including Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Italy and the US.  He has worked on a number of highly successful collaborative system improvement programmes with organisations worldwide using an action-learning approach.  Paul likes to use games and simulations as part of his teaching.  Paul is also particularly experienced in the development of online learning, having successfully developed modules in three UK Business Schools.  

Impact and engagement

In his role as Director of Learning within the University's Centre for Policing Research and Learning Paul visits police forces across the country to advise on the study of the Open University's courses and also to help deliver innovative "Evidence Cafés".   


Implementing failure demand reduction as part of a demand management strategy (2022)
Morris, Gareth and Walley, Paul
Public Money & Management, 42(1) (pp. 22-31)

Failure demand: a concept evaluation in UK primary care (2019)
Walley, Paul; Found, Pauline and Williams, Sharon
International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, 32(1) (pp. 21-33)

A Study of Non-Urgent Demand to Identify Opportunities for Demand Reduction (2018-06-25)
Walley, Paul and Jennison-Phillips, Anna
Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, 14(2) (pp. 542-554)

Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of ward rounds (2016)
Enslev Jensen, Birgitte; Anne Found, Pauline; Williams, Sharon J. and Walley, Paul
International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, 8(3) (pp. 279-297)

Does process flow make a difference to mortality and cost? An observational study (2014)
Silvester, Kate; Harriman, Paul; Walley, Paul and Burley, Glen
International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, 27(7) (pp. 616-632)

Strengthening school leadership towards improved school resiliency: final technical report (2023-09-01)
Wolfenden, Freda; Walley, Paul; Agbaire, Jennifer and Hartley, Jean
Foundation for Information Technology Education and Development, Quezon City, Philippines.

Strengthening school leadership towards improving school resiliency : final technical report (2022)
Wolfenden, Freda; Walley, Paul; Agbaire, Jennifer and Hartley, Jean
Foundation for Information Technology Education and Development, Inc.