The role of the outsider as an agent for change

Henley, Darren Richard (2019) The role of the outsider as an agent for change. [Doctorate by Public Works]

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This context statement explores and reflects on the role of the outsider as an agent for change. It argues that an outsider is often able to see things differently, to offer new insights, to detect patterns and to identify commonalities that are not apparent to an insider.

I tell the narrative story of my career spanning the media, cultural policy and education policy, and cultural funding. I examine key aspects of my professional practice: as managing director of Classic FM; as the author of independent government reviews into music education and cultural education in England; and as chief executive of Arts Council England, reflecting on a series of five published works that, together with this context statement, form the overall submission for my candidacy for the Doctorate in Professional Studies by Public Works.

Although my work has been in different fields and, on the surface at least, did not appear to me at first to have a unifying common thread, the critical reflection involved in creating this context statement helped me to identify that there was in fact a central theme running through the narrative of my professional practice. Far from it being a series of disjointed events, I argue that the development of my professional practice has, in fact, been linear in its form, allowing me to reflect on the learning from each of the experiences as new challenges were encountered.

With the benefit of reflection, I come to recognise the tacit knowledge and understanding that I have built up over thirty years of professional practice, in the process, identifying a framework for delivering change, built upon a set of common behaviours and values. I set out to illustrate how these behaviours and values have been present in my own professional practice and how they could be replicated by other outsiders who find themselves in roles where they are agents for change.

Item Type: Doctorate by Public Works
Research Areas: A. > Work and Learning Research Centre
B. > Theses
Item ID: 26928
Depositing User: Brigitte Joerg
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2019 09:57
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 19:01

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