Bob is a member of the Work, Management and Organisations (WMO) group. He joined the School for Business and Society in October 2018, having previously worked in a range of organisations (public and private) and in a freelance capacity. He is an experienced lecturer, researcher and evaluator, specialising in work, learning and skills, diversity, mental health, leadership and organisations. During his career he has completed over 50 funded research and evaluation studies and provided consultancy to a range of organisations, including the European Commission, Further Education Trust for Leadership, The British
Red Cross and Welsh Government. He has also managed research and policy teams and commissioned research and evaluation projects, including in Further Education and the Creative Industries.
Bob has previously taught at London South Bank University and the University of Leicester, as well as facilitating workshops and delivering training to organisation managers and community groups.
Director of Postgraduate Programmes (September cohort)
Bob’s research interests are in the psychosocial and psychoanalytic dimensions of organisations, building upon a history of research in the areas of work, employment, skills, small businesses/SMEs, leadership, discrimination, inclusion, and community development. His current focus is on mental health and wellbeing within organisations, inspired by his recent PhD study of loss, mourning and reparation in organisations. This has led into further research – including the experience of refugees and asylum seekers across the EU – thought-leadership and policy work, including repairing the damage caused by shame for leaders in the UK Further Education sector.
Bob is currently working with colleagues within the School to develop small business/SME wellbeing policy for the North Yorkshire County Council and with colleagues within the school of Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media to support the evaluation of two major regional media development programmes. Beyond this, he is involved with a network of consultants and psychologists / psychotherapists exploring ‘the art of repairing’ for the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study or Organisations (ISPSO).
Townley, B. (2021). Letting the light in: The damage that shame does and how to repair it. FETL (Further Education Trust for Leadership). https://fetl.org.uk/publications/letting-the-light-in/
Townley, B. and Sliwa, M. (2020). ‘The Impact of Past Traumas on Workers from Forced Migration Backgrounds: Implications for CDS’. AoM Proceedings, 2020 https://doi.org/10.5465/AMBPP.2020.19041abstract
Townley, B. (2019). Book Review: Discovering Organizational Identity: Dynamics of Relational Attachment. Organization. https://doi.org/10.1177/1350508419842716
Townley, B and Wilks-Heeg, S (1999). ‘Democratic Evaluation: Putting principles into practice’, Local Economy, Vol 14. No 1. 27-42. https://doi.org/10.1080%2F02690949908726473
Bob is Programme Leader for the MSc International Business and Strategic Management (IBSM) suite. He is currently teaching across a range of postgraduate modules, including Exploring Strategic Management, Managing People and Continuity and Change. He also teaches on the York Online Masters programme in the fields of strategic management, people management and research methods as well as enjoying supervising several Masters’ dissertation students.
I am an experienced research and evaluation consultant, specialising in work, skills, diversity, mental health and wellbeing in small businesses. I’m interested in supporting smaller businesses to develop and realise their potential within the local economy. I have worked in commercial, academic and policy environments, helping to shape policy to business needs.
I can help small businesses:
I have worked with a wide range of small businesses and SMEs and policy/support organisations, including the Welsh Government, European Commission, the British Red Cross, The Further Education Trust for Leadership and various EU-Wide partnerships.
If you would like to collaborate, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
School for Business and Society
University of York
Church Lane Building
York Science Park
York YO10 5ZF
T:+44 (0) 1904 325056
Please contact your tutor to find out when they are running their virtual office hours or to make an appointment for a virtual meeting