Accessibility statement

Dr Matthew Holmes
Lecturer in Management



Areas of expertise

  • Internationally funded community development programmes in Zambia
  • Community development programmes in Zambia using sport, leisure and traditional games
  • Research methodology informed by postcolonial literature and theoretical frameworks
  • Amartya Sen’s theory of justice and conception of development as freedom and capability
  • Ubuntu ethics and the development of relational capabilities among local communities
  • International volunteering resourcing community development programmes in Zambia

Academic biography

I am Lecturer in Management at the School for Business and Society. I belong to the Work, Management and Organisation subject group within the School. I have a PhD from the University of Edinburgh. My PhD focused on non-profit/governmental organisations in Zambia, specifically the resourcing and delivery of international development programmes to communities across different provinces. My PhD brought together Amartya Sen’s capabilities approach, postcolonial, and Ubuntu literature to construct a theoretical foundation upon which three empirical case studies of non-profit/governmental organisations were formed and subsequently presented as analytical findings.

I joined the School for Business and Society in 2022. I was previously Lecturer in Management at York St John University. While there I was programme leader for many programmes. This involved leading the recruitment and validation for the Business Management, International Business, HRM, Sport Business Management, and Football Business Management programmes. In addition to leading programmes, I also worked closely with external University partners, helping them recruit and provide ongoing support for international students principally from the United States.

I have been a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) since 2016. Outside of academia, I am a passionate sportsman, a keen distance runner and road cyclist. In June 2023, I cycled more than 1,000 miles in 11 days, from Budapest to Istanbul.



My current research interests derive mainly from my doctoral thesis and include a project exploring traditional game use in community development, specifically for the purpose of HIV education. I am also working on a project that applies Amartya Sen’s capabilities approach to further explore analytical findings presented by my doctoral thesis.

I am interested in research that applies participatory methodology. This research has participants shape the research agenda. It observes and attempts to defuse power relations present between the researcher and ‘researched’, co-producing knowledge to better authenticate findings, further to conventional triangulation methods. To achieve such knowledge co-production, I have developed a practical interest in creative methods. These involve participant-led photography, creative writing, and voice notes. This gives participants more control over the process of data collection. 

The African philosophy of Ubuntu is another research interest of mine. I applied Ubuntu ethics to analyse the thought process of local practitioners and programme beneficiaries, to understand local values as reflecting an ethics of care and form of communitarianism unlike Western values which are mostly libertarian. Ubuntu ethics helps understand the challenges international donors have supporting non-profits and local communities to reduce gender inequality and improve community health through healthcare provision and participation in sport and leisure.  

Professional Activities

I am a reviewer for the Journal of Sport for Development and Sport in Society.


Selected publications

Darnell, S., Chawansky, M., Marchesseault, D., Holmes, M. & Hayhurst, L. (2018) The State of Play: Critical sociological insights into recent Sport for Development and Peace research. International Review for the Sociology of Sport. 53(2): 133-151. Available Online: 

Banda, D. & Holmes, M. (2017) Sport-for-Development and the struggle for Subaltern Voices to be recognised: a response to Manley, Morgan and Atkinson. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 9(4): 723-738. Available Online: 

Holmes, M., Banda, D. & Chawansky, M. (2015). Towards a sustainable programme design? An examination of CSR initiatives within a Zambian SfD NGO. International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing: Special Issue on “Sport-for-Development and Peace Theory Building and Programme Development”, 16(1/2): 36-51. Available Online:


Other teaching

I teach at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. I support delivery of the undergraduate module Introduction to Business Ethics and Sustainability. I lead delivery of the postgraduate module International Business Management in Emerging Markets.

School for Business and Society
University of York
Church Lane Building
York Science Park
York YO10 5ZF

T: 01904 32 3715
Room: CL/A/147