University of Chester’s first PhD by publication

Posted on 3rd November 2011

Leadership expert to receive University of Chester’s first PhD by publication. A former senior civil servant who delivered major national changes while working for the UK Government will be making his mark again when he receives a PhD from the University of Chester at his graduation ceremony.

Widely published as an expert on leadership development, Dr Peter Shaw, a founding Partner of the London-based executive coaching firm Praesta, has been awarded the University’s first PhD by publication based on his impressive body of work in the field of leadership and coaching.

The author of such publications as The Four Vs of Leadership, Making Difficult Decisions, Mirroring Jesus as Leader, Defining Moments, Raise your Game and Deciding Well, Peter will receive his PhD in Leadership Development at Chester Cathedral on Thursday.

A PhD by publication is for those who have been recognised as contributing to doctoral level knowledge through their research and writing. The submission for the Doctorate comprised of several published pieces of work, including nine books, plus an analysis of research method, approach and outcomes, rather than one long piece of research.

Dr Shaw has held a wide range of Board posts covering finance, personnel, policy, communications and delivery. He worked in five major Government departments – Treasury, Education, Employment, Environment and Transport – and led on major changes such as radically different pay arrangements for teachers, a massive expansion in nursery education and employment initiatives which helped reduce unemployment.

His PhD explored how leaders step up successfully into demanding leadership roles and how they sustain that success.

He explained: “The research addressed the extent to which the four Vs – vision, values, value-added and vitality – are pre-requisites for an individual to be able to step up successfully into demanding leadership roles, and at times of major change, what are the key requirements that enable an individual to sustain that success?”

Dr Shaw, who is now a Visiting Professor at the University, is full of praise about his PhD supervisor, Professor Caroline Rowland.

He said: “Professor Caroline Rowland has been very helpful and insightful in her approach. She has enabled me to develop my approach in research methodology. Through her questioning and thoughtfulness she has had an important influence on the way I have shaped my thinking and defined next steps in the analysis.

“I am grateful to the University of Chester for the opportunity to engage in this programme. For those of us working as practitioners, it is so helpful to have this type of higher degree programme which enables someone in a busy job to link together their day to day work with their academic reading and thoughts.

“Doing the PhD has helped me to crystallise my thinking. The consequence has been two more books written and published in recent weeks.”

Peter Shaw’s latest book is called Thriving in Your Work and has just been published by Marshall Cavendish. It is a ‘thought a week’ for 2012 and focuses on how to be motivated and successful in demanding times.

Peter also co-authored a book called The Reflective Leader with Alan Smith, published in June 2011 by Canterbury Press. This book focuses on the concept of standing still to move forward and it has recently been assessed as one of the top 10 leadership books written since 2000 which come from a Christian perspective.