Personal profile

Research overview

Kevin's interpretive research on local governance appears in journals such as Public Administration Review, Organization Studies, Public Administration,British Journal of Politics and International Relations, and Policy and Politics. His work on the politics of academic-practitioner research coproduction can be read in Public Administration Review and Management Learning. He is co-editor of Knowledge and Practice in Business and Organisations, Routledge (2016). His recent ethnographic writing explores organisational ghosts – examining how inheritances of the past haunt the relations and struggles of the present.


Kevin Orr is Professor of Leadership and Governance. He is a Senior Fellow in the Institute for European Studies, University of California, Berkeley . Orr is a Fulbright Scholar and a recipient of the Louis Brownlow Prize from the American Society for Public Administration for work on academic-practitioner collaborative research. His scholarship engages with theories at the intersections of organisational studies, public administration and politics. It addresses aspects of leading, managing and organising, most often in political settings.

Kevin's work is connected with international research leadership roles. He is past chair of the Organizational Learning, Knowledge and Capabilities research community, and continues to serve on its Executive Board. He is interested in wider intellectual engagement and has carried out research for the International City Managers Association (USA), the British Council, the Scottish Parliament, and a range of public bodies in the UK. He is an experienced university leader, most recently serving as Co-Head of the School of Management at the University of St Andrews.

Profile Keywords

Leadership; public organisations; organisational ghosts; narrative, imaginaries and traditions

Teaching activity

  • MN1001 Organisations and Society
  • MN3102 Organisation Studies
  • MN5002 Contemporary Conceptual Issues in Management

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or