Professor Margaret Harris

Work & Organisational Psychology Group

Margaret Harris

Position: Emeritus Professor
Phone:+44(0)121 204 3257
Email: m.e.harris@aston.ac.uk

  • 1999 - Aston Business School, Aston University, Birmingham - Professor of Voluntary Sector Organisation, Chair of the Centre for Voluntary Action Research
  • 1987-98  London School of Economics, Department of Social Policy and Administration - Lecturer in Voluntary Sector Organisation. Concurrently Assistant Director of the Centre for Voluntary Organisation
  • 1981-87  Brunel University, Uxbridge, Institute of Organisation and Social Studies - Research Fellow in PORTVAC (Programme of Research and Training in Voluntary Action)
  • 1977-81  Citizens Advice Bureau - Trainer and Volunteer Advice Worker
  • 1969-77  Greater London Council, Central Policy Studies Unit and Research and Intelligence Unit - Professional Officer
  • 1967-69  Greater London Council, Department of the Clerk to the Council - Administrative Officer

Margaret’s research interests focus on the organisation, management and effectiveness of voluntary and community organisations (also known as ‘VCOs’, ‘third sector organisations’, ‘nonprofits’ or ‘NGOs’).  Topics of particular interest include: boards, committees and governance structures; the impact of public policy on the management of VCOs;  organisational change in the VCO sector; the organisation of religious and faith based groups and congregations; management of volunteers; bridge-building between religious and ethnic groups; collaborations and partnerships  within the voluntary sector and across the voluntary/governmental sector boundaries; and social responsibility activities linking businesses and VCOs.

The Aston Centre for Voluntary Action Research (ACVAR) was co-founded by Margaret with Ben Cairns in 2000.  It offers an innovative response to the challenges of organisation and management faced by voluntary and community organisations by conducting academically rigorous action research that generates new insights into solving complex practical problems. Since its establishment ACVAR has developed an impressive body of research concerned with national, regional and local voluntary and community sector issues.  Research findings are shared through a ‘capacity building’ programme as well as through publications of reports and guidance.
  • Margaret Harris (with B. Cairns and R Hutchinson) (2007) Sharing Gods Love or Meeting Government Goals? Local Churches and Public Policy Implementation. Policy & Politics, July 2007. 
  • Margaret Harris (with H. Schlappa) (forthcoming January 2008) Hoovering up the Money? Delivering Government Funded Capacity - Building Programmes to Voluntary and Community Organisations. Social Policy and Society.
  • Margaret Harris (with B. Cairns, R. Hutchison and M. Tricker) (2005) Improving Performance? The Adoption and Implementation of Quality Systems in UK Nonprofits. Nonprofit Management and Leadership, 16 (2).
  • Margaret Harris (with B. Cairns and P. Young) (2005) Building the Capacity of the Voluntary Nonprofit Sector: Challenges of Theory and Practice. International Journal of Public Administration, 28, pp. 1-17.
  • Margaret Harris (with B. Cairns and R. Hutchison) (2005) Community-Wide Planning for Faith-Based Service Provision: Practical Policy and Conceptual Challenges' Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 34 (1), pp. 88-109.
  • Margaret Harris (with B. Cairns and R. Hutchison) (2004) So many tiers, so many agendas, so many pots of money: The challenge of regionalisation for voluntary and community organisations. Social Policy and Administration, 38 (5), pp. 525-540.
  • Margaret Harris (with P. Halfpenny and C. Rochester) (2003) An Expanded Role for Faith-Based Organisations? Lessons from the UK Jewish Voluntary Sector. Journal of Social Policy, 32 (1), pp. 93-112.
  • Margaret Harris (with Jane Harris, Romayne Hutchinson and Colin Rochester) (2002) Merger in the British Voluntary Sector: The Example of HIV/AIDS Agencies. Social Policy and Administration, 36 (3), pp. 291-305.
  • Margaret Harris (with Colin Rochester) (ed) Voluntary Organisations and Social Policy in Britain: Perspectives on Change and Choice London: Palgrave, 2001.
  • Margaret Harris (2001) The Place of Self and Reflexivity in Third Sector Scholarship: An Exploration. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 30 (4), pp. 747-760.
  • Margaret Harris (with Malcolm Torry) (2000) Managing Religious Organisations: A Guide to the Literature, Birmingham: Aston Business School.
  • Margaret Harris (2000), This Charity Business - Who Cares? Inaugural Lecture, Aston University, Birmingham.
  • Margaret Harris (1998), Organising God's Work: Challenges for Churches and Synagogues, Macmillan, London.

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research