Pete Murphy

Peter Murphy


Nottingham Business School

Staff Group(s)
Department of Management International Centre for Public Services Management (Specialist Centre)


Peter Murphy is the Director of the Public Policy and Management Research Group at Nottingham Business School, and Principal Lecturer in Public Policy and Public Service Delivery. He teaches at undergraduate, postgraduate, and executive levels, and supervises research dissertations for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

His research focuses on public policy, and in particular the performance management, governance, scrutiny, public assurance, and value-for-money arrangements of locally delivered public services.

Peter is the Joint Editor of the International Journal of Emergency Services, the Vice Chair (Research) of the Public Administration Committee of the Joint Universities Council, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Public Scrutiny.

Career overview

Central Government

Between 2000 and 2009 Peter was a Senior Civil Servant in Whitehall, where he held a series of posts in the DETR, the DTLR, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, and DCLG. For five years he was also a Director of the Government Office for the East Midlands.

Throughout this period, and in addition to his policy responsibilities for locally delivered public services, he conducted over 20 Major Programme Reviews for HMT, No 10 and the Cabinet Office, amongst them reviews of the Home Office, the Department of Education, the Department of Health and the Northern Ireland Office. These included reviews of the arrangements for the Safety and Security of the 2012 Olympic Games, the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, and the prisons system in Northern Ireland.

Peter was also appointed as the Lead Official and Chair of the Government Monitoring Board in 11 cases where local authorities were significantly failing to provide adequate services to their communities and formal intervention in their corporate affairs was deemed necessary by the government.

Local Government

Between 1977 and 2000 Peter worked in local authorities in Bedfordshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, and Leicestershire. Originally a planning officer by profession, he was Chief Planning, Recreation and Economic Development Officer at Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council between 1987 and 1996, and Chief Executive at Melton Borough Council between 1996 and 2000. He was also the Emergency Planning Officer for Melton and the Parliamentary Returning Officer for the Rutland and Melton constituency.

Other Board-level Experience

Throughout his career in academia and both central and local government, Peter has held board-level Chairmanships and Non-Executive Directorships in public, private, and third sector organisations. He has been the Chair of Governors in two FE colleges and sat on the East Midlands Further Education Funding Council. He was a Non-Executive Director of the Nottingham City PCT, the Nottinghamshire County PCT, and the Joint City and County PCT. Following the 2012 Health and Social Care Act, he was Chair of the local NHS transition board for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

On Thursday 24 January 2019 Pete delivered his Inaugural Lecture: “Do they say what they do and do what they say?” A reflection on politicians and public policy makers.

Research areas

Peter is the Director of the International Centre for Public Service Management at NBS and Leader of the Public Policy and Management Research Group, which is the research group within the Centre. It is one of the eight research centres within Nottingham Business School, and in 2015 its core and associate membership expanded as some recent appointments to faculty joined the group. The group works with an extensive network of associates, visiting scholars, and collaborators both within NTU and in the wider academic and practitioner community. These associates contributed hugely to the group’s outputs and to its influence in both academia and on the practice of public services.

The Public Management and Governance Research Group is currently structured around three areas of interest, each with a research unit to operationalise its projects. One of the projects has two complementary work streams. Peter contributes to all three of the units and the current research activity is articulated on the groups’ dedicated pages on the new NTU Research website.

Peter specialises in practically based and applied research and has published over 100 research outputs over the last five years. He is particularly interested in interdisciplinary research, and has attracted financial support from numerous research consultancies and professional institutions as well traditional grant-awarding bodies. Most recently he has been involved in producing a series of reports and presentations for the National Audit Office and the Centre for Public Scrutiny.

Please visit the NTU Doctoral School website for information on doctoral research opportunities at NBS.

External activity

Peter has acted as a government advisor to various arms of central and local government for many years, and has also held a number of ministerial appointments in addition to his main employment. He has also acted as a coach or mentor to a series of senior officials within national and local government and the NHS for over 25 years.

He is currently a Vice Chair (Research) of the Public Administration Committee of the Joint University Council and the Learned Society for Public Administration. He is the Joint Editor of the International Journal of Emergency Services and has edited special editions of various public management journals. He has organised and contributed to numerous academic conference panels, particularly the International Research Society for Public Management, the European Group for Public Administration, and the Public Administration Committee conferences. He regularly reviews articles for various academic journals and is an external examiner of Edge Hill University.

Peter is a member of the Advisory Board for the Centre for Public Scrutiny and is active in his professional institutes, including the Royal Town Planning Institute, the Planning Officers Society, The Chartered Institute of Sport and Physical Activity, the Society of Local Authority Chief executives, and the RSA.

Sponsors and collaborators

Peter currently has consultancy or research contracts with Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Services, Nottinghamshire County Council, Nottinghamshire City Council, Mansfield and Ashfield Clinical Commissioning Group, Nottingham City Clinical Commissioning Group, Nottingham University Hospitals Trust, and Sherwood Forrest Hospitals Trust. He has recently completed a series of reports for the National Audit Office and the Centre for Public Scrutiny, and he regularly contributes masterclasses to the leadership programmes of the Local Government Association and the NHS.

His academic collaborators outside of NTU include Kirsten Greenhalgh and Dr Lynda Taylor at Nottingham University; Professor Joyce Liddle at Aix-en-Provence; Professor Ileana Steccolini at Bocconi in Milan; Dr Julian Clarke, Professor John Diamond, and Professor Paresh Wankhade at Edge Hill; Dr Laurence Ferry at Durham; Tim Garfield at Loughborough University; and professor Malcolm Prowle at University of Gloucester.

His academic collaborators within NTU include Dr Martin Jones, Dr Donald Harradine, Dr Viv Brunsden, Dr Michael Hewitt, and Dr Phil Considine.


Murphy, P. Allison, M. and Garfield, T. (2006). Towards an excellent service: Sport Culture and Leisure Services. Chief Leisure Officers Association/Institute of Leisure and Amenity Management. London.

Murphy, P. Percival, R. Addison, L. and Moore, K (2005). Towards an excellent service: Town and country planning services. Planning Officers Society Aylesbury.

Murphy, P. Percival, R. and Moore, K. (2000). A guide to Best Value and Planning. Planning Officers Society Aylesbury

Murphy, P. (2000). First Options Review: Inspectorate review an opportunity for a radical agenda. Planning Newspaper. London: EMAP Publishing Limited.

Murphy, P. (1999). Time is money: Best Value and Performance Plans. Local Government Chronicle. London: EMAP Publishing Limited

Murphy, P. Crouch, M. Ashworth, G. Ebbs, M. and Morris, M. (1997). Better Local Plans: A guide to writing effective policies. Planning Officers Society Aylesbury

Murphy, P. (1997). Third party rights of appeal. Housing and Planning Review 50 (1) pp. 18-20. ISSN 0018-6589.

Murphy, P. (1995). First independent appraisal of a Local Plan at Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council. New Spectrum. East Midlands RTPI.

Murphy, P. (1995). Formal evidence submitted to the Planning Inspectorate Prior Options Study. DoE Planning Directorate. London: TSO.

Murphy, P. (1994). The East Midlands Regional Guidance One step forward? Town and Country Planning 63 (10), pp.263-264. ISSN 0040-9960.

See all of Peter Murphy's publications...

Press expertise

  • local government healthcare policy
  • emergency services
  • planning and development
  • governance
  • public assurance
  • performance management
  • public sector and emergency management
  • public sector finance