Dr. Ian Ashman

Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management and Leadership

School of Management

Greenbank Building, GR263

+44 (0) 1772 89 4782

Ian joined the University in 1992 as a lecturer having previously worked as a systems analyst with a large insurance company. He has an MA in Human Resource Management and completed his PhD (The Meaning and Utility of Organisational Commitment: An Existentialist Reconceptualisation) in 2004. His current research focuses on the role of 'downsizing envoys' - the person who delivers news to others when an organisation is downsizing, and engagement with clinical commissioning amongst GPs.

Ian is research active within the area of business and management and is a member of the Institute for Research into Organisations, Work and Employment.

Research Activities

His main research interests are: ethics; ethical leadership; and emotion work. He has a particular enthusiasm for existentialist philosophy, which he has applied in much of his work. Ian recently conducted (together with Professor Jane Singer) a study into the ethical challenges faced by online journalists employed by the Guardian newspaper. He is currently developing a research project that intends to examine the emotional impacts (among other challenges) faced by managers and HR practitioners in handling redundancies. Ian is also working with Steve Willcocks on a project evaluating the future for clinical engagement among GPs in East Lancashire. This study has been awarded funding by East Lancashire PCT.

Ian Ashman has been accepted to give a paper on “Managing downsizing change: A comparison of envoys in the public and private sectors’ at the BAM Conference, 11-12th September at Cardiff University.

Ian Ashman attended Contradictions in Public Management Managing in Volatile Times, IRSPM (International Research Society for Public Management) Conference, University of Rome, and gave a paper on ‘Envoys not executioners : the face to face delivery of downsizing initiatives in public sector organisations’.

Research on downsizing has been extensively reported in the local press and HR publications including: London Evening Standard; HR Review; People Management; Bourne local; Lancashire Evening Post Chorley Guardian; Burnley Express; Fleetwood news; Garstang Courier; Wigan Today; Glasgow Herald and Press and Journal Aberdeen.


Ashman, Ian and Lawler, John (2008) Existential Communication and Leadership. Leadership, 4 (3). pp. 253-269.

Lawler, J. and Ashman, Ian (2012) Theorizing leadership authenticity: A Sartrean perspective. Leadership, 8 (4). pp. 327-344.

Singer, Jane B. and Ashman, Ian (2009) “Comment Is Free, but Facts Are Sacred”: User-generated Content and Ethical Constructs at the Guardian. Journal of Mass Media Ethics, 24 (1). pp. 3-21.

Ashman, I. (2013) The face-to-face delivery of downsizing decisions in UK Public Sector Organisations The Envoy role, Public Management Review, Forthcoming, early view DOI

More publications

External Activities

Information Officer for the European Business Ethics Network – UK (EBEN-UK) from 2006 to 2009.

Conference convener and organiser – European Business Ethics Network UK Branch Annual Conference held in association with British Academy of Management CSR Special Interest Group at New Hall Cambridge, April 1st and 2nd 2008.

Teaching Activities

Ian currently teaches human resource management and employee resourcing at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.