Dr Tom Forbes

Senior Lecturer

Management, Work and Organisation University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA

Dr Tom Forbes

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About me

About me

I originally trained as a radiographer and spent most of my career working in the NHS with occasional assignments in the private health care sector and in the Irish Republic.I completed a BA (Hons) in Public Administration and Management from Glasgow Caledonian University and a PhD in Strategic Management in the NHS from Glasgow University. Outside academia, I officiate at regional, national and international cycle races as a race referee or ‘Commissaire’ in road, track and cyclo-cross after spending many (too many!) years as a competitor. Teaching First year modules: contribute strategic management lectures on two introductory modules on the School of Management Undergraduate Programmes, the Global Business Environment and the Fundamentals of Business and Management BUSU9SM Strategic Management (Autumn Semester) offerwed to final year students BSMP31 Strategic Management (Spring Semester) offered to post-graduate students I supervise PhDs in the areas of strategic management, public sector management and the management of change. Administration I am the Business Studies Degree Programme Director for the School of Management. .

Event / Presentation

Social Identity, Self-Enactment Strategies and Social Work: Adapting to Change in Professional-Managerial Relationships. Fourteenth Annual Conference of the International Research Society for Public Management (IRSPM XIV)
International Research Society for Public Management (IRSPM)


Understanding integration in health and social care through the interplay of structure, agency and ideas. Health Organisation Research Network, Glasgow University, June 2010
Health Organisation Research Network

Research (2)

Recent Publications Fincham, R and Forbes T. Three’s a Crowd: The Role of Inter-logic Relationships in Highly Complex Institutional Fields (in press), British Journal of Management. Forbes, T. (2012) Institutional Entrepreneurship in Hostile Settings: Health and Social Care Partnerships in Scotland 2002-2005, Environmental Planning C: Government and Policy, Vol 30, pp 1100-1115. Forbes, T, Scott, N, Evans, D. (2010) Implementing Health and Social Care Policy: England and Scotland Compared, Policy Studies, Vol 31, No 5, pp 591 - 612. Ball, R, Forbes, T, Parris, M, Forsyth, L. (2010) The Evaluation of Partnership Working in the Delivery of Health and Social Care, Public Policy and Administration, Vol 23, No 3, pp 387- 407. E vans, D, Forbes, T. (2009) Partnerships in Health and Social Care: England and Scotland Compared Public Policy and Administration, Vol 24, No 1, pp 67-83. Recent Conference Papers Fincham, R, Forbes T. (2015) The Role of Micro-Politics in Shifting Institutional Logics: Language, Knowledge and Identity, paper accepted for the European Group for Organization Studies Colloq, Athens. Forbes, T, Fincham, R. (2015) Explaining the Problems of Health and Social Care Integration: Insights from Institutional Theory, paper accepted for the European Academy of Management Conference, Warsaw. Fincham, R and Forbes T. (2014) Inter-professional and Professional-managerial Conflict: Challenges to Integrated Care in a Mental Health Service, International Organizational Behaviour in Healthcare Conference, Copenhagen Farooqi, S and Forbes T. (2014) Network Management: An Interplay between Institutional Context, Actor’s Strategies and Commitment, European Academy of Management Conference, Valencia. Forbes, T and Fincham, R. (2014) Finding a Way: How the Crisis of Institutional Complexity is Approached by Public Sector Decision Makers, British Academy of Management Annual Conference, Belfast. Best Development Paper in the Public Management and Governance Track. My current research centres on organisational change and is informed by institutional theory. With Robin Fincham (Stirling) we have examined the dynamics associated with introducing new organisational forms using the lens of institutional complexity to focus on potential schisms between logics (core meaning systems that shape problem perception, provide motivation and guide behaviour) in pluralist fields. We focus on understanding how complex fields are formed, the pattern of inter-logic relations that hold fields together, and what the critical implications for institutional theory are. Using the context of the integration of health and social care, this has further developed in two related areas: in the first we examine the dynamics of open-ended change processes where there is contestation and where actors attempt to reset the boundaries of status and knowledge, particularly in the face of opposing institutional work. Our analysis utilises a micro-political approach through the lenses of language, knowledge and identity. Of interest is the rhetorical qualities inherent in logics which act as constellations of ideas and persuasive images. We are interested in how power relations play out as groups build positions around their logics while simultaneously attacking the logics of others, using rhetoric and knowledge, in defence of collective interests and play off different identities in a complex field. In the second area, we are utilising the concept of framing to investigate attempts to legitimate existing and/or introduce new ways of working. Frames are the means by which groups make sense of often ambiguous information about their environments and differ from logics in that they are political constructions that can be altered thus providing richly contextualised spaces of contested social positions that form around issues. Framing occurs where competing interests negotiate over issue interpretation which can lead to the creation of new frames while also providing linkages between macro and micro level discourses, the structural underpinning for motivation and cognition with discourse at a local level. Our interest lies in explaining the framing of power distributions between groups and its effects on the building of hybrid or integrated frames where there is a blending of various group frames leading to a new practice.

Outputs (15)


Book Review

Forbes T (2008) The Case for Interprofessional Collaboration. Review of: The Case for Interprofessional Collaboration. Edited by Meads G. & Ashcroft J, Oxford. Blackwell Science/Caipe, 2005, ISBN 1 4051 1103 8,. Journal of Nursing Management, 16 (3), pp. 382-383. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2834.2008.00847.x