26 Sep 2019
REFERENCE : SYMPOSIUM: Leadership and trust in political environments

SYMPOSIUM: Leadership and trust in political environments

The Chief Executives’ Forum is delighted to join with the Division of Occupational Psychology of the British Psychological Society NI to facilitate this symposium featuring two of the UK’s leading academics:

Professor Jo Silvester, Deputy Dean, University of Exeter Business School

Professor Ros Searle, Professor in Human Resource Management & Organisational Psychology, Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow

This event will examine the importance of trust within organisations operating in political environments, and how trust is vital for effective leadership, communications and change management.  It will draw on psychological research from across a range of sectors, including the public service and with political parties.

The session will be opened by the Comptroller & Auditor General, Kieran Donnelly, who will address the importance of public sector organisations working together to deliver outcomes.

Prof. Searle will draw on evidence from her psychological research, including that with the public sector, to make the case for how and why trust matters in organisations. She will outline the bases for trust, and the differences between low trust and distrust. She will show the value of identifying the distinct trust levels within organisations in order to better target communications, and for more effective change management.

Prof. Silvester will examine leadership in a political context drawing on her psychological work with political parties, the House of Commons and civil servants. She will explore the specific challenges of leadership in a setting that demands transparency, yet careful negotiation and balancing of conflicting interests among different stakeholders, particularly in the context of change.

The session will then involve delegate discussion of these inputs, and how this can help us understand how Northern Ireland’s public sector can improve collaboration, particularly in the context of Community Planning and the Department of Finance’s work to improve the relationships between departments and Arm’s Length Bodies.

A Q&A will conclude the session.

Tea/coffee will be available from 10am and a light lunch will be provided at 12.30


As part of your organisation’s membership there is no charge to attend this event.

A photographer may be present at this event for promotional and archival purposes and your image may be taken. These images may be used in one or a combination of the following: CEF’s website; social media channels or publications. They will be stored securely and will not be kept for longer than they are needed for the purposes listed above. If you would prefer not to be photographed, please let the photographer know.