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Paul  Summers

Dr Paul Summers

Course Leader

School of Business, Law and Communications

Room no. SMY020


Since 2013, Paul has taught both undergraduates and postgraduates in project management, operations management, business strategy and management of innovation. He has also taught at the universities of Winchester, Portsmouth and Bournemouth on subjects such as business for IT, and developing creativity in business, as well as project management and operations management. Paul has assessed students' work, written as well as examinations and presentations, and supervised several dissertations, mainly at postgraduate level.

Prior to 2013, Paul worked for more than 40 years in a range of different organisations across the private and public sectors, mainly in the fields of projects, IT, and business improvement. He has also designed and delivered courses and programmes in the workplace.

Taught courses

Further information

  1. Awards

    Paul received the APM Herbert Walton award for best PhD in 2018. He also received a research grant of £1,500 from Solent University in October 2014, and was awarded the APM Benefits SIG postgraduate student award in 2011.
  2. Industry experience

    Paul has 40 years' experience in banking, leisure retail, photography and local government, self-employment, and consultancy.
  3. Recent publications

    Follow the link below to see Paul's recent publications, including academic papers and workshops.


    • Systems thinking in local government. The Systemist 33 (2&3), 88-111.
    • Benefits management: The keystone of project management. Retrieved from
    • Explore, experiment, experience: A synthesis of Vickers' appreciative learning system and Ackoff's problem approach applied in practice, Chapter in G. Bell, R. Pagano and J. Warwick (Editors), Problem Structuring Approaches and Management for Projects: Demonstrating Successful Practice. London: Palgrave Macmillan. Co-authored with C.E. Welch.

    Papers presented at academic conferences

    • Active learning: how to educate 21st century employees. BAM 2017 conference.
    • Getting value from your projects the Solent way. Operational Research Society 58th Conference 2016.
    • Flawed project definitions: How your projects fail to deliver. Operational Research Society 58th Conference 2016.
    • A Systems Thinking approach to improving project performance. Operational Research Society 58th Conference 2016.
    • 98.8%. Is project failure acceptable?. IRNOP 2015 conference.
    • Planning to fail? A critique of current project definitions as a basis for benefit realisation'. BAM 2015 conference.
    • Project education: a new paradigm University Forum for Human Resources Development (UFHRD) conference 2013.
    • Active learning: How to produce the 21st century employee UKSS 17th. International conference 2013.
    • Knowers rule: OK? UKSS 16th International conference 2012.
    • Benefits management: The keystone of project management, Association for Project Management (APM). Benefits SIG conference 2012 (student award-winning paper), also presented to the London and Wessex APM branches.
    • A systemic approach to improving performance, Portsmouth Business School Research & Knowledge Transfer conference 2011.
    • A systemic approach to improving project management performance, ISSS 55th conference 2011. 
    • An approach to improving project management performance: the learning dimension. UKSS 15th International conference 2011.
    • Systems thinking in local government, UK Systems Society (UKSS) 14th International conference 2010.
    • Systems thinking in local government, Operational Research Society 52th Conference 2010.

    Papers/workshops presented at professional conferences

    • Benefits management in practice a workshop, Business Analysts Conference Europe 2013.
    • Systems thinking and project management, British Computer Society PROMS-G 2012.
    • Change through projects, University of Bournemouth/APM 2012.
  4. Research interests

    Paul's research interests include all aspects of project delivery, HRD.