Professor Deborah Blackman

Head of School


Building 27, Room 218, School of Business, UNSW Canberra


Professor Deborah Blackman is a member of the Public Service Research Group in the School of Business at UNSW, Canberra. Her research interests include Public Sector Policy Implementation, Systems Level change, Employee Performance Management, Organisational Learning; Soft Knowledge Management; Organisational Effectiveness; Psychological Contract; and Governance. She publishes extensively in international journals such as Public Administration Review, Management Learning, Management Decision and the Journal of Knowledge Management and is invited to present her work at conferences across the world. In 2016 she coedited the book: Blackman D., O'Donnell M. and Teo S. (eds.), 2016, Human Capital Management Research, Contemporary Perspectives in Human Capital and Development, IAP Information Age Publishing, USA,

Deborah researches knowledge transfer in a range of applied, real world contexts. Her primary interest is using philosophical and systems explanations to understand why things do not work when theory implies that they should. From these enhanced understandings, new theories and applications can be developed to support the implementation of change or reform. The common theme of her work is developing effective knowledge acquisition and transfer in order to improve organisational effectiveness.

Current research projects include: understanding the impact of system complexity on effective long-term crisis recovery, investigating the current state and future impact of middle manager capability on the Australian public service, and how to create more effective performance management conversations.

Deborah was the lead researcher on a joint collaborative project with the Australian Public Service Commission entitled the “Strengthening the Performance Framework”. The result was a new framework for diagnosing the effectiveness of a performance management system and the tool is being used in a range of contexts and organisations. Past research projects include: an ARC grant considering Whole of Government from which she developed a new diagnostic model to support effective joined-up working; working with Professor Stephen Sarre to establish lessons that can be learnt for future pest invasions from the Fox Eradication Programme undertaken in Tasmania; and an ARC project where her role was the application of HR practices in order to enhance Court Safety.


Blackman D, 2014, Crossing Boundaries in Public Management and Policy: The International Experience, O'Flynn J; Blackman D; Halligan J, (eds.), 1st, Routledge, Oxford,

Book Chapters

Moon K; Blackman D; Dickinson H, 2020, 'Mapping “Implementation System” Elements', in Sullivan H; Dickinson H; Henderson H (ed.), The Palgrave Handbook of the Public Servant, Springer, Online, pp. 1 - 20,

Herrington V; Blackman D; Carroll J; Owen C, 2019, 'Connected policing: The importance of social capital and boundary spanning in Australian police leadership.', in Ramshaw P; Silvestri M; Simpson M (ed.), Police Leadership, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 255 - 275,

Blackman D, 2018, 'Knowledge management and communities of practice: Supporting successful knowledge transfer', in The Palgrave Handbook of Knowledge Management, pp. 227 - 247,

Blackman D; Johnson S; Dickinson H; Dewey L, 2018, 'Developing and Recruiting the Future Public Servant', in Dickinson H; Needham C; Mangan C; Sullivan H (ed.), Reimagining the Future Public Service Workforce, Springer, Singapore, pp. 111 - 123,

Blackman D; O'Donnell M; Teo S, 2016, 'Where to from here?', in blackman D; O'Donnell M; Teo S (ed.), Human Capital Management Research, edn. Contemporary Perspectives in Human Capital and Development, IAP Information Age Publishing, USA, pp. 163 - 171

Blackman D; Buick F; O'Donnell M; O'Flynn J; West D, 2016, 'Performance Management as a Strategic Tool for Change', in Blackman D; O'Donnell M; Teo S (ed.), Human Capital Management Research, edn. Contemporary Perspectives in Human Capital and Development, IAP Information Age Publishing, USA, pp. 149 - 162

Cotton T; Warren A; Blackman D, 2016, 'Not so "Secondary" Data - the use of staff surveys in Human Capital Management Research', in Blackman D; O'Donnell M; Teo S (ed.), Human Capital Management Research, edn. Contemporary Perspectives in Human Capital and Development, IAP Information Age Publishing, USA, pp. 13 - 30

Blackman D; O'Donnell M; Teo S, 2016, 'Setting the Scene - Applied Human Resources in the 21st Century', in blackman D; o'donnell M; Teo S (ed.), Human Capital Management Research, edn. Contemporary Perspectives in Human Capital and Developement, USA, pp. ix - xv

Blackman D; Buick F; West D; O'Donnell M; O'Flynn J, 2015, 'PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT: CREATING HIGH PERFORMANCE, NOT HIGH ANXIETY', in Wanna J; Lee H-A; Yates S (ed.), Managing Under Austerity, Delivering Under Pressure, ANU Press, Acton, Australia, pp. 79 - 102,

Blackman D; Moon K; Harris S; Sarre S, 2014, 'Knowledge management, context and public policy: developing an analysis framework', in Örtenblad A (ed.), Handbook of Research on Knowledge Management, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham UK,

Muskat B; Nakanishi H; Blackman D, 2014, 'Integrating Tourism into Disaster Recovery Management: The Case of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami 2011', in Ritchie B; Campiranon K (ed.), Tourism Crisis and Disaster Management in the Asia-Pacific, edn. 1st, CABI International, Oxfordshire, UK, pp. 97 - 115,

O'Flynn J; Blackman D; Halligan J, 2014, 'Crossing Boundaries in Public Management and Policy: conclusions and future issues', in O'Flynn J; Blackman D; Halligan J (ed.), Crossing Boundaries in Public Management and Policy, Routledge, pp. 297 - 305,

Blackman D, 2013, 'Contextualizing the learning organization: how will it help us learn in the future?', in Örtenblad A (ed.), Handbook of Research on the Learning Organization, Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 372 - 383,

Blackman D, 2013, 'The Diagnostic solution? Gauging readiness for cross-boundary working.', in O'Flynn J; Blackman D; Halligan J (ed.), Crossing Boundaries in Public Management and Policy, pp. 172 - 189,

Blackman D; Imas M, 2011, 'Transgressive knowledge creation in entrepreneurship', in Hindle K; Klyver K (ed.), Handbook of Research on New Venture Creation, Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 99 - 118

Blackman D; Hindle K, 2008, 'Would using the psychological contract increase entrepreneurial business development potential?', in Barrett R; Mayson S (ed.), International Handbook of Entrepreneurship and HRM, Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 382 - 397

Journal articles

Saleh MA; Ali MY; Quazi A; Blackman D, 2019, 'Buyer-supplier relational paradigm in internationalization process: An Asian emerging country perspective', Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 32, pp. 274 - 300,

Moon K; Guerrero A; Adams V; Biggs D; Blackman D; Craven L; Dickinson H; Ross H, 2019, 'Mental models for conservation research and practice', Conservation Letters, vol. 12,

Moon K; Blackman DA; Adams VM; Colvin RM; Davila F; Evans MC; Januchowski-Hartley SR; Bennett NJ; Dickinson H; Sandbrook C; Sherren K; St. John FAV; van Kerkhoff L; Wyborn C, 2019, 'Expanding the role of social science in conservation through an engagement with philosophy, methodology, and methods', Methods in Ecology and Evolution, vol. 10, pp. 294 - 302,

Ferguson S; Blackman D, 2019, 'Translating innovative practices into organizational knowledge in the public sector: A case study', Journal of Management and Organization, vol. 25, pp. 42 - 57,

Johnson SJ; Blackman DA; Buick F, 2018, 'The 70:20:10 framework and the transfer of learning', Human Resource Development Quarterly, vol. 29, pp. 383 - 402,

Adams VM; Moon K; Álvarez-Romero JG; Bodin Ö; Spencer M; Blackman D, 2018, 'Using Multiple Methods to Understand the Nature of Relationships in Social Networks', Society and Natural Resources, vol. 31, pp. 755 - 772,

Buick F; Blackman D; Johnson S, 2018, 'Enabling Middle Managers as Change Agents: Why Organisational Support Needs to Change', Australian Journal of Public Administration, vol. 77, pp. 222 - 235,

Egan R; Turner M; Blackman D, 2017, 'Leadership and Employee Work Passion: Propositionsfor Future Empirical Investigations', Human Resource Development Review, vol. 16, pp. 394 - 424,

Moon K; Blackman D; Adams V; Kool J, 2017, 'Perception matrices: An adaptation of repertory grid technique', Land Use Policy, vol. 64, pp. 451 - 460,

Blackman D; Buick F; O'Donnell M, 2017, 'Why Performance Management Is Not Like Dieting', Australian Journal of Public Administration, vol. 76, pp. 524 - 528,

Blackman D; Benson AM; Dickson TJ, 2017, 'Enabling event volunteer legacies: A knowledge management perspective', Event Management, vol. 21, pp. 233 - 250,

Blackman D; Buick F; O'flynn J; O'donnell M; West D, 2017, 'Managing Expectations to Create High Performance Government', Review of Public Personnel Administration,

Blackman D; Moon K; Brewer T; Sarre S, 2016, 'Environmental governance for urgent and uncertain problems', Biological Invasions, vol. 19, pp. 1 - 1,

Blackman D; Nakanishi H; Benson AM, 2016, 'Disaster resilience as a complex problem: Why linearity is not applicable for long-term recovery', Technological Forecasting and Social Change, vol. 121, pp. 89 - 98,

Pervan S; Blackman D; Sloan T; Wallace M; Vocino A; Byrne C, 2016, 'Framing the socialisation process of the DBA candidate: what can universities offer and what should candidates bring?', Studies in Continuing Education, vol. 38, pp. 299 - 317,

Moon K; Brewer TD; Januchowski-Hartley SR; Adams V; Blackman D, 2016, 'A guideline to improve qualitative social science publishing in ecology and conservation journals', Ecology and Society: a journal of integrative science for resilience and sustainability, vol. 21, pp. 17 - 17,

Ab Wahab M; Quazi A; Blackman D, 2016, 'Measuring and validating Islamic work value constructs: An empirical exploration using Malaysian samples', Journal of Business Research, vol. on line first, pp. 4194 - 4204,

Blackman DA; Buick F; O'Flynn J, 2016, 'From engaging to enabling: Could an asset-based approach transform Indigenous affairs?', Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, vol. on line first, pp. 1632 - 1651,

Buick F; Blackman D; O'Flynn J; O'Donnell M; West D, 2016, 'Effective Practitioner-Scholar Relationships: Lessons from a Coproduction Partnership', Public Administration Review, vol. 76, pp. 35 - 47,

Moon K; Blackman D; Brewer T, 2015, 'Understanding and integrating knowledge to improve invasive species management', Biological Invasions, vol. 17, pp. 2675 - 2689,

Buick F; Blackman DA; O'Donnell ME; O'Flynn JL; West D, 2015, 'Can enhanced performance management support public sector change?', Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 28, pp. 271 - 289,

West D; Blackman D, 2015, 'Performance Management in the Public Sector', Australian Journal of Public Administration, vol. 74, pp. 73 - 81,

Wallace M; Byrne C; Pervan S; Vocino A; Sloan T; Blackman D, 2015, 'A decade of change in Australia’s DBA landscape', Education & Training, vol. 57,

Benson AM; Dickson TJ; Terwiel FA; Blackman DA, 2014, 'Training of Vancouver 2010 volunteers: A legacy opportunity?', Contemporary Social Science, vol. 9, pp. 210 - 226,

Moon K; Blackman D, 2014, 'A Guide to Understanding Social Science Research for Natural Scientists', Conservation Biology, vol. 28, pp. 1167 - 1177,

Wallace M; Pervan S; Byrne C; Vocino A; Sloane T; Blackman D, 2014, 'A decade of change in Australia’s DBA landscape', Education and Training, vol. 57, pp. n/a - n/a,

Talukder M; Blackman D; Abdullah ABM, 2014, 'Antecedents of Successful Decision Making: The Role of Experience, Decision Environment and Decision Type', International Review of Business Research Papers, vol. 10, pp. 81 - 97,

O'Flynn J; Blackman D; Halligan J, 2013, 'Crossing boundaries in public management and policy: The international experience', Crossing Boundaries in Public Management and Policy: The International Experience, pp. 1 - 315,

Dickson TJ; Benson AM; Blackman DA; Terwiel FA, 2013, 'It's all about the games! 2010 vancouver olympic and paralympic winter games volunteers', Event Management, vol. 17, pp. 77 - 92,

Blackman D; Kennedy M; Quazi A, 2013, 'Corporate social responsibility and individual resistance: Learning as the missing link in implementation', Management Learning, vol. 44, pp. 237 - 252,

Muskat B; Muskat M; Blackman D, 2013, 'Understanding the cultural antecedents of quality management in tourism', Managing Service Quality, vol. 23, pp. 131 - 148,

Blackman D; Kennedy M; Burford S; Ferguson S, 2013, 'Introduction to the Special Symposium on Knowledge Management and Public Administration: Good Bedfellows or Potential Sparring Partners', International Journal of Public Administration, vol. 36, pp. 151 - 154,

Wallace A; Blackman D; Rowden E, 2013, 'Reconceptualising security strategies for courts: developing a typology for safer court environments', International Journal for Court Administration, vol. 5, pp. 3 - 9,

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