Rory Ridley-Duff

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Rory Ridley-Duff
RoryRidleyDuff (Cropped).jpg
Rory Ridley-Duff, Ph.D, in 2010
Born Rory James Duff
6 March 1962 (1962-03-06) (age 53)
Littlehampton, England
Occupation Educator, Writer, Composer
Nationality British
Ethnicity Caucasian
Citizenship U.K.
Education Ph.D from Sheffield Hallam University in Business and Management, Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, from Sheffield Hallam University, BMus from London University, Certificate of Higher Education, Business Studies from University of Leeds, Microsoft Certified Professional (1998–2002) from Microsoft Corporation.
Alma mater Sheffield Hallam University, University of Leeds, London University
Period Contemporary
Genre Social Science
Social Enterprise
Subject Cooperative Business; Employee Ownership; Social Enterprise; Interpersonal Dynamics; Workplace Democracy; Gender Studies; Progressive Rock Music
Literary movement Social Enterprise
Gender Studies
Notable works Silent Revolution: Creating and Managing Social Enterprises (2002)
Emotion, Seduction and Intimacy: Alternative Perspectives on Human Behaviour]' (2010)
Friends or Lovers (2010)
Understanding Social Enterprise: Theory and Practice (2011)
Notable awards DTI Smart Award for Innovation (2001)
Hallam PhD Studentship (2002)
Just Plain Folks Music Awards (2009) – Solo Piano Category
Outstanding Paper Award 2011, Social Enterprise Journal (2011)
Best Knowledge Exchange and Transfer Paper, 34th Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship Conference (2011)
Spouse Caroline Ridley-Duff
Children Natasha and Bethany
Relatives Ilse Duff (Mother)
Merlin Duff (Father)
Susan Symms (sister)
Daphne Cross (sister)
Jessica Duff (Sister)
Vienna Duff (Sister)

Rory Ridley-Duff (born 6 March 1962) is a British educator, author and composer.[1] His work as an educator is focused on human relationship issues and governance in cooperatives and social enterprises. His has written four books, two focused on cooperative and social enterprise issues, and two on interpersonal relationship dynamics framed from a gender studies perspective. He has had peer-reviewed articles published in academic journals on corporate governance, entrepreneurship and social enterprise.[2]

His books cover the following fields: social enterprise, and cooperative management ("Silent Revolution" (2002, Barnsley: First Contact Software Ltd),[3] "Understanding Social Enterprise" (2011, London: Sage Publications);[4] and "The Dragons' Apprentice" (2014, Charleston: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform)),[5] interpersonal dynamics and intimacy ("Emotion, Seduction and Intimacy", 2010, Seattle: Libertary Editions) [6] and Friends or Lovers, 2010, Seattle: Libertary Editions).[7] Rory’s work focuses on the informal relationship dynamics needed to support a democratic culture (inside and outside the workplace).

Rory has also pursued music interests derived from his involvement with progressive rock group Protos, and study of composition during his music degree at London University.[8] He has published four albums of original compositions ("One Day a New Horizon" (1982)),[9] "A Question of Expression" (2006),[10] "Passing Decades" (2006),[11] "The Noble Pauper’s Grave" (2007),[12] an album of live performances ("Into the Mouth of the Tiger" (2007)) [13] and a compilation album ("Space (and other singles)", (2006)).[14]


Rory Ridley-Duff holds a Ph.D. for his research into Corporate Governance, a Postgraduate Certification in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education from Sheffield Hallam University, a B. Mus from London University and a Certificate of Higher Education in Business Studies from the University of Leeds.[15] Rory was educated at Birdham Primary School, then Chichester High School for Boys, in West Sussex England. In 1981, following his music writing activities for the band Protos, he started to study music formally on the newly established Foundation Course in Jazz and Popular Music at Chichester College of Arts and Technology. In 1983, he enrolled for Bachelor of Music degree at Royal Holloway College, London University, from where he graduated in 1986.

After pursuing a career in the IT industry, Rory resumed his education in 1999 on a European Social Fund programme for British Managers. After winning a Hallam PhD Studentship, he graduated with a Certificate in Higher Education from the University of Leeds to undertake a 3-year study on workplace democracy. He was awarded his Ph.D ("Communitarian Perspectives on Corporate Governance") in 2006. After becoming a permanent member of the teaching staff at Sheffield Hallam University, he undertook a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, and has continued to build his teaching/research career in the Research Institute at Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University and as an Association of the Centre for Mutual and Employee-Owned Business at Oxford University.[16]

Early career[edit]

Prior to entering academia, Rory was an ICT consultant and software developer. He developed his ICT skills as an analyst, then Data Centre Manager, at Procter & Gamble (HABC) Ltd. He left in 1989 to take up the position of consultant-trainer at Computercraft Ltd, a radical London-based worker cooperative that provided IT services to the social economy. In the mid-1990s, he developed First Point, a customer relationship management (CRM) system.[17] The underlying design ideas of this product earned Rory a DTI Smart Award in September 2001.[18] The DTI Award triggered the creation of First Contact Software Ltd, a worker-owned ‘democratic business’ that sought funding to redevelop First Point as an internet-based CRM solution. The company ceased trading in August 2001 after failing to secure the necessary investment, convincing Rory that further research was needed on companies able to sustain the Rochdale principles of cooperativism while remaining attractive to member-investors and external funders. His first book ("Silent Revolution" (2002)) [19] reflects early thinking on social enterprise, and this led to Rory winning a Hallam PhD Studentship to undertake research into cooperative and employee-owned enterprises.[20]

Academic career[edit]

After completing his Ph. D in 2005, Rory started to contribute to several areas of teaching at Sheffield Hallam University. He is now course leader for the Cooperative and Social Enterprise Summer School, and the MSc Co-operative and Social Enterprise Management degree.[21] He had also led modules on Equal Opportunities and Industrial Relations at undergraduate level, Third Sector Human Resource Management, Industrial Relations and Research Methodology at Masters level, and the Philosophy of Business and Management Research on the school’s Doctoral programmes. He currently supervises seven Ph.D students studying aspects of social enterprise, employee ownership, corporate governance and gender studies.

He was promoted to Reader in Co-operative and Social Enterprise on 18 November 2013 (with effect from 1 October 2011) in recognition of his international standing, and the impact of his works on curricula in social enterprise studies.[22] His textbook 'Understanding Social Enterprise: Theory and Practice' has been adopted as the core text for social enterprise courses in the UK, Ireland, Austria, Germany, France, Greece, Switzerland and Indonesia.[23] He has acted as a British Council consultant to universities and policy makers in Ukraine, Indonesia and Montenegro, and been an invited speaker to university hosted events on social economy in Denmark, Ireland, France, Croatia, Montenegro, Ukraine, Indonesia, Japan, Canada and Australia.[24]

Research Activity[edit]

At the University of Leeds, Rory undertook research on constitutional arrangements and management practices in different types of cooperative enterprise. This was published in Chapter 6 of his first book ("Silent Revolution" (2002), and later updated and published in volume 6 of the Social Enterprise Journal.[25] After completing his Ph.D, he published journal articles on communitarian governance,[26][27] the concept of social rationality in social enterprise[28] and the social economy, and the conceptualisation of ethics in social enterprise.[29] His contributions to the field of gender studies are contained in his Ph. D.,[30] the development of ‘attraction theory’ to understand the gap in pay,[31] and two books (one of which is a novel)[32] that explore the nature of intimacy in the contemporary workplace.[33]

In 2011, he published his first textbook, a field defining work aimed at the higher education market in cooperative and social enterprise studies.[34] It explores: the history of cooperative and third sector organisations; the transformation of the private sector through cooperative and employee-owned enterprise; the definition of social enterprise; social and ethical capital; international perspectives; legal forms; strategic management; governance and employee relations; leadership and entrepreneurship; income management; and social audit and accounting.

In addition to his interest in cooperative and social enterprise, he has completed studies into: TUPE transfers of staff between universities in the UK;[35] a coaching and mentoring programme within the UK’s National Health Service; and model rules for a surplus sharing in social enterprise; diagnostic tools for corporate governance;[36] In 2013, he completed a 36-month Big Lottery Research Programme using Appreciative Inquiry to stimulate community engagement and learning in the Pakistani community with Graham Duncan at St Mary's Conference and Community Centre, and published papers from it in 2014 and 2015.[37][38]

From 2009 - 2013 he was an UnLtd/HEFCE ambassador for social entrepreneurship in Higher Education.[39] As a non-executive director of Viewpoint Research CIC, he supported research into employee, customer and tenant satisfaction with housing groups and social enterprises to provide work in Sheffield, Leeds and Doncaster to marginalise workers.

FairShares Association[edit]

The impact of Rory's research programme is evidenced by the formation of the FairShares Association in early 2013.[40] The stimulus for this was the co-authoring of a document with Cliff Southcombe (MD of Social Enterprise Europe) on developing a FairShares Model of social enterprise.[41][42] This model - a research-informed approach to coaching, auditing and constituting 'self-governing social enterprises operating under Company and Co-operative Law' - was assessed by the UK Research Councils as a 'world class' or 'internationally excellent' impact for Sheffield Business School.[43] The formation of the FairShares Association[44] involved five other people: Cliff Southcombe (Social Enterprise Europe Ltd); Nicci Dickins (Make It Happen Consultancy Ltd); Emma Green (Co-operative and Social Enterprise Support Ltd); Geof Cox (Geof Cox Associates); and Morgan Killick (Level Up Consultancy Ltd).[45] In March 2014, the association launched a pilot version of its FairShares Diagnostics[46] based on Rory's research outputs. These aid supporters and members when coaching, auditing and advising co-operatives and social enterprises about FairShares Model principles. In November 2014, the association co-published a satirical novel called "The Dragons' Apprentice: a social enterprise novel" (Charleston: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform) that imagines the world in 2032 after a business revolution takes place in 2018.[47]

Music career[edit]

Rory formed the progressive rock band Protos while at school with lifelong friend Stephen Anscombe. After enrolling on a Jazz/Popular music course at the Chichester College of Technology, Rory/Steve recruited Iain Carnegie (Percussion/Keyboards) and Nigel Rippon (Bass Guitar). The band's first album One Day a New Horizon, recorded in 1982, is one of the rarest independent recordings in the world and fetches between GBP 200-400 at auction. Due to its enduring success, Protos rereleased it on CD / Digital, then released a second album of their live performances Into the Mouth of the Tiger. In 2007, they resumed their writing/recording activities and released The Noble Pauper's Grave, a 51-minute art rock production. While studying music in London, Rory and Iain teamed up with Simon Cartwright to form "Sly", a tongue-in-cheek tribute to "Sky" (John Williams). They played a one off Cathedral Green concert during the Chichester Arts Festival in 1983. After this, Rory composed on his own and performed with Danzante, an instrumental jazz/rock band. In September 2006, he formed New Horizons Music with his wife Caroline, Stephen Anscombe, Iain Carnegie and Nigel Rippon to develop both solo and collaborative musical projects. He has release an album of original classical music, A Question of Expression, and a collection of art-rock compositions, Passing Decades.[48] In 2009, Rory came 4th in the Just Plain Folks Music Awards in the Solo Piano Song category.[49]



  • One Day a New Horizon (1982), Airship
  • Passing Decades (2006), New Horizons Music
  • A Question of Expression (2006), New Horizons Music
  • Space (and other singles) (2006), New Horizons Music
  • Into the Mouth of the Tiger (2007), New Horizons Music
  • The Noble Pauper’s Grave (2007), New Horizons Music


  1. ^ Dr Rory Ridley-Duff – Support for the Thinking Business, Website, Home Page.
  2. ^ Rory Ridley-Duff, Senior Lecturer, Sheffield Hallam University, Web page, Centre for Individual and Organisational Development.
  3. ^ Ridley-Duff, R. J. (2002) Silent Revolution: Creating and Management Social Enterprises, Barnsley: First Contact Software Ltd. ISBN 1-904391-01-X
  4. ^ Ridley-Duff, R. J. and Bull, M. (2011) Understanding Social Enterprise: Theory and Practice, London: Sage Publications, ISBN 978-1-84860-199-4
  5. ^ Ridley-Duff, R. J. (2014) The Dragons' Apprenctice: a social enterprise novel, Charleston: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 1-503088-57-X
  6. ^ Ridley-Duff, R. J. (2010) Emotion, Seduction and Intimacy: Alternative Perspectives on Human Behaviour (Third Edition), Seattle: Libertary Editions, ISBN 978-1-935961-00-0
  7. ^ Ridley-Duff, R. J. (2010) Friends of Lovers, Seattle: Libertary Editions, ISBN 978-0-9841786-9-8
  8. ^ Composer – Rory Ridley-Duff, Career Outline, as described at
  9. ^ One Day a New Horizon, Protos, New Horizons Music Ltd, Catalogue Number NHM002, released 18 October 2006.
  10. ^ A Question of Expression, Rory Ridley-Duff, New Horizons Music Ltd, Catalogue Number NHM004, released 18 October 2006.
  11. ^ Passing Decades, Rory Ridley-Duff, New Horizons Music Ltd, Catalogue Number NHM003, released 18 October 2006.
  12. ^ The Noble Pauper’s Grave, Protos, New Horizons Music Ltd, Catalogue Number NHM006, released November 2007.
  13. ^ Into the Mouth of the Tiger, Protos, New Horizons Music Ltd, Catalogue Number NHM005, released 7 January 2007.
  14. ^ Space and Other Singles, Compilation Album, New Horizons Music Ltd, Catalogue Number NHM001, released 18 October 2006.
  15. ^ Rory Ridley-Duff, university profile at Sheffield Business School CV as at November 2014, accessible at
  16. ^ Dr Rory Ridley-Duff – Support for the Thinking Business, Website, Home Page.
  17. ^ Online Database – a dream too far? By Rory Ridley-Duff, First Contact Software Ltd. See ‘About the Author’ at the end of the article.
  18. ^ Smart Project Awards - July 2001 to June 2002 - [ARCHIVED CONTENT, Department of Trade and Industry Archive.
  19. ^ Ridley-Duff, R. J. (2002) Silent Revolution: Creating and Management Social Enterprises, Barnsley: First Contact Software Ltd. ISBN 1-904391-01-X
  20. ^ Dr Rory Ridley-Duff – Support for the Thinking Business, Website, Home Page.
  21. ^ New course teaches organisations how to run ‘Cameron’s co-ops, Social Enterprise Magazine, 17 February 2010.
  22. ^ Letter to Rory Ridley-Duff, 22nd November 2013 from Sheffield Hallam University Human Resources Directorate
  23. ^ Record of book adoptions (as at 10th October 2012), provided by Alison Borg, Sage Publications)
  24. ^ Readership Application to Sheffield Hallam University
  25. ^ Ridley-Duff, R. J. (2009) "Cooperative Social Enterprises: Company Rules, Access to Finance and Management Practice", Social Enterprise Journal, 5(1), 50-68
  26. ^ Ridley-Duff, R. J. (2007) "Communitarian Perspectives on Social Enterprise", Corporate Governance: An International Review, 15(2), 382-392
  27. ^ Ridley-Duff, R. J. (2010) "Communitarian Governance in Social Enterprises: Case evidence from the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation and School Trends Ltd", Social Enterprise Journal, 6(2), 125-145
  28. ^ Ridley-Duff, R. J. (2008) "Social Enterprise as a Socially Rational Business", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, 14(5), 291-312
  29. ^ Bull, M., Ridley-Duff, R. J., Foster, D. and Seanor, P. (2010) "Conceptualising Ethical Capital in Social Enterprises", Social Enterprise Journal, 6(3), 250-264
  30. ^ Ridley-Duff, R. J. (2005) Communitarian Perspectives on Corporate Governance, PhD Thesis, Sheffield Hallam University. Also available from the British Library.
  31. ^ Ridley-Duff, R. J. (2008) "Gendering, Courtship and Pay Equality: Developing Attraction Theory to Understand Work-Life Balance and Entrepreneurial Behaviour", paper to the 31st ISBE Conference, 5-7 November, Belfast
  32. ^ Ridley-Duff, R. J. (2010) Friends of Lovers, Seattle: Libertary Editions, ISBN 978-0-9841786-9-8
  33. ^ Ridley-Duff, R. J. (2010) Emotion, Seduction and Intimacy: Alternative Perspectives on Human Behaviour (Third Edition), Seattle: Libertary Editions, ISBN 978-1-935961-00-0
  34. ^ Ridley-Duff, R. J. and Bull, M. (2011) Understanding Social Enterprise: Theory and Practice, London: Sage Publications, ISBN 978-1-84860-199-4
  35. ^ Ridley-Duff, R. J. (2007) Social Dynamics During a TUPE Transfer, Working Paper, Centre for Individual and Organisational Development, Sheffield Hallam University
  36. ^ Ridley-Duff, R. J., Bull, M. and Chadwick-Coule, T. M. (2010) Governance Diagnostic Questionnaire,, also published on the companion website of Ridley-Duff, R. J. and Bull, M. (2011) Understanding Social Enterprise: Theory and Practice, London: Sage Publications].
  37. ^ Duncan, G. and Ridley-Duff, R. J. (2014) "Appreciative Inquiry as a method of transforming the identity and power of Pakistani Women", Action Research, 12(2), 117-134
  38. ^ Ridley-Duff, R. J. and Duncan, G. (2015) "What is critical appreciation? Insights from studying the critical turn in an appreciative inquiry", Human Relations, forthcoming
  39. ^ UnLtd/HEFCE – Ambassadors for Social Entrepreneurship in Higher Education, Ambassador Biographies.
  40. ^ Democratising Charities, Co-operatives and Social Enterprises, REF Impact Case, Sheffield Business School, 2014
  41. ^ Ridley-Duff, R. J., Southcombe, C. and Dickins, N. (2013) The FairShares Model - Introduction, Sheffield: Sheffield Hallam University
  42. ^ The Case for a FairShares Model of Enterprise,[1]
  43. ^ FairShares contributes to ‘World Class’ Impact at Sheffield Business School
  44. ^ FairShares Association Web Portal,
  45. ^ Founders of the FairShares Association,
  46. ^ FairShares Coaching, Social Auditing and Advanced Management Diagnostics,
  47. ^ Ridley-Duff, R. J. (2014) The Dragons' Apprenctice: a social enterprise novel, Charleston: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 1-503088-57-X
  48. ^ Composer – Rory Ridley-Duff, Music Career Outline, as described at
  49. ^ The JPF Awards – 2009 Winners, Just Plain Folks, Solo Piano Song Winners, 4th Place.

External links[edit]