Home > Research > Researchers > Justin Larner

Dr Justin Larner

Research student

Research overview

My research has focused on how an entrepreneur's personal narrative of their life history, values and desires for the future can create an organisational narrative in a design process. The theory underpinning this research is power as a discursive process, examining how narratives can shape how the boundaries of a networked organisation.


My approach involves listening and sensemaking with entrepreneurs and stakeholders wishing to create new forms of organisation that can promote more than economic gain in the context of the collaborative economy. The thesis builds on my research in the first two years of the HighWire programme, which used design methods to explore how the concept of virtual guilds could inspire more effective stakeholder involvement in two emergent networked micro-businesses. This research led to the Open Source Guild business model, which other values-led organisations have found helpful in framing how they wish to do business.

I have previously researched the wider applicability of open source for the Sustainable Consumption Institute at Manchester University during 2010 and 2011. From 2008 to 2010 I completed a part-time MA at Liverpool John Moores University, focusing on the effectiveness of stakeholder involvement in social enterprise governance in 14 social enterprises in the North West of England.

Career Details

My research builds on my learning gained in a varied career, including community development, consultancy and voluntary sector management. Previous roles have included Development Manager at Mind in Manchester, where I gained over £1M of Lottery and other funding for the organisation, and Community Projects Officer at Community Regeneration, where I worked with groups in Greater Manchester to develop options to improve their neighbourhoods.

Web Links


View all (11) »