Research: Research Centres and Units - Public Sector Management Research Unit

Public Sector Management Research Unit (PSMRU)

The PSMRU is a think tank that organizes and facilitates policy dialogues, provides tailored analysis and advice, participates in networks, and undertakes policy-oriented research for clients and partners.  It is an advocate for change which provides a policy forum where stakeholders can debate contemporary issues that have implications for PSM practice.  In addition, it seeks practical management solutions by bridging differences through dialogue and knowledge sharing.  The University of the West Indies, as the premier educational institution in the region, must offer a stimulating environment for teaching and learning.  Thus, for the public service and other stakeholders, the PSMRU is a gateway to accessing consultancy and research services, advocacy, and the next generation of public service and private sector leaders.  To faculty, it offers a forum to engage in leading-edge thinking, research and progressive learning and development.  The PSMRU was established in accordance with DOMS new strategic thrust aimed at innovative research, revenue generation through international grant funding and commercially viable projects, and partnerships built around other research units.  It comprises faculty and researchers based at the Department of Management Studies, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados, who consult and research on public sector management issues.
The changing role of government in the twenty-first century underscores the critical role played by the public service in national development, especially in the Caribbean and other developing countries.  Innovative approaches and tools are needed to manage the change which is at the heart of increasing demands to rethink and revise the theory and practice of public sector management (PSM).  This requires well-informed dialogue, institutional innovation, reciprocal partnerships, and joint learning to address contemporary issues impacting the performance of all stakeholders - the public sector, private sector, trade unions, and civil society.  To this end, the PSMRU acts as an independent knowledge broker and process facilitator based on relationships with key actors in the public service and international development agencies, experience in linking policy and practice, and investment in a strong results-based framework to clearly measure and improve the quality of public service outcomes. 


The Principal of the PSMRU is Dr. Wayne Charles-Soverall, who specializes in contemporary public sector management theory and practice, including the role and responsibility of the public service in national development; the role and responsibility of public service leadership; the relationship between government, business and society; corporate-public governance; human resource development and training in the public service; the impact of the psychological contract, organizational culture, and empowerment on public service performance; project development; and issues related to ethnic and social tolerance (see Curriculum Vitae).  There are six other faculty members in the PSMRU – Dr. Akhentoolove Corbin (leadership and human resource management), Dr. Nadini Persaud and Dr. Paul Pounder (Project Management & Evaluation), Dr. Alfred Walkes and Mrs. Ayanna Young Marshall (Entrepreneurship), and Mr. Dwayne Devonish (Work Behaviour). 


The purpose of the PSMRU is to develop a university forum:

  1. To interact with policymakers and practitioners in order to promote evidence-based public sector management that seeks to improve the quality of public services in Barbados and the wider Caribbean.
  2. To influence the development of public sector management research and practice within the national, regional and global public sector management research community through advocacy and research.
  3. To enhance the research capacity of the public service in Barbados and the region as well as public education about the role of the public sector in national development through the research activities of subject area groups (SAGs), M.Sc. Management students, M.Sc. Project Management and Evaluation students, and M.Phil/Ph.D students.
  4. To generate revenue through a fee-paying Postgraduate Diploma in Public Sector Management, consultancies, and grant-funding from local, regional and international funding agencies.
  5. To provide support to graduate students through attachments or internships in the public service that enhances learning and on-the-job training.  
The PSMRU seeks to foster collaboration between academics, the policymaking, and practitioner communities.  It also seeks to enable public sector managers and policymakers to learn key lessons emerging from global public sector management practice through the research community, and to encourage contributions from Barbados and the region to the global community.  Moreover, through its consultancy and research, it intends to provide innovative management solutions to critical challenges confronting policymakers and public sector management practitioners in Barbados, the region and beyond. 

Mission Statement

The mission of the PSMRU is to enhance the management capability of public sector practitioners, enhance public education and outreach through the provision of a policy forum for dialogue on contemporary public sector management issues, and stimulate collaborative research between the academic community and public sector practitioners.  In order to accomplish this mission, the PSMRU: 
  1. Provides a policy forum for dialogue on contemporary public sector management issues.
  2. Promotes evidence-based policy decision-making in the public service and innovative management solutions that can make a positive impact on the quality of public service delivery in Barbados and the region.
  3. Enhances the interaction between policymakers and public sector practitioners in the public service through frequent exchanges with stakeholders.
  4. Improves public sector management theory, practice, and research by engaging the research community locally, regionally and globally.
  5. Enhances the research capacity of the public service through the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Sector Management, MPhil. and Ph.D research students, and the SAGs.
  6. Identifies, conducts research, and provides innovative management solutions to both public and private sector organizations in Barbados and the region that do not have a research capability.
  7. Enhances collaboration, research, and teaching through experiential learning, executive development workshops, panel discussions, attachments and internships that improve practice and institutional arrangements designed to reinforce applications that support continuous learning in the public service.      


The vision of the PSMRU is to be a model of excellence in public sector management theory and practice, research, strategic partnership and revenue generation in the DOMS.  In addition, faculty seeks to produce high quality graduates, advance knowledge in public sector management theory and practice, and improve public service performance and national development.  

Strategic Objectives

The strategic objectives of the PSMRU are (1) to enhance the level of contributions to research in public sector management theory and practice; (2) to create an environment of excellence in teaching and training in public sector management at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels; (3) to develop and implement systems and structures that facilitate revenue streams through consulting assignments, graduate student research, and non-traditional sources; and (4) to encourage improvement in the community through the provision of research-based workshops and seminars, and public fora.  The ultimate objective is to build capacity in the public sector, apply evidenced-based research that can provide innovative solutions to management problems so that governments become more accountable, improve performance, and achieve national development priorities. 


The PSMRU seeks to facilitate the development of continuous learning networks in public sector organizations (PSOs) as well as strategic and institutional partnerships with stakeholders by supporting practitioners as they learn on-the-job (learning by doing), and developing communities of practice through interaction with policymakers, practitioners, and other stakeholders (policy fora).  Examples of these networks and collaborations include strategic partnerships between the PSMRU and the Civil Service; the PSMRU, the European Union, and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs; the PSMRU and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados (ICAB); the PSMRU and the National Productivity Council; and the PSMRU and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).  The major objective of these networks is to improve dialogue on issues impacting actual public service performance and service delivery in Barbados and the Caribbean and to build capacity through attachments, internships and collaborative research. 

Research Projects

The PSMRU undertakes research projects, provides advice to public sector agencies and other stakeholders that do not have a research capability, and also provides research skills on a consultancy basis.  Active research projects include exploring the impact of the psychological contract on employee performance in the public service of Barbados; a comparative analysis of the impact of the psychological contract on employee performance in the public services of Barbados and Guadalajara City, Mexico; and exploring different types of public service leadership and their impact on organizational performance in the public service of Barbados.   

Biography of Principal

Dr. Wayne Charles-Soverall, founding principal of PSMRU, is a Lecturer in the Department of Management Studies, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus.  He lectures at the undergraduate level in Management in Government I (MGMT 2027); Management in Government II (2028); Managing Development (MGMT 3073); Public Enterprise Management (MGMT 3075); and Policy Analysis (MGMT 3078).  At the graduate level, he lectures in Government, Business and Society (IMGT 6040), Project Development (PTMT 6010), and Corporate Social Responsibility (CKST 6030).  Wayne has focused on public sector management theory and practice and its impact on national and Caribbean development.  His recent work on Civil Service Performance in the Caribbean in Evan Berman and Indianna Minto-Coy (eds.) Public Administration and Policy in the Caribbean, Florida: Taylor and Francis (forthcoming, 2013) reflects this research agenda. 
He has provided consultancy services to several ministries, departments, and PSOs in Barbados and the region in the areas of strategic planning, organizational development, and institutional strengthening.  He worked as a consultant for the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the United Nations Development Program in Barbados, and the CSME Unit, CARICOM Secretariat in Barbados.  Dr. Soverall continues to maintain a good working relationship with senior personnel in the public service and stakeholders in international development institutions as part of his public outreach which facilitates greater communication and dialogue between the PSMRU, the public sector, and the international community.
His research interests include:
  1. Empowering public sector management.
  2. The relationship between the psychological contract and public service performance.
  3. Exploring corporate-public governance practices in the Caribbean.
  4. The impact of ethnic and social tolerance on sustainable human development. 

Contact Details

Dr. Wayne Charles-Soverall
The Public Sector Management Research Unit
Department of Management Studies
University of the West Indies
Cave Hill Campus
Tel: 1 246 417 4305 or 269 8638; fax 1 246 438 9167; or email
The Principal of the Public Sector Management Research Unit (PSMRU) moderated the panel discussion on The Myrie Judgement: Implications for Caribbean Integration which was hosted by the Department of Management Studies in collaboration with the Faculty of Law on Thursday, October 31, 2013 at 7.00 p.m. at the Walcott Warner Theatre, Errol Barrow Center for Creative Imagination, Cave Hill.  The Panellists included:
The Hon. Adriel Brathwaite, Q.C., M.P., Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs;
Senator Orlando Marville, Coordinator, Law, Governance and Society, Faculty of Social Sciences, UWI, Cave Hill Campus;
Dr. David Berry, Dean, Faculty of Law, UWI, Cave Hill Campus;
Dr. Tennyson Joseph, Head, Department of Government, Sociology and Social Work, UWI, Cave Hill Campus; and
Dr. Wayne Charles-Soverall, Lecturer in Public Sector Management, Department of Management Studies, UWI, Cave Hill Campus. 
The public discourse was part of a series of events to mark the 50th Anniversary Celebration of The University of the West Indies at the Cave Hill Campus.
November 1, 2013



Department of Management Studies
Telephone: (246) 417-4295/4296/4297/4546/4547/4300 Fax: (246) 438-9167 E-mail: