John Solas

Title: Lecturer in Social Work
Phone: +44 (0) 1782 733757
Location: CBA0.022
Role: Programme Director MA Social Work
Contacting me: email

I received my doctorate in Social Work from the University of Queensland (UQ), which according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities is placed 55th globally and second in Australia. My thesis was entitled Teaching and Learning in Social Work Education, and was published by Avebury press in the UK.  I began my academic career at UQ in 1988, and have since held appointments at eight Higher Education Institutions before joining Keele University. 

Previous Academic Appointments:

  • University of Southern Queensland
  • University of Ballarat
  • Melbourne International College
  • Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education
  • Charles Darwin University
  • Monash University
  • Central Queensland University
  • Queensland University of Technology
  • University College of Central Queensland
  • University of Queensland

I am currently researching unethical behaviour in private and public sector organisations, with a particular focus on psychopathy amongst, and forms of resistance against, bad leadership. 

While Head of Social Work and Welfare Studies at Charles Darwin University, my research was instrumental in improving the delivery of primary health care services to Indigenous communities in Central and Northern regional Australia.  Previous research projects include: 

  • A repertory grid study of violent men’s personal constructions of love
  • An investigation into the impact of industrial change and workplace restructuring on employment in Regional Australia
  • Case studies of the nature of, and responses to, problems among undergraduate referrals to student counselling at Monash University, Australia
  • A preliminary study into the influence of cultural attributes and learning styles on educational success and satisfaction in alternative learning environments
  • A meta-analysis of social constructions of serial murder
  • A survey of supervisory practices in fieldwork education for human service students
  • An analysis of teacher and student thinking about the process of teaching and learning. 

My publications focus on empowerment, poverty, rights, ethics, and justice, from such theoretical perspectives as neo-Marxism, Rawlsian liberalism, postmodernism and post-structuralism.  All of my research has been published in peer-reviewed Australian and international journals, including: 

  •   Australia Social Work
  •   Canadian Social Work Review
  •   Clinical Social Work Journal
  •   International Journal of Personal Construct Psychology
  •   Just Policy
  •   Journal of Social Work Education
  •   Journal of Family Therapy
  •   Public Organisation Review
  •   Review of Educational Research
  •   Social Semiotics
  •   Society and Business Review.

The following is a selection of my research publications:


Solas, J. (2016). The banality of bad leadership and followership. Society and Business Review, 11(1), pp. 12-23.

Solas, J. (2015). Pathological work victimisation in public sector organisations. Public Organisation Review, 2(2), pp. 255-265.

Solas, J. (2008). Is equity enough:  A response to those who think it is. Australian Social Work, 61(2), pp. 146-49.

Solas, J. (2008). Social Work and social justice:  What are we fighting for? Australian Social Work, 61(2), pp. 137-40.


Solas, J. (2016). Going along to get along:  Victimization Inc. In T. Colby (Ed.), Victims and victimization:  Risk factors, intervention strategies and socioemotional outcomes, New Work:  Nova Science Publishers.

Solas, J. (2015). Communication within the organisation. In M. Birks, Y. Chapman, and J. Davis (Eds.) Professional and therapeutic communication (pp. 135-156). Australia and New Zealand:  Oxford University Press.

Solas, J. (2015). Social and political elements of inclusive practice. In J. Davis, M. Birks and Y. Chapman (Eds.), Inclusive practice for health professionals (pp. 107-125). Australia and New Zealand:  Oxford University Press.


I am Programme Director for the MA (Social Work), and Module Lead for the Doctorate in Social Work.  I have also lectured in community development, counselling, ethics, family therapy, group work, human rights, organisational management, and social policy and theory.

Postgraduate Supervision

Monash University

  • Systems Abuse in Child Protection

Queensland University of Technology

  • Serial Murder:  Violence in Search of a Tormentor
  • Perceptions of guidance officers and Senior Guidance Officers about Clinical Supervision
  • Students’ Constructions of Science Teaching

Ballarat University                             

  • Mother-Child Cut-off

Central Queensland University                

  • Analysis of Government Policy on Asylum Seekers