Dr Sarah Brooks

Management School

Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour

+44 114 222 3218

Full contact details

Dr Sarah Brooks
Management School
Room C050
Sheffield University Management School
Conduit Road
S10 1FL

I am a Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour and SUMS Academic Lead for Employability.

My teaching portfolio comprises professional practice, occupational psychology, leadership and employee & organisational development.

My research interest is about the way that individuals and organisations grapple with the sharing of upward communication, a field known as voice and silence.

Prior to joining academia, I was an industry practitioner for 17 years working as an operations manager and a change implementation manager. I have worked in a number of high profile public and private sector organisations across the UK, Europe and Australia.

I am also and ICF and EMCC accredited coach.

I draw on industry experience, research knowledge and coaching skills to bring unique perspectives to different situations.

Research interests

My research interest is in the field of voice and silence.  I am the founder of the Voice and Silence Community, a LinkedIn group designed to bring together researchers and practitioners interested in this field. I am also passionate about the role that coaching can play as a method through which people find their voice.

As a qualitative researcher, I am keen to use innovative and unique methods designed to provide insight into the reasons why employees speak up or remain silent whilst in the workplace.



Edited books

  • Wilkinson A, Dundon T, Mowbray P & Brooks S (Eds.) (2022) Missing Voice? Worker Voice and Social Dialogue in the Platform Economy. Elgar. RIS download Bibtex download

Journal articles


Conference proceedings papers

Research group

The Institute of Work Psychology (IWP)

Professional activities and memberships

Working with organisations and public engagement 

I am passionate about using my research knowledge to change perspectives and create an immediate impact to the way people think about upward information sharing in organisations.  I enjoy public speaking and facilitating workshops where I frequently create bespoke tools and materials to support strategic themes.

  • Brooks, S, Axtell, A, Knoll, M, Montgomery, A and Dellve, L (2021, Sept). EAWOP Small Group Meeting - Voice and Wellbeing in the Caring Professions – Linking Research and Application.
  • Brooks, S (2021, Sept). Speaking truth to Power. Invited talk for the Healthcare People Management Association.
  • Brooks, S (2021, July). Breaking the Silence: Workplace Culture and Knowing the Line. Invited talk for Sheffield Women in Technology.
  • Brooks, S (2021, March). Organisational Change and Leadership. Invited talk for the Yorkshire and Humber branch of IOSH.
  • Brooks. S and Cantore, S (2021, January). Harnessing the power of voice: empowering individuals and organisations to speak up about what's important. Invited talk for the Healthcare People Management Association.
  • Brooks, S (2020, April). Voice and Silence. Invited talk for Twinkl Educational Publishing as part of their Leadership Café series.
  • Brooks, S (2019, November). Reframing the standards. Invited workshop for Social Work England.
  • Brooks, S., Topakas, A., and Hildenbrand, K. (2019, July). The Role of Distance in Shaping Relationship Quality between Leaders and Followers. In Academy of Management Proceedings (Vol. 2019, No. 1, p. 16378). Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510: Academy of Management.
  • Brooks, S (2019, May). How do UK Police Officers Challenge Upwards in Formal Situations? 19th EAWOP Congresso, Turin, Italy.
  • Brooks, S (2019, January) - Does it look like we want to hear your views? How organisation structure and communication channels shape voice and silence. Invited talk at the Expert Insights Series, hosted by Antonia Dietman on behalf of the HM Courts & Tribunals Service.  
  • Brooks, S (2019). How do Perceptions of Formality Shape Upward Challenge? Employee Voice from Different Perspectives, British Academy of Management Organisational Psychology SIG event, Sheffield, UK.
  • December (2018). Researching voice of concerns about unethical behaviour in a UK Police Force. Invited talk at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia.
  • December (2018). Researching voice of concerns about unethical behaviour in a UK Police Force. Invited talk at Curtin University, Melbourne, Australia.
  • Brooks, S (2018). How Do Perceptions of In-role Behaviour Shape Propensity to Voice Concerns About Unethical Behaviour in a UK Police Force? 6th Biennial Institute of Work Psychology Conference, Sheffield, UK.  
  • November (2017) - Researching Voice and Silence in the UK Police Service.  Invited talk at Loughborough University as part of the Centre for Professional Work and Society lunchtime seminar series.
  • Brooks, S (2017). How Could Perceived Formality Shape Upward Challenge? British Academy of Management Annual Conference, Warwick.
  • September (2015) - Why Do People Not Speak Up in a Compliance Setting?  Opening presentation at the Corporate Governance & Risk Forum with Peter Kurer.
  • Brooks, S (2015). How Do Perceptions of Formality Shape the Upward Sharing of Information? White Rose DTC Summer Conference, Sheffield.
  • February (2015) – BBC One: The Big Questions. Invited participant of panel discussion asking “Is it always right to report wrongdoing?”
  • November (2014) – EAWOP Worklab Lithuania: Improved Performance Through Enhanced Communication: Getting Bosses and Staff to Talk.
  • Brooks, S. (2014).  Are We Off the Record? How Perceptions of Formality Affect Employee Silence Behaviour. British Academy of Management Annual Conference, Belfast.
  • Brooks, S (2014). Are We Off the Record? How Perceptions of Formality Affect Employee Silence Behaviour. White Rose DTC Summer Conference, York.
  • June (2014) - Institute of Work Psychology Conference. To Ask or Not to Ask? Pre-conference workshop with Andreana Drencheva
  • March (2014) - The Vicious Circle: Workplace Silence and Destructive Leadership. Invited talk at Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council with Peter Crellin.
  • November (2013) - Is There Anybody Out There? Why Bosses Don’t Always Listen.  Festival of Social Sciences. Workshop on silence and destructive leadership with Peter Crellin.
  • September (2013) – Workplace Silence: Why Sometimes It’s Easier to Keep Quiet. The Mobile University.
  • March (2013) - Destructive Leadership & Organisational Silence as Antecedents to Absenteeism. Invited talk at the Networking & Personal Development Working Group Event with Peter Crellin.
Working with organisations and public engagement

If you are interested in knowing more about the reasons why employees do or don’t speak up to their managers, or how managers might encourage voice (or discourage it), please contact me. I am happy to run workshops designed to raise awareness of these issues.

If you would like to work with me on a piece of research in your organisation, I would also be delighted to hear from you.