Dr Dermot Breslin

Senior Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour

Room: B043
Phone: +44 (0)114 222 3386
Email: D.Breslin@Sheffield.ac.uk
Dermon Breslin  

Dermot is a Senior Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour and joined Sheffield University Management School in 2008. As a chartered engineer, Dermot has over 14 years commercial experience in the steel, aluminium and paper industries, and has worked across the globe in a variety of roles including engineering design, operations and sales management. Between 1996 and 2004, he worked for the Sheffield-based engineering company Siemens VAI UK, and his involvement in a number of key sales activities contributed to the company being awarded the Chamber of Commerce Export Excellence Award in 2003.

Dermot has a B.Eng. degree in mechanical engineering (University College Dublin, Ireland), an MBA with distinction (Warwick University, UK), and a PhD in Organisational Behaviour (Lincoln University, UK). Dermot is also an adjunct professor at Saarlandes University, Germany, and visiting professor at Tor Vergata University Rome, Italy. He has acted as guest editor for the International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Journal of Management & Governance, Associate Editor with the International Journal of Management Reviews (IJMR), and Co-Editor-in-Chief with IJMR from Jan 2017. Dermot is also on the editorial boards for the International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, and the Journal of Management Studies, and is currently a member of the BAM Council. He has acted as guest editor for the International Journal of Organizational Analysis, and Journal of Management & Governance, is currently an associate editor with the International Journal of Management Reviews. He has also co-organized a number of international conference tracks and research workshops. Dermot’s research interests are in small business growth, organizational routines and changing behaviour in organizations.


Drawing on his commercial experience and ongoing research activities, Dermot is strongly committed to the continual development of learning & teaching within our undergraduate business management programs. In recognition of this effort, he was awarded a Senate Award for Sustained Excellence in Learning & Teaching in 2015. Dermot currently manages two undergraduate modules. In MGT229 Enterprise and Entrepreneurship students learn about entrepreneurship as way of behaving. In this manner, they can learn to behave entrepreneurially in different settings, both as individuals and in groups. The module includes a number of guest speakers, and together with in-depth business case studies, students explore ways in which theory might inform practice and vice versa. In MGT252 Managing Organisational Change & Learning students develop an understanding of processes of change and learning within organisations. Drawing on recent academic research, and through the use of case studies and examples, students explore key issues involved in change in organisations. On completion of this module students will a) learn to become more effective participants in change events, and b) learn different approaches to managing this process in organisations. The module thus seeks to develop key skills of adaptation suited for the changing international workplace in the 21st century.


Dermot's research focuses on the development of an evolutionary approach to study changing behaviour in organisations (see www.learningtoevolve.com). This approach promotes longitudinal, multi-level studies of change., and to date he has published and reviewed papers in a number of international peer-reviewed journals and conferences. Dermot is also a co-founder of the standing evolutionary track at the EURAM annual conference. Dermot remains closely engaged with practice through consulting/research projects. These projects focus on the emergence and evolution of key competences and routines within organizations. In this ongoing research Dermot is working on a variety of approaches including longitudinal ethnographical studies, experimental methods and agent-based simulation modelling techniques. He is currently developing an impact case study with the South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue (SYFR) service. In this Premonition project, Dermot and colleagues have created an agent-based model which is being used by SYFR as a decision support tool to plan community fire prevention activities (see www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcAJpajDNLI).

PhD Supervision

Dermot is interested in supervising PhD students in the following broad areas:

  • Evolutionary approaches in socio-economic change

  • The emergence and evolution of behaviors in organizations

  • Organisational adaptation and ambidexterity

  • Organisational co-evolution and multi-level studies

Recent invited papers and keynote Lectures

“What evolves in Organisational Coevolution”. Amsterdam Business School, the Netherlands, March, 2015

"The Evolving Organizational Routine". Max Planck Institute Doctoral Seminar, Jena, Germany, May 2012.

Key Projects / Grants

Title/ Description

Awarding body


People Involved


Premonition: Preventative and Predictive Modelling of Community Fire Risk Behaviours

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority

Nov 2014 – March 2016

Daniela Romano, Sheffield University, and Stephen Dobson, Sheffield Hallam University


Advancing European Traditions of Entrepreneurship Studies

Society for the Advancement of Management Studies

June 2012- March 2013

Dr Richard Tunstall, Leeds University


A Study of a Growing University Spin Out

Business Link

Jan-April 2010

Sheffield University


Professional Activities, Recognition and Other Information


  • Co Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Management Reviews (2017-present)

  • Associate Editor, International Journal of Management Reviews (2012-2016)

  • Guest Editor (with Jones, C.), (2012). Innovative uses of Evolutionary / Ecological Approaches in the Study and Understanding of Organizations. International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 20(3), Emerald Publishing

  • Guest Editor (with Abatecola, G., Belussi, F., Breslin, D., and Filatotchev, I.), (2015). Darwinism, Organizational Evolution and Survival: Key Challenges for Future Research. Journal of Management & Governance

  • Review Board Member, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research

  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Management Studies

Guest Professor Posts

  • Adjunct Professor in Entrepreneurship (2011 to present), MBA School, Saarland University, Saarbrucken, Germany

  • Visiting Professor in Entrepreneurship (2015 to present), Tor Vergata University Rome, Italy

Conference Organization

  • Co-Founder, Entrepreneurship Studies Special Interest Group, ISBE, 2013-present

  • Co-Founder, Evolutionary Studies track, European Academy of Management, 2010-present


  • Best Developmental Paper in Innovation Award (with Stephen Dobson and Gabriela Morales), BAM Conference 2017, Warwick Business School
  • Senate Award for Sustained Excellence in Learning & Teaching 2015
  • Nomination for Student Union Excellence in Enterprise Teaching 2014
  • Awarded Emerald Literati Network Outstanding Paper of the Year 2013
  • Winner of Best Paper in Entrepreneurial Learning Award, ISBE Conference 2011, Sheffield
  • Winner or the Reviewer of the Year Prize, 2010, International Journal of Management Reviews