Dr Malcolm Patterson

Senior Research Fellow

Room: C053
Phone: +44 (0)114 222 3244
Email: M.Patterson@sheffield.ac.uk

Areas of Expertise:

  • Organisational culture and climate
  • Cross-cultural behaviour
  • Human resource management and performance
  • Relationships between work conditions (e.g., work characteristics, events and contexts), employee affect (psychological well-being, moods and emotions) and behaviour (e.g. innovative work behaviour, silence and voice at work, pro- and ant-social behaviour)
  • Work and depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Health care organisation and specifically the care of older people in the NHS


I teach on the MSc in Occupational Psychology, Sheffield MBA and undergraduate psychology courses. My primary responsibility is for the Research Methods module on the MSC in Occupational Psychology and for the Occupational Psychology module delivered to Psychology undergraduates.

My approach is theory led and critical in approach, leading on to practical implications and uses. I am able to draw on many examples from my own research and organizational experience to enhance teaching and casework. Where possible I am keen to employ multiple levels of analysis, including, for example, individual, organizational and policy concepts.


I am an experienced researcher conducting research into the impact of organizational practices and psycho-social factors on organisational performance and employee behaviour and well-being. This research stream has grown from my work at the Social and Applied Psychology Unit on a large scale, longitudinal study of organizational effectiveness funded by the ESRC, via the Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics. This study was at the forefront of research in the UK in identifying and demonstrating the importance of human resource management to organizational performance. As a consequence of the CEP research, I have been involved in a number of projects that have developed the evidence base on the nature of the relationship between employee development and organizational effectiveness.

Specific examples include ongoing investigations into the relationship between individual, team, and organizational learning practices and performance; exploring the relative effects of modern management practices and HR on time series performance data; and examining the relationship between HR and health outcomes in the health sector. This work has been published in leading international journals (e.g., Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Personnel Psychology), and presented at major international academic conferences (e.g., Academy of Management Meeting, Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology Meeting). I have also taken an extremely active role in disseminating research findings to both practitioners and policy makers (e.g., DTI, CIPD, Industrial Society).

Many of these research topics, which have been explored predominantly in the private sector, are now underpinning significant policy initiatives in the Health Sector. More recently, my research interests have focused on this sector where there is the opportunity to study the impact of such major policy initiatives on patient care, staff well-being and organisational effectiveness. I have led a number of NHS funded research projects in the areas of culture change and quality of care for older people; human resource management and performance; and standardised care practices and staff behaviour and well-being. and contribute to a number of others across the university.

I am a member of the NIHR Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care for South Yorkshire, specialising in the theme of ‘translating knowledge into action. I am also engaged in a range of other research projects including investigating the relationship between work and depression, and exploring cultural explanations for cheating behaviour in professional footballers. I am a member of the Journal of Management Editorial Board.

PhD Supervision

I am currently supervising PhD students in the following areas:

  • destructive leadership
  • emotions, moods and innovative work behaviour
  • knowledge sharing
  • organisational interventions to enhance employee engagement
  • start-up journeys of entrepreneurs
  • participative action research interventions to improve quality of patient care

I would welcome applications and inquiries in these areas and related areas corresponding to my areas of expertise listed above.