Dr Anna Topakas

Lecturer in Work Psychology

Room: C049
Phone: +44 (0)114 222 3240
Email: A.Topakas@Sheffield.ac.uk

Anna’s research interests evolve around three general themes - organisational leadership, change management in police organisations, and human resource management in healthcare.

With regards to leadership she takes the approach that the effectiveness of the leadership processes is not only dependent on leader-related and situational factors, but also on follower characteristics and attitudes. Anna is particularly interested in investigating the cognitive processes of followers that are involved in forming leadership perceptions, and on the effects of follower leadership perceptions on individual and group outcomes.

In the area of police studies Anna is currently working as a research associate on the EU-funded cross-national collaborative project COMPOSITE, under the supervision of Dr Kamaljit Birdi. She is involved in large-scale quantitative investigations evolving around the general theme of organisational change. Additionally, she is investigating organisational change on a smaller scale by means of case study in collaboration with South Yorkshire Police.

With regards to healthcare research, although the primary focus of Anna’s work was on employee engagement she has had the opportunity to work on other topics as well, such as training and development, appraisal, work-related well-being, and presenteeism. Currently she is investigating High Performance Work Systems and their link to employee attitudes and organisational performance in the healthcare sector.

The methodological approach taken in her research is predominantly quantitative and she has thus far used techniques such as structural equation modelling, latent congruence models, latent growth curve models, exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, and hierarchical linear modelling in her data analysis. More recently she became involved in qualitative projects and is exploring creative qualitative methodologies and data analysis techniques under the case study paradigm.


Anna has taught a wide range of topics at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. These include among others leadership, learning, training and development in organisations, current topics in HR, cross-cultural management, and organisational behaviour. Her perception of learning as a dynamic process has led her to develop and adopt innovative techniques that facilitate learning and enhance learners’ experiences. For instance, she has successfully employed social media as tools for collaborative learning, group-based learning that encourages creativity and critical thinking, and peer-assessment methods.


  • Organisational Change and HRM in Policing Organisations
  • People Management in Healthcare
  • Leader-Member Exchange
  • Leadership Categorisation and Implicit Leadership Theories
  • Followership
  • Employee Engagement
  • High Performance Work Systems