Research Projects

The Organisation Studies (OS) research cluster takes a critical approach to studying processes of organising and organisations. Our research projects explore issues related to health and social care, gender, race and sustainability.


Women’s careers: Beyond organizational boundaries

The words work and life unbalanced on a seesaw

This British Academy/Leverhumle funded research project conducted in collaboration with Women to Work, a local business with social aims, challenges conventional assumptions about how women's career paths differ to those of men.

Staff involved: Professor Penny Dick

Delivering Care at Home: Emerging models and their implications for sustainability and wellbeing

Senior woman using digital tablet while female healthcare worker holding grocery bag in kitchen

This project aims to investigate emerging models of innovative home care and how these incorporate technology; the consequences of these for the wellbeing of all parties; their impact on caring relationships, care workers’ jobs, and carers and care recipients’ daily lives; and their scope to deliver support sustainably with wellbeing outcomes.

Staff involved: Dr Diane Burns

Challenging Gendered Media Mis(s)Representations of Women Professionals and Leaders

Social media

The research was initiated due to the media’s critical role in society and its influence in shaping individuals’ realities, including in workplaces. Media representations of women professionals and leaders are often absent or gendered, sexualised and evidenced by contradiction, for example the championing of women leaders, versus the gendering of women professionals and leaders.

Staff involved: Professor Carole Elliott

Evaluation of the Increasing Continuity of Care in General Practice Programme

Hospital monitor

In 2019, the Health Foundation launched a new funding programme to help to improve patient care and outcomes by exploring the potential to increase continuity of care within general practice. The programme was inspired by a study conducted by the Health Foundation team, published in 2018, which concluded that ‘strategies that improve the continuity of care in general practice may reduce secondary care costs, particularly for the heaviest users of healthcare and that promoting continuity might also improve the experience of patients and those working in general practice.

Staff involved: Professor Damian Hodgson

An Investigation of the Scale, Scope and Impact of Skill Mix Change in Primary Care


In this project the evolving scale, scope and impact of changes in skill mix at national and practice level, and from practice, practitioner and patient perspectives will be studied under 3 research questions and investigated using linked work packages.

Staff involved: Professor Damian Hodgson

Projects overview

Critical Care during the Pandemic and Beyond

This project explores the experiences of critical care nurses during the Covid-19 pandemic. Outputs explore subjects such as moral injury of critical care nurses, the clap for carers phenomenon and an absence of leadership in healthcare during these difficult times.

For more information, read these articles written by Martyn Griffin:

Critical Care Nursing and Mental Health

Moral Injury and Critical Care Nursing

Staff involved: Dr Martyn Griffin

Decolonising Management Knowledge and Education

In the last decade, the field of Management and Organisation Studies has come under scrutiny for its strikingly westocentric – especially Anglo-American – aura. Research from different intellectual streams shows that management knowledge has been predominantly produced in and for North America and the United Kingdom, ignoring and/or silencing and/or degrading the lived realities, practices and thoughts of workers and organisations from the rest of the world. This project by reviewing literature, interviewing activists and mapping decolonising initiatives is exploring meanings and actions for decolonising management knowledge and education.

Staff involved: Dr Stephen Allen

Fiction and the Manager

This project considers the influence of film, literature and other fictional sources on the creation of the wider cultural understanding of the modern manager. Exploring representations of managers in television, Disney films and Dickens' novels (amongst other sources), this project considers how fiction might cultivate an organizational readiness in young people.

For more information, read these articles written by Martyn Griffin:

Disney and Organizational Readiness

Fiction and the Identity of the Boss

Staff involved: Dr Martyn Griffin

Gender and Diversity in Management Education

Dissecting how the split of gender and diversity within Management Education has changed and is still changing.

Staff involved: Professor Carole Elliott

GP Federations in the NHS

A qualitative investigation, learning about and learning from the GP Federations in the English NHS.

Staff involved: Professor Damian Hodgson

Leadership in Alternative Organisations

Leadership tends to be studied from a heroic perspective i.e. relating to an individual positional leader in hierarchical organisations. This project takes a post-heroic and critical leadership perspective to explore leadership and power dynamics in alternative organisations which are not capitalist, managerialist or hierarchical. These organisations tend to be pursing democratic and participative ways of working such as: co-operative, social enterprise and non-for-profit organisations, and religious, spiritual, utopian-inspired communities, as well as social movements. Through conducting interviews and completing workshops Quaker organising is being studied.

Staff involved: Dr Stephen Allen

Patient Experience

Investigating the usefulness of patient experience and narrative data, and how it could be developed and enhanced.

Staff involved: Professor Damian Hodgson

Power and exploitation within the cosmetics industry

Immersed in the daily experiences of an under-researched group of workers within management and organization studies (make-up artists), outputs from this project include:

  • The corporealizing and subjectivizing power of such seemingly innocuous practices as performing make-up routines and 'making up' the face
  • How 'authentically feminine leader' discourses materially exploit lower-paid women workers

Staff involved: Dr David Hollis

Realizing the potential of Democratic Organizing

This project explores the potential and the barriers experienced when attempting democratic organizing. Work on this topic began with an ESRC project from 2015 to 2019 which looked at the experiences of workers in 24 democratic organizations. Since then, outputs have considered a range of topics from paradox in democratic organizing to democratic organizing in non-profits.

For more information, read these articles written by Martyn Griffin:

"Sociocracy at Work" Event One

Paradoxes in Democratic Organizing

Nonprofits as Schools for Democracy

Staff involved: Dr Martyn Griffin

Reducing Academic Flying

If universities are to contribute their share to urgently needed and radical cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, they must tackle their dependence on air travel. Studies suggest that flying typically accounts for 10-20% of a research-intensive university’s total emissions. The prospects for significant improvements in the efficiency of flying are very limited. Consequently, academic flight is increasingly problematised and debated. The research involves exploring: academic identities and flying; universities internationalisation and academics’ flying; and, personal and university benefits of academics flying less. Research activities have included hosting a symposium, the outputs can be viewed here.

Staff involved: Dr Stephen Allen 

Tech-driven leadership and (dis)empowerment

This project surveys the emerging terrain of tech-driven leadership within management and organization studies from a social-political-economic perspective. Demarcating definitional parameters around 'leadership and technology', it separates out technology and intensified practices that dominate from those with emancipatory potential.

Staff involved: Dr David Hollis

Transformation Funded Schemes

Evaluating the Transformation Funded Schemes of Tameside and Glossop Greater Manchester.

Staff involved: Professor Damian Hodgson

Flagship institutes

The University’s four flagship institutes bring together our key strengths to tackle global issues, turning interdisciplinary and translational research into real-world solutions.