Curriculum Vitae Here
I am a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) at Cass Business School (City, University of London). I work particularly in the area of 'expert leadership'. We are accustomed to seeing organizations from Fortune 500 firms to hospitals choosing charismatic general managers for senior leadership positions over core-business experts (such as doctors in hospitals). My research suggests that this may be wrong; organizations on average perform better when they are led by individuals with core business talent (expert knowledge).
In random samples of 35,000 US and UK workers matched with their firms, we found that a boss's technical competence is the single strongest predictor of employee job satisfaction. In new work in hospitals and universities, we find again that a line manager's core business expertise predicts employee job satisfaction, and also their intentions to quit the organisation. Our findings suggest that expert leaders know best how to create the optimal work environment to enable others to flourish, through motivation, consultation, appropriate assessment and support. If you have walked the proverbial walk -- as an expert leader has -- then you know what it takes to motivate expert followers.
But being a core business expert is not a proxy for having good leadership and management skills. These are also necessary. However, it is easier to train the best experts to be managers and leaders than it is to educate general managers in expert knowledge (technical, tacit and cultural) that is built up over decades. How should we educate expert leaders? What kind of leadership development is right, and how much, when? This is another important area of our research.
I also work on the gender pay gap. We have shown that contrary to previous assumptions, women have been asking for pay rises as often as men; however, they have not been getting as often as men. Finally, I have written on climate change and am keen to work on species decline in the future.
I regularly give talks about my research to academics and professionals in various settings. Disseminating research ideas is an important part of being an academic. All my articles and many of my media interviews are available on this web site.