Research at the Department of People and Organisations

We conduct world-leading research in three core areas: leadership and team processes, quality of working life, and human resource assessment and performance.

Research themes

Leadership and team processes

Our world-leading research is applied in our work with students and executive clients:

  • Leader-member exchange and relational perspectives on leadership
  • Emotions in team processes
  • Intuition, decision making and judgement
  • Personality and leadership behaviour
  • The role of leadership in creating positive and rewarding jobs
  • Negotiation, conflict management, and conflict resolution.

Quality of working life

We represent rich and diverse perspectives on the quality of people’s working lives, encompassing psychological, sociological, organisational behaviour and management approaches which we apply to organisations and policy:

  • Pay and reward
  • Work-family interface
  • Job satisfaction, motivation, and engagement
  • Socio-demography of work
  • Job quality 
  • Perceptions of injustice in the workplace.

Human resource assessment and performance 

We have advanced technical expertise in recruitment and selection, performance measurement and management, individual differences, and all forms of psychometric and personnel assessment for business, which we apply in published research and projects with organisations:

  • Assessment for recruitment and selection
  • Employee engagement
  • Performance measurement and metrics
  • Personality assessment and development
  • Survey design
  • Human resource analytics and evaluation.

Research projects

Summary

Figures published by the BBC on 16 Feb 2018 reveal a persistent 14 per cent gap for doctors. In May 2018, Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, launched a review chaired by Professor Jane Dacre, President of the Royal College of Physicians, examining the continued problem of gender pay gaps in medicine. The project is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care and will report back at the end of 2018.

It will utilise rigorous quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate psychological, sociological, cultural, institutional and organisational causes of gender pay gaps in medicine. The overall aim, on the basis of findings, is to make justified and implementable recommendations for national policy initiatives to reduce the gap.

To achieve this the project stages involve:

  • Reviewing existing literature, setting out what is already known about doctors’ gender pay gaps
  • Commissioning NHS Digital to a undertake a quantitative review of the size of gender pay gaps within specialisms, roles and career stages, decomposing factors that influence it. We are especially interested in pivotal points where pay gaps start to grow and in the consequences of the gap for lifetime earnings and pensions. Included here are all elements that make up total pay
  • Gathering qualitative information via telephone interviews and / or focus groups with doctors on social and cultural facilitators and barriers that might shed light on the origins of pay differences in medical careers. Creating an original survey circulated to doctors to understand how widespread are trends that we are learned within the qualitative data
  • Liaising with stakeholders to ensure that we approach the topic from a variety of perspectives.

Call for participants

We are shortly going to be putting out a call for men and women participants at all stages of career and all specialisms to be interviewed on the topic of their medical careers, where key incidents have occurred, the consequences of them and the causes of them.

Team

Document downloads

Participant information sheet

Your questions answered 

Summary

We are using large-scale national survey data to provide evidence on how job quality has changed over time. We are going to use this insight to create a comparison between other countries.

From this, we aim to establish which policies or institutional arrangements make a difference to job quality and employee wellbeing.

Impact

We aim to impact the policy making process to develop better job design and employee wellbeing.

Principal investigator

Ying Zhou

Summary

Hubris is excessive self-confidence, exaggerated self-belief, overweening pride, and contempt for the advice and criticism of others. It emerges when leaders become intoxicated by power and success. 

Hubris in the boardroom can have profound and destructive consequences for leaders, businesses, the economy, and society. As a result, businesses need to understand hubris to avoid its effects.

Impact

From the project we aim to:

  • Identify the nature and causes of hubris in business
  • Develop tools and techniques for anticipating, detecting, and diagnosing hubris
  • Understand how sought-after leadership traits such as confidence, self-assurance, and pride can morph into over-confidence, arrogance, and contempt
  • Explore how managerial hubris feeds corporate hubris, and vice versa
  • Help organisations anticipate and mitigate hubris.

Publications

Claxton G, Owen D, Sadler-Smith E. (2015) 'Hubris in leadership: A peril of unbridled intuition?'. Leadership, 11 (1), pp. 57-78.

Principle investigator

Professor Eugene Sadler-Smith

Research at Surrey Business School

Find out more about our other research activities.

Contact us

Find us

Address
Surrey Business School
Rik Medlik Building
University of Surrey
Guildford
Surrey
GU2 7XH