Dr Hamid Roodbari

Lecturer in People and Organisations

Academic and research departments

Department of People and Organisations.



Research interests


Postgraduate research supervision



Hamid Roodbari, Karina Nielsen, Carolyn Axtell (2021)An integrated realist evaluation model to evaluate organisational interventions, In: Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings2021(1)10830

Organisational interventions are the recommended approach for improving employees’ health and wellbeing, but evaluating these complex interventions is challenging. Realist evaluation is a promising approach for evaluating interventions, it aims to answer the question of ‘what works for whom in which circumstances?’ by studying how the mechanisms of an intervention work in a certain context to bring about certain outcomes in Context-Mechanism-Outcome (CMO) configurations. Based on realist evaluation, Nielsen and Abildgaard (2013) proposed a five-phase model to evaluate organisational interventions. We extend the five-phase model to capture more intervention components and align better with realist evaluation. First, to include further crucial intervention components to evaluate, we integrate the content of the REAIM framework into the five-phase model. Second, we provide guidance on when and how to develop and test CMO configurations for each intervention component. Thus, we develop an ‘integrated realist evaluation model’. Also, we review the most recent evidence in the literature regarding each intervention component and develop an example of a CMO configuration for each component. As such, this article contributes to the understanding of ‘how to’ evaluate complex organisational interventions that can be used to design, implement, and evaluate future organisational interventions.

Hamid Roodbari, Hossein Olya (2024)An integrative framework to evaluate impacts of complex tourism change initiatives, In: Tourism Management100104829pp. 1-14 Elsevier

There is a need for holistic frameworks that show why, how, and by whom complex tourism change initiatives should be planned and implemented to achieve social impacts. This study aims to fill this knowledge gap by synthesising the theoretical underpinnings of three models—Theory of Change, Realist Evaluation, and Stakeholder Analysis—and crafting an integrative theory-based framework (ToCRESA) demonstrating pathways to social impacts. This study also advances Mitchell et al. (1997) stakeholder salience model by including a new attribute of ‘sustained perceived value’ to introduce a new classification of ‘determined stakeholder’. Due to the complexities of tourism change initiatives, ToCRESA suggests considering stakeholders' sustained perceived value in order to be engaged throughout the change initiatives. We used the complex social phenomenon of sustainable development of smart tourism to showcase the application of ToCRESA in developing impacts on society.

Majid Khan, Muhammad Usman, Imran Shafique, Chidiebere Ogbonnaya, Hamid Roodbari (2023)Can HR managers as ethical leaders cure the menace of precarious work? Important roles of sustainable HRM and HR manager political skill, In: The International Journal of Human Resource Managementpp. 1-27 Taylor & Francis

While extensive research has explored the relationship between HRM and various organizational and employee outcomes, there remains a significant gap in the literature regarding the role of HRM in discouraging extreme work. To address this gap, building mainly on stakeholder theory, we specifically propose that HR managers' ethical leadership negatively influences precarious work, which serves as a catalyst for extreme work cultures by exacerbating workloads, prolonging working hours, and intensifying physical and mental stress. Importantly, we propose that sustainable HRM mediates the association between HR managers' ethical leadership and precarious work. Finally, the present study hypothesizes that HR managers' political skill acts as a boundary condition for the effects of HR managers' ethical leadership on sustainable HRM and precarious work. Data collected from two sources (260 employees and the same number of HR managers) employing a time-lagged design supported our hypotheses. Other than theoretical contributions to different important knowledge areas, such as ethical leadership, HRM, and precarious work, we offer a number of practical implications that could help organizations counter extreme work and its negative repercussions mainly for employees.

Hamid Roodbari, Karina Nielsen, Carolyn Axtell, Susan E. Peters, Glorian Sorensen (2021)Developing Initial Middle Range Theories in Realist Evaluation: A Case of an Organisational Intervention, In: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health18(16) MDPI

(1) Background: Realist evaluation is a promising approach for evaluating organisational interventions. Crucial to realist evaluation is the development and testing of middle range theories (MRTs). MRTs are programme theories that outline how the intervention mechanisms work in a specific context to bring about certain outcomes. To the best of our knowledge, no organisational intervention study has yet developed initial MRTs. This study aimed to develop initial MRTs based on qualitative evidence from the development phase of an organisational intervention in a large multi-national organisation, the US food service industry. (2) Methods: Data were collected through 20 semi-structured interviews with the organisation ' s managers, five focus groups with a total of 30 employees, and five worksite observations. Template analysis was used to analyse data. (3) Results: Four initial MRTs were developed based on four mechanisms of participation, leadership commitment, communication, and tailoring the intervention to fit the organisational context to formulate 'what may work for whom in which circumstances?' in organisational interventions; (4) Conclusions: Our findings provide insights into 'how' and 'which' initial MRTs can be developed in organisational interventions.

Glorian Sorensen, Susan E Peters, Karina Nielsen, Elisabeth Stelson, Lorraine M Wallace, Lisa Burke, Eve M Nagler, Hamid Roodbari, Melissa Karapanos, Gregory R. Wagner (2021)Implementation of an organizational intervention to improve low-wage food service workers' safety, health and wellbeing: findings from the Workplace Organizational Health Study, In: BMC Public Health21(1)1869 BMC

Background Many organizational interventions aim to improve working conditions to promote and protect worker safety, health, and well-being. The Workplace Organizational Health Study used process evaluation to examine factors influencing implementation of an organizational intervention. This paper examines the extent to which the intervention was implemented as planned, the dose of intervention implemented, and ways the organizational context hindered or facilitated the implementation of the intervention. Methods This proof-of-concept trial was conducted with a large, multinational company that provides food service through contractual arrangements with corporate clients. The 13-month intervention was launched in five intervention sites in October 2018. We report findings on intervention implementation based on process tracking and qualitative data. Qualitative data from 25 post-intervention interviews and 89 process tracking documents were coded and thematically analyzed. Results Over the 13-month intervention, research team representatives met with site managers monthly to provide consultation and technical assistance on safety and ergonomics, work intensity, and job enrichment. Approximately two-thirds of the planned in-person or phone contacts occurred. We tailored the intervention to each site as we learned more about context, work demands, and relationships. The research team additionally met regularly with senior leadership and district managers, who provided corporate resources and guidance. By assessing the context of the food service setting in which the intervention was situated, we explored factors hindering and facilitating the implementation of the intervention. The financial pressures, competing priorities and the fast-paced work environment placed constraints on site managers’ availability and limited the full implementation of the intervention. Conclusions Despite strong support from corporate senior leadership, we encountered barriers in the implementation of the planned intervention at the worksite and district levels. These included financial demands that drove work intensity; turnover of site and district managers disrupting continuity in the implementation of the intervention; and staffing constraints that further increased the work load and pace. Findings underscore the need for ongoing commitment and support from both the parent employer and the host client.

Hamid Roodbari, Karina Nielsen, Carolyn Axtell (2023)What Works for whom in which Circumstances? An Integrated Realist Evaluation Model for Organisational Interventions, In: Scandinavian Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology8(1)pp. 4-4 Stockholm University Press

Realist evaluation is a recommended approach to evaluate organisational interventions.It examines how specific intervention mechanisms work in a given context to producecertain outcomes through developing and testing Context-Mechanism-Outcome (CMO)configurations. Inspired by realist evaluation, the five-phase model was developed byNielsen and Abildgaard (2013). However, this model (1) does not include some crucialintervention components that should be evaluated in each intervention phase, and(2) does not follow the full realist evaluation cycle. In this article, we address theselimitations of the five-phase model. First, we integrate the contents of the RE-AIMframework into the five-phase model to include crucial intervention components.Then, we explain how to follow a realist evaluation cycle, provide guidance on when,why, and how to develop and test CMO configurations for intervention components,and develop examples of CMO configurations for intervention components. In doingso, we develop an Integrated Realist Evaluation Model for Organisational Interventions(IREMOI). As such, this article demonstrates how working with CMO configurationssystematically in an intervention may improve the understanding of ‘what works forwhom in which circumstances’ and thereby the likelihood of intervention success.

Shahrzad Nayyeri, Hamid Roodbari, Masoud Shadnam (2024)Navigating careers at sea: Career proactivity in extreme work contexts, In: Applied Psychology Wiley

Extreme work contexts are characterized by highly demanding labor under intense, stressful, and risky conditions. The literature has to date been predominantly focused on operational, organizational, and institutional responses to these challenges. Consequently, scant attention has been paid to how individuals understand and respond to extreme work contexts when managing their careers. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 33 Iranian merchant ship officers and developed a grounded theory model of career proactivity in extreme work contexts. Our model delineates two stages leading to proactive career behaviors: The first stage is sensemaking, where individuals wake up to the challenges of their extreme work context, engage in comparative elaboration, and arrive at a settled understanding of the extremity of their work context. The second stage is agency, where individuals engage in experimentation of when they can modify situations or adapt to them, which ultimately helps them choose one of the following proactive career behaviors: exit planning, job crafting, career drifting, and job embracing. To support the generalizability of our model, we interviewed nine firefighters, which confirmed the model's applicability to another extreme context. We discuss the theoretical and critical implications of our model for recent conversations in extreme context research and career research.

Hamid Roodbari, Carolyn Axtell, Karina Nielsen, Glorian Sorensen (2022)Organisational interventions to improve employees' health and wellbeing: A realist synthesis, In: Applied Psychology71(3)pp. 1058-1081 Wiley

Although organisational interventions have shown promising results in improving employees' health and wellbeing, reviews of the effectiveness of such interventions conclude results are inconsistent. Realist synthesis is considered an appropriate method of literature review to improve the consistency of empirical evidence by developing generalisable statements of ‘what works for whom in which circumstances’. In this article, to identify and synthesise existing evidence from the empirical studies of organisational interventions, we conducted a realist synthesis according to the RAMESES publication standards. We reviewed 28 articles. Six realist programme theories were developed that explain how different mechanisms of organisational interventions may bring about different outcomes in different contexts. These realist programme theories are based on the process mechanisms of implementation adherence, communication, employees' participation, senior management support, middle management support and external consultants/researchers support. This realist synthesis enhances the understanding of how organisational interventions may improve employees' health and wellbeing, in which contexts, and for which group of employees. As such, it makes an important potential contribution to designing, implementing and evaluating future organisational interventions.

Hamid Roodbari, Karina Nielsen, Carolyn Axtell, Susan E. Peters, Glorian Sorensen (2022)Testing middle range theories in realist evaluation: a case of a participatory organisational intervention, In: International Journal of Workplace Health Management15(6)pp. 694-710 Emerald

Purpose Realist evaluation seeks to answer the question of “what works for whom in which circumstances?” through developing and testing middle range theories (MRTs). MRTs are programme theories that outline how certain mechanisms of an intervention work in a specific context to bring about certain outcomes. In this paper, the authors tested an initial MRT about the mechanism of participation. The authors used evidence from a participatory organisational intervention in five worksites of a large multi-national organisation in the US food service industry. Design/methodology/approach Qualitative data from 89 process tracking documents and 24 post-intervention, semi-structured interviews with intervention stakeholders were analysed using template analysis. Findings The operationalised mechanism was partial worksite managers’ engagement with the research team. Six contextual factors (e.g. high workload) impaired participation, and one contextual factor (i.e. existing participatory practices) facilitated participation. Worksite managers’ participation resulted in limited improvement in their awareness of how working conditions can impact on their employees’ safety, health, and well-being. Based on these findings, the authors modified the initial MRT into an empirical MRT. Originality/value This paper contributes to the understanding of “what works for whom in which circumstances” regarding participation in organisational interventions.

Muhammad Usman, Chidiebere Ogbonnaya, Hamid Roodbari, Rebecca Yusuf, Manjusha Hirekhan (2023)Servant Leadership as a Catalyst for Middle Managers' Learning Ambidexterity: A Resource-Based Perspective, In: British journal of management Wiley

Although recent years have seen a proliferation of research on organizational ambidexterity, important questions remain about the role that leaders play in leveraging learning ambidexterity for organizational benefits. Drawing on the conservation of resources theory, we investigate the indirect links between servant leadership and middle managers' learning ambidexterity, with structural empowerment and role breadth self-efficacy (RBSE) as serial mediators. We also examine the importance of leader boundary-spanning behaviour as a moderating factor for these relationships. Using time-lagged and multi-source data from 344 middle managers and their supervisors, we show that servant leadership has a positive indirect influence on two forms of learning ambidexterity: exploitative and explorative learning. In particular, servant leadership promotes structural empowerment (as a contextual resource), which in turn influences RBSE (as a personal resource) and encourages learning ambidexterity. In addition, we show that when leaders engage in boundary-spanning behaviour, these indirect relationships become more prominent. This research offers new theoretical and practical insights to assist organizations in improving learning ambidexterity and achieving higher levels of performance.