Dr Shahla Ghobadi

Dr Shahla Ghobadi

Profile

I am an Associate Professor of Information Management and Business School Academic Lead for Inclusive Practices at The University of Leeds. I study how software organisations manage the human and social aspects of developing software to create innovative and impactful products. I also explore the implications and impacts of using software and networking applications for social activism that challenges powerful organisations to change. My research usually employs in-depth, qualitative studies to reveal novel, hidden, and nuanced meaning in empirical data. I have published in leading journals such as Journal of Management Information Systems, Information Systems Journal, Journal of Strategic Information Systems, Information and Organization, Information & Management, Information Systems Frontiers, Behaviour & Information Technology, Information Processing & Management, and Journal of Systems and Software. Additionally, I serve as an Associate Editor at the Information Systems Journal and on the review panel of other leading journals. For my research, I have received competitive awards from recognised bodies such as the British Academy (2017), Australian Government (2014), and Australian School of Business (2008-2011). My research can be accessed at Google Scholar and Researchgate. I write also for The Conversation and engage with media in the areas of my expertise. 

I completed Ph.D. in Information Systems from the University of New South Wales, with a background in IT Management and Industrial Engineering. I was a Visiting Scholar at J.Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University in 2014. From 2015 to 2019, I was an Assistant Professor of Information Systems at the University of Manchester, where I received Social Responsibility Award in Curriculum at the Faculty of Humanities in 2016, followed by a Making a Difference Commended award in 2017. Prior to joining academia, I worked in international automobile, eScience, and software industries as a consultant and project manager. I engaged with executives and scientists in a range of industries and advised startups in the fields of mobile apps and online services. Industry has inspired and significantly enriched my research on collaboration in software organisations and social change. 

Qualifications

  • PhD, Information Systems 
  • MSc, IT Management
  • BEng, Industrial Engineering

Research

Software is all around us, from social media and networking platforms to enterprise software to mobile apps to video games
My research studies software from two angles: 

1. I examine how software organisations manage the human and social aspects of development to build more innovative and impactful software products. I study questions that cover three key areas:

2. I examine how activists and social movement organisations leverage social software and their networking platforms to put persistent pressure on target organisations and elicit their concessions and committment to change. My research explores the long-term processes of online activism and discusses the prevalence of digital divide in the society. 

3. Very recently, I have pursued a third research stream that examines how strategic signalling by professional organisations in academia influences the evolution of academic fields.  

Supervision

I am always interested to work with PhD students as well as postdocs who are excited about research. My goal as a research advisor is to train students to produce rigorous, relevant, and innovative research and encourage them to become exemplary researchers. There are various opportunities to dive into projects that advance the literature on both online activism and the human and social aspects of developing software. If you think of working with me (thank you for your interest!), please read the following information before sending me an email:

Please send me a CV and a 3-page research proposal (excluding references). Your proposal should elaborate the research question you are asking. The research question should describe how it will advance the larger body of knowledge, as well as the connection to your academic ambitions and personal goals. Don’t be overly technical—aim for clarity and explain the phenomenon of your interest with relevant examples. Aim for helping me feel confident that you are a good fit and that your research question connects to the areas of my research  expertise.

Responsibilities

  • Business School Academic Lead for Inclusive Practices

Professional memberships

  • Association for Information Systems
  • Academy of Management

Student education

I presently teach Module Managing Digital Information Projects. Since 2008, I have designed, implemented, and taught courses at the intersection of organisations and new technology at undergraduate, postgraduate and executive levels. My course development is based on research and contemporary industrial examples to cultivate students' critical thinking, creativity, and practicality in tackling business problems. In 2006, I wrote a book on system dynamics in Farsi. Published by a premier local management publisher, the book has helped a wide range of professionals and students to apply system thinking and modelling in research and profession.

Research groups and institutes

  • Adaptation Information Management and Technology