Dr Shahla Ghobadi

Dr Shahla Ghobadi


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 take advantage of knowledge assets to create innovative products and foster social change. 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 Enterprise 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. My research studies are published in leading outlets such as Journal of Management Information Systems (JMIS), Information Systems Journal (ISJ), Journal of Strategic Information Systems (JSIS), Information and Organization, Information & Management, Information Systems Frontiers, Behaviour & Information Technology, Information Processing & Management, Journal of Knowledge Management, and Journal of Systems and Software. I have received multiple competitive awards from recognised bodies such as the British Academy (2017), Australian Government (2014), and Australian School of Business (2008-2011).Prior to joining academia, I spent seven years working in international automobile, eScience, and software industries as a consultant and project manager. I worked 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 organisational change. My research can be further accessed at Google Scholar and Researchgate. I write also for The Conversation and actively engage with media in the areas of my expertise. 


  • Business School Academic Lead for Inclusive Practices

Research interests

My research focuses on two streams: (1) software development and (2) social activism using the Internet (online activism). In the first stream, I examine how software organisations manage the human and social aspects of software development to build high-quality software applications. My research questions in this stream include three key areas: the people who build software (emerging generations and software renewal), the way people collaborate to build software (coopetition and knowledge sharing, agile development, software platforms, user participation, open innovation), and the organisational aspects of software organizations (e.g., business model change, innovation). In the second stream, I explore the long-term consequences of social activism using the Internet. My research examines how social activists use social media technology to get powerful organisations to collaborate with them for social change and offers strategies for using online activism to develop potent social change. I specialise in utilising in-depth, inductive field studies to reveal novel, hidden, and nuanced processes in my research inquiries. 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.  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.


I am interested in supervising PhD students who are keen to conduct research on one of these areas: (1) the human and social aspects of developing software products such as social networking, games, mobile apps, open source systems, (2) the use of the Internet and political activism for fostering social change. 

If you wish to discuss opportunities in these areas, please take a look into my research areas and the types of publications. Please send me an email that explains your motivation and a 2-page research proposal. 


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

Professional memberships

  • Association for Information Systems
  • Academy of Management

Student education

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.

Research groups and institutes

  • Adaptation Information Management and Technology