Organizational Behaviour Research Group (OBRG) Seminar Series

The Organizational Behaviour Research Group hosts a range of seminars throughout the academic year

Lecture in the Business School theatre

The Organizational Behaviour - Research Group hosts a range of seminars throughout the academic year. The series is designed to increase the sharing of knowledge between staff, students, external partners and other academics.

Seminars are often based upon the current research activities of speakers and provide a forum in which ideas and research synergies can be discussed.

For students the series offers a great opportunity to keep up to date with the latest developments in the field or Organizational Behaviour.

If you would like to enquire about the series or have an idea for a session please email Jessica Sims on:

Next event:
The Team Member Mix Matters: But What Should We Do About it?'

Militza Callinan

5.00pm - 6.30pm, 22nd April - 1.44, Leeds Univeristy Business School, Maurice Keyworth Building

Abstract: Team membership is well established as a structural feature of team design that influences team behaviour and performance. And ‘who’ is in a team often seems to dominate individuals’ accounts of their personal experiences of team working. There is a large volume of scholarly research on team composition conducted from differing conceptual and empirical perspectives. However, limited conceptual integration together with apparent inconsistencies and contingencies in the complex set of empirical findings, mean that no credible evidence-based general principles or practical guidelines have emerged for composing a team to operate effectively in a specific setting to meet particular goals.

I will present findings from a field study of composition effects in group exercises within an assessment centre used for hiring decisions in a large UK public sector organization. Group exercises such as leaderless group discussions (LGDs) are widely used assessment tools in which temporary, ad hoc teams complete timed tasks for the purpose of evaluating individual members. Allocation of candidates to teams appears to be largely arbitrary but this study clearly shows that team personality composition and assessor ratings covary. In short, a person could receive more or less favourable ratings if assessed in a differently composed group, so ensuring fairness requires proactive management of assessment team allocations. Exploring the options for action in this particular team context naturally leads to an exploration of the wider consequences of team composition effects and the broader challenges of translating research into practice in this area.

Bio: Militza Callinan is a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, and a Lecturer in Organizational Behaviour and Human Resource Management at Leeds University Business School where she teaches on the Full-time and Executive MBA programmes. Previously she was Assistant Director of the SHL/UMIST Research Centre in Work and Organizational Psychology at Manchester School of Management.  Her core research interests relate to personality and its consequences, team-working, and self-identity and self-presentation. 

Future event:
British Psychology Society - Department of Organizational Psychology

British Psychological Society - Department of Organizational Psychology

6.30pm - 8.30pm, 6th May - 1.04, Leeds Univeristy Business School Maurice Keyworth Building

NPDWG Local Development and Networking Events 2015

We are thrilled to offer the opportunity to attend a free 2 hour interactive workshop. This workshop is aimed at students, academics and anyone interested in making the links between psychology and Corporate Responsibility.

The purpose of this workshop is:

  • to enable attendees to understand their role in Corporate Responsibility
  • to apply some psychological theories to Corporate Responsibility
  • to appreciate how some of these theories can be transferred to other change situations

The workshop will cover:

  • definitions of key terms
  • an outline of recent research into the importance and challenge of issues facing Corporate Responsibility professionals
  • individual and group exercises based on the 6 E's model

Speaker: Dr Jan Maskell MBPsS MCIPD AIEMA

Jan is the convenor of the Going Green Working Group, within the British Psychological Society's Divisional of Occupational Psychology. The Going Green Working Group have been focusing on how the science and practice of Occupational Psychology is applied to Corporate Responsibility.

During the event we will be keen to hear your thoughts on the topic, as well as to have some lively and interesting debate about the role our profession can play in corporate responsibility, so please come armed with questions and ideas for discussion!

Any queries should be sent to with DOP NPDWG May 2015 in the subject line.

'The 'Missing Women' in Higher Education Leadership'

Paula Burkinshaw

5.00pm – 6.30pm, 3rd June – 1.44, Leeds Univerisity Business School Maurice Keyworth Building

Paula is a senior researcher in the Organizational Behaviour Group having joined Leeds University Business School through Leeds University Centre for Interdisciplinary Leadership in 2013 early in its foundation. Before this time Paula enjoyed a career in leadership development, predominately in the public sector and latterly within higher education.  Paula’s research interests are around gendered and gendering leadership cultures, across higher education and beyond. Paula’s PhD thesis explored the ‘missing women’ at the top of Higher Education, in particular why there are so few women vice chancellors, and set this within the context of the ‘missing women’ at the top across UK society. Paula is currently developing a major research study with the White Rose consortium of universities around the under representation of women in the professoriate. Paula is also part of a research team developing an international corporate retail sector project on leadership diversity, inclusion and intersectionality having been one of the researchers on a fascinating exploratory study with a major UK based retail organization. Simultaneously Paula has been the researcher on a project around improving gender equality in the School of Medicine at the university.

The aim of this seminar presentation is twofold: to propose a theoretical framework underpinning the gendered academy (Hearn, 2001) whereby higher education leadership communities of practice of masculinities influence the learning and doing of leadership; and to explore this framework using data which was generated through interviews with women vice chancellors.

This seminar presentation uncovers some of the silences (Morley, 2005)  and absences (Morley, 2013) in the gendered academy possibly owing to higher education leadership communities of practice of masculinities, with data from research participants suggesting that these silences and absences are embedded and go unchallenged. Apparently, academics dislike the ‘macho, boys-club’ style of management teams so why is it that the people who dislike this behaviour do not challenge it - women who are assertive and challenging inevitably risk being labelled ‘trouble makers’, but why is it that men who find these types of leadership styles unacceptable do not challenge them either (Bagilhole and White, 2011)? The theoretical framework helps illuminate this conundrum, for these leadership communities do not include men per se, nor are all women excluded. Instead, maybe these communities prevail because they endorse and reward certain types of masculinities. Perhaps people (whether women or men) not ‘fitting in’ to higher education leadership communities of practice of masculinities where women (and men) embrace masculine models of mutual engagement, joint enterprise, and  shared repertoire of performances are excluded and at best remain in ‘legitimate peripheral participation’ (Wenger, 1998).

BAGILHOLE, B. & WHITE, K. 2011. Gender, power and management [electronic resource] : A cross-cultural analysis of higher education, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.

HEARN, J. 2001. Academia, Management and Men: Making the Connections, Exploring the Implications. In: BROOKS, A. M., A (ed.) Gender and the Restructured University: changing management and culture in higher education Buckingham: Society for Research into Higher Education and Open University.

MORLEY, L. 2005. Sounds, silences and contradictions: Gender equity in British commonwealth higher education. Australian Feminist Studies, 20, 109-119.

MORLEY, L. 2013. Women and higher education leadership: absences and aspirations. LFHE. London.

WENGER, E. 1998. Communities of practice : learning, meaning, and identity, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.