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Our People

Professor Michael Humphreys

Professor of Organisation Studies

Michael’s current research interests include: studies of organizational identity, narrative and change, innovation and improvisation in teams, public sector management, storytelling and sensemaking and qualitative research methodology. He is also exploring links between music, particularly jazz, and the management of organizations.


Michael graduated in Chemical Engineering in 1970 from Leeds University and subsequently went to work for the National Coal Board. He moved into further education in 1974 teaching chemistry in Shipley and Harrogate colleges before taking up a post in Science Education at Bolton Institute of Higher Education. Over the next 16 years as a teacher trainer he worked on technical education projects in Egypt, Turkey, El Salvador and Tanzania completing a PhD by part time study in 1999.

An awakened interest in management research and publication led to a lectureship at Nottingham University in 2001. Progressing through Senior Lecturer and Reader he was appointed as Chair in Organisation Studies in 2007.

Michael’s current research interests include: studies of organisational identity, narrative and change, innovation and improvisation in teams, public sector management, storytelling and sensemaking and qualitative research methodology. He is also exploring links between music, particularly jazz, and the management of organisations.

Research Interests

  • Empirical studies of organizational identity and change
  • Public sector management
  • Research methodology including autoethnographic and reflexive approaches to organizational analysis

Research Groups


    Chapter in book

  • Learmonth, M. & Humphreys, M. (2016). Autoethnographic vignettes in HRM. In Qualitative research methods in HRM: innovative approaches. Townsend, K., Lewin, D. & Loudoun, R. London: Edward Elgar. 205-217.
  • Learmonth, M., Humphreys, M. & Griffin, M. (2016). Doing management education with Free jazz and Derrida. In The Routledge companion to reinventing management education. Beyes, T., Parker, M. & Stayaert C. Abingdon: Routledge. 178-190.
  • Moufahim, M. & Humphreys, M. (2015). Marketing an Extremist Ideology: the Vlaams Belang’s nationalist discourse.. In The Routledge Companion to Ethics, Politics and Organizations. Pullen, A. & Rhodes, C. Routledge. 85-100.
  • Learmonth, M. & Humphreys, M. (2012). Teaching qualitative research in the business school. In The practice of qualitative organizational research: core methods and current challenges. Cassell, C. & Symon, G. London: Sage. 224-236.
  • Humphreys, M. & Learmonth, M. (2012). Autoethnography in organizational research: two tales of two cities. In The practice of qualitative organizational research: core methods and current challenges. Cassell, C. & Symon, G. London: Sage. 314-330.
  • Moufahim, M. & Humphreys, M. (2011). Marketing and Identity. The Vlaams Belang against Turkish Admission to the EU. In Political Marketing & Cultural Issues and Current Trends. Newman, B., Gouliamos, K. & Hennenberg, S. Boston: Haworth Press.
  • Journal Article

  • Anastasiadis, Stephanos, Moon, Jeremy & Humphreys, Michael (2018). Lobbying and the responsible firm: Agenda-setting for a freshly conceptualized field. Business Ethics: A European Review 27(3): 207-221.
  • Hirst, A. & Humphreys, M. (2015). Configuring bureaucracy and the Making of the Modular Man. Organization Studies 36(11): 1531-1553.
  • Moufahim, M., Reedy, P. & Humphreys, M. (2015). The Vlaams Belang: The Rhetoric of Organizational Identity.. Organization Studies 26(1): 91-111.
  • Vigneau, L., Humphreys, M. & Moon, J. (2015). How do firms comply with international sustainability standards? Processes and consequences of adopting the global reporting initiative.. Journal of Business Ethics 131(2): 469-486.
  • Griffin, M., Humphreys, M. & Learmonth, M. (2015). Doing Free Jazz and Free Organizations, "A Certain Experience of the Impossible"? Ornette Coleman Encounters Jacques Derrida. Journal of Management Inquiry 24(1): 25-35.
  • Hirst, A. & Humphreys, M. (2013). Putting power in its place the centrality of edgelands. . Organization Studies 34(10): 1505-1527.
  • Humphreys, M., Ucbasaran, D. & Lockett, A. (2012). Sensemaking and Sensegiving Stories of Jazz Leadership. Human Relations 65(1): 41-62.
  • Learmonth, M. & Humphreys, M. (2012). Autoethnography and academic identity: glimpsing business school doppelgangers.. Organization 19(1): 99-117.
  • Learmonth, M. & Humphreys, M. (2011). Blind spots in Dutton, Roberts and Bednar’s “Pathways for positive identity construction at work” “You've got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative".. Academy of Management Review 36(2): 424-427.
  • Currie, G., Humphreys, M., Waring, J. & Rowley, E. (2009). Narratives of Professional Regulation and Patient Safety: The Case of Medical Devices in Anaesthesia. Health, Risk & Society 11(2): 117-135.
  • Humphreys, M. & Brown, A.D (2008). An Analysis of Corporate Social Responsibility at Credit Line: A Narrative Approach. Journal of Business Ethics 80(3): 403-418.
  • Currie, G., Humphreys, M., Ucbasaran, D. & McManus, S. (2008). Entrepreneurial Leadership in the English Public Sector: Paradox or Possibility? Public Administration 86(4): 987-1008.
  • Coupland, C., Brown, A.D., Daniels, K & Humphreys, M. (2008). Saying it with feeling: Analysing speakable emotions. Human Relations 61(3): 327-353.
  • Moufahim, M., Humphreys, M., Mitussis, D. & Fitchett, J. (2007). Interpreting Discourse: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Marketing of an Extreme Right Party. Journal of Marketing Management 23(5-6): 539-558.
  • Humphreys, M. & Hoque, K. (2007). Have Lecturers Lost their Voice? Involvement and Participation in the Devolved Further Education Sector. The International Journal of Human Resource Management 18(7): 1199-1213.
  • Brown, A.D. & Humphreys, M. (2006). Organizational Identity and Place: A discursive Exploration of Hegemony and Resistance. Journal of Management Studies 43(2): 231-257.
  • Humphreys, M. (2006). Teaching Qualitative Research Methods: I'm Beginning to See the Light. Qualitative Research in Organization and Management 1(3): 173-188.
  • Gurney, P. & Humphreys, M. (2006). Consuming Responsibility: The search for value at Laskarina Holidays. . Journal of Business Ethics 64(1): 83-100.
  • Learmonth, M. & Humphreys, M. (2006). The 2nd International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry: Reflections on the Value for Organization and Management Scholars. Qualitative Research in Organization and Management 1(2): 135-137.
  • Humphreys, M. (2005). Getting Personal: Reflexivity in Autoethographic Vignettes. Qualitative Inquiry 11(6): 840-860.
  • Brown, A.D., Humphreys, M. & Gurney, P. (2005). Narrative, Identity and Change: A Case Study of Laskarina Holidays. Journal of Organizational Change Management 18(4): 312-326.
  • Hoque, K., Davis, S. & Humphreys, M. (2004). Freedom to do what you are told: senior management team autonomy in an acute NHS Trust. Public Administration 82(2): 355-375.
  • Brown, A.D. & Humphreys, M. (2003). Epic and tragic tales Making sense of change. Journal of Applied Behavioural Science 39(2): 121-144.
  • Humphreys, M. & Brown, A.D. (2002). Narratives of Organizational Identity and Identification: A Case Study of Hegemony and Resistance. Organization Studies 23: 421-447.
  • Brown, A.D. & Humphreys, M. (2002). Nostalgia and the Narrativization of Identity: A Turkish Case. British Journal of Management 13(2): 141-159.
  • Humphreys, M. & Hyland, T. (2002). Theory and Performance in Teaching. Educational Studies 28(1): 5-15.
  • Humphreys, M. & Brown, A.D. (2002). Dress and Identity: A Turkish Case Study. Journal of Management Studies 39(7): 927-952.

Contact Details

Professor of Organisation Studies