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Our People

Professor David Greatbatch




David is a sociologist who was educated at Warwick University (BA and Ph.D). He has been a Visiting Professor in Durham University Business School since 2005. He has previously held positions at the Universities of Nottingham, Oxford, London and Warwick, and the Xerox Research Laboratory in Cambridge. 

David's specialises in studies of social interaction in organisational settings, drawing on conversation analysis and ethnomethodology. He has undertaken research in a wide variety of contexts including, management consultancy, live corporate events, broadcast journalism, general practice and telemedicine. These projects have been funded by ESRC, the Wellcome Trust and industry bodies. Over the last twenty years he has undertaken a series of studies of the presentation and public speaking techniques used by leading management speakers, corporate executives, politicians and others to communicate ideas and information, visions, goals and strategies to a diverse array of audiences. The findings from these programmes of research have resulted in a number of influential publications, including Management Speak: Why We Listen to What Management Gurus Tell Us  (with Timothy Clark).

Alongside his academic activities, he acts as an independent research and evaluation consultant specialising in the fields of education and training, skills and learning, and communication. He has undertaken projects for a wide range of organisations in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, including: the Department for Education, the Department of Health, the Department for International Development, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, the Welsh Government, the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, the Welcome Trust, the South West Regional Skills Partnership, the Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education, the Council of Deans of Health, the National Higher Education STEM Programme, the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, the Skills Funding Agency, the Economic and Social Research Council, YMCA Training and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Research Interests

  • Oratory and Rhetoric
  • Educational policy, leadership and governance in higher education
  • Programme Evaluation
  • Organizational and managerial communication
  • Social interaction in organizational settings

Research Groups


    Authored book

  • Greatbatch, D. & Clark, C. (2017). Conversation Analysis for Business and Management Students. London: Sage.
  • Greatbatch, D. & Clark, T. (2005). Management speak: why we listen to what management gurus tell us.. London: Routledge.
  • Chapter in book

  • Greatbatch, D. & Clark, T. (2012). Conversation analysis in management research. In The Practice of Qualitative Organisational Research: Core Methods and Current Challenges. Symon, G. & Cassell, C. London: Sage.
  • Clark, T., Bhatanacharoen, P. & Greatbatch, D. (2012). Management gurus as celebrity consultants. . In The Oxford Handbook of Management Consulting. Kipping, M. & Clark, T. Oxford Oxford University Press. 347-364.
  • Greatbatch, D. & Clark, T. (2010). The situated production of stories.. In Organisation, Interaction and Practice: Studies of Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis. Llewellyn, N. & Hindmarsh, J. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 96-118.
  • Greatbatch, D. (2009). Conversation Analysis in Organizational Research: Methods and Approaches. In Handbook of Organisational Research Methods. Buchanan, D. & Bryman, A. Sage. 484-499.
  • Greatbatch, D. (2008). A Turn-Taking System for British News Interviews. In Methods in Language and Social Interaction (Volume 2: Ethnography, Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis). Hutchby, I. London: Sage Publications. 2.
  • Clark, T. & Greatbatch, D. (2007). Management fashion as image-spectacle: The production of management best-selling books. In The Aesthetic Turn in Management. Minahan, S. & Cox, J. W. Aldershot: Ashgate.
  • Greatbatch, D. (2006). Prescriptions and Prescribing: Coordinating Talk-and Text-Based Activities. In Practicing Medicine: Structure and Process in Primary Care Encounters. Heritage, J. & Maynard, D. Cambridge University Press. 313-339.
  • Greatbatch, D., Hanlon, G., Goode, J., O’Cathain, A., Strangleman, T. & Luff, D. (2006). Telephone triage, expert systems and clinical expertise. In The Social Organization of Healthcare Work. Allen, D. & Pilnick, A. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. 115-142.
  • Greatbatch, D. & Dingwall, R. (2005). Selective facilitation: Some preliminary observations on a strategy used by divorce mediators. In Dispute Resolution: Beyond the Adversarial Model. Menkel-Meadow, C., Porter Love, L., Kupfer Schneider, A. & Sternlight, J. New York: Aspen Publishers.
  • Clark, T. & Greatbatch, D. (2002). Whose Idea is it Anyway? Collaborative Relationships in the Creation of Management Guru Ideas. In Management Consulting: Emergence and Dynamics of a Knowledge Industry. Kipping, M. Oxford University Press. 129-145.
  • Greatbatch, D. & Dingwall, R. (2001). Selective facilitation: Some preliminary observations on a strategy used by divorce mediators. In Mediation: Theory, Policy and Practice. Menkel-Meadow, C. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, Limited.
  • Clark, T. & Greatbatch, D. (2001). Knowledge Legitimation and Audience Affiliation Through Story Telling. In Critical Consulting. Clark, T. & Fincham, R. Blackwell. 152-171.
  • Greatbatch, D. & Dingwall, R. (1999). Professional neutralism in divorce mediation. In Talk, Work and Institutional Order: Discourse in Medical, Mediation and Management Settings. Sarangi, S. & Roberts, C. Berlin: Mouton.
  • Greatbatch, D. (1998). Conversation analysis: neutralism in the British news interview. In Approaches to Media Discourse. Garrett, P. & Bell, A. Oxford: Blackwell. 63-185.
  • Greatbatch, D. & Dingwall, R. (1998). Talk and identity in divorce mediation. In Identities in Talk. Antaki, C. & Widdicombe, S. Sage. 121-132.
  • Dingwall, R. & Greatbatch, D. (1997). What is mediation an alternative to? In Proceedings of Families et Justice. Meulders-Klein, M.T. Paris: Bruylant, Brussels/Librarie Generale de Droit et Jurisprudence. 452-461.
  • Greatbatch, D., Heath, C.C., Luff, P. & Campion, P. (1995). Conversation analysis: human-computer interaction and the general practice consultation. In Perspectives on Human-Computer Interaction. Monk, A. & Gilbert, N. London: Academic Press.
  • Greatbatch, D. & Dingwall, R. (1994). New Directions in Mediation: Communication Research and Perspectives. In New Directions in Mediation: Communication Research and Perspectives. Folger, J. & Jones, T. Newbury Park: Sage. 84-109.
  • Luff, P., Heath, C.C. & Greatbatch, D. (1994). Work, interaction and technology: the naturalistic analysis of human conduct and requirements analysis. In Requirements Engineering: Social and Technical Issues. Jirotka, M. & Goguen, J. London: Academic Press. 259-288.
  • Heritage, J.C. & Greatbatch, D. (1993). On the institutional character of institutional talk: The case of news interviews. In Talk and Social Structure: Studies in Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis. Boden, D. & Zimmerman, D.H. Cambridge: Polity Press. 93-137.
  • Greatbatch, D. (1992). On the management of disagreement between news interviewees. In Talk at Work: Interaction in Institutional Settings. Drew, P. & Heritage, J.C. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 268-301.
  • Journal Article

  • Zolfaghari, B., Möllering, G., Clark, T. & Dietz, G. (2016). How do we adopt multiple cultural identities? A multidimensional operationalization of the sources of culture. European Management Journal 34(2): 102-113.
  • Clark, T. & Greatbatch, D. (2011). Audience perceptions of charismatic and non-charismatic oratory: The case of management gurus.. The Leadership Quarterly 22(1): 22-32.
  • Hanlon, G., Goode, J., Greatbatch, D., Luff, D., O'Cathain, A. & Strangleman, T. (2006). Risk society and the NHS: from the traditional to the new citizen? Critical Perspectives on Accounting 17(2-3): 270-282.
  • O’Cathain, A., Goode, J., Luff, D., Strangleman, T., Hanlon, G. & Greatbatch, D. (2005). Does NHS Direct empower patients? Social Science & Medicine 61(8): 1761-1771.
  • Goode, J. & Greatbatch, D. (2005). Boundary Work: The Production and Consumption of Health Information and Advice Within Service Interactions Between Staff and Callers to NHS Direct. Journal of Consumer Culture 5(3): 315-337.
  • Hanlon, G., Strangleman, T., Goode, J., Luff, D., O'Cathain, A. & Greatbatch, D. (2005). Knowledge, technology and nursing: The case of NHS Direct.. Human Relations 58(2): 147-171.
  • Greatbatch, D., Hanlon, G., Goode, J., O'Cathain, A., Strangleman, T. & Luff, D. (2005). Telephone triage, expert systems and clinical expertise. Sociology of Health and Illness 27(6): 802-830.
  • Clark, T. & Greatbatch, D. (2004). Management fashion as image-spectacle: The production of best-selling management books.. Management Communication Quarterly 17(3): 396-424.
  • Goode, J., Hanlon, G., Duff, D., O’Cathain, A. & Greatbatch, D. (2004). Male callers to NHS Direct: The assertive carer, the new dad and the reluctant patient. Health 8(3): 311-328.
  • Goode, J., Greatbatch, D., O’Cathain, A., Luff, D., Hanlon, G. & Strangleman, T. (2004). Risk and the Responsible Health Consumer: The Problematics of Entitlement Among Callers to NHS Direct. Critical Social Policy 24(2): 210-232.
  • Greatbatch, D. & Clark, T. (2003). Displaying group cohesiveness: humour and laughter in the public lectures of management gurus.. Human Relations 56(12): 1515-1544.
  • Greatbatch, D. & Clark, T. (2002). Laughing With the Gurus. Business Strategy Review 13(3): 10-18.
  • Dingwall, R. & Greatbatch, D. (2001). Family mediators: What are they doing? Family Law 31(April): 378-382.
  • Greatbatch, D., Murphy, E. & Dingwall, R. (2001). Evaluating Medical Information Systems: Ethnomethodological and Interactionist Perspectives. Health Services Management Research 14: 181-191.
  • Greatbatch, D. & Dingwall, R. (1999). The marginalisation of violence in divorce mediation. International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family 13(2): 174-189.
  • Dingwall, R., Murphy, E., Watson, P., Greatbatch, D. & Parker S. (1998). Catching Goldfish: Quality in qualitative research. Journal of Health Services Research and Policy 3(3): 167-172.
  • Murphy, E., Dingwall, R., Greatbatch, D., Parker, S. & Watson, P. (1998). Qualitative research methods in health technology assessment: a review of the literature. Health Technology Assessment 2(16).
  • Dingwall, R. & Greatbatch, D. (1998). Talk and gender in divorce mediation. Mediation Quarterly 15(4): 277-285.
  • Greatbatch, D. & Dingwall, R. (1997). Argumentative talk in divorce mediation sessions. American Sociological Review 62(1): 151-170.
  • Greatbatch, D., Heath, C.C., Campion, P. & Luff, P. (1995). How do desk-top computers affect the doctor-patient interaction? Family Practice 12(1): 32-36.
  • Dingwall, R. & Greatbatch, D. (1995). Family mediation researchers and practitioners in the shadow of the Green Paper: A rejoinder to Marion Roberts. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law 17(2): 199-206.
  • Greatbatch, D., Luff, P., Heath, C. & Campion, P. (1993). Interpersonal communication and human-computer interaction: An examination of the use of computers in medical consultations. Interacting with Computers 5(2): 193-216.
  • Dingwall, R. & Greatbatch, D. (1993). Who is in charge? Rhetoric and evidence in the study of mediation. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law 15(6): 367-385.
  • James, A.L., Hay, W., Greatbatch, D. & Walker, C. (1992). The welfare officer as expert?– Reporting for the courts. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law 14(5): 398-410.
  • Dingwall, R. & Greatbatch, D. (1991). Behind closed doors: A Preliminary Report on Mediator/Client Interaction in England. Family Court Review 29(3): 291-303.
  • Greatbatch, D. & Dingwall, R. (1989). Selective facilitation: Some preliminary observations on a strategy used by divorce mediators. Law and Society Review 23(4): 613-641.
  • Greatbatch, D. (1988). A turn-taking system for British news interviews. Language in Society 17(03): 401-430.
  • Greatbatch, D. (1986). Aspects of topical organisation in news interviews: The use of agenda shifting procedures by interviewees. Media, Culture & Society 8(4): 441-445.
  • Heritage, J.C. & Greatbatch, D. (1986). Generating Applause: A Study of Rhetoric and Response at Party Political Conferences. American Journal of Sociology 92(1): 110-157.
  • Newspaper/Magazine Article

  • Clark, T., Bhatanachareon, P. & Greatbatch, D. (2014). Manufacturing management celebrity. Discover Society 5.
  • Clark, T., Greatbatch, D. & Bhatanacharoen, P. (2013). Consulting, Gurus and Big Ideas. . Mercury Spring/Summer(4): 22-27.
  • Report

  • Greatbatch D., Tate, S., Keddie, V. & Berry-Lound, D. (2016). Rapid review of higher technical and professional education. Coventry: Skills Funding Agency.
  • Greatbatch, D. (2016). A False Economy: Cuts to Continuing Professional Development Funding for Nursing, Midwifery and the Allied Health Professions in England. London, Council of Deans of Health.
  • Berry-Lound, D., Tate, S. & Greatbatch, D. (2016). Social work teaching partnership programme pilots: evaluation. London: Department for Education.
  • Greatbatch, D. & Holland, J. (2016). Teaching quality in higher education. London: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
  • Greatbatch, D. (2015). Governors’ views of their institutions, leadership and governance: Higher Education Leadership and Management Survey (HELMs). London: Leadership Foundation for Higher Education.
  • Greatbatch, D. (2014). Governance in a Changing Environment: Literature Review. London: Leadership Foundation for Higher Education.
  • Tolley, H., Greatbatch, D. & Mackenzie, H. (2013). Investigating Longer-Term Curriculum Change and Institutional Impact Within Higher Education. Birmingham University: STEM education Centre.
  • Chatwin, S., Fenlon, A., Grant,
 L., Greatbatch, D., Grove, M., Spicer, S. & Tolley, H. (2012). Evaluating Your HE STEM Project. University of Birmingham.
  • Tolley, H. & Greatbatch, D. (2010). Leading Functional Skills in a Diploma Consortium Context. Learning and Skills Improvement Service.
  • Tolley, H. & Greatbatch, D. (2010). Functional Skills English: Speaking, Listening and Communication. Learning and Skills Improvement Service.
  • Greatbatch, D. & Tolley, H. (2010). Functional Skills in Work-based Learning. Learning and Skills Improvement Service.
  • Greatbatch, D. & Tolley, H. (2009). Functional Skills (ICT) in Secure Estates, Learning and Skills Improvement Service. Learning and Skills Improvement Service.
  • Hamer, J., Tolley, H. & Greatbatch, D. (2006). An Integrated Approach to Teaching Key Skills in Construction: A Case Study. London: Learning and Skills Network.
  • Tolley, H., Greatbatch, D. & Hamer, J. (2006). An Integrated Approach to Teaching Key Skills in Business Studies and Information Communication Technology: Case Studies. London: Learning Skills Network.
  • Tolley, T., Greatbatch, D., Bolton, J. & Warmington, P. (2003). Improving Occupational Learning: The Validity and Transferability of NVQs. Department for Education and Skills.
  • Davis, G., Bevan, G., Clisby, S., Cumming, Z., Dingwall, R., Fenn, P., Finch, S., Fitzgerald, R., Goldie, S., Greatbatch, D., James, A. & Pearce, J. (2000). Monitoring Publicly Funded Mediation: Report to the Legal Services Commission. London: Legal Services Commission.
  • Murphy, E., Dingwall, R., Greatbatch, D., Parker, S. & Watson, P. (1997). Qualitative Research Methods in Health Technology Assessment: A Commissioners Guide. National Health Service Executive.
  • James, A.L., Hay, W., Greatbatch, D. & Walker, C. (1992). Court Welfare Work: Research, Practice and Development. University of Hull: Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice.
  • Greatbatch, D. (1992). System Use and Interpersonal Communication in the General Practice Consultation: Preliminary Observations. Cambridge: Rank Xerox Limited.

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