Work and Organisation

A multi-disciplinary department researching the world of work and organisations with high impact for industry engagement and policy development.


Our world-leading research addresses challenges relating to the future of work and organisations. Funded by the ESRC, the British Academy, Horizon 2020 AND IDRC, it is recognised for its impact among academics, practioners, and policymakers.

Aston's international reputation as a research-led business school owes much to the pioneering works conducted by the Work and Organisation department in the 1960s and ‘70s in the area of Work Psychology – particularly on organisational structures, climates and performance. This work carried on into the new millennia, with a focus on teams and team processes.

We embrace this tradition and continue to expand our world- leading excellence to undertake influential, multi-disciplinary research that supports the creation and implementation of new ideas and promotes ethical and inclusive leadership. We capture this work through the Work and Organisation Research Group – all WON colleagues belong to it. We are exploring the relevance of the notion of an ‘open organisation’, which asks organisations to be highly collaborative in their working environments, to reach optimal decisions and innovate. Our case studies give illustrative examples.

We are committed to advancing debates that address local, national, and global policy challenges – whether they be economic, social or environmental. We work collaboratively with partners in the industry as well as public sector and civil society, using various forms of data selection and analysis to explore the transformations in the world of work in emerging as well as developed economies.

Leadership and Innovation

We aim to understand and advance research on:

  • How leadership can enhance micro-level social responsibility within an organisation
  • The relationship between stressors, leadership, and other resources in predicting employees’ mental health, wellbeing, creativity, and performance
  • The ways in which leaders can stimulate creativity and innovation in organisations by displaying verbal and nonverbal behaviours
  • How processes across the work-home interface can promote or inhibit the display of creativity in organisations
  • Evidence-based coaching and team coaching as a means to facilitate product, service, and process innovation in organisations with diverse teams
  • Gender, careers and leadership
  • Entrepreneurial learning, development and innovation.
International and Strategic HRM

We develop knowledge on:

  • Expatriation
  • Employee-employer relations
  • Individual and organisational career management
  • Productivity and employee engagement in SMEs and the public sector
  • AI and HRM.
Diversity, Inclusion and Meaningful work

We explore and contribute to debates on:

  • The work experiences of diverse employees and entrepreneurs
  • Processes and practices of managing diversity at work 
  • Inclusive workplaces, enterprises and institutions
  • How people reflect upon and make sense of what is meaningful to them in their day-to-day work experiences
  • The labour strategies that employees use to ‘fake’ or ‘force’ a sense that their work is meaningful.
CSR, ethics and sustainability

We research:

  • The emergence of responsibility and how social responsibility can flourish within an organisation.
  • The potential for the private sector’s contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 
  • The new requirements for CSR, ethics and sustainability, and how these can be strategically integrated into value chains
  • Spontaneous volunteers and how they are managed by public emergency managers in a crisis 
  • Philosophy and ethics.
Partner organisations

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People and Publications

A departmental overview (including people and publications) can be accessed on Aston Research Explorer.