Professor Catherine Cassell

Professor Catherine Cassell

Department of Management
Dean of Birmingham Business School

Contact details

Birmingham Business School
University House
University of Birmingham
Birmingham, UK
B15 2TT

Professor Catherine Cassell is Dean of Birmingham Business School. Catherine is an internationally renowned researcher in the field of organisational psychology with a particular interest in qualitative research methodologies. She also researches in the area of diversity and organisational change. Her most recently completed  projects include a £659k ESRC funded grant looking at diversity and inclusion within a major high street retailer. A keen mentor of others, she has supervised 23 doctoral students to completion.

Catherine is a Fellow of the British Academy of Management; a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences; a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy; and an Academic Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. She has held a number of journal editorial roles including 9 years as an Associate Editor of the British Journal of Management and 10 years as Inaugural Co-Editor of Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: an international journal. She is on a number of other journal editorial advisory boards including the Academy of Management Learning and Education.

Catherine has published in a range of different journals including Organization StudiesBritish Journal of Management; International Journal of Management ReviewsHuman Relations; Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology; International Journal of Human Resource Management; Gender, Work and Organization and Academy of Management Learning and Education. She has also published 7 books on research methods included four on qualitative research methods co-edited with Gillian Symon and published with Sage.

Catherine is a member of the REF 2021 sub-panel no. 17 UOA Business and Management and has served as a member of AMBA, AACSB and EQUIS accreditation panels. She is also on the Advisory Boards of two international Business Schools.


  • PhD (The University of Sheffield) 1989
  • MA in Occupational Psychology, The University of Sheffield
  • BSc (Hons) in Social Psychology, The London School of Economics and Political Science


Before joining Birmingham Business School in September 2017, Catherine held a number of other academic leadership roles. She was Deputy Dean at Deputy Dean at Leeds University Business School (2014-2017). Previously she worked at Manchester Business School being Head of doctoral programmes; Head of People, Management and Organisations Division; and Deputy Director (Teaching and Learning). Before beginning her time at Leeds, she worked at the Management School at the University of Sheffield where she was Director of Research for a number of years.

Catherine has also had a number of roles within the British Academy of Management. She was Dean of the Fellows College in 2015 and Chair and Convenor of the British Academy of Management Special Interest Group in Research Methodology (2005 - 2011). Professor Cassell was also a founding member of the steering committee of the European Academy of Management’s Special Interest Group in Research Methods and Research Practice. Together with Gillian Symon she was inaugural co-Editor of 'Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: an international journal', and also served as Associate Editor of the British journal of Management for nine years. She is on the Editorial Advisory Boards of five other journals.


Catherine has research interests in the areas of change, learning and diversity at work. Moreover, she has a longstanding interest in research methodology and the use of qualitative methods in the business, organization and management field. This underpins all her research interests and outputs. Together with Professor Gillian Symon from Royal Holloway University of London, she has edited four books for Sage about the use of qualitative methods in organizational research and published numerous papers about the uses of qualitative research in the organizational psychology and management field more generally. Current projects focus upon the use of photographic methods to understand work-life conflict, diversity and change in the retail sector, and translation as a methodological issue. She published a solo authored text: Conducting interviews in business and management research published by Sage in 2015, and her most recent edited collection is the Sage Handbook of Qualitative Business and Management Research Methods, edited together with Ann Cunliffe and Gina Grandy.

Catherine has received over £1.6 million research income during her career including funding from the ESRC, EPSRC, British Academy and European Regional Development Fund. 


Recent journal articles

Cassell, C.M., Watson, K. Ford, J. and Kele, J. (2021)  Understanding inclusion in the retail industry: incorporating the majority perspective. Personnel Review (In Press)

Radcliffe, L. Cassell, C.M. and Malik, F. Providing, performing and protecting, single parent identities. (2021) British journal of Management (In Press)

Cassell, C.M. (2020). On imposters and impact: a comment on the triumph of nonsense. Commentary in Academy of Management Learning and Education  19 (2): 234-235.

Cassell, C.M., Radcliffe, L. and Malik, F. (2020). Understanding participant reflexivity. Organizational Research Methods. 23 (4).

Cassell, C.M. (2019). Challenges and conundrums: Teaching and learning from a UK Dean’s perspective. Journal of Management Education, 43(3): 311-317. 

Symon, G. Cassell, C.M. and Johnson, P. (2018) Evaluative processes of qualitative management research. International Journal of Management Reviews .20 (1) 134-154.  

Cassell, C & Bishop, V (2018) Qualitative data analysis: exploring themes, metaphors and stories European Management Review

Cassell, C.M. (2017). Pushed beyond my comfort zone: using qualitative research for the first time.  Academy of Management Learning and Education (In press).

Lee, B. and Cassell, C.M. (2017). Social accounting, democratic accountability and learning representative initiatives. Critical Perspectives on Accounting. 46: 24-37.

Cassell, C.M. and Lee, B. (2017). Translation Work: the evolving interpretation of a trade union idea. Organization Studies. 38(8): 1085-1106.

Symon, G. Cassell, C.M. and Johnson, P. (2016) Evaluative processes of qualitative management research. International Journal of Management Reviews .In Press.

Symon, G. and Cassell, C.M. (2016) Qualitative I/O Psychology: a view from Europe.   Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on science and practice. 9(4): 744-747.

Cassell, C.M. (2016). European qualitative research: a celebration of diversity and a cautionary tale. European Management Journal. 34 (5): 453-456.

Crozier, S and Cassell, C.M. (2016) Methodological considerations in the use of audio diaries in work psychology: adding to the qualitative toolkit. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology. 89 (2): 396- 419. 

Daverth, G., Hyde, P. And Cassell, C.M. (2016) Organizational culture and fairness decisions. International Journal of Human Resource Management. 12 (7): 1092-1106.

Daverth, G, Cassell, C.M. and Hyde, P. (2016) The subjectivity of fairness: the influence of embedded gender role beliefs in managerial decisions of fairness and justice. Gender Work and Organization 23 (6): 89-109.

Cassell, C.M. and Symon, G. (2015). Qualitative research in organizations and management ten years on. Qualitative research in organizations and management: an international journal. 10 (4): 302-306

Cassell, C.M. and Symon, G. (2015). Qualitative research: opportunities for researchers in the Baltic region. Baltic Journal of Management 10 (2): .

Radcliffe, L. and Cassell, C.M. (2015). Flexible working, work-family conflict and maternal gatekeeping: the experiences of dual-career couples. Journal of Occupational and organizational Psychology 88 (4): 835-855.

Radcliffe, L. And Cassell, C.M. (2014) Resolving work-family conflicts: the complexity of decision-making and the introduction of a new framework. Human Relations, 67 (7): 793-819.

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