Professor Paula Hyde

Professor Paula Hyde

Department of Management
Professor of Organisation Studies

Contact details

Birmingham Business School
University House
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Paula Hyde is Professor of Organisation Studies at Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham and holds a visiting position at Macquarie University, New South Wales, Australia. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.

Paula is one of the leading figures in the field of organisation studies in health and social care both nationally and internationally. Her standing in the field is well established and widely acknowledged both through extensive engagement with public and policy audiences and through regular engagement with the academic community worldwide. Her early work conceiving of systems of care of older people as a wicked problem and her interdisciplinary work examining where the money goes in residential care  has had a considerable impact on the field of study.

Paula pioneered the advancement of research methodology in the field of health organisation studies by developing participatory research with older people in residential care, ethnographic research with health managers and interdisciplinary research examining where the money goes in residential care for older people.

Paula is series editor for the Palgrave Macmillan monograph series on Organisational Behaviour in Healthcare. She recently published refereed articles in journals such as; Gender, Work and Organization, Human Relations, Human Resource Management, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, International Journal of Human Resource Management, Journal of Social Policy, Management Learning, Organization Studies, Work, Employment and Society. She has also published 5 books on health care management, organisation and delivery.


PhD (University of Manchester) 2003

MBA (University of Manchester) 1997

BSc (Hons) (University of Salford) 1994

State Registered Occupational Therapist (Dorset House, Oxford) 1985


Before joining Birmingham Business School in September 2018, Paula was professor of organisations and society at the University of Manchester and Director of the Health Services Research Centre. She also held academic positions at Durham University Business School, Durham University and the Faculty of Health, University of Salford. She also held a visiting position at the Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales. Previously Paula worked for ten years as an occupational therapist in the NHS.

In her service to the wider profession, she worked as an committee member of the Learned Society for the Study of Organising for Healthcare and ultimately acted as secretary to the executive committee. She was on the organising committee for several early conferences and is co-editor for the book series published by Palgrave Macmillan.

Her research and teaching interests are in organisation, sociology of work, critical, psychodynamic and participatory 

research methods. Recent research projects include participatory research with older people in community and social care settings. She also studies organisation and delivery of health and social care. She is a co-investigator on the recently awarded Policy Research Unit for Older People and Frailty (2019-2023) led by University of Manchester with London School of Economics and University of Newcastle.

She has actively promoted the findings of critical studies to public and policy audiences including the Industrial Strategy Commission and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. Citations of her work include mentions in the Financial Times, The Guardian and Private Eye. Her interdisciplinary work on elder care was shortlisted as one of the Innovations that Inspire by the international Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business in 2017.


MSc HRM – Managing Organisations

MSc Management – Organisational Behaviour

Foundations of Qualitative Research (Social Research)


Research interests

Paula has research interests operating at the intersection of disciplinary fields; organization studies, social psychology and human resource management. She also has a longstanding interest in social research methods and the use of qualitative research methods to study public sector organisations. Paula has been awarded fifteen research grants from external funders totalling over £6.5 million. Moreover, each funded project developed new researchers in the field as research associates and PhD students have gone on to attain academic positions. This virtuous circle of research funding, publication and capacity development has shaped health workforce research. This has been achieved through studies of health service delivery at the frontline and has involved in-depth qualitative research with health workers examining the micro-level effects of macro-structural and systemic attempts at change.

Paula has worked with, and taken the lead in research with academics from a range of disciplinary backgrounds, including: organization studies, human resource management, operations management and organizational psychology. This work has managed to satisfy the competing demands of research rigour and knowledge transfer.

Current projects

She is a co-investigator on the recently awarded Policy Research Unit for Older People and Frailty (2019-2023) led by University of Manchester with London School of Economics and University of Newcastle.

Research contribution

Through extensive research at the front-line of health service organizations, she has been able to contribute and shape academic thinking about health and social care for older people, health workforce, service organization and delivery. The outputs from her research activity contributed to significant academic developments in a number of fields: for example, organization studies (through analysis of organizational boundary work – Kislov et al, 2017, Organization Studies, Fotaki and Hyde, 2015, Human Relations, McCann et al, 2015, Human Relations. Through analysis of professionalization through an institutional lens – Granter et al, 2017, Work Employment and Society, Bresnen et al, 2017, Management Learning, Exworthy et al, 2016, Journal of Social Policy), human resource management (through the notion of values based HRM – Burns et al, 2016 International Labor Relations Review, McCann et al, 2015, Human Resource Management), and sociology of health and illness (through a reconceptualisation of institutionalisation – Hyde et al, 2014, Organization Studies).

The outputs from the research have made both theoretical and methodological contributions. Methodologically she has been involved in developing innovative participatory methods (Hassard et al, 2017, Organization Studies, Burns et al 2012, British Journal of Management). The focused studies of health services have also generated theory relevant to general managers including two research monographs (Bresnen et al, 2017, Hyde et al 2016). Finally, she contributed to two public interest reports critically analysing the organisation and delivery of health and social care for older people and pointing to alternatives. This work was picked up by the Financial Times, The Guardian and Private Eye.

Paula has been active in her service to the wider profession. She co-founded several research networks, groups and centres for the critical study of organisation and delivery of health and social care including, most recently, the Health Services Research Centre at University of Manchester which included a researcher development network devoted to advancing health organisation research skills of early career researchers.

Paula previously led two large studies with leading academics. The first examined the development of human resource management in the NHS and the second studied the realities of working lives of middle managers in the NHS. Both of these studies were well received by practitioners and funders and produced high quality publications.

Other activities

Paula has extensive experience of teaching and innovative course development on undergraduate, MSc, MBA and PhD programmes. Externally, she has examined PhDs in England, Wales and Australia and until recently was external examiner for the distinctive Tavistock Professional Doctorate Programme. Previously,she was external examiner for undergraduate programmes at Cardiff University Business School.

Paula has undertaken several leadership and administrative roles. Recently, at University of Manchester bringing together nationally leading applied health research professors to form the Health Services Research Centre. At Durham University Business School, throughout 2013-14, she was chair of the board of examiners for the Global Learning MA and MBA programmes and was able to set up a cross-faculty research group on ‘Organising Care’ which generated successful research grant applications. Her research associates have all gone on to attain academic or senior research appointments. Her funded research projects involved significant work with external funding bodies such as the Department of Health, National Institute for Health Research and Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development. Externally, her professional responsibilities have included serving on the executive committee for the Society for the Study of Organizing for Healthcare (SHOC), the Academy of Social Sciences.


Authored books

Bresnen, M. Hodgson, D. Bailey, S. Hyde, P. Hassard, J. (2017) Managing modern healthcare: knowledge, networks and practice London: Routledge ISBN (Hardback) 9781138998780 (ebook) 9781318685506

Hyde, P. Hassard, J. McCann, L. Granter, E. (2016) Deconstructing the welfare state: Managerial work and organizational change London: Routledge ISBN (Hardback) 978-1-138-78719-3 ISBN (paperback) 978-1-138-78720-9 ISBN (ebook) 978-1-315-76674-4

Journal articles

Hassard, J. Burns, D. Hyde, P. Burns, J-P. (2018) A visual turn for organizational ethnography: Embodying the subject in video-based research. Organization Studies 39(10), 1403-1424

Bresnen, M. Hodgson, D. Bailey, S. Hyde, P. Hassard, J. (2017) Mobilizing management knowledge in healthcare: institutional imperatives and professional and organizational mediating effects Management Learning 48(5), 597-614

Kislov, R. Hyde, P. McDonald, R. (2017) New Game, old rules? Mechanisms and consequences of legitimation in boundary spanning activities Organization Studies 38(10) 1421-1444

Burns, D. Hyde, P. Killett, A. (2016) How financial cutbacks affect the quality of jobs and care for the elderly Industrial and Labor Relations Review 69(4) 991-1016

Daverth, G. Cassell, C. 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(2), 89-107

Daverth, G. Hyde, P. Cassell, C. (2016) Organizational work-life culture and uptake of work-life balance opportunitiesInternational Journal of Human Resource Management 12(7) 1092-1106

Exworthy, M. Hyde, P. McDonald-Kuhne, P. (2016) Knights and knaves in the English medical profession: the case of clinical excellence awards Journal of Social Policy 45(01), 83-99

McCann, L. Hassard, J. Granter, E. Hyde, P. (2015) Casting the lean spell: The promotion, dilution, and erosion of lean management in the NHS Human Relations 68(10), 1557-1577

Fotaki, M. Hyde, P. (2015) Organizational Blindspots: Counteracting splitting, idealization and blame in public health services Human Relations 68(3), 441-462

McCann, L. Granter, E. Hassard, J. Hyde, P. (2015) ‘You can’t do both – something will give’: Limitations of the targets culture in managing UK healthcare workforces for Human Resource Management 54(5), 773-791

Hyde, P. Burns, D. Hassard, J. Killett, A. (2014) Colonising the aged body and the organization of later life Organization Studies 35(11), 1699-1717

View all publications in research portal