Professor Michael West
I am a founding director of Aston OD and feel very privileged that our research into team effectiveness is shaping day-to-day practice in many settings. This is most notably in the NHS, where Team Based Working is helping to create the right conditions for the delivery of continually improving, high quality and compassionate care.
I lead the Aston OD academic advisory group which informs the development of our diagnostic and development tools. We draw on our research and on the most rigorous and robust research internationally, and our interactions with practitioners to inform the work of Aston OD.
I have spent most of my career undertaking research into the factors that determine the effectiveness and innovativeness of individuals, teams and organisations at work. Team working is hugely significant and I’ve seen first-hand how team reflection, planning and action predict both team effectiveness and innovation through work in many sectors and countries. Indeed, I began my working life working in a coal mine, observing how team working was fundamental to everyone’s safety and well-being, as well as to overall productivity. I also had the privilege of spending four years as Dean of Aston Business School, putting our research knowledge into practice. I am proud that our research has stimulated research internationally and been applied to health services in many countries including Australia, Netherlands, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Canada, Jordan and of course the UK. I led a team at Aston Business School that helped to design the NHS annual staff survey and, with Jeremy Dawson, have analysed the links between staff attitudes and patient outcomes. This work has had a significant and sustained influence on policy and practice in the NHS.
I am currently a Senior Fellow at the King’s Fund and Professor of Organisational Psychology at Lancaster University Management School. I’ve written or co-authored 20 books including Effective Teamwork, updated in 2012 to reflect the latest research evidence and translated into 12 languages. I’ve published 200+ academic articles and contributed numerous editorials and interviews to the national press, including radio and TV! I also contribute to national policy making boards, commissions of inquiry and meetings of senior policy makers.
Outside work, I am committed to daily meditation practice (my PhD was on the psychology of meditation) and am editing a book on the subject for Oxford University Press. I have four children, all currently in University, and walk and cycle in the Yorkshire Peaks and Derbyshire Dales.
At a glance:
Professor of Work and Organisational Psychology, Lancaster University Management School; Visiting Fellow, The King’s Fund; Senior Research Fellow, The Work Foundation; Emeritus Professor, Aston University; Fellow of the British Psychological Society, the American Psychological Association (APA), the APA Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology, the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, the International Association of Applied Psychologists, the British Academy of Management; Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development; Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences.