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Personal profile

Contact Details

Phone: +44(0)121 204 3053
Email: m.j.r.butler@aston.ac.uk
Room: SW8023

Research Interests

My research has focused on organisational analysis and development since my PhD in 2000. This research is conducted through my Transformation Project, and the findings are shared with all Aston's beneficiary groups in a dedicated web site (www.thetransformationproject.co.uk). This focus is directly aligned to Aston's Strategy 2018-2023 (p4), conducting 'high quality, exploitable research that is accessible for business and has a positive impact on society'.

I take a multi-disciplinary perspective (transformational, biological and historical). I also promote collaborate research teams.

The research has been externally funded through competitive processes deeming the work excellent. This has led to 142 academic and practitioner publications, with 40 being academic journal articles, and 13 of those being rated 4* and 3* by the Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS). This means that I will be in three consecutive REF cycles, including the upcoming one.

I have co-edited three books (the most recent, the CIPD’s Introduction to Organisational Behaviour). My engaged scholarship (funded to c£1.5m) has been recognized (CMI and ESRC), and the OECD used my research to evaluate international policy implementation. An ERDF project facilitated measurable growth across 38 SMEs - this work is being expanded to Kenya.

I am currently writing a REF Impact Case Study, capturing the ten year history of The TRANSFORMATION Project.  Professor Sam Aryee (Surrey) and I are being commissioned by Edward Elgar to become Book Series Editors for a pioneering suite of short-form books designed to quickly publish innovative research in organisational behaviour. I will write the first book in the series drawing on my REF impact case study and my ongoing research about how organisations become receptive contexts for change. Edward Elgar will promote the series through their international network.

Teaching Activity

  • Aston Edge (Full Time MBA Programme) – Leading for Impact
  • MSc Dissertation Supervision
  • Research Student Supervision


  • 2016 MSt. in the History of Design, Kellogg College, Oxford University, UK
  • 2000 PhD Management, Centre for Corporate Strategy and Change, Warwick Business School, UK
  • 1988 BA (Hons.) History, University of Durham, UK
  • 1985 Certificate in Field Archaeology, University of London, UK

Membership of Professional Bodies


  • 2019 to date      Academy of Management (AoM)
  • 2017 to date      Senior Fellow, Higher Education Academy (HEA)
  • 2014 to date      Senior Common Room, St. Chad's College, University pf Durham
  • 2012 to date      British Academy of Management (BAM)
  • 2009 to date      Founder & Director, The TRANSFORMATION Project

Policy and Advice

  • 2017 to date      Fellow, Chartered Management Institute (CMI)
  • 2015 to date      Fellow, RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce)
  • 2015 to date      Trustee, Birmingham Civic Society; Chair, Citizenship Committee


Deputy Head, Work and Organisational Psychology Department

PhD Supervision

I have eight on-time completed research student supervisions, five as first supervisor and two as associate supervisor.

I am currently supervising four more, either as first or associate supervisor.

Danielle Valente Duarte, PhD Student in Strategic Management, Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná – Brasil, is a Visiting Fellow with The TRANSFORMATION Project.  I welcome similar approaches.  She has also become a joint supervision between the UK (Aston) and Brazil (Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná).

I am continuously recruiting excellently qualified, highly motivated and globally–oriented PhD students and researchers with, preferably, some practice experience, who can contribute to my research agenda in organisational analysis and development, especially The TRANSFORMATION Project.

A new research theme understands cycles of transformation over deep time in the context of organisational history and sustainable urban development, mixing cultural and social factors with the economic.



  • 2013                  The TRANSFORMATION Project became an ESRC Good Practice Case Study for co-creation action research
  • 2012                  The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) awarded myself (with Sweeney & Crundwell) one of the Top Five Management Articles


  • 2018                  Nominee, Academic Awards for Engaging Teaching (university level award)
  • 2017 to date      Senior Fellow, HEA (Higher Education Academy) (national level award)
  • 2012 - 2016      HEA Associate, research consultancy function (national level award)
  • 2011                 Invited Member, Fellows Forum, Bushiness, Management, Accounting and Finance (BMAF) subject network, HEA – teaching excellence group supporting teaching throughout HE community (national level award)
  • 2009                 Beta Gamma Sigma, Aston University Chapter (international level award)
  • 2008 – 2010      CAMPUS Teaching and Learning Fellowship, Salford University, UK (national level award)
  • 2007                 Aston Business School Excellence in Teaching Award (school level award)
  • 2005                 Aston Excellence in Teaching Award (university level award)

Administrative Roles

Learning and Teaching Committee, Aston Business School

Media Contributions

My research has regular media coverage.

A key recent contribution was with the Chartered Association of Business Schools, and the work was also re-published by Birmingham Civic Society and highlighted at AGM.

Butler, M.J.R., Dunlop, J., Ladbrook, A., Mitchell, A., Venning, N. and Wormwell, C. (2017) Innovation in Executive Education: Developing Active Citizenship – The Next Generation Awards, Birmingham Civic Society, Impact Case Study, Chartered Association of Business Schools – Executive Education Committee, London, UK.

External positions

Chair, Birmingham Civic Society, Citizenship Committee

2019 → …

Trustee, Birmingham Civic Society

2015 → …


  • LB2300 Higher Education
  • Organisational analysis
  • Organisation development
  • Transformational change
  • Impact
  • Organisational history
  • Design history
  • Organisational cognitive neuroscience


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