Dr Michael Butler

Michael Butler

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Research interests

I am a Reader in Transformational Change, Director of the DBA (Doctor of Business Administration) Programme, Director of the Centre for Innovation, Change and Renewal (CICR), and Founder and Director of The TRANSFORMATION Project. I’m a multi-disciplinary researcher, who has continuously worked in top-ranked UK business and management schools. My research interests focus on change management, specifically, adapting promising management practices to enhance performance across varied organisational contexts, contributing to ideas about receptivity for change, knowledge exchange and project-based organisations.

The research is recognised by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), producing one of the Top Five Management Articles of 2012. The initiative recognises relevant, accessible academic writing and takes it to a wider audience of practising managers. It is a collaboration with the British Academy of Management, the Advanced Institute of Management Research, the Association of Business Schools, the British Library and is sponsored by John Wiley and Sons Ltd, one of the world’s leading business publishers. Following the success of the article, I was invited to contribute to the CMI’s Practitioner Member Panel and am a founding member of the CMI Faculty.

The TRANSFORMATION Project has been identified by the ESRC as a Good Practice Case Study in 2013.

From my international research (post PhD), I have developed the Butler Receptivity for Change Model. The five factor model reveals what makes organisations high performing. An early adopter of the Model was the OECD which analysed six EU governments to explore the management of change produced by the introduction of major reform initiatives intended to transform the administrative culture of the public service to make it more efficient and effective (translated into Chinese). I have carried on this stream of work by researching Roma social exclusion in Romania (the Economist recently called this the EU’s greatest social problem).

Teaching Activity

  • BH1109 – International Perspectives in Organisations (Single Module) (1st year ie all 600 Single Honours Business)
  • BH2296 – Strategy for Future Leaders (Double Module)  (2nd year Single Honours Business)
  • BPM761 – Creative Decisions for Effective Change (Single Module) (MBA Elective) (Second Marking and Strategic Advice)
  • MSc Dissertation and Research Student Supervision


  • 2000 PhD Management, Centre for Creativity, 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

  • 2012 to date      Member, Executive Development Committee, The Association of Business Schools (ABS)
  • 2012 to date      Member, International DBA Consortium, AMBA (Association of MBAs)
  • 2010 to date      Official Member, EIRMA (European Industrial Research Management Association)
  • 2008 to date      Non-Executive Director/Chair (Unpaid), Beyond Engagement, London, UK
  • Feature regularly in international media (including the BBC)
  • Contributed to a Central Office of Information (COI) review, a central government department which reports to the Cabinet Office Minister, on improving policy making and implementation via ‘Behaviour Change in Organisations’, drawing on research findings from The TRANSFORMATION Project


Director, DBA (Doctor of Business Administration) Programme

Director, Centre for Innovation, Change & Renewal (CICR)

PhD Supervision

I am continuously looking to recruit excellently qualified, highly motivated and globally–oriented PhD students and researchers with, preferably, some practice experience, perhaps at managerial level, who can contribute to my research agenda in innovation, change and renewal, especially The TRANSFORMATION Project and OCN.


  • 2012 to date       Higher Education Academy (HEA) Associate (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)

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  1. Who dares wins

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

  2. OECD Committee

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

  3. Leadership Quarterly (Journal)

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial activity

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