Marc Thompson

Senior Fellow in Strategy and Organisation

  • marc.thompson@sbs.ox.ac.uk

Saïd Business School,
University of Oxford,
Park End Street,


Marc Thompson is an expert on organisational change and leadership.

He is interested in how alternative models of organising can create opportunities for people to find greater meaning and purpose in their working lives. Different governance models such as employee owned businesses, mutuals, co-operatives and social enterprises amongst others are real alternatives to traditional private or public sector organisations. In more traditional organisations, innovative modes of organising and working can significantly alter employee’s levels of engagement and generate more meaningful work. His research is interested in how both modes of reform can create more democratic, collaborative and sustainable work which can meet economic and social needs.

Another theme is strategic renewal and how incumbent organisations can renew themselves for continued innovation and growth. In a collaborative research programme with managers from several European multi-national organisations (including Shell, BT, Nokia and W L Gore, amongst others) he researched how they designed and managed the linkages between innovation and renewal.

Finally, he is interested in managerial learning. His research looks at two areas. Firstly, how do managers translate knowledge from formal learning spaces such as business schools to work contexts. Secondly, how can formal learning spaces in university contexts be designed to optimise learning and personal growth.

Marc’s early work focused on high performance work systems, mainly in the high technology sector, understanding their adoption, evolution and impact. He undertook a longitudinal study of innovative work practices in the UK Aerospace sector funded by the then Department of Trade and industry. He has used mixed method research, combining large-scale sector surveys as well as in-depth case studies, to explore multi-level phenomena such as management capability.

Marc is an Official Fellow at Green Templeton College where he Co-Directs the Future of Work (FOW), an interdisciplinary programme whose purpose is to explore why and how work is changing and impacting upon societies.

Before joining Saïd Business School, Marc Thompson was a Senior Research Fellow, and Fellow at Templeton College, Oxford; a Principal Research Fellow at the Institute for Employment Studies, University of Sussex;  and a Researcher at the London School of Economics.


  • Organisational change
  • Strategic innovation and renewal
  • Leadership and the nature of managerial and leadership work
  • Alternative models of organisation
  • HRM, talent and workplace issues
  • High performance work systems
  • Management learning


Marc's research activities are focused on:

  • Mutuality in organisations
  • Mutuality and integrated healthcare
  • Meaningful work
  • Stress in the professions


The Laboratization of change: what is it with labs and change these days?

  • Chapter
  • Research in Organizational Change and Development, Vol. 29
Organisation Studies
  • Catherine Bailey,
  • Ruth Yeoman,
  • Adrian Madden,
  • Marc Thompson,
  • Gary Kerridge
Organisation Studies
  • M Thompson
Organisation Studies
  • C Bailey,
  • M Lips-Wiersma,
  • A Madden,
  • Ruth Yeoman,
  • Marc Thompson,
  • N Chalofsky
Organisation Studies

Common knowledge: The missing link in hybrid value chains?(opens in new window)

  • Chapter
  • Working Relationally in and across Practices: A Cultural-Historical Approach to Collaboration
  • M Thompson,
  • C Dolan,
  • C Mayer,
  • K Roll,
  • R Yeoman
Organisation Studies
See more publications


Marc engages widely with business, the public sector and academia:

Engagement with/impact upon commercial organisations

Marc maintains close ties to practice through his extensive executive education activities for Saїd Business School and welcomes the ways in which this keeps his research focused on practice and the needs of practitioners.

Engagement with/impact upon public sector, policy-makers

Marc’s interest in encouraging and embedding innovation in public sector services bring him into regular contact with practitioners at a wide range of levels in the third sector.

Academic engagement

Marc is a regular speaker at key academic gatherings including the Academy of Management, European Group of Organizational Studies, Strategic Management Society, Engineering Employees Federation, Confederation of British Industry, and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

He is a regular reviewer for Human Resource Management, International Journal of Human Resource Management, Human Relations, British Journal of Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management Journal, amongst others.

He has a number of writing projects under way including a book for Palgrave MacMilan on Alternative Models of Organising for Sustainable Futures. He is co-editing an OUP Handbook on Meaningful Work and co-editing a sepcial issue of the Journal of Management Studies on Meaningful Work.

Marc is also working with a documentary film company (Seahound Films) and contributed to a trailer on alternative organisations.


Marc is Academic Director of the MSc Consulting and Coaching for Change at Saїd Business School.

Run jointly with HEC Paris, this programme is designed to provide a transformational experience for reflective practitioners responsible for leading change – bringing new ideas, promoting thought-provoking discussion and enriching participants' perspectives.

Marc also teaches on and directs a range of innovative custom programmes mainly for science and technology organisations such as Meggitt, a FTSE100 specialist engineering company.

He is Academic Director of the Royal Mail Executive Leadership Programme,  which was awarded a Gold Medal for pedagogic design by EFMD

His teaching style is designed to help participants develop critical thinking and to encourage productive and energetic debate in the classroom.

Oxford Answers

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