Dr Majella O'Leary
Senior Lecturer in Organisational Studies
+44 (0) 1392 723446
Streatham Court, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4PU, UK
Majella O'Leary has been a Senior Lecturer in Organisation Studies since 2007. Prior to moving to Exeter in 2002, she worked for five years as a Lecturer in Management at the National University of Ireland, Cork. Majella's main area of research is organisation studies. She takes a broadly critical approach to her research and is interested in the cultural, political and ethical aspects of work and organising.
Majella has built up a strong reputation in the area of research methods and in particular, organisational storytelling. She has used organisational storytelling as a way of understanding organisational issues in the newspaper, legal and financial industries. Majella is a member of an international interdisciplinary group who run a seminar series on organisational storytelling and her work on storytelling has been published in journals including Human Relations (where it received a best paper award) and Journal of Management Inquiry.
- Director of the BA Business and Management
Bachelor of Commerce (first class), PhD (can.) (National University of Ireland, University College Cork)
- Organisational storytelling
- Interpretive biographic research
- Organisational change
- Moral scandals
- Ethical leadership
Majella uses organisational storytelling as a vehicle for understanding the world of organisations and their members, and in particular in researching financial and moral scandals. One plausible account of these scandals is a failure of ethical leadership that derives from the preoccupation with the self that drives individuals to seek wealth, fame and success, regardless of moral considerations. Majella has published on the role of ethical leadership in moral scandals in the Journal of Business Ethics, European Journal of Business Ethics and Legal Ethics. Majella's most recent work on moral scandals, however, focuses on the relationship between fraud and workaholism.
Publications by category
Publications by year
Awards and Honours
- Best Paper Award, Human Relations, 2003
Conferences and invited presentations
- 'Narratives of a Newspaper Company', Dublin Institute of Technology, 2002
- 'From Benedictine to Broker: Stories of Career Crises', Norwich, 2006
- 'The Moral of the Story: Understanding Legal Ethics', Plymouth, 2007
- 'Eliciting Compelling Narratives', Royal Holloway, 2007
- 'From Stories to Sound Bites: Narrative De-skilling in the Modern Workplace', Kingston, 2009
- Organisational culture and change
- Managerial knowledge and decision making
- Business ethics
- Understanding and managing crises
- Management consultancy
Majella's teaching interests address the issues faced by managers and organisations in the current economic environment and in particular in coping with crises and profound change. Majella's modules explore creative alternatives to mainstream management thinking and engage with issues of continuity and stability as well as the management of change.