Upcoming event

Monday, 9 December 2019


Blame at Work: can we manage without it?

Room 5.05, Manchester Metropolitan Business School

Most of us will have had the experience of being blamed at work, and of blaming others. This everyday feature of human social interaction has long interested philosophers, but has only recently captured the attention of management writers. Their concern has been around whether the fear of blame can stifle innovation and risk-taking, and inhibit organisations from learning from error. Accordingly, there has been interest in no-blame approaches and cultures in organisations. But what is blame, how does it relate to organizational systems of accountability and discipline, and could we stop blaming at work even if it were a good idea? (and is it?) In this seminar, we explore these questions, drawing on both the philosophy of blame and on a recent empirical study that explored the perceptions and experiences of blame of various organisational actors.

The empirical research reported in the seminar was funded by a Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant.

Professor Ben Lupton - Professor of Employment, Manchester Metropolitan University

Ben researches and teaches in the field of employment, and is Deputy Director of Manchester Metropolitan University’s Decent Work and Productivity Research Centre.

As well as having a research interest in workplace blame, Ben has interests in payment systems and in HRM in small enterprises, and he has published widely on these and other topics in leading academic journals. In addition, Ben co-authored the CIPD's research report on the implications of behavioural science for pay and reward, and their evaluation of the 'People Skills' project providing employment support to small businesses. He is currently working with Greater Manchester Combined Authority on the development and evaluation of their Good Employment Charter. Before joining MMU, Ben was an HR professional in the NHS and he is a Chartered Fellow of CIPD. He has Masters degrees in HRM, and in Philosophy, and a PhD in the sociology of occupations.

Dr Atif Sarwar - Research Associate, Lancaster University

Atif’s main areas of interest are technology-led organisational and social change, change management, organisational behaviour and public sector management. Atif is currently working on a project examining AI led innovation in professional service firms (PSFs). The project is part of the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and its ‘grand challenge’ of artificial intelligence (AI).

Atif completed his doctorate in the area of information technology-led organisational and social change focusing on the Social Work Children’s Services in the UK. Since then, he has worked on projects funded by ‘Provide’, ‘Health Education England’ and Anglia Ruskin University examining ‘Clinical and Service Integration’ in Mid-Essex and the implementation of Integrated Care Teams in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Before joining Lancaster University, he worked with Ben on the Leverhulme funded 'Blame' Project on which the seminar is based.

This event is part of the Decent Work and Productivity Seminar Series. For more information, please contact Dr Katy Jones at katy.jones@mmu.ac.uk

Event contact Katy Jones · katy.jones@mmu.ac.uk

Visit the Event website