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The University of Southampton
Southampton Business School

Professor Malcolm Higgs DBA, MPhil, Chartered Psychologist, ADipC, FCIPD, FCII

Emeritus Professor

Professor Malcolm Higgs's photo

Professor Malcolm Higgs is Emeritus Professor within Southampton Business School at the University of Southampton. He was also Head of Southampton Business School from 2011-2014.

Malcolm is the Professor of HR Management and Organisation Behaviour. He was Head of the Southampton Business School 2011-2014.

Career history

Prior to his appointment at Southampton Business School, Malcolm was the Director of the School of Leadership, Change and HR and Research Director of Henley Management College. He took up this position in August 2005 having for the previous four years been the College Academic Dean. He remains a Visiting Professor at Henley Management College as well as a Visiting Professor at Erasmus University.

He moved to Henley from a role as Partner in Towers Perrin's International Human Resource Management practice. In this role he was responsible for Organisation Change and Management Development, Assessment, Leadership Development and Training projects for clients and for developing programmes and strategies for human resource and change management. In addition he was responsible for the firm's International leadership development practice.

Prior to joining Towers Perrin, Malcolm had eight years consulting experience with the Hay Group and Arthur Young. In 1987 he undertook a research programme into the human resource implications of the major changes in the UK financial markets and in 1988 published a book based on this research "Management Development Strategy in the Financial Sector". He has also published over 100 academic journal papers on leadership, team development, executive assessment and change management. In addition he has published widely on the topic of Emotional Intelligence and has jointly developed a psychometric assessment instrument to measure this together with a book on the topic (Making Sense of Emotional Intelligence). More recently he has published an instrument to assess leadership style and is co-author (with Professor Victor Dulewicz) of a book entitled Leading with Emotional Intelligence to be published by Palgrave Macmillan in Autumn 2016.

Malcolm is a member of the British Psychological Society and a Chartered Occupational Psychologist and is also actively involved in consulting on leadership, change and assessment with a range of international companies both as an individual consultant and as the founding partner of the consulting firm PDC Associates.


Over the last three years Malcolm has been collaborating with colleagues at Erasmus University in Holland, exploring how change is approached in the public sector. This has started as a review of 10 years of literature and has resulted in a paper that has been published in the Journal of Public Administration.

Over the last four years he has been collaborating with colleagues at Henley Business School (University of Reading). These collaborations have resulted in six conference presentations (two of which were awarded as a best paper) and one has been accepted for publication in a three star journal with two being submitted to three star journals.


Best paper awards:

  • British Academy of Management (BAM) 2010
  • Irish Academy of Management 2012

Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society 2012

Editorial posts

Malcolm is on the editorial advisory board of the Journal of Change Management and Team Performance Management (having been the founding editor).

In addition he is a regular reviewer for a range of 3 and 4 star journals as well as key conferences (e.g. Academy of Management, British Academy of Management).


Keynote speaker at practitioner conferences including:

  • The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO)
  • The Clore Foundation
  • Vision 20:20 (The UK Arts project)
  • The Pharmaceutical Supply Group
  • and a range of corporate conferences.

Visiting posts

  • Visiting Professor at Erasmus University (2009 – Present)
  • Visiting Professor Henley Business School (2005 – Present)
  • Visiting Scholar American University of Beirut (2012 – present).

Research interests

Leadership, Change Management, Emotional Intelligence, Executive Values and Employee Engagement. My research interests are expanding into the linkages between the area of positive psychology and organizational behaviour. In particular this is exploring the relationships between positive emotions and effectiveness of change implementation and the linkages between Emotional Intelligence, personality and individual Well-Being.

Work in progress

I am currently involved in exploring the relationships between leadership behaviours and the effectiveness of change management interventions. Early findings from this work have indicated the potential impact of "pseudo leadership" behaviours which some leaders deploy in a manipulative way to serve their personal agenda. This is linked to the emerging work on "Dark Side" leadership and highlights the significance of authenticity as a major aspect of effective sustainable leadership. The work also provides clear indications that the effective leadership of change achieves positive results through a systemic impact on the work climate creating positive emotions and consequently building employee engagement. Last year I was involved with a project to explore the links between Change Leadership and Leader Mindfulness. This entailed interviews with 66 senior leaders from 53 organisations and has produced clear evidence of the impact of leader mindfulness on change success. Work from this project has been accepted for presentation at this year’s Academy of Management Conference in California. Further development of the work for journal publication is now in progress.

In addition I continue to be involved in presentations to practitioner and corporate conferences and in consulting with both private and public sector organizations in the UK, mainland Europe, South East Asia and Australasia.

Research project(s)

Transforming Organisational Culture

Teaching areas include:

  • Leadership
  • Change management
  • Team development
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Values and employee engagement.

Most of Malcolm's current teaching focuses on MBA and DBA groups.

Professor Malcolm Higgs
Southampton Business School, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK

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