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The University of Southampton
Southampton Business School
(023) 8059 4738

Dr Melanie Ashleigh BSc PhD

Associate Professor, Director of DBA

Dr Melanie Ashleigh's photo

Dr Melanie Ashleigh is an Associate Professor within Southampton Business School at the University of Southampton.

Melanie Ashleigh gained her honours degree in psychology (1995) and was awarded her PhD in engineering (2002) from the University of Southampton. She spent a year as an occupational psychologist for the Employment Services, before entering academia in the Southampton Business School in 2003. Melanie is an Associate Professor in the area of Organisational Behaviour and Human Resource Management. Originally an HR specialist in industry, Melanie has a wealth of experience in managing people and is also experienced in training teams within both educational and commercial business settings. She is also a qualified psychotherapist. 

Her most recent text book; The Psychology of People in Organisations (2012) (Pearson’s UK) was shortlisted for the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) book awards 2013 under the Management and Leadership category.

Her research interests cover a broad spectrum of topics including; trust in teams and technology; virtual learning environments and e-learning; team training, collaborative learning, leadership, transactive memory and cultural diversity. Melanie’s current research projects include; Trust development in Entrepreneurship; and how trust is defined, measured and develops within B2B relationships. She is also interested in the development of pedagogical congruence in Higher Education and particularly how HE institutions are meeting the needs of their growing diverse student population. 

Melanie is interested in supervising Phd students in any of the above topic areas. Please apply through the formal postgraduate process via the Business School.

Membership of boards and professional bodies

Research interests

  • Trust at individual, team and organisational levels
  • Team training
  • Transactive memory
  • Trust in technology

My research interests are also expanding into the area of pedagogical congruence and how we match pedagogy to the real needs of students; particularly with the extensive growth in diversity across cohorts and their need for employability skills.

Work in progress

I am interested in the area of training; specifically why leadership training appears to be informed by extroversion preferences; with little regard for how introverts learn. This has been recently highlighted by a study within the public sector – specifically within healthcare. Research with colleagues has developed a toolkit and website for leaders and potential leaders to utilise who are not motivated by 'normal training methods'.

Another project that I’m involved in is connected with assisted living and how Apps and technology can provide assistance to those with debilitating conditions e.g. Rheumatoid Arthritis. In conjunction with Health Sciences and Innovation we are researching how people trust such apps in monitoring their pain thresholds and movements, which are then transmitted to different stakeholder agents and supporters of their condition.

Other research is exploring the concept of trust in entrepreneurship in early stage set ups and I’m working with a colleague from Massey University, New Zealand to investigate duality of trust and risk in entrepreneurial contexts.

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Book Chapters


Working Paper

  • Marshall, A., Johnson, J. (Ed.), Sung, V. (Ed.), Ashleigh, M. (Ed.), Baden, D. (Ed.), Brito, M. (Ed.), & Dawson, I. (Ed.) (2016). Why risk cultures need prudence. (A Centre for Risk Research Discussion Document). Southampton, GB: University of Southampton.
Dr Melanie Ashleigh
Southampton Business School, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK

Room Number: 2/4019

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