Nottingham University Business School
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Dr Simona Spedale

Italian Laurea (Milan, Italy), PhD (CASS, London), MA (Sheffield), HESA (Nottingham PGCHE (30 Credits)), PhD (Sheffield), Academic Fellow (Chartered Institute of Personnel Development)
Associate Professor in OB/HRM

Division: Organisational Behaviour and Human Resource Management
Tel: +44 (0) 115 8466216
Location: C81 (North Building, Jubilee Campus)

Simona Spedale is Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour and HRM at Nottingham University Business School. She gained her PhD in Organisational Behaviour from CASS (City University Business School), London and has worked in Italy (Bocconi University/SDA Business School, Milan) and The Netherlands (Erasmus University, Rotterdam).

She has experience of a variety of academic administrative roles, including Head of International Study in charge of student exchanges. More recently she has been Director of Undergraduate Programmes (2013-2016), leading a large team and presiding over major changes resulting in significant improvement in the School's position in the National Student Survey and associated rankings.

She is currently Research Director and Research Series Coordinator for the OB/HRM Division. She has published in international journals such as Organisation Studies, Organization, the Scandinavian Journal of Management, Long Range Planning and the International Small Business Journal.

Research Interests
Inter-organisational relationships and embeddedness; Organisational decision making and sensemaking; Identity and identity change; Entrepreneurial action

Administrative Roles
Divisional Research Director (OB/HRM)
Research Series Co-ordinator (OB/HRM)
Current Research Activities
My research centres on key aspects of power, social interaction and institutional processes. I privilege qualitative methodologies and am especially interested in the role of language, discourse and narratives in constructing the world of individuals at work.

I have a longstanding interest in social interaction, identity and sensemaking. Past research has explored the dynamics of sensemaking in M&As and alliances, face-to-face interaction and sensemaking in organisational decision-making and within teams, and, more broadly, the connection between sensemaking and identity in a variety of contexts, including entrepreneurship.

I am currently pursuing this line of inquiry in two directions: by exploring the link between institutional complexity and organisational identity using semiotics as key methodological approach; and, by analysing institutional change and individual identity dynamics in, mostly, professional settings.

A second line of established research focuses on age-related issues - including ageism - at the individual and organisational levels. I am particularly interested in the link between age and identity and identity-work and privilege an intersectional approach that connects age with other key sociological dimensions and, most particularly, with gender.

I am currently exploring these issues from a socio-psychological perspective and am particularly interested in the notion of narrative emotions as analytical tool. A third interdisciplinary area of research centres on innovation management (particularly team dynamics, leadership and decision making) and interorganisational collaboration (with an emphasis on process and aspects of value creation/appropriation). More specifically, I am investigating the dynamics of social interaction and sensemaking in open innovation setting (including co-design and co-creation) and creative projects, predominantly in services, and their impact on innovation output and collaboration effectiveness. This line of work is supported by a BA/Leverhulme Small Grant.

Publications prior to 2005

Publications prior to 2005

Journal Articles

Spedale, S. (2003), "Technological Discontinuities: Is Co-operation an Option?", Long Range Planning, Vol.36, pp. 253-268.


Spedale, S.; Van den Bosch, F. 2004, "The Role of the Target Firm's Business Embeddedness in Acquisitions", at 20th EGOS Conference, Ljubljana, Slovenia, July.

Spedale, S.; Van den Bosch, F.; Volberda, H. 2003, "Co-evolutionary Effects: Incumbents' Exploration and Exploitation Alliances and Industry Change", at Academy of Management Annual Conference, August, Seattle.

Spedale, S. 2001, "Interfirm Co-operation and Technological Discontinuities: When Incumbents and Newcomers Coexist", at 21st Annual Conference of the Strategic Management Society.

Publications from 2005 to the present day

Journal Articles

Spedale, S. (2018), "Deconstructing the 'older worker': Exploring the complexities of subject positioning at the intersection of multiple discourses", Organization, pp. 1-17.

Chiles, P.; Petrelli, D.; Spedale, S. (2016), "Finding common ground: architects, end-users, and decision-makers in the renovation of the Arts Tower, Sheffield", Architectural Research Quarterly, Vol.20(4), pp. 298-311.

Spedale, S.; Coupland, C.; Tempest, S. (2014), "Gendered ageism and organisational routines at work: The case of day-parting in television broadcasting", Organization Studies, Vol.35 (11), pp. 1585-1604, Special Issue 'At a Critical Age'.

Spedale, S.; Watson, T.J. (2014), "The emergence of entrepreneurial action at the cross-roads between institutional logics and individual life-orientation", International Small Business Journal, Vol.32, pp. 759-776, DOI: 10.1177/0266242613480376.

Patriotta, G.; Spedale, S. (2011), "Micro-interaction dynamics in group decision making: face games, interaction order and boundary work", Scandinavian Journal of Management, Vol.27 (4), pp.362-374.

Patriotta, G.; Spedale, S. (2009), "Making sense through face: identity and social interaction in a consultancy task force", Organization Studies, Vol.30(11), pp. 1227-1248.

Spedale, S.; Van den Bosch, F.; Volberda, H. (2007), "Preservation versus Dissolution of the Target Firm's Embedded Ties in Acquisitions", Organization Studies, Vol.28 (8), pp. 1169-1196.

Spedale, S.; Van den Bosch, F.; Volberda, H. (2007), "Behouden eu verbreken van allianties. Bevindingen uit onderzoek", AA Files, Vol.3/4, pp. 107-128.

Chapters in Books

Coupland, C; Spedale, S. (2018), "Agile identities: Fragile humans?", in Oxford Handbook of Identities in Organizations. Andrew D. Brown ed., Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2018.

Spedale, S.; Van den Bosch, F.; Volberda, H. (2007), "Behouden eu verbreken van allianties", in Boonstra, J. (ed) Ondernemen in allianties en netwerken, En multidisciplinair perspectief, pp. 107-129, Kluuver, Deveuter.


Roberts, D; Spedale, S; Gruel, W. 2017, "Organizing for Open Service Innovation: Moving Beyond Manufacturing", in Open and User Innovation Conference, University of Insbrucj, Austria.

Roberts, D; Spedale, S, 2016, "Open Innovation as a Sense Making Process", in Open and User Innovation Conference, Harvard Business School, Boston, M.A..

Spedale, S; Roberts, D. 2016, "Open innovation for services: Exploring knowledge frontiers in the cultural heritage industry", in Open and User Innovation Conference, Harvard Business School, Boston, M.A..

Hartwell, K.; Patriotta, G.; Spedale, S. 2015, "Institutional logics and intra-organisational dynamics Understanding changes in the identity and practices of a UK law firm", at Paper presented at the 31st Egos Colloquium, Athens, 2015.

Spedale, S. 2015, "Age variations and public performances The discursive use of age in the identity work of successful Italian women", in Paper presented at the 31st Egos Colloquium, Athens, 2015.

Spedale, S. 2013, "Organisational Change, institutional logics and intra-organisational dynamics: The transformation of the Sheffield Workhouse and the birth of the Fir Vale Hospital (1834-1906)", at Paper presented at the 29th Egos Colloquium, Montreal.

Spedale, S.; Petrelli, D. 2013, "Making sense of future every-day life through innovation: framing and sensemaking in a multidisciplinary design team", at 8th Organization studies summer workshop (organization studies and the day to day life of cultures and communities) 23-25 May 2013 Mykonos, Greece.

Spedale, S. 2012, "Entrepreneurial action and institutional logics in an inner-city district The entrepreneurial history of the public house in Kelham Island (c. 1870 - 2010)", at Paper presented at the 28th Egos Colloquium, Helsinki.

Spedale, S.; Petrelli, D.; Chiles, P. 2011, "'Faulty Tower'? Beauty contests and workplace redesign at the School of Architecture", at Paper presented at the 27th Egos Colloquium, Gotheborg.

Spedale, S. 2010, "'Becoming retired' A case-study of individual identity-work under 'Liminal' conditions", at Paper presented at the 24th British Academy of Management Conference, Sheffield.

Spedale, S.; Roberts, D. 2008, "Developing marketing learning capacity for product innovation: The role of inter-organisational relationships", at Academy of Marketing Conference, Aberdeen, 8-10 July.

Patriotta, G.; Spedale, S. 2006, "Between Controversies and Face-Games: Decision Making in a Consultancy Task Force", at 22nd EGOS Colloquium, Bergen July 6-8.



Nottingham University Business School

Jubilee Campus

telephone: +44 (0) 115 846 6602
fax: +44 (0) 115 846 6667