How to contact us

Department of Psychological
and Behavioural Science

3rd Floor
Queens House,
55/56 Lincoln's Inn Fields,
London WC2A 3LJ

Champa Heidbrink
Department Manager

Jacqueline Crane
Service Delivery Manager - MSc Programmes:
Department contact for issues relating directly to MSc study
Tel: +44 (0)20 7955 7995

Terri-Ann Fairclough
PhD Programme and Communication Administrator:
Department contact for issues relating directly to PhD study
Tel: +44 (0)20 7955 7700

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Dr Tom Reader

Associate Professor in Organisational and Social Psychology

I am director of the MSc in Organisational and Social Psychology, and lead a teaching module on Organisational and Social Decision-Making.

I co-direct the Organisational and Social Psychology MSc programme and the PhD Programme.

I investigate questions on the following topics:

Organisational and safety culture: How do norms and practises for the management of risk within an organisation develop, and to what extent are they influenced by national culture? How can a ‘safety culture’ be measured, managed and changed within an organisation or industry, and is it a leading indicator of organisational performance?

Teamwork and leadership: To what extent do group dynamics influence how teams evaluate risk during safety-critical work tasks? How do shared (or unshared) understandings of risk influence team behaviour and performance?

Decision-making: How do teams develop expertise for decision-making and coordination in time-pressured, uncertain, and high-risk situations? Can effective decision-making skills be trained and shared?

Please visit the “safety culture” website for more information about my research.

I studied for an MA and PhD in Psychology at the University of Aberdeen's School of Psychology. My doctorate investigated human error, teamwork, and shared evaluations of risk in healthcare teams. After completing my PhD, I took a post-doctoral fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust (in 2008), and then moved in 2010 to the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science (PBS) at the LSE. I have also previously worked in the UK oil and gas sector and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

I am a chartered member of the British Psychological Society, and am a member of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

My research examines how social psychological processes (e.g. behaviours, belief systems) in groups and organisations develop and influence the management of risk in complex socio-technical industries (e.g. aviation, healthcare, financial trading, energy). My work is and has been supported by various research grants (e.g. Leverhulme Trust, European Commission), and I have supplied consultancy services for a range of clients. Please visit the “safety culture” website for more information about my research.

Current Research Projects

1. Investigating the association between national culture and safety culture in Air Traffic Management (ATM), and developing a method for ensuring cross-national learning on safety in the ATM industry. Funded by EUROCONTROL (£330,000). With Dr Morgan Tear.

2. The development of methods and measurements to develop a single ‘industry’ safety culture across the aviation industry (e.g. airports, airlines, air traffic control). Funded by the European Commission (£150,000). With Dr Anam Parand.

3. The development of a method for systematically analysing patient complaints about hospital care in order to identify, and provide an alternative measurement of, safety problems in healthcare systems. Funded by an LSE small grant (cumulative £20,000), with Dr Alex Gillespie

4. An investigation of human error and safety culture in Financial Trading. PhD project with Meghan Leaver.

5. Developing unobtrusive measures of organisational culture, with the purpose being to metricise unstructured yet potentially insightful external perspectives on organisational functioning. Funded by the AKO Foundation (£325,000). With Dr Alex Gillespie.

”I co-direct the Organisational and Social Psychology MSc programme (PS404) and the PhD Programme”.

I supervise the following PhD students:

Meghan Leaver (First supervisor, with Dr Alex Gillespie). Meghan's thesis investigates decision-making, error, and culture in financial trading.

Mark Noort (First supervisor, with Dr Alex Gillespie). Mark’s thesis examines the factors that influence disinhibition in group settings

To view a full list of my publications, please click here to visit my Google Scholar page.

Recent publications

Reader, T. W., Mearns, K., Lopes, C., & Kuha, J. (2016). Organizational support for the workforce and employee safety citizenship behaviors: A social exchange relationship. Human Relations.

Gillespie, A., & Reader, T. (2016). The Healthcare Complaints Analysis Tool: Development and reliability testing of a method for service monitoring and organizational learning. BMJ Quality & Safety.

Leaver, M., & Reader, T. W. (2016). Human Factors in Financial Trading An Analysis of Trading Incidents. Human Factors.

Noort, M., Reader, T., Shorrock, S., Kirwan, B. (2016). The relationship between national culture and safety culture: Implications for international safety culture assessments. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology.

Reader, T., Noort, M., Kirwan, B., Shorrock, S. (2015). Safety san frontières: An international safety culture model. Risk Analysis.


Dr Tom Reader

"My work utilises organisational and social psychology theory to improve safety management in complex and risky organisations"

Publications page