Staff Directory

Professor Michael Fischer Name: Professor Michael Fischer
Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Leadership
+613 9230 8314
Organisational Area
Faculty of Law and Business
Peter Faber Business School
Building 460 - 250 Victoria Parade (250 Victoria Parade, East Melbourne VIC 3002)-Level 7-Room 460.7.13
Biographical Information

Michael D Fischer is Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Leadership at the Centre for Sustainable Human Resource Management (HRM) and Wellbeing in the Peter Faber Business School, Australian Catholic University.  He is also Visiting Scholar at University of Oxford, Saïd Business School and an Associate and Program Director of Leadership and Change in Healthcare at Melbourne Business School. He was previously a senior research fellow at University of Oxford, Saïd Business School, senior research fellow at the University of Melbourne, Faculty of Business and Economics, and postdoctoral fellow at King's College London. He holds a PhD in organisational behavior from Imperial College London, University of London.

Trained as a business school social scientist and clinical group analyst, his research has a strong empirical focus on the practice-level microsociology of organisational change in research-intensive settings, especially in healthcare.  He specializes in ethnographic and comparative case studies, analysing the micro-sociology of intersubjective relations, emotions and organisational politics, and their potential to mobilise institutional change.  He has a particular interest in executive education and the role of business schools in a rapidly developing knowledge economy.

His research is published in top tier international journals in the Financial Times 'top 50' and Chartered Association of Business School 4* lists, including Accounting Organizations and Society (FT50 and CABS &lsquojournal of distinction&rsquo), Human Relations (FT50), Organization Studies (FT50), Public Administration (4*), and Social Science and Medicine (4*).  He has led major competitive research grants as principal and co-investigator, funded by the National Institute of Health Research, the University of Oxford, King's College London, the General Osteopathic Council, and The King's Fund.  In 2012, he was awarded a three year senior research fellowship at the University of Oxford where he conducted a major study of global leadership development, centered on Oxford&rsquos flagship leadership programmes.

His international career in public services has focused mostly in the healthcare sector, where he has held senior clinical, managerial and policy adviser roles. Before joining academia, he was a Lead Consultant Psychotherapist in major teaching hospitals in Manchester, Liverpool and London - most recently at St Thomas' Hospital, London. With specialist postgraduate trainings as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist (Manchester University Hospitals), group psychoanalyst and clinical supervisor (Institute of Group Analysis, London), he is a noted expert in the intersubjective and group relations that shape healthcare and public service organisations.

He is an elected member of several international learned societies, as Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.  He is also an active member of the Academy of Management, the European Group for Organizational Studies, and a life member of Oxford University Anthropological Society.

His personal website is:


Selected Refereed Journals

Fischer, M. D. Dopson, S. Fitzgerald, L. Bennett, C. Ferlie, E. Ledger, J. McGivern, G. (2016). Knowledge leadership: Mobilising management research by becoming the knowledge object. Human Relations, 69(7): 1563-1585, [FT Top 50, CABS 4*, ABDC A*]

Ferlie, E. Ledger, J. Dopson, S. Fischer, M.D. Fitzgerald, L. McGivern, G. Bennett, C. (2016). The political economy of management knowledge: Management texts in English health care organizations.  Public Administration, 94(1): 185-203, [CABS 4*, ABDC A]

Ovseiko, P.V. Greenhalgh, T., Adam, P., Grant, J., Hinrichs S., Graham, K.E.A., Valentine, P.A., Omar Sued, O., Boukhris, O.F., Olaqi, N.M., Al Rahbi, I.S., Dowd, A. Bice, S., Heiden, T.L., Fischer, M.D., Dopson, S., Norton, R., Pollitt, A., Wooding, S., Balling, G.V., Jakobsen, U., Kuhlmann, E., Klinge, I., Pololi, L.H., Jagsi, R., Lawton Smith, H., Etzkowitz, H., Nielsen, M.W., Carrion, C., PhD Solans?Domènech, M., Vizcaino, E., Naing, L., Cheok, Q.H.N., Eckelmann, B., Simuyemba, M.C., Msiska, T., Declich, G., Edmunds, L.D., Kiparoglou, V., Buchan, A.M.J., Williamson, C., Lord, G.M., Channon, K.M., Surender, R., & Buchan, A.M. (2016) A global call for action to include gender in research impact assessment. Health Research Policy and Systems, 14:50.

Fischer. M. D. and Ferlie, E. (2013). Resisting hybridisation between modes of clinical risk management: Contradiction, contest, and the production of intractable conflict.  Accounting, Organizations and Society, 38(1): 30-49. doi:10.1016/j.aos.2012.11.002. [FT 50 List, CABS 4* Journal of Distinction, ABDC: A*]

Fischer, M. D. (2012) Organizational turbulence, trouble and trauma: Theorising the collapse of a mental health setting.  Organization Studies, 33(9): 1153-1173. doi:10.1177/0170840612448155. [FT 50 List, CABS 4 ABDC: A*]. 

McGivern, G. & Fischer M. D. (2012) Reactivity and reactions to regulatory transparency in medicine, psychotherapy and counselling.  Social Science and Medicine, 74(3): 289-296. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.09.035. [CABS 4*].

Articles in edited volumes

Fischer, M.D. & McGivern, G. (2016). Affective overflows in clinical riskwork. In Power, M. (ed) Riskwork: Essays on the organizational life of risk management. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

McGivern, G. Dopson, S. Ferlie, E. Fischer, M.D. Ledger, J. Bennett, C. Fitzgerald, L. (2016). 'Epistemic fit' and the mobilization of management knowledge in healthcare. In Swan et al. (eds) Mobilizing knowledge in healthcare: Challenges for management and organization. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Major research reports

Dopson et al (2016). The impact of leadership and leadership development in higher education: A review of the literature and evidence. Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, London.

McGivern, G. Fischer, M.D. Palaima, T. Spendlove, Z. Thompson, O. & Waring, J. (2015) Exploring and explaining the dynamics of osteopathic regulation, professionalism, and compliance with standards in practice: Report to the General Osteopathic Council. Warwick Business School, University of Melbourne, University of Oxford, Nottingham University, & British School of Osteopathy.


Professor Michael Fischer is a highly active researcher with a strong focus on practice level micro-sociology of organisational change in research-intensive settings, especially in healthcare. He specialises in ethnographic and comparative case studies, drawing on socio-material perspectives to analyse intersubjective relations, affect and power, and their potential to mobilise organisational change.

Recent research grants include:

£20,000 (S. Dopson, E. Ferlie, M.D. Fischer, J. Ledger, G. McGivern), The impact of leadership and leadership development in higher education: A review of the literature and evidence. Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, UK. 2015-2016

A$25,000 (M.D. Fischer M. Bismark, H. Dickinson, B. Harley, S. Trenholm), Exploring a policy innovation for knowledge translation: The formation of Australia&rsquos Advanced Health Research & Translation Centres. Melbourne School of Government, The University of Melbourne. 2015-2016

£80,000 (G. McGivern, M.D. Fischer, J. Waring), Exploring and explaining the dynamics of osteopathic regulation, professionalism, and compliance with standards in practice. General Osteopathic Council. 2013-2014

3-year Oxford Senior Fellowship (M.D. Fischer, T. Morris, S. Dopson, A. Custers). Making it at the top: How elite business schools develop executive leadership. Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, 2012-2015

£30,000 (M.D. Fischer, E. Ferlie, N. Fulop, C. French, S. Wolfe). Using management knowledge to manage organisational change: A local evaluation of King&rsquos Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre.  Division of Health & Social Care Research, King&rsquos College London. 2009-2012

£252,000 (G. Roberts, I. Norman, M.D. Fischer, P. Thomas, L. Nasir). Facilitating knowledge exchange between health care sectors, organisations and professions: Studying boundary spanning processes and their impact on healthcare quality. National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Service Research Programme. 2010-2012

£499,300  (S. Dopson, E. Ferlie, L. Fitzgerald, G. McGivern, M.D. Fischer, J. McCulloch, C. Bennett & J Ledger). Increasing the motivation and ability of health care managers to access & use management research. NIHR Service Delivery & Organisation Programme. 2009-2012

£65,000 (G. McGivern, E. Ferlie, M.D. Fischer, M. Exworthy). The visible & invisible performance effects of transparency in professional regulation. Economic & Social Research Council, Public Services Programme. 2008-2009 


2016-present   Professor of Organisational Behaviour & Leadership, Australian Catholic University

2012-present   Visiting Scholar, University of Oxford

2014-2016       Senior Research Fellow, University of Melbourne

2012-2014       Senior Research Fellow, University of Oxford

2009-2012       Associate Fellow, University of Oxford

2008-2012       Research Fellow, King&rsquos College London

2008-2012       Honorary Consultant Psychotherapist, King&rsquos Health Partners London

2001-2007       Lead Consultant Psychotherapist, Liverpool

1995-2001       Consultant Adult Psychotherapist and Senior Manager, Manchester

Professional Memberships
  • Fellow, Royal Society of Medicine
  • Fellow, Royal Anthropological Institute
  • Fellow, Higher Education Academy
  • Fellow, Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce
  • Member, Institute of Group Analysis, London
  • Member, College of Psychoanalysts UK
  • Member, Council for Psychoanalysis & Jungian Analysis, UK Council for Psychotherapy
  • Member, Australian Association of Group Psychotherapists
  • Accredited Psychotherapist & Clinical Supervisor, Professional Standards Authority
  • Member (Executive Coach), Association for Coaching

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