Dr Olga Suhomlinova

Associate Professor in ManagementOlga Suhomlinova

Contact details

Personal details

BA in Economics (Moscow State University, Russia)

MA in Sociology (Duke University, USA)

PhD (Duke University, USA)

Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy (UK)

I was born and raised in Moscow (Russia) and received my BA in Economics from Moscow State University (Russia).  I continued my studies in the United States and received MA in Sociology and PhD from Duke University (USA).

Prior to joining the University of Leicester School of Business, I held appointments at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Duke University, and Nottingham University Business School. I have also held visiting appointments at the University of Manchester, University of Bath, and Bangor University.

I am a member of the editorial board of Journal of Management Studies and published in American Sociological Review, Organization Studies, Human Relations, Journal of Management, Journal of Management Studies, Public Administration, Leadership Quarterly, and Journal of Applied Behavioral Analysis.


Most of my teaching is on the flexible learning LeicesterGlobal MBA programme:

  • MN7701 Managing and Developing People and Organisations
  • MN7709 Organisational Research and Consultancy Methods and the MBA Project

I also contribute to teaching:

  • MN1025 Introduction to Management for Accounting and Finance (BSc Accounting and BSc Accounting and Finance)
  • MW2006 Clinical Leadership 2 (MSci Nursing with Leadership and MSci Midwifery with Leadership, School of Allied Health Professions)

Administrative responsibilities

The Leicester Global MBA Programme Director

ULSB Flexible Learning Programmes Deputy Director


I have wide research interests as evidenced by my publications – ranging from macro-level studies of industry evolution and organisational survival (in the context of construction, petroleum, and financial services industries) to micro-level studies of professional identities, leadership, and institutional change (in the context of public sector organisations, particularly healthcare and education).

My research has been supported by grants from the US Institute for the Study of World Politics, British Academy, the UK NHS National Institute for Health Research, and the Leicester Institute for Advanced Studies.

Current projects

1. Transcending the bars:  Transgender and non-binary prisoners’ experiences in England and Wales

I am currently leading the research project “Transcending the bars:  Transgender and non-binary prisoners’ experiences in England and Wales”.  The research team includes:

  • Dr Saoirse O’Shea, Open University
  • Dr Tammy Ayres, University of Leicester
  • Dr Matthew Tonkin, University of Leicester
  • Dr Michelle O'Reilly, University of Leicester

The project seeks to understand the lives of transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) prisoners.  In the last few years both the UK and international media have reported numerous stories on transgender prisoners.  Yet, outside the sensationalist headlines, there is little academic research on the actual experiences of this vulnerable minority whose situation is particularly precarious in prisons.  The project is the first nation-wide academic study of TGNC prisoners in England and Wales.  It started in July 2019 and is ongoing.

In this project we are collecting the data using innovative correspondence (letter-writing) method and have engaged with 23 prisoners from 16 public and private prisons across England and Wales.

The project team is a proud member of the following networks:

2. Prisoners’ lives in the shadow of COVID-19

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, it was only natural to extend our project”Transcending the bars” to inquire how the coronavirus and the associated restrictions have affected the life, health and wellbeing of prisoners and the relationships among prisoners and between prisoners and staff.  With support from the Leicester Institute for Advanced Studies and the permission from Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, we have developed an additional module in our project, focusing on prisoners’ experiences of the pandemic.

Ours is the only primary data research on English and Welsh prisons that has been running since the start of (and throughout) the pandemic restrictions.

3. Safety huddles in hospital emergency departments

I am collaborating with Professor Will Green (University of Leicester), Dr Simon Robinson and Dr Damian Roland (University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust) on the project examining the role of safety huddles (brief daily meetings) in emergency department of NHS hospitals.

The project further develops the Safety Huddles initiative and research project supported by East Midlands Health Science Network, Health Education England, and Patient Safety Collaborative.


I have supervised to completion as the first supervisor the following PhDs:

  • Waleed Al-Ajlan, “Corporate Governance in Saudi Arabia: the Role and Responsibilities of the Boards of Directors in the Banking Industry”, whose PhD led to a successful career in consultancy and management https://www.linkedin.com/in/waleed-alajlan
  • Liangrong Zu, whose PhD thesis was published by Springer as a monograph “Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Restructuring and Firm's Performance” https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783540708957
  • David Evans, who, following a successful career as senior manager in the NHS, after completing his PhD entitled “Drinking water from flower vases: The story of crisis in the NHS”, switched to academia and is currently a lecturer and researcher at Bangor University

I am currently co-supervising, with Professsor Will Green, Dr Colin Price who is writing a thesis tentatively titled “National IT strategy in the turbulent English NHS: A structuration study of meso-level practice”



with Saoirse C O’Shea (2022) Transgender and Non-Binary Prisoners’ Experiences in England and Wales: Coming Out Inside. Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing

with Saoirse C O’Shea (2021) ‘Doubly imprisoned: Transgender and non-binary prisoners experiences in England and Wales’. In Johnson A, Baker R and Taylor T (eds.) Advances in Gender Research 32: Advances in Trans Studies.  Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing.

with Saoirse C O’Shea (2021) ‘Transgender and non-binary prisoners in the USA and English and Wales Prison Estates’.  In Maycock M, Fernandez F, O’Shea SC and Jenness V (eds.) Transgender people in contact with the criminal justice system. London: Routledge


Suhomlinova, O., Ayres, T.C., O’Shea, S., O'Reilly, M. and Tonkin, M. (2020) Trans and in prison during a pandemic: a rare glimpse behind bars. The Conversation, 15th June 2020

Ilya Okhmatovskyi, Olga Suhomlinova, Laszlo Tihanyi. 2020. Legacy of the State: Prior Shared Experience and Survival of Spin-Offs from Restructured State Enterprises. Journal of Management, 46 (4): 503-529. | doi.org/10.1177/0149206318808601

Colin Price, William Green, Olga Suhomlinova. 2019. Twenty-five years of national health IT: exploring strategy, structure, and systems in the English NHS. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 26 (3): 188-197. | doi.org/10.1093/jamia/ocy162

Janet Harvey, Ellen Annandale, John Loan-Clarke, Olga Suhomlinova, and Nina Teasdale. 2014. Mobilising Identities: The Shape and Reality of Middle and Junior Managers' Working Lives. Health Services and Delivery Research, 2 (11).

Andrea Whittle, Olga Suhomlinova, Frank Mueller. 2011. Dialogue and distributed agency in institutional transmission. Journal of Management and Organization, 17 (4): 567-588.

Andrea Whittle, Olga Suhomlinova, Frank Mueller. 2010. Funnel of interests: The discursive translation of organizational change. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 46 (1): 16-37.

Graeme Currie, Andy Lockett, Olga Suhomlinova. 2009. The institutionalization of distributed leadership: A ‘Catch-22’ in English public services. Human Relations 62: 1735–1761.

Graeme Currie, Andy Lockett, Olga Suhomlinova. 2009. Leadership and institutional change in the public sector: The case of secondary schools in England. The Leadership Quarterly, 20: 664–679 .

Olga Suhomlinova. 2007 Property rules: State fragmentation, industry heterogeneity and property rights in the Russian oil industry, 1992-2006. Human Relations, 60(10): 1443–1466 .

Olga Suhomlinova. 2006 Toward a model of organizational co-evolution in transition economies. Journal of Management Studies, 43 (7): 1537-1558. .

Graeme Currie and Olga Suhomlinova. 2006. The impact of institutional forces upon knowledge sharing in the UK NHS: The triumph of professional power and the inconsistency of policy. Public Administration 84 (1): 1-30.]

Graeme Currie, Inger Boyett and Olga Suhomlinova. 2005. Transformational leadership within secondary schools in England. A panacea for organizational ills? Public Administration 83 (2): 265-296.

Xueguang Zhou and Olga Suhomlinova. 2001. Redistribution under state socialism: A USSR and PRC comparison. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility 18: 163-204.

Olga Suhomlinova. 1999. Constructive destruction: Transformation of Russian state-owned construction enterprises during market transition. Organization Studies 20(3): 451-484

Kenneth I. Spenner, Olga O. Suhomlinova, Sten A. Thore, Kenneth C. Land, and Derek C. Jones.1998. Strong legacies and weak markets: Bulgarian state-owned enterprises during early transition. American Sociological Review 63(4): 599-617.

Bridget Heidemann, Olga O. Suhomlinova, and Angela M. O’Rand. 1998. Economic independence, economic status, and empty nest in midlife marital disruption. Journal of Marriage and the Family 60: 219-231.

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