Dr Tom Reader

  • Associate Professor
  • London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London, UK
  • 21/02/2022
Advisor, Project lead Psychological and Behavioural Science

Personal Summary

Dr Tom Reader is an Associate Professor of Organisational Psychology at the London School of Economics. He directs the MSc in Organisational and Social Psychology, leads an MSc and Executive course on Organisational Culture, and is a chartered psychologist (MA and PhD, University of Aberdeen; Leverhulme Fellowship).

Tom’s research focuses on organisational and safety culture: he studies how norms and behaviours relating to risk-management, team-working, and ethical conduct emerge in organizations and contribute to outcomes (e.g., safety, decision-making).

Tom’s current work investigates how organizations can better detect and respond to signals of impeding and serious failure. Specifically, he explores how stakeholders who may lack institutional power (e.g., junior employees, service users) can have insights on critical problems at the operational-level of work (e.g., errors, accidents, conduct) that are unseen or unaddressed by senior decision-makers. Tom examines the psychological and organizational mechanisms (e.g., culture, data analytics) through which such insights can be given prominence, and thereby learnt from and used to support organizational resilience.

Tom’s research has been published in: Journal of Applied PsychologyHuman RelationsJournal of Occupational and Organizational PsychologyRisk AnalysisMilbank QuarterlyJournal of Business EthicsHuman FactorsErgonomicsSafety ScienceJournal of Risk ResearchBMJ.

Tom is committed to ensuring that psychological theories and methodologies are understandable, useful, and usable by organisations and the public. He has developed a range of widely used organizational psychology tools, including the Healthcare Complaints Analysis Tool (used globally to measure patient safety), the Safety Culture Assessment Methodology (applied to measure safety culture across the aviation industry), and the Unobtrusive Corporate Culture Analysis Tool (for monitoring the cultural health of organisations).

Expertise: decision-making; human error; leadership; non-technical skills; oil and gas; organisational culture; patient safety; safety; situation awareness; team mental models; teamwork


Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science