Gerald Midgeley

Professor Gerald Midgley

Professor of Systems Thinking

Faculty of Business, Law and Politics

Hull University Business School

g.r.midgley@hull.ac.uk

01482 463316

Professor Gerald Midgley is Professor of Systems Thinking in the Business School at the University of Hull. He also holds Adjunct Professorships at the University of Queensland, Australia; Mälardalen University, Sweden; the University of Canterbury, New Zealand; and Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

Gerald was Director of the Centre for Systems Studies at Hull from 1997 to 2003 and from 2010 to 2014. He has had more than 300 papers published on systems thinking, action research and stakeholder engagement, and has been involved in a wide variety of public sector, community development and resource management projects.

Research

Research Interests

  • Systems thinking - particularly the development of new methodologies and methods for application to 'wicked' policy problems and community development

  • Community operational research

  • Problem structuring methods

  • Dealing with power, conflict and marginalisation

  • Participatory practice

Research groups

My current externally-funded projects include

  • systems thinking with stakeholders from farming, consumer advocate and public health organisations to explore what it would take to secure a voluntary agreement to tackle the over-use of antimicrobials in agriculture in the USA. Sub-contract to Texas A&M University, where the Principle Investigator is based (funded by US Department of Agriculture)

  • research on the theory of co-creation for sustainability (funded by SESYNC, USA)

Publications

Systemic Intervention: Philosophy, Methodology, and Practice, Kluwer (2000).

'Operational Research and Environmental Management: A New Agenda', Operational Research Society (2001)

Systems Thinking, Volumes I-IV, Sage (2003)

Community Operational Research: OR and Systems Thinking for Community Development, Kluwer (2004)

Forensic DNA Evidence on Trial: Science and Uncertainty in the Courtroom, Emergent (2011)

For a full list of Professor Midgley's publications, follow this link.

Teaching

Research PhDs

I welcome applications in any area of systems thinking, and am particularly looking for students wanting to develop new methodologies and methods for application to 'wicked' policy problems and community development.

Related areas in which I am interested in supervising include community operational research; problem structuring methods; dealing with power, conflict and marginalisation; and participatory practice.

Completed PhDs 

I have supervised more than 30 PhD students to successful completion.

Current PhD supervisions 

Maya Vachkova, Identity Issues in Radicalisation

Pam Sydelko, The Design of Inter-Agency Organisations to Tackle Wicked Problems, with Specific Reference to International Organised Crime

Alistair Smith, Clashing Understandings of the Role of the State in an Increasingly Pluralistic Society, and the Processes of Marginalisation this Produces in Local Communities

Louie Gardiner, Developing the Theory and Practice of 'Subjective Empiricism' to Support Systemic Intervention.

Delia MacNamara, Developing a Tool (the Boundary Triage) to Support Critical Self-Reflection as part of Leadership in a Networked Society

Oralia de la Pena de Torres, Extending Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) Theory with the Theory of Boundary Critique to Support the Understanding of Marginalisation in Organisations.

Helene Finidori, The Use of Pattern Languages to Enhance Systems Thinking

Yulia Kozak, The Use of Counter-Factuals to Enhance the Systems Thinking of Managers

Lisa Hilder, The Drivers and Barriers to Social Entrepreneurship in Women's Grass-Roots Community Groups

Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

  • PhD (City University)

  • MPhil (City University)

  • BA (Hons) (London University)

External roles

Current externally-funded projects include

  • systems thinking with stakeholders from farming, consumer advocate and public health organisations to explore what it would take to secure a voluntary agreement to tackle the over-use of antimicrobials in agriculture in the USA. Sub-contract to Texas A&M University, where the Principle Investigator is based (funded by US Department of Agriculture)

  • research on the theory of co-creation for sustainability (funded by SESYNC, USA)

Awards and accolades

In 2016, Prof Midgley was made a Fellow of the Helenic Society for Systemic Studies (FHSSS).

In 2013, he received the Helenic Society for Systemic Sciences (HSSS) Award for making an outstanding contribution to the systems research community.

In 2009, he was the first recipient of the Victoria State Government’s Department of Primary Industries Visiting Fellowship, which involved capacity building on systems thinking for sustainability with Australian policy makers based in Melbourne, Victoria.

In 2007, he led ESR’s ‘Human Dimensions of Sustainable Development’ programme into a New Zealand Government review of water research. It received ‘excellent’ grades for ‘benefit to end users’ and ‘science contribution’. This programme was one of only five that achieved excellent grades in both categories.

He led the team that won the 2007 ESR Science Excellence Award in recognition of their achievement in the NZ Government review of water research mentioned above.

In 2002, while working at the University of Hull, he was awarded the ESR International Visiting Fellowship, to build systems thinking capacity with that organisation and give a public lecture at the New Zealand Royal Society.

In 1997 and 1999, he received two Anbar Intelligence Awards for papers of special significance for management research

  • 'The Theory and Practice of Boundary Critique: Developing Housing Services for Older People', Journal of the Operational Research Society, 49, 467-478 (1998) (with I. Munlo and M. Brown)

  • 'Managing Stories about Quality', International Journal of Technology Management, 11, 140-150 (1996) (with Y. Kadiri and M. Vahl).

In both cases he was the first-named author. Also, the paper in the International Journal of Technology Management received an Anbar Intelligence Award for accessibility to a management practitioner audience.