Dr Angela Espinosa

Reader in Management Systems

01482 463814

Angela is passionate about teaching and research in systems and cybernetics.

She joined the Hull University Business School's Centre of Systems Studies in 2002 from the Engineering Faculty of the Los Andes University in Bogota, Colombia.

Angela has published extensively on complexity and sustainability in organisations and communities, and has several research awards for her contributions to systems research.

She was born in Colombia and originally worked as a computer and systems engineer before obtaining a PhD in Organisational Cybernetics from Aston Business School.



Research Interests

  • Complexity management in organisations

  • Sustainability in organisations and community

  • Strategic information management

Research groups

  • Member of the Colombian Association of Systems Engineers, the British Operational Research Society, the International Society for Systems Sciences, and the University of Hull's Centre of Systems Studies

  • Principal investigator of two EPSRC-funded projects for EMERGENT (UK Emergence and Complexity Network)

  • Co-founder of two research groups developing theory and practice in organisational cybernetics: SCIO and Metaphorum

  • Collaborates with FEASTA, an independent Irish think tank on alternative models of sustainable development


Espinosa, A. Walker J. (2017). ‘A Complexity Approach to Sustainability: Theory and Application’. 2nd ed., Invited Research Monograph, Imperial College - Book Series on Complexity. World Scientific Press, London.

Espinosa, A., Duque, C. (2017). 'Complexity management and multi-scale governance: A case study in an Amazonian Indigenous Association'. European Journal of Operational Research. Special issue on Community Operational Research. Midgley, G. and Johnson, M (eds). DOI: 10.1016/j.ejor.2007.03.023

Panagiotakopoulos, P., Espinosa, A., Walker, J. (2016). 'Sustainability management: insights from the Viable System Model', Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol 113, 1 February 2016, Pages 792–806

Espinosa, A., Reficco, E., Martinez, A., Guzman, D. (2015). 'A methodology for supporting strategy implementation based on the VSM: A case study in a LA multi-national'. European Journal of Operational Research. Volume 240, Issue 1, 1 January 2015, Pages 202–212

Espinosa, A., Walker, J. (2013). 'Complexity Management in Practice: A VSM Intervention in an Irish Eco- Community'. European Journal of Operational Research. Volume 225, Issue 1, 16 February 2013, Pages 118-129

Full publications list



Programmes taught on

Modules list

  • Dissertations and Research Methods

  • Systemic Management (MBA)

  • Systems Methodologies (PhD)

Research PhDs

  • Dissertations and Research Methods

  • Systemic Management (MBA)

  • Systems Methodologies (PhD)

Completed PhDs

At Hull University Business School

1st supervisor

  • M Watts (2010) A Systemic Approach to collaborative implementation networks structures: implementation of cultural tourism products in an English seaside context

  • K Knowles (2011) A Holistic Framework for Environmental Change - Socio-Environmental Cohesion for Sustainability

  • P P Cardoso (2011) Facilitating self-organization in non-hierarchical communities. A methodology for regeneration programs

  • S Morlidge (2011) The Application of Organisational Cybernetics to the Design and Diagnosis of Financial Performance Management Systems

  • Al-Maimani (From 2009, part time…)A holistic approach to improve the institutional and organisational environment for investment policies and decisions: A case study about Oman public-private sectors knowledge sharing collaboration

  • W. Metannot (from 2011 full time)Systemic tools to enhance resilience and networking in SMEs in rural Thailand

  • I Sabir, (from 2012 part time)Perceived effects of workforce emotions on organisational viability in corporate sector of Pakistan

2nd supervisor

  • T Bowers (2007-2011) An Ontology for a Critical Systems Paradigm

  • P Munday (2015) Developing a Systems Approach for Community Engagement in Disaster Recovery

  • M Pretel (2017) Meaningful Viability: Towards a Theory of Organisational Persistence

  • R Gonzalez (2017) Methodology to adopt an on going business process for Managing Complexity for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in México

  • S. Wasilewski (2016) The Emergence of Viable Businesses from a Complex Economic Landscape in the Banking and Insurance Industries

At Los Andes School of Management, 1st supervisor of

  • D. Guzman (2014) Auto-Organización En Sistemas Socio-Ecológicos Para La Gestión Del Cambio Ambiental: Lineamientos Metodológicos Y Aplicaciones

  • A Martinez (2015) The role of adaptation mechanisms in the implementation of corporate sustainability strategy in a LA manufacturing firm

  • C Velez (2017) Doing Business Amidst Conflict: Two Essays on the Distribution of Basic Consumer Goods

Current PhD supervisions 

  • P Sridan, A suitable model of power generation from biomass: potential and sustainability for Thailand     

  • R Valenzuela, A systematic approach to developing automotive industry by the enhancement of tier II suppliers

  • P Sydelko, Designing Meta-organisations for addressing Wicked Problems

  • Salimeh Pour Mohammah, A longitudinal study of the impacts of Leadership Development on the process of Knowledge Mobilisation

  • lfadhal Al Hinal, ' A Systemic Approach to Investigating the Optimum Design of a Start-up Organisation in a Multi-Agency Environment
  • Julija Vanilova, Supply chain integration in the offshore wind industry

Professional highlights


Academic qualifications

  • BSc (Los Andes, Colombia)

  • PhD (Aston)

Awards and accolades

  • ORS Award - Committee of vice-chancellors and Principals of the Universities of the United Kingdom. 1988

  • Beca, Plan Institutional de Capacitación a Docentes. Colciencias, Bogotá, Colombia. 1992-1994

  • Representative for Colombia to the World Organisation of Systems and Cybernetics (WOSC). Since 1998.

  • Ashby Lecture in the 16th European Meeting on Cybernetics and Systems Research, April 1-7, Vienna, 2002

  • Outstanding Paper Award from Emerald Literati in 2007

  • Norbert Wiener Award from Kybernetes: The International Journal in Systems and Cybernetics, (Espinosa, 2006).

  • EPSRC Research Fellowship. UK Emergence and Complexity Network. 2007- 2010. Project ‘Defying the rules: how self-organisation works in social systems’

  • EPSRC Research Fellowship. UK Emergence and Complexity Network. 2007- 2010. Project 'Emerging Sustainability’

  • Lectio Inaugurale. El Rosario University, School of Management. Colombia. September 2010.

  • Highly Commended Paper. Emerald Literati. Kybernetes: The International Journal in Systems and Cybernetics (2012). (Espinosa et al, 2011)