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David is Professor of Small Business Development and Organisational Studies and Director of Business and Community Engagement in the School of Management and leads on the development of the School’s programme and portfolio in respect of support for small business and entrepreneurship. As part of this David is leading Bradford’s contribution to the Help to Grow: Management programme, a nation-wide programme of government-funded support for growth in SMEs being led by school’s holding the Small Business Charter. He is also the University’s Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Champion and has responsibility for ensuring enterprise skills and opportunities for entrepreneurship development are available for students across the whole University.  David has over 20 years of experience in higher education and returned to Bradford (where he began his academic career) at the start of the 2019/20 academic year, having previously led the Business School at the University of Salford. David’s research interests include strategic learning, change and leadership, with a particular interest small forms and entrepreneurship. He is currently leading a major longitudinal study looking at small firm resilience in response to Covid-19. He has undertaken research and consultancy and delivered executive education in both SMEs and with large corporate firms. He currently teaches on both the Undergraduate and Postgraduate programmes within the School of Management. Twitter: @DavidPSpicer 

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My research interests lie in the study of learning and change in organisations, specifically, strategic adaptation, organisational learning, change agency and leadership, relationships between individual and organisational learning, relationships between learning, motivation and effectiveness, the role played by the individual learner and the impact and assessment of cognitive/learning style. I have undertaken work with SMEs, public sector organisations (local government) and major commercial organisations.

I am currently focused on strategic adaption and growth in small firms, and how such firms respond to crisis.


Teaching interests

I have taught modules across human resources and organisational behaviour. However, my particular interest and specialism is in organisational learning and change.  My approach to learning is both action-oriented and experiential.

Teaching highlights

I have led course and programme design at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Examples include the redesign of modules in the Management of Change, the review of undergraduate programmes offered by the Human Resources and Organisational Behaviour Group, the development of a CIPD-accredited BSc in HRM and the major review and redevelopment of the MBA programme. I have also led the writing and editing of distance learning materials and have supervised over 80 Masters Dissertations. My experience includes leading executive education programmes and international programmes in Dubai and Hong Kong. My specialism has led to my providing an Alumni Masterclass on the Management of Change and being invited to speak on change by Yorkshire Forward and Common Purpose. I have been a visiting professor at TIAS Business School in the Netherlands and Germany and at MDIS in Singapore.


TitleLeadership and followers' work goals: A comparison between japan and the uk (2011)
AuthorsFukushige A.;Spicer D.
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
TitleChanging culture: A case study of a merger using cognitive mapping (2011)
AuthorsSpicer D.
JournalJournal of Change Management
TitleLeadership preferences in Japan: An exploratory study (2007)
AuthorsFukushige A.;Spicer D.
JournalLeadership and Organization Development Journal
TitleA case study of action learning in an MBA program (2006)
AuthorsJohnson C.;Spicer D.
JournalEducation and Training
TitleOrganizational learning in smaller manufacturing firms. (2006)
AuthorsSpicer, David P.; Sadler-Smith, E.
TitleCognitive processing models in performance appraisal: evidence from the Malaysian education system. (2006)
AuthorsSpicer, David P.; Ahmad, Rusli
TitleAn examination of the general decision making style questionnaire in two UK samples (2005)
AuthorsSpicer D.;Sadler-Smith E.
JournalJournal of Managerial Psychology
TitleAn examination of the general decision making style questionnaire in two UK sample. (2005)
AuthorsSpicer, David P.; Sadler-Smith, E.
TitleThe impact of approaches to learning and cognition on academic performance in business and management (2004)
AuthorsSpicer D.
JournalEducation and Training
TitleLearning orientations and growth in smaller firms (2001)
AuthorsSpicer, David P.; Sadler-Smith, E.; Chaston, I.
TitleValidity of the Cognitive Style Index: Replication and Extension (2000)
AuthorsSadler-Smith E.;Spicer D.;Tsang F.
JournalBritish Journal of Management