University of Bath School of Management University of Bath School of Management

Cultivating trustworthy leaders

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Professor Veronica Hope-Hailey

New research led by Professor Veronica Hope Hailey, Dean of the School of Management, in partnership with the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, demonstrates how organisations can recruit and develop more trustworthy leaders through HR practices.

The report, ‘Cultivating trustworthy leaders,’ builds on previous research, co-authored by Professor Hope Hailey, ‘Where has all the trust gone?’ and draws on practical examples from 13 cross sector organisations that have developed trustworthy leaders, including John Lewis, BBC Worldwide and Unilever.

The research highlights the importance of the four characteristics of trustworthy leaders: ability, benevolence, integrity and predictability. Findings suggest that HR can increase trustworthiness within an organisation’s leadership team through a number of methods, including values-based interviewing and encouraging leaders to share their personal stories.

Professor Veronica Hope Hailey commented:
“What came through from the research was that when considering the four drivers of trustworthiness, HR selection processes were good at measuring ability and predictability. However, the softer elements of trustworthiness, benevolence and integrity, were much more dependent upon assessing an individual as a whole person. This means considering a potential leader’s personal conduct inside and outside the workplace, and how their personal moral code would fit with the overall organisational culture.”

Professor Veronica Hope Hailey will be discussing the findings of the report with Geoff McDonald, Global VP HR - Marketing, Communications, Sustainability and Water at Unilever and Bishop Ed Condry,– who holds responsibility for leadership selection and development at Church of England and Diocese of Salisbury, at the CIPD’s annual Learning & Development Conference on 30 April. To find out more and book your place visit:

Notes to Editors

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General Notes For Editors:

The School of Management is one of the UK's leading business schools. Currently ranked 1st for Student Experience (Times Higher Education 2015) and 1st for Business Studies (The Times & Sunday Times University Guide 2016), we are a leading centre for management research - placed 8th in the UK in the latest REF2014.

We are one of a select number of international business schools accredited by EQUIS, the European Foundation for Management Development's quality inspectorate and the Bath MBA has been accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA) since 1976.

The centrality of research to teaching is an essential feature of all our programmes. The School offers a full range of programmes from undergraduate to postgraduate up to PhD level and post-experience programmes including the world-ranked Bath MBA. The School also provides tailored executive development programmes for middle and senior management.

The School of Management has a faculty of over 100 teaching and research staff, including visiting academics, with a professional support team of around 90 managerial and administrative staff. Research income averages £2 million per annum. There are approximately 2,400 students in total comprising some 150 MBA students, over 500 Master’s students, 250 full- and part-time research students, and over 1500 undergraduates following BSc degrees.