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Professor David Greatbatch
Honorary Visiting Professor



David joined the School for Business and Society as an Honorary Visiting Professor in October 2020, having previously held visiting professorships at Durham University Business School (2005-2020) and the School of Education at Nottingham University (2003-2015). He previously held positions at the Universities of Liverpool, London (King’s College), Nottingham, Oxford and Warwick, and the Xerox Research Laboratory in Cambridge.

David has a BA (Hons) and PhD in sociology from the University of Warwick.



David specialises in studies of social interaction in organisational settings, drawing on conversation analysis and ethnomethodology. He has undertaken research in a wide variety of contexts including, broadcast journalism, general practice, telemedicine, dispute resolution, education, social work and management consultancy. His current research interests include speaker-audience interaction during CEO speeches at annual shareholder meetings, the use of oratory by thought-leaders and the role of accounting in social work.

David has published in leading academic journals (including American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Human Relations, Leadership Quarterly, Language in Society and Sociology of Health and Illness) and three jointly authored books.  His most recent book, published with Cambridge University Press, examines the flow of ideas from management gurus’ lectures into organizations (with Stefan Heusinkveld, Marlieke van Grinsven, Claudia Groß and Timothy Clark).

Alongside his academic activities, over the last twenty years, David has conducted numerous applied research projects for a wide range of organisations, including: the Department for Education; the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills; the Department of Health; the Department for International Development; the Welsh Government; the Welcome Trust; the Gatsby Foundation, and the Economic and Social Research Council.


Selected publications


Heusinkveld, S., van Grinsven, M., Gross, C. Greatbatch, D. and Clark, T. (forthcoming 2021) The Flow of Management Ideas: Rethinking Managerial Audiences, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Greatbatch, D. and Clark, C. (2018) Conversation Analysis for Business and Management Students, London: Sage.

Greatbatch, D. and Clark, C. (2005) Management Speak: Why We Listen to What Management Gurus Tell Us, London: Routledge.

Journal articles

Chow, D., Greatbatch, D. and Bracci, Enrico  (2019) ‘Financial responsibilisation and the role of accounting in social work: challenges and possibilities’, British Journal of Social Work, 46(6): 1582-1600.

Clark, T. and Greatbatch, D. (2011) ‘Audience perceptions of charismatic and non-charismatic  oratory: the case of management gurus’,  The Leadership Quarterly, 22 (1), 22-32.

Hanlon, G., Goode, J., Greatbatch, D., Luff, D., O'Cathain, A. and Strangleman, T. (2006) ‘Risk society and the NHS: from the traditional to the new citizen?’,Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 17(2-3): 270-282.

Greatbatch, D., Hanlon, G., Goode, J., O’Cathain, A., Strangleman, T. and Luff, D. (2005) ‘Telephone triage, expert systems and clinical expertise’, Sociology of Health and Illness,  27(6): 802-830.

Goode, J., and Greatbatch, D.  (2005)  ‘Boundary work: The production and consumption of health information and advice within service interactions between staff and callers to NHS Direct’, Journal of Consumer Culture, 5(3), 315-337.

Hanlon, G., Strangleman, T., Goode, J., Luff, D., O'Cathain, A. and Greatbatch, D. (2005) ‘Knowledge, technology, and nursing: The case of NHS Direct’, Human Relations, 58(2), 147-71.

Clark, T. and Greatbatch, D. (2004) ‘Management fashion as image-spectacle: The production of management best-selling books’, Management Communication Quarterly, 17(3), 396-424.

Greatbatch, D. and Clark, T. (2003) ‘Displaying group cohesion: humour and laughter in the public lectures of management gurus’, Human Relations, 56(12): 1515-1544.

Greatbatch, D., Murphy, E. and Dingwall, R. (2001) ‘Evaluating medical information systems: ethnomethodological and interactionist Perspectives’, Health Services Management Research, 14: 181-191.

Greatbatch, D. and Dingwall, R. (1997) ‘Argumentative talk in divorce mediation sessions’, American Sociological Review, 62(1): 151-170.

Greatbatch, D., Heath, C.C., Campion, P. and Luff, P. (1995) ‘How do desk-top computers affect the doctor-patient interaction?’. Family Practice, 12(1): 32-36.

Greatbatch, D. and Dingwall, R. (1989) ‘Selective facilitation: some preliminary observations on a strategy used by divorce mediators’, Law and Society Review, 23(4), 613-641.

Greatbatch, D. (1988) ‘A turn-taking system for British news interviews’, Language in Society, 17: 401-430.

Heritage, J.C. and Greatbatch, D. (1986) ‘Generating applause: a study of rhetoric and response at party political conferences’, American Journal of Sociology, 92: 110-157.

Greatbatch, D. (1986)  ‘Aspects of topical organisation in news interviews: The use of agenda shifting procedures by interviewees’, Media, Culture and Society, 8, 441-445.

Chapters in books

Clark, T., Bhatanacharoen, P., and Greatbatch, D. (2015) ‘Conveying the adaptation of management panaceas: The case of management gurus’, in: Örtenblad, A. (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Management Ideas and Panaceas (Chapter 13). Edward Elgar: Cheltenham. 223-242.

Greatbatch, D. and Clark, T. (2012)  ‘Conversation analysis in management research’, in Symon,  G. and Cassell, C. (Eds.) The Practice of Qualitative Organisational Research: Core Methods  and Current Challenges. London, Sage, pp.451-472

Clark, T.,  Bhatanacharoen, P and Greatbatch, D. (2012)  ‘Management gurus as celebrity consultants’, in Kipping, M. and Clark, T. (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Management Consulting.  Oxford University Press, 347-363.

Greatbatch, D. (2009) ‘Conversation analysis’, in Buchanan, D. and Bryman, A. (Eds.) Handbook of Organisational Research Methods. London: Sage, pp. 484-499.

Greatbatch, D. and Clark, T. (2010) ‘The situated production of stories’, in Llewllyn, N. and Hindmarsh, J. (Eds.)., Organisations, Interaction and Practice: Studies in Real Time Work and Organising. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 96-118.

Greatbatch, D. (2006) ‘Prescriptions and prescribing: Coordinating talk-and text-based activities’, in Heritage, J. and Maynard, D. (Eds.). Practicing Medicine: Structure and Process in Primary Care Encounters, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 313-339.

Greatbatch, D., Heath, C.C., Luff, P. and Campion, P. (1995) ‘Conversation analysis: human- computer interaction and the general practice consultation’, in Monk, A. and Gilbert, N. (Eds.)  Perspectives on Human-Computer Interaction, London: Academic Press, pp.199-222.

Luff, P., Heath, C.C. and Greatbatch, D. (1994) ‘Work, interaction and technology: the naturalistic analysis of human conduct and requirements analysis’, in Jirotka, M. and Goguen,   J. (Eds.) Requirements Engineering: Social and Technical Issues, London: Academic Press, 259-288.

Greatbatch, D. (1992) ‘On the management of disagreement between news interviewees’, in Drew, P. and Heritage, J.C. (Eds.). Talk at Work: Interaction in Institutional Settings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 268-301.

Funded Reports

Greatbatch, D. and Tate, S. (forthcoming 2021) Analysis of response to reforms to unregulated provision for children in care and care leavers consultation, London: Department for Education.

Greatbatch, D. and Tate, S. (2020) The use of unregulated and unregistered provision for children in care, London: Department for Education.

Greatbatch, D. and Tate, S. (2018) Teaching, leadership and governance in further education, London: Department for Education.

Greatbatch, D. and Holland, J. (2016) Teaching quality in higher education, London: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Berry-Lound, D., Tate, S. and Greatbatch, D. (2016) Social work teaching partnership programme pilots: evaluation, London: Department for Education

Greatbatch, D. (2016) A false economy: cuts to continuing professional development funding for nursing, midwifery and the allied health professions in England, London: Council of Deans of Health.

Full publications list






School for Business and Society
University of York
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