Professor Michelle Ryan
Professor of Social and Organisational Psychology/ Dean of Postgraduate Research and Director of the University of Exeter Doctoral College


Michelle Ryan is a Professor of Social and Organisational Psychology. She is involved in a number of research projects. In 2014 she undertook a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship to examine the role of identity in explaining perceptions of work-life balance. With Alex Haslam, she has uncovered the phenomenon of the glass cliff, whereby women (and members of other minority groups) are more likely to be placed in leadership positions which are risky or precarious. Research into the glass cliff was short listed for the Times Higher Education Supplement Research Project of the Year in 2005 and was named by the New York Times as one of the ideas that shaped 2008. Click here for a brief video introduction to the glass cliff.

Michelle is also involved in projects examining (a) the effectiveness of role models (with Thekla Morgenroth and Kim Peters); (b) women's ambition in the workplace (with Kim Peters and Alex Haslam); (c) the role of identity in understanding work-life balance (with Kim Peters, Thekla Morgenroth, Floor Rink and Janka Stoker); (d) men's support for gender equality (with Antonia Sudkaemper, Teri Kirby, and Thekla Morgenroth); (e) gender differences in risk taking (with Thekla Morgenroth and Cordelia Fine); (f) leadership succession (with Nik Steffens, Floor Rink, and Janka Stoker); and (g) identity complexity (with Thomas Morton and Anders Sonderlund). 

Michelle is also Dean of Postgraduate Research and the Director of the new University of Exeter Doctoral College.

Research group links

Contact details

Internal tel5120
Tel+44 (0) 1392 725120
AddressWashington Singer Laboratories
University of Exeter
Perry Road
Prince of Wales Road

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