David Guest, professor in organisational psychology and HR management, King’s College London


David Guest, professor in organisational psychology and HR management, King’s College London
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David Guest is one of the leading academic experts on human resource management and related aspects of work and organisational psychology. He has a first degree in psychology and sociology from Birmingham University and PhD in occupational psychology from London University.

His first job was a research officer in the department of occupational psychology at Birkbeck College. He then spent three years as behavioural science adviser to British Rail before joining the London School of Economics in 1972. He moved to Birkbeck in 1990 and for 10 years was professor of occupational psychology and head of the department of organisational psychology. During that period he had a spell as a governor of Birkbeck and as pro-vice master. He moved to King’s College in 2000, where he has served as head of the department of management and deputy head of the school of social science and public policy.

He has written and researched extensively in the areas of human resource management, employment relations and the psychological contract, motivation and commitment, and careers. His most recent book is Psychological Contracts, Employment Contracts and Employee Well-Being: An international study (Oxford University Press, 2010). He is a member of the editorial advisory board of a number of journals. He has been a member of the NHS SDO commissioning board and of UK Skills and Employment Advisory Group. Over the years, he has worked closely with a range of companies including Shell, IBM, HSBC, Hong Kong MTRC, as well as with the UK National Health Service and a number of government departments.

His current research is concerned with the relationship between human resource management, organisational performance and employee well-being in the private and public sectors; the role of human resource departments; the individualization of employment relations and the role of the psychological contract; flexibility and employment contracts; partnership at work; and the future of the career. For five years up to July 2012 he was programme director for Workforce Research and also managing director of the King’s NIHR Patient Safety and Service Quality Research Centre, engaged in research on human resource issues in healthcare.

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