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Professor Aoife Mcdermott

Professor of Human Resource Management

Cardiff Business School

+44 29208 75065
Aberconway Building, Room S29, Colum Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3EU


I am currently a Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice, and will be based at the University of California, Berkeley until the 31st August 2023. 

My  research interests concern the role of human resource management and change management in supporting service delivery and improvement through people, particularly in health and other public sector and professional contexts. I am particularly interested in employment relationships and experiences of work, employees’ responses to change and the role of the HR function in shaping/responding to these. My Harkness Fellowship project focuses on job quality in primary care. 

I was founding programme director of the MSc/Diploma in Healthcare Planning commissioned by Welsh Government and NHS Wales. Prior to this, I coordinated Cardiff Health Organisation and Policy Studies Group (CHOPS) from 2013-2019. My work has been published in Human Resource Management, the International Journal of Human Resource Management, the British Journal of Management, Public Administration and the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory.


















Book sections



Research interests

  • People management in healthcare, including employees experiences at work and staff retention
  • Human resource management/management roles
  • Change management and responses to change
  • Health service organisation and delivery

Research projects

  • 2022-present, The Commonwealth Fund. Harkness Fellowship in Health Care Policy and Practice, UC Berkeley. Strengthening primary care through clinical staffing. A. McDermott.
  • 2017-present, Health Research Board (Ireland). Hospital doctor retention and motivation. N. Humphries (PI), A. Matthews, L. Prihodova, R. Costello, and A. McDermott.
  • 2012-2015, National leadership and innovation agency for Wales. An academic collaboration to develop workforce research. D. Kelly, P. Donnelly, B. Hunter, A. Jones, A. McDermott, C. O Brien, S. Pratt, Z. Radnor, D. Watkins.
  • 2012, Health Research Board (Ireland). Knowledge exchange and dissemination for: From policy to practice: An international comparison of approaches to systemic quality and safety.P. Flood, A. McDermott, L. McKee and L. Hamel.
  • 2010-2012, Health Research Board. From policy to practice: An international comparison of approaches to systemic quality and safety. Submitted by P. Flood (Dublin City University), A. McDermott and L. McKee (University of Aberdeen).
  • 2009-2010, National Centre for Partnership and Performance. Line management as a resource for change. Submitted by K. Monks, A. McDermott and M. Heffernan.
  • 2009-10, Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences. The HR-Performance link: Identifying key HR practices in Irish hospitals as a precursor to exploring effective delivery mechanisms. Submitted by P. Flood (DCU), A. McDermott and E. Conway (DCU).
  • 2007-2010, Health Research Board. Implementing Service-improvement in Hospitals: Roles, clinical directorate structures and the HR function. Submitted by M. Keating (Trinity College Dublin), A. McDermott and L. Fitzgerald, (DeMontfort University, UK).



I have taught across a range of programmes in the school, including in executive education:

  • MSc/Diploma in Healthcare Planning - People Management, Leadership & Change
  • Executive MBA – Human Resource Management
  • MBA – Leading and Managing People Performance
  • MSc HRM – The practice of HR in the modern workplace
  • MSc HRM – Research Methods
  • BSc Business Management – The Theory and Practice of Managing People
  • BSc Business Management - International Human Resource Management
  • Executive education: programmes relating to people management and change management


I am a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. I received a BA (mod) in Business & Sociology from Trinity College Dublin, where I was awarded a gold medal. I completed my PhD as a Trinity Scholar and Government of Ireland Research Scholar. 

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Academic member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)

Academic positions

2007-2010: Lecturer in Human Resource Management, Dublin City University, Ireland. 


I am interested in supervising PhD students in the areas of:

  • Employment relationships, particularly in health and social care
  • Line management / HR roles
  • Workforce planning
  • Change management, including scaling and sustaining

External profiles