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Dr Sarah Bloomfield

Profile summary

Professional biography

I joined the central academic staff at The Open University in 2021, having worked in Associate Lecturer and Practice Tutor roles with the OU since 2009, and as a Senior Lecturer in business and management at Bath Spa University. I have an ESRC funded PhD and MRes from the University of Bath (where I maintain a role as a Visiting Research Fellow), and an MBA from INSEAD in France.

Before joining academia I had an extensive career in the consumer goods industry which included developing the launch of vacuum cleaners and washing machines; project managing a sponsor's on-site presence at the winter Olympic Games in Japan; and working as the UK Marketing Director of a major beauty brand.

Research interests

My research interests lie in two broad areas. The first relates to how organisational contradictions are lived, and the impact those contradictions have on leadership, behaviour and organisation. The second focuses on how individual and collective effectiveness can be improved in the workplace, recognising that each work situation is unique.

I use engaged methods of research, and have a published book chapter on employing an ethnographic methodology within organisational research. 

Teaching interests

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and have extensive experience of teaching business and management studies across all academic levels, with a particular focus on organisational behaviour, leadership and work based learning. 


Learning to see the wood through the trees as a PhD ethnographer (2021-01-14)
Bloomfield, Sarah
In: Kostera, Monika and Harding, Nancy eds. Organizational Ethnography (pp. 200-216)
ISBN : 9781786438096 | Publisher : Edward Elgar | Published : Cheltenham

Researcher vulnerability when organisational anonymity is impossible (2022-02-01)
Bloomfield, Sarah
In : Qualitative Research Symposium (1-2 Feb 2022, University of Bath [Online])

Exploring unknowingness as a route to distributed leadership (2021-12-12)
Bloomfield, Sarah and Rigg, Clare
In : 19th International Studying Leadership Conference (12-14 Dec 2021, The Open University)

Learning to see the wood through the trees as a PhD ethnographer (2020)
Bloomfield, Sarah
In : Festival of Ethnography (2020, Online)

Leadership of tensions & tensions of leadership: The importance of not knowing in distributed leadership (2019-12-16)
Bloomfield, Sarah; Vince, Russ and Harding, Nancy
In : 18th International Studying Leadership Conference: Putting leadership in its place (16-17 Dec 2019, University of West of England)

Loyal traitors and successful failures: Values, emotions and paradox within Forestry England (2019-07-04)
Bloomfield, Sarah and VInce, Russ
In : EGOS Colloquium (4 Jul - 6 Jul 2019, University of Edinburgh)

Seeing the forest without the trees: The paradox of the clearcutting custodians of England’s forests (2018-07-05)
Bloomfield, Sarah and Vince, Russ
In : EGOS Colloquium (5 Jul - 7 Jul 2018, Tallinn University, Estonia)

Love, like, loathe: The emotional experience of hybridity (2017-08-29)
Bloomfield, Sarah
In : The 12th Annual International Ethnography Symposium (29 Aug - 1 Sep 2017, Manchester University)

What can pizza tell us about hybridity? (2017-05-09)
Bloomfield, Sarah
In : Beyond Text arts-based research project (9 May - 19 May 2017, University of Vic, Spain)

Is pizza good for researchers? (2017)
Bloomfield, Sarah
In : ESRC SWDTC Student Conference (2017, University of Bath)

The brave new world of teaching and learning with digital devices in HE classrooms (2014)
Bloomfield, Sarah
In : Workshop in Business, Economics and e-Learning (2014, BFeL, Spain)

Seeing both the wood and the trees: An ethnographic hike through paradox (2021-02-17)
Bloomfield, Sarah
PhD thesis University of Bath