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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leadership of tensions & tensions of leadership: The importance of not knowing in distributed leadership
Bloomfield, Sarah; VInce, Russ and Harding, Nancy
In : 18th International Studying Leadership Conference: Putting leadership in its place (16-17 Dec 2021, University of West of England)

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