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LSE Professor Tom W. Reader Joins Starling’s Academic Advisory Board

27th Sep, 2021

Starling has announced the appointment of LSE Professor Tom W. Reader to its Academic Advisory Board.  

Reader is an Associate Professor of Organizational Psychology at the London School of Economics & Political Science, where he directs a Masters degree program in Organizational and Social Psychology. A chartered psychologist, his area of expertise is organizational safety: he investigates and develops interventions to address cultural norms and practices important for averting accidents and risk management failures in teams and organizations. His research focuses on high-risk industries (e.g., aviation, healthcare, energy) where organizational culture is essential to ensuring effective risk management outcomes. Learnings from these industries, Reader finds, offer insights into how culture and risk may be better managed in the financial sector. 

Reader is currently exploring how non-sensitive company data sets may be interrogated to identify cultural problems that are otherwise difficult for management and regulators to detect, but which contribute significantly to institutional failures. “Unobtrusive indicators of culture for organizations,” a recent paper appearing in the European Journal of Work and  Organizational Psychology, has been shared broadly by the Bank of England. Reader speaks consults and advises widely on safety and organizational culture, and his research has been published extensively in the Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Business Ethics, Risk  Analysis, Human Relations, and Human Factors.  

“I am delighted to join Starling's advisory team,” Reader said, “The cross-cutting scientific expertise they have assembled puts Starling at the forefront of those studying behavior in financial settings and has advanced our understanding of the complex mix of psychological, social, and governance factors that underpin and shape the culture of firms,” he added. “Today’s unprecedented challenges only emphasize the importance of developing cultures that allow firms to anticipate and respond to emerging risks successfully, helping to ensure the resilience needed to adapt to rapid changes in technology, government, and society-at-large,” Reader observed. “I look forward to supporting Starling in its very timely work.”  

“Tom’s research shows that assessing and improving upon organizational culture has been central to managing critical risks successfully in a number of industries – where failure simply cannot be tolerated,” said Starling founder and CEO Stephen Scott. “As financial institutions work to improve culture, to optimize performance, and to reduce conduct and other non-financial risks, Tom’s work is deeply instructional,” he added. “His recent work,  distilling critical risk and operational insights from non-sensitive company data has helped to demystify the idea of auditing organizational culture and extends our own work in this very direction,” Scott said. “We are absolutely thrilled to be working with him.”