Professor Nicole Gillespie
Nicole Gillespie
KPMG Chair in Organizational Trust | Professor in Management
  • PG Certificate in Post-Compulsory Education, Education (University of Warwick)
  • PhD, Management and Org Psychology (The University of Melbourne)
  • BA (Hons 1), Psychology (The University of Queensland)
+61 7 334 68076
Room 326, Colin Clark Building, St. Lucia Campus

    Trust Development and Repair, Stakeholder Trust, Leadership, Teams, Organizational Change, Organisational Behaviour, Telehealth

    Nicole joined UQ Business School in January 2010. Prior to this she held faculty and research positions at Melbourne Business School, Warwick Business School (UK), The Australian & New Zealand School of Government, The University of Melbourne, University of Queensland, and Swinburne University of Technology.

    Nicole’s research focuses on trust development and repair in organisational contexts, and in contexts where trust or legitimacy are challenged (e.g. after a trust failure, in complex stakeholder environments, in telemedicine, during organizational change, in cross-cultural relations). She also researches in the fields of teams, leadership and workplace stress and well-being. Her research appears in leading international journals, including the Academy of Management Review, Journal of Management, Journal of Applied Psychology, Organization Studies, Business Ethics Quarterly, Human Resource Management, Sloan Management Review and Work and Stress, as well as in books and book chapters. Her work has been extensively presented in Europe, the USA and Australia. Current research projects focus on understanding stakeholder trust in organizations and industries, the repair of trust, the antecedents of trust in multicultural teams, and stakeholder trust and uptake of Telehealth. She is on the Editorial Boards of Leadership Quarterly and the Journal of Trust Research.

    Nicole has over ten years lecturing experience and is skilled in leading MBA, Executive MBA, specialist masters and undergraduate courses. She has consulted and researched on organisational trust, workplace stress and well-being, leadership and teams to a range of public and private sector organisations. Nicole is an active member of the Academy of Management, the European Group of Organisational Studies, the European Institute of Advanced Studies in Management, and the Australian & New Zealand Academy of Management.

    Research interests

    1. Organizational Trust: A multi-Stakeholder Perspective
    What influences stakeholders’ trust in organizations? Do the drivers of trust differ across stakeholder groups? This programme of field research investigates the drivers of organizational trust from a multi-stakeholder perspective. Current projects are focused on the Coal Seam Gas and transportation industries
    2. Organizational Trust and Reputation Repair
    How do leaders and organizations repair trust and restore their reputation and legitimacy after a trust failure? This programme of research spans conceptual work and empirical case studies on the processes involved in repairing an organization’s reputation and trust once damaged. Case studies either underway or complete have focused on UBS Bank, Siemens, Mattel, Toyota, Barclays, The BBC, BAE Systems and Severn Trent. A focus of this work examines the processes of restoring trust in the financial sector after the Global Financial Crisis. Another focus is on understanding how leaders repair trust, with one large project examining MPs efforts to restore their reputation in the context of the UK Parliamentary expenses scandal.
    3. Understanding Trust and Innovation in Intra-Organizational Social Networks
    What role do trust and social networks play in driving innovation? This longitudinal field project investigates the role of trust in the formation and maintenance of social networks for innovation in R&D and Hi-tech firms.
    4. Understanding Success and Failure in Telehealth
    Telehealth is a disruptive technology that has the potential to radically transform the delivery of health care services, as well as access to clinical services for remote, disabled and indigenous Australians. This programme of research within the Centre for Excellence in Telehealth examines the barriers and facilitators to successful Telehealth uptake and implementation in range of settings including rural hospitals, residential aged care facilities, indigenous communities and home care.
    5. Managing Professional Transitions in Healthcare
    This ARC funded longitudinal field project examines how health professionals make two critical career transitions: 1) the transition to a new hospital (newcomer socialisation) and 2) the transition into leadership and management roles (leadership socialisation). A key focus is on understanding the role of organizational identity and trust during these transitions. The study employs a mixed qualitative and quantitative design and is working partnership with public and private Australian hospitals.
    6. Trust Dynamics in Self-Managed Teams
    This body of research investigates the influence of group composition and diversity, group processes and team structure on the development and dynamics of trust in self-managed teams. A key focus is on understanding the antecedents of trust asymmetry and dispersion in teams.
    7. Employee Trust and Commitment During Organziational Change
    How can organisations maintain employee trust and engagement during organizational change? This research examines this question with a particular focus on maintaining trust during organisational downsizing and cost-cutting.
    8. Developing and Repairing Trust Across Cultures
    How do people develop trust across cultural divides? This work focuses on the processes, dynamics and challenges of trust development and repair in cross-cultural working relationships.


    View full publications list


    • Academy of Management (AOM)
    • European Group of Organizational Studies (EGOS)
    • European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management (EIASM)
    • International Congress of Applied Psychology (ICAP)
    • Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM)
    • First International Network on Trust (FINT)

    Major research grants

    Title Agency Year Amount
    Emotional Intelligence: A Pre-emptive Approach to Stress Management Commonwealth Department of Defence 2015-2017 $80,158
    Emotional intelligence (EI) training for Intelligence Corps Soldiers: A pre-emptive approach to stress management Australian Army Research Scheme 2015-2016 $23,157
    Stakeholder trust in CSG research and industry operations Centre for Coal Seam Gas 2014-2015 $273,280
    The Centre of Excellence in Telehealth NHMRC Centres of Research Excellence 2013-2018 $2,495,359
    Understanding trust across stakeholders Origin Energy Limited 2013-2015 $27,808
    Trust in organisations: A multi-stakeholder perspective UQ ECR Grant 2012-2013 $12,000
    Managing key professional transitions in the health sector ARC Linkage Project 2011-2015 $470,000
    The impact of individual and group characteristics on team member attitudes and team performance Melbourne Business School (internal grant) 2009 $11,827
    Building, maintaining and repairing trust across cultures: theory and practice Economics and Social Research Council research seminar grant (UK ARC equivalent - value 14,000GBP) 2005-2007 Undisclosed
    Occupational stress within Australian universities ARC Linkage 2000-2003 $245,000