Tom Calvard is our Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management, and has recently taken the reins as Co-Chair of the School’s Equality and Diversity Committee. Here Tom talks to us about his research into the lived experiences of diverse and minoritised employees in the workplace, as well as telling us about his beloved one-eyed black rescue pug called Odin!
Headshot photograph of Tom

Can you give a brief summary of your career to date, and the journey that brought you here to us at The University of Edinburgh Business School?

I started my academic studies as a psychology student at the University of Liverpool, and then as a graduate student at the University of Sheffield I specialised more in applying psychology to business and organisations. My first academic post was as an Early Career Fellow at the LSE School of Management. From there, I applied to the University of Edinburgh Business School and joined the Organisation Studies group as a Lecturer back in 2011, where I continued to develop my teaching and research career experiences in Human Resource Management (HRM) and other areas of management, work and employment studies.

If you had to give your ‘elevator pitch’ and explain in layman terms what your research and/or teaching focuses on, how would you answer?

My research and teaching focuses on diverse and changing perspectives in organisations and how people try to cooperate and interpret their relationships in the workplace. This covers topics like diversity, ethics, technology and change. True to my roots in psychology, I am interested in how people succeed or fail at ‘holding things together’ at work, mentally and socially.

With regard to your work, is there anything exciting in the pipelines that you are working on?

I have various ongoing research collaborations and projects relating to the experiences of diverse and minoritised employees in the workplace (e.g.neurodiversity, sexual orientation and disability), as well as research in peer review concerning how movement and speed affect people’s experiences in and around organisations.

What do you enjoy most about your teaching and research? What challenges and excites you across both?

What I enjoy most about teaching and research is the opportunity to make knowledge and evidence accessible and to look at it critically from different perspectives. The challenge and excitement comes from both making convincing claims and proposals while also subjecting them to questioning – seeing how topics fit together and how to gain a better understanding of complex issues.

What do you enjoy most about working at UEBS?

The continual opportunities to work with diverse and supportive colleagues on different research topics, and to learn from and encourage one another in creating valuable and achievable changes in knowledge and understanding.

What advice would you give to your younger self, about to leave home and embark upon further education?

I would probably say keep working hard but don’t be too hard on yourself, and remember there will always be great people to surround yourself with and learn from.

What one book, piece of music and beloved item would you take with you to a Desert Island?

I’m a complete magpie with all sorts of different books, so picking one is pretty hard. I would probably take something wise, witty and eclectic to keep me amused with its variety – The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. For the piece of music I would take Kamasi Washington’s magisterial jazz saxophone version of Debussy’s Clair de Lune. Beloved item – assuming I cannot take my dog – I would probably take a photograph of me and my dog (a one-eyed black rescue pug called Odin) as a memento of the loyal, lovable real thing.

If you could invite anyone over for dinner (past/present) who would it be and why?

My mother, who passed away in 2005. To thank her (again) for everything and update her on all the news and gossip!

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I’ve been very fortunate to visit many wonderful places in my life already, but would still love to see Florence for its art, history and culture.

UEBS Research - Tom Calvard

Tom Calvard discusses his research into work interpretation, identity formation, and guiding actions, investigating contextual variations influenced by diversity, technology, and changing work conditions to enhance cooperation and adaptability within organisations.

Tom Calvard

Tom Calvard

Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management