Dr Sally Riad

Dr Sally Riad profile picture

Senior Lecturer School of Management


Teaching in 2019


Sally Riad’s research is based on critical approaches to management topics including mergers and acquisitions, culture, identity and leadership. What binds these together is Sally’s interest in difference and its role in shaping views on organization.

Sally has extensively researched mergers, both public and private, and has published papers and presented seminars on various aspects of their processes. Earlier in her career, her doctoral research on merger integration had received two international awards (2004 US and 2005 UK). She was subsequently awarded a Marsden grant for new research into the dynamics of difference in organizational mergers and acquisitions.

Sally’s research has also addressed the social and historical facets of organization and leadership by analysing language, tropes, discourse and paradox. Further interests include literary, visual and media analysis as well as creative forms of organizational representation. Her work has appeared in international journals including Journal of Management Studies, Leadership Quarterly, Culture and Organization, Industrial Relations Journal, Journal of Management History, Organization and Organization Studies.

Sally teaches strategic management, knowledge management and research methods, contributing to postgraduate, post-experience and undergraduate programs. She has served as the Research Convener for the School of Management, and previously led the Master’s and PhD programs. Sally has a background in science and the arts, building on both in her work. Earlier in her career, she was a management practitioner, an experience that lends a pragmatic emphasis to her research and teaching roles.



Research interests

Critical perspectives on:

  • Mergers, acquisitions and value
  • Culture and communication
  • Discourse, tropes and narrative
  • Difference and identity
  • Leadership, gender and representation
  • International management and relations

Areas of PhD supervision

Sally has supervised PhD and Master’s theses on mergers and acquisitions, leadership, gender, managerial and national identities, sustainability and paradox as well as organizational language, narrative and discourse. She supervises PhDs that adopt a critical or creative approach to organization, management or leadership, with specific interest in topics that examine difference, its construction and its constraining or enabling effects.

Publications and presentations


Riad, S. (2018). The role of visual metonymy in leadership symbolism: Mapping its dynamics through the Sphinx. Leadership, OnlineFirst April.

Ashby, M., Riad, S. E., & Davenport, S. (2017). Engaging with paradox, striving for sustainability: Relating to public science and commercial research. Organization & Environment, OnlineFirst October.

Riad, S. (2014) 'Leadership in the fluid moral economy of conspicuous consumption', Journal of Management History, 20 (1): 5-43.

Riad, S. and Jones, D. (2013) ‘Invoking Black Athena and its debates: Insights for organization on diversity, race and culture.’ Journal of Management History, 19(3): 394-415

Riad, S., Vaara, E. and Zhang, N. (2012) ‘The intertextual production of international relations in mergers and acquisitions.’ Organization Studies 33: 121-148.

Bednarek, R., Blumenfeld, S. & Riad, S. (2012) ‘Union-division: on the paradoxes of purpose and membership scope in union mergers’. Industrial Relations Journal, 43(6): 548-571.

Riad, S. (2011) ‘Invoking Cleopatra to examine the shifting ground of leadership’. Leadership Quarterly, 22:pp. 831-850.

Riad, S. and Vaara, E. (2011) ‘Varieties of national metonymy in media accounts of international mergers and acquisitions.’ Journal of Management Studies, 48 (4):pp.737-771.

Riad, S. (2011) ‘Terms of engagement: On the differential effects of metaphoric utterances in relational stories of organization.’: Culture and Organization, 17 (5): pp.373-388.

Riad, S. (2009) ‘Acculturation in mergers and acquisitions: A bicultural perspective’, Problems and Perspectives in Management, 7 (1);pp.173-183.

Riad, S. (2008) ‘Organization's engagements with ancient Egypt: Framing and claiming the sublime?’ Organization, 15 (4):pp.475-511.

Riad, S. (2007) 'Under the desk: On becoming a mother in the workplace', Culture and Organization, 13, 3, pp.205-222.

Riad, S. (2007) 'Of mergers and cultures: ‘What happened to shared values and joint assumptions?’, Journal of Organizational Change Management, 20, 1. pp.26-43.

Riad, S. (2005) 'The power of 'organizational culture' as a discursive formation in merger integration', Organization Studies, 26, 10,pp.1531-1556.

Book chapter

Riad, S. & Daellenbach, U. (2019) ‘Varieties of value in mergers and acquisitions: Time for a new research agenda.’ In Cooper and Finkelstein, (eds.), Advances in Mergers and Acquisitions, Vol. 18: 125-138.

Cummings, S. and Riad, S. (2007), 'M&A as warfare: Warspeak in mergers and acquisitions', in D. Angwin (ed), Mergers and Acquisitions, Images Series (Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 2007), pp. 87-115.


Riad, S. & Elmes, M. (2013) “From purpose to production in crafting the organizational tale.” Organization Management Journal, 10: 120-121

Riad, S. (2011) The mundane and the unusual in academic work: ‘knit your bit’. Organization Management Journal, 8:ppp.180-181.

Riad, S. and Elmes, M. (2010) ‘Measure for measure? Navigating judgment and taboos in teaching and research’, Organization Management Journal, 7,pp.2-4.

Riad S.(2008) ‘Editorial: Introduction to First Person research: on teaching and becoming.’ Organization Management Journal, 5,pp.187-188.

Elmes, M. & Riad, S. (2007) 'Editors' introduction to First Person'. Organization Management Journal, 4 (2): pp.118-119.

Conference papers

Riad, S and Vaara, E (2013) ‘Resisting synergy, inscribing antagony: Rewriting difference in merger texts.’ Paper presented at the 73rd Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, August 9-13, 2013, Orlando, Florida.

Riad, S. & Jones, D. ‘Invoking the Black Athena debates: Lessons for organization on diversity, race and culture.’ Proceedings of the Conference on Leadership and Management in a Changing World: Lessons from Ancient East and West Philosophy, Athens, 12-14 June 2011.

Riad, S. & Campbell, C. ‘Conspicuous consumption and tryphe: Lessons for leaders from the moralizing tales of Cleopatra and Antony.’ Proceedings of the Conference on Leadership and Management in a Changing World: Lessons from Ancient East and West Philosophy, Athens, 12-14 June 2011.

Riad, S. ‘Exploring the dynamics of metaphoric utterances in relational stories of organization,’ Paper presented at the 25th European Group for Organization Studies (EGOS) Colloquium, (Barcelona, 2-4 July 2009).

Riad, S. ‘Invoking Cleopatra to read leadership.’ Proceedings of the International Conference for Studying Leadership, Auckland, 8-9 December 2008.

Liu, C., and Riad, S. ‘Kicked by the same kangaroo? On metaphor’s effects in tragic tales of acquisition.’ Proceedings of the Australia and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference, Auckland, 2-5 December 2008.

Riad, S. and Vaara, E. 'Mergers, difference and ‘human resources’, Paper presented at the 23rd European Group for Organization Studies, (EGOS) Colloquium, (Vienna, 4-6 July 2007).

Zhang, N., Riad, S. and Vaara, E. 'A critical discursive analysis of nationalism in Lenovo's acquisition of IBM's personal computers', Paper presented at the Academy of Management Conference, (Philadelphia, 5-8 August 2007).

Zhang, N., Riad, S. and Vaara, E., 'The once-red China takes a bite out of Big Blue: Nationalism and media representation of cross-border acquisition,' Paper presented at the 22nd European Group for Organization Studies, (EGOS) Colloquium, (Bergen 6-8 July, 2006).

Riad, S., 'Of Mergers and Cultures: Between cohesion and pluralism', full refereed paper in proceedings at the 19th Annual Conference of Australia New Zealand Academy of Management Conference (Canberra, 7-10 December 2005).

Riad, S. 'Ancient Egypt: Scribes, Empire and Organization', Paper presented at the 21st European Group for Organization Studies (EGOS) Conference, (Berlin 30 June - 2 July 2005).

Riad, S. and Daellenbach, U., 'Revisiting Urgency in Merger Integration', in Graham Elkin (ed), Proceedings of the 18th Annual Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management (Dunedin, ANZAM, 2004), Cd-ROM, 17pp.

Riad, S., 'Organisational culture as a discourse of merger integration' presented at the 19th European Group for Organization Studies Conference, (Copenhagen, 3-5 July 2003).

Riad, S. 'In the world, but not of that world: Positioning the social constructionist ethnographer', Proceedings Annual Conference of the Australia New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM), (Auckland, New Zealand, December 2001).

Conference presentations

Bednarek, R., Blumenfeld, S. & Riad, S. ‘Union/division: Purpose and scope within union amalgamation.’ Paper presented at the 14th Labour, Employment and Work (LEW) Conference, Wellington, 30 Nov – 1 December 2010.

Riad, S. 'Acculturation in Mergers: a bicultural perspective', presented at the Mergers and Acquisitions Summit, Strategic Management Society Mini-Conference, (Calgary, Canada, June 2002).

Millad, S. and Riad, S. 'Representing representation', presented at the Art of Management and Organisation Conference, London, UK, 3-6 September 2002.

Riad, S. and Millad, S. 'Under the Desk', presented at the Art of Management and Organisation Conference, London, UK, 3-6 September 2002.

Riad, Sally and Millad, S. 'Timeless Classics: Musings on Freewill and Management', Academy of Management Conference, Toronto, Canada, August 2000.

Brocklesby, J. Jones, D. and Riad, S. 'What's at Stake? The Hazards of Turning to Language for Organisational Research', Standing Conference for Organisational Studies, Athens, Greece, July 2000.

Edited collections

Riad, S. Taking Pines to Pasture: Merging the Ministries of Agriculture and Forestry: Case 10 in Cases in Public Sector Innovation, Wellington, Victoria Link Ltd, 2001, 48pp.


Riad, S. 'Managing the Merger Integration Process: A Social Constructionist Perspective'. PhD


Teaching in 2019