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Dr Sharon Varney

Director in Practice of The Henley Forum

Sharon Varney Staff Photo


  • Organisational Complexity, 
  • Leadership, 
  • Organisational Change and Development


Room GB5, Greenlands campus

Dr Sharon Varney is Director in Practice for The Henley Forum.

Sharon developed her leadership and change expertise working internationally as a senior manager in large, complex organisations. She was group head of learning and communications in a global oil and gas business and was previously Vice President for international learning and development at a US bank. She is a specialist consultant, with her work focusing on leadership and organisational development, spanning across the private, public and not for profit sectors.

Sharon's research takes a complexity science perspective on organisational change and its leadership. Her doctoral research at the University of Reading explored the complex dynamics of organisational change and the role of change leaders within it. It was chosen, by the editorial team of Leadership and Organisation Development Journal, as a Highly Commended Award winner of the 2013 Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Awards in the Leadership and Organisation Development category.

As a scholar-practitioner working in the organisational change and development field, Sharon is committed to bridging the worlds of academia and practice. Her practice is informed by research and her research is informed by, and ultimately in service of, advancing practice. Over the past ten years, Sharon has conducted a range of research projects on organisation development topics such as partnering for change, organisation design and development, organisational trust and learning and employee engagement.

Most recent news & media

10th Annual Congress of the European Association for Haemophilia and Allied Disorders, February 2017, Paris, France - Aspire – Nurturing tomorrow’s clinical leaders, S Dodgson, M Holland, S Varney, K Khair

Academy of Management Conference, August 2014, Philadelphia – Domains of emergent change: Making sense of emerging patterns in the midst of change, S Varney & B Vogel

Journal of Management Studies Conference, 25-26 March 2014, Cambridge - Making sense of complexity: Noticing, interpreting and responding to patterns in emerging domains of change, S Varney & B Vogel

European Conference on Complex Systems, 2-7 September 2012, Brussels – Challenges for change leaders: Making sense of emerging patterns during organisational change – S Varney, J Burgoyne, B Vogel