David Barron

David Barron

Associate Professor in Organisational Sociology

Saïd Business School
University of Oxford
Park End Street


David Barron’s research is concerned with the sociology of organisations, quantitative research methods and social networks.

His most recent work relates to the caring professions in the UK (including teaching, social work, nursing, medicine, child care, and nursing and care assistants). He has investigated issues that are of significant interest to the UK’s NHS, particularly in the wake of intense interest in the quality of nursing care; these include the impact of medical and nursing staffing levels on mortality rates and the impact of different methods of obtaining patient feedback on nursing behaviour. He has also investigated the earnings of caring professions and their relationship with professional or trade union organisations.

David’s research has resulted in a range of book chapters and articles, including ‘The Financial Costs of Caring in the British Labour Market: Is There a Wage Penalty for Workers in Caring Occupations?’ in the British Journal of Industrial Relations. He has served on the editorial board of the American Sociological Review, Industrial and Corporate Change and Organisation Studies.

David is a Rhodes Trust Associate Professor in Organisational Sociology. After graduating in natural sciences from Cambridge in 1979, he worked for several years as a social worker in Scotland and London, before taking his MA and PhD in sociology at Cornell University. David was an Assistant Professor in Sociology at McGill University until 1994 when he joined the Saïd Business School as University Lecturer in Business Organisation.


  • Sociology of organisations
  • Health care management
  • Social networks


David's research falls into a number of categories:

  • Careers of members of caring professions
  • Nursing and medical staffing in intensive care units
  • Patient feedback and nursing
  • Corporate reputation and firm performance

View David's research.



David's research has wide-ranging impact.

The results of David’s research into nursing and medical staffing in intensive care units, carried out with the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre, will inform policy in this important area.

His research into the impact of focused feedback on patient satisfaction has involved collaboration with a number of NHS Trusts that were interested in improving patient satisfaction with care. In the wake of the recent intense interest in the quality of nursing care in the NHS, David and colleagues plan to carry out a full-scale trial of the intervention with a view to developing a protocol that any hospital could adopt.

David has been a Visiting Professor, Graduate School of Management, at Stanford University. He is also an Associate Editor, Industrial and Corporate Change.


David’s teaching covers several key areas.

These include undergraduate lectures and tutorials in Organisational Behaviour; undergraduate tutorials in General Management; graduate seminars in Research Methods and Advanced Quantitative Methods.