He inaugurated and led the Aston Research Programme, a major series of studies on the structure, functioning and performance of organizations, and the effects on the attitudes and behaviour of groups and individuals within them. He was joint author of a book on the processes involved in getting a PhD and regularly consulted on the design of doctoral programmes and the training of research supervisors.
Derek published 15 books and over 100 papers on management topics for both academic and management audiences. His work has been translated into the following languages: Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese, Czech, Hungarian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovakian, and Spanish. His final book, the sixth edition of ‘How to get a PhD’, was published posthumously in August 2015.
In recognition of Derek’s achievements, in September 2015 the British Academy of Management (BAM) held a Open Fellows Session to provide a space for “many leading management academics in the UK and abroad to testify to [Derek’s] significant formative influence on their early careers. His influence permeated many areas ranging from his seminal contribution to the field of organizational studies to the generous encouragement and guidance he offered to doctoral students and early career researchers.”