Jo Silvester

Jo Silvester

Business and Economics

Research groups - Work and Organisation

Jo Silvester is a Professor of Work Psychology whose research focuses on leadership emergence and effectiveness in complex work environments. Her research has been foundational in understanding the nature of political work within legislatures and political parties, as well as its importance in business and the public sector.

As an academic and practitioner, Jo has led cross-party research investigating political skills required for government, leadership development for aspiring and elected politicians, and the intersection between political work and diversity. She has worked with U.K. political parties to develop fair and robust candidate selection procedures, and more recently with the House of Commons to investigate organisational culture and trust.

Other research interests include diversity in the workplace (e.g., financial advisors’ perceptions of wealthy female clients, how senior women and BME leaders navigate leadership emergence) and personality predictors of political effectiveness. Jo’s work has been published in leading international journals, including The Leadership Quarterly, Journal of Applied Psychology, Political Behavior, Human Relations, British Journal of Psychology, and European Journal of Finance. She has received research, enterprise and PhD funding from many different organisations, including the ESRC, Home Office, Westminster Foundation for Democracy, Civil Service Learning, IDeA, Philips, Boots, Ford, and JPMorgan.


  • Silvester, J. & Dykes, C. (2007). Selecting political candidates: A longitudinal study of assessment centre performance and electoral success in the 2005 UK General Election Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 80, 11-25.
  • Silvester, J. (2008). The good, the bad, and the ugly: Politics and politicians at work. International Review of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 23, 107-148.
  • Silvester, J., Wyatt, M. & Randall, R. (2014). Politician Personality, Machiavellianism and Political Skill as Predictors of Performance Ratings in Political Roles. Journal of Occupational & Organizational Psychology, 87, 258-279.  DOI:10.1111/joop.12038
  • Wyatt, M., &  Silvester, J. (2015). Reflections on the labyrinth: Investigating black and minority ethnic leaders’ career experiences. Human Relations, 68, 1243-1269.
  • McLaughlin, H., Silvester, J., Sealy, R., Billimoria, D., Peters, K., Huse, M., Moltner, H., Jane, S., & Göke, J. (2018). Women in power: Contributing factors that impact on women in organizations and politics; psychological research and best practice. Organizational Dynamics, 47, 189-199.
  • Doldor, E., Wyatt, M. & Silvester, J. (2021). Men get more actionable feedback than women. Harvard Business Review, February 10th.
  • Bäeckstrom, Y., Marsh, I., & Silvester, J. (2021) Financial advice and gender: Wealthy individual investors in the UK. Journal of Corporate Finance, 17, 101882 16-Jan-2021.