BA (UQ), Hons (First Class, UQ), PhD (Melbourne), PGCert (Warwick)

Strategy, management and organisational behaviour

Prof Gillespie is an internationally recognised scholar on trust. She holds the KPMG Chair in Organisational Trust, co-leads the Trust, Ethics and Governance Alliance at the University of Queensland, and is an International Research Fellow at the Centre for Corporate Reputation at the University of Oxford.

Trained as an organizational psychologist, Prof Gillespie’s research over the past 20 years has focused on trust development and repair in organisational contexts, particularly in contexts where trust is challenged, such as after a trust failure, in complex stakeholder environments, during organizational transformation and disruption, in emerging technologies and virtual healthcare, and in cross-cultural relations.

In addition to publishing in leading scholarly journals (e.g. Academy of Management Review, Journal of Management, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Business Ethics, Accounting Organizations and Society, Organization Studies, Sloan Management Review, Lancet Digital Health), Prof Gillespie has written commissioned reports and policy notes for the Institute of Business Ethics (UK), the World Economic Forum, and the UK House of Lords. Her most recent reports with KPMG provide practical guidance on Designing Trustworthy Organizations, Achieving Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence and Public Trust in AI.

Her research insights have been translated into practical, implementable strategies for building and repairing trust, and have led to positive changes in industry, government and policy across a range of sectors, including Health, Resources, Finance and Banking, Higher Education, and the Not-for-Profit industry. Specific examples include ARC, NHMRC and industry funded research on 1) what influences stakeholder trust in organizations and how to design trustworthy organizations; 2) how to recover trust after a breach or violation; and 3) understanding trust in Artificial Intelligence and technology-enable services, and the trustworthy deployment of emerging technology.

•         Stakeholder trust and designing trustworthy organisations: Although well accepted that trust is critical for effective organizational functioning, trust is often assumed to be an intangible concept that cannot be managed, resulting in piecemeal approaches to building and sustaining trust. Debunking this myth, Prof Gillespie’s research has identified the organizational and leadership practices and mechanisms that commonly influence stakeholder trust in organizations.

•         Repairing and preserving trust: How can organisations repair trust after a major breach? Recognising the limited research to inform practice, Prof Gillespie was the first to develop a model and set of processes for restoring stakeholder trust, which she subsequently extended through a series of high profile case studies of organizational trust failure and repair, an analysis of trust breakdown and repair in the financial sector post the Global Financial Crisis, and comprehensive reviews of the mechanisms for repairing trust.

•         Trustworthy AI and trust in technology-enable services: Artificial Intelligence is becoming increasingly ubiquitous in our everyday lives yet poses significant trust challenges for organisations and society. In collaboration with KPMG, Prof Gillespie is leading a global programme of research examining public trust in AI and how organisations can deploy AI in a trustworthy way that engenders stakeholder trust. This work has been cited influential reports including Australia’s AI Action Plan. Previously, as a Chief Investigator of the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Telehealth, Prof Gillespie led major projects identifying the key practices facilitating stakeholder trust and adoption of virtual health services, enhancing equity of access to health services in remote and rural Australia.

Prof Gillespie is regularly sought out as an advisor, speaker and consultant to industry, government and the media. She has designed and delivered Masterclasses, workshops and presentations on building and repairing trust, leading with trust, designing trustworthy organizations, preserving trust during disruption, and achieving trusted and trustworthy AI, and developed and validated measures of trust which have subsequently been widely used, including by the U.S. Army and the National Canadian Trust Survey.

KPMG Chair in Organizational Trust and Professor of Management, School of Business, U. of Queensland (since 2010)

Associate Professor, Warwick Business School, U. of Warwick (2004-2008)

Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor, Melbourne Business School, U. of Melbourne (2002-2004; 2008-2009)


  • Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia
  • Academic Fellow of the Australian & New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG)
  • International Research Fellow, Centre for Corporate Reputation, University of Oxford
  • Visiting Research Fellow, Singapore Management University
  • Visiting Research Fellow, Durham Business School, Durham University


  • Carolyn Dexter Best International Paper Award, Academy of Management
  • Best International Paper Award, Critical Management Studies Division, Academy of Management
  • Amartya Sen Essay Prize, Global Justice Conference, Yale University
  • Research Excellence Award, UQ Business School, University of Queensland
  • Teaching Excellence Award (Postgraduate), UQ Business School, University of Queensland
  • Outstanding MBA Teacher Award, Warwick Business School
  • Teaching Excellence Award, Swinburne University of Technology


  • Academy of Management
  • European Group of Organizational Studies
  • First International Network of Trust Researchers
  • Society of Organizational Behaviour Australia
  • Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  1. Gufstasson, S., Gillespie, N., Searle, R., Hope-Hailey, V. & Dietz, G. (2021). Preserving Organizational Trust During Disruption. Organization Studies, 42 (9), 1409-1433. doi/10.1177/0170840620912705
  2. Gillespie, N., Fulmer, A., & Lewicki, R.J. (Eds). (2021). Understanding Trust in Organizations: A Multilevel Perspective. SIOP Organizational Frontiers Series. New York: Routledge. ISBN 9781138327597
  3. Gillespie, N. & Dietz, G. (2009). Trust repair after an organization-level failure. Academy of Management Review, 34 (1), 127-145.
  4. Gillespie, N., Lockey, S., & Curtis, C. (2021). Trust in Artificial Intelligence: A Five Country Study. The University of Queensland and KPMG Australia. doi: 10.14264/e34bfa3
  5. Gillespie, N., Curtis, C., Bianchi, R., Akbari, A., and Fentener van Vlissingen, R. (2020). Achieving Trustworthy AI: A Model for Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence. KPMG and The University of Queensland Report.