Professor Paul Morgan talks to colleagues at drinks reception

Professor Paul Morgan delivers inaugural lecture: The “ordinary magic” of team resilience

Professor Paul Morgan delivered his inaugural lectureThe “ordinary magic” of team resilience: A view from inside the huddle’ to an engaged audience in the Gateway Lecture Theatre at Buckinghamshire New University (BNU) this week.

The lecture, opened by BNU's Vice-Chancellor Professor Nick Braisby, followed Paul’s decades-long professional and research journey centring on team resilience within the sphere of sports psychology.

In his lecture, Paul recounted his youth in which he was part of multiple sports teams, as well as partaking in musical tuition, gaining Grade 8 in the trumpet. The motif of music was thread throughout Paul’s presentation as he relayed later becoming a coach, drawing comparisons between coach and conductor, team and orchestra. Paul’s growing fascination with what makes a resilient team is what led him down his professional path. 

Team sports pictures from Paul Morgan's childhood

In 2009, Paul recognised that there was a gap in the sports psychology field for research into team resilience. Over ten years, Paul worked with sector colleagues to publish a series of studies on the topic and his research has helped to better understand how teams withstand adversity and pressure to achieve optimal performance. Paul now acts as a supervisor for the next generation of PhD students in sports psychology at BNU. 

Paul’s presentation was well received by an audience of academics, students, sporting personalities and other university guests. Paul received questions on his research, views on team dynamics, how teams might ‘bounce back’ from extraordinary failure, and the ebbs and flows of good leaders. Asked whether the findings of his work on teams could translate into other sectors, such as politics, Paul said: “Ultimately sport mirrors society and we can apply these theories to teams of all kinds.” 

Professor Paul Morgan and Professor Florin Ioras stand at podium

Professor Florin Ioras, Director of Research and Enterprise at BNU, congratulated Paul on behalf of the University, describing him as a “fantastic colleague and leader who embodies the ethos of his research, demonstrating every day his ability to create and maintain resilient teams.” 

Paul Morgan talks to colleagues at drinks reception
Paul Morgan talks to colleagues at drinks reception

Professor Paul Morgan is the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education) at BNU, a Chartered Psychologist (British Psychological Society) and served as the CPD Lead for the British Psychological Society’s Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology including the National Conference Organising Committee.

Paul has published his research in world-leading peer reviewed journals in psychology and sports psychology. Examples of his research relevant to this lecture include: 


      Morgan, P. B. C., Fletcher, D., & Sarkar, M. (2019). Developing team resilience: A season-long study of psychosocial enablers and strategies in a high-level sports team. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 45, 101543.

      Morgan, P. B. C., Fletcher, D., & Sarkar, M. (2017). Recent developments in team resilience research in elite sport. Current Opinion in Psychology, 16. 159-164. 

      Decroos, S., Lines, R., Morgan, P. B. C., Fletcher, D., Sarkar, M., Fransen, K., Boen, F., & Vande Broek, G. (2017). Development and Validation of the Characteristics of Resilience in Sports Teams Inventory. Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology, 6, 158-178. 

      Morgan, P. B. C., Fletcher, D., & Sarkar, M. (2015). Understanding team resilience in the world’s best athletes: A case study of a rugby union World cup winning team. Psychology of Sport and Exercise 16, 91-100. 

      Morgan, P. B. C., Fletcher, D., & Sarkar, M. (2013). Defining and characterizing team resilience in elite sport. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 14, 549-559.

Learn more about BNU’s inaugural lecture series.