Doctoral Researchers

Read more about some of the PhD students and doctoral researchers within the Work, Organisation and Management group.

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Malika Ben Kahla

Thesis Title: Exploring Experiences of Women in Academia.

The journey to equitable representation and remuneration in organisations has been widely problematised in the literature, and the gendered nature of Academia is no exception. This piece of qualitative research explores the experience of Women in Academia, considering the capacity of their maternal bodies and how they have navigated careers in the University setting.  Building on extant literature and key knowledge gaps, this qualitative research will focus on the careers of academics, individual intersectional identity, space, and social justice within the academic workplace. The findings will generate important implications for managing and promoting Diversity and Inclusion in UK Academia, which may be relevant more broadly.

1st Supervisor: Prof Caroline Gatrell

2nd Supervisor: Dr Emma Hughes

Email address:

Ebru Calin

Thesis Title: Negotiating sexuality, religion, and the odedient body at work: An intersectional approach to exploring barriers to career among Lesbian and hetrosexual Muslim women professionals.

The empirical aim of this study is to move beyond the intersecting axes of gender and race by exploring experiences of what it is to be a homosexual or heterosexual person of faith and to capture how the interstices of religion and socially constructed notions of ‘good motherhood’ and ‘professionalism’ influence these individuals' employment experiences over time.

Thus, this proposed study addresses a pressing need for research that is both interdisciplinary and intersectional in its approach.

1st Supervisor: Prof Caroline Gatrell

2nd Supervisor: Dr Emma Hughes

3rd Supervisors: Dr Jenny Rodriguez



TEDx Talk at Royal Central School London

“Too Brown, Queer & Muslim? Or not White, Muslim or Queer enough?”

Lisa Chamberlain

Thesis Title: Exploring ‘Good Work’: Quality of Working Life in Small Businesses.

This project uses participant observation and photo-elicitation interviews with hairdressers and barbers in England to explore how informal human resource management practices in small businesses impact workers’, managers’, and salon owner/managers’ quality of working life. The research was primarily informed by Grote and Guest’s (2017) quality of working life framework and a need for better understandings of informal, ad-hoc HRM practices within small businesses (Harney and Alkhalaf, 2021), and my primary contributions will be to these literatures. More specifically, my research contributes a more nuanced, multi-level understanding of how management practices in small businesses influence quality of working life for both managers and workers. My research interests mainly include quality of working life, employment relations in small and micro businesses, creative and craft work, the use of technology in traditionally manual trades, education and skills, and gender, class and race at work.

1st Supervisor: Prof Rory Donnelly

2nd Supervisor: Dr Emma Hughes

Email address:

Sharon Cooksey

Thesis Title: Supporting the ‘Tall Poppy’: Can role-specific emotional intelligence mitigate the demands of being ‘high-achiever’ on  wellbeing at work?

Recruitment to healthcare-professional degree courses (e.g., doctor, vet) enlists high proportions of high-achiever, academically gifted undergraduate individuals. Subsequently, the university environment does little to allow healthy emotional development and demands obstructing emotional development do not diminish post-graduation. These professions also struggle with poor mental health, high suicide rates and retention.

Globally high emotional intelligence is neither necessary, nor desirable. Therefore, this project seeks to explore role-specific EI profiles which might enhance work-wellbeing and downstream consequences.

1st Supervisor: Dr Joanne Lyubovnikova

2nd Supervisor: Dr Mariella Miraglia

Email address:

Thomas Davis

Thesis Title: Remembering Liverpool: A twice entrepreneurial space.

My research investigates how and why people engage in entrepreneurial activity in Liverpool. I am particularly interested in the contribution of local entrepreneurship to the development of inner-city districts: I have explored how the activity is encouraged or impeded here in Liverpool and one theme that has emerged is the role of particular places and their (socially remembered) history. I investigate this intersection of space, history and entrepreneurship by drawing on the works of Henri Lefebvre.

1st Supervisor: Prof Mike Zundel

2nd Supervisor: Prof Andrew Popp

3rd Supervisor: Dr Yihan Liu


Joanna Gregory-Chialton

Thesis Title: Penalties and Premiums: Understanding the decisions-making of work-family management in same-sex couples.

This research looks at how, in the absence of socially ascribed gender roles, do same-sex couples participate within the labour market after having children. Specifically, it seeks to understand how same-sex couples ‘do gender’ or ‘redo gender’ through their anchoring and daily decision-making processes and the impact that has on the management of their work-family responsibilities. Additionally, it will aim to understand how same-sex couples are affected by ‘motherhood penalties’ and ‘fatherhood premiums.’

1st Supervisor: Dr Laura Radcliffe

2nd Supervisor: Prof Caroline Gatrell

3rd Supervisor: Dr Petra Nordqvist


Sophia Hinton-Lever

Thesis Title: An interdisciplinary study into the fetishisation of young women in the British museum and gallery sector, post New Labour.

The research critically examines the extent to which the museum and gallery sector institutionalise exploitative practices whilst presenting themselves as progressive, with a focus on the understudied museum and gallery sectors. It does so by critically examining the commodification and fetishisation of creative labour from a gendered perspective. It utilises post structural feminist philosophies, and feminist Deleuzianism to approach questions of agency, embodiment and the body, and employs ethnographic methodologies.

1st Supervisor: Dr Garance Marechal

2nd Supervisor: Prof Damian O'Doherty

Email address:

Prabowo Imansantosa

Thesis Title: Supreme Audit Institution and Anti-Corruption in Indonesia 

Supreme Audit Institutions and their operations have not been extensively studied or well understood, especially outside of the Anglo-American and North European contexts. At the same time, although it has been quite frequently mentioned in professional non-academic publications, the link between SAIs and the issue of corruption has only been an academic concern quite recently. To fill the gap, using an institutional approach my research will focus on the operation of Indonesia’s SAI in dealing with corruption issues.

1st Supervisor: Dr Michael Cole

2nd Supervisor: Dr Andrew Smith


Sophie Le Brocq

Thesis Title: Examining how the gig economy is experienced by low to high skilled workers.

This research focuses on gig economy workers through a combined psychological contract (PC) and labour process theory (LPT) lens. It will examine how the nature of the PC in the contractor-client relationship affects gig workers at different skill levels in the UK. Such insights into the relationships between organisations and workers may serve to aid regulatory decisions and place constraints on the extent to which business platforms can be used to circumvent employment protections and appropriate employment classifications.

1st Supervisor: Prof Rory Donnelly

2nd Supervisor: Dr Emma Hughes


Hannah McAleavey

Thesis Title: Through sickness and health? A qualitative investigation into the decision to work whilst sick and the consequences for employee well-being.

My research will employ semi-structured interviews alongside qualitative diaries to explore the decision-making processes driving presenteeism, the act of working whilst sick, and its consequences for well-being. Research to date has focused largely on the antecedents and consequences of presenteeism and more knowledge is needed surrounding the intra-individual processes and dynamics triggering the behaviour. My research will also aim to gain a better understanding of how and when presenteeism can be a sustainable choice.

1st Supervisor: Dr Mariella Miraglia

2nd Supervisor: Dr Laura Radcliffe

3rd Supervisor: Dr Leighann Spencer

Email address:

Alisha Masih

Thesis Title: Smart futures for Business? An Organizational ethnography of new technology in dementia care

It is estimated that 50 million people suffer from dementia around the world (WHO, 2019) and while miracle drugs are proposed to slow down the progression (Roberts, 2019), the overall consensus still remains that dementia is incurable. The contemporary challenge of dementia is in delaying the progression of the disease and prolonging independence for its sufferers because drugs alone cannot solve dementia, in part because all medical and therapeutic care is entangled with business and management (Killett et al., 2013; The Department of Health and Social Care, 2015).

It is hoped that assimilating new technological means in the healthcare industry could “support people with dementia and their treatment” (, 2019), assistive technologies, such as artificial intelligence, wearable technologies, smart homes etc., can help in early detection, regulation of health and prolong independence for its users. However, the integration of new technologies is fundamental to business and management because it brings about infrastructural changes in the healthcare industry and opens up opportunities for new business to be conducted in dementia care. Therefore, my research aims to understand how adoption and integration of new technologies are likely to bring anticipated and unanticipated organizational, infrastructural and management change within healthcare services and in specific dementia care.

1st Supervisor: Prof Damian O'Doherty

2nd Supervisor: Dr Sam Horner


Dennis Otieno

Thesis Title: Breaking Through the Firewall :  Examining the multi-dimensional impact of gendered racial microaggressions on Black women supervisors in the workplace in England: coping mechanisms, career outcomes, and the role of workplace power dynamics.

Despite the recognition of the positive impact of diversity and inclusion on organizational financial performance, innovation, and decision-making, subtle forms of discrimination, such as gendered racial microaggressions, are often overlooked. This study fills this gap by examining the impact of gendered racial microaggressions on the career fulfilment of black women supervisors in the workplace in England, with a focus on the role of workplace power dynamics and coping mechanisms of targets.

1st Supervisor: Prof. Lilian Otaye-Ebede


Blessing Otuore

This research will examine the intersection of digitalisation and inclusion within the public sector. It aims at better understanding how leaders in public service organisations manage the tensions and prospects of digital technologies. Additionally, it will explore how public service leaders bring to their decision-making an enhanced recognition of the financial capabilities of their service and the legal requirements to both digitalise and remain inclusive.

1st Supervisor: Prof Lilian Otaye-Ebede

2nd Supervisor: Samah Shaffakat


Natthapong Pakieranum

Thesis Title: High performance work system (HPWS) implementation on well-being at work: Exploring the role of HR attributions and contextual factors in educational organisations.

This research targets the impact of HPWS implementation upon well-being in educational organisations. The focuses are on:  1) highlighting well-being as the consequence of HPWS; 2) proposing HR attributions and contextual factors to understand the impact of HPWS implementation. The project will be conducted through using multi-level analysis. The findings will contribute to a better understanding between HPWS and those variables.

1st Supervisor: Dr Huadong Yang

2nd Supervisor: Dr Mariella Miraglia


Chrisie Pullin

Thesis Title: Moral Injury: Understanding the causes, processes, and consequences in the UK Ambulance Service 

Moral Injury (MI) is a form of psychological distress that usually presents after being involved in or witnessing events that contradict a person’s moral or ethical values. While much of the previous research has been undertaken within a military context, Ambulance Service employees are at high risk of MI due to the nature of their work. Ambulance staff make ethical decisions in high-intensity situations as part of their role making them vulnerable to psychological distress. By partnering with the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS), this research aims to extend the current progression framework of MI to consider those working in pre-hospital emergency care.  

Quantitative data will be gathered to identify if certain personality traits make people more vulnerable to experiencing symptoms. This will be followed up with a combination of semi-structured interviews and daily diaries to gather qualitative data on personnel experiences and how they change over time, especially after a morally injurious event. The project will aim to provide practical recommendations for at-risk organisations which can be included in training or support initiatives. This may include structured debriefs to promote emotional reassurance and validation after distressing events, and prevent the progression of MI.

1st Supervisor: Dr Nikki Power

2nd Supervisor: Dr Laura Radcliffe

3rd Supervisor: Professor Stacy Conchie (Lancaster University)

Email address:

Christopher Woods

Thesis Title: Musicianship: Towards a Cultural Political Economy of Creativity.

My research examines the nature of musicianship (as both creative and entrepreneurial practice) in the context of today's shifting cultural industries.

Drawing from the Cultural Political Economy of Bob Jessop and the Lancaster School, my research combines a retroductive approach to data collection with Duisburg methods of critical discourse analysis.

This study uncovers the hidden politics of affordance(s) within a uniquely informative, black-swan entrepreneurial environment, refreshing extant cultural entrepreneurship theory through empirically grounded critique.

1st Supervisor: Dr Claes Belfrage

2nd Supervisor: Prof Roy Suddaby

Email address:

Yuchen Xiao

Thesis title: The Development of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area under One Country, Two Systems.

This project considers relationships between political and economic integration through an analysis of the Greater Economic Bay Area (GBA) that incorporates the two special administrative regions (Hong Kong and Macau), which have distinctive governance arrangements, and nine cities located within Guangdong province. The establishment of such zones, where business enjoys greater regulatory and economic freedoms, is not a novel concept within China and therefore deserves in-depth research.

1st Supervisor: Dr Michael Cole

2nd Supervisor: Dr Ming Li

Email address:

Chunyu Xiu

Thesis Title: Enhancing employee performance and wellbeing via HR bundles implementation and employee HR attributions.

My PhD project highlights the process of HPWS implementation by line managers and the process of sense-making of HPWS by employees. Theories on leadership will be used to understand the implementation process and psychological theories on attribution will be used to understand the HR sense making process of employees. I’m using a longitudinal research design involving multi-source data collection and multi-level data analysis to address the research questions.

1st Supervisor: Dr Huadong Yang

2nd Supervisor: Prof Rory Donnelly


Mya Kirkwood

Thesis Title: Inclusive leadership in daily practice for neurodivergent followers: a qualitative diary study 

Greater understanding of how neurodivergent employees and their managers experience inclusive leadership in practice will not only advance theory on inclusive leadership and neurodiversity inclusion; but crucially, it also holds the important potential to support the wellbeing and performance of neurodivergent employees, their managers, and organisations. 

Consequently, this research looks at how neurodivergent employees, and leaders of neurodivergent employees, define and experience “inclusive leadership” in daily practice. Specifically, this research will analyse real-world contextual experiences of inclusive leadership, reported in interviews and daily diaries of leader-follower interactions kept by neurodivergent employees and managers of neurodivergent employees. The project aims to identify behaviours, processes, and their contextual features, that constitute “inclusive leadership” from the perspectives of these individuals, in the aim of supporting organisations and managers towards more inclusive leadership practices for neurodivergent employees. 

1st Supervisor: Dr Laura Radcliffe  

2nd Supervisor: Dr Joanne Lyubovnikova

3rd Supervisor: Professor Lilian Otaye-Ebede