Photo of Dr Leighann Spencer

Dr Leighann Spencer BSc (Hons), MSc, MRes, PhD

Lecturer Work, Organisation and Management


    Mistreatment at work

    My first research interest falls within the domain of the “dark side of organisations”, focussing specifically on experiences of mistreatment at work. In my PhD research, supervised by Dr Laura Radcliffe and Prof Caroline Gatrell, I explored in how experiences of mistreatment develop and change over time, and the contested role of gender in these dynamics. By adopting a processual and relational approach to mistreatment at work, this research illuminates the dynamics and sensemaking processes of ‘becoming bullied’ at work, and problematizes the dominant gender-neutrality thesis of mistreatment at work.

    Integration of scholarship and practice: Understanding “Scholarly-practitioners”

    My second research interest stems from my post-doctoral research in collaboration with Prof Lisa Anderson and Dr Paul Ellwood. Building on the foundations of relational management education and the reimagining of DBA graduates as scholarly practitioners, this research explores how DBA graduates who are leaders in their respective organisations enact these orientations on an everyday and ongoing basis. Drawing on an innovative longitudinal qualitative multi-method approach, comprised of multi-time point interviews, qualitative diaries and observations, the study offers an in-depth account of how these ‘graduate-leaders’ engage in scholarly practices to overcome complex, often wicked issues, in their organisations. Whilst an ongoing project, the study offers a processual account of ‘being’ a scholarly-practitioner, embedded in the relational ontology of Mary Parker Follet. This project seeks to contribute understanding of how completion of DBA qualification impacts on the practice of senior leaders in terms of their propensity and ability to integrate research and scholarship into their practice, and to processual understandings of the scholar-practitioner.

    Research methods

    My final research interest represents the fundamental thread that weaves together my divergent interests detailed in stream 1 and 2, that of “research methods”. In particular, I have a strong interest in qualitative methods that enable the collection and analysis of dynamic and longitudinal qualitative data, with particular focus on the micro-level, such as within-person changes. To this end, through both my PhD and post-doctoral research I have fostered expertise in creative, temporally sensitive, interviewing techniques and qualitative diary methodology. In relation to the latter, in collaboration with Dr Laura Radcliffe, we have developed expertise in the use of mobile apps to collect diary data which has been featured by the NCRM, SAGE research methods and the LSE impact blog. More recently, we have developed a new analytical method specific to diary data that enables researchers to capitalise on the affordances of qualitative diaries beyond traditional analytical approaches.

    Research Group Membership