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Leadership, Enterprise and Employment


Leeds Business School has a long track record of providing research and consultancy to public and private sector organisations on matters relating to leadership, enterprise and employment. Two research centres, HRDL and PRI, focus on leadership and employment respectively while other staff in the faculty maintain our expertise in entrepreneurship and economic development.

Our research considers the new kinds of leadership that are required to address complexities of the modern world and the impacts of economic turbulence. Our investigations have informed the business community both through our support for new businesses and by feeding our research findings into the Faculty’s business education programmes. We use the input of employers in developing our thinking on business leadership and our research supports organisational leaders through the consultancy that we provide on communications, corporate responsibility and law. Organisations that have benefited from our work include, Morrisons, BUPA, Unilever, the Department of Health and the European Union.

The Business School provides practical support for students with entrepreneurial ambitions which is based on knowledge gained from research on small businesses, enterprise and economic development. This includes work on small business development and sustainability in emerging economies and urban and regional economic development policy in the UK, China, South Africa and the United States.

Our research on employment and skills has contributed to the development and implementation of public policy for more than twenty years. More recently, we have influenced national thinking and policy debates on, for example, social mobility and the integration of the employment and skills system. The employability and sustained progression of those at risk of labour market disadvantage remains a core area of our research activity.


The Human Resource Development and Leadership Research Unit (HRDL) has experience in carrying out commissioned research for a wide range of organisations in the private and public sectors and investigating issues related to leadership, employee and enterprise development. It also has a track record of conducting research and consultancy commissioned or funded by the European Commission, UK Government Departments, the NHS, the ESRC, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills as well as wide range of organisations in the private, public and third sectors.


The Policy Research Institute (PRI) undertakes a wide range of projects to inform policy, practice and effective decision-making at all stages of the policy process including analytical and technical studies, evidence reviews, evaluation studies and knowledge transfer. It is also engaged in research projects in collaboration with other researchers and academics in the university on subjects related to work-based learning, human resource development and leadership, health promotion, the night-time economy and public relations competencies.

Research Activities

A second edition of Human Resource Development: Theory and Practice, co-edited by Professor Jeff Gold, has been published and has already risen to no 3 in Amazon best sellers for training and development. The contributors are predominantly based in the HRM/OB School. Jeff is the main project leader and editor with chapters written by Dave Chesley, Julia Claxton, David Devins, Catherine Glaister, Vivienne Griggs, Victoria Harte, Niki Kyriakidou, Nehal Mahtab, Shakiya Nisa, Helen Rodgers, Joanna Smith and Crystal Zhang.

Jeff Gold has also co-written several research papers which have been published during 2013. Topics include a critical exploration of Talent Management in the Ghanaian gold mining industry, leadership paradox in organisation change and the efficacy of an action learning set in building collaboration between a university and creative industries.

David Devins has been testing the findings emerging from the EU funded project Work-Based Learning as an Integrated Curriculum (WBLIC). Collaborating with project partners at mini-conferences hosted by the Technical University in Vienna, the Cracow University of Economics and the Czech Technical University in Prague, a variety of work-based learning models have been discussed and led to the development of a Framework of Good Practice.