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Karen Trem


About Karen Trem

Senior lecturer in the Leadership, Governance and People Management subject group at Leeds Business School. Doctoral studies were a Phenomenographic study of the variation is individual perceptions of values. Current teaching specialisms include the development of student employability skills and self awareness.

A firm belief that education should be a mix of both academic and personal competence (and confidence) development underpins Karen's approach to teaching. Preparing students for the world of work means that they must have the knowledge and skills, and also the personal competences to be competitive and successful in an increasingly complex and competitive world. Karen's aim in teaching is therefore to emphasise the practical application of knowledge, as well as the acquisition of knowledge and understanding.

This approach is built on a foundation of personal experience. A child of expatriate parents, Karen was born and grew up in Southern Africa. Independent from an early age, boarding school in the UK was her destination aged 11. A degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Bristol led to 10 years working in manufacturing industry, initially as a graduate trainee and then in HR. 

Self employment in the completely different field of personal image and developing assertiveness followed, alongside raising a young family. Then came a move to management consultancy,  metaphorical juggling became a key skill, working full time and starting an MBA with three children under the age of 5. 
Whilst working as a consultant, either as an employee, employed director or small business owner for a period of ten years, Karen completed the MBA as well as a PGCE teaching qualification. She also trained as an NLP Master Practitioner and Trainer and also as a life coach and executive coach; these qualifications were all applied within her business.

The next move was into education, working at the University Centre, Doncaster, initially developing the CMI qualifications, and developing programmes to support start up businesses, then leading the MBA programme and an MSc in HRM.

Moving to Leeds Beckett University in 2011, Karen has taught on a range of different courses and modules, particularly enjoying the times spent teaching in Southern Africa.

Karen's background of rich experiences is all incorporated in her teaching. Passionate about working towards a more inclusive society, with greater tolerance and opportunities for all. Key learnings from her doctoral studies emphasise the value of experience, education, travel and collaboration in the development of open mindedness and tolerance. 

Karen's current teaching interests include supporting students in the development of their employment prospects, through working on their self awareness and their ability to reflect and learn from practical experience. Resilience, adaptability and a positive outlook are also important. Another exciting project is immersive learning experiences, setting up real life scenarios within which students can apply their knowledge of a subject in a simulated real context. Work using a 'futures' approach is also an interest, using a structured approach to predicting possible future scenarios, and using that process to support strategy decisions.

Participation in collaborative research on immersive learning and futures is keeping Karen busy.

Current Teaching

  • Professional Skills (to H5 BSc HRM and Business students)
  • Contemporary Issues in HRM and Ethics (to H6 BSc HRM and Business students)
  • Applied Management Practice (to H5 Business and Management and pathways students)

Research Interests

Working with Prof Jeff Gold on 'Futures' research, with an emphasis on collaboration.

Also working on research into student perception, experience and learning from immersive learning experiences.

Selected Publications

Journal articles (2)

Conference contributions (2)

  • Trem KR (2017) Selecting an appropriate research sample for a phenomenographic study of values Lisbon, Portugal 07/06/2017.
    View Repository Record
  • Trem KR (2015) The Role of Spiral-Dynamics in Creating Sustainable, Values-Based-Organisations. Cork .
    View Repository Record
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