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Diversity, Identity, Leadership and Learning (DILL)

Issues of diversity, identity, leadership and learning are at the heart of responsible business practice.

Responsible and sustainable business depends upon fostering workforce diversity, understanding individual and group identities and upon relational and authentic leadership and continuous workplace learning.  The Diversity, Identity, Leadership and Learning (DILL) Research Interest Group (RIG) within the NBS Signature Research Area of Responsible Business embraces research in these four areas based upon a recognition that people, their identities and behaviour, including leading at all levels and continuous learning are the keys to ensuring responsible and sustainable action in contemporary business.

The DILL Research Interest Group examines life from individual employee and manager / leader perspectives. The Group’s aim is to advance knowledge and to provide solutions for individual and organisational development.  The Group combines academic research using a range of methodologies and research techniques with practice-based inquiry.  Members generate knowledge with the aim of influencing policy and practice nationally and internationally via keynotes, presentations, conference papers, publications, advisory roles, contract research, executive coaching, leadership programme development, consultancy and networking.  Members of the group publish widely in high impact academic journals and a significant number of Doctoral degrees are supervised by members of the group.  Members have been particularly successful in securing research grants and awards and hold leadership roles in key academic forums for diversity, identity, leadership and learning such as BAM Streams and UFHRD.


Recent Projects

Dr Sandra Corlett: Narratives of retiring and becoming an exiting elder

This ongoing project involves interviews with professionals/managers who are in the process of, or thinking about, leaving full-time employment. The project  aims to explore how individuals  narrate and construct their self-identities as they make sense of the end of their full-time career. The research also explores the notion of becoming an ‘exiting  elder’, a term used by one of the participants.

Dr Russell Warhurst and Dr Kate Black: Learning Late: work and learning in later-careers

This project involved the close analysis of an extensive data-set of narratives and visual-images from later-career middle managers across a diverse range of commercial and not-for-profit organisations to ascertain the nature of managerial work in later-career, changes in the nature of this work and informal, experiential and social learning experienced in the workplace and beyond.

Key Publications

  • Corlett, S (2015) Becoming and being an exiting elder, European Group for Organizational Studies Conference, Athens, July
  • Corlett, S (2015) Narratives of ageing and/or retiring and identity work: a conversation across theoretical perspectives on identity, British Academy of Management, Portsmouth, September
  • Warhurst, RP & Black, KE (2015) It’s never too late to learn, Journal of Workplace Learning, 27(6), 457-472.
  • Warhurst, RP & Black, KE (2016) What do managers know?  Wisdom in later-career managers’ practice, Management Learning (in revision)

Get in touch

Find out more and get in touch with our research team at the Newcastle Business School.

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