Professor Nicholas Clarke

Deputy Dean,
Professor of Organisational Behaviour and HRM.
Professor Nicholas Clarke


Nicholas Clarke is Professor of Organisational Behaviour & HRM and Deputy Dean at Kent Business School. He has previously held chairs in OB at Loughborough University, EADA Business School in Barcelona and the University of Southampton (UoS) Business School. He was head of department of HRM at UoS for 8 years managing a team of 12 academics and a member of the school’s management group. In that role he also advised the university on HR areas including managing change, organisation and leadership development as well as grievance issues.

Nicholas has sat on the editorial boards of European Journal of Training and Development, Team Performance Management, and Human Resource Development Quarterly and regularly reviews for journals including Human Resource Management, International Journal of Human Resource Management, Leadership Quarterly, and European Journal of Work and Organisational Psychology

Previously he has held managerial and practitioner positions in healthcare and is a qualified social worker. In his early career he worked in statutory and voluntary organisations in the areas of substance misuse, AIDS/HIV and mental health as well as leading up workforce and organisation development for a large NHS community health services trust.

Research interests

Nicholas’ research interests include advancing our understanding of how the quality of work relationships (manager-subordinate, team, organisation) influence learning and behaviour in organisations. This body of work comprises four major connecting themes (1) Examining leadership and leadership development from a relational perspective; (2) Identifying how emotional intelligence influences relational behaviours for work, (3) Investigating the effects of workplace relations on employee learning and (4) my more recent research stream has been investigating respect between managers and employees, both its effects and how we might bring about more respectful relationships in the workplace.
Working in collaboration with academic colleagues as well as professionals in health and social care he has been part of teams that have received research funding from the NHS, the Health Foundation, Local Government, the US Project Management Institute and the Nuffield Foundation. As well as attending academic conferences and other fora, Nicholas is keen to engage with business and practitioner communities and has organised seminars, conferences, masterclasses and tailored in-house programmes in areas of leadership, leadership and organisation development and human resource development. He is particularly keen to encourage knowledge transfer and partnerships.

Nicholas has been invited to give presentations at conferences and seminars in the UK, Channel Islands and Greece, as well as consultancy on leadership development to among others N-Power, Rolls Royce Fuel Systems, Hampshire Adults Services and the UK Home Office (Drugs Misuse). He has published over 40 refereed journal articles and his recent book Relational Leadership: Theory, Practice and Development was published by Routledge in 2018.


Nicholas has extensive experience of developing and managing programmes across the business education portfolio, particularly at post-graduate and post-experience levels and has been involved in a number acreaccreditation /(re)validation panels for programmes at external institutions. He has previously held external examiner positions at the University of Surrey, University of Wolverhampton, University of Hull, and Glasgow Caledonian University.


Nicholas has acted as either principal investigator or Co-Investigator on 12 externally funded research projects, supervised 7 PhD students to successful completion and examined 9 doctorate theses both in the UK and internationally.


Nicholas is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

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