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Helen Fraser

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Senior Lecturer in Human Resources Management and Leadership

I am a senior lecturer on the HR and Leadership Team and Programme Leader for the 2017-18 MSc HRM Programme.

My early academic studies were in the arts and my first professional work was as a manager in the creative and demanding world of theatre, including 12 years with one of the UK’s top companies, The Royal Shakespeare Company. Before joining Sunderland Business School, I taught Theatre History and Event Management, Business Information Management and Human Resources Management in a number of FE and HE institutions including Edinburgh Napier University.

I am a widely experienced HRD professional and consultant, with over 15 years UK-wide experience of working on applied research projects and creating and delivering change, leadership and learning programmes for diverse groups of people in many industry sectors and major organisations.

I am a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

Teaching and supervision

I am Programme Leader for MSc Human Resources Management .

I am currently Module Leader for:
PGBM67 Management and Leadership Development
PGBM47 OD and Change Management
PGBM84 Managing Leading and Developing People
PGBM71 The Management Futures Applied Research Project

I teach on:
UGB331 Applying Critical Reflective Practice
HRM325 Strategic Human Resources Management
UGB164 Introduction to Leading and Managing People
UGB162 Introduction to HRM and Talent Development

I supervise postgraduate student research projects on:
PGBM85 Investigating a Business Issue from a Human Resource Perspective
PGBM86 Human Resource Reflective Project
PGBM71 Management Futures Applied Research Project

Research interests for potential research students

Learning and Development and HRD
Leadership and Management Development
Organisational Development and Change Management


I recently presented a paper with Dr Trish Bryans on ‘the Applications of Rehearsal to Leader Development’ to the 9th Developing Leadership Capacity Conference which was held in Brighton.

I am currently working with Dr Trish Bryans on a paper considering further application of rehearsal to higher education and on an article with Dr Trish Bryans and Dr Paul-Alan Armstrong on Planned Parenthood and Planned Careers? Future Women Leaders’ Reflections on Starting their Careers.

I co-authored a book chapter titled ‘Workplace Women’s Place’ with Dr Trish Bryans and Dr Paul-Alan Armstrong in Re-visiting Spare Rib (2017) edited by Professor Angela Smith and published by Palgrave.

My research focuses on 3 main themes: Theatre Method and Metaphor in HRD particularly in Leadership Development, Women in Male Dominated Industries and Occupations and Human Resource Development in Dangerous Work and Sports. 

Early research projects were applied work for clients during my time as an HR and OD consultant for organisations such as The Scottish Executive, BT, NCR, ScottishPower and The Edward de Bono Foundation.

Research projects included work on Workplace Drugs and Alcohol Policies, A Theatre Company Feasibility Study, and An Exploratory Study of Mixed Internal and External Project Training Teams. 


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Number of items: 1.

Book Section

Bryans, Trish, Fraser, Helen and Armstrong, Paul-Alan (2017) Workplace - Women's Place? In: Re-reading Spare Rib. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 99-118. ISBN 978-3-319-49309-1

This list was generated on Mon Jul 26 06:58:56 2021 BST.
I am particularly interested in teaching and learning in dangerous occupations and activities. I am a scuba rescue diver and a glider pilot and instructor and have worked on training projects with electric power transmission engineers. I am currently part of the team developing the new British Gliding Association flying instructor training programme to fulfil the requirements of The CAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency.

I have designed and delivered management and leadership development and change programmes for many national clients. 

Last updated 11 May 2021

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