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The Post-BREXIT Referendum Human Resource Development Era: An Investigation into the UK Banking Sector

  • School: Nottingham Business School
  • Funding: UK student / EU student (non-UK) / International student (non-EU) / Self-funded


This research study will examine the effect of the BREXIT referendum onto the Human Resource Development (HRD) practices of the UK banking sector. For many national economies, the banking sector is considered as one of their main pillars. Concurrently, the sector is characterised as “knowledge-intensive” and “people-oriented” concerning its competitiveness, success, growth and change (Froehlich, 2017; Kor, 2016; Mitsakis, 2017; Mitsakis & Aravopoulou, 2016). Thus, it is important to examine how HRD practices in UK banks have been affected by the BREXIT referendum outcome. Lately, there are many commentators associating BREXIT with the make of a new global economic crisis. Amongst them, the Bank of England governor Mark Carney described the post-BREXIT era as a new financial crisis (Elliot and Stewart, 2017; Gold, 2017; Chu, 2017; Rachman, 2016). Following such assertions, organisations reported extensive budget cuts within their HR interventions, including relevant budget allocations to their HRD strategies and practices.


A longitudinal survey would allow prospective applicants to examine the effect of the BREXIT referendum (and its aftermath) to the HRD practices within the UK banking sector. Following the relative lack of relevant literature on BREXIT and its effect on HRD, the project aims to offer new insights to both HRD scholars and HRD practitioners by collecting data through a multi-constituent research perspective (different stakeholders across banking organisations).


Chu, B. (2017). Give us credit for avoiding post-Brexit vote financial crisis, say Bank of England Governor Mark Carney. The Independent, Retrieved from The Independent Journal website, available at: [Assessed on 1st March 2017].

Elliott, C. and Stewart, J., (2017). What are the (C)HRD implications of Brexit? A personal reflection? Human Resource Development International, 20(1), pp.1-8.

Froehlich, D.E. (2017). Older managers’ informal learning in knowledge-intensive organizations: investigating the role of learning approaches among Austrian bank managers. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 28 (2), pp.399-416.

Gold, J. (2017). The future of HRD: Scenarios for possibility. International Journal of HRD Practice, Policy and Research, 2(2), pp.71-82.

Kör, B. (2016). The mediating effects of self-leadership on perceived entrepreneurial orientation and innovative work behaviour in the banking sector. Springer Plus, 5(1), 1829.

Mitsakis, F.V. (2017). Employees’ perspectives on strategic human resource development before and after the global financial crisis: evidence from the Greek banking sector. International Journal of Training and Development, 21(4), pp.285-303.

Mitsakis, F.V. and Aravopoulou, E., (2016). The impact of the economic crisis upon human Resource Development (HRD): Evidence from two Greek banks. International Journal of Human Resource Development: Practice, Policy & Research, 1(2), pp.67-82.

Rachman, G. (2016). Brexit and the making of a global crisis. Financial Times. Retrieved from Financial Times Journal website, available at: [Assessed on 1st March 2017].


Dr Fotios Mitsakis

Entry qualifications

An applicant for admission to read for a PhD should normally hold a first or upper second class honours degree of a UK university or an equivalent qualification, or a lower second class honours degree with a Master's degree at Merit level of a UK university or an equivalent qualification.

International students will also need to meet the English language requirements - IELTS 6.5 (with minimum sub-scores of 6.0). Applicants who have taken a higher degree at a UK university are normally exempt from the English language requirements. A research proposal (between 1,000 and a maximum of 2,000 words) must be submitted as part of the application.

For more information please visit the NTU Doctoral School – Research Degrees webpages.

How to apply

For a step-by-step guide and to make an application, please visit our how to apply page.

For informal enquiries about this project, please email Fotios Mitsakis.

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Fotios Mitsakis