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Derek Watling

Derek Watling

Principal Lecturer

Nottingham Business School

Staff Group(s)
Department of Human Resource Management


As a Course Leader and Principal Lecturer Derek is responsible for the management and academic standards for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) approved full-time version of the MSc in Human Resource Management programme and he is the Business School’s main point of contact with the professional body the CIPD. Derek is a member of the postgraduate course leaders committee which is responsible for overseeing Nottingham Business School’s postgraduate platform portfolio of courses. In his capacity as a Principal Lecturer in the HRM division he provides support to the Head of Department in respect of the division’s postgraduate provision through involvement in recruitment and selection interviewing, staff appraisals and observation of colleague’s teaching.

Derek contributes to the teaching on various modules on the full and part-time CIPD approved programmes together with contributions to the CIPD awarded Certificate programme. Derek is the module leader for Managing Employee Relations and Employee Engagement. He supervises postgraduate students undertaking Consultancy Experience Projects, Master’s Dissertations and Management Research Reports.

Career overview

Derek is currently a member of the East Midlands ACAS Employee Relations Steering Group and the East Midlands Regional ‘Engaging for Success’ Steering Committee. Prior to embarking on a career in academia, Derek spent eight years as an HR practitioner working variously for a public utility, a private steel manufacturer and in local government. Over recent years Derek has gained an appreciation and understanding of the operations of the voluntary sector as a Board Member and Deputy Chair of the Doncaster Youth Jazz Association. Earlier in his tenure at NBS he was a full-time seconded member in NBS’s Centre for Management Development where he designed, co-ordinated and delivered in-company development programmes aimed at both young professionals and senior executives in both the Private and Public Sectors. These various experiences have afforded Derek the opportunity to coach/mentor and facilitate the development and learning of managers from junior to executive level on both a one to one and a group basis including overseas in Saudi Arabia. While Derek’s preferred coaching style incorporates elements of Nancy Kline's principles of the Thinking Environment, he recognises the importance of the coaching approach adopted being dependent upon the coach/client relationship.

Research areas

Over the recent past Derek has been involved with the following research activities:

  • 2007 secondary analysis of the 2004 Workplace Employment Relations Survey with respect to employee relations in small firms in the East Midlands Region
  • 2009 - 2011 ACAS Innovative Workplaces evaluation project.
  • 2011 - The evaluation of the IWP led to a further report sponsored by ACAS on the impact of ACAS facilitators
  • 2011 - Wrote up a case studies of ACAS IWP project for ACAS website

Current Research activity:

Derek is a member of a HRM Division research team investigating “the role of line managers in the implementation of employee engagement”. This project is supported by “Engaging for Success”

External activity

Derek is a

  • Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
  • ILM (Level) 5 qualified coach
  • Member of the Industrial Law Society
  • Member of the British Universities Industrial Relations Association

Derek has also been an external examiner for HRM programmes at:

  • Huddersfield University
  • Doncaster Business School, Doncaster College
  • Birmingham City University
  • Sunderland University
  • Leeds Met University

Sponsors and collaborators

During 2007 ACAS sponsored a secondary analysis of the 2004 Workplace Employment Relations Survey with respect to employee relations in small firms in the East Midlands Region (collaborated with Professor Lynette Harris and Dr Alan Tuckman)

2009 to 2011, Derek, together with Professor Lynette Harris, Dr Alan Tuckman and Bernadette Downs of the HRM division, has carried out an evaluation of the ACAS Innovative Workplaces Initiative (IWP), which was sponsored by the East Midlands Development Agency.

The evaluation of the IWP has led to a further report sponsored by ACAS on the impact of ACAS facilitators.

During 2011 Derek was also sponsored by ACAS to write the IWP cases studies for publication on the ACAS website.

Current research is supported by Engaging For Success.