Zara Whysall

Zara Whysall

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer

Nottingham Business School

Staff Group(s)
Department of Human Resource Management


Zara is a Senior Lecturer in Business and Management. She undertakes teaching, research, and consultancy within the HRM Division and Corporate and Executive Education Team in the Business School, and is Course Leader for the Ecco PG Cert / Dip / MSc in Global Business. She teaches on a number of modules on the postgraduate platform, including ‘Managing People & Organisations’ on the Executive MBA, and ‘Management Research’ modules on the MSc in Management and Leadership.

Zara conducts research and consultancy for public and private sector clients, around topics such as presenteeism, leadership development, talent management, and organisational culture change. She is happy to supervise research dissertations on masters, PhD and DBA programmes in research areas of relevance to her areas of interest and expertise.

Career overview

Zara is a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, with over a decade of experience in consultancy and training roles in public and private sector organisations. She balances her part-time role at NTU with a part-time role as Head of Research at Kiddy & Partners LLP.

Zara's previous experience includes several years as Head of Research & Product at Lane4 Management Group. Prior to that Zara was a Business Manager for Psychology at COPE Occupational Health, where she conducted training, research and consultancy with a wide range of clients into areas such as managing presenteeism and work-related stress, and also managing a large multi-service occupational health contract for a defence sector client. She also worked in the Horizon Scanning team at HSL, using research and tools such as scenario planning to identify and understand the implications of emerging trends for managing future work-related risks to health and wellbeing.

She has a PhD from Loughborough University, a Masters in Occupational Psychology from Nottingham University, and a BSc (First-class Hons) in Human Psychology from Aston University.

Research areas

Zara is a strong advocate of applied research, with the aim of improving employees' performance and engagement at work. She has a number of research interests, including:

  • Leadership and Talent Development - applying the psychology of learning to the workplace to understand how leaders learn from their experience (good and bad), and how talent and leadership development can be improved as a result.
  • The impact of emotion and cognitive biases on decision-making and performance in business, and in identifying methods to help mitigate the detrimental effects of this on performance in various organisational settings.
  • Work, Health & Performance – presenteeism at work, and the positive impact that work can have on wellbeing.

Zara's PhD focused on the application of the transtheoretical model of behaviour change to organisational change interventions to improve their effectiveness and sustainability. She retains an interest in the area of behaviour change.

External activity

Zara is Head of Research for Kiddy & Partners, a human capital consultancy firm specialising in talent assessment and development. She is responsible for producing evidence-based thought leadership outputs and undertaking impact evaluation studies to help understand and enhance the impact of the firm's services on key client outcomes.

Press expertise

  • Talent / leadership development – how leaders learn, the role of feedback, reflection and deliberate practice
  • Employee engagement and motivation
  • Work-related stress – prevention and management
  • Teams / team dynamics – what makes teams high performing from a social / psychological perspective