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Zara Whysall

Zara Whysall

Associate Professor

Nottingham Business School

Staff Group(s)
Department of Human Resource Management


Zara is an Associate Professor who undertakes teaching, research and consultancy within the Executive Education Team in the Business School, and is Course Leader for the Post-Graduate Cert/Dip in Global Business delivered for ECCO Sko A/S, the Danish shoe manufacturer and retailer.  This global programme is delivered across four international locations around the world, with programme participants representing a diverse cross-section of nationalities. The programme covers Strategy, Finance, Supply Chain Management, Retail Management, Digital Commerce, Marketing, Change Management, Managing & Leading People and Personal & Leadership Development.

Zara conducts research and consultancy for public and private sector clients, on topics including presenteeism, leadership development, talent management, diversity management and organisational culture change. She supervises students on the 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 around two decades of experience in consultancy and training roles in public and private sector organisations. In addition to her role at NTU she is Head of Research at Kiddy & Partners Ltd, a firm of Business Psychologists specialising in leadership assessment and development, and part of the Gateley Group.

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 Ltd, 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 well-being at work. Her primary research interests, include:

  • Leadership and Talent Development - applying psychological theory to understand how organisations can develop effective methods of achieving the shift in mindset, skillset and context required to meet the pace of change in modern operating environments.
  • Diversity management – understanding the role of organisational culture and implicit bias in promoting (or inhibiting) diversity and inclusion
  • Work, Health & Performance – presenteeism and the reciprocal relationships between work, health and performance.

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 firm of business psychologists specialising in leadership 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 management and leadership development
  • Employee motivation and retention
  • Presenteeism and management of work-related ill-health and wellbeing