Skip to content
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.  She teaches on corporate programmes such as the global post-graduate programme for ECCO, delivered across four international locations around the world, on which she leads and delivers the Personal & Leadership Development Module.

Zara conducts research and consultancy for public and private sector clients, on topics including leadership development, talent management, diversity management, organisational culture change and presenteeism. 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 over two decades of experience in consultancy and training roles in public and private sector organisations. In addition to her role at NTU she is Research & Impact Director 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 which addresses contemporary business issues, with the aim of improving individual and organisational performance. 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 behavioural and organisational change.

External activity

Zara is currently leading a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Fujitsu, aimed at driving sustainable change in individual and team working practices through an enhanced organisational culture change methodology, positively impacting organisational effectiveness, resilience and agility.

Zara is Research & Impact Director 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