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Dr Beverley Hawkins

Dr Beverley Hawkins

Senior Lecturer in Leadership / Organisation Studies, Director of Education (Organisation Studies)


+44 (0) 1392 722581

Streatham Court, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4PU, UK

Dr Beverley Hawkins joined the University of Exeter Business School in January 2009, having previously taught and completed a PhD at Keele University. With a background in critical management studies, her research focuses on the collaborative, embodied and politicised aspects of organizational and leadership practice. She links her research to her teaching practice and has also published work on the experiences of leadership studies undergraduates and educators in Higher Education.

Nationality: British

Administrative responsibilities

  • Programme director for BA Business Management with Leadership programme.
  • Module Lead for CLS1002 Introduction to Leadership Studies, and CLS2002 Leadership Challenges and Practices


BSc (University of Wales, Swansea), MA (University of Warwick), PhD in Management (University of Keele)

Research clusters

Research interests

  • Leadership and teamwork
  • Leadership as a sociomaterial, embodied, relational and politicised effect.
  • Leading change towards sustainable organisations and societies
  • Transitions towards and away from leadership positions
  • Organisational culture
  • Gender and identity work
  • Control and resistance practices at work

Dr Hawkins undertook a PhD in Management, drawing on poststructuralist feminist theory, to show team members 'do teamwork' by invoking certain ways of thinking, being and doing, which help them to become thought of as 'good team members'. In this way, Dr Hawkins focuses on how 'doing teamwork' is intricately bound up with the way team members regulate their own, and each other's identities. Her published work has also explored how employees and leaders negotiate, identify with, and resist 'corporate culture', which uses metaphors, symbols and specific rituals to encourage identification with the corporate brand. She draws upon notions of leadership as the collaborative, negotiated performance of narratives, embedded in power relations, which open up and foreclose available ways of 'doing organisation'.

More recently Dr Hawkins' work focuses on the embodied, politicised, relational experiences of individuals and communities as they develop, accomplish and even move away from leadership. The idea of transition (between the human and the non-human, towards a more sustainable future in the circular economy, towards new identities and forms of leadership practice) is a central theme running through this focus.

Research projects

Dr Hawkins has produced a number of research papers which focus on:

  • the contributions material objects make to leadership performances
  • the challenges faced by students and educators of Leadership Studies in Higher Education,
  • the branding of University Business Schools
  • the implications of the low carbon agenda for organisations
  • how team members draw upon notions of family and parenting to help organise and process their work activities
  • how team members negotiate gendered corporate culture narratives.

Dr Hawkins has been involved in 'Clear about Carbon' - an award-winning ESF-funded project, which aims to develop leadership skills for sustainable procurement in Cornwall-based organisations. Other partners in the project are Cornwall Council, Duchy College and the Eden Project.

Dr Hawkins has co-written a textbook on Perspectives on Leadership with Jonathan Gosling, Richard Bolden and Scott Taylor, of the Centre for Leadership Studies.

Dr Hawkins has experience of teaching a diverse student population, from undergraduates to management and leadership practitioners. She has also been involved in teaching distance learning and regular contact courses.

Her teaching commitments currently focus on engaging students with theoretical and practical aspects of leadership studies. She encourages students to reflect on their own leadership experiences during class participation and assessment methods. She aims to show students how to apply theories to their own reflections of leadership reality, and to highlight the complex and emergent nature of leadership challenges using interactive learning techniques.

Dr Hawkins has also acted as a guest lecturer in the Human Resource Management and Organisational Behaviour undergraduate modules, and has been involved in teaching on the MA in Leadership Studies.