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Research Profile

Dr Mairi

Dean - Faculty of Business & Law

Faculty of Business and Law

  • Dr Mairi Watson has been Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law at the University of Northampton since August 2016. Working at the University since 2012, Mairi held posts as Head of Postgraduate Programmes, Head of Postgraduate and Corporate Programmes and Deputy Dean in the former Business School.  Prior to this she was Head of Corporate Programmes in the Business School at De Montfort University and a principal lecturer in Organisational Behaviour and Human Resource Management.  She is a Charted Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management and an academic member of the CIPD.    In addition, as she is passionate about tackling social injustice and leading social change,  Mairi is a non-executive director at Goodwill Solutions, the UK’s leading logistics social enterprise; Societal, a Community Interest Company created to contribute education and research to logistics, social value, transportation and mobility challenges; and a director of a new organisation, One Helping, which builds networks that innovate to find inclusive solutions to food poverty by disrupting inefficient supply chains. 

    Her research interests include the leadership of change in constrained and challenging circumstances, for example in prisons, and she contributes to Beardwell and Thompson, the UK’s most popular human resource management textbook on organisational development, leadership development and learning and development.   

    Before working in Higher Education, Mairi worked in a range of operational and leadership roles in prisons in England and Wales, including as a prison officer and governor, as well as in secondments to the then Home Office and HM Prisons Inspectorate.

  • As a qualitative researcher, Mairi’s research interests include:

    • Prison management
    • Organisational Change and Development: Sensemaking, context and process of change, policy implementation and local circumstances
    • Leadership and Leader Development

    Mairi is a member of the British Academy of Management and is a reviewed for the Leadership and Leadership Development Track of the annual conference. She has supervised over 50 students to the successful completion of masters dissertations in a range of topics including leadership, employee engagement, diversity, strategic HRM, organisational change, leader development, learning and development and managerial behaviour.