Portrait photograph of: Stephen Allen

Stephen Allen

Country Of Origin: United Kingdom

Degree: PhD, Management Learning & Leadership, 2012

Lecturer, Hull University Business School

When I was considering which universities to apply to for my PhD I knew of the research that had been completed about organisational learning in the Department of Management Learning and Leadership (DMLL, now called the Department of Leadership and Management). The academic staff in DMLL were very responsive when I made contact about my interest in exploring topics related to sustainability (social and ecological) and organisational learning.

At the same time my wife was investigating the best places to complete a Masters in Science of the Environment and became very enthusiastic about studying at the Lancaster Environment Centre. Fortunately we both managed to receive offers of places at Lancaster, along with confirmation of ESRC funding for my PhD.

I started at the same time in DMLL as a number of other PhD students which meant that we could support and help orientate each other. We lived on campus during the three years of my study (including the arrival of our daughter) which was excellent for being in close proximity to use my desk and computer in DMLL as well as have lunch with my family.

The PhD was a wonderful journey of discovery where my supervisors helped me to ask and follow down research questions about sustainability that completely reshaped how I understood my topic and how I was placed in studying it. The wide range of events and seminars that I had access to across the Lancaster campus meant that I was able to connect with others engaged in various disciplinary debates about issues related to sustainability. These connections and conversations were profoundly important in giving my thinking the significant step up that it needed for successful completion of my PhD.

I now have a lecturing contract in DMLL which means I have been able to realise my ambition from when I started my PhD to move from working in the private sector into academia. It has also meant that my family and I have been able to stay part of Lancaster’s communities (University and city) and continue to enjoy the fabulous countryside that surrounds us.

Stephen has since moved to Hull University Business School, joining the School's Organisational Behaviour and Human Resource Management Group.