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Dr Karen Blakeley is Senior Lecturer in Human Resources Management and Head of the Centre for Responsible Management at Winchester Business School. She has over 25 years’ experience as a leadership development consultant, having worked for clients such as British Airways, Barclays Bank, BG, Pizza Express,  PricewaterhouseCoopers, Texaco, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and the Home Office.

In 2009 Karen joined Winchester Business School, one of the first business schools in the UK to sign up to the UN Principles for Responsible Management Education. Since then she has conducted research and produced academic and practitioner publications in the area of responsible leadership development, spirituality in leadership and the role of the business schools in society.

Karen is currently conducting research, in partnership with a multinational bank, into the role of action learning in the development of responsible leadership.  Karen has been interviewed on TV and radio concerning the dynamics leading to irresponsible leadership in banks and is also interested in the role played by spirituality in the development of responsible leaders.

Higher Education Teaching Qualification

Higher Education Academy Fellowship (FHEA).

Areas of expertise

  • Responsible leadership development
  • Spirituality in leadership
  • Leadership learning



  • Blakeley, K. (2007) Leadership blind spots and what to do about them, Chichester: Wiley

Papers in refereed journals

  • Mabey, C., Conroy, M., Blakeley, K. & DeMarco, S. (2016) Having burned the straw-man of Christian spiritual leadership, what can we learn from Jesus about leading ethically?, Journal of Business Ethics, DOI:10.1007/s10551-016-3054-5
  • Blakeley, K. & Higgs, M. (2014) Responsible leadership development crucible experiences and power relationships in a global professional services firm, Human Resource Development International, 17, (5),560 - 576

Chapters in books

  • Blakeley, K. (2015) Inspiring Responsible Leadership in Business Schools - Can a Spiritual Approach Help? In: C. Mabey & W.Mayrhofer (Eds) Leadership Development: Questions Business Schools Don't Ask, London: Sage
  • Blakeley, K. (2015) Responsible Leadership A Radical Approach, In: S. Kempster & B. Carroll (Ed.) Responsible Leadership (forthcoming).
  • Blakeley, K. (2015) fostering PRME partnerships and constant dialogue, In: Alan Murray, Denise Baden, Paul Cashion, Kathryn Haynes, & Alec Wilson (Eds), Inspiration Guide for the Implementation of PRME, Sheffield: Greenleaf


  • Blakeley, K. (2017) Transferring Learning in Contested Spaces, part of the series of NHS collaboratories on Evaluating Impacts, Outcomes and the Transfer of Leadership Learning: 11.1.17.
  • Blakeley, K. (2016) Responsible Leadership What’s Love Got To Do With It?, Invited lecture at University of West of England, 30.11.16.
  • Blakeley, K. (2016) Developing Ethical Leaders and the Knowing Doing Gap - Lessons from Spirituality, part of the ESRC Series on Developing Ethical Leaders: The Contribution of Philosophy and Spirituality, 21.10.16
  • Blakeley, K. (2016) ‘Business as a Spiritual Endeavor’, Invited lecture for MA in Christian Approaches to Leadership, Sarum College, Salisbury, 26.4.16
  • Blakeley, K. (2015) Shared Leadership and Social Movement Theory New Lenses to Investigate Responsible Leadership Development, International Leadership Association Conference, Barcelona.
  • Blakeley, K. (2015) Responsible leadership as resistance new lenses to support responsible leadership development, Developing Leadership Capacity Conference, Henley, UK.
  • Stewart, J.A., Blakeley, K., Gosling, J., Foster-Pedley, J., Kempster, S. Murphy, A., & Thurloway, L. (2015) ‘BAM Responsible Leadership Collaboratory’ pre-conference half-day workshop presented at the International Leadership Association (ILA) Annual Conference 2015, Barcelona.
  • Stewart, J. A., Blakeley, K., Thurloway, L., Norberg, D., Alexander, A., Murray, A. & Bolden R. (2015) BAM Responsible Leadership Collaboratory’, Workshop presented at the British Academy of Management Annual Conference, Portsmouth, UK.
  • Stewart, J. A., Blakeley, K., Murray, A., Richards, L. & Garratt, B. (2015) BAM Responsible Leadership Collaboratory’, Special one-day Workshop, London, UK.
  • Blakeley, K. (2014) Responsible Leadership, Developing Leadership Capacity Conference, Lancaster University Management School, UK.
  • Blakeley, K. (2013) A Spiritual Critique of the Business of Business Schools, Questions Business Schools Don’t Ask, Sarum College, Salisbury
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