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Undergraduate courses

Dr Leonard Holmes

Dr Leonard Holmes

Reader in Management

Roehampton University Business School


Leonard joined the University of Roehampton in 2009 as Reader in Management, having worked previously at two other universities in various roles. He has a background in the employee training and development field, particularly trainer training and management and professional development. This followed a career in hospitality management.

His main research interests are in issues concerning expertise (knowledge, skill, competence, learning, assessment, etc), particularly in respect of the social character of the forms in which these are manifested in modern social and economic life. He is especially interested in how judgements and appraisals of knowledge and skill are made, how such judgements and appraisals both reflect and reproduce differences in opportunity within society and their effects upon organisational and societal functioning. One key area for such research is that of graduate employability and employment: he has critiqued approaches based on notions of graduate 'skills and attributes', developing an alternative based on notions of emergent identity and practices (the Graduate Identity Approach - see Another area concerns the socio-political governance of expertise, particularly as this in manifested in public policy interventions by government and the responses by other stakeholders.



BA (Hons) Nottingham, MPhil (with Distinction) Lanacster), PhD London

Research interests

Emergent identity.
Managerial and professional expertise.
Practice-based understandings of learning and expertise.
Managerial identity and careers.
Graduate 'employability'.

Research projects undertaken

Leonard has undertaken research, funded by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, on the experiences of 'new leaders' in higher education, drawing upon his earlier work on identity trajectories. In 2011, he received a research honorarium from the Universities Forum for Human Resource Development,  to undertake a project on the potential application of a governance perspective to research into national HRD (ie public policty on skills development). In the summer of 2012, he was a visiting research fellow at National University of Ireland, Galway, developing an extension to that research as applied to the situation in Ireland.

His previous research work has included leading a project on graduates in SMEs (for Government Office for London), and on professional development for local economic development practitioners (Leonardo da Vinci project). His research on two black-led community-based urban regeneration projects was published in 2010, as 'The Dominance of Management: a participatory critique' (Ashgate Publications)

Research Projects:
Project: Becoming a leader in higher education: an identity trajectory perspective
Sponsor: Leadership Foundation for Higer Education, Small Development Project
Funding: £10 thousand

Research Funding:
2011: Leadership Foundation for Higer Education (£10 thousand)
Universities Forum for Human Resource Development, Research Honorarium (£1000)

Membership of professional bodies

Fellow of Royal Society of Arts
Chartered Fellow of Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
Member of British Academy of Management; currently Chair of the Knowledge and Learning Special Interest Group

Member of British Sociological Association

Teaching interests

Social research methods, particularly as applied to organisations, management, employment.

Human resource development

Taught courses


MSc or PGDip International Management,
Business Management,
Human Resource Management




 (in press) Becoming a graduate: the warranting of an emergent identity, Education + Training

(2013) Realist and relational perspectives on graduate identity and employability: a response to Hinchliffe and Jolly, British Educational Research Journal, 39, 6, pp. 1044-1059.

(2013) Competing perspectives on graduate employability: possession, position, or process?, Studies in Higher Education, 38, 4, pp. 538-554

(2006) Abilities, competencies, and selection decision-making, in Hosking, D. M. andMcNamee, S. (eds.), The Social Construction of Organization, Oslo: Liber.

(2006) ‘Challenging the learning turn in education and training’, in Rigg, C., Stewart, J. and Trehan, K., Behind and Beyond Critical Human Resource Development.

 (2006) (with S.Little and F. Go) The Skill of Travel: Networks into Neighbourhoods’, European Spatial Research and Policy, 13.

(2005) (with Y. Altman)   The rites of passage of cross-disciplinary concepts: reflections on , Career Development International, 10, pp. 67-70. 

(2004) ‘The learning turn in education and training: liberatory paradigm or oppressive ideology?’, Journal of European Industrial Training, 28.

(2003) 'Reaching in, reaching out: metadata, popular planning and social capital development', European Spatial Research and Policy, 10.

(2001) ‘Reconsidering Graduate Employability: The Graduate Identity Approach’, Quality in Higher Education, 7.

(2001) (with S. Little, M. Grieco) 'Calling up culture: information spaces and information flows as the virtual dynamics of inclusion and exclusion', Information Technology and People, 14.

(2001) (with M Grieco)  ‘The power of transparency: the Internet, email, and the Malaysian political crisis’, Asia-Pacific Business Review, 8, 59-72.

(2000) (with S. Little and M Grieco) Island histories, open cultures?: the electronic transformation of adjacency’, Southern African Business Review, 4 (2) (December 2000)


(2000) (with J Turner and F Hodgson) ‘Intelligent urban development: introduction to a participatory approach’, Urban Studies, in special issue 

Special Issue on ‘Intelligent Urban Development: the Emergence of 'Wired' Administration and Management’, Sept

(2000) ‘What can performance tell us about learning? Explicating a troubled concept’, European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, June

(2000) (with J. Turner, Margaret Grieco, Nana Apt) ‘Looking to Initiatives in Communications Technology to Overcome Social and Gender Inequalities’, w, in Local Economy, vol 15, no 1

(1995) 'HRM and the Irresistible Rise of the Discourse of Competence', Personnel Review, special edition on 'The Rhetoric and Culture of HRM', vol 24, no 4

(1993) (with P. Joyce) 'Rescuing the Useful Concept of Managerial Competence: From Outcomes Back to Process' (with P Joyce),  Personnel Review, vol 22, no. 6

(1991) (with M Grieco) 'Overt Funding, Buried Goals, and Moral Turnover: The Organizational Transformation of Radical Experiments', (with M. Grieco), Human Relations, vol 44, no.7



(2010) The Dominance of Management: A Participatory Critique, Ashgate Publishing.

Edited Books

(with Christina Evans) (eds) (2013) 'Re-Tayloring Management: Scientific Management a Century On', Gower

  (2002) (with D-M Hosking and M Grieco, eds) Organising in the Information Age: distributed technology, distributed leadership, distributed identity, distributed discourse, Ashgate Publishing.

Book Chapters

Managerial performance and the expertise of managing: prescriptive, descriptive, or ascriptive? , in Re-Tayloring Management: Scientific Management a Century On, Evans C and Holmes L (eds), Farnham: Gower Publishing, pp. 63-84.

(with M Green and M Grieco) (2002) ‘Archiving social practice: the management of transport boycotts’ , in Holmes, Hosking and Grieco, Organising in the Information Age, Ashgate Publishing, 80-93.

(with M Grieco) (2002) ‘Relational identity and relational technology: implications for everyday life’ , in Holmes, Hosking and Grieco, Organising in the Information Age, Ashgate Publishing, 13-26.

(2002) ‘Reframing the skills agenda in higher education: graduate identity and the double warrant’, , in D. Preston (ed.), University of Crisis, Rodopi.

(2000) ‘Questioning the Key Skills Agenda’, in S Fallows and C Steven (eds), Integrating Key Skills in Higher Education: Employability, transferable skills and learning for life, Routledge

(1999) 'Competence and Capability: from 'Confidence Trick' to the Construction of the Graduate Identity', in D. O'Reilly and L Cunningham, ‘Developing the Capable Practitioner: professional capability through higher education’, Kogan Page

(1995) 'Skills ‑ A Social Perspective', in A. Assiter (ed), Transferable Skills in Higher Education, Kogan Page

(1990) with M. Grieco), 'Radical Beginnings, Conventional Ends?: Organisational Transformation ‑ A Problem in the Development of Radical Organisations', (in New Forms of Ownership, eds M. Poole and G. Jenkins, Routledge

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