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Brunel for Business - Webinar Series: Work Isolation Issues and Compassionate Leadership

Brunel for Business - Webinar Series: Opportunities and Resilience in Crisis


Work Isolation Issues and Compassionate Leadership: Lessons from universities

In times of crisis, organisations that foster compassionate management practices emerge stronger. Spending time alone, can be more difficult for some people than others – but according to Dr Ferreira, isolation should not be confused with solitude. Solitude is the positive and fulfilling experience of being alone. Dr Ferreira will explain the isolated nature of work and how we can fight isolation through integration, drawing from her work on understanding the topic at Higher Education settings.


Dr Ace Simpson will share why compassion is relevant to all organizational contexts. Dr Simpson will provide insights on the fourfold process of organisational compassion captured with an acronym “NEAR”. Learn what it means and why it matters with examples from compassionate leadership in universities and also businesses.


Professor Fiona Denney will illustrate the different ways in which universities have responded to the Covid-19 crisis in terms of the tensions between finance / resources and staff treatment. Her key theme is that some university leaders have shown considerably more compassion towards their staff than others and that compassion is an under-valued trait in university leadership today. What can other businesses learn from university leadership?


Dr Marcia Christina Ferreira received her PhD in Management from Royal Holloway, University of London. She joined Brunel Business School in October 2017, having moved from Liverpool Business School where she was a Lecturer in Marketing. Christina has several years’ management experience in marketing communications, working at multinationals and local companies in South America. Her research is embedded in the interpretive marketing research field and aims cross-subject applications following her interest in consumer behaviour, marketplace cultures, media technologies and design. Christina is also a founding member of the research group The Scrutinizers; a peer learning group whose members are geographically dispersed across five continents and work in institutional contexts that are distinguished by differing degrees of research intensity, resource access, acceptance of different paradigmatic traditions. The group recently wrote an article on the problem of Academic Isolation among Early Career Researchers (ECRs).


Professor Fiona Denney is a Professor of Business Education at Brunel Business School, Brunel University London and has research interests in academic leadership. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the UK Council for Graduate Education, a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA). Fiona has a PhD in marketing and has held several academic posts in marketing and management studies. Between 2003 and 2019, Fiona worked in academic staff and researcher development, including being the Assistant Director of the Graduate School at King’s College London between 2007 and 2014. Recent publications include a chapter on inclusive environments in UK universities - challenges for leaders in Stefani, L. and Blessinger, P. (eds) (2017) Inclusive Leadership in Higher Education: International Perspectives and Approaches, Routledge. Currently, Fiona is writing a chapter for an edited volume on Third Space Professionals in higher education due out in 2021 and based on recent research into Third Space university leaders.


Dr Ace Simpson is Reader in Human Resource Management and Organizational Behaviour at Brunel Business School, Brunel University London and Research Advisor to the Centre of Positive Organizations, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. Ace’s research is concerned with human well-being, flourishing and social justice. His main research focus is on the cultivation of organizational compassion, which he is currently studying as a crucial missing ingredient in most programs aiming to address workplace bullying. Ace’s research has been published in top tear peer-reviewed journals such as the Academy of Management Review and Journal of Management. Ace is also co-author of Positive Organizational Behaviour (Routledge, 2020).


Register your interest for this business webinar, via eventbrite​, and a link to the Zoom stream will be sent automatically, in advance of the session​