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Professor Kiran Trehan

Formerly at Lancaster University

Kiran Trehan

Research Interests

I have a range of interrelated research interests that also connect strongly with my teaching.

My research involves the active engagement of practitioners on issues relating to leadership development, diversity and power relations. I am a leading contributor to debates on the distinctiveness of critical action learning, and how it can be applied in a variety of organisational and policy domains. My publications in Management Learning (2003, 2010), Gender & Education, Studies in Higher Education) and the journal Action Learning: Research and Practice (2004, 2008, 2009) are testimony both to the growing importance of this mode of research, and my success in advancing action learning in different contexts, ranging from management school classrooms to networks of ethnic minority businesses and policy-making circles. A further distinguishing feature of my research is its focus upon areas that have been neglected by the scholarly community. The synthesis of critical action learning, diversity, leadership development, policy and small firms is critical in this respect.

Central to this is a concern with ‘impact’ and collaborative working with user groups, the three significant awards, from the ESRC and the regional development agency, Advantage West Midlands (AWM), is testimony to the value of this approach. It demonstrates how these research interests, and the user-engaged nature of these areas of work, are recognised in both academic and policy domains. Hence, my research, premised on a critical action learning approach, is casting new light on academic debates on diversity, leadership development, and entrepreneurship amongst disadvantaged groups and is having policy impact in terms of business policy and knowledge transfer;. 

Other major strands of my research include; critical thinking in Management learning, group dynamics, emotions and power in learning, critical reflection and action learning. I have extensively published a number of journal articles, books and book chapters in the field.


Dr. Kiran Trehan is a leading expert on Management learning, critical action learning and diversity. She  is currently the  Programme  Director of  Management and consulting at Lancaster University and visiting professor at the University of Technology, Sydney, School of Management and Chester University, Business School where she undertakes research, and teaching , with a variety of organisations in the in the fields of management learning,  critical action learning,  diversity, and leadership development. Prior to this Kiran was Head of Department and professor of Management learning/HRD at the University of Central England.

Current Teaching

Core tutor on the MA in HR & Consulting

Core tutor on the MA in Management Learning & Leadership (MAMLL)

Contributing to a range of programmes in the area of management learning, consulting, leadership development.

Professional Role

Deputy Head of Department

Programme Director of Lancaster’s Full-time

International MA in Management and Consulting

Co Editor of Action Learning: Research & Practice - The first international journal dedicated to the advancement of knowledge and practice through action learning. 

Principal Investigator ESRC Follow-up Award. Facilitating Impact: Making Entrepreneurship and Diversity "Everyone's Business". 

Co- Director Minority Ethnic Enterprise Centre of Expertise (MEECOE) with Professor Monder Ram (De Montfort University). Funded by Advantage West Midlands, the Minority Ethnic Enterprise Centre of Expertise is a two-year project that will promote a strategic and innovative approach to supporting ethnic minority businesses in order to enhance policy and practice for ethnic minority enterprise in the region and in a national policy context.

Principal Investigator ESRC Funded Award Facilitating Entrepreneurial Regeneration: A Collaborative Approach to Bangladeshi Business Development

Co- Investigator ESRC Funded Award Facilitating Entrepreneurial Regeneration: A Collaborative Approach to African-Caribbean Business Development with Professor Monder Ram

I am actively engaged in various Management School and external activities related to developing Critical Action learning in Management, leadership and SME’s contexts.

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