Making students laugh and leaving them inspired: Dr Jenny Knight

We know you like hearing about our students and what they’re up to but we thought we’d start introducing you to our lovely lecturers too.

We’ll be profiling a member of our teaching staff each week so you can get to know a little more about some of the people who will be inspiring you during your time at Brighton Business School.

This week, we’re introducing Dr Jenny Knight, who is a published poet as well as our Senior Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour and Human Resource Management.


Jenny Knight

Dr Jenny Knight, Senior Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour and HRM

On which programmes and modules do you teach?

I teach on first year undergraduate modules focusing on Human Resource Management and Organisational Behaviour, through to research electives, masters’ programmes and PhD supervision.

Tell us a little about your professional background?

I have a background of working in large public-sector organisations responsible for leadership development. I also ran my own management consultancy company working nationally and internationally to support private and public-sector organisations with issues such as culture change, performance management, enhancing leadership and creating strategic plans. I have also provided coaching and mentoring and facilitated action learning sets.

I undertook my PhD studies at the University of Brighton, and this resulted in my desire to work in academia.

I have an alternative background of writing, directing and acting and writing, performing and publishing poetry, which has influenced my approach to teaching my subjects at the University.

What can you tell us about the module/course you’re teaching?

My main expertise, which is applied to all my teaching and supervision, is in the areas of organisational behaviour and organisational psychodynamics.  In short, I’m very interested in what makes people ‘tick’ when they are at work. I believe in developing people’s knowledge and understanding of the field of Organisational Behaviour by using poetry, performance and role-play to bring to life the academic theories and models.

My approach is playful and a little unusual in the world of academia!

What interests you most about the subject you teach?

We are the same people in the workplace as we are outside of it – sometimes happy, sometimes sad, often questioning and confused, a little vulnerable and essentially ‘human’. For some reason the notion of being ‘professional’ can often get in the way of telling the truth, having authentic conversations and caring for each other in the workplace.  It is my belief that things could be so different, and so much better, in the workplace if only we could be true to who we really are without fearing the possible consequences (marginalisation, sanctions, being advised to demonstrate more ‘gravitas’ etc!).

These human responses to the controlled environment of the workplace are what interest me most when I teach my subject.

Tell us about any projects you’ve been working on outside of the classroom.

I am currently working on hosting the Art of Management and Organisation Conference, this will be held in 2018 in Brighton. This conference looks at the experience of working life through the lens of the arts.  Much more detail can be found by clicking on this link.

I also write poetry related to organisational life – an example can be found by clicking this link.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

Making students laugh, making them think and leaving them inspired and eager to read more. Knowing that they’ve really enjoyed the time!

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