Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management

Our PhD students

Neal George

  • Qualifications: BSc, MSc
  • Role Title: Ph.D student
  • Address: Richmond Building Portland Street Portsmouth PO1 3DE
  • Telephone: Mobile: 07710 612991
  • Email:
  • Department: Centre for Strategy and Leadership
  • Faculty: Portsmouth Business School


Nationality: British Director of studies: Professor James McCalman – Year of Graduation 2017/18

Neal commenced his PhD with the Centre for Strategy and Leadership in September 2014. Neal graduated with an MSc in Leadership from Cranfield University in July 2014 and has a BSc in Sports Rehabilitation and Sports Science from the University of Surrey (2000-2003). Neal is also a fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management.

Before commencing his PhD Neal spent 25 years in the military as an army officer, conducting operational tours around the world with the majority of his career responsible for the delivering training. Neal concluded his military service commanding, leading and managing personnel at company level. 

Thesis Summary

Knowledge Management (KM) is a well-established discipline in the academic and business world alike, knowledge is very difficult to define, but is nevertheless a robust and substantial capacity that can produce 'good results'. Practically every company these days has some form of program designed to nurture its rising stars, these High Performers (HP) have been shown to have an enormous impact on business results. The combination of KM and HP operating within Knowledge Intensive Organisations (KIO) has maintained interest during recent years; a key characteristic of a KIO is the capacity to solve complex problems through creativity and innovation to maximise profitability. As early as 1995 it was suggested that organisations would act differently, specifically in relation to inter-personal relations and behavioral patterns as organisations cease to observe the boundaries between levels and functions within KIO with good leaders and leadership being established as a key factor influencing organisational performance.

Neal's PhD research project is now moving towards the end of year 1, the focus of the research to date has been looking at leadership theory and practice and if the theory pay’s sufficient attention, and is appropriate for leading the HP operating in KIO in order to maximise organisational performance. Leadership research often presents a model of leadership and assumes ‘a one size fits all’ approach to theory. Leaders who have the most success leading and working with HP create unique environments where this population group thrive, but have to develop unique competencies, combined with alternative leadership styles or a blended approach in order to maximise organisational performance. A key question within Neal’s research is if current leadership theory is suitable for working with HP in KIO. This research is starting to focus on the premise that if HP operating within KIO do have distinct qualities and needs, is there a need for new or alternative leadership paradigm to maximise performance.