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Dr Jelena Petrovic Dipl.-Ing. MSc MCMI aFCIPD CMBE SFHEA PhD

Principal Enterprise Fellow, Associate Professor

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Dr Jelena Petrovic is Principal Enterprise Fellow and Associate Professor of Strategic Leadership within Southampton Business School at the University of Southampton.

I have over 25 years of experience in teaching, research and consultancy in the UK and internationally. I have an Emerald / European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) award winning PhD from Cranfield University, which focuses on the role and contribution of board directors in international joint ventures. I have also received a FCO Chevening Scholarship for my MSc in HRM at University of Surrey. In addition, I have a BSc and MSc in Engineering Management from University of Belgrade.

I have always been interested in enterprise activities as I strongly believe in the link between research and practice. I have significant experience in executive education and consultancy. I have developed a portfolio of executive development programmes in strategic and operational leadership and governance. This attracted companies such as Volvo Cars and Park Plaza Hotels, which involved understanding client expectations and resulted in my design and delivery of a number of short courses and workshops. This also included high-profile executive education programmes for HR practitioners from across Latin America, supported by the BBC, Sony, London Stock Exchange, Lloyds of London, and the Lord Mayor of the City of London. In addition, I have designed and delivered workshops for the NHS and delivered executive short courses as part of the joint venture between the Cranfield School of Management and a US consultancy (previously ORC Worldwide, now Mercer).

I have secured management Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) funding worth £180,000 from the UK Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as a Lead Academic. The mKTP in question is a strategic management-based project aimed at driving effectiveness through better management practices and bringing strategic leadership skills to an SME, which would result in business innovation and growth.

I have built practitioner networks in different sectors, industries, and professional backgrounds and created various partnerships between the universities I have worked for, which have enhanced the universities’ external profile. In addition, I am Chair of the CIPD South West London Branch Committee. This pro bono position provides me with a great opportunity to directly engage with industry and play an active role in shaping the CIPD agenda.

I have also been committed to high quality teaching and research. I am a Senior Fellow of The Higher Education Academy and a Certified Management and Business Educator. I have also been nominated for various learning and teaching awards.

I have spoken at a number of internationally recognised conferences and events, published in journals such as the Journal of Management Inquiry, and Corporate Governance, and contributed chapters to books published by Palgrave Macmillan. In addition, I have conducted research and consultancy in international HRM for organisations such as ORC Worldwide, the CIPD, the Guardian, and BT. My research has been submitted to REF 2021. I have also  written the case study material that has been published and used for teaching.

For most of my time in academia I have been involved in programme leadership, including development, design and delivery of teaching and assessment, strategic planning, curriculum development, validations, quality assurance and accreditation management, leading the team in charge of programme delivery, collaboration with marketing, admissions, career, student support teams and alumni teams, staffing and budget responsibility. Among others, I was Director of MSc Leadership and Management in Health programme, which was a cross-school, major collaborative programme between Kingston University, Royal Holloway and St. Georges University of London.

Research interests

My research is in strategic leadership, which focuses on understanding of how individual and group behaviour at top management and board level influences organisational outcomes. Strategic leadership research takes insights from organisational behaviour, behavioural science, strategic management and corporate governance.

My current research interests are in:

1) HR professional contribution to business strategy (surprisingly, few academic studies take into account specific properties of top management teams and boards that result in complex dynamics that impact on HR professional strategic influence).

2) CEO pay - A behavioural perspective (a different perspective to the economic and finance perspective that traditionally dominated a debate on CEO pay).

Primary research groups

Centre for Research on Work and Organisations (CROWO)

Centre for Research in Accounting, Accountability and Governance (CRAAG)



  • Principal Enterprise Fellow at Department HRMOB.
  • External Examiner (Brunel University).
  • Editorial Board Member for Problems and Perspectives in Management journal.
  • Chair, CIPD South West London Branch Committee.
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Dr Jelena Petrovic
Southampton Business School, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK

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