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Dr Diane Preston

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management
  • The Faculty of Business and Law
  • The Open University Business School
  • Department for People and Organisations
  • diane.preston

Professional biography

Diane is a Senior Lecturer in the Department for People and Organisations. She was Head of Department between January 2012 and October 2016.

Before joining the Open University Business School  she worked at Loughborough & Lancaster Universities and completed her Doctorate in Management Learning at Lancaster University in 1991.  

Since joining OUBS, she has been involved in the production and presentation of many modules at both post-graduate and undergraduate levels. These include B120, the first level one UG module in FBL and the CIPD accreditated MSc in HRM launched in 2014. She is currently a memeber of the design and writing team on the new Higher Apprenticeship degree which is being developed in partnership with the Chartered Instuitute of Management.

Diane has been involved in many research projects. She is interested in qualitative, empirical research; a central theme being how individuals make sense of work and organisations. She has recently completed a LFHE (Leadership Foundation in Higher Education) funded project looking at the experiences of Associate Deans in a variety of universities.

She is a Senior Fellow of the HEA and a Fellow of the LFHE


Research interests

Management learning, education and development, HRM, organisational culture, organisational socialisation, professionals becoming managers, professional identity, management in HE, teaching and learning, educational policy and practice.

Teaching interests

Diane is interested in all aspects of teaching and learning and the student pathway. Two of her current research interests are the changing role of the academic as a result of the move to on-line learning and the language of employability.

Diane was Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning between February. 2008 and September 2009.

Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
International Management Practice, Education and Learning ThemeThemeThe Faculty of Business and Law


The role of the associate dean in UK universities: distributed leadership in action? (2018-05)
Floyd, Alan and Preston, Diane
Higher Education, 75(5) (pp. 925-943)
Supporting the Role of Associate Dean in Universities: an Alternative Approach to Management Development (2016-07)
Preston, Diane and Floyd, Alan
Higher Education Quarterly, 70(3) (pp. 264-280)
Being a manager in an English nursery (2013-09)
Preston, Diane
European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 21(3) (pp. 326-338)
‘I see it as a phase: I don’t see it as the future’: academics as managers in a UK university (2012)
Preston, Diane and Price, Deborah
Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 34(4) (pp. 409-419)
Improving the recruitment and return of nurses and allied health professionals: a quantitative study (2007-02)
Coombs, C. R.; Arnold, John; Loan-Clarke, John; Wilkinson, Adrian; Park, Jenny and Preston, Diane
Health Services Management Research, 20(1) (pp. 22-36)
How well can the theory of planned behavior account for occupational intentions? (2006-12)
Arnold, John; Loan-Clarke, John; Coombs, Crispin; Wilkinson, Adrian; Park, Jennifer and Preston, Diane
Journal of Vocational Behavior, 69(3) (pp. 374-390)
Corporate images of the United Kingdom National Health Service: implications for the recruitment and retention of nursing and allied health professional staff (2003-10-01)
Arnold, John; Coombs, Crispin; Wilkinson, Adrian; Loan-Clarke, John; Park, Jennifer and Preston, Diane
Corporate Reputation Review, 6(3) (pp. 223-238)
Attractiveness of physiotherapy in the National Health Service as a career choice: qualitative study (2003-10)
Park, J. R.; Coombs, Crispin; Wilkinson, A. J. and Preston, D.
Physiotherapy, 89(10) (pp. 575-583)
Perceptions of radiography and the National Health Service: a qualitative study (2003-05)
Coombs, C.R.; Park, J.R.; Loan-Clarke, J.; Arnold, J.; Preston, D. and Wilkinson, A.J.
Radiography, 9(2) (pp. 109-122)
Tensions and benefits in collaborative research involving a university and another organization (2002-04-01)
Loan-Clarke, John and Preston, Diane
Studies in Higher Education, 27(2) (pp. 169-185)
Who would be a radiographer in the NHS? (2001-08)
Coombs, Crispin; Park, Jennifer; Loan-Clarke, John; Arnold, John; Preston, Diane and Wilkinson, Adrian
Synergy News (p 12)
The attractiveness of working for the NHS as a radiographer: a review of the literature (2001)
Coombs, C.R.; Park, J.R.; Loan-Clarke, J.; Arnold, J.; Preston, D. and Wilkinson, A.J.
RAD Magazine, 27(312) (pp. 67-68)
The Move to Online Teaching: A Head of Department’s Perspective (2018-06-13)
Preston, Diane
In: Baxter, Jacqueline; Callaghan, George and McAvoy, Jean eds. Creativity and Critique in Online Learning: Exploring and Examining Innovations in Online Pedagogy (pp. 241-259)
ISBN : 978-3-319-78298-0 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan
Exploring the role of Associate Dean in UK Universities - End of Project Findings (2014)
Floyd, Alan and Preston, Diane
In : Society for Research into Higher Education Annual Conference (11-13 Dec, Celtic Manor Resort, Wales)
Doing some good? Exploring the role of Associate Dean in UK Universities (2014)
Floyd, Alan and Preston, Diane
In : British Educational Leadership Management and Administration Society (BELMAS) Annual Conference (11-13 Jul 2014, Stratford upon Avon)
Exploring the role of Associate Dean in UK Universities - Initial Findings (2013)
Floyd, Alan and Preston, Diane
In : Society for Research into Higher Education Annual Conference (11-13 Dec 2013, Celtic Manor Resort, Wales)
Exploring The Role Of Associate Deans In UK Universities - end of project report (2014-10-01)
Floyd, Alan and Preston, Diane
The Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, London.