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Dr Sarah Bloomfield

Profile summary

Professional biography

I am a Lecturer in work-based learning and the Qualification Lead for the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA) programme at The Open University. I joined the OU central academic staff in 2021, having worked in Associate Lecturer and Practice Tutor roles for the University since 2009, and as a Senior Lecturer in Business and Management at Bath Spa University (where I still work as an external examiner). I gained my ESRC funded PhD and MRes at the University of Bath (where I maintain a role as a Visiting Research Fellow), and I have an MBA from INSEAD in France.

Before joining academia I had an extensive career in the consumer goods industry which included developing the launch of vacuum cleaners and washing machines; project managing a sponsor's on-site presence at the winter Olympic Games in Japan; and working as the UK Marketing Director of a major beauty brand.

Research interests

I am interested in the lived experience of work, with a particular focus on the lived experience of learning in and for work, recognising that each work situation is unique. This has led to two complementary research streams: one focused on work-based learning as a pedagogical approach; and the other related to how organisational contradictions are lived, and the impact those contradictions have on leadership, behaviour and organisations.

I use engaged methods of research, and have a published book chapter on employing an ethnographic methodology within organisational research. 

I am also part of the organising team of a work-based learing community of practice.

Teaching interests

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and have extensive experience of teaching business and management studies across all academic levels, with a particular focus on organisational behaviour, leadership and work based learning. 

Publications

Delivering the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship: What are the challenges and implications for good practice? (2024-06-04)
Horáčková, Clare; Bloomfield, Sarah; Pereira, Carla Roberta and Mutwarasibo, Fidèle
Higher Education, Skills and Work-based Learning, 14(3) (pp. 625-640)


“I don’t know what’s going on”: Theorising the relationship between unknowingness and distributed leadership (2024)
Bloomfield, Sarah; Rigg, Clare and Vince, Russ
Human Relations ((Early Access))


Learning to see the wood through the trees as a PhD ethnographer (2021-01-14)
Bloomfield, Sarah
In: Kostera, Monika and Harding, Nancy eds. Organizational Ethnography (pp. 200-216)
ISBN : 9781786438096 | Publisher : Edward Elgar | Published : Cheltenham


Apprentice Perspectives: Agency, resilience, and withdrawal in work-based learning provision (2024-06-17)
Myers, Fran; Reid, Kristen and Bloomfield, Sarah
In : The 13th Researching Work and Learning conference (17-19 Jun 2024, Linköping University, Sweden) (pp. 74-76)


Employer supported learning in Higher Education: Maximising the opportunity provided by the ‘tripartite relationship’ in degree apprenticeships (2024-06-13)
Bloomfield, Sarah; Mooney, Evelyn; Marshall, Helen; Salter, Abigail; Reid, Kristen; Smith, Maria and Abbott, Christine
In : NEON Summer Symposium (13-14 Jun 2024, University of West London, UK)


Modelling work-based learning on degree apprenticeships as an integrated learning experience (2024)
Bloomfield, Sarah; Nottingham, Paula; Sutton, Louise; Timmins, Susan and Mao, Yan
In : 12th Chartered Association of Business Schools Conference on Learning, Teaching and Student Experience (14-15 May 2024, Birmingham, UK)


The straw that broke the camel's back?: a tensions based perspective on the role of Portfolios in aiding and restricting learning on the CMDA (2023-11-29)
Reid, Kristen; Bloomfield, Sarah and Myers, Fran
In : UVAC Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship Knowledge Network (29 Nov 2023, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK)


Delivering the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship: what are the challenges and implications for good practice? (2023-11)
Bloomfield, Sarah; Horáčková, Clare; Pereira, Carla Roberta and Mutwarasibo, Fidèle
In : UVAC Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship Knowledge Network (29 Nov 2023, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK)


Alone in the woods with a gun: On the frontline as a Wildlife Ranger (2023-07)
Bloomfield, Sarah
In : EGOS Colloquium (6-8 Jul 2023, Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy)


Maximising the work-based learning opportunity provided by the Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA) (2023-06-28)
Bloomfield, Sarah; Pereira, Carla Roberta; Horáčková, Clare and Mutwarasibo, Fidèle
In : Global Citizenship and Lifelong Learning (26-28 Jun 2023, Madingley, Cambridge)


“Unknowingness” as a Route to Distributed Leadership (2022-08-01)
Rigg, Clare; Bloomfield, Sarah and Vince, Russ
In : Academy of Management (6 Jul 2022, Seattle, USA)


Sustaining organizational paradox through collective paradox work within Forestry England (2022-07-07)
Bloomfield, Sarah
In : Organizing: The beauty of imperfection. EGOS Colloquium (7-9 Jul 2022, WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business) Vienna, Austria)


When expertise is lacking - Finding value in unknowingness (2022-07-07)
Rigg, Clare; Bloomfield, Sarah and Vince, Russ
In : Organizing: The beauty of imperfection. EGOS Colloquium (7-9 Jul 2022, WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business) Vienna, Austria)


Researcher vulnerability when organisational anonymity is impossible (2022-02-01)
Bloomfield, Sarah
In : Qualitative Research Symposium (1-2 Feb 2022, University of Bath [Online])


Retention issues on CMDA apprenticeship programs: who is withdrawing, when, and why? (2022)
Bloomfield, Sarah; Pereira, Carla; Mutwarasibo, Fidèle; Horáčková, Clare; McArthur, Marni and Phillips, Mike
In : SCiLAB Festival of Scholarship 2022 (Tuesday 7 Jun, The Open University)


Exploring unknowingness as a route to distributed leadership (2021-12-12)
Bloomfield, Sarah and Rigg, Clare
In : 19th International Studying Leadership Conference (12-14 Dec 2021, The Open University)


Learning to see the wood through the trees as a PhD ethnographer (2020)
Bloomfield, Sarah
In : Festival of Ethnography (2020, Online)


Leadership of tensions & tensions of leadership: The importance of not knowing in distributed leadership (2019-12-16)
Bloomfield, Sarah; Vince, Russ and Harding, Nancy
In : 18th International Studying Leadership Conference: Putting leadership in its place (16-17 Dec 2019, University of West of England)


Loyal traitors and successful failures: Values, emotions and paradox within Forestry England (2019-07-04)
Bloomfield, Sarah and VInce, Russ
In : EGOS Colloquium (4 Jul - 6 Jul 2019, University of Edinburgh)


Seeing the forest without the trees: The paradox of the clearcutting custodians of England’s forests (2018-07-05)
Bloomfield, Sarah and Vince, Russ
In : EGOS Colloquium (5 Jul - 7 Jul 2018, Tallinn University, Estonia)


Love, like, loathe: The emotional experience of hybridity (2017-08-29)
Bloomfield, Sarah
In : The 12th Annual International Ethnography Symposium (29 Aug - 1 Sep 2017, Manchester University)


What can pizza tell us about hybridity? (2017-05-09)
Bloomfield, Sarah
In : Beyond Text arts-based research project (9 May - 19 May 2017, University of Vic, Spain)


Is pizza good for researchers? (2017)
Bloomfield, Sarah
In : ESRC SWDTC Student Conference (2017, University of Bath)


The brave new world of teaching and learning with digital devices in HE classrooms (2015)
Bloomfield, Sarah
In : ABS annual conference (2015, University of York)


The brave new world of teaching and learning with digital devices in HE classrooms (2014)
Bloomfield, Sarah
In : Workshop in Business, Economics and e-Learning (2014, BFeL, Spain)


Seeing both the wood and the trees: An ethnographic hike through paradox (2021-02-17)
Bloomfield, Sarah
PhD thesis University of Bath


Learning to work whilst working to learn: Is the degree apprenticeship a route for me? (2024-06-06)
Bloomfield, Sarah; Buray, Kulvinder; Myers, Fran and Shek, Mary
SCiLAB, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK.


“Unknowingness” as a Route to Distributed Leadership [Video] (2024-01-31)
Rigg, Clare and Bloomfield, Sarah
Sage Publications, Ltd


What happens when apprentices are made redundant (2023-11-22)
Myers, Fran; Bloomfield, Sarah and Reid, Kristen
Wonkhe


Business and Management Degree Apprenticeships – a quiet revolution, a work-in-progress, or business-as-usual? (2023-06-01)
Myers, Fran; Reid, Kristen and Bloomfield, Sarah
Open University, OU website.