Staff profile

Dr Sa'ad Ali

Senior Lecturer in Leadership and Management

Sa'ad Ali




College of Business, Law and Social Sciences


Derby Business School




Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I am a Senior Lecturer in Leadership and Management with research interests in the fields of cross-cultural management and HRM. I am specifically interested in researching management practices in the Arab Middle East and during the last five years have focused on exploring the impact of social capital on employee selection in the Jordanian banking sector. I have held a variety of academic and HR roles in both Jordan (bank of Jordan) and the UK (University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University, University of Worcester).

Teaching responsibilities

  • Module Leader for Principles of Responsible Management
  • Module Leader for MBA Business Research Methods and Data Analysis
  • Module Leader for Strategic Talent Development 

Research interests

  • Cross-cultural Human Resource Management Research (with particular focus on the Arab Middle East and China)
  • Development of Graduates' Intercultural Skills  

Membership of professional bodies

  • Fellow Higher Education Academy
  • British Academy of Management (BAM)
  • European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS)


  • BSc (Hons) Business Management, University of Jordan (Sep 2006 - Aug 2009)
  • MSc Human Resource Management, Oxford Brookes University (Sep 2009 - Oct 2010)
  • PhD in Human Resource Management titled Social Capital in Jordan: The Impact of Wasta on Employee Selection in Banks Operating in Jordan, Nottingham Trent University (Jan 2012 - Feb 2017)

Recent conferences

  • Weir, D. and Ali, S. (2020). 'Exploring informal weak tie bonded social networks through a multi-level theoretical lens' [Presentation]. European group for organization studies (EGOS) Colloquium, Hamburg University, Germany, 2-4 July
  • AL Hinai, M., Andrews, S., and Ali, S. (2020). 'Ethical leadership in the cultural context of Oman' [Presentation]. British Academy of Management Virtual Conference in The Cloud. 2-4 September
  • Weir, D. and Ali, S. (2019). An Emic Approach To An ‘Indigenous’ Concept Of Business And Social Networking. In: British Academy of Management Conference, 3rd - 5th September 2019, Aston University, Birmingham
  • Ali, S., Ross, C., Al-Resheq, L. (2019) Use of social networks by women in the Jordanian banking sector for career development. Paper presented at the 2019 UFHRD conference, Nottingham Trent University, UK, June 2019 
  • Ali, S., and Weir, D. (2019). Wasta: towards an integrated approach. The International Conference on Organization and Management (ICOM), Abu Dhabi, UAE, 12-13th June 2019
    Weir, D. and Ali, S. (2020). 'Exploring informal weak tie bonded social networks through a multi-level theoretical lens' [Presentation]. European group for organization studies (EGOS) Colloquium, Hamburg University, Germany, 2-4 July

Experience in industry

  • Worked in Human Resource department at the Bank of Jordan
  • Consulting and advisory experience

International experience

  • Leading an ERASMUS funded project (140,000 euros) to develop the intercultural skills of graduates across Europe
  • Involved in several consulting, research and expert opinion projects in Jordan, Qatar and the UK
  • Teaching focused (Block) HRM modules at Shandong University of Science and Technology, China, between 2017-2019
  • Participated in an ERASMUS mobility exchange at Middle East Technical University, March/April 2019

Recent publications

  • Alsarhan, F. Ali, S. Weir, D. and Valax, M. (2020). Impact of gender on use of wasta among human resources management practitioners. Thunderbird International Business Review, 1-36. DOI: 10.1002/tie.22186
  • Ali, S., & Weir, D. (2020). Wasta: Advancing a Holistic Model to Bridge the Micro-Macro Divide. Management and Organization Review, 16(3), 657-685. doi:10.1017/mor.2020.27
  • Halila, F., Pillalamarri, K., Bell, Robin , Ali, S., Moser, K., Prouska, R., Tungtakanpoung, M., Godts, I., Mulier, L., Saraç, M. and Bektaş, O. et al. (2020). 'The Intercultural Skills Graduates and Businesses in Europe Need Today'. European Commission
  • Ali, S. (2020). 'Link between Islamic business and Wasta'. In Amann, W., Dchieche, A., and Roth, S. (Eds.). 'Understanding Islamic business'. Borsdorf, Germany: Winterwork
  • Ali, S. and Weir, D. (2019). Wasta in Jordanian banking: An emic approach to culture-specific concept of social networking and its power-implications. In: Mahadevan, J., Primecz, H., and Romani, L. (eds.). Critical cross-cultural management: An intersectional approach to culture. Routledge studies in international business and the world economy. Abingdon: Routledge