Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management

Our PhD students

Karen Harman

  • Qualifications: TBC
  • Role Title: PhD student
  • Address: Richmond Building Portland Street Portsmouth P01 3DE
  • Telephone: TBA
  • Email:
  • Department: Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management
  • Faculty: Portsmouth Business School


Nationality: British - Director of studies: Dr Sarah Gilmore - Year of graduation: N/A

Thesis summary

The purpose of the intended research is to investigate the issues of the imminent regulatory change in the Will writing and estate planning industry. The Legal Services Consumer Panel (LSCP) report into the preparation of Wills (2011) suggests a regulatory framework for Will writing including the need for appropriate qualifications, annual Continuing Professional Development requirements, and the need for suitable indemnity insurance.

The research aims to draw on theories of institutional change to investigate the impact of regulatory change in this discrete occupation. Greif & Laitin (2004), argue that Institutions influence the direction of institutional change through the persistence of their institutional elements such as their organisations, norms, beliefs and rules.

These changes in a practitioners working environment can have a significant emotional impact as their personal identity adjusts. This emotional instability can cause resentment in relationships as the person does not perform the identity role that is required and expected (Beech & Johnson, 2005). The implications for any changes in practitioners' identity, as professionals, resulting from this change will also be explored.