Lesley Crane

Coming late to the academic domain, Lesley added to her Masters in Media and English Literature (University of Glasgow) with a BSc Hons in Applied Psychology from the University of Derby in 2010. She is now entering the final stages of her Doctorate, also with Derby, which focuses on a psychological approach to knowledge practices in organizational contexts. Lesley has had several research papers published in academic journals and books, and has spoken at international Knowledge Management Conferences.


Lesley is an expert consultant in e-learning (adult and work-based learning), knowledge management, and the use of gaming concepts and technologies to develop leadership skills. She has worked as an independent consultant for ten years, before which she ran her own successful e-learning developer and communications company. Clients have included many UK government departments and agencies, and multinationals in the private sector.


Lesley’s career began in the corporate television industry, becoming a talented and accomplished director/producer/writer of promotional and training videos. She followed this with a career in software development, eventually specialising in e-learning and adult training, developing her own company over a period of 15 years. A particular strength was demonstrated in the use of gaming concepts and technologies in education and training. In 2004, Lesley embarked on another career as an independent consultant and researcher in e-learning, information management and portal development. She developed her long-time interest in human psychology with a degree – which she completed entirely through e-learning. Being on the ‘receiving end’ of e-learning, and self-paced, self-motivated learning has considerably extended her insight and skills in this area.


This naturally led to an interest in the domain of knowledge management (KM). Lesley’s approach to KM is based on her theory that knowledge work is entirely accomplished in talk and text in interaction – discourse. Her particular methodological approach to the study of knowledge work draws on Discourse Psychology, positing that this can reveal tacit knowledge at work. She has deepened her theoretical stance by integrating Discourse Psychology with work drawn from the field of Cognitive Psychology, and in particular that of Implicit Learning. Implicit learning is the automatic and unconscious abstraction of structures and patterns from the environment which are represented as mental models, and which formulate what is known as tacit knowledge.  A primary area of interest is consequently the study of how people acquire, model, utilise, share and create knowledge in discourse, which has the aim of developing a new diagnostic tool for knowledge practitioners.


Professionally, Lesley has strengths in problem analysis, solution design, communications and presentation, and strategic planning, amongst others. These skills have come to the fore in assignments where she has taken on consultative roles to support senior management and in advising senior government civil servants and ministers on matters of policy relating to, for instance, education and training.