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Personal profile

Research interests

I have previously held positions at the universities of Newcastle, Exeter, UWE, Royal Holloway, Aston and Paris-Sorbonne, where I have served as Associate Dean for Research (Newcastle), Director of Research (Exeter), Subject Group Head (Exeter), Research Degrees Director (UWE), Deputy Dean and MBA Director (RHUL).

My research interests lie in the area of international business elites and elite power from a Bourdieusian perspective. I am the lead researcher of a four-person team, including Professors Charles Harvey (Newcastle), Gerhard Kling (Aberdeen), and Robert Chia (Glasgow). The research has required the production of a large-scale elites database and the conduct of numerous interviews with elites. A research monograph, Business Elites and Corporate Governance in France and the UK, was followed by a series of articles on elite power, social networks, storytelling, reflexivity, and capital theory, published in Organization Studies (2014; 2010), Organizational Research Methods (2017), Human Relations (2012), Management Learning (2012), the Sociological Review (2008), Business History (2008; 2007), Research in the Sociology of Organizations (2015) and Theory, Culture and Society (2017).

I am also interested in entrepreneurship and philanthropy from the perspective of elite power and rising inequalities. Recent papers on the elite philanthropy and the ethics and history of entrepreneurial philanthropy have been published in the International Journal of Management Reviews (2021), the Journal of Business Ethics (2021), the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly (2021), and the Business History Review (2019) respectively. A foundational paper on the philanthropic journey was published in Human Relations (2015), and a paper on the tax aspects of charitable giving and elite philanthropic networks in Organization Studies (2016). I am a member of the Centre for Research on Entrepreneurship, Wealth and Philanthropy (REWP) at Newcastle University, led by Charles Harvey.

A further research project with Stewart Clegg (UTS, Australia), Roy Suddaby (Victoria, Canada) and Charles Harvey concerns historical organization studies, examining how history is ‘carried into’ the present within organizations, what strategic difficulties the on-going force of history creates, and what results can be achieved by better understanding the dynamics of strategic change. Papers on this topic have appeared in the Academy of Management Review (2016) and Business History Review (2017), Organization Studies (2018), Human Relations (2018, 2015), Strategic Organization (2021) and Organization (2014). I recently convened a colloquium sub-theme on this topic with Roy Suddaby and Stewart Clegg at EGOS 2021, Amsterdam. An edited collection on Historical Organization Studies: Theory and Applications which emerged from our 2019 EGOS sub-theme was published by Routledge in 2021.

My research on aspects of international management has embraced France, Germany, Serbia, Central and Eastern Europe, India, Japan, the US and the UK. One research project concerns the adjustment of marginalized, first generation migrant workers from West African countries to today’s multi-ethnic workplaces (with Prof. David Sarpong, Brunel). A paper on this topic was published in Work, Employment & Society (2017).

My research has been funded by the ESRC, the Leverhulme Trust, Reed Charity, the Anglo-German Foundation and the British Academy. I have recently completed an ESRC-funded project, awarded £394K over two years (2016-2019), on the ‘Rowntree Business Lectures and the Interwar British Management Movement’ with Gareth Shaw and Alan Booth (Exeter). Our research has been published in Human Relations (forthcoming, 2022), the Academy of Management Learning & Education journal (2020) and in a data repository, see http://rowntree.exeter.ac.uk/ 

Willing to supervise doctoral students

I am interested in supervising doctoral students in the areas of international business elites and elite power, entrepreneurial philanthropy, storytelling, and historical organisation studies. I have supervised seven doctoral students to successful completion.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Business and Management, Master of Business Administration, University of Bath

Award Date: 20 Jun 1990

PhD, Michel Tournier: Exploring Human Relations, University of St Andrews

Award Date: 5 Jul 1985

French, German, History, Master of Arts, 1st class Honours, University of St Andrews

Award Date: 5 Jul 1980


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