Conceptualising Organization: Studies in Philosophy, Sociology and History

Student thesis: Unknown


This thesis comprises a selection of refereed journal articles published during my career as a business and management academic. It includes what I consider to be among the best crafted, although not necessarily most cited, or highly ranked, of my papers. In all, twelve pieces have been chosen for submission, and these are grouped under the headings organizational philosophy, organizational sociology, and organizational history. The contributions made by these publications, together with details of citation levels and associated awards, are discussed in the review of works. In these pieces – as in other journal articles, research monographs, chapters in edited collections, special journal issues, and conference and seminar papers (see Appendix) – I have contributed to debates, for example, in actor-network theory, historiography, labour process theory, managerial work, postmodernism, sociological paradigms, and temporality. The collection comprises, primarily, pieces for which I am either sole author or author who contributed the majority of scholarship, and therefore is first named. In three cases, however, I am not the first named author; these represent two instances where the authors decided to submit in alphabetical order – on the basis of approximately equal scholarship – plus an article where, although second named, I contributed a substantial amount to what is becoming a highly cited piece in its field. Of the dozen papers, nine have been published in journals rated ‘4/4*’ (top category) on the Association of Business Schools (ABS) list, with the remaining three appearing in a journal rated 3 on ABS but which is a central reference point in my main field of study, organization theory. During my career, I have published (or had accepted for publication) 20 academic books, 95 refereed journal articles and 73 chapters in edited collections. Of my refereed articles, 31 have appeared in journals ranked ABS 4/4*; with, of these, 23 being in FT50 (Financial Times “world leading”) journals. Among the latter, three articles have been published in what is generally accepted to be the highest ranked research journal in business, the Academy of Management Review, and two of these pieces are reproduced in the thesis. To support my research, I have received over £6 million from national and international funding bodies, with the majority provided by the Economic and Social Research Council, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the National Institute for Health Research, and the European Union (see Appendix). Finally, according to Google Scholar, my research outputs have thus far received nearly 10,000 citations.
Date of Award1 Aug 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorCary Cooper (Supervisor)


  • management theory
  • sociological paradigms
  • organizational history
  • organization theory
  • postmodernism

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