I joined the Management School in 2017 as part of the DBA programme team. Previously I lectured in Organisational Behaviour and HRM at the University of Chester.
Before a second career in academia I spent fifteen years working in charities and local government, including twelve years as a manager. Becoming a manager at a local charity, with potentially everything to do but little formal training, encouraged me to start reflecting on what I could and should be doing in the role; what I thought made a “good” manager and how I had come to think that; and how I was responding to multiple demands and expectations from stakeholders above, below and around me. A move to Liverpool City Council provided further intriguing opportunities to observe how managers around me seemed to be enacting and making sense of their roles, and the diversity of ways in which apparently similar manager positions might be interpreted. Eventually this interest became the basis first for an MBA dissertation and then my PhD thesis, where my ideas were considerably enriched by the discovery of the field of identity studies and narrative methods.
My current research interests continue to be informed by my previous work experience, including exploring implications of an identity perspective for areas of organisational and management practice such as manager education and development; the role of stories in organisational life; extending the theorisation of narrative identity and identity work; autoethnography as a productive method of research; and the ways in which public organisations manage and negotiate paradoxical institutional logics of entrepreneurship and social accountability, commercial viability and public good.
Prizes or Honours
- Best Development Paper - Professional, occupational and manager identity: the role of ‘expert practice’ for being a housing manager (British Academy of Management Conference, 2016)
- Best Full Paper - Telling tales, weaving webs: Investigating first-level manager identities through story elicitation (British Academy of Management Conference, 2014)