Culture, Organisations and Markets

The Culture, Organisations and Markets (COM) group is dedicated to the critical study of cultures of work, markets and consumption in the context of social and economic change.

The Culture, Organisations and Markets (COM) group is dedicated to the critical study of cultures of work, markets and consumption in the context of social and economic change. There is a strong interest in studying culture using qualitative and ethnographic methods and developing interdisciplinary perspectives.

Research themes include:

  • consumer identities and subcultures of consumption;
  • identity and belief;
  • language and international business;
  • pragmatist approaches to organizational theory and practice;
  • discourses of managerial accountability;
  • innovation and knowledge translation in communities of practice and the organisation of volunteering work.

Members of the group hold editorial positions with the journals Gender, Work and Organization, Journal of Organizational Ethnography, Management Learning and Accounting Forum.

Matthew Brannan

  • Work and Employment
  • Service Work and Call Centres
  • Employee Resistance and Misbehaviour
  • Employee Branding
  • Gender and organizational hierarchies
  • Organizational Ethnographies


  • Hussan Aslam (Organizational Culture in the UK Banking Industry)
  • Michael Pender (Post Office Workers and the Communication Workers Union) 
  • Omar Babar (Islamic Ways of Organizing)
  • Sue Molesworth (An ethnographic study of the tacit dimensions of knowledge in the management, organisation, and delivery of services to people with dementia)

Completed supervision 

  • Teresa Oultram, Exploring the identities of the young male worker: A case study of English Apprenticeship schemes. Now Lecturer at Keele University
  • Hala Fawzy Mansour, The impact of New Public Management on UK Universities. Now Lecturer at Northampton University
  • Elham Mohamed, Knowledge Management in the UK pharmaceutical Sector. (Now Cairo University)
  • Andrew Hodder, ‘Trade union responses to civil service restructuring: organising in the Public and Commercial Services union’ (Now Lecturer Birmingham University)
  • YI Zhang, The Contribution of Steven Cheung, Joseph Stiglitz and the Development of Contract Theory. (Now Bank of China)

Paul Forrester

  • Operations process design and work organization
  • Leadership and organizational issues in project management
  • International comparative studies in operations management
  • Enterprise and local university-business engagement

Geoff Heath

  • Performance measurement in the public sector;
  • New approaches to budgeting and costing in the public sector

Mihaela Kelemen

  • Community based research
  • Leadership and Community Leadership
  • Arts management
  • American Pragmatism
  • Disaster and Recovery Management
  • Creativity and cultural animation
  • Research legacy and impact

Past supervisions

  • Rose Mohd: An Empirical Study of Retail Quality Management: The Case of the Malaysian Supermarkets, 1998-2001 (currently Chair at Mara University of Technology, Malaysia)
  • Ioanna Papasolomou: Internal Marketing: The Case of the UK Retail Banking Sector, 1998-2001 (currently Chair at University of Nicosia, Cyprus)
  • Andy Christmas: How British Small and Medium Enterprises Respond to Legislation: An Institutional Perspective, 2001-2006
  • Colin Rigby: Agile Manufacturing in the UK Ceramic Industry, 1998-2004 (Currently Senior Lecturer at Keele)
  • Beverley Hawkins: Recruitment Agents: How Two Self-managed Teams of Recruitment Consultants Negotiate Gendered Organizational Culture, 2005-2009 (Currently lecturer at Exeter University)
  • Lindsay Hamilton: Muck and Magic: Representation, Culture and Identity in the World of Farm Animal Veterinary Surgeons, 2005-2009 (currently lecturer at Keele)
  • Teresa Oultram: Organisational and Individual Learning in Apprenticeships (ESRC funded, 2007-2011) (currently lecturer at Keele)
  • Lee Crofts: Re-thinking Resistance to Organizational Change: the Case of the Stoke-on Trent Potteries, 2002-2012 (currently senior lecturer at Wolverhampton Business School)
  • Kubacki, Krzysztof: Marketing and musicians: a cultural critique (PhD by publication, 2010) (currently lecturer at Griffith University, Australia)
  • Hellen Millward: Understanding Theatre: A Pragmatist Exploration (2013 to date)

Anita Mangan

  • Co-operatives and credit unions
  • Volunteers and volunteering processes
  • Alternative forms of organising
  • Non-profit organisations
  • Community-based organisations
  • Post-structuralism / Foucault (including identity and subjectivity, power and control, and 
    discourse analysis)
  • Critical management studies
  • Qualitative research methods, including ethnography/auto-ethnography and cultural animation


  • Hussan Aslam: From panacea to public enemy number one: exploring banking culture in the aftermath of the financial crisis (2012 to date)
  • Helen Millward: Understanding theatre: A pragmatist exploration (2013 to date)
  • Eric Hira: A multilevel approach to employee engagement in the non-profit sector (2015 to date)

Susanne Tietze

  • Discourse and Languages in international contexts
  • Language Negotiations and Language Policy in the MNC
  • Translation as Agency and Knowledge Transfer (Knowledge Translation)
  • Spirituality and Religion at Work

Supervisions (topics) completed and ongoing

  • The psychological contract and working at the periphery
  • Spirituality and work identities
  • Language multiplicity and choice  in global supply chains
  • Workplace identities and Social Media
  • Constructing Health and Safety Cultures: An Ethnography

The Centre for Culture, Organisation and Markets [COM] seminar series provides a forum for the presentation of critical approaches to the study of work, cultures of work, work systems/organisation, and to markets, consumers and consumption within the context of social and economic change.

Embracing qualitative and ethnographic methods, research perspectives are inter-disciplinary and sensitive to gendered social relations in work and consumption and to issues of power and identity in cultural formations.