Prof. Emma Bell

Title: Professor of Management and Organisation Studies
Phone: +44 (0)1782 733424
Email:
Location: Darwin 1.15
Role: Head of the Centre for Economics and Management
Contacting me:
Emma Bell

I joined Keele University in March 2012 as Professor of Management and Organisation Studies. Previously I held academic positions at Exeter University, University of Bath, Queen Mary and University of Warwick. I have a PhD from Manchester Metropolitan University.

I am co-author of the textbook ‘Business Research Methods’, with Alan Bryman, published by Oxford University Press and now in its fourth edition. I am current joint Editor-in-Chief for Management Learning.  I also serve on the editorial boards of Organisation, Human Relations, and Scandinavian Journal of Management. I am a member of the Association of Business Schools Research Steering Committee, a founding member of InVisio, the ESRC funded International Network of Visual Studies in Organisations and a member of the Northern Advanced Regional Training Initiative (NARTI) Steering Group. I'm currently Co-Chair of the Academy of Management Critical Management Studies Division For the past three years, I have been a member of the scientific committee of the Italian Academy of Business Administration and Management (AIDEA) and University of Naples, Summer School on Research Methods in Management Studies. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and recently collaborated on an HEA report focusing on the teaching of business ethics in UK business schools

 

My approach to understanding management draws on insights from the social sciences and humanities to critically address broad societal issues. My research focuses on meaning-making processes in organisations and work.  Key themes are: culture and change, power and politics and organisational learning. I have a longstanding interest in methodological issues, focusing on qualitative research and practices of knowledge creation. I am currently working on a project that focuses on the globalisation of management research methods, with Nivedita Kothiyal, Institute of Rural Management Anand, India and funded by the British Academy of Management Another current project with Daniel King, Nottingham Trent University, funded by British Academy/Leverhulme, focuses on the role of unconferencing as a mode of organisational learning.

My work has been published in the journals Human Relations, Journal of Management Studies, British Journal of Management, International Journal of Management Reviews, Management Learning, and Organisation. I am the author of Reading Management and Organisation in Film (Palgrave 2008), co-author of A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book about Management Research (Sage 2013); co-editor of Companion to Visual Organisation (Routledge 2014), and Major Works in Qualitative Research in Business and Management (Sage 2014).

I am also an experienced PhD supervisor who actively welcomes doctoral students to work with me, particularly on topics of an interdisciplinary nature.

"Understanding the modern corporation through film". 

In the past decade, documentary film has become increasingly important as a way of exposing oppressive and exploitative organizational practices and highlighting issues related to corporate social responsibility. Recent examples include films like Miss Representation (2011), which focuses on the role of media corporations and advertisers in shaping the body image of girls and women in ways which constrain their participation in public life and leadership, and Fed Up (2014), which shines the spotlight on the food industry in causing America’s obesity epidemic. These recent successes build on earlier films like Supersize Me (2004), which prompted changes in McDonald’s retailing strategy.

My research also focuses on the indirect yet significant effect that documentary feature films can have on public perceptions of the responsibilities of business. The research also looks at the way that corporations have responded to the use of film as a way of holding corporations to account. A further aspect of my work involves looking at the way that the film industry is changing, through the rise of accessible digital technologies which have expanded opportunities for film production, coupled with the development of innovative distribution methods involving social media to reach non-traditional audiences.

In 2015, I attended the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, in Vancouver, Canada, and hosted a screening of a new cut of the movie, The Corporation (2004). This pioneering Canadian documentary film significantly challenged the way we think about the modern corporation. Featuring interviews with corporate insiders and critics including Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Milton Friedman, Howard Zinn, Vandana Shiva and Michael Moore, the movie put the corporation on the psychiatrist’s couch and explored its pathological pursuit of profit. The film went on to win 26 international awards, and the book on which it was based became a widely-translated bestseller.

During my visit I met up with the film writer, University of British Columbia Professor of Law, Joel Bakan. You can read my recently published interview with Joel, where he talks about his motivations in making the movie and writing the book, the response they generated, and the changing nature of the modern corporation since the film was made.

I teach a final year undergraduate module at Keele, ‘Management, Organisation and Media’, which is based on my research in this area and draws on her book, Reading Management and Organisation in Film (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008).

Selected Publications

  • Bell E and Taylor S. 2014. Uncertainty in the study of belief: the risks and benefits of methodological agnosticism. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SOCIAL RESEARCH METHODOLOGY, vol. 17(5), 543-557. link> doi>
  • Bell E and Clarke DW. 2014. 'Beasts, burrowers and birds': The enactment of researcher identities in UK business schools. MANAGEMENT LEARNING, vol. 45(3), 249-266. link> doi>
  • Kenny K and Bell E. 2014. Irony as Discipline: Self-Help and Gender in the Knowledge Economy. SOCIAL POLITICS, vol. 21(4), 562-584. link> doi>
  • Bell E and Davison J. 2013. Visual Management Studies: Empirical and Theoretical Approaches. International Journal of Management Reviews, vol. 15(2), 167-184. doi>
  • Bell E, Taylor S, Driscoll C. 2012. Varieties of Organizational Soul: The Ethics of Belief in Organizations. Organization: the interdisciplinary journal of organization, theory and society, vol. 19(4), 425-439. doi>

Full Publications List show

Books

  • Bell E, Warren S, Schroeder JE. 2014. The Routledge Companion to Visual Organization. Routledge.
  • Bell E and Willmott E (Eds.). 2014. Major Works in Qualitative Research in Business and Management. Sage.
  • Bell E and Thorpe R. 2013. A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book about Management Research. SAGE.
  • Bell E. 2008. Reading management and organization in film. Palgrave MacMillan.

Journal Articles

  • Bridgman T and Bell E. 2016. Seeing and Being Seen as a Management Learning and Education Scholar: Rejoinder to "Identifying Research Topic Development in Business and Management Education Research Using Legitimation Code Theory. Journal of Management Education. doi> link>
  • Bell E and Leonard P. 2016. Digital Organizational Storytelling on YouTube: Constructing Plausibility through Network Protocols of Amateurism, Affinity and Authenticity. Journal of Management Inquiry. doi> link>
  • Bell E and Sinclair A. Bodies, Sexualities and Women Leaders in Popular Culture: From Spectacle to Metapicture. Gender in Management: an International Journal, vol. 31(5/6), 322-338. doi> link>
  • Cunliffe A and Bell E. 2016. Management Learning: Legacies and future possibilities. MANAGEMENT LEARNING, vol. 47(2), 113-116. link> doi>
  • Bell E. 2016. The Corporation 10 Years On: An Interview and an Audience With Joel Bakan. JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT INQUIRY, vol. 25(3), 344-354. link> doi>
  • Bell E and Taylor S. 2016. Vernacular mourning and corporate memorialization in framing the death of Steve Jobs. ORGANIZATION, vol. 23(1), 114-132. link> doi>
  • Bell E and Taylor S. 2014. Uncertainty in the study of belief: the risks and benefits of methodological agnosticism. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SOCIAL RESEARCH METHODOLOGY, vol. 17(5), 543-557. link> doi>
  • Bell E and Clarke DW. 2014. 'Beasts, burrowers and birds': The enactment of researcher identities in UK business schools. MANAGEMENT LEARNING, vol. 45(3), 249-266. link> doi>
  • Bell E and Sinclair A. 2014. Reclaiming eroticism in the academy. ORGANIZATION, vol. 21(2), 268-280. link> doi>
  • Kenny K and Bell E. 2014. Irony as Discipline: Self-Help and Gender in the Knowledge Economy. SOCIAL POLITICS, vol. 21(4), 562-584. link> doi>
  • Bell E, Tienari J, Hansson M. 2014. Organizational death INTRODUCTION. CULTURE AND ORGANIZATION, vol. 20(1), 1-6. link> doi>
  • Bell E and Taylor S. 2013. Writing History into Management Research. Management and Organizational History, vol. 8(2), 127-136. doi>
  • Bell E and Davison J. 2013. Visual Management Studies: Empirical and Theoretical Approaches. International Journal of Management Reviews, vol. 15(2), 167-184. doi>
  • Bell E. 2013. Whose side are they on? Patterns of Religious Resource Mobilization in British Industrial Mission. Management and Organizational History, vol. 4(1), 331-347. doi>
  • Bell E, Taylor S, Driscoll C. 2012. Varieties of Organizational Soul: The Ethics of Belief in Organizations. Organization: the interdisciplinary journal of organization, theory and society, vol. 19(4), 425-439. doi>
  • Bell E. 2012. Ways of Seeing Death: A Critical Semiotic Analysis of Organizational Memorialization. Visual Studies, vol. 27(1), 4-17.
  • Bell E and Taylor S. 2011. Beyond letting go and moving on: New perspectives on organizational death, loss and grief. SCANDINAVIAN JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT, vol. 27(1), 1-10. link> doi>
  • Bell E. 2010. Disruptive Religion: The Case of the Catholic Worker Priests. Journal of Management, Spirituality and Religion: an international blind refereed journal, vol. 4(4). doi>
  • Taylor S, Bell E, Grugulis I, Storey J, Taylor L. 2010. Politics and power in training and learning: The rise and fall of the NHS university. MANAGEMENT LEARNING, vol. 41(1), 87-99. link> doi>
  • Bell E and King D. 2010. The elephant in the room: Critical management studies conferences as a site of body pedagogics. Management Learning, vol. 41(4), 429-442. link> doi>
  • Bell E. 2009. Spiritualities of Life: New Age Romanticism and Consumptive Capitalism. BRITISH JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY, vol. 60(3), 648-650. link>
  • Bell E, Taylor S, Cooke B. 2009. Business History and the Historiographical Operation. Management and Organizational History, vol. 4(2), 151-166. doi>
  • Bell E. 2008. Towards a Critical Spirituality of Organization. Cultures and Organizations, vol. 14(3), 293-307. doi> link>
  • Bell E. 2006. The Promise and Potential of Visual Organizational Research. Management, vol. 9(3), 169-189. doi>
  • Bell E. 2005. Fifteen years of investors in people: Market-led voluntarism in vocational education and training. British Journal of Industrial Relations: an international journal of employment relations, vol. 43(1), 133-151.
  • Bell E and Taylor S. 2005. Living with Accreditation: Business School Badging and Academic Identity. Studies in Higher Education, vol. 3(30), 239-255.
  • Bell E and Taylor S. 2004. From outward bound to inward bound: The Prophetic Voices and Discursive Practices of Spiritual Management Development. Human Relations, vol. 57(4), 439-466. doi>
  • Bell E. 2004. A Exaltacao do Trabalho: O Poder Pastoral e a Etica do Traba;ho na Nova Era. Revista de Administracao de Empresas (RAE), vol. 44(2), 64-78.
  • Bell E and Taylor S. 2003. The Elevation of Work: Pastoral Power and the New Age Work Ethic. Organization, vol. 10(2), 329-349. doi>
  • Bell E, Taylor S, Thorpe R. 2002. A step in the right direction? Investors in people and the learning organization. British Journal of Management, vol. 13(2). doi>
  • Bell E, Taylor S, Thorpe R. 2002. Organizational Differentiation through Badging: Investors in people and the value of the sign. Journal of Management Studies, vol. 39(8), 1071-1085. doi>
  • Bell E, Taylor S, Thorpe S. 2002. Investors in people and the standardization of professional knowledge in personnel management. Management Learning, vol. 32(2), 201-219. doi>
  • Bell E. 2001. The Social Time of Organizational Payment Systems. Time and Society, vol. 10(1), 45-62. doi>
  • Bell E, Kothiyal N, Willmott H. Methodology-as-Technique and the Meaning of Rigor in Globalized Management Research. British Journal of Management.

Chapters

  • Bell E and Taylor S. 2011. The Promise of Re-enchantment: Organizational Change and the Spirituality at Work Movement. In The Routledge Companion to Organizational Change. Boje D, Burnes B, Hassard J (Eds.). Routledge.
  • Kenny K and Bell E. 2011. Representing the Successful Managerial Body. In Handbook of Gender, Work and Organization. Jeanes E, Knights D, Martin PY (Eds.). Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Bell E. 2010. Managerialism and Management Research: Would Melville Dalton Get a Job Today?. In Challenges and controversies in management research. Cassell C and Lee B (Eds.). Taylor & Francis.
  • Bell E and Wray-Bliss E. 2009. Research Ethics: Regulations and Responsibilities. In The SAGE handbook of organizational research methods. Buchanan DA and Bryman A (Eds.). Sage Publications Ltd.
  • Bell E, Meriläinen S, Taylor S, Tienari J. An Ethic of Care Within CMS?. In Routledge Companion to Critical Management Studies. Routledge.
  • MAN20055 Organisational Behaviour
  • MAN30062 Management, Organisation and Media