Laura Mitchell

Title: Lecturer
Phone: +044 (0)1782 733425
Email: l.mitchell@keele.ac.uk
Location: Darwin 1.07
Role:
Contacting me:
Laura Mitchell

I have been a lecturer in Management at Keele University since 2011. My research interests focus on the tension between contemporary work contexts and dignity: incorporating debates on value and moral conflicts in organisation, both in the circumstances of business and more broadly in a range of alternative organisations. Contrasting attitudes to worth, my doctoral thesis on dignity and organisation was awarded by Lancaster University. My broader interests in worth and culture include how emerging or performed situational contexts offer promise to redress alienating work conditions through the constitution of alternative meanings or spaces. This includes a focus on the socially-mediated and performed elements of valuation encountered in everyday working life.

I'm a member of the UK chapter of the Humanist Management Network, membership secretary of the Standing Conference on Organizational Symbolism (SCOS), part of Keele's Cultural Amination and Social Innovation Centre (CASIC), and an associate member of the Games Research Network at MMU.

As well as conventional routes of research dissemination such as journal articles and books, I have been involved in other projects such as the ESRC Festival of Social Science, and an independent documentary on LARP which has screened in the UK, Europe and the USA. I write and develop live-action roleplay games in my free time.

My research interests focus on moral conflicts in organisation, and I have a particular interest in dignity and meaningful work. I am also interested in the development of behavioural codes within small organizational groups and subcultures, exploring how everyday interactions of conflict and compromise provide resources for collective identity projects. This work draws on both performative metaphors of social life such as Goffman and actor-network-theory. My empirical interests extend to all forms of organization, including non-profit and leisure organizations as well as community groups. I have conducted research with large and small commercial and technical organizations as well as ethnographic work on the niche leisure occupation of live-action role play.

For my most up-to-date research activities you can find me on academia.edu

 I have completed the university training programme for supervising doctoral students and welcomes interests from potential research students in the following categories;

  • work or volunteering in the games industry
  • social innovation and cultural projects
  • moral conflict and compromise
  • dignity, honour and worth in organizations
  • meaningful work
  • stigma and discrimination
  • alternative organisations
  • volunteer work

If you are working on a particular proposal and would like to have an informal conversation about your proposal's suitability please get in touch by e-mail

Selected Publications

  • Hamilton LA and Mitchell L. Knocking on the door of Human-Animal Studies: Valuing work across Disciplinary and Species Borderlines. Society and Animals. full text>
  • Hamilton LA and Mitchell L. Hefted: Reconfiguring Work, Value andMobility in the UK Lake District. Culture and Organization. full text>
  • Mitchell L. 2018. Book Review: desiring forgettable interactions between strata. Organization. doi> link>
  • Mitchell L. 2018. Book review: Searching for dignity beyond neoliberal management theories. Management Learning. doi> link>
  • Mitchell L. 2017. Dignity and membership: a route to the heart of how dignity is done in everyday interaction. In Dignity and the Organization. Kostera M and Pirson M (Eds.). Palgrave Macmillan. doi>

Full Publications List show

Books

  • Hamilton L, Mitchell L, Mangan A. Hamilton L, Mitchell L, Mangan A (Eds.). 2014. Contemporary Issues in Management. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Journal Articles

  • Hamilton LA and Mitchell L. Knocking on the door of Human-Animal Studies: Valuing work across Disciplinary and Species Borderlines. Society and Animals. full text>
  • Hamilton LA and Mitchell L. Hefted: Reconfiguring Work, Value andMobility in the UK Lake District. Culture and Organization. full text>
  • Mitchell L. 2018. Book Review: desiring forgettable interactions between strata. Organization. doi> link>
  • Mitchell L. 2018. Book review: Searching for dignity beyond neoliberal management theories. Management Learning. doi> link>
  • Mitchell L. 2016. Volunteers as monstrous workers:'monsters' in UK live-action roleplay game organizations. Culture and Organization, 1-16. doi> link> full text>
  • Mitchell L. 2016. Materiality, magic and belief: Framing the countryside in fantastical live-action roleplay games. ETHNOGRAPHY, vol. 17(3), 326-349. link> doi> full text>

Chapters

  • Mitchell L. 2017. Dignity and membership: a route to the heart of how dignity is done in everyday interaction. In Dignity and the Organization. Kostera M and Pirson M (Eds.). Palgrave Macmillan. doi>
  • Mitchell L and Hamilton L. Dignity and species difference within organisations. In Dignity and the organization. Kostera M and Pirson M (Eds.). Palgrave Macmillan. doi>
  • Mitchell L. 2014. Dignity and meaningful work in organisations. In Contemporary Issues in Management. Hamilton L, Mangan A, Mitchell L (Eds.). Elgar.
  • Mitchell L. 2014. Dignity and meaningful work in organisations. In Contemporary Issues in Management. Hamilton L, Mangan A, Mitchell L (Eds.). Elgar.
  • Pearson G. 2014. The corruption of business: a statement of a contemporary problem. In Contemporary Issues in Management. Hamilton L, Mitchell L, Mangan A (Eds.). (12 vols.). Edward Elgar.
  • Mitchell L. 2013. Beauty or the beast? The role of 'monsters' in LARPS. In Crossing Theoretical Borders. Fantastiforbundet.

Other

  • Hardie-Bick J, Bonner, P, Mitchell L, Fraser H, Dashper K, Goodwin Hawkins B, Emery S, Carrithers M, Hamilton L. 2016. Countryside Lives: Symbolic Terrain.
  • Mitchell L. Membership, worth & escaping capitalist justifications.
  • Mitchell L. Is dignity simply alienation rebranded? Resistance and agency at work. http://www.os-workshop.com/papers2014/papers2014.html.
  • Mitchell L and Buckley C. Faking the weird, making the weird: the interaction of space, game and narrative in UK Lovecraftian horror live action roleplay.
  • Mitchell L. 2013. Leisure volunteers or exploited workers? The role of 'monsters' in UK live-action roleplay game organisation.
  • Mitchell L. 2013. Dignity as Process.
  • Mitchell L. 2012. Doing dignity in processes of organisation.
  • Mitchell L. 2012. 'Women doing dignity: An exploration of the performance of gender as a social resource in the workplace.
  • Mitchell L. 2012. Dignity and Work: A New Dimension.
  • Mitchell L. 2010. Doing dignity: A performance of worth in employment.
  • Mitchell L. Taking dignity on board: the case of Shipping Ltd.
  • Mitchell L. Performances of Dignity: Banana Time. https://conference.cbs.dk/index.php/scos/scos2009/schedConf/presentations.
  • Mitchell L. Performance of Dignity.
  • Mitchell L. 2008. Dignity: An invisible city?.
  • Mitchell L. 2008. The Negotiation of Dignity; Some Paradox and Other.
  • Mitchell L. 2007. Excavating dignity: Can the concept be applied in the contemporary workplace?.

I am a fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Programme Director for undergraduate students in Management as well as International Business Management. A previous recipient of the Student Union's "Fantastic Feedback" award, I have previously taught on a variety of topics including;  Social Theory,  Comparative Business Cultures, Research Methods, Foundations of Human Resource Management, People in Organisations (OB), Work & Employment Relations. I currently lead the modules Professional Development (in semester one) and Contemporary Issues in Management (in semester two).

I also teach on the Mercia Centre for Innovation Leadership (MCIL) programme.