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Leo McCann
Professor of Management



Leo McCann is Professor of Management at the School for Business and Society.

Joining York in September 2018, he previously worked at the University of Manchester and at Cardiff University. His academic background is in the disciplines of sociology and history. His teaching and research is interdisciplinary in nature, exploring the complexities and contradictions of management, work, and globalization through qualitative inquiry in contemporary and historical contexts.



Professor McCann’s research and teaching interests range over the following areas: work and employment; globalization and social change; and management history. His research is usually based on qualitative, ethnographic investigation and writing, often exploring the everyday struggles and rewards of professional working life across many occupations. He is particularly interested in the organizational  conflicts that often arise between professional discretion versus centralized control and measurement. His recent work has focused in particular on white-collar and uniformed professionals, and he has recently completed a new book on the working lives of NHS paramedics in England.

Leo is the editor-in-chief of the journal Competition and Change, a journal of globalization, financialisation and political economy.

He is also the author of A Very Short, Fairly Interesting, and Reasonably Cheap Book About  Globalization (Sage, 2018), a wide-ranging companion book to his teaching on international business. More info here

As part of his research into management history, he recently won a 2-year research grant from the British Academy to investigate the papers of Robert S. McNamara, former U.S. Secretary of Defense. This study will form part of Leo’s continuing interest in the history of metrics and performance management - part of an ongoing exploration of why managerial attempts to control and measure complex professional work so often fail.

Recent blogs, news articles and submissions to Parliamentary inquiries about his research into ambulance services are available here:

Twitter: @LeoMc76

ORCID: 0000-0002-0754-804X

Professor McCann is potentially interested in hearing from outstanding PhD candidates who are conducting research in the above areas.



Research group(s)






Available PhD research projects





Selected publications

McCann, L., (2022) The Paramedic at Work: A Sociology of a New Profession. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

McCann, L., et al, (2020) ‘Upon the gears and upon the wheels’: Terror convergence and total administration in the neoliberal university, Management Learning, 51,4: 431-451.

McCann, L. (2018) A Very Short, Fairly Interesting, and Reasonably Cheap Book About Globalization. London, Sage.

Hyde, P., Hassard, J., Granter, E., and McCann, L., (2016) Deconstructing the Welfare State: Organizational Change and Managerial Work in the NHS, Abingdon: Routledge.

Hassard, J., McCann, L., and Morris, J.L (2009)Managing in the Modern Corporation: The Intensification of Managerial Work in the UK, USA and Japan,Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Granter, E., Wankhade, P., McCann, L., Hassard, J., and Hyde, P., (2018) ‘Multiple dimensions of work intensity: Ambulance work as edgework’. Work, Employment & Society, online first:

McCann, L., (2017) ‘‘Killing is our Business and Business is Good’: The evolution of war managerialism from body counts to counterinsurgency’, Organization, 24, 4: 491-515

McCann, L., (2016) ‘’Management is the Gate’: But to Where? Rethinking Robert S. McNamara’s Career Lessons’, Management & Organizational History, 11, 2: 166-188

Granter, E., McCann, L., and Boyle, M., (2015) ‘Extreme Work / Normal Work: Intensification, Storytelling and Hypermediation in the (Re)construction of ‘the New Normal’, Organization, 22, 4: 443-456

McCann, L., Hassard, J., Granter, E., and Hyde, P., (2015) ‘Casting the Lean Spell: The Promotion, Dilution, and Erosion of Lean Management in the NHS’, Human Relations, 68, 10: 1557-1577

McCann, L., Granter, E., Hassard, J., and Hyde, P., (2015) ‘”You can’t do both - something will give”, Exploring the limitations of the targets culture in managing UK healthcare workforces’, Human Resource Management, 54, 5: 773-791    

McCann, L., Granter, E., Hyde, P., and Hassard, J., (2013) ‘Still Blue-Collar after all these Years? An Ethnography of the Professionalization of Paramedics’, Journal of Management Studies, 50, 5: 750-776

McCann, L., (2013) ‘Reforming Public Services After the Crash: The Roles of Framing and Hoping’, Public Administration, 91, 1: 5-16


School for Business and Society
University of York
Church Lane Building
York Science Park
York YO10 5ZF

Tel: +44 (0) 1904 325373
Room: CL/A/145

Subject Group

Work Management and Organisation

Feedback & Support hours

Monday 11-12 via Zoom. ID: 91921426524
Password: 287403

Wednesday 11-12 via Zoom. ID: 98073515672
Password: 647157


Other teaching

At York, Leo teaches two final year Undergraduate modules: 'Globalization, Politics and Culture', and 'Rethinking Management Knowledge'