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Centre for the Study of Working Lives: Who We Are

Biographies of Centre Core Members

Dr Lynne Baxter   MA (Edinburgh), PhD (Manchester Business School) is Senior Lecturer in Management Systems in the York Management School. After graduating in sociology, her PhD was a qualitative study of the implementation of one of the first local area network computer systems in the UK, and how it affected the power relations in the organization, hinging on a sociology of software bugs. She has been an investigator on multidisciplinary EPSRC grants researching Supply Chain Management and Software Development Time Estimation, contributing her skills in qualitative methodology to augment those of Mechanical Engineering colleagues.  Her book Managing Performance Improvement (2008, Routledge) is a critique of mainstream operations management thinking on quality management utilizing a series of longitudinal studies of a wide range of European Organizations, and she was invited to present its findings by the CIPD for its annual conference. She is currently the Secretary of the  Standing Conference on Organizational Symbolism .  She recently delivered a keynote speech at the 14 th  International Workshop on Team Working, a paper on masculinity, the visual and emotion in rugby, and is also researching rhythms and space in health care settings.   

Dr Carolyn Hunter   BA (Warwick), MA (Warwick), PhD (Loughborough) recently completed her doctoral research on ‘playing' at work, the suspension of reality and infantilism. Carolyn studied three workplaces within the creative industries, including an advertising department, a pre-teen girls magazine and an IT training and development company. The corporate cultures reflected fun, enjoyment and pleasure and these discourses were mapped onto the space and materiality of the organisations. Drawing on de Certeau’s concept of strategies and tactics of the everyday, her thesis investigates how employees interpreted the strategies of corporate discourses through everyday tactics, such as humour, using an innovative methodology of humour-logs. Carolyn has presented her work at conferences in the US and UK and has previous work experience in the US, where she was involved in recruitment for financial services.

Philip Linsley   BA (Newcastle), ACA is a Senior Lecturer in Accounting and Finance in TYMS. A graduate in Philosophy, he qualified as a chartered accountant, subsequently working as a financial controller in industry and as a director of a UK based professional accountancy training company. His main research interests are risk-related and he has used Mary Douglas’s cultural theory as a way of understanding it, alongside accounting, patient safety and psychiatry. He is currently working on a project with Rob McMurray exploring what it was like working in the city during the financial crisis and after, what it is to work in the banking and related sectors, how risk is dealt with and how organisational cultures inform the management of that risk.

Prof Stephen Linstead  BA (Keele), MA (Leeds), MSc, PhD (CNAA), DLitt (Dunelm), AcSS is Professor of Management Humanities in TYMS and Director of the Centre. His PhD (Sheffield Hallam, 1984) was an ethnography of a manufacturing bakery, deploying structuralist and poststructuralist theory. His supervisor, the late Oxford industrial anthropologist Dan Gowler was, and has remained, inspirational, especially for Linstead’s co-edited collection of organizational anthropologies, Understanding Management (1996, Sage). His work on organizational culture and theory, including popular, discursive, aesthetic, and visual culture, has appeared in a variety of outlets and is frequently republished. A member of the  Standing Conference on Organizational Symbolism , he served as its chair (1998– 2001) and co-editor of its journal Culture and Organization (2002–2006), organizing its international conference twice (1992 and 2000). He currently sees an exciting future for critical workplace cultural studies enriched by new and emerging approaches and by other disciplines, especially the arts, including music.

External Members

Dr Sally Brown LLB (Sheffield), MA (Leeds), PhD (Hull) is Research Fellow in the Evaluation Research Development Unit (ERDU) in the School of Medicine and Health, Durham UniversitySally joined Durham in June 2009, after working at TYMS as a Research Fellow on a large SDO-funded project looking at Public-Private Partnerships and primary care. Whilst at York, she wrote, produced and directed, with Martin Wood, the documentary film Lines of Flight, and has previously produced a short film and written a number of short plays and feature length scripts. She is a Member Scholar of the International Institute for Qualitative Methodology, runs the Qualitative Health Research group at Durham, and sits on the BSA Medical Sociology Group Committee.  Sally works with us as a TYMS Visiting Fellow particularly on developing innovative methodologies.

Dr Jenna Ward  BSc (Dunelm), PhD (York) completed her doctorate at TYMS on Managing Emotions in 2009 whilst working at the University of the West of England. She was a lecturer at TYMS during 2011 and is currently a Senior Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour at De Montfort University. Research interests include taking a critical approach to the role of emotion and subjectivity within the workplace, identity, difference, dissonance and self, aesthetic approaches to organisations and the role of the body as an aesthetic artefact. She has experience in utilising a range of qualitative research methods, including in-depth interviews, focus groups and group interviews, biographical-narrative interviews and non-participant and participant observation methods in both the public and private sector. She is also interested in, and has experience using, visual and non-traditional research methods including projective drawing and enquiry-based learning. Her recent work on GP receptionists was published in Social Science and Medicine and reported in the popular press, including the New York Times. She currently works with members of the Centre on emotion and affect in the workplace.

Professor Martin Wood  BA (CNAA), MA (Lancaster), PhD (Exeter) is a teacher, researcher, theorist, writer and filmmaker who worked in The York Management School from 2004 until 2011, when he became a professor in the School of Management at RMIT University, where he coordinates the Creative Arts Management Research Cluster in the RMIT Centre for Sustainable Organisations and Work. Martin has published in scholarly journals including Human RelationsJournal of Management StudiesOrganizationOrganization StudiesSocial Science and Medicine and the Academy of Management Journal, for which he jointly won the 2005 Best Paper Award. In 2010, his short documentary film Lines of Flight (2009), made at York with co-director Dr. Sally Brown, won the Jury Prize at the UNNIM Mountain Film Festival in Spain, Best Film on Mountain Culture at the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival, was nominated for Best International Short Film at the Reel Earth Environmental Film Festival in New Zealand and was also finalist for Best Film on Mountain Culture at the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Martin currently collaborates with Stephen Linstead on working class culture and leisure, aesthetics, arts-based production and dissemination of social science knowledge, and applications of process philosophy.