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Bill Cooke
Professor in Strategic Management (Director of Research)



Bill Cooke is Professor of Strategic Management in The York Management School.  He was previously Professor of Management and Society and Head of Department of Organization Work and Technology at Lancaster University Management School. Before that he was at Manchester and at Teesside Universities. As a relative latercomer to academia, he has also worked as a management consultant and a pizza chef.

Bill is Vice-Chair, Research and Publication of the British Academy of Management for the calendar years 2014-5. He led the Critical Management Studies Interest Group of the US Academy of Management to Division status, and also serves on the executive of the Organization Development and Change Division.

Subject Group

Work Management and Organisation



Bill is known for his work on the spatial and temporal spread of management ideas. That is, he researches the spread of management ideas around the world, and over time. He is particularly interested in trajectories which challenge the accepted wisdom that ‘business’ is the agent of the spread of managerialism, and so focuses on the role of international organizations like the World Bank, and of modern imperialism in the formation of the modern world.

He has a particular, but not exclusive, interest in ‘soft management’ which seeks to change the attitudes of workers – change management, culture change, participatory method and consultancy. He has also written on slavery and management.



Bill is currently working on the postwar transatlantic relationship between the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations in London, and the Research Center for Group Dynamics at MIT/University of Michigan. He is also working on the foundation of management education in Brazil, and the imperial footing of organisation studies.

Research group(s)

Bill is a member of the International Business, Management, and Strategy Group at TYMS



Bill is currently supervising Anindita Banerjee (Postcolonial history of socio-technical systems theory), Arun Kumar (Modernist Philanthropy in India) and Daniel da Silva Lacerda (managerialising Favelas) at Lancaster.

He is keen to supervise PhD students in his area of interest, through the full PhD path, or as part of a ‘sandwich’ PhD process.


Selected publications


Cooke, B. & Alcadipani, R. 2014, Towards A Global History Of Management Education: The Case Of The Ford Foundation And The São Paulo School Of Business Administration, Brazil’ Academy of Management Learning and Education, published ahead of print September 29, 2014, doi:10.5465/amle.2013.0147

Burnes, B & Cooke, B 2013, 'Kurt Lewin's field theory: a review and re-evaluation' International Journal of Management Reviews, vol 15, no. 4, pp. 408-425., 10.1111/j.1468-2370.2012.00348.x

 Burnes, B & Cooke, B 2012, 'Review Article: The past, present and future of organization development: aking the long view' Human Relations, vol 65, no. 11, pp. 1395-1429., 10.1177/0018726712450058

Cooke, B, Macau, F & Wood Jnr, T 2013, 'Brazilian management gurus as reflexive soft-HRM practitioners: an empirical study' International journal of human resource management, vol 24, no. 1, pp. 110-129., 10.1080/09585192.2012.669779

Cooke, B 2010, 'Managerialism as knowing and making Latin America: international development management and world bank interventions: International Management and International Relations'. in A Faria (ed.), International Management and International Relations. Routledge, London, pp. 161-184.

Cooke, B 2007, 'The Kurt Lewin-Goodwin Watson FBI/CIA Files: a 60th Anniversary there-and-then of the here-and-now' Human Relations, vol 60, no. 3, pp. 435-462.

Cooke, B 2004, 'O Gerenciatmento do (Terceiro) Mundo' Revista de Adminstracao de Empresas, vol 44, no. 3, pp. 62-75.

Cooke, B 2003, 'The denial of slavery in Management Studies' Journal of Management Studies, vol 40, no. 8, pp. 1895-1918.

Cooke, B 1999, 'Writing the left out of Management theory: the historiography of the management of change' Organization, vol 6, no. 1, pp. 81-105.

Edited Books

Dar, S & Cooke B 2008, (eds) The New Development Management: Critiquing the Dual Modernization. Zed Books, London.

Cooke, B & Wolfram Cox, J 2005 The Fundamentals of Action Research, Volume 1 -4: (Sage Benchmarks in Social Research Series). Sage, London.

Cooke, B 2004, 'Managing of the (Third) World' Organization, vol 11, no. 5, pp. 603-629.

Cooke, B & Kothari, U 2003, Katilim: Yeni Bir Zorbalik mi?. De:Ki, Istanbul.

Cooke, B & Kothari, U 2001, Participation: the New Tyranny?. Zed Books, London.

Hulme, D & Cooke, B 2002, 'Introduction: different poverties, different policies' Journal of International Development, vol 14, no. 6, pp. 677-680.

Wolfram Cox, J & Cooke, B 2008, 'Action research and identity: Researching Identity'. in Researching Identity. Routledge, London and New York.

 Photo of Bill Cooke

The York Management School
University of York
Freboys Lane
York YO10 5GD

Tel: +44 (0) 1904 325050
Room: LMB/107

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