Critical Management Studies

Research Leads: Dr Sara Hannam and Birgit den Outer

We are a number of academic staff across the Faculty of Business with a shared interest in Critical Management Studies (CMS). CMS is an inclusive, theoretically informed approach to studying management, business, organisations and society.

CMS challenges how we understand management and organisations solely in terms of organisational performativity, efficiency and profitability using different critical theories. CMS provides a supportive and inclusive platform for debating alternatives to dominant understandings of how we might do management and organise people in the workplace. In particular exposing and challenging established relations of power, control and domination. Focusing on these issues also gives rise to important questions about how we can translate CMS research into practice.

This research cluster aims to provide a supportive forum for scholars across Business School sub disciplines, who are undertaking critical research on management, accounting, finance, marketing, economics, sociology of work, psychology and international management. Our philosophy is that CMS is an approach to doing research rather than a well-defined school or tradition, and there is no 'right' way of doing CMS.

Research interests in this area include:

  • Changing nature of management
  • Critical Management Education
  • Ethnic entrepreneurship
  • Ethnicity, religion and identity
  • Neo bureaucracy
  • Organisation, discourse and leadership
  • Organisational ethnography
  • Reflective research methodologies
  • Sexuality and gender in the workplace
  • Sustainability and organisations

The group is open to all staff and students with an interest in CMS.


Current and recent projects carried out in this area of research include:

  • A critical ethnography of Greek Businesses setting up in London since the 2011 Economic Crisis, with Dr Constantinos Alexiou, Cranfield School of Management.
    Dr Sara Hannam
  • Diversity (gender, ethnicity and religion) in small business organisations in Southeast Asia. (A collaboration with Professor Heidi Dahles, Griffith Business School Australia and Dr Michiel Verver, VU University Amsterdam)
    Juliette Koning
  • Organisational Ethnography
    Juliette Koning

Associated Staff

PhD Students

  • Nour Ibrahim
    Topic: Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurs and Identity Work in the Netherlands
    Supervisor: Juliette Koning
  • Samentha Goethals
    Topic: Human Rights in the Hospitality Sector in the UK
    Supervisor: Juliette Koning
  • Anna Kleinert
    Female Leadership in Zambia; An Indigenous Perspective
    Supervisor: Juliette Koning

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

  • Dr Nick Wylie has recently been working alongside an associate consultant to support the Executive Team of a UK-based housing association. Drawing on research insights into change agency and internal consultancy Nick has helped the team better understand the challenges they face in delivering significant change in an uncertain environment.




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