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Personal profile

Research interests

I am an historian of business and work who researches and teaches across such row subjects as International Business, Organization Studies, and Strategy. As an historian within a business school environment, I consider history to offer vital insights and methodological benefits to understanding work, organisations and management. My research interests have also been informed by my former career as a policymaker.

Amongst my interests are: business-government relations and corporate political activity; workplace identity and behaviour (including the effects of the loss of work); strategic decision-making and internationalisation; energy, industrial and regional policy; natural resource governance (and the environmental, political and security implications of that); public ownership and privatisation; and environmental and occupational health.


I am Professor Industry & Society at Newcastle Business School (NBS) and lead the Business History group. I joined NBS from the University of Wolverhampton Business School, where I was Professor and Director of Research and UoA17 REF coordinator. Prior to this I held roles as: an International Partnership Director and ESRC DTC coordinator (Stirling Management School); Postgraduate Research Director and research cluster leader (Centre for Business in Society, Coventry University); and at the University of Strathclyde Business School.  Prior to my academic career, I was Head of Energy Supply Policy for the Scottish Government, and worked for a number of private companies (including EMI Records and Whitbread PLC). 

I am a graduate of the universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde, from where I received my PhD in 2005.  I am the author of two monographs (EMP, 2007; Carnegie, 2012) and co-editor of two edited collections (Routledge, 2014; University of British Columbia Press, 2017).  I have also authored numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and am the recipient of grants from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), British Academy, Carnegie Trust, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Leverhulme Trust, the Royal Economics Society, Royal Society of Edinburgh, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).  I am an editor of History Workshop Journal. 

I was appointed a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (FSA Scot) in 2010, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (FRHistS) in 2011, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA) in 2015. 

I am currently co-investigator on the 'On Behalf of the People: Work, Community and Class in the British Coal Industry 1947-1994' project funded by the AHRC grant (£655,736) (2017-21) (AH/P007244/1), and the seven year network grant project, 'Deindustrialization and the Politics of Our Time', funded by SSHRC (CAD2.49m) (2020-27), and Principal Investigator on the British Academy/ Leverhulme Trust funded project, 'Business-Government Relations and the Rise of a Family Business Dynasty: The Reynolds Metals Company' (£8,898.10) (2021-2023) (SRG2021/210391).

I have successfully supervised PhDs to completion at CBiS (Coventry) and Strathclyde Business School, including in areas such as: business-government relations in the aerospace industry; the historical management of risk amongst Norwegian firms internationalising in the 1960s and 1970s; migrant labour NGOs and political legitimacy; and political CSR in the automotive industry.  

I have also been an external examiner for undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes at Durham University Business School, Stirling Management School, the Universities of East London and Glasgow, and York Management School.  I have been an external examiner at MRes and PhD levels at the Swansea University and the Universities of Edinburgh and York, and internal examiner at DBA and PhD levels at Coventry, Stirling Management School and Strathclyde Business School.

I have also undertaken advisory or consultancy roles with the Aluminium Federation, Alcan, Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and Rio Tinto. 

Education/Academic qualification

History, PhD, University of Strathclyde

Award Date: 4 Nov 2005

History, MPhil, University of Glasgow

Award Date: 1 Sep 2000


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