Menu Close
Reader in Management, University of St Andrews

I am interested in the role that markets play in contemporary organising: how markets form, how they configure organisations, and how individuals shape – and are shaped – by market practice. I'm especially interested in the moral and political issues that surround markets, and the discourses, valuations and justifications invoked in market settings. Working in a School of Management, I'm deeply aware of how these topics relate to managers, an interest reflected in my writing and teaching.

My work is located in the growing interdisciplinary field of 'market studies', informed by science and technology studies, as well as research into accounting and organisations. My research is empirically driven: I have, for example, written on the organisation of the Christmastime Santa experiences in Lapland, on the construction of 'fairness' in transplant allocation and how online dating enacts instrumentally rational, calculative romances. I have a long-standing interest in financial markets, often taking a critical perspective: I have written on the social construction of nonprofessional investors in the United Kingdom and Taiwan, and conducted a larger-scale research project documenting the birth and development of two small company focused stock-markets founded in London in the mid-1990s.

I have also written extensively on the creative industries. My monograph 'Creating economy: enterprise, intellectual property and the valuation of goods', with Professor Barbara Townley (St Andrews) and Dr Nicola Searle (Goldsmiths) is published by Oxford University Press. The book invokes the 'market studies' approach to explore how intellectual property organises the market for creative goods, making an important, timely and policy relevant contribution to ongoing debates over the nature and value of the creative industries.

I am committed to bringing academic research to the attention of as wide an audience as possible. My book I Spend Therefore I Am was published by Penguin in February 2014, and republished in paperback as A Richer Life in May 2015. It was described as 'a brilliant critique' by Lord Robert Skidelsky; 'Impressive. Important, very thoughtful and thought-provoking' by Ha-Joon Chang; and, 'a fine book, on the side of the angels' by the Guardian. I have written for the Guardian, Times Higher Education and the Literary Review, have appeared frequently on radio and television, and have given public lectures in the UK and abroad. In 2011 I was one of the ten winners of the inaugural AHRC BBC Radio 3 New Generation Thinkers scheme. You can find out more about my writing, speaking and broadcasting, as well as an occasional blog, on www.philip‌

My most recent public engagement project takes the form of a podcast – How To Build a Stock Exchange: Making Finance Fit for the Future – launched in March 2019. The podcast explores financial markets as a sociological phenomenon, seeking to shed new light on an institution that we too often take for granted. You can follow on iTunes, Spotify, or Stitcher.

I joined the faculty at St Andrews in 2009, moving from Sup de Co Montpellier, where I was assistant professor of management. I hold a doctorate in management, from Lancaster University, exploring how non-professional stock-market investors are 'constructed' by investment service firms. I also worked in Lancaster as a post-doctoral researcher. Before starting my doctorate I spent six years working in financial journalism, prior to which I studied theology and medieval Arabic thought at the universities of Leeds and Oxford.


  • –present
    Reader in Management, University of St Andrews