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Senior Lecturer in Organisation Studies, Director of Research Impact, University of Exeter

When I became an academic, over 15 years ago, I brought with me experience of working in civil society organisations. I have a bachelors degree in English Literature, a masters degree in Psychoanalysis, and a Ph.D. in Business and Management. This multidisciplinary background informs my academic role and shapes my research interests.

My empirical research is located in fast-paced organisational settings that experience high degrees of open-ended change. I have carried out a five-year long ethnographic study of an English Premier League football club which identified methods of asset management. These ideas have been used by a variety of sports organisations to leverage and sustain performance advantage. My research into football clubs has analysed the institutional work of sports science as well as the implications of managerial turnover on these practices and routines (with Chris Wagstaff and Richard Thelwell). I have also worked as a consultant to a number of Premier League and Championship football clubs as well as some of the game’s governing bodies including the Football Association and Football League Trust.

My theoretically-focused research uses psychoanalytical theory to understand organisations and their management. Examples include a study of the role and significance of the football manager to those he manages; online pedagogy; and executive development through experiential learning. Current research focuses on developing understanding of the experience of the ethnographer (with Kate Kenny), and the aesthetics of leadership (with Jackie Ford and Nancy Harding).

I am the Series Editor for the biennial book series Dialogues in Critical Management Studies and I sit on the Editorial Boards of Organization and the Canadian Journal of Administrative Science. From 2012-14 I was a member of the Executive Committee of the Critical Management Studies Division of the Academy of Management.


  • 2016–2017
    Dr Sarah Gilmore, University of Exeter Business School


  • 2001 
    University of Portsmouth, PhD in Business & Management