Professor Martin Parker

Professor of Organisation and CultureMartin Parker

Contact details

  • Tel: +44 (0)116 252 5317
  • Email:
  • Office: Room 614, Level 6, Ken Edwards Building
  • Office hours: By appointment only (please email)

Personal details

I am Professor of Organisation and Culture, and worked at the University of Leicester from 2003-10 before returning in 2012.

I have previously held posts at Staffordshire, Keele and Warwick universities, and my background is in anthropology, sociology and cultural studies.

From 2008 - 2012, I was joint Editor-in-Chief of the journal 'Organization'.


My research and writing is an attempt to widen the scope of what can be properly covered by the business school, whether in terms of particular sorts of organisations (the circus, the worker co-op, Apollo space programme etc), or ways of representing organising (in art, cartoons, films etc).

My recent writing has been about ‘alternative’ organisation in two senses. One is work on co-operatives, worker self-management, alternative finance and so on. The other is on different ways of thinking about what ‘organisation’ means, so I have written about angels, shipping containers, art galleries, as well as a book on outlaws.

I am also very interested in how academics write, and how they might cultivate new audiences for their ideas, and I blog for the School and write for The Conversation regularly.

My plans for the next few years include a book on what is wrong with the Business School for Pluto Press, as well as pieces on the history of zoos, comic book villains and James Bond.


I am currently supervising

  • Sylvana Botros
  • Matteo Ciccognani
  • Chanhyo Jeong
  • Marton Mate Racz
  • Marco Sachy
  • Nico Vass

I have co-supervised twenty-one students to completion, and am interested in supervising students in work on

  • culture and organisation
  • popular cultural representations of work
  • organisation and social theory
  • alternative organisation
  • the business school and the university
  • the politics and ethics of management


Publications in the last five years



Hamilton, V and Parker, M (2016) Daniel Defoe and the Bank of England: The Dark Arts of Projectors. Ripley, Hants: Zer0 Books.

Hadden, T, Ireland, P, Morgan, G, Parker, M, Pearson, G, Piccoto, S, Sikka, P and Willmott, H (writing as The Corporate Reform Collective) (2014) Fighting Corporate Abuse: Beyond Predatory Capitalism. London: Pluto.

Parker, M (2012) Alternative Business: Outlaws, Crime and Culture. London: Routledge.


Steyaert, C, Beyes, T, and Parker, M (eds) (2016) The Companion to Reinventing Management Education. London: Routledge.

Burrell, G and Parker, M (eds) (2016) For Robert Cooper: Collected Work. London: Routledge.

Parker, M, Cheney, G, Fournier, V, and Land, C (eds) (2014) The Companion to Alternative Organization. London: Routledge.



Pearson, G and Parker, M (2016) ‘Is Small always Beautiful? A Dialogue’ Business and Society Review.

Lilley, S and Parker, M (2016) ‘Management Knowledge in the Mirror: Scholarship, Fashion and Simmel’ ephemera 16.


Parker, M and Hamilton, V (2016) ‘The Shadows of Imagination: A Response to De Cock’ Organization.

Smith, W, Higgins, M, Kokkinidis, G and Parker, M (2015) ‘Becoming Invisible: The Ethics and Politics of Illegibility’ Culture and Organization.


Dunne, S, Mansell, S, Parker, M and Veldman, J (2016) ‘The Nature and Purpose of the Corporation – A Roundtable Discussion’ ephemera 16/1: 135-153.

Parker, M (2016) ‘Secret Societies: Intimations of Organization’ Organization Studies 37/1: 99–113.

Parker, M (2016) ‘Queering Queer’ Gender, Work and Organization 23/1: 71-73.

Parker, M (2015) ‘Vertical Capitalism: Skyscrapers and Organization’ Culture and Organization 21/3: 217-234.

Parker, M (2015) ‘Between Sociology and the B School: Critical Studies of Organization, Work and Employment in the UK’ Sociological Review 63/1: 162-180.

Parker, M, Cheney, G, Fournier, V and Land, C (2014) ‘The Question of Organization: A Manifesto for Alternatives’, ephemera 14/4: 623-638.

Parker, M (2014) ‘Skyscrapers: The City and the Megacity’ Theory, Culture and Society 31(7/8) 267–271

Parker, M and Weik, E (2014) ‘Free Spirits. The Academic on the Aeroplane’ Management Learning  45/2: 167-181.

Parker, M (2014) ‘University, Ltd: Changing a Business School’ Organization 21/2: 281-292.

Parker, M (2013) ‘Becoming Editor: Or, Pinocchio Finally Notices the Strings’ tripleC - Communication, Capitalism and Critique 13/2: 461-474.

Goodings, L, Brown, S and Parker, M (2013) ‘Organizing Images of Futures-Past: Remembering the Apollo Moon Landings’ International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy 7/3-4: 263-283.

Parker, M (2013) ‘Art as Work: Rules and Creative Labour’ Journal of Cultural Economy 6/2: 120-136.

Parker, M (2013) ‘Containerization: Moving Things and Boxing Ideas’ Mobilities 8/3: 368-387.

Parker, M and Pearson, G (2013) ‘What Should Business Schools Teach Managers?’ Business and Society Review 118/1:1-22.

Li, E and Parker, M (2013) ‘Citation patterns in Organization and Management journals: Margins and Centres’ Organization 20/2: 299-322.

Thomas, R and Parker, M (2013) ‘Organization@20’ Organization 20/1: 3-5.

Veldman, J and Parker, M (2012) ‘Specters, Inc.: The Evasive Basis of the Corporation’ Business and Society Review 117/4: 413-441.

Parker, M (2012) ‘Being There, Teleography, and The Wire’ Journal of Organizational Ethnography 1/1: 23-30.



Parker, M (2016) ‘Being Edited: Academic Journals and Knowledge Corporations’. In Benner, M, Huzzard, T and Karreman, D (eds) Minerva Meets the Market: Exploring and Experiencing the Corporate Business School. London: Routledge.

Parker, M (2016) ‘Towards an Alternative Business School: A School of Organizing’. In B Czarniawska (ed) A Research Agenda for Management and Organization Studies. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Parker, M, Cheney, G, Fournier, V and Land, C (2016) ‘Organizing is Politics Made Durable.’ In A Spicer and G Baars (eds) The Corporation: A Critical Interdisciplinary Handbook. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Beyes, T, Parker, M and Steyaert (2016) ‘Introduction: Why Does Management Education need Reinventing?’, in Steyaert, C, Beyes, T and Parker, M (eds) The Companion to Reinventing Management Education. London: Routledge 1-20.

Parker, M (2016) ‘”This is Water”: Labours of Division, Institutions and History’. In Steyaert, C, Beyes, T, and Parker, M (eds) The Companion to Reinventing Management Education. London: Routledge, 497-509.

Parker, M (2016) ‘CMS in the United Kingdom’. In Grey, C, Huault, I, Perret, V and Taskin, L (eds) Critical Management Studies: Global Voices, Local Accents. London: Routledge 191-205.

Burrell, G and Parker, M (2016) ‘Organizing a Life’. In Burrell, G and Parker, M (eds) (2016) For Robert Cooper: Collected Work. London: Routledge 1-13.

Parker, M (2016) ‘Defying Gravity’. Foreword for B Plester The Complexity of Workplace Humour: Laughter, Jokers and the Dark Side of Humour. Cham, Switzerland: Springer  vii-ix.

Parker, M (2016) ‘Organization and Philosophy: Vision and Division.’ In R Mir, H Willmott and M Greenwood (eds) Companion to Philosophy in Organization Studies. London: Routledge 491-498.

Parker, M (2015) ‘Theory as Fashion: What are Management Ideas For?’ In A Ortenblad (ed) Handbook of Research on Managerial Ideas and Panaceas. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar 421-426.

Parker, M (2015) ‘The Architect and the Bee Revisited: Managing, Organizing and Agency.’ In Fuad-Luke, A, Hirscher, A-L, Kuebel, C and Moebus, K (eds) Agents of Alternatives: Re-designing Our Realities. Berlin: Agents of Alternatives e.V. 362-371.

Parker, M (2015) ‘A Cultural Politics of Work: Resistance and Escape in the Counter Culture of Organizing.’ In A Pullen and C Rhodes (eds) Companion to Ethics, Politics and Organization. London: Routledge 399-412.

Parker, M (2014) ‘Writing: What can be said, by who, and where?’ In E Jeanes and T Huzzard (eds) Critical Management Research: Reflections from the Field. London: Sage 211-226.

Parker, M, Cheney, G, Fournier, V and Land, C (2014) ‘Advanced capitalism: its promise and failings’, ‘Alternatives: past, present and prospective’, ‘Imagining alternatives’ (with Geoff Lightfoot), and ‘Horizons of possibility: challenge, co-optation and transformation’. In Parker, M, Cheney, G, Fournier, V, and Land, C (eds) (2014) The Companion to Alternative Organization. London: Routledge 3-41, 359-372.

Parker, M (2014) ‘(Seeing) Organizing in Popular Culture: Discipline and Method’. In Bell, E, Warren, S and Schroeder, J (eds) The Routledge Companion to Visual Organization. London: Routledge 379-390.

Parker, M (2013) ‘What is to be Done? CMS as a Political Party’ In V Malin, J Murphy and M Siltoaja (eds) Getting Things Done: Dialogues in CMS Volume 2. Bradford: Emerald 165-181.

Parker, M (2013) ‘Beyond Justification’. In P Du Gay and G Morgan (eds) New Spirits of Capitalism? Crises, Justifications and Dynamics. Oxford: Oxford University Press 124-141.

Parker, M (2012) ‘Superflat: Hierarchy, Culture and Dimensions of Organizing’. In T Diefenbach, and R Todnem By (eds) ‘Reinventing Hierarchy and Bureaucracy’ Research in the Sociology of Organizations Vol 35. Bradford: Emerald 229-247.



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