Personal profile

Personal profile

Alice Lam joined Royal Holloway in 2005 as Professor of Organisation Studies in the School of Business and Management. She served as the School’s Director of Research between 2007 and 2011. Before joining Royal Holloway, she held a research chair for three years at Brunel University where she led a research programme on ‘Knowledge, Innovation and Organisational Change’. She was previously a Reader at the University of Kent and, before then, a lecturer at Manchester Business School. At Kent, she led a multi-country EU-funded project on ‘Higher education, skills formation and industrial innovation’. She holds a PhD from the London School of Economics (Industrial Relations and Personnel Management) and was a research fellow for a time at its Suntory-Toyota International Centre for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD, LSE).  Prior to working at the LSE, She was a Monubusho scholar at Waseda University, Tokyo where she obtained an MA in Industrial Sociology. 

She has served as a Senior Editor of Organization Studies and is currently a member of its Editorial Board. She is also a member of the Editorial Board of Journal Management.  

She currently leads the research theme group on Knowledge and Organisational Learning at the School of Business and Management.


Research interests

Professor Lam’s recent research has focused on the relationship between organisational learning, innovation and societal institutions. She has researched extensively on how human resource practices and career systems influence the learning and knowledge creation capabilities of firms. Her interest in this area was inspired by her earlier research on Japanese management, and on skills formation and careers of engineers/scientists in British and Japanese firms. She has extended this work to look at the transnational learning and HR strategies of multinational corporations. Her current research examines the changing nature of scientific/creative knowledge work, and the role of career mobility as a vehicle for knowledge transfer across organisational and institutional boundaries. Her research has received funding from the Economic and Social Science Research Council (ESRC), the EU Targeted Socio-Economic Research (TSER) Programme and Networks of Excellence, the Japan Foundation Endowment Committee, the Suntory-Toyota Foundation, and the Fuji-Xerox Foundation. Her work has been published in Human Relations, Organization Studies, Journal of Management Studies, Research Policy, Human Resource Management Journal, International Journal of Human Resource Management, and Industrial Relations (Berkeley).



Professor Lam has extensive teaching experience at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.  She currently teaches on the following courses:

Undergraduate (Third Year):

  • MN3271  International Human Resource Management

Postgraduate MSc Programmes:

  • MN5702 Organisational Learning, Knowledge and Work
  • MN5443 International Human Resource Management and Organisational Behaviour


PhD Supervision

She welcomes PhD students in the broad areas of human resource management and career studies, creative knowledge work, organisational change and innovation, transnational learning and HR strategies of multinational corporations, and knowledge sharing/transfer across boundaries.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities