Chris Smith

Chris Smith


  • TW20 0EX

Personal profile

Personal profile

Professor of Organisation Studies and Comparative Management

Personal profile

My research interests are in labour process theory, knowledge transfer through the transnational firm, comparative analysis of work and employment and professional labour. I have been active in leadership roles in the School of Management, including Head of Department, Acting Dean, and Director of Research. I have written 14 books, 54 book chapters, 47 journal articles and over 100 Conference papers. I am active in the leadership of the International Labour Process Conference and publications from that conference. My core research subjects are listed below.

With regard to the comparative approach to work and organisation, I developed an analytical model, the system, society and dominance framework, which has been widely applied and used to critique more static models of comparative analysis – Smith, C. and Meiksins, P., 1995. System, society and dominance effects in cross-national organisational analysis. Work, Employment & Society, 9(2), pp.241-267 - see citations

I have written extensively on work organisation and HRM in the Japanese overseas companies – see especially - Assembling Work: Remaking Factory regimes in Japanese Multinational Companies in Britain with Tony Elger (Oxford University Press, 2005).

See citations to this are of my research:

I have also researched Nurses in Call Centres – exploring the role of expertise in pressured service work environments – see recent papers on NHS Direct, and tele-nursing in Sweden, Australia and the UK.

I have contributed to theory of creative economy and creative labour – see Creative Labour –Working in the Creative Industries with Alan Mckinlay, (Palgrave, 2009)

I have written on the continued significance of labour process analysis for understanding work, especially within a comparative context – see Working Life Renewing Labour Process Analysis with Paul Thompson (Palgrave 2010); and recent articles and book chapters on labour process theory. I has been active in the International Labour Process Conference for many years -

Recent research has been on the organization of the labour process in Chinese factories and the “Chinese Business Model” abroad. I recently published China at Work with Mingwei Liu (Palgrave 2016) which has chapters by young scholars exploring the contemporary Chinese workplace at home and abroad, using ethnographic and other research methods, and within a labour process intellectual heritage. In 2003 I developed the concept of the ‘dormitory labour regime’ in China, which has been used to explore the labour process of Chinese factories; see citations:


I am currently working on work and employment in UK logistics with Dr Yu Zheng. A recent paper was published in 2022 'Making Agency Work: two labour regimes in a IK Logistics Workplace', Work in the Global Economy, 2, 2: 226-47.

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 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or