Professor Christopher Grey

Personal profile

I am Emeritus Professor of Organization Studies in the School of Business and Management, having been Professor in the School 2012-2020. Before working at RHUL I was a full Professor of Organizational Theory at Cambridge University and a Fellow of Wolfson College until, in 2007. I moved to Warwick University where I was Head of the Industrial Relations and Organizational Behaviour Group until 2010, and between 2010 and 2012 I held a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship. I originally studied Economics and Politics at Manchester University, where I subsequently did my PhD in Organization Studies, specifically on the regulation of financial services.

I have also held several visiting appointments, including Visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge, Velux Foundation Visiting Professor at Copenhagen Business School in Denmark, Professeur-invité and Chercheur-associé at Université Paris-Dauphine in France. and Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Europa Universität, Viadrina, Frankfurt-Oder, Germany. In 2015 I was made a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS) in recognition of having made outstanding contributions to social science.

I have been a member of the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Management Studies and the British Journal of Management and am currently on the Editorial Boards of Academy of Management Learning & Education, Journal of Management Inquiry, Organization Studies, Human Relations, Organization, of which I was an Associate Editor for four years, and Management Learning, of which I was Editor-in-Chief for six years.

Research interests

I have a broad set of research interests within organization studies, with a focus on sociological and historical analysis. I have published extensively in leading academic journals, on topics ranging from the professional socialization of accountants to the regulation of smoking at work; from the organizational significance of C.P. Snow's novels to the critical analysis of management education. I have also researched the organization of codebreaking at Bletchley Park during World War Two, giving rise to the book Decoding Organization. Bletchley Park, Codebreaking and Organization Studies, published by Cambridge University Press in 2012. See my Google Scholar profile for more details of all my publications and my Amazon Author page for my books.

My most recent research interests include organizational secrecy and a book on this topic, with Jana Costas (Europa Universität Viadrina, Germany), was published by Stanford University Press in 2016 and shortlisted for the 2017 EGOS Book of the Year Award. I am also the author of the best-selling student primer A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book about Studying Organizations, the fifth edition of which was published by SAGE in 2022. This book has been translated into Chinese, Portuguese, Swedish and Russian. I write a blog linked to the book and I also discuss my research on the media, including BBC Radio 4's Thinking Allowed. I am the only organization studies scholar to be profiled on Social Science Bites.

Public engagement and impact

I am extensively involved in public engagement activities analysing the effects of Brexit on, especially, business and international trade. Apart from academic publication these activities include numerous public talks and lectures, media appearances and quotes (including the BBC, CNN, Reuters, Financial Times and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation) and writing articles for a wide variety of general and specialist websites, some of which feature in the House of Commons Library EU Referendum reading list and the Northern Ireland Assembly Brexit resources site. I write regularly about Brexit in several newspapers and magazines and I write a Brexit blog, analysing events as they unfold, with an accompanying twitter feed @chrisgreybrexit. This work has been very widely praised with, for example, the Europe Editor of The Economist describing me as 'the best writer on Brexit' and has led to me giving invited expert evidence to the Scottish Parliament. In 2021 I published Brexit Unfolded (Biteback Publishing), a book for a general audience explaining how Brexit had developed from the 2016 referendum until the end of the transition period in December 2020.

I also edit a book series, entitled 'What do we know and what should we do about X', published by SAGE, which provides accessible summaries of social science research on matters of public interest for a general audience.

PhD supervision

I may (subject to there being a suitable co-supervisor within RHUL) be available to co-supervise outstanding prospective PhD students wishing to undertake theoretical, historical or qualitative empirical research in organization studies. My previous doctoral students include Dr Fiona Anderson-Gough (Warwick University, PhD at Leeds), Professor Jo Brewis (Open University, PhD at Manchester), Dr Sadhvi Dar (Queen Mary, University of London, PhD at Cambridge), Professor Jana Costas (Europa-University, Viadrina, PhD at Cambridge), Dr Ziyun Fan (York University, PhD at Royal Holloway), Professor Damian Hodgson (Sheffield University, PhD at Leeds), Dr Yihan Liu (Liverpool University, PhD at Royal Holloway), Dr Michelle O’Toole (Edinburgh University, PhD at Warwick) and Professor Juliane Reinecke (King’s College London, PhD at Cambridge).

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