Professor Gillian Symon

Personal profile

Gillian has research interests in identity at work, meaningful work, work-life boundaries,  technological development and change in organizations, the technological mediation of work, sociomateriality and new forms and spaces of working.  She has investigated the implications of smartphone use for identity, communication and information sharing (with Dr Katrina Pritchard, Swansea University, supported by British Academy grant SG-54143).  She has also been involved as co-investigator on a multi-institution EPSRC-funded project examining the implication of digital technologies for the management of work-life boundaries.  For more on this see the project website http://www.digitalbrainswitch.org.uk and The Conversation.   Based on this work, she has facilitated workshops that encourage social entrepreneurs to reflect on their own work-life boundaries.

Gillian also has a research interest in the practice of qualitative research and new methods of research inquiry.  She has edited four qualitative research method compendia with Prof Catherine Cassell (Birmingham Business School).  Catherine and Gillian are founding editors of the journal Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management.  Gillian was one of the organisers of the University of Surrey's Institute of Advanced Studies workshop on Research Methods for Digital Work.

Gillian is Co-Founder and Co-Director (with Dr Yingqin Zheng) of RHUL's interdisciplinary Digital Organisation and Society Research Centre.  She is interested in understanding the  practice of interdisciplinary working, particularly as it involves computing and social scientists, and is currently conducting research with practising researchers on this topic.  She has also facilitated workshops on this issue.

Gillian is interested in supervising phd students conducting qualitative research in various areas of organizational studies including: identity; on-line media; mobile technologies; social/organizational aspects of technology development and use at work; volunteering; work-life boundaries; (socio-)materiality; work design; communication at work; sustainable working practices; precarious work and the platform economy; implications of AI for work and organization

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