Professor Gillian Symon

Personal profile

Gillian came to Royal Holloway in April 2012 as Professor of Organization Studies.  Previously she has held lecturing and research positions at Birkbeck, University of London, the University of Cardiff and the University of Sheffield.  She has research interests in identity at work, work-life boundaries, volunteers and voluntary work, rhetoric and rhetorical analysis, technological development and change in organizations, the technological mediation of work, sociomateriality, and the implications of smartphones and digital media for working practices and organizational processes.  She has investigated the implications of smartphone use for identity, communication and information sharing (with Dr Katrina Pritchard, Birkbeck, and supported by British Academy grant SG-54143).  Most recently she has been involved as co-investigator on a multi-institution EPSRC-funded project examining the relationship between work-life balance, use of digital technologies and identity (see the project website  For more on this project see the article in The Conversation:  Currently  with colleagues Katrina Pritchard (OU) and Christine Hine (Surrey), she is exploring how voluntary work may be being reconfigured in the digital age (see our research blog at

She also has a research interest in qualitative research methods and on-line qualitative research.  She has edited several qualitative research method compendia with Prof Catherine Cassell, Leeds University Business School).  Catherine and Gillian are founding editors of the journal Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management ( 

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; e-research; voluntering; work-life boundaries; materiality; work design; communication at work; sustainable working practices

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