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Professor Barbara Townley

Professor Barbara Townley

BA ( Lancaster), MSc, PhD (London School of Economics)

Professor Emeritus of Management

Leverhulme Emeritus Professor Fellow

Biography/ career highlights

Before joining the University of St Andrews School of Management, Professor Emeritus Barbara Townley worked at the universities of Lancaster (1983-1985), Warwick (1985-1990) and Edinburgh (2000-2005) and spent ten years at the University of Alberta, Canada (1990-2000).

She has published extensively in leading management journals in Europe and the USA and is the author of four books, with a fifth, Creating Economy: Enterprise, Intellectual Property and the Valuation of Goods, to be published by Oxford University Press. Journal publications include Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Organization Studies, Organization, Human Relations, and Journal of Management Studies. Her work has been translated into French, German and Portuguese.

She was a member of the ESRC Research Grants Board (2004-2008), an invited participant at the Nobel Symposium on Organization Studies in Stockholm, August 2008, and served on the international research review panel in the creative industries for the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation/DFG), 2015. She was Associate Editor of Human Relations (2001-2006) and has served on the editorial boards of Journal of Management Studies, Human Relations, Organization, Strategic Organization, and Creative Industries.

At the University of St Andrews she founded the Institute for Capitalising on Creativity, Scotland's centre for teaching and research in the creative industries, and was its director until 2016. She was Principle Investigator for research grants totalling £1.8m, funded by the Economic & Social Research Council, the Arts & Humanities Research Council, the Leverhulme Foundation and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council, Canada. She was Co-investigator for research grants totalling £8.9m, funded by Research Councils UK, EU/ Humanities in the European Research Area, and the Advanced Institute of Management Research.

Research specialisms

Creative industries and Bourdieu, organisation theory and institutional theory, Foucauldian analysis, human resource management and industrial fields

Selected publications

Creating Economy (cover)‌Townley, B., Roscoe, P. J. & Searle, N. (2019), Creating economy: enterprise, intellectual property and the valuation of goods, Oxford University Press.

Townley, B. (2015). "Exploring different forms of capitals: Researching capitals in the field of cultural and creative industries". In A. Tatli, M. Özbilgin, and M. Karatas-Özkan (Eds.) Pierre Bourdieu, Organization and Management. New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, pp.187-206.

Townley, B. and Gulledge, E. (2015). "The market for symbolic goods: Translating economic and symbolic capitals in Creative Industries". In C. Jones, M. Lorenzen, and J. Sapsed (Eds.) Oxford Handbook of Creative Industries. Oxford University Press, pp.119-134.

Townley, B. (2014). "Bourdieu and organisational theory: A ghostly apparition?" In P. Adler, P. du Gay, G. Morgan, and M. Reed (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Sociology, Social Theory and Organization Studies: Contemporary Currents. Oxford University Press, pp. 39-63.

McLeod, C., O'Donohoe, S., and Townley, B (2011). 'Pot noodles, placements and the power of peer regard: the career trajectory of advertising creatives.' British Journal of Management, Vol 22 (1).

Managing Creativity book coverTownley, B. and Beech, N. 2010. Managing Creativity: Exploring the Paradox. Cambridge University Press.

Gulledge, E. and Townley, B. (2010) 'What is a creative field?' In B. Townley and N. Beech (eds) Managing Creativity: Exploring the paradox. Cambridge University Press.

Townley, B. and Beech, N. (2010) 'The discipline of creativity'. In B. Townley and N. Beech (eds) Managing Creativity: Exploring the paradox. Cambridge University Press.

Townley, B., Beech, N. & McKinlay, A. (guest eds.) (2009) Human Relations Special Issue: Managing in the creative industries: Managing the motley crew. Vol. 62 No. 7

Townley, B., Beech, N. and McKinlay, A. (2009) 'Managing in the creative industries: managing the motley crew'. Human Relations Special Issue: Managing in the creative industries: Managing the motley crew. 62: 939-962.

McLeod, C., O'Donohoe, S. and Townley, B. (2009) 'The elephant in the room? Class and creative careers in British advertising agencies'. Human Relations Special Issue: Managing in the creative industries: Managing the motley crew. 2009 62: 1011-1039.

Reason's Neglect cover Townley, B. 2008. Reason's Neglect: Rationality and Organising. Oxford University Press.

Gendron, Y., Cooper, D., and Townley, B. 2007 'The construction of auditing expertise in measuring government performance.' Accounting, Organizations and Society, 32, 101-129.  [ Gendron et al (PDF, 314 KB) ]

Townley, B. 2004. 'Organization Studies and Academic Boundaries: the Rationale of the Subject?' Human Relations. 57, 7, 893-909.

Townley, B. 2004. 'Managerial Technologies, Ethics and Management' Journal of Management Studies, 41, 3, 425-445.

Townley, B., Cooper, D., and Oakes, L. 2003. 'Performance Measurement and the Rationalization of Organizations.' Organization Studies, 24, 7, 1045-1071.

Townley, B. 2002. 'Managing with Modernity' Organization. The Interdisciplinary Journal of Organization Theory and Society, Vol. 9, No. 4, 549-573.

Townley, B. 2002. 'The Role of Competing Rationalities in Institutional Change'. Academy of Management Journal .Vol. 45, 1, 163-179.

Oakes, L., Townley, B. and Cooper, D. 1998. 'Business Planning as Pedagogy: Language and Control in a Changing Institutional Field'. Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 43: 2, pp 257-292 (reprinted 2005, 2008 in G. Johnson, A. Langley, L. Melin, R. Whittington Strategy as Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 152-164).

Townley, B. 1993. 'Foucault, power/knowledge and its relevance for Human Resource Management'. Academy of Management Review, vol 18, No. 3, pp 518-545 (reprinted 1997, 1999, 2001 in M.Poole (ed) Human Resource Management. Critical Perspectives on Business and Management. Vol III, pp.290-308. London: Routledge.)

Selected other information

Research grants