Alex Bristow is a Lecturer in People and Organisations at the Open University Business School and the Deputy Director of Research Degrees for the Faculty of Business and Law. She previously worked at the Universities of Lancaster (where she completed her PhD), Surrey and Birmingham. She is also a Visiting Fellow at the University of Surrey.
Alex's research takes a critical approach to management, work and organisation. It focuses on power and its relationship with other issues (e.g. change, identity, inclusion, knowledge, learning, technology) faced by people in organisations. Current projects include the role of power and politics within the changing nature of academic labour; power and the experiences, trajectories and identities of early-career professionals; the organisational impact of Brexit, Trumpism and populism; the politics of organisational inclusion in populist times; the politics of knowledge production in the field of management; power, change and learning in public service organisations; postcolonialism and (dis)empowerment; and the politics of academic and intellectual activism and craftivism. Alex is a member of the Centre for Knowledge in Organisations and Professions (CKOP) and the Centre for Policing Research and Learning (CPRL).
Alex's PhD thesis on 'The Production of Objectivity in Organisation Studies: An Analysis of Some of the Field's Leading Journals' is a winner of the Best Dissertation Award of the Academy of Management CMS Division. Her work has been published in high-quality international journals, including Academy of Management Learning and Education, Organization, Organization Studies, Ephemera, Scandinavian Journal of Management, Management Learning, Culture and Organization, and Journal of Trust Research. She has also contributed chapters to the edited books on The SSCI Syndrome in Higher Education (2014), and The Dark Side 2: Critical Cases on the Downside of Business (2013). Alex is an editorial board member of Organization and is currently a guest editor (with Prof Sarah Robinson at the University of Glasgow) of a special paper series of the journal on 'Populist Responses to Austerity and Cultural Change: Brexit, Trumpism and Beyond' - the longest-running special paper series of Organization.
Alex has supervised four Doctoral students to successful completion, with three further supervisions currently in progress. She is the Deputy Director of Research Degrees for the Faculty of Business and Law, and is also actively involved in the training and development of Doctoral students and early-career academics at institutional and national levels. She is a regular contributor to the British Academy of Management annual PhD Symposium, leading the session on 'Management Research: Philosophy and Design'. At Surrey, she has contributed to the development of the innovative IPhD programme, and designed and led the core Doctoral training module 'Foundations of Management Research'. Alex welcomes interest from potential PhD students in her areas of research.
Alex has taught at all Higher Education levels (PhD, MBA, MSc and undergraduate), modes of delivery (full-time, part-time, executive, international, face-to-face, distance learning, online), and cohort sizes. She has successfully designed, validated, delivered and led modules and programmes in a range of subject areas and levels. She has also supervised over 30 postgraduate taught students (MBA and MSc) to successful completion of their dissertations.
Alex's favourite subjects to teach are power and politics, resistance, change, organisational meta-theory, the philosophical and theoretical foundations of the management field, and management research philosophies. She contributed to the Research Philosophies and Approaches chapters in the 7th and 8th edition of the Saunders et al (2016 and 2019) bestselling Research Methods for Business Students textbook. The chapters are freely available on Academia.edu and have been downloaded a combined 5,500 times by students and researchers around the world.
Alex is currently the Module Team Chair for BXY130 on the Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA) programme.