I joined The Open University in 2012, and work as a Senior Lecturer in Organisational Studies. I previously worked in Bristol Business School, and prior to that I spent five years as a researcher on the Change Management Consortium (Bath and Cranfield University) while doing my PhD on The Emotions of Management, and The Management of Emotion. Before becoming an academic, and in what now seems like a completely different life, I spent 13 years working for the Prudential Assurance Company in a variety of roles, including commercial underwriter, quality assurance officer, and business development analyst.
My Anno Domini took place in 1992. While in full time employment, I signed up for a part-time undergraduate degree in Social Science at the Open University, and was hooked; I might even go as far as saying that I fell in love with this amazing institution . This saw an end to the intellectual widlerness years, the time before any higher educational study, or academic life, what I now think of as life 'Before OU'. This wonderfully rich, interesting and positive student experience was the start of my intellectual pursuits, and returning to the Open University as an academic fulfilled a desire I had harboured for 17 years. Accepting the job offer was the easiest decision I have ever made. The rest, as they say, is history.
My research interests are located in identity and emotion, but increasingly I am turning my attention towards human-animal relations, and veterinary surgeons in particular. Another interesting avenue is exploring how research is an embodied and affective experience. I collaborated on a 3 year study of academics in business schools exploring concepts of identities, insecurities, gender, and career behaviours within the increasingly performative and neo-liberal demands of academia.
With Professor David Knights, I am currently writing up research exploring the experiences and practices of Veterinary Surgeons. For this timely and important project we were awarded several small grants and were able to interview 73 veterinary surgeons across the UK. Our main findings relate to the problems with adopting an absolutist ontology towards science, which leads vets to become preoccupied with 'right' and 'wrong' answers based on predictability and certainty, perfection and failure. Other equally important findings relate to the gendered organisation of veterinary work, particularly in relation to securing a partnership in the veterinary practice, as well as the marginalisation of part-time workers. Also of interest are issues relating to age, anthropomorphism, anthropocentricism, and wider concerns around speciesism and the nature of non-human/human animal relations. I have just been awarded a small grant from the Veterinary Manaement Group for a project called Returning Vets to Practice.
My work is qualitative, and is situated within a critical interpretive framework, with a particular interest and focus on discourse.
I have published in Organization Studies, Human Relations, Academy of Management Learning and Education, International Journal of Management Reviews, Gender Work and Organization, Culture and Organization, International Journal of Human Resource Management, and The Scandanavian Journal of Management. I also undertake peer reviewing activity for a number of journals.
My latest publication is with David Knights:
Clarke, C and Knights, D. (in Press) Practice Makes perfect? Skillful Performances in Veterinary Work. Human Relations.(ABS 4), http://oro.open.ac.uk/52684/
Identity. Emotion. Gender, Human Animal-Animal Relations. Embodied Research. Post-Humanism. Academics. Veterinary Surgeons. Professionals.
As I was awarded my undergraduate degree by The Open University I have a lot of empathy and admiration for those doing part-time distance learning. Prior to working at the Open Unviersity as a central academic, I spent a number of years doing face to face teaching, and I have experience at all levels, particularly in relation to post-graduate and post-experience management students. Whilst I have taught most topics in organization studies, myr favourite topics include identity, power and politics, gender, emotion, and culture.
I am just completing a year of production as Chair of B870 - Managing in a Changing World, the first module on the new MBA. I also authored some of the material on ethics, identity, and managing. In 2018 I wrote Block 4 (Power and Identity) of the new, cutting edge Level 2 Module: Developing Leadership (B208). Other Open University material I have written includes: the identity section of the MBA elective BB848 Managing in an international context; rewritten some of the B716 Unit 1 and Unit 2 material during its mid-life review, also co-chaired B716 the foundation MBA module for a period of four years. I have also taught on the PhD Mres course.
I have supervised five PhD students to completion, and currently have four PhD students. Caroline Micklewright is researching the identity threats that emerge from the process of leaving the RAF, and Carlos Azevedo is critically unpacking the way that UK students are constituted as 'consumers. Paul Hemphil is looking at Virtual teams, and Serena Cherry is exploring the masculinities at around the heavy metal industry. l am interested in applications from PhD students who would like to undertake a doctorate in any areas relevant to my reserach interests, especially converning the organisation of the animal.