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Professor George Callaghan

Profile summary

Professional biography

Since begiinning my teaching career i have worked mainly with the Open University. This reflects my dedication to and enthusiasm for bringing learning to as wide a section of society as possible. The OU offers a great base to do this from as it operates at scale, both in terms of geography, social class and demography.

The OU is also an excellent Higher Education Institutiion to build skills in distance learning, more particularly using on-line methods. My research interests are now focused on how we use digital media to enhance informal learning, with a particular interest in teaching personal finance and economics. The potential to use on-line tutorials to reach students over time and place, the potential to use social media such as Facebook and Twitter to broaden and deepen debates in personal finance education is huge. 

My commitment to leadership in this area is demonstrated by me gaining Principal Fellow status with the Higher Education Academy in 2018.

Research interests

George Callaghan's research interest began in labour markets and the labour process. He has written and led on teaching in Economics and Personal Finance. He is now working on research into the scholarship of distance learning and the impact teaching personal finance has on behavioural change.


Baxter, J., Callaghan, G, and McAvoy, J. (2017) Creativity and Critique in Online Learning: Exploring and Examining Innovations in Online Pedagogy, Open University Social Media Unconference, 11/10/17, Open University, Milton Keynes.


Callaghan, G. and Fribbance, I. (2016) ‘The use of Facebook to build a community for distance learning students: a case study from the Open University’ Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, Vol 31, 3, pp260-272.

Callaghan, G. and Williams, D. (2014) ‘Teddy bears and tigers: how renewable energy can revitalise local communities’, Local Economy, Vol. 26, No. 6-7, pp: 657-674.

Cumbers, A., Danson, M.,  Whittam, G., Morgan, G. and Callaghan, G. (2013) Repossessing the Future: a Strategy for Community and Democratic Ownership of Scotland’s Energy Resources, Jimmy Reid Foundation, Glasgow.

Callaghan, G.; Danson, M. and Whittam, G. (2012) ‘Economic and enterprise development in community buyouts.’ In Danson, M. and de Souza, P. (Eds). Regional development in Northern Europe: personality, marginality and border issues. Routledge, pp. 196-211.

Workshop participation

Campbell, A., Callaghan, G., McGarvie, D.W., and Hynd, M. (2013) ‘Do students study and learn differently using e-Readers?  A cross-discipline research investigation into the pedagogical implications of using e-Readers to study university level texts.’ The QAA Enhancement Themes International Conference on Enhancement and Innovation in Higher Education, Glasgow, UK

Other publications

Callaghan, G., Danson, M. and Whittam, G. (2011) 'Community ownership and sustainable economic development.', Scottish Affairs, 74. pp. 79–100.

Callaghan, G., Thompson, P. and Van den Broek, D. (2004) 'Keeping Up Appearances: Recruitment, Skills and Normative Controls in Call Centres', in Deery, S. and Kinnie, N. (Eds) Human Resource Management and Call Centre Work, Macmillan, Hampshire, pp129–152.

Callaghan, G. Thompson, P. and van de Broek, D. (2004) 'Teams without teamwork? Explaining the call centre paradox', Economic and Industrial Democracy, 25, 2, pp 197–218.

Callaghan, G. and Thompson, P. (2002) ''We Recruit Attitude': The Selection and Shaping of Call Centre Labour'. Journal of Management Studies , Vol. 39, No. 2.

Callaghan, G. and Thompson, P. (2002) 'Skill Formation in Call Centres', in Kerst, C. (ed) Re-Organising Service Work.

Callaghan, G., Thompson, P. and Warhurst, C (2001) 'Ignorant Theory and Knowledgeable Workers: Interrogating the Connections Between Knowledge, Skills and Services' Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 38, No. 7.

Callaghan, G. and Thompson, P. (2001) ' Edwards Revisited: Technical Control and Call Centres', Economic and Industrial Democracy, Vol. 22, No. 1.

Callaghan, G. , Thompson, P. and Warhurst, C. (2000) 'Human Capital or Capitalising on Humanity? Knowledge, Skills and Competencies in Interactive Service Work', in Pritchard, C., Hull, R., Chumer, M. and Willmott, H. (eds) Managing Knowledge, Macmillan, Hampshire, pp 122–140, ISBN: 0333921577.

Callaghan, G and Thompson, P. (1999) 'Proceeding to the paddling pool: the selection and shaping of call centre labour', Economics Working Papers, Open University.

Callaghan, G. (1998) 'Recruitment of labour: the role of kinship and friendship networks', Napier University Business School Working Paper Series.

Callaghan, G. (1997) 'Stakeholding and a Scottish Parliament', Renewal, Vol. 5, No. 2, 1997.

Callaghan, G. (1997) Flexibility, Mobility and the Labour Market, Ashgate, Aldershot.

A repository of research publications and other research outputs can be viewed at The Open University's Open Research Online.

Teaching interests

Discipline teaching across curriculum and scholarship, with a focus on Personal Finance and Economics, digital learning and social media.

Impact and engagement

Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Member of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Member of the Society for Research into Higher Education