Newcastle University Business School

Staff Profile

Professor Alan McKinlay

Prof of Human Resource Management


I was awarded my DPhil from Nuffield College, Oxford University in 1986.  My thesis was about how management strategies, power and skill played out in Clydeside shipyards and factories between the wars.  The politics of skill remains one of my interests, both historically and in the contemporary world of work.


Over the years I have researched and written about historical and contemporary management strategy and practices; unionisation; and new forms of work.  I have examined these issues in many settings, from a Motorola factory making mobile phones to Ford car factories through to television studios.  The Motorola study was published by Routledge in 2014, Foucault, governmentality and organization: Inside 'the Factory of the Future', with Phil Taylor.  In the last five years I have published four articles in Business History: Protestantism and the rise of capitalism; writing gender into business history; competitive capabilities in jute; and management development in Tata after 1947.  I have also published book chapters and articles on governmentality and strategy, accounting and management.

 My newest book is a political biography,  Jimmy Reid: A Clyde built man which was published by Liverpool University Press in September 2019.

My current research is about management strategy and practices in the BBC and ITV.  This is a project that I'm working on with Chris Carter, Edinburgh University.   We have published 'Strategic change, leadership and accounting: A triptych of organizational reform', with Crawford Spence, in Public Administration, Epub, 2018.  A new project is about the changing definitions and experiences of the career since 1945.  My research on the career focuses on financial services. An early output will tell the story of the making of the marriage bar in British retail banking.