Newcastle University Business School

Staff Profile

Professor Andrea Whittle

Chair in Management and Organization Studies

Background

Before joining Newcastle University in 2013, Andrea held a Chair in Organisation Studies at Cardiff University. Andrea graduated with a first class honours degree in Natural Science from Durham University in 1999 and gained her ESRC funded PhD in Sociology from Brunel University at the Centre for Research into Innovation, Culture and Technology (CRICT) in 2003, followed by an ESRC funded post-doctoral research fellowship at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.

Her research is driven by a passion for understanding the role of language in management settings and is informed by theories and methodologies from the fields of discourse analysis, narrative, discursive psychology, ethnography, ethnomethodology and conversation analysis. She has conducted research on management consultants, identity, branding, organizational change, technology and strategy. Recent research has focused on sensemaking in official discourse and strategy discourse and narratives.

Her research has been published in leading journals, including Organization Studies, Human Relations, Management Communication Quarterly and Organization. She has co-authored two SAGE textbooks, Understanding Identity and Organizations (2011) and Strategy: Theory and Practice (2nd edition 2017, 3rd edition 2020).

Andrea has served as Head of the Leadership, Work and Organization Subject Group (2016-2019) and was previously Head of the Strategy, Organizations and Society (SOS) Research Group (2013-2015). 

http://www.ncl.ac.uk/nubs/staff/subject/subject.htm

http://www.ncl.ac.uk/nubs/research/centres/sos/ 

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Research

My passion is studying language and discourse in management and organizational settings. I have incorporated a broad range of theories into my research, from a variety of fields, including post-structuralism, critical discourse analysis, narrative, discursive psychology, ethnomethodology and conversation analysis. The core research question in all my studies is simple: how do practices of language-use enable organizations and societies accomplish their business?

I work with naturally-occurring linguistic data gathered primarily through ethnographic observation or audio-/video-recording, but I also work with secondary sources such as publicly-available texts. I have conducted research on a range of topics, including:

  • Teleworking
  • Management consultancy
  • Identity and narrative
  • Organizational change
  • Strategic organisation
  • Business-to-business interaction
  • Manager-employee interaction 

I was principal investigator on an ESRC funded Research Grant in 2004-2005, which examined technological change in public sector organizations.

I am interested in collaborating on research projects that involve analysing discourse and language-use in organizational and institutional settings.

Teaching

I am currently involved in teaching mainly Management and Organisation and Managing Organisational Change at undergraduate and post-graduate level.

I currently supervise three doctoral students and have been fortunate to supervise a number of gifted doctoral students over the past few years. I regularly act as Internal Examiner and External Examiner for doctoral theses in the UK and around the world.

I am interested in supervising prospective PhD students on research projects that involve analysing practices of language-use in (or about) organizations - please drop me a line to discuss potential topics and funding opportunities.

Publications