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School of Business and Management

Dr Maria Adamson


Senior Lecturer in Organisation Studies

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 6648
Room Number: Room 4.26b, Francis Bancroft Building, Mile End Campus




Dr Maria Adamson is a Senior Lecturer in Organisation Studies. She joined the School of Business and Management in 2020, having previously worked at the University of Essex and Middlesex University London. She holds a PhD from the University of York, UK and an MA from Central European University.

Dr Adamson is a critical scholar and her work has been published in world-leading journals including Human Relations, Sociology, British Journal of Management, Gender Work and Organisation and so on. She has a track record of national and international funding, including a recently completed ESRC-funded project on Gendered Inclusion in Contemporary Organisations where she was a Principal Investigator. She is also a member of the School of Business and Management's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee.



  • BUS305: Managing Diversity


  • BUSM102: Dissertation for International HRM & Employment Relations
  • BUSM144: Research Methods


Published Teaching Materials:

Book chapters

  • Adamson, M (2020) Researching business celebrity autobiographies: Challenges and opportunities for diversity scholars. In A. Risberg, S.N. Just and F. Villsèche (eds) Routledge Companion to Organizational Diversity Research Methods, London: Routledge.


Maria is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Research Interests:

Dr Adamson’s main research interests lie in the area of gender and diversity in professional work, specifically, she is interested in:

  • flexible working practices and work-life balance 
  • socio-cultural basis of gender workplace inequality  
  • social and organisational dynamics of (in)equalities at work
  • professions and gendered processes in/of professional work and workplaces
  • feminist theorising in management and organisation studies
  • business celebrities and the impact of popular culture on work and organisations.

Her previous research projects have explored the role of gender in professions and the gendered professionalisation process, and critically explored the quality of inclusion in organisations, applying postfeminist lens to understand contemporary gendered inequalities in the workplace. Her current project focuses exploring the elite female executives as gendered role models, specifically it seeks to understand the relationship between cultural discourses of femininity produced by celebrity executives and the impact they have on aspiring businesswomen and the construction of gendered workplace meanings. 

Centre and Group Membership:



Publications in peer review journals

  • Adamson, M., Beauregard, T.A., and Lewis, S. (2023) Future-Proofing Your Flexible Workforce: Lockdown Lessons from Managers Who Are Parents. Working Families Report
  • Adamson, M, Muhr, SL and Beauregard, TA (2022) Theorising work-life balance endeavours as a gendered project of the self: the case of senior executives in Denmark. Human Relations.
  • Adamson, M Lewis, PMJ, Kelan, E, Sliwa, M and Rumens, N. (2021) Introduction: Critically interrogating inclusion in organisations, Organization, 28(2): 221-227
  • Adamson, M., and Johansson, M. (2021). Writing class in and out: Constructions of class in elite businesswomen’s autobiographies. Sociology, 55(3), 487-504.
  • Beauregard, T.A., Adamson, M., Kunter, A., Miles, L. and Roper, I. (2020) Diversity in the work–life interface: introduction to the special issueEquality, Diversity and Inclusion, 39(5): 465-478. 
  • Adamson, M and Kelan, EK (2019) Female heroes’: celebrity executives as postfeminist role models. British Journal of Management, 30(4): 981-996
  • Adamson, M and Roper, I (2019) Editorial: Good jobs, bad jobs: contemplating job quality in different contexts, Work, Employment and Society, 33(4): 551-559 
  • Lewis, P, Adamson, M, Biese, I and Kelan, E (2019) Introduction to Special Issue: Exploring the emergence of moderate feminism(s) in contemporary organisations, Gender Work and Organization, 26: 1063-1072. 
  • Beauregard, TA, Lup, D and Adamson, M (2018) Editorial: The many faces of gender inequality at work. Work, Employment and Society, 32 (4): 623-628.
  • Adamson, M (2017) Postfeminism, neoliberalism and a ‘successfully’ balanced femininity in celebrity CEO autobiographies. Gender, Work and Organization, 24(3): 314-237.
  • Adamson, M and Johansson, M (2016) Compositions of professionalism in counselling work: an embodied intersectionality perspective. Human Relations, 69(12): 2201 – 2223
  • Salmenniemi, S. and Adamson, M. (2015) New heroines of labour: Domesticating post-feminism and neoliberal capitalism in Russia. Sociology, 49(1): 188-10
  • Adamson, M (2015) The making of a glass slipper: Exploring patterns of inclusion and exclusion in a feminized profession. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, 34(3): 214-226
  • Adamson, M. (2014) Insider/Outsider dilemma in cross-cultural interviewing. SAGE Digital Case Repository.
  • Adamson, M. (2014) Reflexivity and the competing discourses of masculinity in a female-dominated profession. Gender, Work and Organization, 21(6): 559–572
  • Adamson, M., Manson, S., Zakaria, I. (2014) Exploring the professional project of executive remuneration consultants in the UK through the lens of institutional work. Journal of Professions and Organization, 2(1): 19-37. 
  • Adamson (nee Karepova, M) and Griffin, G. (2011) The feminization of a newly emerging profession: The case of women and psychological counselling in post-Soviet Russia. European Journal of Women's Studies, 18(3) 279–29.


Book chapters

  • Adamson, M and Salmenniemi, S (2017) ‘The bottom line is that the problem is you’- Aesthetic Labour, Postfeminism and Subjectivity in Russian Self-Help Literature. In A.S. Elias, R.Gill and C. Scharff (eds) Aesthetic Labour: Rethinking Beauty Politics in Neoliberalism. pp.301-316. London: Palgrave Macmillan. 
  • Adamson, M and Kispeter, E (2017) Gender and professional work in Hungary and the USSR: intersecting and diverging histories, in C.Barker (ed) Gender in the 20th Century Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. pp. 214-227. London: Routledge.


Book reviews

  • Adamson, M (2020) Review: Heading Home: Motherhood, Work, and the Failed Promise of Equality by Shani Orgad, Gender, Work and Organization, 27(2): 281-283
  • Adamson, M. (2018) Review: Like Mother Like Daughter by Jill Armstrong, Organization, 25(5): 687-689
  • Adamson, M (2016) Review: How Asian Women Lead: Lessons for Global Corporations by Jane Horan, Work, Employment & Society, 30(2): 380-381
  • Adamson, M. (2016) Review: Crisis at Work by Jesse Porter, Work, Employment and Society, 31(4): 714-715


Practitioner-focused publications

  • Adamson, M and Kelan, E (2018) Are Celebrity Executives Good Role Models for Women? LSE Business Review,
  • Adamson, M. and Kelan, E.K. and Lewis, P. and Rumens, N. and Sliwa, M. (2016) The quality of equality: thinking differently about gender inclusion in organizations. Human Resource Management International Digest, Vol. 24 Issue: 7, pp.8-11.
  • Adamson, M, Kelan, EK, Lewis, P, Rumens, N and Sliwa, M (2017) Exploring gendered inclusion in contemporary organisations - ESRC. Impact, 9, pp. 56-57. ISSN 2398-7073



Areas of Supervision Expertise:

Dr Adamson would very much welcome prospective doctoral students with an interest in and wanting to carry out qualitative research in the broad area of gender and work and specifically in: 

  • flexible working practices and work-life balance
  • gendered careers in organisations and professions
  • women executives and business celebrities
  • popular culture and organisations
  • inclusion and equality in organisations 
  • technology, AI and diversity

Current Doctoral Students:

  • Nabiyla Risfa Izzati, co-supervisor - with Gill Kirton
  • Harvir Kaur Sangha, second supervisor - first supervisor Tessa Wright

Public Engagement

Dr Adamson is currently serving as a Co-Editor of Work Employment and Society journal (ABS 4*, Impact Factor 2.364) and has previously been a convenor of Work, Employment and Economic Life group at the British Sociological Association.

Dr Adamson is a Member of the British Sociological Association and a Member of the British Academy of Management.

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