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School of Business and Management

Professor Gerard Hanlon


Professor of Organisational Sociology

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 6320
Room Number: Room 4.40a, Francis Bancroft Building, Mile End Campus



Gerard Hanlon is Professor of Organisational Sociology in the School of Business and Management and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Through his Academy Fellowship, Gerard is working with New City College to examine how non-traditional university students (eg those who have taken BTEC, or the new T-Level qualification) learn, what they learn, and how this experience enables them integrate into university. This project emerges from the School of Business and Management’s long experience of teaching such students. This experience has encouraged us to alter how we teach in attempts to further integration.

Gerard is also working with the Queen Mary Academy as a Fellow 2023-24. His project seeks to develop a better understanding of how BTEC students learn at college and the transition of BTEC students into university. 



  • BUS107: Business and Society
  • BUS130: Business in Social and Historical Context


Research Interests:

Gerard Hanlon’s research interests include social theory, the nature of market societies, corporate social responsibility, the relationship between the state and the market, political economy, the work of the middle class, professional organisations, and industrial sociology. These interests coalesce around the contested goals of organisations, how labour is mobilised to achieve these, the reasons why, and the ways within which, these goals are reconfigured. Such processes take place within a broader societal environment that, under capitalism, is structured by the shifting relationship between state and market.

He completed a major examination of the origins of management knowledge and its links to the authoritarianism, violence, and anti-democratic response to what the neo-liberal thinker Wilhelm Röepke called, the ‘Social Crisis of Our Time’.  This work was published by Routledge (2015) under the title The Dark Side of Management – The Secret History of Management Theory.

His most recent work examines the role of the military in the foundation of modern production and organisational forms starting with the Dutch, British, and US militaries in the period of commercial capitalism.

His work has appeared in leading journals such as Academy of Management Review, Human Relations, Sociology, Modern Law Review, Accounting Organisations and Society, amongst others. He is currently working on a research monograph on the management of the division of labour.

Centre and Group Membership:



Journal articles

  • 2021 ‘Beyond Rentiership: Standardisation, intangibles and value capture in global production’. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space. March 2021 (with E. Baglioni and L. Campling)
  • 2021  ‘Standardization, Disequilibrium, and Crisis: The division of labour and financialization’ Human Relations, 74:7, 958-77 (G. Hanlon and S. Harney)
  • 2020 ‘Periphery and Centre in Comparative Perspective: opportunities for accounting praxis’ (Stefano Harney, G Hanlon, M. Mandarini) Critical Perspectives on Accounting
  • 2019 Hanlon G, Harney S. Standardization, Disequilibrium, and Crisis: The division of labour and financialization [PDF 223KB]. November 2019. doi:10.1177/0018726719884608
  • 2019 ‘Global value chains as entrepreneurial capture: insights from management theory [PDF 1,737KB]Review of International Political Economy, (E. Baglioni, L. Campling, and G. Hanlon)
  • 2018 ‘The First Neo-liberal Science - Management and Neo-liberalism [PDF 433KB]’ Sociology. Vol. 52, No. 2, 298-315
  • 2017 “Digging Deeper: ‘Personal Traits Become Part of the Means of Production’” [PDF 387KB] Human Relations Vol. 70, No. 168-84.
  • 2017 ‘The Dark Side of Management: Gerard Hanlon in Dialogue with ephemera’, ephemera: theory and politics in organization, Vol. 17, No. 1, 175-88.
  • 2015 The Dark Side of Management: A Secret History of Management Knowledge Routledge, London.
  • 2014 ‘The entrepreneurial function and the capture of value [PDF 180KB]ephemera: a journal of theory and politics in organization, Vol 14 (2) (G. Hanlon)
  • 2011 ‘From Borrowing to Blending: Rethinking the Processes of Organizational Theory Building Academy of Management Review  Vol. 36 No. 2 (C. Oswick, P. Fleming and G. Hanlon)
  • 2010 ‘Knowledge, Risk and Beck: Misconceptions of Expertise and Risk’ Critical Perspectives on Accounting Vol. 21, No.3; 211-220.
  • 2009 ‘Updating the Critical Perspective on Corporate social Responsibility’ Sociology Compass  Vol. 3, No.6; 937-948 (G. Hanlon & P. Fleming )
  • 2009 ‘Discourse, Academic Work and Journals as Commodities: A Response’ Management Communication Quarterly  Vol 23, No. 1; 135-141 (C. Oswick & G. Hanlon)
  • C. Oswick, S. Harney, G. Hanlon (2008) The New Securocracy and the ‘Police Concept’ of Public Sector Worker Identity, International Journal of Public Administration, 31(9): 1-13
  • G. Hanlon, J. Goode, D. Greatbatch, D. Luff, (2006) Risk Society and the NHS: from the Traditional to the New Citizen
  • G. Hanlon, J. Goode, D. Luff, A. O'Cathain, (2005) Does NHS Direct Empower Patients? Social Science and Medicine, 61(8): 1761-1771, ISSN: 0277-9536
  • G. Hanlon, J. Goode, D. Luff, T. Strangleman (2005) Knowledge, Technology and Nursing; The Case of NHS Direct Human Relations, 58(2): 147-171, ISSN: 0018-7267
  • G. Hanlon (2004) Institutional Forms and Organizational Structures: Homology, Trust and Reputational Capital in Professional Service Firms, Organization, 11(2):187-210, ISSN: 1350-5084
  • G. Hanlon, C. Oswick, (2003) Analysing Professional Services – Is It Institutionalised Discord? In J. Biberman and A. Alkhafaji (eds.), The Business Research Yearbook: Volume X, IABD Press: 748-753


Books & chapters

  • G. Hanlon, (2015) The Dark Side of Management: A Secret History of Management Theory, Routledge
  • C. Oswick, G. Hanlon, P. Jones, (2008) Inventing and Interpreting Globalization: A Discursive Analysis, In P. Odrakiewicz and W. Strnad (eds), The Management of Meaning in Organizations, PWSBiJO Press, Poznan: 124-135
  • S. Harney, C. Oswick, G. Hanlon (2006) The New Securocracy Discourse, Identity Work and the Public Sector worker, In A. Beverungen, N. Ellis, T. Keenoy, C. Oswick, I. Sabelis, and S. Ybema (eds.), Organizational Discourse: Identity, Ideology and Idiosyncrasy, KMC Press, London: 142-145

Papers (available to download)


Areas of Supervision Expertise:

Gerard Hanlon is interested in supervising students interesting in the study of work, critical analyses of organizations, global value chains, analyses of management knowledge, labour process theory, and political economy.   

Current PhD Students:

1st Supervisor

  • Fletcher O'Leary, 'The project examines the role of corporate security, logistics, and the political economy of circulation.'
  • Kallum Pembro, ‘Worker Organisation in the UK: A Taxonomy of Struggle in the “Gig Economy”.’
  • Sarah Ryer, 'eHRM and (Post) Human Perfectibility.'

PhD Supervision Completions:

  • Dr Angela Mitropoulos, 'Contract and contagion: oikonomia, intimate self-management and the limits to speculation.' Awarded 2011
  • Dr Scott Cheshier, 'The new class in Vietnam.' Awarded 2010

Public Engagement

Professor Hanlon is currently on the editorial board of Organisation and Critical Perspectives on Accounting.

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