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School of Business and Management

Dr Maria Adamson


Senior Lecturer in Organisation Studies

Telephone: 0207 882 6648
Room Number: Francis Bancroft Building, 4.26b


Dr Maria Adamson is a Senior Lecturer in Organisation Studies. She has joined the School of Business and Management at Queen Mary University of London 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 MA from Central European University.

Dr Adamson is a critical scholar with an interdisciplinary background and interests in sociology of work, gender and critical management studies. 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 (ES/N008685/1). 

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.


Research Interests:

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

  • 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.  


Publications in Peer Review journals:

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) 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 (forthcoming) The power to transform? Analysing postfeminist and neoliberal feminist tropes in women celebrity CEO autobiographies. In EK Kelan, PMJ Lewis, H Liu, B Ozkazanc-Pan and A Pullen (eds) Oxford Handbook of Gender in Organisations, OUP.

Adamson, M (forthcoming) 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.

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