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School of Business and Management

Professor Sukhdev Johal


Professor of Accounting and Strategy

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 6613
Room Number: Room 4.11, Bancroft Building, Mile End Campus
Office Hours: Thursday, 2pm-4pm



Director of Recruitment and Admissions 

Sukhdev Johal is Chair in Accounting & Strategy at Queen Mary University of London. His current research interests include critical research on UK finance, how to adapt social and economic statistics to understand employment and wealth changes in the UK, how local authorities can adapt local CSR policies to promote economic democracy and local supply chains. He also has a long standing interest in financialization and its impact on business models with the most recent publication on the Apple Business Model. He is a long time research collaborator with the CRESC research team. Recent co-authored books include After the Great Complacence (2011), Financialization at Work (2008)  and Financialization and Strategy (2006). Alongside academic publishing are public interest reports on public policy issues such as UK rail privatization, an alternative report on UK banking reform, regional growth disparities. All these reports received extensive publicity in the broadsheet.

Postgraduate Teaching

  • Public Financial Management and Accounting (BUSM076)
  • Strategic Management (BUSM086)


Research Interests:

I am a member of a unique, inter-disciplinary semi-permanent but evolving research team that eventually formed part of the ESRC funded CRESC network of researchers. Prior to CRESC, this collaboration was already working productively throughout the 1990s. The work included publications on manufacturing decline and the auto industry. This period laid the foundations that have served the research well as it embodied intellectual and methodological adaptation. The research attracted international attention while also gaining international recognition that included a leadership role in the EU funded Framework 5 COCKEAS project.

The research since the mid-1990s has developed an innovative form of business analysis, which uses accounting data to clarify business policy while setting it in the larger context of contemporary capitalism. The resulting work has received wide recognition including publications and workshops on ‘shareholder value’ and the ‘New Economy’ that led to special issues in Economy and Society.

Since the creation of CRESC the research built on the innovative approach and changed its focus to the importance of the capital market and resulted in the critically received book, Financialization and Strategy: narrative and numbers, published by Routledge in 2006. The approach of using empirical resourcefulness and ensuring politically relevance ensured the team was equipped to innovatively analyse the financial crisis which led to the publication of After the Great Complacence, which Oxford University Press published in September 2011.

The post-CRESC phase coincided with my arrival at QMUL and has been very productive with the research evolving from the pioneering work around the financialization concept to the development of an accounting derived new framework based around the idea of a foundational economy. As the publications show this evolution is from a 2013 publication, ‘Manifesto for the foundational economy’ and came out of dissatisfaction with generic industrial and regional policy focused on next generation tradeable industries and attracting mobile inward investment through competitivity. The Manifesto (2013) argued that there was a large, neglected and sheltered economy with around 40% of the workforce engaged in providing households with basic goods and services.

During the intervening period the ideas have matured into a well-received book that has, so far been translated into German and Italian with Dutch and Spanish editions in the pipeline. The ideas have attracted considerable interest from the Welsh government which has, as a direct result of the research applied £4.5m to funding foundational economy projects. In the meantime, the next project, tentatively called Foundational Economy 2.0 is developing which engages and contrasts the heroic period that gave us the material and providential security with the need to rethink the Foundational Economy in a world of climate change and low growth rates.

The foundational economy is about collective consumption through networks and branches which are the infrastructure of civilised everyday life. It includes material infrastructure of pipes and cables which connect households plus providential services like health and care which citizens rely on; outside the foundational, there is a mundane overlooked economy of haircuts and takeaways.

It is also about universal basic services which are a citizen entitlement. Therefore it is therefore about politics as much as economics. From a foundational economy view point, the distinctive role of public policy is not to boost private consumption by delivering economic growth but to ensure the quantity and quality of foundational services.

Public interest reports and working papers have provided an excellent platform for the development of new, innovative and experimental ideas which are often applied to contemporary issues such as social care, railways and banking. Most of these publications attracted considerable national press coverage and have played a major role in the research gaining traction in policy formulations and changes. The research contribution to the UK2070 Commission report demonstrates the steady acceptance of the ideas and the Welsh Assembly’s £4.5m funding of foundational economy projects now represents and major impact case.



J. Froud et al. (2018) Foundational Economy: The infrastructure of everyday life, MUP. Translated and published in German by Suhrkamp (with forward by Wolfgang Streeck) and in Italian by Einaudi. Translations in Spanish and Dutch are in process.

A. Bowman et al. (2015) What a waste: outsourcing and how it goes wrong, MUP.

A. Bowman et al (2014) The end of the experiment? from competition to the foundational economy. MUP.

E. Engelen et al. (2011) After the Great Complacence. Financial Crisis and the Politics of Reform, Oxford: OUP.

I. Erturk et al. (eds.) (2008) Financialization at Work: key texts and commentary, Routledge.

J. Froud et al. (2006) Financialization & Strategy: narrative and numbers, Routledge.

K. Williams et al. (1994) Cars: Analysis, History, Cases, Berghahn Books.

Articles in refereed journals (since 2009)

E. Engelen et al. (2017) ‘The grounded city: from competitivity to the foundational economy’, Cambridge journal of regions, economy and society, Volume: 10 Issue: 3: 407-423.

J. Froud et al. (2017) ‘Outsourcing the State: New Sources of Elite Power’ Theory, Culture & Society,  Volume 34, Issue 5-6: 77-101.

A. Bowman et al. (2017) ‘Trade Associations, Narrative and Elite Power’, Theory, Culture & Society, Volume: 34 issue: 5-6, page(s): 103-126.

J. O’Reilly et al. (2016) ‘Brexit: understanding the socio-economic origins and consequences’, Socio-Economic Review, Volume 14, Issue 4, Pages 807–854.

J. Froud et al. (2014) ‘Financialization across the Pacific: Manufacturing cost ratios, supply chains and power’, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Volume 25, Issue 1, February 2014, Pages 46-57.

S. Johal et al. (2014) ‘Power, Politics and the City of London after the Great Financial Crisis’, Government and Opposition, Volume 49, Issue 3: 400-425.

S. Johal et al. (2016) ‘Breaking the Constitutional Silence: the Public Services Industry and Government’, The Political Quarterly, 07/2016, Volume 87, Issue 3: 389-397.

A. Bowman et al. (2013) ‘Opportunist dealing in the UK pig meat supply chain: Trader mentalities and alternatives’, Accounting Forum, Volume 37, Issue 4: 300-314.

I. Ertürk et al. (2013) ‘(How) D Devices Matter in Finance?’, Journal of Cultural Economy, Volume 6, Issue 3: 336-352.

J. Buchanan et al. (2013) ‘Unsustainable employment portfolios’, Work, Employment and Society, Work, Employment & Society Vol. 27: 379-395.

S. Johal et al. (2012) ‘The future has been postponed: The Great Financial Crisis and British politics’, British Politics, Vol. 7: 1, pp.69-81.

I. Ertürk et al. (2012) ‘Accounting for national success and failure: Rethinking the UK case’, Accounting Forum, Vol. 36:1, 5-17.

E. Engelen et al. (2012) ‘Misrule of experts? The financial crisis as elite debacle’, Economy and Society, Vol. 41:3, pp. 360-382.

I. Erturk et al. (2012) ‘Accounting for national success and failure: Rethinking the UK case’ Accounting Forum, vol. 36: 1, pp. 5–17.

J. Froud et al. (2010) ‘The tyranny of earned income: the failure of finance as social innovation’, New Political Economy, vol.15, no.1, pp. 147-64.

I. Erturk et al. (2010) ‘Ownership matters: private equity and the political division of labour’, Organization, vol.17, no.5, pp. 543-61.

J. Froud et al. (2009) ‘Stressed by choice: a business model analysis of the BBC’ British Journal of Management, Vol. 20, pp.252-64.

J. Froud et al. (2009) ‘Narratives and the Financialized Firm’, Kolner Zeitschrift fur Soziologie, sonderheit 49, pp. 288-304.

P. Folkman et al. (2009) ‘Private equity: levered on capital not labour”, Journal of Industrial Relations, 51 (4), pp. 517-27.


Book chapters

J. Froud et al (2018) ‘Must Brexit be a waste?’ in (eds) Dodsworth et al. A World Laid Waste?

Responding to the Social, Cultural and Political Consequences of Globalisation, Taylor & Francis.


Public interest reports/Working papers (selected since 2012)

L. Calafati et al. (2019) ‘How an ordinary place works: understanding Morriston’, Foundational Economy Research report.

J. Froud et al. (2018) ‘Foundational liveability: rethinking territorial inequalities’, Foundational Economy working paper no.5. 

J. Froud et al. (2017) ‘How to make Brexit Work: foundational policies for a disunited kingdom’, Foundational Economy working paper no.2.

J. Earle et al. (2017) ‘What Wales Can Do: Asset Based Policies and the Foundational Economy’, A CREW/ foundational report.

P. Folkman et al. (2016) ‘Manchester transformed: why we need a reset of city region policy’, CRESC Public Interest report. 

D. Burns et al. (2016) ‘Why we need social innovation in home care for older people’, CRESC Public Interest report.

D. Burns et al. (2016) ‘Where does all the money go? Financialised chains and the crisis in residential care’, CRESC Public Interest Report

L. Brill et al. (2015) ‘What Wales could be’, A joint CRESC-Wales FSB Report

A. Bowman et al. (2013) 'The Conceit of Enterprise: train operators and trade narrative', CRESC Public Interest Report, 

A. Bowman et al. (2013) ‘The foundational economy - rethinking industrial policy’, CRESC Public Interest Report, 

S. Johal et al. (2013) ‘The Enfield Experiment’, A short report for LB Enfield executive, 

S. Johal et al. (2013) ‘Turnaround or Churnaround on the West Coast Line’, A rebuttal of Virgin Trains claims, Cresc short report. 

A. Bowman et al. (2013) ‘The Great Train Robbery: the economic and political consequences of rail privatisation’, CRESC Public Interest 

J. Bentham et al. (2013) 'Against New Industrial Strategy: Framing, Motifs and Absences', CRESC Working Paper 126. 

A. Bowman et al. (2013) 'Business Elites and Undemocracy in Britain: a Work in Progress', CRESC Working Paper 125. 

J. Bentham et al. (2013) 'Manifesto for the Foundational Economy', CRESC Working Paper 131. 

A. Bowman et al. (2012), 'The Finance and Point-Value-Complex', CRESC Working Paper 118. 

A. Bowman et al. (2012) 'Scapegoats aren't enough: a Leveson for the Banks?', CRESC Public Interest Report. 

A. Bowman et al. (2012) ‘Bringing Home the Bacon: from trader mentalities to industrial policy’, CRESC Public Interest Report.

J. Froud et al. (2012) 'Apple Business Model: Financialization across the Pacific', CRESC Working Paper 111. 

  1. Ertürk et al. (2012) 'Deep Stall? The euro zone crisis, banking reform and politics', CRESC Working Paper 110.

Impact case:

RAE 2014: New Directions for Local Economic Renewal (Royal Holloway were unable to use this case study as I left before the RAE submission).

In summary the research was directly applied within Enfield Borough Council to change its economic renewal strategies from a training and infrastructure focus, to one on re-building local supply chains, leading to job creation, and the re-investment of pension funds to fund the delivery of social housing.

Enfield had co-opted the private sector by encouraging major employers, such as utility companies, to think of corporate social responsibility in a more local frame and the pension fund managers re-engineered financial flows from the local authority pension fund.

(for REF 2020)

Submitted by QMUL for external consideration.


Current Doctoral Students

Second supervisor: 

  • David Quentin, 'Materialist political economy of corporate tax'

Public Engagement

Media work: 

The Guardian. ' How to build a fairer city', 24th September 2014.