Professor Nancy Harding

BA Management Studies, PhD

Professor of Organization Theory

Director of Studies, DBA

Member of the Human Resource Management and Organisational Behaviour group

Member of the CROW research centre


+44 (0)1274 234423
+44 (0)1274 235837


University of Bradford School of Management
Emm Lane
West Yorkshire

Professor Nancy Harding

Nancy Harding enrolled for her first degree, in Management Studies at the University of Wales in Cardiff, when she was 27. Having enjoyed the experience so much, she stayed on for another three years to study for her PhD. She then held various short-term research posts, including researching and developing policies for equal opportunities for women in the National Health Service, and a series of studies of the management of home care services in Wales.

In 1993 she was offered her first lectureship, at the University of Wales in Swansea, where she taught health management at master's level in Wales and in south-east Asia. That led to a lectureship at the Nuffield Institute for Health, University of Leeds, and promotion to senior lecturer.

Nancy joined University of Bradford School of Management with the aim of extending her research and teaching from the public sector into private sector organisations. She became Professor of Organization Theory in 2009.

Administrative positions held:

Currently Director of the Centre for Research in Organizations and Work (CROW), University of Bradford School of Management.

Director of the Bradford Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) programme: 2008-2013

Editor, Journal of Health Organization and Management: 1999-2010

Associate Editor, ‘Organization’: 2011-date

Research interests:

  • Critical Management Studies
  • Working Lives
  • Ethics

Nancy’s research is focused on working lives, which she studies from a broadly critical management studies perspective. She is interested in moving beyond traditional critical approaches that explore exploitation and control and resistance, and argues that we need to develop a language that allows us to be critical of the sheer tedium to which many people are subject while at work, and the effect of hierarchy (e.g. management/staff; leader/follower) on identities.

Research projects:

Her recent empirical studies have included research into the implementation of a talent management strategy, and a study of the aesthetics of the leader’s body. She is currently exploring older women’s working lives (with Jackie Ford, University of Bradford, and Carol Atkinson, Manchester Metropolitan University, and plans to launch ‘Crone Theory’ in 2014. With Hugh Lee (Bradford) she is exploring working lives across cultures.

Nancy’s development of theoretical approaches include work on gendering with Marianna Fotaki (Warwick), Kate Kenny (Queens University, Belfast), and Sarah Gilmore (Portsmouth). She is working with Jackie Ford (Bradford) to develop critical approaches to followers/hip, and with Mark Learmonth (Durham) and J-P Gond and Laure Cabantous (CASS) on performativity. Her solo work is based around a trilogy of books that explore the manager (Routledge, 2003); on being at work (Routledge, 2013) and ‘the organization’ (work in progress).

Research supervision:

Nancy supervises doctoral students who explore an eclectic range of topics, but all linked by an interest in critical approaches to understanding working lives. For example, Jane Mischenko has studied managerial identities during organizational change, using the theoretical perspective of Judith Butler; Barbara Corney is exploring the relevance of the theories of Simone de Beauvoir to women’s working lives in the 21st century, and Saima Rifet is exploring the working lives and identities of second and third generation Pakistani and Bengali immigrants.


Nancy teaches research methods to DBA and M.Sc. students and participates (with Hugh Lee) in the Business Ethics module taught to MBA and third-year undergraduate students.

Business ethics

Introduction to Research

Business ethics

Research methods



Geographic regions specialist in:

National (UK) and international (Indonesia; the diaspora)

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