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Daniel King

Daniel King


Nottingham Business School

Staff Group(s)
Department of Human Resource Management Nottingham Civic Exchange


Professor Daniel King’s research seeks to reimagine and broaden our understanding of business and management to include workplace democracy and alternative forms of organising. He seeks to find new ways of critical scholars to engage with and transform organisational practice to produce more inclusive and creative ways of working.

Daniel is the co-director for the People, Work and Organisational Practice research centre, co-leader of the Organising as Practice research stream, the research co-ordinator for the HRM Department, a supervisor for a number of PhD and DBA students, an active researcher currently leading an evaluation of the Department of Digital, Media, Culture and Sport 50+ Volunteering programme, co-investigating Employee Voice with the CIPD and lecturer on Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses.

Professor King is the co-module leader for Foundations of Managing and Organising – a large module with over 1000 students which takes an innovative approach to teaching 1st year students. Using a problem-based learning approach, based around a fictional case study of Junction Hotel, students are asked to solve the challenges the hotel faces seeing these issues from the viewpoint of both managers and employees. This creative approach to the teaching has led to publication, alongside Dr Scott Lawley, of a new textbook Organizational Behaviour, published by Oxford University Press and has been adopted by many universities in the UK and worldwide. Daniel also co-module leader of the Literature Review module for the Doctor of Business Administration. Foundations of Managing and Organising.

Daniel has a number of doctoral students examining issues such as the Professionalisation of the funeral industry in Zimbabwe; the challenges of decision-making within Arabian culture; the organizational culture of Bahrain; and an ethnography of the dynamics of trust and knowledge sharing within an SME network.

Daniel is the Deputy Chair and a member of the editorial board for Work, Employment and Society. He is an External Examiner for the University of Durham DBA programme and Loughborough University undergraduate programme and has been the External Examiner for a number of Doctoral Thesis (DBA and PhD).

Daniel has consulted for a number of local SME’s around the issues of culture, productivity and organisational structure.

Professor King is an active researcher and has published in journals such as Organisation Studies, Organisational Research Methods, Human Relations and Management Learning.

Career overview

Prior to joining NTU Daniel completed a PhD at the University of Manchester. The thesis was an ethnography of his practice as a manager of a small Voluntary and Community Organisation. Drawing on critical post-structural theory he critiqued his own practice as a manager, in particular examining the powerful manner in which he was disciplined and professionalized into being a Voluntary Sector Professional.

Daniel has worked and volunteered in the Voluntary Sector for a number of years, setting up and running small-scale charities and working in homelessness and mental health hostels. He is a co-Director of the Firebird Trust.

He completed a MSc in Research Methods (Distinction) and a degree in Business Studies (1st). He also received a distinction in his PGCE.

Daniel has also taught in Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Research areas

Professor King’s research attempts to broaden our understandings of organizations and management theory and practice to include ways of organizing that are more democratic, participatory and empowering. It centres on reimagining work structures, organizing practices and cultures that are more collaborative and inclusive, enabling organizations to be more socially responsible and individuals to be autonomous and creative. His interest lies in innovative and creative ways of creating economic and social value that is sustainable and works for all. His work focuses on three core, interconnected areas:

  • the contribution critical perspectives of management can make to transforming organisational practice
  • alternative organizations and alternative ways of organising
  • critical perspectives of managing in the Third Sector.

Professor King has published about the role of critical management scholars can play in seeking to work with and transform organisational practice. He has examined this issue from the viewpoint of being a practitioner in Nonprofit Voluntary Sector Quarterly and Human Relations, through being a participant (in Organization Studies) and a consultant (in Human Relations, Scandinavian Journal of Management and Ephemera).

Another area of his research that has been published examines alternative forms of organising, particularly those inspired by New Social Movements, in Organization Studies, Organizational Research Methods and Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management.

He is now working on projects about deliberative democracy. This interest has underpinned his work on Employee Voice, with the CIPD, the ESRC Seminar on Democracy within Civil Society and the British Academy/ Leverhulme Trust sponsored project on unconferencing. The latter project, which he is conducting with Professor Emma Bell, examines how unconferences can be more participative and democratic than traditional conferences.

External activity

Professor King is an editorial board member for Work, Employment and Society and part of their social media working group. He is a regular reviewer for many leading journals including Organization Studies, Human Relations, Organization and Management Learning

Daniel is a Board member of the Firebird Trust, a charity and a community interest company offering music work. He is External Examiner at the University of Hertfordshire.

Sponsors and collaborators

Daniel continues to work with a range of internal and external collaborators.

He is leading a team of five researchers conducting an evaluation of the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports 50+ Volunteering Programme.

With Emma Bell, Professor of Management and Organisation Studies at Keele University, he published a paper in Management Learning examining the learning and socialization processes of academic conferences. This research is now examining the learning potential of unconferences as alternative organisational forms funded by British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust.

Daniel was the Principal Investigator for the ESRC Seminar Series Democracy and Civil Society in collaboration with Professor Martin Parker, Dr’s Christopher Land, Martyn Griffin and Christina Schwabenland. The series has brought together academics from a range of disciplines including politics, sociology and organizational studies with practitioners and activists from cooperatives, voluntary sector and new social movements.

With Dr Scott Lawley from NTU, Daniel has co-authored the textbook Organizational Behaviour published by Oxford University Press. This book has become one of the leading Organisational Behaviour textbooks in the UK in part through its innovative pedagogical approach and also its connection between theory and practice.

He is writing with Dr Patrick Reedy, Reader in Organisational Behaviour at the University of Hull on the research challenges of engaging with New Social Movements. They are both working with Dr Martyn Griffin on a project examining alternative organisational forms, in particular Sociocracies and Holacracies. In particular this research seeks to connect academics with practitioners to explore how they can work together to facilitate positive change.

With Dr Martyn Griffin he is working on a project examining alternative organizational forms, in particular Sociocracies and Holacracies. In particular this research seeks to connect academics with practitioners to explore how they can work together to facilitate positive change.

Daniel is also conducting research in engaged scholarship and practical alternative ways of organising with Dr Christopher Land, Reader Division Head Management and Organization at the University of Leicester. This work was conducted in conjunction with a local charity who are seeking to develop ways of organising that are more participative and democratic.

Daniel has also collaborated with Dr Christina Schwabenland, Reader in Public and Voluntary Sector Management at the University of Bedfordshire, to explore the possibilities and challenges of academics directly engaging with practitioners.

With Dr Amanda Hay Daniel is consulting some local SME examining their organisational structure, values and learning.

Professor King has presented at a number of international conferences and also to practitioner audiences, including part of the Business Leaders series with the CIPD (held in the British Medical Association HQ, London). He is keen to work with a range of academics and practitioners interested in new ways of organising.


Journal Articles:
King, D., (2016) Becoming business-like through governing the non-profit professional, Nonprofit Voluntary Sector Quarterly

Reedy, P, King, D, and Coupland, C., (2016) Organizing for individuation: alternative organizing, politics and new identities, Organization Studies, 37(11): 1553–1573

King, D. and Learmonth, M., (2015). Can critical management studies ever be ‘practical’? A case study in engaged scholarship. Human Relations, 68 (3) 353-375

King, D., (2015)., The possibilities and perils of critical performativity: learning from four case studies. Scandinavian Journal of Management. 31 (2) 255-265,

Bell, E. and King, D. (2010) The Elephant in the Room: Critical Management Studies Conferences as a Site of Body Pedagogics, Management Learning, 41(4): 429-442

(2016) King, D and Lawley, S. Organisational Behaviour, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2nd Edition

Conference Papers:

Reedy, P. and King, D., 2016. Academic activism, radical ethnography and the critical scholar. In: 32nd EGOS Colloquium: Organizing in the Shadow of Power, Naples, Italy, July 7–9 2016.

Bell, E., and King, D., (2016) Unmasking the Unconference: Alternative Methods of Meeting Organization as an Organizational Learning Encounter, Knowledge Organisational Learning, Knowledge and Capabilities Conference, St Andrews

Schwabenland, C., and King, D., (2015) Researchers and Practitioners: Colleagues or Strangers?, Critical Management Studies, Leicester

King, D., and Learmonth, M., (2014). Doing management critically: an experiment in critically engaged scholarship. 74th Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2014, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

See all of Daniel King's publications...

Press expertise

Daniel can offer press comment on

  • charities and voluntary organisations
  • charity management and organisational issues
  • ethical and social implications of management and organisations
  • alternative ways of organising.