Skip to content
Mark Learmonth

Mark Learmonth

Professor of Organisation Studies

Nottingham Business School

Staff Group(s)
Department of Human Resource Management


Mark Learmonth is a Professor in the Department of Human Resource Management in Nottingham Business School.

Career overview

Prior to joining NTU, Mark has worked at Durham University and the Universities of Nottingham and York. He completed his PhD, Rereading NHS Management, at the University of Leeds in 2003. Before becoming an academic, he spent almost 17 years as an administrator in UK health care.


Research areas

Much of Mark’s research is motivated by an interest in the personal consequences of work. At the moment, he is particularly interested in the impact of media representations on managers’ identities; the shifting nature of the language used to represent work and organization; and multi-method ethnographies – particularly within institutions at the forefront of social change.

Mark has co-written two research monographs:

Learmonth, M. & Morrell, K. (2019). Critical Perspectives on Leadership: The Language of Corporate Power. Routledge.

Ford, J., Harding, N. & Learmonth, M. (2008). Leadership as identity: constructions and deconstructions. Palgrave Macmillan.

He has also written extensively in peer-reviewed journals, including articles in Academy of Management Learning & Education, Academy of Management Review, British Journal of Management, Human Relations, Journal of Management Studies, Organization Studies, Public Administration, Social Science & Medicine, Social Studies of Science and Sociology of Health & Illness.

External activity

Mark is Editor-in-Chief of Human Relations

He is also an editorial board member of Academy of Management Learning & Education, Organization and Organization Studies.


Authored books:

Learmonth, M. & Morrell,K. (2019). Critical Perspectives on Leadership:The Language of Corporate Power. Routledge.

Ford, J., Harding, N. & Learmonth, M. (2008). Leadership as identity: constructions and deconstructions. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.

Chapters in books:

Learmonth M. & Griffin, M. (2020). Fiction and the identity of the manager. In The OXFORD handbook of identities in organization. Brown, A. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 455-470.

Learmonth, M & Humphreys, M (2020). "Autoethnography”. In Organizational Ethnography. Kostera, M. & Harding, N. (eds) Edward Elgar.

Learmonth, M. (2019). Rethinking the new ‘leadership’ mainstream: an historical perspective from the National Health Service. In Critical perspectives on emergency services management. Wankhade, P., McCann, L. & Murphy, P. Taylor & Francis. 235-253.

Chawla, Gaurish & Learmonth, Mark (2018). The Wicked Problem of Leadership in the NHS. In The Management of Wicked Problems in Health and Social Care. Thomas, W., Hujala, A., Laulainen, S. & McMurray, R. New York: Taylor & Francis.

Learmonth, M & Griffin, M (2018). Analysing Fiction: the example of women's work in Disney animations (1937-2013). In The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Business and Management Research methods: Methods and Challenges. Cassell, C, Cunliffe, A.L & Grandy, G (eds) Sage. 152-169.

Morrell, K. & Learmonth, M. (2017). Evidence-based management. In The OXFORD handbook of management. Wilkinson, A., Lounsbury, M. & Armstrong, S.J. Oxford: Oxford: Oxford University Press. 419-436.

Learmonth, M. & Humphreys, M. (2016). Autoethnographic vignettes in HRM. In Qualitative research methods in HRM: innovative approaches. Townsend, K., Lewin, D. & Loudoun, R. London: Edward Elgar. 205-217.

Learmonth, M., Humphreys, M. & Griffin, M. (2016). Doing management education with Free jazz and Derrida. In The Routledge companion to reinventing management education. Beyes, T., Parker, M. & Stayaert C. Abingdon: Routledge. 178-190.

Learmonth, M. & Humphreys, M. (2012). Teaching qualitative research in the business school. In Qualitative Organizational Research: Core Methods and Current Challenges. Cassell, C. & Symon, G. London: Sage. 224-236.

Humphreys, M. & Learmonth, M. (2012). Autoethnography in organizational research: two tales of two cities. In The practice of qualitative organizational research: core methods and current challenges. Cassell, C. & Symon, G. London: Sage. 314-330.

Currie, G. & Learmonth, M. (2010). Introduction: making public services management critical. In Making public services management critical. Currie, G., Ford, J., Harding N. & Learmonth M. New York: Taylor & Francis. 1-8.

Learmonth, M. (2010). When science and philosophy meet one explication of the relationship between evidence and theory in management research. In Challenges and controversies in management research. Cassell, C. & Lee, B. London: Routledge. 210-222.

Humphreys, M. & Learmonth, M. (2010). Public sector management? But we’re academics, we don’t do that sort of thing! In Making public services management critical. Currie, G., Ford, J., Harding N. & Learmonth M. New York: Taylor & Francis. 55-67.

Learmonth, M. (2009). Rhetoric and evidence: the case of evidence-based management. In The SAGE handbook of organizational research methods. Buchanan, D. & Bryman, A. London: Sage. 93-109.

Learmonth, M. (2008). Evidence-based management: the power of evidence or evidence of power? In Organizing and reorganizing: power and change in health care organizations. McKee, L., Ferlie, E. & Hyde, P. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 75-86.

Learmonth, M. & Harding, N. (2004). Introduction: everyone wants better management – don’t they? Asking critical questions about health services management. In Unmasking health management: a critical text. Learmonth, M. & Harding, N. New York: Nova Science. vii-x.

Harding, N. & Learmonth, M. (2004). Conclusion: managers do not do management. In Unmasking health management: a critical text. Learmonth, M. & Harding, N. New York: Nova Science. 187-196.

Learmonth M. (2003). U.K. hospital chief executives, basically ‘a bunch of administrators’? The NHS Management Inquiry reviewed. In Health care in transition. Smyth, M.N. New York: Nova Science. 2: 61-80.

Thompson, C. & Learmonth, M. (2002). How can we develop an evidence-based culture? In The evidence-based practice manual for nurses. Craig, J. & Smyth, R. London: Churchill Livingstone. 211-239.

Edited books:

Currie, G., Ford, J., Harding, N. & Learmonth, M. (2010). Making public services management critical. Routledge Critical Studies in Public Management. New York: Routledge.

Learmonth M. & Harding, N. (2004). Unmasking health management: a critical text. New York: Nova Science.

Journal Articles:

Learmonth, M. & Morrell, K. (2021). ‘Leadership’ as a Project: Neoliberalism and the Proliferation of ‘Leaders’. Organization Theory

Miko-Schefzig, Katharina, Learmonth, Mark & McMurray, Robert (2020). A different way of looking at things: the role of social science film in organization studies. Organization

Learmonth, Mark (2020). Reading for interest. Human Relations 73(5): 627-630.

Mautner, G. & Learmonth, M. (2020). From administrator to CEO: Exploring changing representations of hierarchy and prestige in a diachronic corpus of academic management writing. Discourse & Communication 14(3): 273-293.

Fernando, Mario., Reveley, James. & Learmonth, Mark. (2020). Identity work by a non-white immigrant business scholar: Autoethnographic vignettes of ‘covering’ and ‘accenting'. Human Relations 73(6): 765-788.

Sutherland, D., Warwick, P., Anderson, J. & Learmonth, M. (2018). How do Quality of Teaching, Assessment and Feedback Drive Undergraduate Course Satisfaction in U.K. Business Schools? A Comparative Analysis with Non-Business School Courses using the U.K. National Student Survey. Journal of Management Education 42(5): 618-649.

Griffin, M., Learmonth, M. & Piper, N. (2018). Organizational Readiness: Culturally Mediated Learning Through Disney Animation. Academy of Management Learning & Education 17(1): 4-23.

Learmonth, M. (2017). Making History Critical: Recasting a History of the “Management” of the British National Health Service. Journal of Health Organization and Management 10(5): 542-555.

Griffin, M., Harding, N. & Learmonth, M. (2017). Whistle while you Work? Disney Animation, Organizational Readiness and Gendered Subjugation. Organization Studies 38(7): 869-894.

Learmonth, M. & Morrell, K. (2017). Is Critical Leadership Studies ‘Critical’? Leadership 13(3): 257-271.

Learmonth, M., Harding, N., Gond, J-P. & Cabantous, L. (2016). Moving critical performativity forward. Human Relations 69(2): 251-256.

Cabantous, L., Gond, J. P., Harding, N. & Learmonth, M. (2016). Critical Essay: Reconsidering critical performativity. Human Relations 69(2): 197-213.

Morrell, K. & Learmonth, M. (2015). Against evidence-based management, for management learning. Academy of Management Learning and Education 14(4): 520-533.

Gond, J.-P., Cabantous, L., Harding, N. & Learmonth, M. (2016). What Do We Mean by Performativity in Organizational and Management Theory? The Uses and Abuses of Performativity. International Journal of Management Reviews 18(4): 440-463.

Morrell, K., Learmonth, M. & Heracleous, L. (2015). An Archaeological Critique of 'Evidence-Based Management': one digression after another. British Journal of Management 26(3): 529-543.

Learmonth, M. (2015). Who doesn't want to be a leader? Leaders are such wonderful people: Comment on “Leadership and leadership development in healthcare settings - a simplistic solution to complex problems?”. International Journal of Health Policy and Management 4(1): 45-47.

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

Griffin, M., Humphreys, M. & Learmonth, M. (2015). Doing Free Jazz and Free Organizations, "A Certain Experience of the Impossible"? Ornette Coleman Encounters Jacques Derrida. Journal of Management Inquiry 24(1): 25-35.

Griffin, M., Learmonth, M. & Elliott, C. (2015). Non-Domination, Contestation and Freedom: The Contribution of Philip Pettit to Learning and Democracy in Organizations. Management Learning 46(3): 317-336.

Bevan, V. & Learmonth, M. (2013). I Wouldn't Say it's Sexism, Except That It's All These Little Subtle Things": Healthcare Scientists' Accounts of Gender in Healthcare Science Laboratories. Social Studies of Science 43(1): 136-158.

Learmonth, M. & Humphreys, M. (2012). Autoethnography and academic identity: glimpsing business school doppelgangers. Organization 19(1): 99-117.

Martin, G. & Learmonth, M. (2012). A critical account of the rise and spread of ‘leadership’ the case of UK health care. Social Science & Medicine 74(3): 281-288.

Ford, J., Harding, N. & Learmonth, M. (2012). Who is it that would make business schools more critical? A response to Tatli. British Journal of Management 23(1): 31-34.

Learmonth, M., Lockett, A. & Dowd, K. (2012). Promoting Scholarship that Matters: The Uselessness of Useful Research and the Usefulness of Useless Research. British Journal of Management 23(1): 35-44.

Harding, N., Lee, H., Ford, J. & Learmonth, M. (2011). Leadership and charisma: a desire that cannot speak its name? Human Relations 64(7): 927-949.

Learmonth, M. & Humphreys, M. (2011). Blind spots in Dutton, Roberts and Bednar’s “Pathways for positive identity construction at work” “You've got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative". Academy of Management Review 36(2): 424-427.

Learmonth, M. (2011). A Trifle of Management: A Commentary on Dealings with the Firm of Dombey and Son, Wholesale, Retail and for Exportation by Charles Dickens. Journal of Health Services Research & Policy 16(4): 245-246.

Reedy, P. & Learmonth, M. (2011). Death and organization: Heidegger’s thought on death and life in organizations. Organization Studies 32(1): 117-131.

Finn, R., Learmonth, M. & Reedy P. (2010). Some unintended effects of teamwork in healthcare. Social Science & Medicine 70(8): 1148-1154.

Ford, J., Harding, N. & Learmonth, M. (2010). Who is it that would make business schools more critical? Critical reflections on critical management studies. British Journal of Management 21(Supplement 1): s71–s81.

Learmonth, M. (2009). ‘Girls’ working together without ‘teams’ how to avoid the colonization of management language. Human Relations 62(12): 1887-1906.

Learmonth, M., Martin, G. & Warwick, P. (2009). Ordinary and effective: the Catch-22 in managing the public voice in health care? Health Expectations 12(1): 106-115.

Reedy, P. & Learmonth, M. (2009). Other possibilities? The contribution to management education of alternative organizations. Management Learning 40(3): 241-258.

Learmonth, M. (2008). The evidence business: some implications of evidence-based management. International Review of Qualitative Research 1(3): 337-346.

Lee, H., Learmonth, M. & Harding, N. (2008). Queer(y)ing public administration. Public Administration 86(1): 149-167.

Learmonth, M. (2008). Speaking out: evidence-based management: a backlash against pluralism in organizational studies? Organization 15(2): 283-291.

Learmonth, M. (2007). Critical management education in action: personal tales of management unlearning. Academy of Management Learning & Education 6(1): 109-113.

Learmonth, M. (2006). Doing critical management research interviews after reading Derrida. Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management 1(2): 83-97.

Learmonth, M. & Humphreys, M. (2006). The 2nd International Conference of Qualitative Inquiry, May 2006: reflections on the value for organization and management scholars. Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management 1(2): 135-137.

Learmonth, M. & Harding, N. (2006). Evidence-based management: the very idea. Public Administration 84(2): 245-266.

Learmonth, M. (2006). "Is there such a thing as “Evidence-Based Management”?": A commentary on Rousseau’s 2005 presidential address. Academy of Management Review 31(4): 1089-1091.

Learmonth, M. (2005). Doing things with words: the case of ‘management’ and ‘administration’. Public Administration 83(3): 617-637.

Learmonth, M. (2005). Tales of the unexpected? Stirring things up in health care management. Journal of Health Organization and Management 19(3): 181-188.

Learmonth, M. (2004). The violence in trusting trust chief executives: glimpsing trust in the UK National Health Service. Qualitative Inquiry 10(4): 581-600.

Learmonth, M. (2003). Challenging how we think about management. British Journal of Health Care Management 9(10): 335-339.

Learmonth, M. (2003). Making health services management research critical: a review and a suggestion. Sociology of Health & Illness 25(1): 93-119.

Learmonth, M. (2001). NHS trust chief executives as heroes? Health Care Analysis 9(4): 417-436.

Reedy, P. & Learmonth, M. (2000). Nurse managers transformed or deformed? A case study in the ideology of competence. Journal of Management in Medicine 14(3): 153-165.

Harding, N. & Learmonth, M. (2000). Thinking critically: the case of health policy research. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management 12(3): 335-341.

Learmonth, M. (1999). The National Health Service manager: engineer and father? A deconstruction. Journal of Management Studies 36(7): 999-1012.

Learmonth, M. (1997). Managerialism and public attitudes towards UK NHS managers. Journal of Management in Medicine 11(4): 214-221.

See all of Mark Learmonth's publications...