Dr Scott Allan
PhD in Organisation, Work and Technology, MBA
Lecturer in Management Studies
Dr Scott Allan is a Lecturer in Management Studies and the Director of Online Education. He currently teaches Leadership, and has taught Strategy, Interpersonal Management, Negotiation and Persuasion. In addition Scott undertakes research in the field of organisation theory, with a particular emphasis on the professions and management of professional services firms.
Scott has a PhD in Organisation, Work and Technology (Lancaster University Management School) and a Masters in Business Administration (Distinction).
Director of Online Education
My research focuses on professions and professional services firms (PSFs), with a particular interest in how they are organised and managed having regard to their sociological development, associated logics and changes in external and internal environments.
Theoretically, I have engaged with theories of (a) professionalism and professional logics (b) financialisation and its imperatives viewed through a cultural economy lens, and brought together through discourse and the social and material practices in which such discourses and practices are located (c) performativity of metrics and rankings (d) power, identity and subjectivity (e) career as a project, and associated fears, anxieties, tensions and contradictions.
More specifically, my recent research has explored the strategy and governance of the contemporary professional services firm in the era of neolineralism and financialisation. I have examined questions including:
1. Has PSF strategy been financialised? More specifically, how have financial metrics and ranking targets been adopted with the narratives of strategy, and what performative effects follow?
2. How do the logics of financialisation enter and take effect in the PSF? In particular, and following Miller and Power (2013), does accounting act as the agent of financialisation and if so how?
3. How are professionals managed to deliver the financial imperative impied by financialisation? More specifically, and following Foucault (1977; 1978) and Townley (1993; 1994), do the technologies of HRM, operating alongside metrics, proffer partners in the PSF a financialised subjectivity that redefines professionalism in the PSF?
4. How do professionals experience the financialisation of the PSF? In particular, do partners engage with the financialisation of the PSF and if so how do they experience the co-existence of financial and professional imperatives?
5. How do partners experience and respond to financialized management, and what are the effects on their careers? More specifically, have partners, as owners, assimilated financialised management in ways that allow them to protect their interests?
6. Are partners able to impose financialized management on others while escaping it themselves, directly or by reference to a future fantasy as suggested by Costas and Grey (2014)?
7. What are the implications for how we theorize the professional work within financialized organizations?
In the wider context i am interested in the interplay between management "thinking" and related practices (manifest in structures, systems, decisions and initiatives) and traditional "professional" values of partner autonomy and participation in decision-making. In particular my research considers management communications at board and lower levels, and how systems, processes and decisions are interpreted, mediated and communicated by managers (functional and professional) to practising professionals. It considers the extent to which management systems enable control, and how and where the assumptions underpinning both management and professional logics are adopted, amended or resisted by managers and practising professionals. It asks what this tells us as regards the organisation of professionals.
My research has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Carnegie Trust.
I am currently pursuing a research project on the measurement of professional work and the performance management of professionals.
I am interested in collaborating on research projects that involve professionals and their work.
Funding and Grants
Economic and Social Research Council and North West Doctoral Training Centre (Lancaster) grant for PhD research.
Carnegie Trust Grant: Performance management: the problem of measuring professionals.
BU501H - Leadership (September)
BU5584 - Leadership (January)
MS4540 - Business Management Dissertation
Other courses taught:
Interpersonal Management, Negotiation and Persuasion
Non-course Teaching Responsibilities
Director of Online Education
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The Fearful and Anxious Professional: Partner Experiences of Working in the Financialized Professional Services FirmWork, Employment & Society, vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 112-130Contributions to Journals: Articles