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Dr Adrian Bailey

Dr Adrian Bailey

Senior Lecturer in Management


+44 (0) 1392 722523

Streatham Court, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4PU, UK

Adrian Bailey is Senior Lecturer in Management at the University of Exeter Business School.  He is the co-founder of the ‘Business, Nature and Value Research Centre, an international network researching issues of sustainable supply chain management.  Adrian brings a wide range of knowledge from human geography and management studies to explore the how the co-operative identity (i.e. organisations where members are also owners) can contribute to sustainable business practices and business models.

Adrian gained his doctoral thesis in 2002, entitled ‘Developing a model community: Institutions, paternalism and social identities in Bournville, 1879-1939‘.  His doctoral work adopts a mixed methods approach to research the interaction of Quaker business philanthropy, the Cadbury organisation and the local communities within the Bournville Village Trust.  In 2003, he joined the School of Geography at the University of Exeter to work on the Leverhulme funded project ‘The Role of Methodism in Cornish Cultures, c.1830-1930‘.  Joining the Business School in 2006, Adrian worked on the AHRC project ‘Reconstructing consumer landscapes c.1947-1975: Shopper reactions to the supermarket in early post-war England‘.  In 2007, he began working on the AIM/ESRC-funded project ‘Internationalisation and innovation in the service sector:  The role of international migration and UK (London) hotels‘.  His research uncovers ‘hidden innovation‘ in front and back office functions, highlighting the impacts of new information communication technologies on marketing, service quality and the outsourcing of services.

Adrian was appointed as Lecturer in Tourism Management in 2009 and was the Director of tourism programmes from 2009-2013.  He remains active in researching visitor experiences in arts and cultural institutions. Since 2010 he has been working with the Co-operative Group (UK) to deliver undergraduate modules that highlight the role of co-operative values and principles to business practice.  His research now combines his enthusiasm for co-operatives, with his research exploring issues of food security and rural development in a range of international contexts.

Away from his desk, Adrian is the co-Chair of the Belmont Eco-Group, which achieved Eco-Congregation status in 2008-2010 and is currently applying for Eco-Church status. Informed by political theologies that incorporate an ecological focus, he helps faith based organisations to respond to the challenges presented by climate change and consumerism. He keeps an allotment and grows a wide range of organic fruit and vegetables with his family for the home kitchen.

Nationality: British

Administrative responsibilities

  • Chair: Business School Research Ethics Committee


BSc Geography (University of Birmingham), MSc World Space Economy (University of Birmingham), PhD (University of Birmingham).

Research clusters

Research interests

  • Co-operative governance and management
  • Sustainable supply chain management
  • Social enterprise and innovation
  • Retail history (twentieth century)
  • Leisure studies (arts, culture and creative industries)
  • Qualitative methods

My current research is focusing on issues of collaboration and governance within the context of co-operatives and social enterprises. These hybrid organisations combine social and economic missions, which provide a range of challenges for managers. My recent research has been focused on producer co-operatives in relation to issues of food security and rural development. My current work brings together my previous research on religion and spatiality, which explores the institutional reproduction of values and beliefs, with my interest in the consumer adoption of innovations in retailing and hospitality organisations. I am seeking to understand how co-operatives and social enterprises can embrace environmental sustainability within their business models and how effective market demand for their products and services can be created (e.g. through certifications and social movements). This is part of an effort to understand how sustainable innovations can be scaled up (i.e. institutionally), scaled out (i.e. extended to more people) and scaled deep (i.e. culturally embedded).

Research projects

Adrian is currently the recipient of Newton mobility grants with partners in South Africa (Sustainability Institute), Brazil, China and a Newton Caldas grant (ReDES: University of Los Andes).


External positions

  • Member of the Institute of Travel and Tourism
  • Member of the Tourism Society
  • Member of the British Academy of Management (BAM)

My teaching is focused on so called ‘alternative’ business models associated with the third sector, specifically those that are described as co-operatives, mutuals or social enterprises.  These organisations have hybrid identities, as they seek to combine social and economic missions. I deal with issues arising from the governance of these alternative models and aim to prepare students to become social entrepreneurs and co-operative managers.  My teaching is supported by my research into agricultural producer co-operatives and social enterprises in a range of contexts (Brazil, China, Colombia, Italy, South Africa and UK). I am also a member of several social enterprises and co-operatives, which provides an insider perspective on the management of these organisations.

In 2010, I was sponsored by the Co-operative Group in a knowledge exchange to develop undergraduate modules that highlighted the importance of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) values and principles. The outcome of this partnership is BEM3038 Co-operative Enterprise, which simulates the startup of a co-operative social enterprise by considering a comprehensive set of choices that social entrepreneurs must take. The issues covered on the module include: the process of designing a business with social objectives; how to work together co-operatively; the choice of legal constitution; how to engage members in the ICA values and principles; how to market the co-operative difference to members and non-members; capitalisation; and accounting for economic, social and environmental performance.  The module is supported by local social entrepreneurs and the Co-operative Group contribute a Dragon’s Den examination of student work.

My other teaching interests are associated with qualitative methods and research ethics. I have expertise to share with students in the area of interviewing, oral history, ethnography, historical methods and research ethics. I also contribute guest lectures on modules associated with tourism, leisure and hospitality, where I am able to share my experiences of working with TATE, RAMM and a wide range of tourism organisations.

I supervise a wider range of dissertations covering areas of business history, collaboration, co-operation, innovation, religion, spirituality, retailing and sustainable supply chain management.