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Department of Management

Professor Michael Rowlinson

Professor Michael Rowlinson

Professor of Management and Organisational History


 +44 (0) 1392 725664

 Streatham Court 1.67


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


Michael joined the University of Exeter Business School from Queen Mary University of London in 2016. He has previously worked at London Metropolitan University, Royal Holloway University of London, and the universities of Nottingham, Southampton, and Aston.

He edited the journal, Management & Organizational History, for five years until the end of 2013, and then became a Senior Editor for Organisation Studies. He is a former editor of the Association of Business Schools Academic Journal Quality Guide. He recently co-edited a Special Topic Forum of the Academy of Management Review on History and Organization Studies: Toward a Creative Synthesis.

Nationality: British


  • BSc Social Science 1st Class Honours in Sociology (Bristol)
  • PhD Management (Aston)

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Research interests

  • Management & Organisational History
  • Organisation Theory
  • Critical Management Studies

Michael’s research explores how companies use historical knowledge of the past in the present. He is particularly interested in the dark side of corporate history, and how organisations deal with their past involvement in war, slavery, and racism.

Research projects

Michael is particularly interested in supervising students who would like to conduct qualitative historical research.

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Cummings S, Bridgman T, Hassard J, Rowlinson M (2017). A New History of Management., Cambridge University Press. Abstract.
Rowlinson M (1997). Organisations and institutions perspectives in economics and sociology. Abstract.
Smith C, Child J, Rowlinson M (1990). Reshaping Work the Cadbury Experience., Cambridge University Press. Abstract.

Journal articles

Rowlinson MC, Heller M (In Press). Imagined Corporate Communities: Historical Sources and Discourses. British Journal of Management
Decker S, Hassard J, Rowlinson M (2020). Rethinking history and memory in organization studies: the case for historiographical reflexivity. Human Relations, 74(8), 1123-1155. Abstract.
Rowlinson M, Foster W, Hassard JS, Suddaby RR (2019). The Rhetorical Historic Turn and the Role of History in Strategy. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2019(1).
Carter C, Heller M, McKinlay A, Rowlinson M (2019). Usable History in Organizations: Specters of Reith and the BBC. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2019(1).
Rowlinson M (2018). Book Review Symposium: Siddharth Kara Modern Slavery: a Global Perspective. Organization Studies, 40(1), 141-143.
Rowlinson M, Hassard JS, Wolfram Cox J (2018). Modern Slavery as a Manichean Subject: a Critical and Historical Analysis. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2018(1).
Decker S, Üsdiken B, Engwall L, Rowlinson M (2018). Special issue introduction: Historical research on institutional change. Business History, 60(5), 613-627.
Rowlinson MC, Heller M (2018). The British house magazine 1945 to 2015: the creation of family, organisation and markets. Business History, 1-1.
Ansari S, Dawson P, Granqvist N, Rowlinson M (2017). Organizations, Institutions, and Time: Taking Stock of Research on Time, Temporality, and History. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2017(1).
Hielscher S, Husted BW, Kipping M, Rowlinson M, Schrempf-Stirling J, Werhane P (2017). The History of CSR Thought and Practice: Exploring New Avenues for Future Research. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2017(1).
Rowlinson M, Heller M (2017). Words and Organizations: a Discursive Study of the British House Journal, 1900-2015. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2017(1).
Foster WM, Mena S, Phillips RA, Rowlinson M (2016). "History, Memory, and Corporate Social Responsibility". Academy of Management Proceedings, 2016(1).
Knudsen H, Richardson M, Royle T, Cole M, Kirton G, Ashton D, Rowlinson M (2016). Book Reviews. Work Employment and Society, 16(3), 557-572.
Rowlinson M (2016). Book Reviews. Work Employment and Society, 16(3), 570-572.
Rowlinson M (2016). Book Reviews. Work Employment and Society, 7(2), 325-326.
Rowlinson M (2016). Challenging the Foundations of Organization Theory. Work Employment and Society, 18(3), 607-620.
Procter SJ, Rowlinson M, McArdle, L, Hassard J, Forrester P (2016). Flexibility, Politics & Strategy: in Defence of the Model of the Flexible Firm. Work Employment and Society, 8(2), 221-242.
Hassard J, Rowlinson M (2016). Researching Foucault's Research: Organization and Control in Joseph Lancaster's Monitorial Schools. Organization, 9(4), 615-639.
Godfrey PC, Hassard J, O’Connor ES, Rowlinson M, Ruef M (2016). What is Organizational History? Toward a Creative Synthesis of History and Organization Studies. Academy of Management Review, 41(4), 590-608.
Rowlinson M, Casey A, Hansen PH, Mills AJ (2014). Narratives and memory in organizations. Organization, 21(4), 441-446. Abstract.
Rowlinson M, Hassard J, Decker S (2014). Research Strategies for Organizational History: a Dialogue Between Historical Theory and Organization Theory. Academy of Management Review, 39(3), 250-274.
Burgelman RA, Arikan I, Mahoney JT, Mayer KJ, Rangan S, Rowlinson M, McGahan AM (2014). Why and How Context Matters. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2014(1).
Rowlinson M (2013). <i>Management &amp; Organizational History</i>: the continuing historic turn. Management & Organizational History, 8(4), 327-328.
Rowlinson M, Harvey C, Kelly A, Morris H, Todeva E (2013). Accounting for research quality: Research audits and the journal rankings debate. Critical Perspectives on Accounting
Kelly A, Harvey C, Morris H, Rowlinson M (2013). Accounting journals and the ABS Guide: a review of evidence and inference. Management and Organizational History, 8(4), 415-431. Abstract.
Kelly A, Harvey C, Morris H, Rowlinson M (2013). Accounting journals and the ABS Guide: a review of evidence and inference. Management and Organizational History
Rowlinson M, Hassard J (2013). Historical neo-institutionalism or neo-institutionalist history? Historical research in management and organization studies. Management & Organizational History, 8, 111-126.
Booth C, Rowlinson M (2013). Management and organizational history: Prospects. Management & Organizational History, 1(1), 5-30.
Hassard J, Wolfram Cox J, Rowlinson M (2013). Where Are the <i>Old Theories</i> of Organization? Prospects for Retrospection in Organization Theory. Academy of Management Review, 38(2), 309-313.
Morris H, Harvey C, Kelly A, Rowlinson M (2011). Food for Thought? a Rejoinder on Peer-review and RAE2008 Evidence. Accounting Education, 20(6), 561-573. Abstract.
Procter S, Rowlinson M (2011). From the British worker question to the impact of HRM: understanding the relationship between employment relations and economic performance. Industrial Relations Journal, 43(1), 5-21. Abstract.
Rowlinson M, Hassard J (2011). How come the critters came to be teaching in business schools? Contradictions in the institutionalization of critical management studies. Organization, 18(5), 673-689. Abstract.
Rowlinson M, Harvey C, Kelly A, Morris H (2011). The use and abuse of journal quality lists. Organization, 18(4), 443-446. Abstract.
Rowlinson M, Delahaye A (2010). The cultural turn in business history. Entreprises et histoire, n° 55(2), 90-110. Abstract.
Booth C, Rowlinson M, Clark P, Delahaye A, Procter S (2009). Scenarios and counterfactuals as modal narratives. Futures, 41(2), 87-95.
Rowlinson M, Booth C, Clark P, Delahaye A, Procter S (2009). Social Remembering and Organizational Memory. Organization Studies, 31(1), 69-87. Abstract.
Delahaye A, Booth C, Clark P, Procter S, Rowlinson M (2009). The genre of corporate history. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 22(1), 27-48. Abstract.
Booth C, Clark P, Delahaye A, Procter S, Rowlinson M (2007). Accounting for the dark side of corporate history: Organizational culture perspectives and the Bertelsmann case. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 18(6), 625-644.
Rowlinson M, Toms S, Wilson JF (2007). Competing perspectives on the ‘Managerial Revolution’: from ‘Managerialist’ to ‘Anti-Managerialist’. Business History, 49(4), 464-482.
Procter SJ, Hassard J, Rowlinson M (2007). Introducing Cellular Manufacturing: Operations, Human Resources and High‐Trust Dynamics. Human Resource Management Journal, 5(2), 46-64. Abstract.
Procter SJ, McArdle L, Rowlinson M, Forrester P, Hassard J (2007). Performance Related Pay in Operation: a Case Study from the Electronics Industry. Human Resource Management Journal, 3(4), 60-74. Abstract.
Clark P, Booth C, Rowlinson M, Procter S, Delahaye A (2007). Project Hindsight: Exploring Necessity and Possibility in Cycles of Structuration and Co-Evolution. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 19(1), 83-97.
Rowlinson M (2007). STRATEGY, STRUCTURE AND CULTURE: CADBURY, DIVISIONALIZATION AND MERGER IN THE 1960S. Journal of Management Studies, 32(2), 121-140. Abstract.
Clark P, Rowlinson M (2007). The Treatment of History in Organisation Studies: Towards an ‘Historic Turn’?. Business History, 46(3), 331-352.
Rowlinson M, Toms S, Wilson J (2006). Legitimacy and the capitalist corporation: Cross-cutting perspectives on ownership and control. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 17(5), 681-702.
Rowlinson M (2006). The Early Application of Scientific Management by Cadbury. Business History, 30(4), 377-395.
Procter S, McArdle L, Hassard J, Rowlinson M (2005). Performance Related Pay in Practice: a Critical Perspective<sup>1</sup>. British Journal of Management, 4(3), 153-160. Abstract.
Geary J, Marriott L, Rowlinson M (2004). Journal Rankings in Business and Management and the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise in the UK. British Journal of Management, 15(2), 95-141. Abstract.
Rowlinson M, Procter S (2003). Efficiency and Power: Organizational Economics Meets Organization Theory. British Journal of Management, 8(s1), 31-42. Abstract.
Rowlinson M, Carter C (2002). Foucault and history in organization studies. ORGANIZATION, 9(4), 527-547.  Author URL.
Carter C, McKinlay A, Rowlinson M (2002). Introduction: Foucault, management and history. ORGANIZATION, 9(4), 515-526.  Author URL.
Rowlinson M (2002). Public History Review Essay Cadbury World. Labour History Review, 67(1), 101-119.
Hassard J, Hogan J, Rowlinson M (2001). From Labor Process Theory to Critical Management Studies. Administrative Theory & Praxis, 23(3), 339-362.
Rowlinson M, Hassard J (2000). Marxist Political Economy, Revolutionary Politics, and Labor Process Theory. International Studies of Management & Organization, 30(4), 85-111.
Rowlinson M, Procter S (1999). Organizational Culture and Business History. Organization Studies, 20(3), 369-396.
Rowlinson M, Procter S, Hassard J (1994). CIM and the process of innovation: Integrating the organization of production. International Journal of Production Economics, 34(3), 359-369.
Rowlinson M, Hassard J (1994). Economics, Politics, and Labour Process Theory. Capital & Class, 18(2), 65-97.
Procter SJ, Rowlinson M, McArdle L, Hassard J, Forrester P (1994). Flexibility, Politics &amp; Strategy: in Defence of the Model of the Flexible Firm. Work, Employment & Society, 8(2), 221-242.
Rowlinson M, Hassard J (1993). The Invention of Corporate Culture: a History of the Histories of Cadbury. Human Relations, 46(3), 299-326.
Procter S, McCardle L, Rowlinson M, Hassard J, Forrester P (1992). Flexibility Revisited: a Temporal Analysis of the Introduction of Flexibility. Management Research News, Volume 15(Issue 5/6), 53-53.
Rowlinson M, Hassard J, Forrester P (1991). Who Wants Harmonisation? Image and Reality in Single Status Working. Personnel Review, 20(5), 27-33. Abstract.


Rowlinson M, Rowlinson M, Decker S, Hassard J (2023). A narrative of the historic turn in organization studies. In Decker S, Foster WM, Giovannoni E (Eds.) Handbook of Historical Methods for Management, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 64-79. Abstract.

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External Engagement and Impact

Awards and Honours

The importance of Michael’s research publications and editorial roles was recognised when he received the Ronald G. Greenwood Award from the Management History Division of the Academy of Management in 2015. The Greenwood Award marks the contributions of an author whose works trace the development of management thought and who has had a high impact on the field. Michael is only the seventh recipient of this award since the Management History Division first instituted it in 1997

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Michael has previously taught qualitative research methods and has recently developed a new module looking at the often controversial role of finance and society.



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