Professor Steffen Boehm
Professor in Organisation and Sustainability
+44 (0) 1326 259090
Science and Engineering Research Support Facility (SERSF):, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Penryn, Cornwall, TR10 9FE, UK
Steffen Boehm is a Professor in Organisation & Sustainability at the University of Exeter Business School. He completed a BA in Business Administration at Lancaster, a MA in Organisation Studies at Warwick, and a PhD entitled ‘The Political Event: Impossibilities of Repositioning Organisation Theory’, also at Warwick. Prior to joining Exeter in January 2016, he was Professor of Management & Sustainability and Founding Director of the Essex Sustainability Institute (ESI) at the University of Essex.
Professor Boehm held various Visiting and Guest Professor positions over the past 20 years, including at Uppsala University and at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, both in Uppsala, Sweden; University of St Andrews (Scotland), University of Innsbruck (Austria), Copenhagen Business School (Denmark), and Federal University of Rio Grande du Sul (Brazil).
Professor Boehm was a co-founder of the open-access journals ephemera: theory & politics in organization as well as Interface: A Journal for and about Social Movements. He is also co-founder and co-editor of the open-access publishing press MayFlyBooks. He has published five books: Repositioning Organization Theory (Palgrave), Against Automobility (Blackwell), Upsetting the Offset: The Political Economy of Carbon Markets (Mayfly), The Atmosphere Business (Mayfly), and Ecocultures: Blueprints for Sustainable Communities (Routledge). He has published in, and is reviewer for, leading academic journals, including: Organization Studies, Organization, Journal of Management Studies, British Journal of Management, Academy of Management Discoveries, Academy of Management Perspectives, Scandinavian Journal of Management, Journal of Business Ethics, Regulation & Governance, Global Environmental Policy, Climate Policy, Work, Employment & Society, Culture and Organization, Human Relations, Management & Organizational History, Environment and Planning A, D & E, Antipode, Urban Studies, Marketing Theory, Macromarketing, Environmental Sociology, Sociology, Journal of Cleaner Production, and others.
Professor Boehm also publishes short articles aimed at the wider public. He has written over 25 articles in The Conversation, reaching over 260,000 readers worldwide. He’s also published in The Guardian, the Ecologist, CounterPunch and other publications aimed at the general reader, engaging in contemporary events.
Since 2018 he has been the Co-PI of the influential Tevi programme in Cornwall.
- PhD (University of Warwick)
- MA Organisation Studies (University of Warwick)
- BA(Hons) Business Administration (University of Lancaster)
- Political economies and ecologies of management, organisation and sustainability
- Business and governance of climate change and carbon markets
- Sustainability of, and circular economy approaches to, food systems
- Environmental activism inside and outside organisations and corporations
- Relations between business, governments and civil society
- Circular economy and doughnut economics approaches
Professor Boehm’s research focuses on a range of social scientific analyses of problems of environmental sustainability and circular economy. He is currently engaged in the following projects, many of which have received funding from a range of sources:
Food and the Circular Economy: Exploring the opportunities available to, and challenges faced by, small and medium-sized enterprises in the food and beverages manufacturing industry as they transition towards the circular economy.
Climate policy and carbon markets: A critical interrogation of the social struggles involved in forming a sustainable climate policy. Prof Boehm has developed critical understandings of the role of carbon markets, arguing that they have been a distraction and that they have had a range of unintended, negative social and environmental consequences.
Sustainability of the food system: Developing an inter-disciplinary and political economy approach to understanding issues of health, well-being, environmental sustainability, work and labour in the global food system. Prof Boehm has run funded research projects on local food systems, agroecological business and health and well-being
The water-food-energy-environment nexus: Expanding our perspective of the nexus by incorporating political, economic and social issues that are not normally considered by environmental scientists and systems engineers.
Environmental activism amongst social movements, community groups, NGOs, policymakers and company employees and managers: Expanding our perspective of activism to include domains not normally considered to be ‘activist’.
Political economy and governance of organisation: Expanding our view of organisation to include social movement, environmental and political activities. Such a view must include an understanding of the social struggles between business, government and civil society actors who often have different interests, facing divergent material realities and practices.
In all of the above areas, he’s been supervising Masters dissertations and PhD theses.
Research and Impact Funding Awarded
- 2018-2022: Tevi, funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the UK Government, £5m (PIs: Böhm and Gaston)
- 2019-2020: EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA): 'Development and trialling of the ‘Circular Economy Capability Maturity Model Tool’', £9,931 (PI: Böhm).
- 2019-2020: EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA): 'Circular Economy Roadmap for Southwest Food and Agriculture', £10,106 (PI: Böhm).
- 2016-2018: EPSRC: ‘Modelling supply chain optimisation in the food and beverages industry: Helping SMEs in South West England work towards the circular economy’, £483,000 (PI: Böhm).
- 2016-2017: British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship: ‘Environmental Activism within Energy Companies’, £78,958 (PI: Böhm).
- 2015-2017: Swedish Energy Agency: ‘Renewable Energy Activism’, £120,000 (PI: Annika Skoglund)
- 2015-2015: ESRC Nexus Networks: ‘Agroecological Business: Connecting civil society, SMEs and consumers to nature and the land’, £20,000 (PI: Böhm)
- 2013-2015: ESRC seminar series: ‘The Future of our Food: Resilience, Security and Justice in a Global Context’, £30,000 (PI: Böhm)
- 2012-2015: East of England Cooperative Society: ‘The impact of relocalised food systems on wellbeing’, £75,000 (PI: Böhm)
- 2012-2013: British Academy: ‘Assessing the contribution of local food systems to community wellbeing in the East of England’, £10,000 (PI: Böhm)
- 2011-2013: Green Light Trust: ‘Evaluating the Low Carbon Champions project’, £15,000 (PI Böhm)
- 2010-2012: University of Essex: ‘Ecocultures and resilience’, £50,000 (PI Böhm)
- 2009-2010: British Academy, ‘The Social, Economic and Environmental Impacts of Carbon Markets: The Case of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)’, £7500 (PI Böhm)
- 2005-2007: ESRC, ‘Alternative Media and Public Action: Organising the Global Alternative Networks’, RES-155-25-0029, £44,754.78 (PI: Andre Spicer)
- 2019-2020: Olga Andrianova, UK, Tevi: Environmental Growth for Business in Cornwall.
- 2017-2018: Roberta de Angelis, UK, Circular Economy
- 2015-2016: Rogerio Fae, Brazil, Relations between the national development strategy and the social construction of space in the city of Rio Grande, Brazil.
- 2014: Annika Skoglund, Sweden, ‘Green Human Resource Management: The case of Vattenfall’
- 2013: Patricia Mendonca, Brazil, ‘Social movements in Brazil: the contribution of political discourse analaysis’
- 2012: Eloise Dellangnelo, Brazil, ‘Laclau and Mouffe’s relevance for organization and management studies'
- Josep Pinyol: The circular economy policy of the European Union (Marie Curie PhD scholarship)
- Christoffer Söderlund Kanarp (SLU, Sweden): Climate Adaptation in Sweden (Formas scholarship)
- Siddhartha Dabhi: Renewable Energy development in India (Exeter; University of Exeter International Excellence Scholarship for Postgraduate Research)
- Ho, Chia-Hao: Circular Economy internal activists: A social network analysis (Exeter)
Completed PhD projects:
- Celal Cahit Agar: Turkey’s great leap forward: social and environmental implications (Exeter)
- Jasper Finkeldey: The social and environmental realities of mining in South Africa (Essex, ESRC PhD scholarship award)
- Ruth Melville: Measuring the Unmeasurable: Exploring the Impact of Measurement on Value in the Arts (Essex, ESRC PhD scholarship award)
- Tamás Lestar: Managing for food sustainability: Vegans and the vegan food society (Essex)
- Francisco Valenzuela: Driving (e)quality: Exploring subjectivity in the implementation of emergent public sector reforms in Chilean higher education (Essex, Chilean Government scholarship)
- Will Lewis: The political organisation of GM food: A discourse analysis (Essex)
- David Watson: Assessing the contribution of a more localised food system to wellbeing (Essex, ESRC PhD scholarship award)
- Lauren Crabb: Carbon markets: A crucial mechanism in our fight against climate change or another example of imperialism? (Essex)
- Matthew Hancocks: Disclosing Disclosing: An immanent critique of Disclosing New Worlds as a key text in the Processual School of Entrepreneurship Studies (Essex)
- Sanjay Lanka: The Araku Way: Sustainability Accounting for Fair Trade Coffee (Essex, Essex University scholarship award)
- Bo Le: Governance and supply chain management in the electric car industry in China (Essex)
- Neil Sutherland: Social Movement Organisations: Democracy, Participation and Leadership (Essex)
- Samuel Mansell: A Critique of Stakeholder Theory (Essex)
- Birke Otto: Politics and Management in Water Governance: Networks, Knowledge and Capacities (Essex)
- Aanka Batta: Becoming Selves: Psychoanalysis and Consumer Identity (Essex)
- Yuna Fontoura, Brazil, The governance of food security: a discourse analysis
- Rafael Kruter Flores, Brazil, The appropriation of water: A critique
External Engagement and Impact
Member of several UKRI review panels:
- Future Leaders Fellowships Panel
- ESRC Review Panel
- EPSRC Review Panel
- Editor of the section Environment & Ethics at the Journal of Business Ethics
- Member of the Editorial Review Board at Organization Studies
- Member of the editorial board of Social Movement Studies
- Special issue editor for Organization ‘Fruits of our labour: Work and organization in the global food system’ – with Tim Lang (City, London) and Marja Spierenburg (Radboud University Nijmegen)
- Special issue editor for Culture & Organization ‘Contested realities of the Circular Economy’ – with Hervé Corvellec (Lund), Alison Stowell (Lancaster) and Francisco Valenzuela (University of Chile)
- Special issue editor for Qualitative Research Methods in Organization and Management ‘Organizational Practices of Social Movements and Popular Struggles: Understanding the Power of Organizing From Below’ – with Maria Ceci Misoczky and Guilherme Dornelas Camara (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil)
- Special issue editor for Critical Perspectives of International Business ‘Extractivism and the Links between International Business and People’s Struggles’ – with Maria Ceci Misoczky and Rafael Kruter Flores (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil)
External Examiner Positions
- Queen Mary, University of London
External doctoral examining nationally and internationally
Prof Boehm has examined the following PhD theses:
- Anna Stegman, University of Edinburgh, UK
- Lotta Aho, Aalto University, Finland
- Isla Farley, University of Nottingham, UK
- Umut Onder, University of Sussex, UK
- Laura Gene McNally, University of Western Sydney, Australia
- Leandros Savvides, University of Leicester, UK
- Amal Nazzal, University of Exeter, UK
- Cristian Alarcon Ferrari, Swedish Agricultural University, Sweden
- Fahreen Alamgir, Australia
- Gareth Bryant, University of Sydney, Australia
- Maria Ehrnström-Fuentes, Hanken University, Finland
- Michael Cook, University of Leicester, UK
- Nouha Almahmoud, University of Essex, UK
- Raquel Ajates Gonzalez, City, University of London, UK
- Rocio Hiraldo Lopez-Alonso, University of East Anglia, UK
- Robert Watt, University of Manchester, UK
- Toni Ruuska, Aalto University, Finland
Recent Organization and convening of conferences, conference streams and other events:
- 2020: ‘Inclusive Organizing in the Anthropocene: From Sustainability to Circularity to Degrowth’, sub-plenary at EGOS, Hamburg, 2-4 July.
- 2019: ‘Critical Organizational Anthropocene Studies’, conference stream at EGOS, Edinburgh, 4-6 July.
- 2018: ‘Renewable Energy Activism’, British Academy, 14 September.
- 2014-2015: ESRC-funded seminar series on ‘The Future of Our Food’ with 4 seminars organised so far; for details see http://foodresearch.org.uk/the-future-of-our-food-esrc-seminars/
- 2015: ‘Towards a critical political economy of organization’, conference stream at Critical Management Studies Conference, University of Leicester, 8-10 July.
- 2014: ‘The political economy of organization’, conference stream at Laemos, Havana, Cuba, 2-5 April.
- 2013: ‘Critiques of International Development: Mining and the Extractive Industries’, conference stream at the 8th Critical Management Studies conference, July, Manchester.
- 2012: ‘Ecocultures 2012: Transitions to Sustainability’, An international conference at the University of Essex, 17th – 18th of April.
TeachingProfessor Steffen Boehm takes an inter-disciplinary approach to teaching topics in organisation, sustainability, corporate governance, business ethics, corporate social responsibility, environment and political economy. His teaching is research-led, theoretically astute and practice oriented. He has been teaching at all levels, Undergraduate, Postgraduate, MBA and PhD.
His teaching is informed by his many years of working in the world of business as well as his involvement with policymakers, NGOs, community groups and social movements. His lectures and classes are hence practice-oriented, analysing the organisational realities on the ground. This bottom-up or grassroots perspective is driven by the political and ethical need for students to engage with real social, economic and environmental problems – not just in the privileged world but also in disadvantaged and marginalised communities and countries.
- BEM3056 - Business and Climate Change
- BEP3011 - Business and Climate Change
- BEPM003 - Business Transformation Case Study
Supervision / Group
- Celal Cahit Agar: Neo-Corporativism: A Neoliberal Modus Vivendi between State, Capital and Civil Society in the Dispossession Era