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Dr Alexandra Bristow

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Lecturer in People and Organisations
  • The Faculty of Business and Law
  • The Open University Business School
  • Department for People and Organisations
  • alexandra.bristow

Professional biography

Alexandra Bristow is a Lecturer in People and Organisations at the Open University Business School. She completed her PhD in the Department of Organisation, Work and Technology at the University of Lancaster, where she also taught as a Postgraduate Tutor. Later, she worked as a Lecturer at the University of Surrey, and as a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Birmingham, where she led modules on the Birmingham Distance Learning MBA and MSc programmes. She is also a Visiting Fellow at the University of Surrey.

Research interests

Alex's research focuses on critical approaches to management, work and organisation, and on key issues faced by people in organisations, such as power, resistance, change, knowledge, learning, identity and new technology. Current interests include the changing nature of academic labour, the experiences, trajectories and identities of early-career professionals, the organisational impact of Brexit, Trumpism and populism, the production of knowledge and research philosophies in the field of management, and power, change and learning in public service organisations. She is a member of the Centre for Knowledge in Organisations and Professions (CKOP) and the Centre for Policing Research and Learning (CPRL).

Alex's PhD thesis on 'The Production of Objectivity in Organisation Studies: An Analysis of Some of the Field's Leading Journals' is a joint winner of the Best Dissertation Award (2011) of the Academy of Management CMS Division. Her work has been published in a number of international journals, including OrganizationOrganization Studies, Ephemera, Scandinavian Journal of Management, Culture and Organization, and Journal of Trust Research. She has also contributed chapters to the edited books on The SSCI Syndrome in Higher Education (2014), and The Dark Side 2: Critical Cases on the Downside of Business (2013). Alex is currently a guest editor with Sarah Robinson of a special paper series of Organization on 'Populist Responses to Austerity and Cultural Change: Brexit, Trumpism and Beyond'.

Alex has supervised four Doctoral students to successful completion, with two further supervisions currently in progress. She is also actively involved in the training and development of Doctoral students at institutional and national levels. She is a regular contributor to the British Academy of Management annual PhD Symposium, leading the session on 'Management Research: Philosophy and Design'. At Surrey, she has contributed to the development of the innovative IPhD programme, and designed and led the core Doctoral training module 'Foundations of Management Research'. Alex welcomes interest from potential PhD students in her areas of research.


Teaching interests

Alex has experience of teaching at all Higher Education levels (PhD, MBA, MSc and undergraduate), different modes of delivery (full-time, part-time, executive, international, face-to-face, distance learning, online), and cohort sizes. She has successfully designed, validated, delivered and led modules and programmes in a range of subject areas and levels. She has also supervised over 30 postgraduate taught students (MBA and MSc) to successful completion of their dissertations.

Alex's favourite subjects to teach are power and politics, resistance, change, organisational meta-theory, the philosophical and theoretical foundations of the management field, and management research philosophies. She contributed to the Research Philosophies chapter in the 7th edition of the Saunders et al (2016) bestselling Research Methods for Business Students textbook. The chapter is freely available on and has been downloaded over 3,000 times by students and researchers around the world.