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Dr Harry Pitts

Dr Harry Pitts

Dr Harry Pitts
PhD, MRes, MA, BA Hons

Lecturer in Management

Office 3.08 (Howard House)
Howard House,
Queen's Avenue, Bristol BS8 1SN
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 39 40523

Summary

Cutting across Sociology of Work, Organisation Studies and Global Political Economy, my research takes a critical perspective on the changing world of work and economic life. My empirical research to date has interrogated the creative industries as a forum for wider changes in contemporary capitalism, specifically with reference to conflicts and tensions around valuation and measurement. Contesting the conceptualisation of creative industries as ‘beyond measure’, my doctoral thesis examined the continued struggle to value and quantify creative labour in advertising, branding and graphic design, and the conflicts and tensions that arise around it. Theoretically, this work has sought to interrogate claims of novelty around key areas of contemporary work via a reconceptualisation of Marx’s critique of political economy for the critical study of organisations, with a particular focus on value. This strand of my work culminates in a monograph, Critiquing Capitalism Today: New Ways to Read Marx, published with Palgrave in late 2017.

My current research critically interrogates popular conceptualisations of the future of work, mapping possibilities for the creation of real alternatives. Through the empirical study of grassroots experiments in the reconfiguration of how goods and services are produced and consumed- particularly cooperatives for freelancers, precarious workers and the self-employed- this agenda explores contradictions around the development and institutionalisation of practical alternatives in the organisation of work, social reproduction and economic life. The focus on the challenges of replicating and legislating for these structures poses a critical counterweight to contemporary prospectuses of an imminent ‘postcapitalist’ or ‘post-work’ society. Addressing a policy context in which ideas around the end of work, automation, and basic income are gaining increasing uptake, this developing research centres on the challenges confronting attempts at creating alternatives in the contemporary age. 

Biography

I am a Lecturer in Management in the Department of Management at the School of Economics, Finance and Management, University of Bristol, with current responsibility for the first-year Global Business Environment unit. I hold a PhD in Global Political Economy from the Department of Social and Policy Sciences, University of Bath, for which I was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council as one of the inaugural intake of the South West Doctoral Training Partnership. Prior to joining the Department of Management, I taught social theory at the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies, University of Bristol and the Department of Social and Policy Sciences, University of Bath. I also held research posts at the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies, University of Bristol; the Department of Arts and Cultural Industries, University of the West of England; and the Faculty of Philosophy, Erasmus University Rotterdam. Previous research roles and collaborations outside academia include Unite the Union, Creative England, Tower Hamlets Borough Council and Toynbee Hall. I am a member of the Labour in Transition International Interdisciplinary Network, the International Initiative for Promoting Political Economy Social Reproduction Working Group and the Foundation for European Progressive Studies Young Academics Network, as part of working groups on Labour Futures and the Basic Income. I was co-convenor of the stream 'Political Economy, Value and Valuation: Advancing Contemporary Critiques of Capitalism and Exploring Alternatives' at the International Critical Management Studies conference 2017, and am co-convenor of the stream 'Organizing Resilience: In, Against, Beyond and Despite Capital' at LAEMOS 2018. From January 2018 onwards, I will be a member of the Associate Board for Work, Employment & Society.

Teaching

Unit Director, EFIM10012 Global Business Environment 

Supervisor, EFIMM0014 Dissertation

Keywords

  • Future of Work
  • Workplace Change
  • Measurement and Valuation
  • Theories of Value
  • Capitalism and Postcapitalism
  • Creative and Cultural Industries
  • Social Reproduction
  • Automation
  • Universal Basic Income
  • Labour Movements
  • Sociology of Work
  • Organisation Studies
  • Critical Management Studies
  • Global Political Economy
  • Labour Studies
  • Marx
  • Critical Theory

Memberships

Organisations

Department of Management

Other sites

Academic Departments/Role

Department of Management Research Interests

Selected publications

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Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

Courses

Dr Pitts currently teaches 2 courses:

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