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Professor James Faulconbridge


James Faulconbridge

Lancaster University

Charles Carter Building



Tel: +44 1524 510265

Research overview

I am Professor in the Department of Organisation, Work and Technology. I was Head of Department between 2016 and 2020, and I am currently Faculty Associate Dean (Resources) for Lancaster University Management School.

I am one of Editors of the Journal of Economic Geography and Co-Convenor of the Professions and Professionals in a global world Network at the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics .


My research focuses principally on the professions, professional service firms, and knowledge-intensive services. I have studied amongst others the accounting, advertising, architecture, executive search, and law professions.

Theoretically, my work draws on perspectives from economic geography, organisation studies, and sociology, with institutional and practice perspectives from these disciplines being of particular significance in my work.

In recent years, I have developed in three inter-related areas of research:


Knowledge, innovation and the digital transformation of professional work

My work examines knowledge and innovation practices in professional service firms. Most recently, I have been involved in work that examines how artificial intelligence and other digital technologies have begun to change the work of professionals and the organisation of professional service firms. Relevant projects include:

  • A UKRI/ESRC project on technology in professional services (TiPS)
  • An ESRC project on Artificial Intelligence in accounting and law professional service firms
  • A Research Councils Energy Programme funded project, as part of the DEMAND Centre, examining innovation in commercial office design practices and implications for energy demand
  • An ESRC funded project on professional training and education that analyses the local and global influences on education, training and learning in law firms
  • A British Council funded Exchange programme exploring the way knowledge and practice relating to sustainable building design travels


Professional misconduct and wrongdoing

I have explored the causes of professional misconduct and how they relate to the organisational and wider societal context for professional work. This includes:


Globalization and professional service firms

I am interested in theories of globalization and the way these can be used to understand the globalization of professional service firms. Recent work has, in particular, taken an institutional approach to studying the activities and effects of global law firms. Key projects in this area include:

  • An ESRC funded project on the globalization executive search firms
  • A British Academy funded project on the globalization architecture firms
  • A Sloan foundation project on the work of global advertising agencies in US cities



Drawing on and contributing to work on the ‘mobilities turn’ in the social sciences, recent projects include:

  • Research, funded by the Research Councils Energy Programme, examining the embeddedness of business travel in the work practices of engineering consultancy firms, as part of the DEMAND Centre
  • A collaborative study with Claus Lassen at Aalborg University on business travel practices and the implications for the future of airports and aeromobility
  • A European Research Council funded network exploring ‘The Future of Business Mobilities’

PhD supervision

Please contact me to discuss possible topics for PhD research. I would be particularly interested in hearing from people with proposals relating to the professions and professional services, the globalisation of work and organisations, and business mobilities

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