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Professor Judi Marshall


Judi Marshall

Lancaster University

Charles Carter Building



Tel: +44 1524 510928

Professional Role

I am involved with various Management School and University activities related to change for sustainability. This includes being a co-organizer of the cross-campus Global Futures Seminar series.

Research Interests

I have a range of interrelated research interests that have also connected strongly with my teaching. There are several major strands:

Ecological sustainability and social justice are key contemporary challenges, prompting much debate about corporate responsibility. I am especially interested in exploring a) how people take leadership and seek to act for change in relation to sustainability, and b) what educational forms foster people’s engagement with and learning about these demanding issues. 

Recent publications related to this interest include:

Allen, S.  and Marshall, J. (in press) ‘Metalogue: Trying to talk about (un)sustainability – a reflection on experience’, Tamara: Journal for Critical Organization Inquiry, 13 (1-2).

Allen, S., Marshall, J. and Easterby-Smith, M. (2015), ‘Living with contradictions: The dynamics of senior managers’ identity tensions in relation to sustainability’, Organization & Environment, 28 (3): 328-348.

In relation to taking leadership for sustainability, since the 1990s I have worked through critical management education programmes to help people develop their capacities to contribute to change.  An account of some of this work, and the stories of 29 change agents for sustainability, was published in April 2011 as Leadership for Sustainability: An Action Research Approach (Marshall, Coleman and Reason, Greenleaf Publishing, Sheffield, UK).

In relation to educating for sustainability, Iwas a co-developer of Lancaster University's MA in Leadership for Sustainability and, before that, the University of Bath’s MSc in Responsibility and Business Practice (launched 1997). These were inquiry-based, action-oriented programmes which enabled course participants to integrate successful organizational performance with concerns for social, environmental and ethical issues, and to develop their practice alongside their intellectual understanding.  Participative, action research based pedagogies allowed engagement with contentious and challenging issues.  In December 2005, I received a 'Beyond Grey Pinstripes European Faculty Pioneer Award' (jointly from the European Academy of Business in Society, the Aspen Institute's Business and Society Program and the World Resources Institute) for promoting management education into sustainability, social justice and corporate responsibility.

Some people are now dedicating their careers to contributing to change in society relating to sustainability and social justice.  My colleague Svenja Tams, from the University of Bath Management School, and I have researched people adopting responsible careers, appreciating the rapidly shifting landscapes in which they are therefore seeking to place themselves and act effectively.  Our 2011 article in Human Relations explores these issues.

I have been involved in the development of self-reflective, action-oriented forms of inquiry, contributing especially to the fields of qualitative and action research. A sequence of publications shows the emergence of these ideas and practices. These include: ‘Living life as inquiry’ (1999), ‘Doing gender in management education’ (1999), ‘Self-reflective inquiry practices’ (2001) and ‘Living systemic thinking’ (2004). Also, I am fascinated by issues of representation and form in writing.  In one publication (‘Find form in writing for action research’, 2008), I therefore considered the connections between academic writing practices and those of Virginia Woolf. In this stream of activities, I have a book in press with Sage Publications for 2016 on First Person Action Research:Living life as inquiry.

Recent publications include: Boden, R., Greenwood, D.J., Hall, B., Levin, M., Marshall, J. and Wright, S (2015) ‘Action Research in Universities and Higher Education Worldwide’,  in Bradbury, H. (ed.), The SAGE Handbook of Action Research (3rd ed.), London: Sage Publications, pp281-290. 

Working with postgraduate research students has been a major strand in my academic life since the early 1980s.  I have mostly worked with part-time, mature students in supervision groups that develop as learning communities. 

Gender and Leadership. Exploring issues for women in management has been one of my enduring interests for many years. I’ve published Women Managers: Travellers in a Male World (1984), Women Managers Moving On: Exploring Career and Life Choices (1995), and gendered analyses of careers, communications and job stress. I recently explored the gendering of leadership in corporate responsibility and sustainability (articles published in 2007 and 2011) and have continued working in this area.

My other interests include systemic thinking, organizational cultures, change and careers.


I join LUMS in February 2008. I have been involved in developing a range of activities associated with sustainability and corporate responsibility. I have also belonged and contributed to networks of people in the Management School and across the campus who are interested in sustainability, and in promoting systemic change. My research and teaching activities have included these issues, and those of self-reflective inquiry. Before 2008, I was at the School of Management at the University of Bath, and a core member of the Centre for Action Research in Professional Practice (CARPP) there. My early academic career had been at UMIST in Manchester, where I undertook research on managerial job stress for my PhD, and at Oxford Management College, exploring managers’ choices in how they performed their jobs.


BA Psychology, Manchester;
PhD, Manchester

Current Teaching

Contributing occasional lectures and tutoring sessions relating to first person action research, corporate responsibility and sustainability.

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