Home > Research > Researchers > Mark Easterby-Smith

Current Postgraduate Research Students

Mark Easterby-Smith supervises 1 postgraduate research students. If these students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

Student research profiles

Show all »

Professor Mark Easterby-Smith

Formerly at Lancaster University

Mark Easterby-Smith

Research Interests

In the field of organisational learning I have published papers in Academy of Management Executive, Personnel Review, Management Learning, Journal of Management Studies and Human Relations, and I am co-editor of the Blackwell Handbook of Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management. I am particularly interested in: (i) extending theories of organizational learning to incorporate the problems of power and hierarchy which are experienced in large, complex organizations, (ii) examining the relevance of ideas such as the ‘learning organisation’ in non-western countries, and (iii) investigating 'dynamic capabilities’' in organizations. Most of my doctoral supervision is in this area of organizational learning.

My work on research methodology involves trying to redefine ideas derived from the broader social sciences into the context of management research. I argue, for example, that researchers need to take special note of the political context in organisations, the problems of access, and ethical issues to do with the action orientation of most managers.

In addition to a number of papers I have published a major book on methodology, Management Research: An Introduction, which has been adopted by numerous masters and doctoral programmes as a standard text (the first Edition ran to 10 print runs, and a second edition was published in 2002).

I am currently involved in two major research projects respectively looking at knowledge and information management needs within high-technology engineering companies that are moving significantly into the provision of services as major business items (the KIM Project).  Second, I am working with colleagues at Warwick Business School on understanding knowledge and learning transfer processes between Western multinationals and Chinese partners (see AIM project 1 below).


I trained as an engineer and worked in the Chemical Industry before embarking on an academic career. I have been at Lancaster since 1978, and have taken my turn at most of the roles in the Department of Management Learning & Leadership during this period. From 1980-88 I was Director of the International Teachers Programme, held at London Business School in 1984. Between 1989-97 I had national responsibility for co-ordinating the ESRC's Management Teaching Fellowship Scheme, which involved providing initial training for 180 young academics appointed to over 20 leading business schools across the UK.

In 1999 I was appointed to the Training Board of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), and I am continuing as a Panel Member of the award of Postdoctoral Fellowships.  From 2001 I was on the Executive Committee of the British Academy of Management, becoming President in 2006. From 2003 to 2007 I was an AIM Senior Fellow of the Advanced Institute of Management Research (AIM), during which time I focused my efforts partly on national capacity-building within Business and Management Studies, and research into dynamic capabilities and organisational learning.

Current Teaching

I teach about organizational learning and management research methods, mainly on specialist Masters and Doctoral programmes at Lancaster and elsewhere.

Professional Role

Head of the Department of Management Learning and Leadership

View all (90) »

View all (7) »