Roles and Responsibilities

Professor of Strategy & Organization.

Advisory Board Member, Fin Work Futures Research Centre, King's Business School, London.


I teach, research and advise on strategic change. I am a career academic and have been a Professor at Edinburgh since 2013.

Previously, I worked at London Metropolitan University (1998-99), Leicester University (1999-2002), the University of St Andrews (2002-2011) and Newcastle University (2011-2013).  

I grew up in Cornwall and return there regularly.

Research Interests

My work combines a storytelling approach with more formal training in Organization and Management Theory.  My research collaborators are: Professor Andrew Brown (Bath University),  Professor Alan McKinlay (Newcastle University), Professor Frank Mueller (Newcastle University), Professor Crawford Spence (King's College),  Dr Garry Tregidga (Institute of Cornish Studies, Exeter University), and Professor Andrea Whittle (Newcastle University). I have recently co-authored a book on STV, with Kenny Kemp, a well-known business journalist.

I am working closely with Dr Jon Davis at the Strand Group and Chris Deerin at Reform Scotland.

My research interests centre on issues of organizing and change. There are four broad strands to my work: (1) investigating how organizations respond to major changes in their field/sector; (2) examining the formation and composition of occupational elites; (3) exploring how different players in a field relate to each other: how do they compete, collaborate and work out their differences? In other words, what are the relations of diplomacy between them? (4) How do leaders generate agency for themselves?

My REF submission will be drawn from:

  • Carter, Spence & McKinlay (2019) Strategic Change, Leadership and Accounting: a triptych of organizational reform. Public Administration. (in press)
  • Spence, Carter, Husillos & Archel (2017) Taste matters: Cultural capital and elites in proximate Strategic Action Fields. Human Relations. vol. 70, 2: pp. 211-236
  • Spence, Carter, Belal, Husillos, Dambrin & Archel (2016) Tracking habitus across a transnational field. Work, Employment and Society. 30 (1), 3-20.
  • Mueller, Carter & Whittle (2015) Can Audit Still be Trusted? Organization Studies. vol. 36, 9: pp. 1171-1203.
  • Spence & Carter (2014) An Exploration of the professional habitus of Big 4 accounting firms. Work, Employment and Society. vol. 28, 6: pp. 946-962
  • Carter & Spence (2014) Being a Successful Professional: An Exploration of Who Makes Partner in the Big 4. Contemporary Accounting Research. 31 (4), 949-981. 
  • Spence, Dambrin, Carter, Husillos & Archel (2014) Global ends, local means: Cross-national homogeneity in professional service firms. Human Relations. vol. 68, 5: pp. 765-788.

I have eight PhD students doing creative work on Codebase (Grant Murray; co-supervised with Prof Neil Pollock & Prof Martin Kornberger), the Asset Management Industry (John Millar; co-supervised with Prof David Cooper), the Future of Audit (Martin Martinoff; co-supervised with Prof Paolo Quattrone), Budgeting in the South African Treasury (Nokwazi Makanya; co-supervised with Prof James Mitchell), Crisis Management (Julian Rawel; co-supervised with Prof John Amis), Street Soccer (Christopher Klinghardt; co-supervised with Prof John Amis), Change in the Pakistani public sector (Amna Chaudry; co-supervised with Prof John Amis) and the Development of Financial Elites in Edinburgh (Robert Dawson Scott; co-supervised with Dr Ron Kerr).

Current empirical projects include:

(1) Re-imagining STV (2007-2017)

(2) The Director-Generals.

(3) Identity Work in the Scottish Labour Party.

(4) Elite Media Careers

(5) The Foot Family Dynasty

I have a fair amount of editorial experience, serving as an Associate Editor of Organization Journal (2011-2016) and Critical Perspectives on Accounting (2011-2015).  I currently sit on the editorial boards of AAAJ, AOS, CPA and Organization. I have edited many Special Issues of journals, including AAAJ, Business History, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, European Management Review, Management & Organizational History, and Organization.

At the University of Edinburgh, I am a member of the Centre for Strategic Leadership and of the Centre for Accounting & Society. I am a board member of FinWorkFutures Institute at King's College London. I collaborate closely with the Strand Group, King's College London.

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Research Area

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