Alison's research interests are in how material objects, including technological artefacts, contribute to organisational stability and change. She uses qualitative methods, including ethnography, as ways of researching and writing about organisations.
Through her ESRC-funded doctorate at Nottingham University, Alison developed research interests in organisational space and sociomateriality. There are three broad strands to her work:
Alison's current research is an exploration of artefacts with modular designs and their implications for the experience of work. Prior to undertaking her doctorate Alison worked as a principal lecturer and management development practitioner, and this keeps her connected to how things actually ‘work’ in organisations.
I have supervised
I am currently supervising
Alison is particularly interested in supervising doctoral research in the following areas:
I teach organisational behaviour and management research methods. Most of my teaching experience has been with practising managers studying postgraduate qualifications, and has aimed to support them to foster productive, rewarding and fair working practices.
Hirst, A. & Humphreys, M. (2015). Configurable bureaucracy and the making of Modular Man. Organization Studies 36(11): 1531-1553.
Hirst, A. and Humphreys, M., 2013. ‘Putting power in its place: The centrality of edgelands’, Organization Studies (ABS 4*) 34, 1505-1527.
Hirst, A., 2011. ‘Settlers, vagrants and mutual indifference: unintended consequences of hot-desking’ Journal of Organizational Change Management (ABS 2*) 24(6): 767-788.