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Sarah Gilmore

Professor Sarah Gilmore

Professor of Organization Studies

Cardiff Business School

+44 29208 70980
Aberconway Building, Room Room F07, Colum Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3EU
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am Professor of Organization Studies as well as Director of Ressarch Impact here at Cardiff Businenss School. A late arrival to academia, I became an academic after working for a number of not-for-profit organizations as well as one of the largest UK public sector trade unions.

Much of my research is interdisciplinary and straddles management/organization studies and sport science. I have undertaken qualitative research with English football club managers as well extensive ethnographic work within football clubs and their governing bodies. My current focus concerns the precariousness of sport science professionals who are increasingly key to the attainment and maintenance of high performance outcomes.

Another strand of research uses ideas from psychoanalysis to explore leadership, autoethnographic accounts of embodiment and gender as well as socialization.

My work has been in a range of academic journals such as Organization Studies, Human Relations, Human Resource Management Journal, Management Learning and a range of sport sccience and medicine journals as well. 

















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My research to date makes three, linked contributions: (i)Longitudinal ethnographic studies in elite sport highlight the precariousness of sport science work. These are contributing to extant knowledge concerning the precarity of emergent professions within management and organization studies. Papers concerning the emotionality of ethnographic work based on these studies are informing ethnographic debates on the emotionality of ethnographic work and reflexive accounts and are linked to a further contribution (ii) that of the emotional labour of sport scientists and the challenges posed by this for the working lives and the professional formation of these workers. The final contribution (iii) contributes to debates concerning the management of change and strategic HRM. Research here has provided modelling as to how clubs can secure high performance outcomes via a process of asset maximization. This was adopted by a variety of English Premier League and Championship clubs.

A second area of research uses psychoanalytical (object relations) theories to theorize (differently) about managerial work in fast-paced environments using the critical case of English football managers. My recent and current work uses psychoanalytical theory to build on my existing  work on leadership and to explore: (i) the materiality of leadership, (ii) collective leadership, and, additionally, (iii) a new understanding of socialization. These papers build on my papers in management learning in professionally accredited environments that also use psychoanalytical theory to highlight the central role of anxiety within these settings.

Current projects focus on universal benefit income and vulnerable narcissistic leaders.


Module lead - Contemporary Issues in HR Research.

I also supervise MSc HRM dissertationns.


PhD in Business and Management, University of Portsmouth (2001).

MSc in Theoretical Psychoanalytic Studies, University College London (2006).

Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, University of Portsmouth (2001).

Postgraduate Diploma in Personnel Management, University of Portsmouth (1990).

BA (Hons) English and European Literature, University of Essex (1982).

Honours and awards

Best paper award for: Barker, J., Gilmore, S., & Gilson, C. (2013). Rhetorical profiling: Modes of meaning generation in organizational topoi. Canadian Journal of Administrative Science, 30(4), 280-291. 

Winner of EmeraldLiterati outstanding paper award, 2008.: Gilmore, S., & Williams, S. (2007). Conceptualizing the Personnel Professional': A Critical Analysis of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development's Professional Qualification Scheme. Personnel Review, 36(4), 398-414.

Professional memberships

Member of the Academy of Management & European Group of Organization Studies.

Academic positions

2019 - present: Reader, Cardiff University Business School

2016-2018: Senior Lecturer and Director of Impact, University of Exeter Business School

1999-2016: Principal Lecturer, University of Portsmouth Business School

Committees and reviewing

Series Editor for Dialogues in Critical Management Studies

Editorial Board member for Academy of Management Learning & Education, Canadian Journal of Administrative Science, Journal of Organizational Change Management, Organization.

Journal reviewer for a range of top quality journals.

Representative at Large for the Academy of Management CMS Division 2012-2014 & 2015-2017.


I am interested in supervising PhD students in the areas of:

  • Precarious work
  • Psychoanalytically-informed analyses of organisations
  • The professions and changes to professional work
  • Critical Management Studies.

I am also keen to supervise doctoral students who wish to undertake ethnographic research or use innovative qualitative methods.