Prof Ann Cunliffe


Professor of Organization Studies
Divisional Director of Research - Management Division

Telephone: +44 (0)113 343 0196
Location: G.43
Category: Academic, Management



M. Phil
BA (Hons)


Ann L. Cunliffe is Professor of Organization Studies. She joined the Business School in September 2012 from the University of New Mexico, USA. She is also Visiting Professor at the Universities of Strathclyde and Hull, UK. Her recent publications include the books A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book about Management (2009) and the co-authored Key Concepts in Organization Theory with John Luhman (2012). She has published articles in Organizational Research Methods, Human Relations, Management Learning, Journal of Management Studies, and Organization Studies. In 2002 she was awarded the Breaking the Frame Award from the Journal of Management Inquiry for the article that best exemplifies a challenge to existing thought. Ann was Program Chair and Division Chair of the Critical Management Studies Division of the Academy of Management (2007 -10). She organizes the biennial Qualitative Research in Management and Organization Conference.

Editorial Positions
Editor-in-Chief, Management Learning
Consulting Editor, International Journal of Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management.

Editorial Board Membership
Organization Studies
Academy of Management Learning and Education
Journal of Organizational Change Management
Journal of Management Education
Scandinavian Journal of Management
Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences, CMS Division
Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal
Organization Management Journal.
Human Relations  (2005-11)

Recent Special Issue Editorship
Co-guest editor, Conference Special issue on Qualitative Research Methods in Management and Organization, for Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management, (2012).
Co-guest editor, Conference Special issue on Qualitative Research Methods in Management and Organization, for Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management, (2010).
Guest editor, Special issue on Retelling Tales of the Field: In Search of Organizational Ethnography 20 Years On, for Organizational Research Methods. (2010).
Co-guest editor, Conference Special issue on Qualitative Research Methods in Management and Organization, for Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management, (2009).
Co-guest editor, Special issue on Teaching from Critical Perspectives, for Management Learning, (2009).


Ann’s current research interests lie at the intersection of organizational studies, philosophy and communications, exploring how leaders and managers shape organizational life, identities and action in living conversations. In particular, she is interested in examining the relationship between language and collaborative, responsive and ethical ways of managing organizations.  Other interests include: leadership; self-work; sensemaking; collaboration; developing reflexive approaches to management research, practice and learning; and expanding the reach and ‘rigor’ of non-positivist qualitative research.


Her teaching interests cover: critical approaches to leadership, organization theory, qualitative research methods, non-traditional qualitative research methods, organizational behavior, human resource management, organizational change, group processes, organizational and management learning, management and consulting skills.


Luhman, J. T. & Cunliffe, A. L. (2012) Key Concepts in Organization Theory.  London: Sage Publications.
Cunliffe, A. L. (2009) A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book About Management.  London: Sage Publications.
Cunliffe, A. L.  (2008) Organization Theory: A Sage Course Companion.  London: Sage Publications.
Hatch, M. J. with Cunliffe, A. L. (2006) Organization Theory: Modern, Symbolic, and Postmodern Perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Second Edition. Translated into French and Italian. 

Recent Refereed Journal Articles
Cunliffe, A. L. & Coupland, C. (2012) From Hero to Villain to Hero: Making Experience Sensible Through Embodied Narrative Sensemaking. Human Relations, 65: 63-88.
Cunliffe A. L. & Eriksen, M. (2011) Relational leadership. Human Relations, 64: 1425-1449.
Cunliffe, A. L. (2011) Crafting qualitative research: Morgan and Smircich 30 years on.  Organizational Research Methods, 14: 647-673.
Cunliffe, A. L. (2010) Retelling Tales of the Field: In search of organizational ethnography 20 years on. Organizational Research Methods, 13: 224-239.
Cunliffe, A. L. (2009) The philosopher leader: On relationalism, ethics and reflexivity – A critical perspective to teaching leadership. Management Learning, 40: 87-101.
Cunliffe, A. L. (2008) Orientations to social constructionism: Relationally-responsive social constructionism and its implications for knowledge and learning.  Management Learning, 39: 123-139.
Hogler, R., Gross, M., Hartman, J. & Cunliffe, A. L. (2008) Meaning in organizational communication: Why metaphor is the cake not the icing.  Management Communication Quarterly, 21: 393-412.

Book Chapters
Cunliffe, A. L. (2011) Reflexive inquiry in organizational research: Questions and possibilities. In D. Grant, C. Hardy & L. L. Putnam (Eds.) Organizational Discourse Studies, Volume 2. Sage.
Cunliffe, A. L. (2010) Why complicate a done deal? Bringing reflexivity into management research. In C. Cassell & B. Lee (Eds.) Management Research: Challenges and Controversies.  London: Routledge (pp. 404-418).
Cunliffe, A. L.  (2009) Reflexivity, learning and reflexive practice.  In S. Armstrong & C. Fukami (Eds.) Handbook of Management Learning, Education and Development, London: Sage. (pp. 405-418).
Cunliffe, A. L. & Shotter, J. (2006) Wittgenstein, Bakhtin, management and the dialogical.  In D. M. Hosking & S McNamee (Eds.) The Social Construction of Organization. Oslo: Liber CBS Press (pp.226-239).