University of Bath School of Management University of Bath School of Management

Professor Mairi Maclean

Mairi Maclean

telephone +44 (0) 1225 384825


Leading Refereed Journal Papers
Other Outputs

Related links

Doctoral students


Job Title:

Professor of International Business


Strategy and Organisation

Key Research Interests:

My research interests include international business elites and elite power from a Bourdieusian perspective, entrepreneurial philanthropy, storytelling, and historical organisation studies.

Research Interests

My research interests lie primarily in the area of international business elites and elite power from a Bourdieusian perspective. I am the lead researcher of a four-person team, including Professors Charles Harvey (Newcastle), Gerhard Kling (SOAS), and Robert Chia (Glasgow). The research has required the production of a large-scale elites database and the conduct of numerous interviews with elites. A research monograph was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2006, entitled Business Elites and Corporate Governance in France and the UK. This was followed by a series of journal articles on elite power, social networks, storytelling, reflexivity, and capital theory, published in Organization Studies (2014; 2010), Organizational Research Methods (2016), Human Relations (2012), Management Learning (2012), the Sociological Review (2008), Business History (2008; 2007) and Research in the Sociology of Organizations (2015).

I am also interested in entrepreneurship and philanthropy, particularly from the perspective of elite power and rising inequalities. A paper on the philanthropic journey was published in Human Relations (2015), and a paper on the tax aspects of charitable giving and elite philanthropic networks in Organization Studies (2016). I am a member of the Centre for Research on Entrepreneurship, Wealth and Philanthropy (REWP) at Newcastle University, led by Charles Harvey.

My research on aspects of international management has embraced France, Germany, Serbia, Central and Eastern Europe, India, Japan, the US and the UK. I have explored the challenges to management in the emergent economies, especially those in Central and Eastern Europe, resulting from market liberalization. A new research project concerns the adjustment of marginalized, first generation migrant workers from West African countries to today’s multi-ethnic workplaces (with Dr David Sarpong, UWE). A paper on this topic is awaiting publication in Work, Employment and Society (2016).

A further research project concerns historical organisation studies, examining how history is ‘carried into’ the present within organizations, what strategic difficulties the on-going force of history creates, and what results can be achieved by better understanding the dynamics of strategic change. A paper on this topic is awaiting publication in the Academy of Management Review (2016), with further papers published in Human Relations (2015) and Organization (2014). My research has been funded by the ESRC, the Leverhulme Trust, Reed Charity, the Anglo-German Foundation and the British Academy. I am now starting work on an ESRC-funded project, awarded £394K over two years (2016-2018), examining the ‘Rowntree Business Lectures and the Interwar British Management Movement’ with Alan Booth, Gareth Shaw and Morgen Witzel (Exeter).

PhD Supervision

I am interested in supervising doctoral students in the areas of international business elites and elite power, entrepreneurial philanthropy, storytelling, and historical organisation studies. I have supervised seven doctoral students to successful completion.


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Leading Refereed Journals Papers | Books | Other Outputs

Leading Refereed Journal Papers

Maclean, M., Harvey, C., Suddaby, R. and O'Gorman, K. 2017. Political ideology and the discursive construction of the multinational hotel industry. Human Relations, forthcoming.

Maclean, M., Harvey, C. & Clegg, S.R. 2017. Organization theory in Business and Management History: Current status and future prospects. Business History Review, 91(4), forthcoming, DOI: 10.1017/s000768517001027.

Maclean, M., Harvey, C. & Kling. 2017. Elite business networks and the field of power: A matter of class? Theory Culture and Society, 34(5), forthcoming, DOI:10.1177/0263276417715071.

Maclean, M., Harvey, C. & Stringfellow, L.J. 2016. Narrative, oral history and the subjective understanding of historic identity transition. Business History, 59(8), DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2016.1223048

Maclean, M., Harvey, C. & Clegg, S.R. 2016, Conceptualizing historical organization studies. Academy of Management Review, 41(4): 609-632. DOI: 10.5465/amr.2014.0133

Kling, G., Harvey, C. & Maclean, M. Forthcoming. Establishing causal order in longitudinal studies combining binary and continuous dependent variables. Organizational Research Methods. DOI: 10.1177/1094428115618760

Sarpong, D. & Maclean, M. 2016, Cultivating strategic foresight in practice: A relational perspective. Journal of Business Research. 69(8): 2812-2820. DOI:10.1016/j.jbusres.2015.12.050

Sarpong, D. & Maclean, M. 2016. Service nepotism in cosmopolitan transient social spaces. Work, Employment and Society. DOI: 10.1177/0950017016636997

Maclean, M. & Harvey, C. 2016. ‘Give it back, George’: Network dynamics in the philanthropic field’. Organization Studies, 37(3): 399-423. DOI: 10.1177/0170840615613368

Maclean, M., Harvey, C., Gordon, J. & Shaw, E. 2015. Identity, storytelling and the philanthropic journey. Human Relations, 68(10): 1623-1652. DOI: 10.1177/0018726714564199

Golant, B.D., Sillince, J.A.A., Harvey, C. & Maclean, M. 2015. Rhetoric of stability and change: The organizational identity work of institutional leadership. Human Relations, 68(4): 607-631. DOI: 10.1177/0018726714532966

Ramirez, C., Stringfellow, L. & Maclean, M. 2015. Beyond segments in movement: A ‘small’ agenda for research in the professions. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 28(8): 1341-1372. DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-01-2015-1946

Maclean, M., Harvey, C. & Kling, G. 2015. Business elites and the field of power in France. Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 43: 189-219. DOI: 10.1108/S0733-558X20150000043019

Sarpong, D. & Maclean, M. 2015. Service nepotism in the multi-ethnic marketplace: Mentalities and motivations. International Marketing Review, 32(2): 160-180. DOI: 10.1108/IMR-01-2014-0030

Maclean, M., Harvey, C. & Kling, G. 2014. Pathways to power: Class, hyper-agency and the French corporate elite. Organization Studies, 35(6): 825-855. DOI 10.1177/0170840613509919

Maclean, M., Harvey, C., Sillince, J.A.A. & Golant, B.D. 2014. Living up to the past? Ideological sensemaking in organizational transition. Organization, 21(4): 543-567. DOI: 10.1177/1350508414527247

Stringfellow, L., McMeeking, K. & Maclean, M. 2014. From four to zero? The social mechanisms of symbolic domination in the UK accounting field. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 27: 86-100. DOI: 10.1016/

Stringfellow, L., Shaw, E. & Maclean, M. 2014. Apostasy versus legitimacy: Relational dynamics and routes to resource acquisition in entrepreneurial ventures. International Small Business Journal, 32(5): 571-592. DOI: 10.1177/0266242612471693

Stringfellow, L., MacLaren, A., Maclean, M. & O’Gorman, K. 2013. Conceptualizing taste: Food, culture and celebrities. Tourism Management, 37: 77-85. DOI: 10.1016/j.tourman.2012.12.016

Maclean, M., Harvey, C. & Gordon, J. 2013. Social innovation, social entrepreneurship and the practice of contemporary entrepreneurial philanthropy. International Small Business Journal, 31(7): 747-763. DOI: 10.1177/0266242612443376

Shaw, E., Gordon, J., Harvey, C. & Maclean, M. 2013. Exploring contemporary entrepreneurial philanthropy. International Small Business Journal, 31(5): 580-599. DOI: 10.1177/0266242611429164

Nayak, A. & Maclean, M. 2013. Co-evolution, opportunity-seeking and institutional change: Entrepreneurship and the Indian telecommunications industry, 1923-2009. Business History, 54(1): 29-52. DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2012.687538

Maclean, M., Harvey, C. & Chia, R. 2012. Sensemaking, storytelling and the legitimization of elite business careers. Human Relations, 65(1): 17-40. DOI: 10.1177/0018726711425616

Maclean, M., Harvey, C. & Chia, R. 2012. Reflexive practice and the making of elite business careers. Management Learning, 43(4): 385-404. DOI: 10.1177/1350507612449680

Sarpong, D. & Maclean, M. 2012. Mobilising differential visions for new product innovation. Technovation, 32(12), 694-702. DOI:10.1016/j.technovation.2012.07.003

Harvey, C., Press, J. & Maclean, M. 2011. William Morris, cultural leadership and the dynamics of taste. Business History Review, 85(2): 245-271. DOI: 10.1017/S0007680511000377

Harvey, C., Maclean, M., Gordon, J. & Shaw, E. 2011. Andrew Carnegie and the foundations of contemporary entrepreneurial philanthropy. Business History, 53(3): 424-448. DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2011.565516

Maclean, M., Harvey, C. & Chia, R. 2010. Dominant corporate agents and the power elite in France and Britain. Organization Studies, 31(3): 327-348. DOI: 10.1177/0170840609357377

► older publications

Maclean, M. 2008. New rules – old games? Social capital and privatisation in France, 1986-1998. Business History, 50(6), 795-810. DOI: 10.1080/00076790802420013

Harvey, C. & Maclean, M. 2008. Capital theory and the dynamics of elite business networks in Britain and France. The Sociological Review, 56 (.1): 105-120. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-954X.2008.00764.x

Hollinshead, G. & Maclean, M. 2007. Transition and organizational dissonance in Serbia. Human Relations, 60(10): 1551-1574. DOI: 10.1177/0018726707083477

Maclean, M., Harvey, C. & Press, J. 2007. Managerialism and the postwar evolution of the French national business system. Business History, 49(4): 531-551. DOI: 10.1080/00076790701296332


Maclean, M., Harvey, C. & Press, J. 2006. Business Elites and Corporate Governance in France and the UK. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Foreword by Sir Adrian Cadbury.

Maclean, M. 2003. Michel Tournier: Exploring Human Relations. Bristol, Bristol Academic Press.

Maclean, M. 2002. Economic Management and French Business from de Gaulle to Chirac. Basingstoke and New York, Palgrave Macmillan.

Other Outputs

Spence, C., Voulgaris, G., Maclean, M. 2017. Politics and the professions in a time of crisis. Journal of Professions and Organization, forthcoming. DOI

Gordon, J., Harvey, C., Shaw, E. & Maclean, M. Forthcoming. Entrepreneurial philanthropy. In T. Jung, S.D. Phillips and J. Harrow (Eds), The Routledge Companion to Philanthropy. Routledge: London.

Sarpong, D. & Maclean, M. 2014. Unpacking strategic foresight: A practice approach. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 30(1): 26-36. DOI: 10.1016/j.scaman.2013.04.002

Sarpong, D., Maclean, M. & Alexander, E. 2014. Organizing strategic foresight: A contextual practice of ‘way finding'. Futures, 53: 33-41. DOI:10.1016/j.futures.2013.09.001

Hollinshead, G. & Maclean, M. 2013. Reaching distant parts? The internationalization of brewing and local organizational embeddedness. In J. Gammelgaard & C. Dörrenbächer (Eds.), The Global Brewery Industry: Markets, Strategies and Rivalries: 79-106. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Sarpong, D. & Maclean, M. 2013. Relational pluralism: Organizational foresight in practice. Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings.

Sarpong, D. & Maclean, M. 2013. A matter of foresight: How practices enable (or impede) organizational foresightfulness. European Management Journal, 31(6): 613-625. DOI:10.1016/j.emj.2013.03.004

Maclean, M. & Hollinshead, G. 2011. Contesting social space in the Balkan region: The social dimensions of a “red” joint venture. In M. Geppert & C. Dörrenbächer (Eds.), Politics and Power in the Multinational Corporation: the Role of Interests, Identities and Institutions: 380-411. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Sarpong, D. & Maclean, M. 2011. Scenario thinking: A practice-based approach for the identification of opportunities for innovation. Futures, 40(10): 1154-1163. DOI:10.1016/j.futures.2011.07.013

Harvey, C. & Maclean, M. 2010. Transnational boards and governance regimes in Britain and France. In M-L. Djelic & S. Quack (Eds), Transnational Communities: 107-129. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.