Dr Gary Burke


Marketing and Strategy Group

Gary Burke1

Gary joined the Economics and Strategy Group in 2010 after receiving his PhD.  Prior to this, he held management positions in various multinational companies, before entering the education sector in 2003 to work on a CIMA funded research project and then to manage Aston’s Executive Development Programme. 

His research uses qualitative and ethnographic methodologies to study how managers’ experience and manage within complex pluralistic settings. Adopting a processual lens, his doctoral work focussed on studying partnering practices and identity change dynamics within public-private partnerships. He is also part of an ethnographic study of Lloyd’s of London, which is generating new insights about how managers balance competing logics, perform strategizing work and use client portfolios to generate ambidexterity.  He recently joined a project, sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, which is studying business growth in small businesses.

Gary has received numerous Best Paper Awards and his work has been published in leading academic journals. In 2014, he was the recipient of Aston’s Outstanding Early Career Researcher award.

Position: Senior Lecturer 

Phone: +44 (0)121 204 3184 Email: burkeg@aston.ac.uk Room: ABS 232


  • 2011 PhD in Work & Organisational Psychology, Aston Business School (Passed, no corrections)
  • 2007 MBA., Aston Business School (Distinction)
  • 2000 BA (Hons) Business Studies (Upper Second-Class)
  • 2012 Lecturer in Strategy
  • 2010-2012 Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Aston University
  • 2009-2010 Sessional Lecturer, Aston Business School
  • 2004-2005 Executive Development Programme Manager, Aston Business School
  • 2003-2004 Research Assistant, Aston Business School
  • BSM999 Strategic Management
  • SE1500 Introduction to Business Management

I use in-depth qualitative research approaches to study how managers work in complex pluralistic settings that are often characterised by multiple rationalities, logics and identities. My research is problem-centered, focussing on questions such as how do managers adopt to new strategic challenges or balance competing demands? Theoretically, my research draws from theories of identity, culture, social practice and micro institutions. Methodologically, my work tends to be process-oriented and ethnographic in nature, with a growing interest in using video-ethnographic approaches. My current research projects are addressing three key topics; (1) how organizational identities change over time, (2) how managers perform coexistence of contradictory logics, (3) how managers use space and embodied practices during high-stakes strategic episodes.

ESRC, 2012. Topic: Charting New Territory: Positioning the UK (Lloyd's) in a changing global reinsurance landscape. Amount: £113, 000. (ES/K000926/1). Co-investigator with Paula Jarzabkowski (Principal Applicant) and Michael Smets (Co-investigator).
  • Academy of Management
  • European Group for Organizational Studies

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