Newcastle University Business School

Staff Profile

Professor Stephen Procter

Alcan Chair of Management


Roles and Responsibilities

Stephen Procter is the Alcan Chair of Management.


PhD, University of Bristol, 1990

MSc (Econ), University of London (Queen Mary), 1985

BA, University of Warwick, 1984 


1. Organization and Re-Organization of Work

A key focus of Stephen Procter’s research over a sustained period has been the contemporary restructuring of work.  In particular, he has made major contributions to our understanding of teams and teamworking as central elements of this restructuring. In contrast to most other work, his analysis has stressed how teams have impact not through the attitudes of individual team members but through more structural factors at the level of the organization as a whole.  This emerges both from empirical work which shows the importance of structural interdependence and from more conceptual work aimed at identifying the essential characteristics of teamworking and its links with organizational performance.  More recent research has extended these ideas to provide an understanding of ‘lean’ teamworking that provides an alternative to an interpretation based simply on work intensification.

The focus on teamworking developed out of earlier work on workplace flexibility. Procter and his colleagues were important contributors to the debates around flexibility that dominated discussion of restructuring in the early 1990s.  In response to these debates, the model of the new flexible firm was put forward as a means of understanding contemporary developments.  It provided a novel and insightful means of linking workforce flexibility with broader operational and organizational concerns

2. Management of Organizational Change

Linked closely to issues in work restructuring has been Procter’s work on the management of change. Here we highlight two particular issues: the role of middle-level managers and employee attitudes to change.  The importance of middle-level managers in the successful implementation of change has increasingly come to be recognized, and Procter’s work on the antecedents of their strategic contribution has come to be a standard reference in the area.  More recent work has turned to the issue of employee attitudes to change, and Procter’s has been amongst work that has allowed a more nuanced approach to emerge, one that embraces such concepts as ambivalence and ambiguity.

3. Management and Organizational History

The application of historical methods to management and organizations has been a long-standing concern of Procter’s.  An early contribution in this area has been influential in encouraging explicit linkages between the concerns of organizational culture and those of business history.  More recent work has also made a significant contribution to the ‘historical turn’ in organization studies, in its attempt to use ideas of social memory to improve our understanding of what memory means in organizations.

Doctoral supervision

Stephen Procter is keen to receive expressions of interest from potential doctoral students in areas related to any of the above.  He has a strong record of supervising students to successful completion.  Among recent completions are the following:

Thirkell, E. ‘Implementing, Managing and Working Under Lean’ (PhD, Newcastle University, 2016, co-supervised with T. Scurry and F. Worthington).

Siddique, M. ‘Exploring the Linkages between High Performance Work Systems and Organizational Performance: the Role of Relational Coordination in the Banking Sector of Pakistan’ (PhD, Newcastle University, 2014, with S. Maioli).

Dion, J. ‘Understanding the Forces that Affect the Market Orientation of Three Diverse Teams: a Mixed-Method Longitudinal Study’ (DBA, Newcastle University, 2014, with D. Assimakopoulos).

Yoon, J. ‘Conflict in Family Firms: Antecedents and Consequences of Conflict between Family Members and Non-Family Members in South Korea’ (PhD, Newcastle University, 2014).

Ross, B. ‘How Inter-organizational Relationships Develop Over Time: a Case Study of a Consortium Arrangement Between Voluntary & Community Organizations and a Voluntary Agency’ (PhD, Newcastle University, 2013, with R. Wilson).

Harrison, D. ‘Roles, Responsibilities and Relationships: A Qualitative Exploration of the Experiences of ‘Non-Professionally Affiliated’ Workers in Community Mental Health Care’ (PhD, Newcastle University, 2012, with P. Pearson and C. Dickinson).

Alsaghir, L. ‘Exploring HR Policies and the HR Specialist’s Role in the Context of Innovation: the Case of BPR in Two Large Lebanese Banks’ (DBA, Newcastle University, 2011).