Professor James Faulconbridge

Professor, Head of Department

Research Overview

My research focuses principally on the professions, professional service firms, and knowledge-intensive services. I have studied amongst others the accounting, advertising, architecture, executive search, and law professions. Theoretically, my work draws on perspectives from economic geography, organisation studies, and sociology, with institutional and practice perspectives from these disciplines being of particular significance in my work. In recent years, I have developed in particular three inter-related areas of research focus:

Globalization and professional service firms

I am interested in theories of globalization and the way these can be used to understand the globalization of professional service firms. Recent work has, in particular, taken an institutional approach to studying the activities and effects of global law firms. Key projects in this area include:

  • An ESRC funded project on the globalization executive search firms
  • A British Academy funded project on the globalization architecture firms
  • A Sloan foundation project on the work of global advertising agencies in US cities

Knowledge, learning, and innovation practices

My work uses theories of communities of practice as well as related theories of knowledge and learning to examine the practices and spaces of learning in different organisations and the institutional effects of learning processes. Relevant projects include:

  • A Research Councils Energy Programme funded project, as part of the DEMAND Centre, examining commercial office design practices and implications for energy demand
  • An ESRC funded project on professional training and education that analyses the local and global influences on education, training and learning in law firms
  • A British Council funded Exchange programme exploring the way knowledge and practice relating to sustainable building design travels

Mobility in everyday and business life

Work in this area focuses on the now central role of mobility in both day-to-day social life and in the reproduction of business practices. Drawing on and contributing to work on the ‘mobilities turn’ in the social sciences, as well as work on concepts of practice, recent projects include:

  • Research, funded by the Research Councils Energy Programme, examining the embeddedness of business travel in the work practices of engineering consultancy firms, as part of the DEMAND Centre
  • A Research Councils Energy Programme funded project focusing on mobility and the implications of disruptions to mobility for personal and business lives and for the carbon impacts of travel
  • A European Research Council funded network exploring ‘The Future of Business Mobilities’

Selected Publications Show all 82 publications

Global professional service firms and the challenge of institutional complexity: ‘field relocation’ as a response strategy
Faulconbridge, J., Muzio, D. 01/2016 In: Journal of Management Studies. 53, 1, p. 89-124. 36 p.
Journal article

The work of global professional service firms
Boussebaa, M., Faulconbridge, J.R. 29/01/2016 In: Perspectives on contemporary professional work. Cheltenham : Edward Elgar p. 105-122. 18 p. ISBN: 9781783475575.
Chapter

Transnational corporations shaping institutional change: the case of English law firms in Germany
Faulconbridge, J., Muzio, D. 2015 In: Journal of Economic Geography. 15, 6, p. 1195-1226. 32 p.
Journal article

Knowledge and learning in professional service firms
Faulconbridge, J.R. 13/08/2015 In: The Oxford handbook of professional service firms. Oxford : Oxford University Press p. 425-451. 27 p. ISBN: 9780199682393.
Chapter

Reproducing the City of London’s institutional landscape: the role of education and the learning of situated practices by early career elites
Faulconbridge, J., Hall, S. 2014 In: Environment and Planning A. 46, 7, p. 1682-1698. 17 p.
Journal article

Advanced producer service firms as strategic networks, global cities as strategic places
Taylor, P.J., Derudder, B., Faulconbridge, J., Hoyler, M., Ni, P. 07/2014 In: Economic Geography. 90, 3, p. 267-291. 25 p.
Journal article

The Global Professional Service Firm: ‘One Firm’ Models versus (Italian) Distant Institutionalized Practices
Muzio, D., Faulconbridge, J. 2013 In: Organization Studies. 34, 7, p. 897-925.
Journal article

The rescaling of the professions: towards a transnational sociology of the professions
Faulconbridge, J., Muzio, D. 01/2012 In: International Sociology. 27, 1, p. 109-125. 17 p.
Journal article

The globalization of executive search: professional services strategy and dynamics in the contemporary world
Faulconbridge, J., Beaverstock, J.V., Hall, S. 2015 London : Routledge. ISBN: 978041589667 . Electronic ISBN: 9781315771427.
Book

The globalization of advertising.
Faulconbridge, J.R., Beaverstock, J.V., Nativel, C., Taylor, P.J. 2011 London & New York : Routledge. 189 p. ISBN: 978-0-415-56716-9.
Book

International business travel in the global economy
Beaverstock, J.V., Derudder, B., Faulconbridge, J., Witlox, F. 2010 Aldershot : Ashgate. 242 p. ISBN: 978-0-7546-7942-4.
Book

Traces of a mobile field: ten years of mobilities research
Faulconbridge, J., Hui, A. 02/2016 In: Mobilities. 11, 1, 14 p.
Editorial

Mobility and professional networks in academia: an exploration of the obligations of presence
Storme, T., Faulconbridge, J., Beaverstock, J.V., Derrudder, B., Witlox, F. 8/01/2016 In: Mobilities.
Journal article

Commuting practices: new insights into modal shift from theories of social practice
Cass, N., Faulconbridge, J. 01/2016 In: Transport Policy. 45, p. 1-14. 14 p.
Journal article

Satisfying everyday mobility
Cass, N., Faulconbridge, J. 03/2017 In: Mobilities. 12, 1, p. 97-115. 19 p.
Journal article

Mobilising sustainable building assessment models: agents, strategies and local effects
Faulconbridge, J. 06/2015 In: Area. 47, 2, p. 116-123. 8 p.
Journal article

Local variants of mobile sustainable building assessment models: the marketization and constrained mutation of BREEAM ES
Faulconbridge, J., Yalciner, S. 4/06/2015 In: Global Networks. 15, 3, p. 360-378. 19 p.
Journal article