Professor Leo McCann

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Position: Professor of Organisation Studies
Academic unit: People, Management and Organisations


Leo McCann joined MBS in September 2004. He previously worked at Cardiff Business School (2002-2004), and completed his PhD at the University of Kent (1998-2001).

Leo's primary research and teaching interests lie in the fields of sociology of work, and in critical explorations of how various forms of 'restructuring' affect workplaces and workers in an international context.

For more details click on the 'Research Interests' and 'Publications' tabs.

Research Interests

Leo McCann is Professor of Organisation Studies at Manchester Business School. His research and teaching focuses on the impacts of large-scale economic change on work and organization across numerous countries, focusing in particular on the international problems of work strain, work overload, and organizational dysfunction. He has written many articles on the subject of the international transformation of white-collar work in journals such as Journal of Management Studies, Human Relations, and Organization Studies. He is the co-author of Managing in the Modern Corporation (Cambridge University Press, 2009).

His research draws on the paradigms of sociology of work, varieties of capitalism, and political economy, exploring how large-scale ‘global’ transformations are translated through national institutional structures with often profound effects on the everyday lives of organizations, managers, workers and citizens. He has recently completed his first textbook, International and Comparative Business: Foundations of Political Economies (Sage Publications, 2014) based on over a decade of experience teaching and researching comparative capitalism, globalization, and the often problematic restructuring of organizations and work.

His most recent research, with colleagues Prof Paula Hyde, Prof John Hassard, and Dr Edward Granter, is an ethnographic exploration of middle and junior managers in the UK’s National Health Service. This has included interviewing and observing managers and front-line clinicians at work across a hospital, a mental health trust, a primary care trust, and an ambulance trust. Findings from observations and interviews with ambulance paramedics and managers appears in vol. 50, issue 5 of Journal of Management Studies. This research team is now working on developing the entire study into a new book about the impact of endless ‘reform’ and incessant work pressure in the NHS, as viewed through the fieldwork evidence gathered from interviews and observation of mid-level and junior managers.

Prof McCann is interested in supervising outstanding postgraduate research students in any of the above areas.

Programme involvement

Specialist fields




Publication summary




Working papers

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Showing 40 publication(s)


  • Dagdeviren, H., Lund-Thomsen, P., & Mccann, L. (2017). Multiple Paths through the Complexities of Globalization: The next three years of Competition & Change. Competition and Change. . Publication link: 1b427d51-0bad-42cc-86aa-cdac9bd897e2


  • Mccann, L. (2016). “Killing is our business and business is good”: The evolution of ‘war managerialism’ from body counts to counterinsurgency. Organization. . Publication link: 4822c82c-fc88-43b0-9bfe-d81464c1c357
  • Mccann, L., Edgell, S. (Ed.), Gottfried, H. (Ed.), & Granter, E. (Ed.) (2016). From Management to Leadership. In The SAGE Handbook of Sociology of Work and Employment. (1 ed.). London: Sage. . Publication link: 48490c2f-a09f-4d94-ad76-bd2cb155a868
  • Hyde, P., Granter, E., Hassard, J., & Mccann, L. (2016). Deconstructing the Welfare State: Managing Healthcare in the Age of Reform. (1 ed.) London: Routledge.. Publication link: e0707ad3-8d92-4496-961f-380ff779e71e


  • Mccann, L., Granter, E., Hassard, J., & Hyde, P. (2015). "You can't do both: Something will give": Limitations of the targets culture in managing UK health care workforces. Human Resource Management, 54(5), 773-791. DOI: 10.1002/hrm.21701. Publication link: 2737e0c2-53fa-449f-a09d-794c480a29b2
  • Mccann, L., Hassard, J., Granter, E., & Hyde, P. (2015). Casting the Lean Spell: The Promotion, Dilution and Erosion of Lean Management in the NHS: The promotion, dilution, and erosion of lean management in the NHS. Human Relations, 68(10), 1557-1577. DOI: 10.1177/0018726714561697. Publication link: 59a8055a-8711-4d6f-aac8-fa82c3c010d9


  • Mccann, L. (2014). International and Comparative Business: Foundations of Political Economies. (1 ed.) London: Sage Publications.. Publication link: 5b83311e-efba-41b4-86a1-9ce64b1bbc5a
  • Matanle, P., Ishiguro, K., & Mccann, L. (2014). Popular culture and workplace gendering among varieties of capitalism: Working women and their representation in Japanese Manga. Gender, Work and Organization, 21(5), 472-489. DOI: 10.1111/gwao.12050. Publication link: e59cfed0-be88-48fe-a909-c308be356db2


  • Granter, E., Hassard, J., Hyde, P., & Mccann, L. (2013). Sometimes it goes up to eleven'... extreme work in healthcare management. In host publication.. Publication link: 24979be3-53e8-480b-9618-a1a132583c68


  • Hyde, P., Granter, E., Hassard, J., Mccann, L., & Morris, J. (2012). Roles and behaviours of middle and junior managers: Managing new organisational forms of healthcare. National Health Service, Service Delivery Organisation.. Publication link: d68247a8-7f6e-4d44-a6af-5e441d635ce1


  • Hassard, J., McCann, L., & Morris, J. (2011). Employment relations and managerial work: An international perspective. In Research Handbook on the Future of Work and Employment Relations|Res. Handb. on the Future of Work and Employment Relat.. (1 ed., pp. 150-168). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd. . Publication link: 9079a50d-8379-4b60-94c1-741bfc6eb6ff
  • Hyde, P., Granter, E., Mccann, L., Hassard, J., Dickinson, H. (Ed.), & Manion, R. (Ed.) (2011). The lost health service tribe: In search of middle managers. In The Reform of Health Care: Shaping, Adapting, and Resisting Policy. (1 ed., Vol. 1, pp. 7-20). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan . . Publication link: 228683d8-5cf4-4d44-bdce-62e23d7b72b1



  • Hassard, J., Mccann, L., Morris, J., & Wankel, C. (Ed.) (2008). Managing in the New Economy: Restructuring White-Collar Work in the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan. In 21st Century Management: A Reference Handbook. (1 ed., pp. 65-75). Los Angeles: Sage Publications. . Publication link: 45fe88a9-3401-4ab0-b031-5fec02fd6a4c



  • Hassard, J., Morris, J., Mccann, L., Matanle, P. (Ed.), & Lunsing, W. (Ed.) (2006). Hard Times for the Salaryman: Corporate Restructuring and Middle Managers' Working Lives. In Perspectives on Work, Employment and Society in Japan. London: Palgrave. . Publication link: 6f5bc2af-28d5-4b45-8472-4c9c604e4530


  • McCann, L. (2005). Economic development in tatarstan: Global markets and a Russian region: Global Markets and a Russian Region. (1 ed.) (RoutledgeCurzon contemporary Russia and Eastern Europe). Abingdon: RoutledgeCurzon Taylor & Francis Group. DOI: 10.4324/9780203009369. Publication link: b3e700ec-619e-4cde-8188-a291c3a48eba
  • Mccann, L. (2005). A Tale of Three Cities: organizational change and middle managers in British, North American, and Japanese Urban Administrations. In host publication.. Publication link: e4c3b1bb-d438-49b0-970a-e1e48b34a62d


  • Mccann, L. (2004). Introducing Russian Transformations. In Russian Transformation: Challenging the Global Narrative. (1 ed., pp. 1-16). London: RoutledgeCurzon. . Publication link: 0b7632c5-8fe4-4de9-ac81-a8acc1315e3e
  • Mccann, L. (2004). Embeddedness, Markets and the State: Observations from Tatarstan. In Russian Transformations: Challenging the Global Narrative. (1 ed., pp. 173-190). London: RoutledgeCurzon. . Publication link: b0858424-5e98-4059-af3e-4a0eaf5bdcef
  • Mccann, L. (2004). Russian Transformations: Challenging the Global Narrative. (1 ed.) (BASEES/RoutledgeCurzon series in Russian and East European Societies). London: RoutledgeCurzon.. Publication link: a5ac18b1-f29b-4617-a27d-f86aacbbd0ad
  • Mccann, L. (2004). Varieties of Capitalism: similarities of pressure: organizational restructuring and middle managers in UK and Japan. In host publication.. Publication link: f299936a-e5a3-488f-96e3-09643efd691b