Chris started his academic career in 1992 as a teaching assistant at the Department of Politics, The University of Hull. In 1993, he moved to The University of Birmingham to be a teaching assistant in both INLOGOV and POLSIS. In 1994, he moved to the Business School to take up a research post and since that time has resided in the Procurement and Operations Management Group. He received his PhD in 1995 for work into the private equity market.
In 1999, Chris became a lecturer in the Business School, becoming Senior Lecturer in 2005, Reader in 2011 and a Professor in 2020. Since 1999, he has been Programme Director of the MBA in Strategy and Procurement Management, Head of the Procurement and Operations Management Group and Programme Director of the UG Business Management degrees. He is currently Director of Research for the Department of Management.
In 2008, he was awarded honorary fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, FCIPS; in 2012, he won the University / Guild Outstanding Personal Tutor Award; and his 2014 to date research-informed and 4* rated impact work (with Joe Sanderson) with Rolls-Royce plc has been nominated for a succession of awards by both the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply Management and the University, winning the College of Social Science prize in 2017 and receiving a commendation in the University’s Impact Awards in 2018.
Over the years, Chris has worked with a number of public and private sector organisations including the aforementioned Rolls-Royce plc, Department for Education and Skills, the Department of Health / various NHS organisations (2001 to date), IBM (1998-2007), BP Exploration, Novelis AG and Interbrew. He is also a long-standing lecturer on the Business School's Executive MBA programmes and the Health Service Management Centre's Executive MSc programmes.
Chris has also been successful in attracting research funding. In 2001, he was the joint-recipient of a £338,000 EPSRC grant for research into buyer-supplier relationships. In 2002, he was the joint-recipient of a £75,041 contract with the Oxford Radcliffe NHS Hospital Trust for research into organisational buying behaviour. In 2007, he was the joint-recipient of an £99,901 ESRC grant for research into temporary employment in the UK public sector. In 2010, he was the joint-recipient of an EREBUS CASE studentship concerning public sector procurement. In 2013, he was the joint-recipient of a £90,460 NHS NIHR grant for research into NHS commissioning.
All of these research projects have yielded a high number of publications (see list below), many in internationally leading journals such as Public Administration, the British Journal of Industrial Relations, Human Resource Management and Work, Employment and Society. Chris has also contributed to studies undertaken by the National Audit Office and the Treasury Select Committee.
Chris's current research activities focus upon procurement’s professionalization project, social value procurement, procurement and make/buy within the aerospace sector and the development of trustworthiness within buyer-supplier relationships. Chris also retains an interest in political science, with a particular focus upon the politics of state-finance relations and modern political philosophy.