Professor Joanne Duberley

Professor Joanne Duberley

Department of Management
Professor of Organisational Studies

Contact details

Birmingham Business School
University House
B15 2TT

Jo is a Professor of Organisation Studies. She has previously worked at Heriot Watt University, Sheffield University, Leeds University and Sheffield Hallam University. Jo has taught OB, HRM and change management to postgraduate and undergraduate students. She has supervised 10 PhDs to completion and is currently supervising 4 PhD students.

Jo is also Co-Director of the Work Inclusivity Research Centre (WIRC).


PhD Organisation Studies, Loughborough University, 1994

BA (Hons) Organisation Studies with Industrial Relations Lancaster University, 1989



Jo joined the University of Birmingham in 2002.  Prior to this she had held posts at Heriot Watt, Sheffield, Leeds and Sheffield Hallam Universities.  She has held a wide variety of leadership posts whilst at Birmingham including, Director of undergraduate programme in Business and Management, Director of Postgraduate Research for College of Social Sciences,  Director of Research for Birmingham Business School and is currently Deputy Director of Research for the College of Social Sciences. Jo is also Co-Director of the Work Inclusivity Research Centre (WIRC).

Central to her research is an interest in the concept of career.   Her main contribution in this area has been to develop a more theoretically informed and contextually embedded understanding of career.  In the last ten years she has developed research examining the impact of gender, ethnicity, social class and age on careers in a variety of contexts.

She has secured over £1million funding to support her research from funders such as ESRC, EPSRC, NIHR, Sopcial Mobility and Child Poverty Commission. 


MSc Business and Management final year elective in Change Management

Postgraduate supervision

Jo would be interested in supervising students in the following areas:

  • Social mobility and access to the elite professions
  • Extended working lives and older women’s experiences of work


Jo’s research is focussed on the concept of career.  She has lead a number of projects exploring careers in a variety of contexts, including academic scientists, women entrepreneurs, NHS managers and women approaching retirement. She has received funding for this from ESRC, the British Academy and NHS SDO.  

Current interests

  • Older women’s experience of working
  • Women in engineering
  • Social class in organisations
  • Workplace inclusion and the lived experience of diversity

Other activities

  • Fellow of Royal Society of Arts
  • Fellow of Academy of Social Sciences


Birkett, H., Carmichael, F and Duberley, J (2017) Activity in the third age: Examining the relationship between careers and retirement experiences, Journal of Vocational Behavior, 103 pp52-65

Cohen, L., Duberley, J. and Mcgavin P., (2018) Losing the faith: Public sector work and the erosion of career calling, Work, Employment and Society, forthcoming 

Duberley, J., Carrigan, M., Bosangit, C and Ferreira, J (2017) Diamonds are a girl’s best friend?... Examining Gender and Careers in the Jewellery Industry, Organization, vol 24(3) pp355-376

Duberley, J and Carmichael, F (2016) Career pathways into retirement in the UK: linking older women’s pasts to the present, Gender Work and Organization, vol 23 (6) pp582-599

Cohen , L and Duberley, J (2015) Three faces of context and their implications for career: a study of public sector careers cut short, Journal of Vocational Behavior, vol 91, pp. 189-202

Duberley, J (2015) The Future of Qualitative Research: Unity, fragmentation or pluralism?  Qualitative Research in Organisation and Management, Vol. 10 Iss 4 pp. 340 - 343

Johnson, P and Duberley J (2015) Inductive Praxis and Management Research: Towards a Reflexive Framework, British Journal of Management, 26(4), 760-776

Duberley, J., Carmichael, F., & Szmigin, I. (2014). Exploring Women's Retirement: Continuity, Context and Career Transition. Gender, Work & Organization, 21(1), 71-90

Cohen, L and Duberley, J (2013) Constructing careers through narrative and music: an analysis of Desert Island Discs, Journal of Vocational Behavior, 82,(3), 165-175

Duberley, J and Carrigan M (2013) The career narratives of ‘Mumpreneurs’:  Women’s experiences of combining enterprise and motherhood, International Small Business Journal 31(6), 629-651

View all publications in research portal