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Dr Stephen Smith

Dr Stephen Smith
Senior Lecturer


Stephen Lloyd Smith is a member of Brunel Business School with special interests in emotional labour, practice development, the philosophy of method and in the class origins and emotional basis for the authority exercised by local authorities.

He is experienced in the use of different forms of applied drama, image work, learning sets (etc) for practice development, especially as a way examining and overcoming impasse.  He has worked with Kent Constabulary, the Royal College of Nursing, the Faculty of Occupational Medicine, the air-transport section of the International Transport Workers’ Federation and with a number of local authorities and health trusts.

He was the founding editor of the International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotions and has published papers in several journals including,  Local Economy, Science and Public Policy, Sociological Review, Social Science and Medicine, Research Policy, Soundings, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, the International Small Business Journal and in Philosophy of Management.  Recently he was guest editor for two special editions of the International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotions, based on presentations at the Conference on the Future of Feeling.  This was one of a series of conferences and seminars which he co-organised.

Steve has a special interest in the thoughts and writings of Arlie Hochschild.  In his estimation ‘She is the greatest living sociologist and by far the most acute observer of emotions in public and private life.’

Main teaching responsibilities cover organisational sociology, doctoral supervision and an MBA module called Managing for the Future.  For weekend projects he plays in a nine-piece soul band and is developing a radically new form of electric guitar which he has also patented.

He is currently working on the concept of ‘Artefact Cafes’ (with the School of Engineering and Design), on a Learning Set (with Meretta Elliot from the School of Arts and Kate Darlington, BBS) and on the ritual origins of local emotions (again with Kate Darlington who has chosen this as the focus of her doctoral research).  ‘Public feelings vary from place to place.  Some publics show great enthusiasm, others are confounded by bad-temper; yet others are passive and half-asleep.  Here nothing much happens.  The proposition that there are such things as ‘public emotions’ won’t be accepted by everybody, especially those who think social life is constituted out of individual interests and psychologies.  However, different feelings are reported clearly enough by members of different local elites.  And now we think we know why they vary.  It has to do with which public rituals are enacted, how often and with how big they are.  It is from these events that local authorities derive their “moral energies” and we know one place which is particularly expert in all of this.  It has been enacting big rituals for over a century and this has strengthened and shaped the authority which its local authority enjoys.’

Newest selected publications

Smith, SL. (2011) 'The 'New Cuyama 4663' Problem: A Reply to Norma Romm'. Philosophy of Management, 10 (3). pp. 85 - 102. ISSN: 1740-3812

Journal article

Smith, S. (2010) 'Naïve expertise: spacious alternative to the Standard Account of Method'. Philosophy of Management, 9 (3). pp. 95 - 133. ISSN: 1740-3812

Journal article

Smith, SL. (2009) 'Editorial: Weird scenes and the future of feelings'. International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion, 3 (2). pp. 91 - 111. ISSN: 1740-8938

Journal article

Smith, S., Colquhoun, R., Elliot, M. and Cornelius, N. (2007) 'Making a drama out of a crisis? 'performative learning' in the police service', in Reynolds, M. and Vince, R. (eds.) Handbook of experiential learning and management education. Oxford University Press. pp. 105 - 122. ISBN 13: 978-0199217632.

Book chapter
More publications(4)