Stephen is a lecturer in the Work, Employment, People and Organisations Division and a member of the Institute of Work Psychology. Before joining Sheffield University Management School in 2018, he was a lecturer at Hull University Business School (2014-2018), and previously at Lancaster University Management School (having completed his PhD there in 2012). Prior to his academic career, he held roles at a range of organisations from new business start-ups to large international companies.
Stephen's key commitments for good teaching practice involve: taking a critical approach that considers and explores the politics and powers in processes of producing knowledge and teaching students; developing student’s awareness of and practices for reflection to help probe their ways of knowing by appreciating how their locations (physical, historical and relational) can shape their understanding; and, drawing upon learning perspectives that see teaching as encompassing on-going, evolving and collaborative processes of sense making which happen in dynamic environments.
The variety of non-academic jobs that Stephen undertook prior to working in academia have given him a good appreciation of the career realities for students of working in different settings. For example, his international working spans a range of roles include: co-founding a successful start-up in London, working in the global sales and distribution team of a multinational technology company in New York, and being an account manager for a global research and consulting business. These experiences place him well to promote learning by grounding innovative pedagogy amongst personal examples of managing and being managed.
By working at the intersections of ideas about sustainability, reflexivity and leadership his interdisciplinary research explores how people make sense of and attempt to organise for socio-ecological sustainabilities. The focus of his recently published work includes: exploring how sustainability became translated into actions at a major urban regeneration project; developing a more complex and nuanced understanding of scale in relation to sustainable organising; offering new approaches to sustainability in management education; considering ethical forms of organising that help to foster inclusivity and equality; and, investigating senior managers’ identity tensions in relation to sustainability in the energy and power industry. Stephen's work has been published in journals including: British Journal of Management, Journal of Business Ethics, Management Learning, Organization and Environment, and Scandinavian Journal of Management. He is a member of the International Editorial Board for Management Learning. He has co-convened streams at the International Critical Management Studies conference.
Stephen is interested in supervising PhD students in the following broad areas:
• Organisations and socio-ecological sustainability
• Reflexivity and reflexive practice
• Learning and education for sustainability
• Critical and post-heroic leadership
Allen S. (2019) 'The Unbounded Gatherer: possibilities for posthuman writing-reading', Scandinavian Journal of Management. Vol. 35, No.1, pp.64-75
O’Reilly D, Allen S and Reedy P (2018) 'Re-imagining the scales, dimensions, and fields of socio-ecological sustainability', British Journal of Management, Vol. 29, Issue 2, pp. 220-234
Allen S, Brigham M & Marshall J (2018) 'Lost in delegation? (Dis)organizing for sustainability', Scandinavian Journal of Management, Vol. 34, Issue 1, pp. 29-39
Allen S, Cunliffe A & Easterby-Smith M (2017) 'Understanding sustainability through the lens of ecocentric radical-reflexivity: Implications for management education', Journal of Business Ethics, Online first - http://rdcu.be/owXe
Allen S (2017) 'Learning from Friends: Developing appreciations for unknowing in reflexive practice', Management Learning, Vol. 48, Issue 2, pp. 125-139
Allen S, Marshall J & Easterby-Smith M (2015) 'Living with contradictions: the dynamics of senior managers’ identity tensions in relation to sustainability', Organization and Environment, Vol. 28, No.3, pp. 328-348