About

Frederick Harry Pitts, profile pictureI am a Lecturer in Management in the Department of Management at the School of Economics,  Finance and Management, University of Bristol. I hold a PhD in Global Political Economy from the Department of Social and Policy Sciences, University of Bath, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. Prior to joining the Department of Management, I taught social theory at the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies, University of Bristol and the Department of Social and Policy Sciences, University of Bath. I also held research posts at the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies, University of Bristol; the Department of Arts and Cultural Industries, University of the West of England; and the Faculty of Philosophy, Erasmus University Rotterdam

My research takes a critical perspective on the changing world of work and economic life. My empirical research to date has interrogated the creative industries as a forum for wider changes in contemporary capitalism, specifically with reference to conflicts and tensions around valuation and measurement. Contesting the conceptualisation of creative industries as ‘beyond measure’, my doctoral thesis examined the continued struggle to value and quantify creative labour in advertising, branding and graphic design, and the conflicts and tensions that arise around it. Theoretically, this work has sought to interrogate claims of novelty around key areas of contemporary work via a reconceptualisation of Marx’s critique of political economy for the critical study of organisations, with a particular focus on value. This latter theoretical strand of my work culminates in a monograph, Critiquing Capitalism Today: New Ways to Read Marx, published with Palgrave in late 2017.

My current research critically interrogates popular conceptualisations of the future of work, mapping possibilities for the creation of real alternatives. Through the empirical study of grassroots experiments in the reconfiguration of how goods and services are produced and consumed- including the circular economy, the sharing economy, community agriculture and mutuals and cooperatives- this agenda explores contradictions around the development and institutionalisation of practical alternatives in the organisation of work, social reproduction and economic life. The focus on the challenges of replicating and legislating for these structures poses a critical counterweight to contemporary prospectuses of an imminent ‘postcapitalist’ or ‘post-work’ society. Addressing a policy context in which ideas around the end of work, automation, and basic income are gaining increasing uptake, this developing research centres on the challenges confronting attempts at creating alternatives in the contemporary age.