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Dr Rebecca Whiting

  • Overview



    My first career was in law, working in the area of commercial dispute resolution. This certainly alerted me to the complexity of issues within and between corporations and got me interested in all things organizational. Changing to an academic career has allowed me to develop this into research that begins to unpack some of the taken-for-granted aspects of the contemporary workplace.

    Employment History

    2013 – 2015: Research Associate, The Open University
    2011 - 2013: Researcher, Department of Organizational Psychology, Birkbeck, University of London
    2004-2011: Senior Research Administrator, Department of Psychology, King’s College London
    2004-2008: Sessional Lecturer, Faculty of Continuing Education (Psychology), Birkbeck, University of London
    1988-2000: Solicitor (commercial dispute resolution)


    • Latest journal article:

      Pritchard, K. and Whiting, R. (2022). Tyred out: Natural aging and aesthetic labor in Pirelli's 2017 calendar. Gender, Work & Organization 1-16.

    • Forthcoming book chapter:

      Pritchard, K., Whiting, R. and Reed, C. (forthcoming) Ageing and work-life complexities in retirement. In Wilkinson, K. and Woolnough, H. Work-Life Inclusion: Broadening perspectives across the life-course. Bingley: Emerald Publishing.


    • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Higher Education Academy, 2016
    • PGCE in Higher Education (Merit), Birkbeck, University of London, 2016
    • PhD in Organizational Psychology, Birkbeck, University of London, 2012
    • MSc Occupational Psychology (Distinction), Birkbeck, University of London, 2005
    • Graduate Diploma in Psychology (Distinction), University of Westminster, 2003
    • Extra Mural Certificate in Psychology (Distinction), Birkbeck, University of London, 2002
    • BA (Hons) Law, University of Cambridge, 1983

    Web profiles

    Administrative responsibilities

    • Postgraduate Research Lead (Business School)
    • Director and Admissions Tutor, Organizational Psychology MPhil/PhD Programme

    Professional memberships

    • European Group for Organization Studies (EGOS)

    • British Sociological Association

    Honours and awards

    • Nomination for SAGE Prize for Innovation/Excellence (Paper nominated: Whiting, R & Symon, G. (2020) Digi-Housekeeping: The invisible work of flexibility. Work, Employment and Society), SAGE, September 2021
    • Best Developmental Paper Award: Whiting, R and Evans, S. (2019) Constructing the contemporary theatre director in UK online media. In: British Academy of Management Conference, Cultural & Creative Industries stream, September 2019., British Academy of Management, September 2019
    • Nomination for the That’s Interesting! Award (paper nominated: Whiting, R and Pritchard, K. Weary women: The responsibility for gendered representations of retirement. Paper presented at the 35th EGOS Colloquium), European Group for Organization Studies (EGOS), March 2019
    • Ronald Tress Prize, awarded annually for early career academics (Runner Up)., Birkbeck, University of London., September 2017
    • Best Developmental Paper Award: : Whiting, R, Roby, H, Chamakiotis, P and Symon, G (2014). The researcher within participant videos: The not so ‘absent’ presence. Paper presented at Research Methodology stream at British Academy of Management Conference, September 2014., British Academy of Management, September 2014
    • Best Developmental Paper award. Symon, G., Chamakiotis, P., Whiting, R. and Roby, H. (2014) Identity Work across Boundaries in a Digital World. Paper presented at Identity stream at British Academy of Management Conference, September 2014. , British Academy of Management, September 2014
    • Academic Excellence Award: Joint Best PhD Thesis, School of Business, Economics and Informatics, Birkbeck, University of London, September 2013
    • Best Developmental Paper Award: Pritchard, K and Whiting, R (2012). Tracking and trawling: Theorising ‘participants’ and ‘data’ in qualitative e-research., British Academy of Management, September 2012


  • Research


    Research interests

    • Qualitative methodologies including digital and visual methods
    • Social Constructionism
    • Diversity (in particular, age, gender and class)
    • Digital technologies
    • Invisible work
    • Research and business ethics

    Research overview

    My research examines socially constructed aspects of diversity (particularly age, gender and class), and work life boundaries, as well as the role of digital technology in the organization, visibility and meaningfulness of contemporary work. I am interested in qualitative methodologies, including participatory video diaries, multimodal analysis of online data and discourse methods. 

    I welcome enquiries from prospective PhD students seeking to conduct qualitative doctoral research on these topics.

    My current research projects include:

    Digital Clergy: Pursuing Meaningful Work in a Digital World (2019 – ongoing), with Prof Gillian Symon (PI), RHUL and Dr Rebecca Taylor, University of Southampton and supported by the Church of England. This project investigates clergy perceptions of using digital technologies and moving ministry online in the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Recent invited talks include:

    Webinar ‘Assessing quality in qualitative research: Challenges and opportunities’ UK Reproducibility Network, University of East Anglia, 1 November 2023.

    Keynote. 'Emotionally demanding research: In between researcher and life' with Helen Cooper & Janet Sheath. BEI PhD conference, 21 June 2023.

    Presentation ‘Tales of weary women: Methodology to capture lost knowledge’ and panel discussant. Out of the Armchair! Exploring 'Uncomfortable' Qualitative Methods for a Changing World (A BSA Early Career Forum Regional Event), Swansea University School of Management, 9 June 2022.

    Webinar ‘Digi-housekeeping: the invisible work of flexibility’. University of Swansea Business Department Seminar Series, 21 April 2021.

    Webinar ‘Collecting Qualitative Data using Digital Methods’ for the Centre for Qualitative Research, University of Bath (funded by the South West Doctoral Training Partnership, part of a series of Demand-Led Qualitative Innovations Sessions), 25 March 2021.

    Webinar "Digital Strategizing & SAP Research" - the Academy of Management’s Strategizing Activities and Practices (SAP) Interest Group, 23 February 2021.

    Webinar ‘Collecting qualitative online data’ Dept of Management, University of Ulster Business School, 15 December 2020.

    Webinar 'Collecting qualitative online data: Our methodological journey since 2012'. Digital Organisation and Society Research Centre, Royal Holloway, University of London, 2 December 2020.

    Research Centres and Institutes

    Research clusters and groups

    • Diversity Research Group
  • Supervision and teaching

    Supervision and teaching


    Current PhD supervision

    Dominika Mazurek whose research is examining how the working lives of professional women with symptoms of menopause are shaped by organisational discursive constructions of women’s mid-life bodies.

    Merry Scott Jones whose research is examining the role of social movements on equality, diversity and inclusion in the Civil Service.

    Isabel Beydag whose research is examining how intellectual activism and academic agency is shaped by the evolution of intellectualism and neoliberalism.

    Roger Fagg whose research is examining the experience of volunteers in the heritage / cultural sector who have roles involving the management of other volunteers.

    Greg Swaysland whose research is examining the lived experience and self-efficacy of people with disabilities in the workplace.

    Doctoral Alumni

    Adrian Eagleson (completed July 2023), thesis title: Investigating Human Resource Development (HRD) value in a post-crisis context: Stakeholder perceptions following the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).

    Christine Brown (completed January 2022), thesis title: Discourses of digital difference.

    Samantha Evans (completed November 2020), thesis title: Struggles for distinction: class and classed inequality in UK museum work.

    Helen Cooper (completed November 2020), thesis title: Taxi! A narrative study of low-skilled work from a career boundary perspective.


    I welcome enquiries from prospective PhD students who are interested in undertaking qualitative research in my areas of research interest.

    Current doctoral researchers



    • Director and Admissions Tutor, MPhil/PhD Programme
    • Supervisor, MSc and BSc research projects

    Lecturer and Module Convenor:

    • Learning & Development (MSc)


    • Research Methods (MSc)

    Teaching modules

    • Research Methods (BUOB037H7)
    • Learning and Development (MOOP012H7)
  • Publications




    Book Review

    Book Section

    • Whiting, Rebecca (2020) Embracing research ethics approval: from cognitive walk-through to reflexive journey. In: Townsend, K. and Saunders, M. and Loudoun, R. and Morrison, E. (eds.) How to Keep Your Doctorate On Track: Insights From Students’ and Supervisors’ Experiences. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing. ISBN 9781788975629. (In Press)
    • Whiting, Rebecca and Symon, G. and Roby, H. and Chamakiotis, P. (2018) Participant-led video diaries. In: Buchanan, D. and Bryman, A. (eds.) Unconventional Methodology in Organization and Management Research. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198796985.
    • Pritchard, Katrina and Whiting, Rebecca (2017) Analysing web images. In: Cunliffe, A. and Cassell, C. and Grandy, G. (eds.) SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Business and Management Research Methods. London, UK: Sage. ISBN 9781473926622.
    • Whiting, Rebecca and Pritchard, Katrina (2017) Digital ethics. In: Cunliffe, A. and Cassell, C. and Grandy, G. (eds.) SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Business and Management Research Methods. London, UK: Sage. ISBN 9781473926622.
    • Pritchard, K. and Whiting, Rebecca (2017) Investigating understandings of age in the workplace. In: Niven, K. and Lewis, S. and Kagan, C. (eds.) Making a Difference with Psychology. The Richard Benjamin Trust. pp. 225-234. ISBN 9781788085670.

    Conference Item