Sustaining Economic Geography?:Business and Management Schools and the UK’s Great Economic Geography Diaspora

James, Al and Bradshaw, Michael and Coe, Neil and Faulconbridge, James Robert (2018) Sustaining Economic Geography?:Business and Management Schools and the UK’s Great Economic Geography Diaspora. Environment and Planning A, 50 (6). pp. 1355-1366. ISSN 0308-518X

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This Exchanges commentary is concerned with the health of Economic Geography (EG) as a sub-discipline, and economic geography (as a wider community of practice) in one of its historical heartlands, the UK. Against a backdrop of prior achievement, recent years have witnessed a noticeable migration of economic geographers in the UK from Departments of Geography to academic positions in Business and Management Schools and related research centres. For the first time, a new research report by the Economic Geography Research Group of the RGS-IBG – We’re In Business! Sustaining Economic Geography? – has empirically evidenced this trend since 2000 (see James et al. 2018 for the full report). In this parallel commentary, we summarise the major findings of that project in order to identify: the scale of this cross-disciplinary labour mobility; its operation at different levels of the academic career hierarchy; and the underlying motivations and variegated outcomes experienced by those making the transition. We then move to consider the wider implications of this ‘EG diaspora’ for sustaining EG teaching, research and knowledge production. While economic geography clearly has a healthy appeal to Business and Management as an interdisciplinary community of practice, we raise multiple concerns around the largely uni-directional nature of this ‘movers’ phenomenon in UK universities. We make a number of suggestions for possible interventions to effect positive change and to prompt a larger conversation that benchmarks this UK experience against other national contexts.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Environment and Planning A
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The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Environment and Planning A, 50 (6), 2018, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2018 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Environment and Planning A page: on SAGE Journals Online:
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Deposited On:
12 Mar 2018 10:10
Last Modified:
18 Oct 2023 01:20