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We’re in business! Sustaining economic geography? (Supplemental material for Sustaining Economic Geography? Business and Management Schools and the UK’s Great Economic Geography Diaspora)

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Al JamesORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of a report that has been published in its final definitive form by Sage Publications Ltd., 2018.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


This report is concerned with the health of Economic Geography (EG) as a sub-discipline, and economic geography (as a wider community of practice) in the UK. Against a backdrop of sub-disciplinary 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. This report examines the scale and significance of this trend, as documented in new survey and interview data generated through research carried out by the Economic Geography Research Group of the RGS-IBG (2015-17). We assess the scale of this cross-disciplinary labour mobility evident at all levels of the academic career hierarchy in EG in the UK; explore the underlying motivations and variegated work-life experiences of those making the transition; and consider its implications for teaching, research and new forms of knowledge production in the face of contemporary economic change and upheaval. 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, and for the embodied reproduction of our sub-discipline in Departments of Geography in UK universities. In response, we make a number of suggestions for possible interventions to effect positive change.

Publication metadata

Author(s): James A, Bradshaw MJ, Coe NM, Faulconbridge J

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title: Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space

Year: 2018

Pages: 1-35

Print publication date: 01/09/2018

Online publication date: 11/04/2018

Acceptance date: 14/02/2018

Institution: Sage Publications Ltd.

Place Published: United Kingdom


DOI: 10.1177/0308518X18764120

Notes: A report prepared for the Economic Geography Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers (13 February 2018).