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Dr David Cross BA (Hons), MSc, PhD

Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour and Human Resource Management

Dr David Cross's photo

Dr David Cross is a Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour and Human Resource Management within Southampton Business School at the University of Southampton.


David holds a PhD in Management from the University of Bath School of Management where he also gained an MSc in Management, achieving a Distinction and graduating top of his class. As an undergraduate he read History and Sociology at the University of Warwick. Before joining Southampton he was a Research Associate and Teaching Fellow at the University of Bath.

He has presented papers at international conferences, including the Academy of Management (AoM) Annual Meeting in Chicago where he won a best paper award, European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS) Colloquiums, and smaller workshops on HRM and OB.  He has won awards for his public engagement work and appeared on local radio and ITV as a specialist on self-employment. He is an academic member of the Centre for Research on Self-Employment (CRSE) based in London.

Prior to academia he served as a commissioned officer in the Pilot Branch of the Royal Air Force and has worked in both civilian and uniformed roles for Avon and Somerset Police.



Centre for Research on People and Organisational Change

Staff Member

Department of Human Resource Management and Organisational Behaviour

Research interests

My research interests broadly concern understanding the experience of a changing world of work. This primarily concerns the investigation of bonds of commitment as a central way of forming relationships and guiding behaviour. Empirically I explore these through the lens of ‘liminality’, that is, the experience of being ‘betwixt and between’ and outside of regular social frameworks such as organisations and employment.

My work centres on self-employed individuals, primarily knowledge workers and consultants. Naturally this overlaps with research in the so-called 'gig-economy' although I am sceptical as to the usefulness of this label and how new this really is.

I am currently involved in research projects to investigate these issues on a wider scale, looking at how individuals coalesce into project network organisations. These often appear to be traditional organisations but are in fact self-employed individuals or a project based core with a wider network of collaborators that are legally independent but often operationally interdependent.  

My research methods are qualitative in nature, focussing on interviews and I am especially interested in visual methods, participant drawings and visual metaphor analysis.

I am currently a reviewer at the Human Resource Management Journal and the British Journal of Management.


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I am the module co-ordinator on MANG1003 Introduction to Management


Dr David Cross
Southampton Business School, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK

Room Number: 2/4047

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