Dr Harry Pitts

Dr Harry Pitts

Dr Harry Pitts
Lecturer in Management

3.08 (Howard House),
Howard House, Queen's Avenue, Bristol
(See a map)


Telephone Number (0117) 39 40523

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Department of Management

Personal profile

I am a Lecturer in Management at the University of Bristol, where I am also Faculty Business Fellow for Social Sciences and Law and lead the Faculty Research Group for Perspectives on Work. I direct two undergraduate units at the University of Bristol: Global Business Environment and People, Work & Organisations, and am Programme Director for the BSc in Economics and Management. I am a co-editor of Futures of Work, an online blog published by Bristol University Press, and sit on the Associate Board of Work, Employment & Society.

In a nutshell, my research explores how different actors- workers, managers, politicians, activists, policymakers and intellectuals- understand, experience and organise the changing world of work and economic life. This overarching agenda breaks down into three intersecting themes, each comprising more specific areas of interest: the organisation and management of work and economic futures, the politics and policy of work and economic futures and the theory and critique of work and economic futures. 

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 School 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 have 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. I have worked for and collaborated with a number of research partners outside academia including Indycube, Unite the Union, Vodafone, Smith & Williamson, the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, Creative England, Tower Hamlets Council, Toynbee Hall and the Global Labour Institute. 

I am the author of two books, Critiquing Capitalism Today: New Ways to Read Marx (Palgrave 2017) and, with Matt Bolton, Corbynism: A Critical Approach (Emerald, 2018). My peer-reviewed academic articles have appeared in journals including Economy & Society, R&D Management, Capital & Class and British Politics, and my work has been covered in media outlets including the Economist, the Financial Times, the Times, the Guardian, the Spectator and the New Statesman.


In a nutshell, my research explores how different actors- workers, managers, politicians, activists, policymakers and intellectuals- understand, experience and organise the changing world of work and economic life. This overarching agenda breaks down into three intersecting themes:

1) The organisation and management of work and economic futures This strand of my research explores how the changing world of work is organised, managed, experienced and contested in thought and practice by those employed and self-employed in a range of different fields and industries, including the creative industries and professional services. I am specifically interested in:

  • New forms of organisation for the self-employed 
  • New ways of working in an age of digital transformation 
  • Work in the creative industries 
  • Measuring and valuing work time in the professional services 
  • Self-quantification in and against the digital workday

2) The politics and policy of work and economic futures This part of my work critically engages with increasingly influential and persuasive ideas around the futures of work and capitalist society and how these are operationalised and mobilised around in concrete political activity and policymaking, specifically on social democratic and socialist left in and around the British Labour Party. I am specifically interested in:

  • Postcapitalist politics and the post-work imaginary 
  • Corbynism, the Labour Party and the left 
  • Universal Basic Income and its alternatives 
  • Institutions, civil society and alternative forms of social reproduction 

3) The theory and critique of work and economic futures This theme of my research centres on the reconsideration and renewal of Marx’s critique of political economy for the understanding of contemporary capitalism, testing revisionist approaches to Marxian value theory as a framework for relating what goes on in the workplace to what goes on in the market. I am specifically interested in:

  • New readings of Marx and their relevance to the study of work today 
  • Value, valuation and measurement 
  • Critiques of capitalism and conspiracy theory 
  • Postoperaismo, postcapitalism and the new politics of labour 


Christopher Pesterfield, Runfeng Xing


Unit Director, EFIM10012 Global Business Environment 

Unit Director, EFIM20022 People, Work & Organisations

Supervisor, EFIMM0014 Dissertation

Fields of interest

Future of Work, Workplace Change, Measurement and Valuation, Theories of Value, Capitalism and Postcapitalism, Creative and Cultural Industries, Social Reproduction, Automation, Universal Basic Income, Labour Movements, Sociology of Work, Organisation Studies, Critical Management Studies, Global Political Economy, Labour Studies, Marx, Critical Theory

Key publications

  1. Lombardozzi, L & Pitts, FH, 2019, ‘Social Form, Social Reproduction and Social Policy: Basic Income, Basic Services, Basic Infrastructure’. Capital and Class.
  2. Smart, P, Holmes, S, Lettice, F, Pitts, FH, Zwiegelaar, J, Schwartz, G & Evans, S, 2019, ‘Open Science and Open Innovation in a socio-political context: knowledge production for societal impact in an age of post-truth populism’. R and D Management, vol 49., pp. 279-297
  3. Pitts, FH, Jean, E & Clarke, Y, 2019, ‘Sonifying the Quantified Self: Rhythmanalysis and Performance Research In and Against the Reduction of Life-Time to Labour-Time’. Capital and Class.
  4. Chatterton, P, Dinerstein, AC, North, P & Pitts, FH, 2019, ‘Scaling Up or Deepening? Developing the Radical Potential of the SSE Sector in a Time of Crisis’. United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy
  5. Medland, L, Anderson, B, Bales, K, Bogg, A, Novitz, T, Davidson, JO, Pitts, FH & Turnbull, P, 2018, ‘The 'future' of work? A call for the recognition of continuities in challenges for conceptualising work and its regulation’. School of Law, University of Bristol
  6. Dinerstein, AC & Pitts, FH, 2018, ‘From post-work to post-capitalism? Discussing the basic income and struggles for alternative forms of social reproduction’. Journal of Labor and Society, vol 21., pp. 471-491
  7. Bolton, M & Pitts, FH, 2018, ‘Corbynism and Blue Labour: post-liberalism and national populism in the British Labour Party’. British Politics.
  8. Bolton, M & Pitts, FH, 2018, ‘Corbynism: A Critical Approach’. Emerald
  9. Pitts, FH, 2017, ‘Critiquing Capitalism Today: New Ways to Read Marx’. Palgrave Macmillan
  10. Pitts, FH, 2018, ‘Beyond the Fragment: postoperaismo, postcapitalism and Marx’s ‘Notes on machines’, 45 years on’. Economy and Society, vol 46., pp. 324-345

Latest publications

  1. Burger, K, Pitts, FH & Risk, J, 2019, ‘Understanding Productivity Practices: A Review Report’.
  2. Pitts, FH, 2019, ‘Value Form Theory, Open Marxism & the New Reading of Marx’. in: Ana Cecilia Dinerstein, Alfonso García Vela, Edith González, John Holloway (eds) Open Marxism IV: Against a Closing World. Pluto Press
  3. Pitts, FH, 2019, ‘What does the future of work look like?’. University of Bristol
  4. Pitts, FH, 2019, ‘Introducing Student as Producer: A Bristol perspective’. University of Bristol
  5. Pitts, FH, 2019, ‘SMart solutions for the self-employed beyond the ‘British Way’’. University of Bristol
  6. Bolton, M & Pitts, FH, 2019, ‘Why Jeremy Corbyn's 'rigged system' is a template for antisemitism’. Jewish Chronicle.
  7. Bolton, M & Pitts, FH, 2019, ‘Making Claims on Value: Local and National Communities of the Productive’. Futures of Work.
  8. Bolton, M & Pitts, FH, 2019, ‘Liberalism and critical Marxism: A reply to Glasman and Rutherford’. British Politics.
  9. Pitts, FH, 2019, ‘Expat agencies: Transnational communities in the British and Dutch creative industries’. in: Stephanie Taylor, Susan Luckman (eds) Hope, uncertainty and creative aspiration: pathways into new working lives.. Palgrave Macmillan
  10. Pitts, FH & Piera, MF, 2018, ‘Interview: Futures of work and capitalism’.
  11. Bolton, M & Pitts, FH, 2018, ‘Antisémitisme : le corbynisme doit changer sa vision du monde’. Conspiracy Watch.
  12. Bolton, M & Pitts, FH, 2018, ‘To combat left anti-semitism, Corbynism must change the way it sees the world’. New Statesman.
  13. Pitts, FH, 2018, ‘Creativity and Precarity, from New Labour to Alt-Labour: Angela McRobbie, Be Creative: Making a Living in the New Culture Industries and Nicole S Cohen, Writers’ Rights: Freelance Journalism in a Digital Age. Work, Employment and Society, vol 32., pp. 616-619
  14. Pitts, FH, 2018, ‘Karl Marx, dead or alive – what legacy has he left behind?’. School of Economics, Finance & Management blog.
  15. Pitts, FH, 2018, ‘The Point is Not to Change the World, But to Interpret it’. Palgrave Perspectives in Politics & International Studies.
  16. Thompson, P & Pitts, FH, 2018, ‘Bullshit about jobs’. RSA Journal.
  17. Pitts, FH, 2018, ‘Interview: Meet the Researcher - Harry Pitts’. TOR: The Open Review for the Social Sciences, vol 4. South West Doctoral Training Partnership, pp. 25-28
  18. Lombardozzi, L & Pitts, FH, 2018, ‘Abstract and Concrete Universals: Basic Services, Basic Infrastructure, Basic Income’. Futures of Work. University of Bristol Press
  19. Bolton, M & Pitts, FH, 2018, ‘Corbyn Must Shake Off His Ideological Shackles And Tackle Brexit As It Actually Is, Not How He Wishes It Might Be’. Huffington Post, vol 28/11/2018.
  20. Pitts, FH, Bales, K & Thomas, H, 2018, ‘To be a productive worker is not luck but misfortune’. Futures of Work. University of Bristol Press
  21. Pitts, FH, Bolton, M & Thomas, M, 2018, ‘Interview: Corbynism, Marxism, and "orthodox Marxism"’. Solidarity. Alliance for Workers' Liberty
  22. Pitts, FH, Bales, K & Thomas, H, 2018, ‘From the future of work to futures of work’. Futures of Work.
  23. Pitts, FH, 2018, ‘A crisis of measurability? Critiquing post-operaismo on labour, value and the basic income’. Capital and Class, vol 42., pp. 3-21
  24. Cruddas, J & Pitts, FH, 2018, ‘Marxism Revisited’. Fabian Review, vol 2018. Fabian Society, pp. 21-23
  25. Pitts, FH, 2017, ‘Marxian value theory and the ‘crisis of measurability’: a case study of work in the creative industries in the UK and the Netherlands’. University of Bath
  26. Pitts, FH, Bird, A, Crowley, L & Ross, P, 2017, ‘A new way of working for the self-employed – SMart’. coops.consultancy.
  27. Warner, N, Pitts, FH & Lombardozzi, L, 2017, ‘Why basic income alone will not be a panacea to social insecurity’. LSE Politics & Policy Blog. LSE Politics & Policy Blog
  28. Pitts, FH, 2017, ‘Creative Labour, Before and After ‘Going Freelance’: Contextual Factors and Coalition-Building Practices’. in: Stephanie Taylor, Susan Luckman (eds) The New Normal of Working Lives: Critical Studies in Contemporary Work and Employment. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 87-107
  29. Pitts, FH & Dinerstein, AC, 2017, ‘Postcapitalism, Basic Income and the End of Work: A Critique and Alternative’. University of Bath
  30. Pitts, FH, Lombardozzi, L & Warner, N, 2017, ‘Speenhamland, automation and the basic income: A lesson from history?’. Renewal: A Journal of Social Democracy, vol 25., pp. 145-155
  31. Pitts, FH & Dinerstein, AC, 2017, ‘Corbynism’s conveyor belt of ideas: Postcapitalism and the politics of social reproduction’. Capital and Class, vol 41., pp. 423-434
  32. Pitts, FH, Lombardozzi, L & Warner, N, 2017, ‘Beyond Basic Income: Overcoming the Crisis of Social Democracy?’. Foundation for European Progressive Studies
  33. Thompson, P & Pitts, FH, 2017, ‘Perspectives for Open Labour: a politics of radical pessimism’. Open Labour
  34. Pitts, FH, 2016, ‘'Flexibility works both ways': Bristol's zero-hours lifestyles’. Bristol Cable. Bristol Cable
  35. Pitts, FH, 2016, ‘Popular delusions: Corbynism constructs its people’. Open Democracy. Open Democracy
  36. Pitts, FH, 2016, ‘The rational kernel of Osbornomics? Labour can liberate the National Living Wage’. Social Europe Journal. Social Europe Journal
  37. Pitts, FH, 2016, ‘Can Corbynism claim the centre ground?’. Open Democracy. Open Democracy
  38. Pitts, FH, 2016, ‘Rhythms of Creativity and Power in Freelance Creative Work’. in: Juliet Webster, Keith Randle (eds) Virtual Workers and the Global Labour Market. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 139-159
  39. Pitts, FH, 2016, ‘Talking on the clock: Bristol's 'new factories'’. Bristol Cable. Bristol Cable
  40. Pitts, FH, 2016, ‘Corbynism changes the centre, but can it convert it?’. Disclaimer Magazine. Disclaimer Media Ltd
  41. Dinerstein, AC, Pitts, FH & Taylor, G, 2016, ‘A post-work economy of robots and machines is a bad Utopia for the left’. The Conversation. The Conversation Trust (UK) Limited
  42. Pitts, FH, 2016, ‘Capital as Power in the Creative Industries: A Case Study of Freelance Creative Work in the Netherlands’. Working Papers on Capital as Power
  43. Pitts, FH, 2016, ‘Beyond the Fragment: the Postoperaist Reception of Marx's Fragment on Machines’. University of Bristol
  44. Pitts, FH & , 2016, ‘Promoting Labour Rights and Social Protection in Post-Crisis Europe’. Foundation for European Progressive Studies
  45. Pitts, FH, 2015, ‘Form-giving fire: creative industries as Marx’s ‘work of combustion’ and the distinction between productive and unproductive labour’. in: Reconsidering Value and Labour in the Digital Age. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 246-260
  46. Pitts, FH, 2015, ‘A hidden history: defining and specifying the role of the creative industries’. Creative Industries Journal, vol 8., pp. 73-84
  47. Pitts, FH, 2015, ‘Five more years of this: Introduction to a post-election symposium’. TOR: The Open Review for the Social Sciences. South West Doctoral Training Partnership, pp. 19-24
  48. Pitts, FH, 2015, ‘The cultural intermediaries reader’. Cultural Trends, vol 24., pp. 330-333
  49. Pitts, FH, 2015, ‘Creativity and the commodity in the automobile industry’. International Journal of Cultural and Creative Industries, vol 2.
  50. Pitts, FH, 2015, ‘Normalisation, exclusion, commensuration: work, economics and the possibilities of political economy’. Enquire, vol 7., pp. 1-12
  51. Pitts, FH, 2015, ‘Always Be Closing: Experiencing and theorizing time and wage in a UK call center’. Tamara: Journal of Critical Organization Inquiry, vol 13., pp. 39-48
  52. Pitts, FH, 2015, ‘Creative Industries, Value Theory and Michael Heinrich’s New Reading of Marx’. tripleC: Communication, Capitalism and Critique, vol 13., pp. 192-222
  53. Pitts, FH, 2015, ‘Review of Paul Mason - Postcapitalism: A guide to our future’. Marx & Philosophy Review of Books.
  54. Pitts, FH, 2015, ‘Review of Christian Lotz, The Capitalist Schema: Time, Money, and the Culture of Abstraction’. Marx & Philosophy Review of Books.
  55. Pitts, FH, 2015, ‘Time and Work: Book Review of 'Time and Work Vols. 1 & 2 by Shipp, A.J., and Fried, Y.'’. Time and Society, vol 24., pp. 390-395
  56. Pitts, FH, 2015, ‘The Critique of the Equation and the Phenomenology of Production’. Historical Materialism, vol 23., pp. 228-239
  57. Pitts, FH, 2015, ‘The critique of political economy as a critical social theory’. Capital and Class, vol 39., pp. 537-544
  58. Pitts, FH, 2014, ‘Time crisis: autonomist thought, the immaterial working day and the Dot.Com boom and bust’. Sociologia Del Lavoro, vol 2014., pp. 171-182
  59. Pitts, FH, 2014, ‘Follow the money? Value theory and social inquiry’. Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization, vol 14., pp. 335-356
  60. Pitts, H, 2014, ‘Book review symposium: Kathi Weeks, The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries. Work, Employment and Society, vol 28., pp. 337-339
  61. Pitts, FH, 2014, ‘Theorising cultural work: Labour, continuity and change in the cultural and creative industries’. Cultural Trends, vol 23., pp. 211-214
  62. Pitts, FH, 2014, ‘Precariousness and the ‘end of salarization’ in the informational society’. Lo Squaderno, vol 31., pp. 11-14
  63. Pitts, FH, 2014, ‘To know whether we face a new dot com bubble, look at how we work and consume’. The Conversation. The Conversation Trust (UK) Limited
  64. Pitts, FH, 2013, ‘Is Tower Hamlets Rich or Poor? Part 2: The economy, skills and opportunities’. Tower Hamlets Fairness Commission
  65. Pitts, FH, 2013, ‘Is Tower Hamlets Rich or Poor? Part 1: Poverty, income and employment’. Tower Hamlets Fairness Commission
  66. Pitts, FH, 2013, ‘“Something in all men profoundly rejoices at seeing a car burn”: Pure Expenditure against Production’. TelosScope.
  67. Pitts, FH, 2013, ‘Neither Marx nor Smith: Baudrillard’s Critique of Productivism’. TelosScope.
  68. Pitts, FH, 2013, ‘‘A science to it’: Flexible time and flexible subjectivity in the digital workplace’. Work Organisation Labour and Globalisation, vol 7., pp. 95-105
  69. Pitts, FH, 2013, ‘Labour-time in the Dot.Com bubble: Marxist approaches’. Fast Capitalism, vol 10.
  70. Pitts, FH, 2012, ‘Work Sucks: Dead Labor in Smith, Ricardo, and Marx’. TelosScope.
  71. Pitts, FH, 2012, ‘Escape by Approximation: The Contemporary Relevance of Marcuse's Conceptualization of Labor’. TelosScope.
  72. Pitts, FH, 2012, ‘Mario Tronti's Critique of Trade Unionism’. TelosScope.
  73. Pitts, FH, 2012, ‘Mario Tronti's Anti-Social Socialism’. TelosScope.
  74. Pitts, FH, 2012, ‘The Political Agenda of the International Trade Union Movement’. Global Labour Institute

Full publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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