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 in the Department of Management at the School of Economics, Finance and Management, University of Bristol, where I also 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.

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 Department 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 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 also worked and collaborated with a number of research partners outside academia including Vodafone, Indycube, Unite the Union, Creative England, Tower Hamlets Council and Toynbee Hall. 

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. I have peer reviewed academic papers for a range of journals including Organization Studies; Organization: the Critical Journal of Organization, Theory and Society; Ephemera: theory and politics in organization; Historical Materialism: Research in Critical Marxist Theory; Interface: A journal for and about social movements; Globalizations and Tamara: Journal of Critical Organization Inquiry.


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 


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. 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.
  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, 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. Bolton, M & Pitts, FH, 2018, ‘Corbynism: A Critical Approach’. Emerald
  8. Pitts, FH, 2017, ‘Critiquing Capitalism Today: New Ways to Read Marx’. Palgrave Macmillan
  9. 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
  10. 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

Latest publications

  1. Pitts, FH, 2019, ‘Introducing Student as Producer: A Bristol perspective’. University of Bristol
  2. Pitts, FH, 2019, ‘What does the future of work look like?’. University of Bristol
  3. Pitts, FH, 2019, ‘SMart solutions for the self-employed beyond the ‘British Way’’. University of Bristol
  4. Bolton, M & Pitts, FH, 2019, ‘Why Jeremy Corbyn's 'rigged system' is a template for antisemitism’. Jewish Chronicle.
  5. Bolton, M & Pitts, FH, 2019, ‘Making Claims on Value: Local and National Communities of the Productive’. Futures of Work.
  6. Bolton, M & Pitts, FH, 2019, ‘Liberalism and critical Marxism: A reply to Glasman and Rutherford’. British Politics.
  7. 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
  8. Pitts, FH, 2018, ‘Karl Marx, dead or alive – what legacy has he left behind?’. School of Economics, Finance & Management blog.
  9. Thompson, P & Pitts, FH, 2018, ‘Bullshit about jobs’. RSA Journal.
  10. Pitts, FH, 2018, ‘The Point is Not to Change the World, But to Interpret it’. Palgrave Perspectives in Politics & International Studies.
  11. Bolton, M & Pitts, FH, 2018, ‘To combat left anti-semitism, Corbynism must change the way it sees the world’. New Statesman.
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. Pitts, FH, Bales, K & Thomas, H, 2018, ‘To be a productive worker is not luck but misfortune’. Futures of Work. University of Bristol Press
  15. Pitts, FH, Bolton, M & Thomas, M, 2018, ‘Interview: Corbynism, Marxism, and "orthodox Marxism"’. Solidarity. Alliance for Workers' Liberty
  16. Lombardozzi, L & Pitts, FH, 2018, ‘Abstract and Concrete Universals: Basic Services, Basic Infrastructure, Basic Income’. Futures of Work. University of Bristol Press
  17. Pitts, FH, Bales, K & Thomas, H, 2018, ‘From the future of work to futures of work’. Futures of Work.
  18. Cruddas, J & Pitts, FH, 2018, ‘Marxism Revisited’. Fabian Review, vol 2018. Fabian Society, pp. 21-23
  19. Pitts, FH & Piera, MF, 2018, ‘Interview: Futures of work and capitalism’.
  20. Bolton, M & Pitts, FH, 2018, ‘Antisémitisme : le corbynisme doit changer sa vision du monde’. Conspiracy Watch.
  21. Bolton, M & Pitts, FH, 2018, ‘Corbynism and Blue Labour: post-liberalism and national populism in the British Labour Party’. British Politics.
  22. 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
  23. Pitts, FH, Bird, A, Crowley, L & Ross, P, 2017, ‘A new way of working for the self-employed – SMart’. coops.consultancy.
  24. 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
  25. 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
  26. 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
  27. 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
  28. Pitts, FH & Dinerstein, AC, 2017, ‘Postcapitalism, Basic Income and the End of Work: A Critique and Alternative’. University of Bath
  29. Thompson, P & Pitts, FH, 2017, ‘Perspectives for Open Labour: a politics of radical pessimism’. Open Labour
  30. Pitts, FH, Lombardozzi, L & Warner, N, 2017, ‘Beyond Basic Income: Overcoming the Crisis of Social Democracy?’. Foundation for European Progressive Studies
  31. 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
  32. Pitts, FH, 2016, ‘Can Corbynism claim the centre ground?’. Open Democracy. Open Democracy
  33. Pitts, FH, 2016, ‘The rational kernel of Osbornomics? Labour can liberate the National Living Wage’. Social Europe Journal. Social Europe Journal
  34. Pitts, FH, 2016, ‘Popular delusions: Corbynism constructs its people’. Open Democracy. Open Democracy
  35. Pitts, FH, 2016, ‘'Flexibility works both ways': Bristol's zero-hours lifestyles’. Bristol Cable. Bristol Cable
  36. Pitts, FH, 2016, ‘Talking on the clock: Bristol's 'new factories'’. Bristol Cable. Bristol Cable
  37. Pitts, FH, 2016, ‘Corbynism changes the centre, but can it convert it?’. Disclaimer Magazine. Disclaimer Media Ltd
  38. Pitts, FH, 2016, ‘Beyond the Fragment: the Postoperaist Reception of Marx's Fragment on Machines’. University of Bristol
  39. 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
  40. 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
  41. Pitts, FH & , 2016, ‘Promoting Labour Rights and Social Protection in Post-Crisis Europe’. Foundation for European Progressive Studies
  42. 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
  43. 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
  44. Pitts, FH, 2015, ‘A hidden history: defining and specifying the role of the creative industries’. Creative Industries Journal, vol 8., pp. 73-84
  45. Pitts, FH, 2015, ‘Normalisation, exclusion, commensuration: work, economics and the possibilities of political economy’. Enquire, vol 7., pp. 1-12
  46. Pitts, FH, 2015, ‘Creativity and the commodity in the automobile industry’. International Journal of Cultural and Creative Industries, vol 2.
  47. Pitts, FH, 2015, ‘Review of Christian Lotz, The Capitalist Schema: Time, Money, and the Culture of Abstraction’. Marx & Philosophy Review of Books.
  48. 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
  49. 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
  50. 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
  51. Pitts, FH, 2015, ‘The cultural intermediaries reader’. Cultural Trends, vol 24., pp. 330-333
  52. Pitts, FH, 2015, ‘Review of Paul Mason - Postcapitalism: A guide to our future’. Marx & Philosophy Review of Books.
  53. Pitts, FH, 2015, ‘The critique of political economy as a critical social theory’. Capital and Class, vol 39., pp. 537-544
  54. Pitts, FH, 2015, ‘The Critique of the Equation and the Phenomenology of Production’. Historical Materialism, vol 23., pp. 228-239
  55. 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
  56. 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
  57. Pitts, FH, 2014, ‘Precariousness and the ‘end of salarization’ in the informational society’. Lo Squaderno, vol 31., pp. 11-14
  58. 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
  59. Pitts, FH, 2014, ‘Theorising cultural work: Labour, continuity and change in the cultural and creative industries’. Cultural Trends, vol 23., pp. 211-214
  60. Pitts, FH, 2014, ‘Follow the money? Value theory and social inquiry’. Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization, vol 14., pp. 335-356
  61. Pitts, FH, 2013, ‘Is Tower Hamlets Rich or Poor? Part 2: The economy, skills and opportunities’. Tower Hamlets Fairness Commission
  62. Pitts, FH, 2013, ‘Is Tower Hamlets Rich or Poor? Part 1: Poverty, income and employment’. Tower Hamlets Fairness Commission
  63. Pitts, FH, 2013, ‘“Something in all men profoundly rejoices at seeing a car burn”: Pure Expenditure against Production’. TelosScope.
  64. Pitts, FH, 2013, ‘Neither Marx nor Smith: Baudrillard’s Critique of Productivism’. TelosScope.
  65. 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
  66. Pitts, FH, 2013, ‘Labour-time in the Dot.Com bubble: Marxist approaches’. Fast Capitalism, vol 10.
  67. Pitts, FH, 2012, ‘Work Sucks: Dead Labor in Smith, Ricardo, and Marx’. TelosScope.
  68. Pitts, FH, 2012, ‘Escape by Approximation: The Contemporary Relevance of Marcuse's Conceptualization of Labor’. TelosScope.
  69. Pitts, FH, 2012, ‘Mario Tronti's Critique of Trade Unionism’. TelosScope.
  70. Pitts, FH, 2012, ‘Mario Tronti's Anti-Social Socialism’. TelosScope.
  71. 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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