Dr Jennifer Johns

Dr Jennifer Johns

Dr Jennifer Johns
Reader in International Business

The Priory Road Complex, Priory Road, Clifton
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Department of Management

Personal profile

Dr. Jennifer Johns’ interdisciplinary research interests are primarily concerned with network approaches to economic development, entrepreneurship and innovation.  She has joined Bristol as a Reader in International Business, having previously worked at the University of Liverpool Management School and the University of Manchester.  

Jennifer's PhD, obtained from the School of Geography, University of Manchester, examined the agglomeration and production networks of the film and television industries in the North West of England. Whilst studying and working at the University of Manchester Jennifer collaborated on two large ESRC projects on Global Production Networks. The first was the foundational GPN project, the second examined the internationalisation of temporary staffing firms. 

Since then Jennifer has continued work on creative industries, focusing on the power relations between network actors and the causes and outcomes of precarity in creative work. She has also conducted empirical research on FabLabs (digital fabrication spaces) in Manchester, London and Barcelona, investigating the use of these spaces by entrepreneurs.  

Jennifer's current research focuses on technological change and innovation in global production networks and governance and transparency in supply chains.  She has two active grants:

1. A British Academy grant examining the impact of additive manufacturing (3D printing) on manufacturing supply chains. This is being investigated in the UK, Germany and the US. The project has two aims: a) to conceptualise and map the additive manufacturing production network and b) to understand the current impact of these new technologies on manufacturing production networks. 

2. A DFID/British Academy large grant (£200,000) on Chocoate, Clothes and Children: Managing the Transparency Divide lead by Alex Balch (Politics, University of Liverpool) with other collaborators from business and law.  This project investigates the Modern Slavery Act and the impact of the legislation on transparency in supply chains.  Empirical work is being conducted in the UK, Dominican Republic, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Ghana.  

Jennifer has published in various world leading and internationally excellent journals including Journal of Economic Geography, Environment and Planning A, Global Networks and others.  She has recenly published a co-edited Routledge Companion on International Business and Economic Geography. Jennifer enjoys engaging with industry and has conducted over 500 interviews with firms during her career. This creates much potential for impact, including her work with the Fab Foundation to produce a guide to setting up FabLabs, and through her work on both transparency and technological change in production networks. 


Latest publications

  1. Johns, J, 2018, ‘Creating a vibrant and sustainable economic geography?’. Environment and Planning A, vol 50., pp. 1536-1540
  2. Johns, J, 2016, ‘The Role of Lead Firms in Cluster Life Cycles: The Case of the Manchester Television Cluster’. Norwegian Journal of Geography, vol 70., pp. 162-175

Full publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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