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, with current responsibility for the first-year Global Business Environment and second-year People, Work and Organisations units. I hold a PhD in Global Political Economy from the Department of Social and Policy Sciences, University of Bath, for which I was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council as one of the inaugural intake of the South West Doctoral Training Partnership. 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. Previous research roles and collaborations outside academia include Unite the Union, Creative England, Tower Hamlets Borough Council and Toynbee Hall. I am a member of the Labour in Transition International Interdisciplinary Network, and a member of the Associate Board for Work, Employment & Society. I am also co-editor of Futures of Work, a new online magazine of ideas published by Bristol University Press.


Cutting across Sociology of Work, Organisation Studies and Global Political Economy, my research takes a critical perspective on the changing world of work and economic life. My empirical research to date has interrogated the creative industries as a forum for wider changes in contemporary capitalism, specifically with reference to conflicts and tensions around valuation and measurement. Contesting the conceptualisation of creative industries as ‘beyond measure’, my doctoral thesis examined the continued struggle to value and quantify creative labour in advertising, branding and graphic design, and the conflicts and tensions that arise around it. Theoretically, this work has sought to interrogate claims of novelty around key areas of contemporary work via a reconceptualisation of Marx’s critique of political economy for the critical study of organisations, with a particular focus on value. This strand of my work culminates in a monograph, Critiquing Capitalism Today: New Ways to Read Marx, published with Palgrave in late 2017.

My current research critically interrogates popular conceptualisations of the future of work, mapping possibilities for the creation of real alternatives. Through the empirical study of grassroots experiments in the reconfiguration of how goods and services are produced and consumed- particularly cooperatives for freelancers, precarious workers and the self-employed- this agenda explores contradictions around the development and institutionalisation of practical alternatives in the organisation of work, social reproduction and economic life. The focus on the challenges of replicating and legislating for these structures poses a critical counterweight to contemporary prospectuses of an imminent ‘postcapitalist’ or ‘post-work’ society. Addressing a policy context in which ideas around the end of work, automation, and basic income are gaining increasing uptake, this developing research centres on the challenges confronting attempts at creating alternatives in the contemporary age. 


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, 2017, ‘Critiquing Capitalism Today: New Ways to Read Marx’. Palgrave Macmillan
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. Pitts, FH & Dinerstein, AC, 2017, ‘Postcapitalism, Basic Income and the End of Work: A Critique and Alternative’. University of Bath
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. Pitts, FH & , 2017, ‘Beyond Basic Income: Overcoming the Crisis of Social Democracy?’. Foundation for European Progressive Studies
  9. 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
  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. Bolton, M & Pitts, FH, 2018, ‘Corbynism, Blue Labour and post-liberal national populism: a Marxist critique’. British Politics.
  2. Thompson, P & Pitts, FH, 2018, ‘Bullshit about jobs’. RSA Journal.
  3. Bolton, M & Pitts, FH, 2018, ‘Antisémitisme : le corbynisme doit changer sa vision du monde’. Conspiracy Watch.
  4. Bolton, M & Pitts, FH, 2018, ‘To combat left anti-semitism, Corbynism must change the way it sees the world’. New Statesman.
  5. 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.
  6. Bolton, M & Pitts, FH, 2018, ‘Corbynism: A Critical Approach’. Emerald
  7. Cruddas, J & Pitts, FH, 2018, ‘Marxism Revisited’. Fabian Review, vol 2018., pp. 21-23
  8. Thompson, P & Pitts, FH, 2017, ‘Perspectives for Open Labour: A Politics of Radical Pessimism’. Open Labour. Open Labour
  9. Pitts, FH, Warner, N & Lombardozzi, L, 2017, ‘Why basic income alone will not be a panacea to social insecurity’. LSE Politics & Policy Blog. LSE Politics & Policy Blog
  10. 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’.
  11. 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
  12. Pitts, FH, 2016, ‘Beyond the Fragment: the Postoperaist Reception of Marx's Fragment on Machines’. University of Bristol
  13. 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
  14. Pitts, FH, 2016, ‘Can Corbynism claim the centre ground?’. Open Democracy. Open Democracy
  15. Pitts, FH, 2016, ‘The rational kernel of Osbornomics? Labour can liberate the National Living Wage’. Social Europe Journal. Social Europe Journal
  16. Pitts, FH, 2016, ‘Talking on the clock: Bristol's 'new factories'’. Bristol Cable. Bristol Cable
  17. Pitts, FH & , 2016, ‘Promoting Labour Rights and Social Protection in Post-Crisis Europe’. Foundation for European Progressive Studies
  18. Pitts, FH, 2016, ‘Corbynism changes the centre, but can it convert it?’. Disclaimer Magazine. Disclaimer Magazine
  19. Pitts, FH, 2016, ‘Popular delusions: Corbynism constructs its people’. Open Democracy. Open Democracy
  20. Pitts, FH, 2016, ‘'Flexibility works both ways': Bristol's zero-hours lifestyles’. Bristol Cable. Bristol Cable
  21. Pitts, FH, 2015, ‘Review of Christian Lotz, The Capitalist Schema: Time, Money, and the Culture of Abstraction’. Marx & Philosophy Review of Books.
  22. Pitts, FH, 2015, ‘Five more years of this: Introduction to a post-election symposium’. TOR: The Open Review for the Social Sciences, vol 1., pp. 19-24
  23. Pitts, FH, 2015, ‘Creativity and the commodity in the automobile industry’. International Journal of Cultural and Creative Industries, vol 2.
  24. Pitts, FH, 2015, ‘A hidden history: defining and specifying the role of the creative industries’. Creative Industries Journal, vol 8., pp. 73-84
  25. Pitts, FH, 2015, ‘Normalisation, exclusion, commensuration: work, economics and the possibilities of political economy’. Enquire, vol 7., pp. 1-12
  26. 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
  27. Pitts, FH, 2015, ‘Postcapitalism: A guide to our future. Author: Paul Mason. Publisher: Allen Lane, London, 2015.’. Marx & Philosophy Review of Books.
  28. Pitts, FH, 2015, ‘The Critique of the Equation and the Phenomenology of Production’. Historical Materialism, vol 23., pp. 228-239
  29. Pitts, FH, 2015, ‘The critique of political economy as a critical social theory’. Capital and Class, vol 39., pp. 537-544
  30. Pitts, FH, 2015, ‘The cultural intermediaries reader’. Cultural Trends, vol 24., pp. 330-333
  31. 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
  32. 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
  33. 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
  34. 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
  35. 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
  36. 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
  37. Pitts, FH, 2014, ‘Precariousness and the ‘end of salarization’ in the informational society’. Lo Squaderno, vol 31., pp. 11-14
  38. Pitts, FH, 2014, ‘Theorising cultural work: Labour, continuity and change in the cultural and creative industries’. Cultural Trends, vol 23., pp. 211-214
  39. Pitts, FH, 2014, ‘Follow the money? Value theory and social inquiry’. Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization, vol 14., pp. 335-356
  40. 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
  41. Pitts, FH, 2013, ‘Is Tower Hamlets Rich or Poor? Part 1: Poverty, income and employment’. Tower Hamlets Fairness Commission
  42. Pitts, FH, 2013, ‘Is Tower Hamlets Rich or Poor? Part 2: The economy, skills and opportunities’. Tower Hamlets Fairness Commission
  43. Pitts, FH, 2013, ‘Labour-time in the Dot.Com bubble: Marxist approaches’. Fast Capitalism, vol 10.
  44. 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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