Smitha Sebastian


Faculty:Faculty of Business and Law


Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Business, management and leadership , Human Resources Management , Leadership and management

Comprehensive human resources industry experience in managing and leading projects in organizational development, design & implementation of learning and development interventions and organizational effectives. Additionally, experience of teaching human resource & organisational behaviour modules.


Smitha was appointed as a lecturer (Sep 2017) in Human Resource Management (HRM) and Organisational Behaviour (OB) at the Faculty of Business and Law, Anglia Ruskin University. Prior to commencing an academic career, she worked in a HRM function, in primarily knowledge based organizations such as, Tata Consultancy Services, HP and Fidelity Investments. Smitha's industry experience includes working in the area of organizational development, design & implementation of learning and development interventions, organizational effectiveness, staff recruitment and employee relations management.

Smitha is currently pursuing a PhD research project under the supervision of Professor. Simon Down and Dr. Alison Hirst. In her research, she has contextualized past Workplace and Organizational Ethnographies (WOE) studies conducted in the UK from 1965- 2000 to understand the intellectual trends in the representation of work and research practices in WOE studies. Working on her PhD has helped to develop critical thinking and analytical skills as she has used a novel approach, citation context analysis, to trace the ethnographic practices and organizational themes that have changed and continued in the last four decades.  During her PhD, she and her supervisory team were awarded the Best Developmental Paper in the Business History Stream at British Academy of Management  (BAM) Conference, Belfast, 2014.

Research interests

  • Workplace and Organizational ethnography, especially in manufacturing and knowledge-based industries and services
  • Women workers’ participation in technology and knowledge-based industries and services
  • Management and business studies as part of primary and secondary school education- its relevance and long-term impact
  • Management and Organizational History- past as a sense-making and strategic approach


MSc- Organisational & Social Psychology (Merit), London School of Economics & Political Science, UK

MA- Personnel Management and Industrial Relations (First), Mahatma Gandhi University, India

BA (Honours) – Psychology, Delhi University (University Rank Holder- IV)

Selected recent publications

Sebastian, S., Hirst, A. and Down, S. (2017). Making sense of Workplace and Organizational Ethnographies (WOE): A historical perspective. Ethnography Symposium, Manchester

Sebastian, S., Hirst, A. and Down, S. (2015). How influential has Workplace and Organizational Ethnography (WOE) been? : A citation analysis of WOEs in the UK from 1965 to 2000 . Presented at the Ethnography Symposium, Liverpool

Sebastian, S., Hirst, A. and Down, S. (2014). Gendered Organizing: An ethnohistory of women at work. Presented at the British Academy of Management (BAM) Conference, Belfast (Won the best ‘Development Paper’ award for Management and Business History)