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BA/MA Cultural Anthropology University of Amsterdam
Oxford Brookes Business School
+44 (0) 1865 485736
Clerici, CLC 1.26
I am a lecturer at the Oxford Brookes Business School. With a cultural anthropology background, I have extensive experience of conducting research on a variety of topics within organization and management. My PhD research is on women in private security organizations. I am currently involved in projects on discourses of ‘the employable worker’ for students and older workers (with Dr Karen Handley), on scenarios for law enforcement organisations in the UK and The Netherlands (with Prof Juliette Koning), and on defining and evaluating intellectual challenge in contemporary Higher Education (with Dr Berry O’Donovan).
I am module leader for Understanding and Researching Organisations, where I teach organization theory and research methods to postgraduate students on the MA HRM programme (including an online version).
This term I am seminar leader on Work, Employment, and Globalisation (Dr Karen Handley) and on Critical Enquiry Research Project (Dr Jill Millar).
In addition to current teaching, I have taught on Business Ethics; Business and Society; Research Methods; and Alternative Perspectives of Business and Management.
I supervise Master’s dissertation students on the Global MBA, and on the HRM MSc and MA programmes, notably for qualitative research projects within organizations.
I have a second MA in Coaching and Mentoring Practice, where I conducted research on cross-cultural transitions in international students.
My research investigates the dynamic relationship between organisational and individual identity construction in a contested industry. The private security industry, worth an estimated £140bn worldwide, offers a unique research site. Contested yet increasingly legitimised - with women sometimes construed as enabling this legitimisation - the private security organisation is under-researched as a site of meaning. Drawing on linguistic ethnographic methods, this project proposes the study of everyday security practices to offer insights into different articulations of female or feminized security employees. In particular, it explores self/other talk in how female private security employees experience their sense of self, and aims to show the extent to which organisations enable or hinder female private security employee participation.
Unreliability in marking is well documented yet we lack studies that have investigated assessors’ detailed use of assessment criteria. This project used a form of Kelly’s Repertory Grid method to examine the characteristics that 24 experienced, UK assessors notice in distinguishing between students’ performance in four contrasting subject disciplines: that is their implicit assessment criteria. Variation in the choice, ranking and scoring of criteria was evident. Inspection of the individual construct scores in a sub-sample of academic historians revealed five factors in the use of criteria that contribute to marking inconsistency. The results imply that whilst more effective and social marking processes that encourage sharing of standards in institutions and disciplinary communities may help align standards, assessment decisions at this level are so complex, intuitive and tacit that variability is inevitable. It concludes that universities should be more honest with themselves and with students and actively help students to understand that application of assessment criteria is a complex judgement and there is rarely an incontestable interpretation of their meaning.
A weakness of the burgeoning policy-related literature on older workers is a tendency to treat ‘older workers’ as a single, homogenous group, overlooking the influence of intersectional factors such as income, education, social background, occupation, age and the type-of-work on individual experience. Only ‘gender’ has attracted sustained research attention, yet other socio-demographic characteristics are likely to have effects which are just as important. To take one example, professionally qualified accountants have very different opportunities in later life compared with car assembly workers whose activities are tied to ‘the track’ and therefore lack portability. Age itself is a key variable in older worker research. The experiences, motivations and aspirations of a 50-year-old are likely to be barely comparable with those of an 85-year-old; the 35-year gap is almost a generational difference. This heterogeneity of older worker experiences, contexts and situations suggests that research should be more attentive to variations. This can be partly achieved by investigating sub-groups within the broader ‘older worker’ category. The potential advantage of doing so is a greater understanding of older workers, which may lead to more targeted policymaking. This study seeks to contribute to this broader agenda by focusing on one particular group of workers: those aged between 48 and 58 years employed in, or studying at, a higher education institution. People in this group are getting older, but are certainly not elderly, and they potentially have many years of work ahead of them. In the literature and the media, they are often referred to as the ‘sandwiched’ generation with caring responsibilities for their offspring as well as for longer living parents.
Hudson, J; Bloxham, S.; den Outer, B.; Price, M. (2017) Conceptual acrobatics: talking about assessment standards in the transparency era, Studies in Higher Education, 42(7), 1309-1323. DOI:10.1080/03075079.2015.1092130. ABS ranking: 3*
Handley, K. and den Outer, B. (2016) Work and careers: narratives from knowledge workers aged 48-58, in: Manfredi, S. and Vickers, L. (eds.) Challenges of active ageing for equality law and for the workplace. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Bloxham, S.; den Outer, B.; Hudson, J,; Price, M (2016) External peer review of assessment: an effective approach to verifying standards?, accepted by Higher Education Research & Development. ABS ranking: 3*
Bloxham, S., den Outer, B., Hudson, J. and Price, M. (2015) Let's stop the pretence of consistent marking: exploring the multiple limitations of assessment criteria, Assessment and Evaluation. DOI: 10.1080/02602938.2015.1024607.
Handley, K., den Outer, B., and Price, M. (2012) Learning to mark: exemplars, dialogue and participation in assessment communities, Higher Education Research and Development, January, ISSN 0729-4360. ABS ranking: 3*
Den Outer, B., Handley, K. and Price, M. (2012) Situational analysis and mapping for use in education research: a reflexive methodology?, Studies in Higher Education, January, ISSN 0307-5079. ABS ranking: 3*
Den Outer, B. (2010) Coaching and cross-cultural transitions: a narrative inquiry approach, International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring, Special Issue 4, pp. 95-104, January, ISSN 1741-8305.
I have a great interest in, and experience of, research methodology as a critical and philosophical inquiry, and specifically in a number of qualitative data collection and analysis methods, such as maps, audio-diaries, interviews, focus groups, surveys, images, grounded theory, situational analysis, (linguistic) ethnography, and (critical) discourse analysis.
Den Outer, B. and Handley, K (2018) Older Workers & Potentiality in the Knowledge Economy, paper presented at the Work, Employment & Society Conference, Wednesday 12 - Friday 14 September 2018, Belfast
Den Outer, B (2018) Female employees in private security organisations: identity construction in a stigmatised industry, paper presented at the workshop ‘Gender in conflict, violence and security’, University of Birmingham on 28 April 2018.
Den Outer, B. (2018) Female employees in private security organisations: identity construction in a stigmatised industry? Paper presented at the EDAMBA Summer School, Athens, July 2018.
Koning, J and den Outer, B (2016) The road to silence: sustainability discourses at work, paper to be presented at 12th International Conference on Organizational Discourse, Amsterdam 13-15 July, 2016.
Den Outer, B and J. Koning (2016) The sites of silence: sustainability discourses at work, paper presented at International Research Conference, Faculty of Business, Oxford Brookes University 16 June 2016.
den Outer, B. and Price, M. (2015) 'Discourses of assessment: learning from language to develop assessment literacy'. Paper presented at the Society for Research into Higher Education conference, Newport, December.
den Outer, B. (2014) 'Skilful compliance or critical stance? Assessment literacy in academic communities'. Paper presented at the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction, Madrid, August.
den Outer, B. and Hannam, S. (2014) 'Assessment literacy in international contexts: putting the theory into practice'. Paper presented at the Inform conference 2014, Canterbury, July.
den Outer, B. (2014) 'External examiner standards close up'. Paper presented at the Higher Education Close Up,, Lancaster, July.
den Outer, B. (2014) 'The discourse of assessment literacy: our turn to language to explore academic membership'. Paper presented at the Oxford Brookes International Conference, Oxford, June.
den Outer, B. (2013) 'Dear Diary? An assessment of the audio diary as research method'. Paper presented at the Oxford Brookes-Burgundy Research Conference, Dijon, June.
den Outer, B. and Price, M. (2012) 'Assessment literacy in university students: what is it and how is it developed?'. Paper presented at the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction Conference, Brussels, August.
Price, M., O'Donovan, B., Rust, C., Handley, K. and Outer, B. d. (2012) 'Assessment literacy – a perspective on the student role in assessment for learning'. Paper presented at the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction Conference, Brussels, August.
Price, M., Handley, K. and Outer, B. d. (2012) 'Learning to mark: exemplars, dialogue and participation in assessment communities'. Paper presented at the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction Conference, Brussels, August.
Den Outer, B. and Price, M. (2011) 'Assessment literacy in academic communities: what is it and how can it be developed?'. Paper presented at the Society for Research into Higher Education, Newport, December.
Price, M. and Outer, B. d. (2011) 'Investigating assessment literacy in Oxford Brookes University's learning communities: what is it and how can it be developed?'. Paper presented at the Brookes Learning & Teaching Conference, Oxford, June.
Handley, K. and den Outer, B. (2010) 'From clones to heretics?: an investigation of how new academic staff come to understand and participate in the assessment practices of a UK Business School'. Paper presented at the British Educational Research Association conference, Warwick, September.
Den Outer, B. d. and Handley, K. (2010) 'Standards, Situation and Self-Criticality: Exploring situational analysis, grounded theory after the postmodern turn, to enhance reflexive practice in higher education'. Paper presented at the Higher Education Close Up 5, Lancaster, UK, July.
Den Outer, B., Handley, K. and Price, M. (2010) 'Staff, Standards and Situation: Using situational analysis as method of inquiry on tutor experiences of assessment standards in higher education'. Paper presented at the Higher Education Close-up 5: Questioning Theory-Method Relations in Higher Education, Lancaster University, July.
den Outer, B. (2010) 'Coaching and Cross-Cultural Transitions: a narrative inquiry approach'. Paper presented at the 6th Annual Coaching and Mentoring Research Conference, Oxford, UK, April.
Handley, K. and den Outer, B. (2009) 'Staff, Standards and Situation: Tutor Experiences of Assessment and Belonging in Academic Communities using Situational Analysis'. Paper presented at the Improving Student Learning Conference, London, September.
Handley, K. and den Outer, B. (2009) 'Staff, Standards and Situation: The Tutor Perspective of Assessment and Belonging in Academic Communities using Situational Analysis'. Paper presented at the EARLI (European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction), Amsterdam, August.
MA in Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Amsterdam
MA in Coaching and Mentoring Practice (distinction), Oxford Brookes University.
Post-graduate certificate in Social Science Research Methods, Oxford Brookes University.