Professor Crawford Spence
An experienced academic with significant achievements in research, teaching, leadership and external engagement. An established scholar of accounting with additional interests in organization studies and economic sociology. Extensive experience in the development, management and delivery of Executive Education and Executive MBA programmes in business schools in Europe, North America and the Middle East.
· 1997-2001: Bachelor of Accountancy, University of Dundee, Scotland, 1st Class Honours
· 2002-2005: Ph.D in Accounting, School of Management, University of St Andrews, Scotland.
· 2016-2018: MBA in Higher Education Management, University College London, Institute of Education.
Professional Qualifications and Training
· CPA (Ordre des Comptables Professionels Agréés/Chartered Professional Accountant). I qualified as a professional accountant while living in Canada in 2010 and maintain my membership of CPA Canada.
· Completed the Warwick Leadership Programme at the University of Warwick in 2017 for those in Leadership Positions across the university.
· Chartered Association of Business Schools Deans and Directors Development Programme – 20/21
Academic Career: Full Time Positions
· 2017- present: Professor of Accounting, King’s Business School
o 2019-present: Director of FinWork Futures Research Centre
o 2020-21: Associate Dean (Executive Education and Accreditation)
o 2017 – 2020: Vice Dean (Corporate Relations)
o 2017-2019: Head of Accounting and Financial Management
· 2013 – 2017: Professor of Accounting and Associate Dean (External Programmes), Warwick Business School, UK
· 2011 – 2013: Associate Professor of Accounting, United Arab Emirates University, UAE.
· 2008 - 2011: Assistant and Associate (2011) Professor of Accounting, Concordia University, Canada.
· 2005 - 2008: Lecturer (Assistant Professor) of Management, University of St Andrews, UK
Major Leadership Achievements
Associate/Vice Dean, King’s Business School
· Growing the executive education business virtually from scratch to a permanent team of 5 FTEs with a strong complement of open and custom courses. Major multi-year clients now include the Egyptian Ministry of Planning (winner of an EFMD excellence in practice award 2023), the UK Atomic Energy Authority, Salesforce and Health Education England. Over £1m of contracts were signed in academic year 20/21.
· Initiation and successful completion of the School’s first accreditation processes with the AACSB (peer review visit October 2021) and Equis (peer review visit March 2022)
· A key role in liaising with the School’s external advisory board and establishing corporate partnerships.
· The establishment of a 7-strong stable of Executive Fellows, bringing together alumni who have had successful careers in various sectors to contribute meaningfully to the school’s education and engagement activities.
· As a member of the Dean’s senior leadership team, involved in strategy formulation and implementation during a period of intense growth which saw School revenues increase from circa £30m-£80m over a four-year period
Group Head, Accounting and Financial Management, King’s Business School
· Roll out of a new BSc in Accounting in Finance with a first student intake in 2019/20. Student numbers now >270 per year.
· Line management, budget and workload responsibility for over 20 FTEs
· Recruited several faculty members at various levels on both research and education pathways in the accounting and finance domains, growing the group from 17 to 25 FTEs
Associate Dean, External Programmes, Warwick Business School
· In charge of all academic and engagement activities running out of the School’s prestigious Shard campus which was a key part of the University’s diversification and growth strategy, aiming to position the Business School at the heart of the London Business community
· Pivoted a move from a struggling MSc delivery in London to a growth in the Executive MBA, recruiting 4 new cohorts in 18 months. The London-based programme quickly overtook the Warwick-based programme in student numbers with >100 being recruited per year by the time I left in 2017
· The pivot to the Executive MBA required a re-imagination of the space on the 17th floor of the Shard, a reconfiguration of existing staffing arrangements and a capital works programme that I was heavily involved in
· Successful tender to the Bank of England to provide an MSc in Central Banking and Financial Regulation for their graduate trainees and delivered at the Shard
· Introduction of a successful Healthcare stream on the Exec MBA programme at the Shard
· As a member of the WBS senior management team, was an active participant in setting the strategic direction of the School under two different Deans
Visiting Academic Positions
2006-2011: Universidad Publica de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain
2010: Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia
2011: HEC Paris, France
2014: University College Molde, Norway
2016 – ongoing: Research Fellow at Kobe University Research Institute for Economics and Business (RIEB)
2019 – ongoing: External member of Toulouse Business School’s Research Advisory Council
Research and Refereed Journal Articles
My research career to date has explored various themes and is currently focused on the nature of expertise in capital markets and financial services with a particular emphasis on the role of new technologies and the future of work in these domains. I have published over 50 articles, book chapters or case studies, have 3957 google scholar cites and an h-score of 28.
1. Millo, Y., Spence, C and Valentine, J. (2023). The Field of Investment Advice: the Social Forces that Govern Equity Analysts, Accounting Review (forthcoming)
2. Millo, Y., Spence, C and Valentine, J. (2023). Active Fund Managers and the rise of Passive investing: epistemic opportunism in financial markets, Economy & Society 52(2): 227-249.
3. Praulins, A., Spence, C and G Voulgaris. (2022). Emerging from the shadow of the Soviet Union: The case of the accountancy field in Latvia, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal
4. Spence, C and Toh, D. (2022). Reaching Up and Out: The Audit Society, Qualitative Research in Accounting and Management.
5. Zhu, J., Spence, C and Ezzamel, E. (2021). Thinking like the State: Doxa and Symbolic Power in the Accounting Field in China, Accounting, Organizations and Society 93
6. Elemes, A, Blaylock, B and Spence, C. (2021). Tax-Motivated Profit Shifting in Big 4 Networks: Evidence from Europe, Accounting, Organizations and Society
7. Carter, C., McKinlay, A and Spence, C. (2020). “Strategic Change, Leadership and Accounting: a triptych of organizational reform”, Public Administration 98(1): 62-91
8. V Radcliffe, M Stein, Spence, C and C Free. (2020). “Auditing and the Development of the Modern State” Contemporary Accounting Research, 37(1): 485-513
9. Abhayawansa, S., Aleksanyan, M., S Imam., Y Millo and C Spence. (2019). “Earning the Write to Speak: Sell-side analysts and their struggle to be heard” Contemporary Accounting Research, 36(4): 2635-2662
10.Spence, C. (2019). “’Judgement’ versus ‘Metrics’ in Higher Education Management”, Higher Education, 77(5): 761-775
11.Carter, C and Spence, C. (2019). “For Social Reflexivity in Organization and Management Theory”, Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 59: 217–235
12.Spence, C., Sturdy, A and Carter, C. (2018). “Professional mobility patterns in Global Professional Service Firms” Geoforum 91: 235-244
13.Radcliffe, V., Spence, C., Stein, M and B Wilkinson (2018). “Professional repositioning during times of institutional change: the case of tax practitioners and changing moral boundaries”. Accounting, Organizations and Society 66: 45-59
14.Spence, C., Zhu, J., Endo, T and Matsubara, S. (2017). “Money, honour and duty: global professional service firms in comparative perspective”. Accounting, Organizations and Society62: 82-97
15.Taffler, R., Spence, C and A Eshraghi. (2017). “Emotional Economic Man: Calculation and Anxiety in Fund Management”. Accounting, Organizations and Society 61: 53-67
16.Lupu, I., Empson, L and Spence, C. (2017). “When the past comes back to haunt you: the enduring influence of upbringing on the work-family balance decisions of professional parents”. Human Relations 71 (2): 155-181
17.Radcliffe, V., Spence, C and Stein, M. (2017). “The Impotence of Accountability: the Relationship between Accountability and Corporate Reform”. Contemporary Accounting Research 34 (1): 622-657
18.Spence, C., Voulgaris, G and M Maclean (2017). “Politics and the Professions in a time of crisis” Journal of Professions and Organization. 4(3): 261-281
19.Spence, C., Carter, C., Husillos, J and Archel, P. (2017). “Taste Matters: Cultural Capital and Position-Taking in Proximate Strategic Action Fields”. Human Relations 70 (2): 211-236
20.Arikan, O., Reinecke, J., Spence, C. and Morrell, K. (2017). “Signposts or weathervanes? The curious case of corporate social responsibility and conflict minerals”. Journal of Business Ethics 146 (3): 469-484
21.Spence, C., Carter, C., Belal, A., Husillos, J., Dambrin, C and Archel, P (2016). “Tracking habitus across a transnational professional field”. Work, Employment and Society 30 (1): 3-20
22.Imam, S and Spence, C. (2016). “Context not predictions: A field study of financial analysts”.Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 29 (2): 226-247
o 2016 AAAJ Highly Commended Paper, Mary Parker Follett Award
23.Spence, C., Dambrin, C., Carter, C., Husillos, J and Archel, P. (2015). “Global ends, local means: Cross-national homogeneity in professional service firms”. Human Relations 68 (5): 765-788
24.Carter, C., Spence, C and Muzio, D. (2015). “Scoping an agenda for future research into the professions”. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal 28 (8): 1198-1216
25.Carter, C and Spence, C. (2014). “Being a Successful Professional: An Exploration of Who Makes Partner in the Big Four”. Contemporary Accounting Research 31(4): 949-981
26.Spence, C and Carter, C. (2014). “An exploration of the professional habitus in Big 4 accounting firms”. Work, Employment and Society 28(6) 946–962
27.Spence, C., Chabrak, N and Pucci, R. (2013). “Doxic sunglasses: a response to ‘Green Accounting and Green Eyeshades: Twenty years later’”. Critical Perspectives on Accounting vol.24 (6), pp.469-473
28.Archel, P., Husillos, J and Spence, C (2011). “Loading the dice of Corporate Social Responsibility Discourse: The Institutionalisation of Managerial Capture”. Accounting, Organizations and Society vol.36, pp.327-343
29.Spence, C and Brivot, M. (2011). “‘No French, no more’: Language-based exclusion in North America’s first professional accounting order, 1879-1927’. Accounting History Review vol.22 (2), pp.163-184
30.Spence, C and Carter, D. “The Dictatorship of Love” (2011). Critical Perspectives on Accounting Volume 22, Issue 5, July 2011, pp.485-491
31.Spence, C and Carter, D. (2011). “Accounting for Immaterial Labour: The Privatisation of the General Intellect”. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp.304-315
32.Spence, C. (2011) ‘Le calcul et le travail immatériel’, Multitudes, 46
33.Spence, C. (2010). “Accounting for the Dissolution of a Nation State”, Accounting, Organizations and Society, vol.35, pp.377-392
34.Spence, C., Husillos, J and Correa-Ruiz, C. (2010). “Cargo Cult Science and the Death of Politics: A critical review of social and environmental accounting research”, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, vol.21 (1), pp.76-89
35.Spence, C. “Organisational Resistance to Ecological Footprinting”, (2009). International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy, vol.3 (4), pp.362-377.
36.Archel, P., Husillos, J., Larrinaga, C and Spence, C. (2009). “Social disclosure, legitimacy theory and the role of the State”, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, vol.22 (8), pp.1284-1307.
37.Spence, C and Thomson, I. (2009). “Resonance tropes in corporate philanthropy discourse”, Business Ethics: A European Review, vol.18 (4), pp.372-388.
38.Gray, R.H., Dillard, J and Spence, C. (2009). “Social Accounting as if the World Matters: Towards Absurdia and a new Postalgia”, Public Management Review, vol.11 (5), pp.545-573.
39.Spence, C. (2009) “Social Accounting’s Emancipatory Potential: A Gramscian Critique”, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, vol.20 (2), pp.205-227.
40.Spence, C. (2009). “Social and Environmental Reporting and the Corporate Ego”, Business Strategy and the Environment, vol.18 (4), pp.254-265.
41.Spence, C and Shenkin, M. (2008). “Resistance to Business: the Re-Birth of Politics in Bolivia”, Critical Perspectives on International Business, vol.4 (4), pp.344-366.
42.Spence, C. (2007). “Social and Environmental Reporting and Hegemonic Discourse”, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, vol.20 (6), p.855-882.
43.Erusalimsky, A., Gray, R.H and Spence, C. (2006). "Towards a More Systematic Study of Stand-alone Corporate Social and Environmental Reporting: An exploratory pilot study of UK reporting", Social and Environmental Accounting Journal, vol.26 (1), pp.12-19.
44.Spence, C. (2004). “Corporate Social Responsibility and ‘Win-Win’ thinking”, Responsibilità Sociale dell’Impresa, ACLI, Italy.
Books, Monographs and Book Chapters
1. Millo, Y., Spence, C and Valentine, J. Forthcoming in 2023/24. Stasis and Inertia in Financial Markets, Columbia University Press
2. Carter, C and Spence, C. (2020) Bourdieu and Identity: Class, History, and Field Structure, In: The Oxford Handbook of Identities in Organizations. Edited by Andrew D. Brown, Oxford University Press
3. McDonald, R and Spence, C. (2016). Professions and financial incentives, in Routledge Companion to the Professions
4. Cho, C and Spence, C. (2011), “Political Action Committees and the expropriation of the common”, in Shelton, E.N (ed), Capitalism in Business, Politics and Society, Nova Publishers, pp.105-118.
5. Gray, R.H., Dillard, J and Spence, C. (2010). “A Brief Re-evaluation of “the Social Accounting Project: Social accounting research as if the world matters”, in S. Osborne and A. Ball (Eds) Social Accounting and Public Management Accountability for the Public Good, (London: Routledge)
6. Spence, C and Gray, R.H. (2008). Social and Environmental Reporting and the Business Case, ACCA: London.
7. Spence, C and Carter, C. (2006). Social Accountability and Governance, in Ritzer, G (ed), Blackwells Encyclopedia of Sociology, Blackwells, London.
I have developed and delivered a range of courses over the years at undergraduate, masters, MBA, executive and doctoral levels. These have included core courses in Financial Accounting, Financial Analysis and Management Accounting primarily at MBA and Exec MBA levels in North America and Western Europe as well as more specialist courses in Accounting Theory, Corporate Governance, Professional Service Firms, Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development at MSc and undergraduate levels in the UK. I have also taught research methods courses for doctoral and postgraduate students in various locales and have extensive executive education experience both in the UK and in the Middle East.
At King’s my current teaching commitments comprise a 1st year UG module on Capital Markets and 3 Executive Programmes of which I am programme director (Finance for Leaders; Mini MBA for Lawyers; Next Step Leadership Programme for medical trainees in the NHS)
My teaching has been recognized as outstanding or excellent at St Andrews, Concordia, UAEU, Warwick and King’s.
1. Ahmed Odeh (DBA Thesis at UAEU) – Exploration of Audit Quality in SMEs in the United Arab Emirates, completed 2015
2. N Farahin Ali (WBS) – The Institutionalisation of Accruals Accounting in the Malaysian Public Sector, completed summer 2017
3. Arturs Praulins (WBS) – An Analysis of the Professional Accounting Field in Latvia: A Bourdieusian Study, completed December 2018
4. Sadia Khan (WBS) – Bangladeshi accounting careers and the pursuit of symbolic capital, completed 2021
5. Sany Ang Sany (WBS) – Capital-related differences between international and local firms in the Indonesian accounting profession, completed 2021
6. Ruowen Xu (WBS) – Credit Scoring and Calculative Practices in China, completed 2021
7. Laila Faradoon (KBS) – Industry 4.0 in the United Arab Emirates: Dynamic Capabilities and Big Data in the Government Sector, ongoing
8. Guangyu Li (KBS) – Sell-side analysts and social ties in Chinese Capital Markets, ongoing
9. Aoifinn Devitt (KBS) – Psychological Safety in Asset Management Firms
10.Gina Aprilitasari (KBS) – the Internationalisation of Indonesian Law Firms
11.Achmad Amin (KBS) – calculative practices in village governance in Indonesia
PhD External Examinations
1. Cristoffer Lokatt, March 2018, Stockholm Business School. “Auditors’ Constitution of Performance: a study on the duality of performance in the auditing profession”
2. Ruixian Huang, October 2018, University of Leicester. “How do SMEs obtain loans in China? A culture embeddedness and informal institution perspective”
3. John Millar, July 2020, University of Edinburgh Business School. “Money, Power and Elites: An Exploration of the Structure and Practices of the Edinburgh Fund Management Field”
4. Saila Stausholm, June 2022, Copenhagen Business School. “Structures of Global Tax Avoidance”
5. James Baird, June 2023, Glasgow University, Adam Smith Business School. “How audit partners make decisions: How rules and regulation are changing practice and practitioners.
· 2022-2024 – Co-I on £8,443 British Academy Small Research Grant (with Dr Anat Keller from KCL School of Law) to explore Purposeful Culture in Financial Firms · 2020-2024 – Co-I on £11m UKRI grant, split between King’s, Nottingham and Southampton Universities, exploring Trustworthy Autonomous Systems across different areas of society and the economy
· September 2020-2022 - £55,000 Leverhulme Research Fellowship to explore ‘Audit in the Age of Machines’
· April 2019 - £9,345 from the British Academy to explore the future of expertise among financial analysts
· June 2015 - £10,000 from the British Academy to explore the expansion of Professional Service Firms in China
· June 2012 - AED 50,000 from the United Arab Emirates University, College of Business and Economics Summer Research Grant programme to explore the cultural capital profiles of public and private sector accountants in Spain.
· June 2009 - $130,000 from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) along with Charles Cho and Michel Magnan to explore environmental accountability tensions in Canadian Corporations.
· May 2004 - £1,500 from the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA) to explore the business case for Corporate Social Responsibility in the UK.
Selected Other Information
· Editorial Boards: Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal; Accounting, Organizations and Society; Contemporary Accounting Research (Editor); Critical Perspectives on Accounting (Associate Editor); Qualitative Research in Accounting and Management
· Recipient of the University of New South Wales Business School Distinguished Scholar Award for 2020
· Panel member for the 2023 Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Innovation Adoption Accelerators Programme.
· Occasional contributor to newspapers, television and radio on issues concerning audit, tax, financial scandals and professional service firms. Contributions have appeared in inter alia the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times, City AM and on BBC Radio & Television and Al Jazeera.
· Married with three children
· British National
· Languages - English (native), French (proficient), Spanish and Italian (functional but getting rusty)