Professor Alan Bryman: 1947-2017


Alan Bryman, Emeritus Professor in the School of Management (now Business School) at the University of Leicester died on Thursday the 20th July 2017 at the age of 69. According to his wife, Sue, the cancer progressed very quickly in the last few weeks. He was not in pain, was very peaceful, and his family were with him.


Alan joined the School of Management in August 2005 after working for 31 years in the Department of Social Sciences at Loughborough University. He was Head of School at Leicester from January 2008 to December 2009. His main areas of research and writing were leadership and other issues in organizational sociology; books on Disneyization and McDonaldization; and a long-standing interest in social research methods. In the latter area he was the author and co-author of two of the best-selling texts on methodology – Social Research Methods and Business Research Methods (with Emma Bell). More recently he was researching material on the explorer Ernest Shackleton for a piece on leadership.


These books, together with a great deal of work published over forty years, led to him being an extraordinarily well cited and internationally renowned social scientist. He was a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, and had recently been given a lifetime achievement award by the International Leadership Association.


But Alan was never just an academic. Alan and Sue enjoyed travel, cocktails, and red wine. He watched county and international cricket, often walking down from his house in West Bridgford to Nottingham Trent Bridge Cricket ground, where he was a season ticket holder. He even had his 40th wedding anniversary at the club house, overlooking the pitch. Several colleagues will know he liked all sorts of music, from Bob Dylan to Neil Young, Human League to Roxy Music, and Arcade Fire to Fleet Foxes, and went to many concerts.


Alan will be remembered by his friends at Leicester as a careful and thoughtful colleague. He was someone who was prepared to take public responsibility as well as showing private kindness and humour. His fascination with popular music and culture (lately ‘Game of Thrones’ and Scandi-Noir), his beloved Tottenham Hotspur, and his claims about his lasagne skills will be missed. Even his puns will be missed. Most of all though, his humility. For someone so renowned to be so modest is remarkable, and a measure of the man.


He is survived by his mother, his wife, Sue, his daughter, and two young grand-children, whom he and Sue adored.

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Martin Parker

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One response to “Professor Alan Bryman: 1947-2017”

  1. The School for Business?

    […] continued to grow. The centre became a School in 2007, and Alan Bryman became the new head in 2008, followed by Simon Lilley until 2015. All shared a sense of the […]

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