Kirstie Ball

Prof

  • KY16 9RJ

    United Kingdom

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Personal profile

Research overview

Kirstie’s research focuses on surveillance in and around organizations and surveillance in society. Her theoretical interests surround subjectivity and the experience of surveillance, while her empirical work focuses on the organizational forms surrounding pervasive employee monitoring, the surveillance-industrial complex and big data consumer surveillance.

Research interests

Kirstie’s research focuses on surveillance in and around organizations and surveillance in society. Her theoretical interests surround subjectivity and the experience of surveillance, while her empirical work focuses on the organizational forms surrounding pervasive employee monitoring, the surveillance-industrial complex and big data consumer surveillance.

Academic/Professional Qualification

LLB (Hons) (Birmingham) 1989, MSc (Eng) (Birmingham) 1993, PhD (Aston) 1996

Teaching activity

  • MN1001 Understanding the Business Environment
  • MN4214 Management of Change
  • MN5001 Contemporary Global Issues in Management

Projects from former institutions

July 2015 – June 2020: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council £111,000 Big Data Surveillance (with Queens, Ottawa, Toronto, Alberta and Victoria Universities, Canada). Institutional PI, total grant value $2.5 million

March 2014 – March 2015: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council NEMODE +, £2,500 Privacy By Design: The Research Agenda. Principal Investigator.

June 2014 – May 2017: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, NEMINDE £717,000 Monetize Me? Privacy and the Quantified Self in the Digital Economy. PI: Mr Blaine Price, Open University Work Package Leader.

February – November 2012. Economic and Social Research Council Festival of Social Science £2,000 Your life, your data? ESRC Festival of Social Science Principal Investigator

February, 2012: EU Framework 7 SSH Programme ‘Increasing Resilience in Surveillance Societies’ (IRISS) €2.5 million. £139,000 to come to the Open University. Executive Team Member, Institutional PI and Work Package Leader.Co-ordinated by Reinhard Kreissl, Institute for Criminological Research, Vienna, Austria.

February, 2012: EU Framework 7 Security Programme ‘Surveillance, Privacy and Security’ (SURPRISE) €3 million. £335,000 to come to the Open University. Executive Team Member, Institutional PI and Work Package Leader. Co-ordinated by Johann Cas Vienna Academy of Sciences, Austria.

April 2009: EU COST Framework, up to €80,000,000.  ‘Living in Surveillance Societies (LiSS)’.  Collaborator.  Led by William Webster (Stirling) and Charles Raab (Edinburgh).

Sept 2008: The Leverhulme Trust, £166,188 ‘Taking Liberties: New Uses of Consumer Data in the UK’. Principal Investigator, with Elizabeth Daniel, Sally Dibb, Maureen Meadows and Keith Spiller (all OUBS).

Sept 2008: ‘Ethical Surveillance Infrastructures Workshop’, Centre for Interdisciplinary Research, University Bielefeld, Germany, € 2,150. Co-Investigator, with Michael Nagenborg (Karlsruhe, Germany), Karsten Weber (Opole, Poland), David Murakami Wood (Newcastle), Torin Monahan (Vanderbilt, USA)

April 2008: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Canada CAN$ 2,500,000 Major Collaborative Research Initiative ‘The New Transparency’. Executive Team Member, Institutional PI and Work Package Leader, Co-ordinated by David Lyon (Queens), Kevin Haggerty (Alberta); Colin Bennett (Victoria), Andrew Clement (Toronto), Laureen Snider (Queens), Art Cockfield (Queens). £106,627 to come to the OU. Phase 1: £33,042; Phase 2: £73,585.

April 2008: Economic and Social Research Council, £17,000. ‘The Everyday Life of Surveillance: A Seminar Series.’  Co-investigator, with David Murakami Wood (Queens); Stephen Graham (Durham); Charles Raab (Edinburgh); Andrew Donaldson (Newcastle); Clive Norris (Sheffield).

October 2003: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Canada CAN$ 1,927,198. ‘The Globalisation of Personal Data’ Co – investigator, With David Lyon (Queens), Elia Zureik (Queens), Yolande Chan (Queens), David Skillicorn (Queens), Jane Webster (Queens), Art Cockfield (Queens), Colin Bennett (Victoria), David Zweig (Toronto), Mark Salter (Ottawa), Nicola Green (Surrey)

December 2000: British Academy Small Grant, £4,800. ‘The implementation, use and diffusion of human resource technologies.’ Principal investigator. Award Number: SG31496

January 1997 – December 1999: ESRC Management Research Fellow, £74,000. ‘Human Resource Information Systems: Opportunity or Threat?’  Principal investigator. Award Number: H53627500296

September 1993 – September 1996: SERC-ESRC joint Doctoral Studentship. Computer based monitoring in UK service organizations: A Comparative Study.

Industrial relevance

Third Stream Funding

February – May 2010: The UK Information Commissioners Office, £47,000. An update to ‘A Report on the Surveillance Society. Co-Investigator with David Lyon (Queens),David Murakami Wood (Queens); Stephen Graham (Newcastle); Charles Raab (Edinburgh); Clive Norris (Sheffield).

June – September 2006: The UK Information Commissioners Office, £50,000.  ‘A Report on the Surveillance Society’. Co-Investigator with David Lyon (Queens),David Murakami Wood (Queens); Stephen Graham (Durham); Charles Raab (Edinburgh); Clive Norris (Sheffield). 

Biography

Kirstie joined the School of Management in 2016 having held positions at Aston, Warwick, Birmingham and The Open Universities.  She is Professor in Management and co-director and founder of CRISP, the Centre for Research into Information, Surveillance and Privacy. CRISP is a joint research centre between St Andrews, Edinburgh, Stirling and Essex Universities. She is also Research Fellow at the Surveillance Studies Centre, Queen's University, Canada and Visiting Professor at the Centre for Business in Society at Coventry University

Over the last 20 years Kirstie’s research has been funded by ESRC, EPSRC, SSHRC (Canada), The Leverhulme Trust, The British Academy and the European Framework Programme. In 2015 she published 'The Private Security State? Surveillance, Consumer Data and the War on Terror', the first empirical study, from an organizational perspective, of private sector involvement in government surveillance regimes. She is also co-editor of a new Routledge book series entitled 'Studies in Surveillance' and edited ‘The Routledge Handbook of Surveillance Studies’, a key resource for those who teach about surveillance. She has consulted to the UK's Information Commissioner, authoring ‘A Report on the Surveillance Society’ in 2006, which prompted two parliamentary committee enquiries, and its follow up in 2010.

Kirstie co-founded and co-edited the journal Surveillance and Society and the charitable company Surveillance Studies Network, an educational charity which supports the journal. She has also advised numerous NGOs, research funding bodies and news media organizations about surveillance, privacy and security. She frequently appears in the broadcast and print media and at public events to speak about surveillance as a contemporary social phenomenon.

Profile Keywords

Surveillance; privacy; employee monitoring

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Computer Based Monitoring in UK Service Organizations: A Comparative Study, ASTON UNIVERSITY

Award Date: 18 Dec 1996

Master of Science, University of Birmingham

Award Date: 1 Dec 1993

Bachelor of Laws, University of Birmingham

Award Date: 1 Jul 1992

External positions

Research Fellow, Queen's University Kingston

3 Oct 20183 Oct 2023

Keywords

  • HD28 Management. Industrial Management
  • Surveillance
  • Privacy
  • Security
  • Employee Monitoring

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