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Professor Alan Brown

Research interests

Alan joined IER in 1996. Since then I have been involved in research projects on career development, workplace learning, vocational education and training and technology-enhanced learning. From 2002 - 2009 I was Associate Director of the ESRC Teaching and Learning Research Programme (TLRP) with responsibility for workplace learning and professional learning. My interests focus on career development; changing work-related identities; career adaptability (ability to make successful transitions and perform effectively in a range of contexts); workplace learning; learning processes (e.g. coaching and supporting the learning of others); learning across domains (practical; cognitive and affective); and computer-supported collaborative learning. I retired in April 2019 and I still get involved in a range of activities associated with career development research, but only on a part-time basis. My most recent projects related to lifelong guidance policy and practice in Europe for the European Commission and monitoring and evaluation of lifelong guidance systems and services for Cedefop.

Academic profile

Previously Alan was a researcher at Chelsea (now King's) College, University of London; Tavistock Institute for Human Relations; and Department of Educational Studies, University of Surrey.

Academic qualifications: B.Sc. University of Liverpool; DBS University of Liverpool; M.Sc. (Econ) London School of Economics; Ph.D. University of Surrey

Current projects

  • The role of parents in providing careers guidance and how they can be better supported. With Sally-Anne Barnes, Michael Orton, Jenny Bimrose, Sally Wright, John Gough (Centre for Lifelong Learning). Funded by The Gatsby Foundation. Project Start Date 01/08/2019 - Project End Date: 31/12/2020 [details]
  • Lifelong guidance policy and practice in Europe for the European Commission: 2019 - 2020.
  • Monitoring and evaluation of lifelong guidance systems and services for Cedefop: 2021 - 2022.

All projects

Selected publications

  • Kettunen, J., Barnes, S-A., Bimrose, J., Brown, A., & Vuorinen, R. (2023). Career experts' conceptions of systems development in lifelong guidance. International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance.
  • Barnes, S-A., Bimrose, J., Brown, A., Kettunen, J., & Vuorinen, R. (2020). Lifelong guidance policy and practice in the EU: trends, challenges and opportunities. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. ISBN 978-92-76-17340-3.
  • Bimrose, J. & Brown, A. (2020). The interplay between career support and career pathways. In Hedge, J., & Carter, G. (eds.). Career Pathways: From School to Retirement. New York:  Oxford University Press.
  • Barnes, S-A., Bimrose, J., Brown, A., Gough, J. & Wright, S. (2020). The role of parents and carers in providing careers guidance and how they can be better supported: Evidence report. Coventry: University of Warwick.
  • Barnes, S-A., Bimrose, J., Brown, A., Gough, J. and Wright, S. (2020). The role of parents and carers in providing careers guidance and how they can be better supported: Practice report. Coventry: University of Warwick.
  • Bimrose, J., and Brown, A. (2019) Professional identity transformation: supporting career and employment practitioners at a distance, British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 47, 6, pp. 757-769.
  • Bimrose,J. , Brown. A., Mulvey, R., Kieslinger, B. and Dewanti, R.T. (2019) Transforming identities and co-constructing careers of career counselors, Journal of Vocational Behaviour, Volume 111, April, pp 7-23.
  • Brown A., Bimrose J. (2018) Learning and Identity Development at Work. In: Milana M., Webb S., Holford J., Waller R., Jarvis P. (eds) The Palgrave International Handbook on Adult and Lifelong Education and Learning. Palgrave Macmillan, London. DOI:

  • Brown, A., Bimrose, J. (2017). Drivers of learning for the low skilled, International Journal of Lifelong Education, On-line first. DOI: 10.1080/02601370.2017.1378934
  • Shipton, H., Sparrow, P., Budhwar, P. and Brown, A. (2017). HRM and innovation: looking across levels, Human Resource Management Journal, 27(2), pp. 246–263. DOI: 10.1111/1748-8583.12102
  • Bimrose, J., Mulvey, R. & Brown, A. (2016). Low qualified and low skilled: the need for context sensitive careers support, British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 44, 2, 145-157. DOI: 10.1080/03069885.2016.1145190
  • Barnes, S-A. & Brown, A. (2016). Stories of learning and their significance to future pathways and aspirations, British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 44, 2, 233-242. DOI: 10.1080/03069885.2016.1145194
  • Brown, A. (2016). Career adaptability and attitudes to low-skilled work by individuals with few qualifications: ‘getting by’, ‘getting on’ or ‘going nowhere’. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 44, 2, 221-232. DOI: 10.1080/03069885.2016.1145196.
  • Brown, A. (2015). The Role Of Career Adaptability And Flexible Expertise In Developing Individual Innovative Behaviour. In H. Shipton, P. Budhwar, P. Sparrow & A. Brown (Eds). Human Resource Management, Innovation and Performance, Chapter 16, pp. 249-265, London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Bimrose, J. and Brown, A. (2015). Career decision making and career adaptability. In K. Maree and A.Di Fabio (Eds.) Exploring New Horizons in Career Counselling: Turning Challenge into Opportunities, pp. 249 - 262, Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. ISBN Paperback: 9789463001526.
  • Brown, A. (2015). Developing Career Adaptability and Innovative Capabilities Through Learning and Working in Norway and the United Kingdom. Journal of the Knowledge Economy, 6, 2, 402-419. DOI 10.1007/s13132-014-0215-6.
  • Brown, A. (2015). Mid-career reframing: the learning and development processes through which individuals seek to effect major career changes. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling. 43, 3, pp. 278-291. doi: 10.1080/03069885.2015.1028888
  • Brown, A. & Bimrose, J. (2015). Identity Development. In Hartung, P. J.; Savickas, M. L.; and Walsh, W. B. (Eds), (2015). APA handbook of career intervention, Volume 2: Applications. APA handbooks in psychology., (pp. 241-254). Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association, ix, 565 pp.
  • Brown, A. & Bimrose, J. (2014). Model of Learning for Career and Labour Market Transitions, Research in Comparative and International Education, Vol. 9, No. 3, pp. 270-286. doi: 10.2304/rcie.2014.9.3.270
  • CEDEFOP (2014) Brown, A., Bimrose, J. and Merrill, B. (eds): Navigating difficult waters: learning for career and labour market transitions, Research Paper 42, Thessaloniki: CEDEFOP.
  • Bimrose, J., Brown, A., Holocher-Ertl, T., Kieslinger, B., Kunzmann, C., Prilla, M., Schmidt, A. and Wolf, C. (2014) The Role of Facilitation in Technology-Enhanced Learning for Public Employment Services. International Journal of Advanced Corporate Learning, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp. 56 - 63.
  • Hippach-Schneider, U., Weigel, T., Brown, A. & Gonon, P. (2013) Are graduates preferred to those completing initial vocational education and training? Case studies on company recruitment strategies in Germany, England and Switzerland. Journal of Vocational Education & Training, Vol. 65, Iss. 1, 2013 , pp. 1 - 17.

A fuller list of selected key publicationsLink opens in a new window.

All conference presentations

Doctoral supervision

  • Mariam Gbajumo-Sheriff, Does balancing life and work have a cultural face? A case study of women living and working in Lagos-State Nigeria
  • Mohd Onn Rashdi Abd Patah, Developing a career in the Malaysian hotel industry: A narrative analysis of the career experiences of local middle managers.
  • Olga Siemers, Skills for here or to take away? Analysing the career trajectories of mobile PhD graduates in Europe.

Other information

Our research in the area of Guidance, Learning and CareersLink opens in a new window

Alan's blog on careers, learning and identities: GLACIER blogLink opens in a new window

Aerovet project results websiteLink opens in a new window 




Emeritus Professor

Institute for Employment Research
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL

Tel: +44(0)24 76523521
Alan dot Brown at warwick dot ac dot uk