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Professor Dirk vom Lehn
Dr Dirk vom Lehn is a Professor of Organisation and Practice at King's Business School.

Professor Dirk vom Lehn

  • Academics
  • Supervisors

Professor of Organisation and Practice

Programme Director, International Management BSc.

Research subject areas

  • Management

Contact details


Dirk vom Lehn is Professor of Organisation and Practice. He is a member of Public Services Management & Organisation (PSMO) and the Work, Interaction and Technology Research Group.

His research is primarily concerned with the practical organisation of action and interaction in museums and galleries, in optometric consultations, on street-markets, and in dance workshops. He, for example, explores how looking and seeing emerge in interaction between museum visitors or between optometrists and their clients, and he investigates how in dance workshops people learn to move in step with their dance partner and in rhythm with the music. He also has an interest in the creation and development of ethnomethodology and in the further advancement of video-based research methods for the study of the organisation of action.

Dirk teaches a module titled ‘Marketing, Interaction, and Technology’ on the MSc in International Management (MiM) and contributes to the teaching of Qualitative Research Methods in the BSc undergraduate programmes.

Areas of Expertise:

  • interaction in museums, in optometric consultations, on street markets, and in dance workshops
  • organisation studies and social practice
  • ethnomethodological analysis of interaction
  • interactionist sociology
  • video-analysis and ethnography

Dirk’s research has been published in international journals in sociology, management and marketing, including Academy of Management JournalInternational Journal for Research in Marketing, British Journal of Management, Sociology, Symbolic Interaction, and others. He also has written and edited six books, including:

  • Harold Garfinkel: The Creation and Development of Ethnomethodology (Routledge)
  • Institutions, Interaction, and Social Theory (with Will Gibson, Palgrave, 2017)
  • The Routledge International Handbook of New Digital Practices in Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums and Heritage Sites (with H. Lewi, W. Smith & S. Cooke, 2019),
  • The Routledge International Handbook of Interactionism (with N. Ruiz-Junco and W. Gibson, 2021)
  • Ethnomethodologische Interaktionsanalyse (Belz-Juventa, 2018)

He also edited special issues of journals, including a Special Issue on Producing and Consuming Art: a marketing perspective in Consumption, Markets, and Culture (with F. Kerrigan and D. O'Reilly, 2009), a Special Issue on Phenomenology-based Ethnography (with R.Hitzler, 2018) in the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, and a Special Issue on The Senses in Social Interaction in Symbolic Interaction (with W. Gibson, 2021). He is an Associate Editor of Symbolic Interaction and on the editorial board of Arts and the Market.

Dirk is a member of the American Sociological Society (ASA) and an Officer at the ASA Section Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis (2019-2022) that he co-chaired (with Erik Vinkhuyzen) between 2012 and 2014. He also is a member of the British Sociological Association (BSA) and the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction (SSSI).

Before beginning his PhD project at the University of Nottingham (School of Social Studies), Dirk studied for a Master’s in Sociology at the University of Bamberg (Germany). He completed his PhD (Management) at King’s College London in 2002.

Between 1997 and 2009, Dirk worked as a Research Associate/Fellow and was co-applicant on various research projects funded by the European Union, the AHRC, the ESRC, the EPSRC, the Wellcome Trust, and the National Science Foundation. The projects were concerned with computer-supported cooperative work, human-computer interaction, public understanding of science and informal learning in museums and science centres, interpreting art in museums, examining the work of optometrists, and interaction on street-markets.

At King’s Business School Dirk is the Programme Director of the International Management BSc, and at King's College London he is a member of the Collaborative Provisions Sub-Committee.

Dirk's Research Excellence Framework 2021 impact case study was called Developing New Training to Improve Communication in Optometry. Read the impact feature on this case study here. 

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