About David Marsden
David Marsden was an excellent scholar, whose exemplary vision of academic dialogue went beyond both disciplinary and national borders. In their inaugural SER editorial, Alex Hicks and David wrote, “With the Review, we launch an enterprise that we hope will address and create dialogue among a wide and inclusive range of the various communities interested in the economy.” David practiced this in his own research, his mentorship of generations of faculty and students at LSE, as well as his contributions to numerous journals and academic associations. He was a founding editor of Industrielle Beziehungen (the German Journal of Industrial Relations), an editor of Travail et Emploi (a research journal published by the French ministry of labour), and general editor of the British Journal of Industrial Relations. His scholarly work on labor markets, industrial relations, and human resource management was always informed by insights from cross-national comparison and his guiding concern with understanding the role of politics and institutions in shaping the economy. These themes were reflected in numerous articles, as well as his major work A Theory of Employment Systems: Micro-Foundations of Societal Diversity (1999, Oxford University Press). Starting from the economics of the employment relationship, David developed a novel interdisciplinary theory of managerial authority in organizing work that took account of how institutions shaped and limit such authority in very different ways across countries.
We will remember David as an inspirational colleague, mentor and friend. His contribution to SASE is immeasurable. He served as SASE President in 2002-2003. He was the organizer for Network G: Labor Markets, Education, and Human Resources over several decades, where he personally welcomed generations of young scholars into SASE. David helped SASE to host its annual conference twice at the LSE, in 2000 and most recently in 2015. Together with Alex Hicks, David was the founding editor of Socio-Economic Review (SER) and held this position from 2001-2006.
Through his service, David contributed to both the organizational development and international visibility of SASE. He was quite simply also one of the nicest persons in the profession: energetic, engaging, and supportive, especially for younger and emerging scholars.