Mark joined the Sociology Department of the University of Essex as a Research Professor in September 2007, and established the Centre for Research in Economic Sociology and Innovation.
For the previous decade he had been at the ESRC Centre for Research in Innovation and Competition (CRIC) at the University of Manchester, as a Senior Research Fellow and Professorial Research Fellow.
With a first degree in history from Oxford, followed by a PhD in Sociology (on historico-critical epistemology) from LSE, he held the Susan Isaacs post-doctoral research fellowship at the Institute of Genetic Epistemology, working with Jean Piaget at the University of Geneva (1968-70).
He was a Lecturer in Sociology and Psychology at Brunel University (1971-4) before leaving academia to become a building labourer, returning to academia 17 years later in 1993. He was made an honorary life member of the building trades union, UCATT, in 2002 for services to the labour movement, combatting bogus self-employment.