The core mission of our research group is to produce high quality and innovative research with significant applications within Knowledge Transfer and teaching settings.
We are an internationally recognized body of experts, committed to contributing to local, national and international debates about the changing nature and management of work, employment and organizational environments.
We are especially keen to contribute to debates about the nature and interactions of people, employers and workplace contexts. We aim to generate distinctive knowledge that is relevant to the emerging challenges faced by policymakers, practitioners and academics.
We also strive to share this knowledge with the next generation of professionals, offering a Masters degree in Global Human Resource Management. We also teach several modules as part of both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. We supervise a number of PhD and DBA students, and are always open to applications from inquisitive and motivated people to study with us.
Being an active part of the research community, our members attend and contribute to events such as conferences and seminars. For research events including seminar series, please see our research events page.
We have an active presence on several social media platforms.
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Professor Stephen Procter
Alcan Chair of Management
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 1680
Professor Stephen Hughes
Professor of International Organisations
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 1566
Dr Stewart Johnstone
Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management and Employment Relations
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 1581
Dr Jo McBride
Senior Lecturer in Industrial Relations, Work and Employment
Dr Elina Meliou
Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour and HRM, Degree Programme Director MSc International Business Management
Telephone: +44(0)203 752 2446
Dr Tracy Scurry
Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) HaSS Faculty, Senior Lecturer in HRM
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 2323 / 208 5779
Professor Steve Vincent
Professor of Work and Organisation
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 1706
Dr Oliver Mallett
Senior Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour
Telephone: +44 (0) 1912081508
Professor Frank Mueller
Chair in Strategy and Organisation
Telephone: +44 (0)191 208 1682
Dr Paul Richter
DPD - MA Arts Business & Creativity and MSc Innovation, Creativity & Entrepreneurship
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 2081696
ESRC Seminar Series
The Human Resource Management, Work and Employment (HRMWE) group ran a series of ESRC seminars exploring the regulation of work and employment. This was a collaboration with Monash University and Strathclyde University.
The seminar series took an important step in looking at regulation from multidisciplinary, multilevel perspectives, and frames the discussion within the context of an international dialogue as the most appropriate way to have concrete impact on different stakeholders involved in the regulation of work and employment.
Work and employment remain a central concern to people’s livelihoods, wellbeing and identities; and its regulation has always generated debate about the competing demands between economic concerns (eg, competitiveness and productivity), and social concerns (eg, worker rights, equality and social justice). For governments, policy-makers and inter-governmental agencies, this translates into struggles to set the ‘rules of the game’ and the degree of intervention. Most workers and their families, as well as unions welcome regulation as they see it as a key element of decent work, work-life balance and health and safety.
The series aimed to address the complexities and dynamics of the forces that give rise to patterns of regulation at local, national, supranational and international levels, looking to contribute to developing understanding of these issues and in doing so; help to inform policies, strategies and practices of government, businesses and unions.
- Dr Jenny Rodriguez, Newcastle University
- Dr Tracy Scurry, Newcastle University
- Dr Stewart Johnstone, Newcastle University
- Professor Steve Hughes, Newcastle University
- Professor Greg Bamber, Monash University
- Professor Paul Stewart Strathclyde University
Background to the series
The regulation of work and employment poses important questions for public policy-makers, organisations and the labour movement in the UK and around the world. Main concerns include the extent to which work and employment should be regulated or deregulated, and how such regulation should be developed and applied in practice. The regulation of work and employment also highlights a key strategic tension between economic concerns (e.g., competitiveness and productivity), and social concerns (e.g., worker rights, equality and social justice). Ultimately, it is often viewed as a potential means of reconciling these countervailing tensions. However, the discussion about regulation is controversial at all levels.
At the national level, those who represent the interests of employers, such as the Institute of Directors (2010) and the British Chambers of Commerce (2011), often argue that a high degree of regulation may hinder job creation and discourage multinational enterprises from investing. It is argued that this leads them to countries with a lower degree of regulation.
At the workplace level, managers may be keen to protect their prerogative regarding how to best manage businesses in order to remain sustainable in competitive global markets. However, certain forms of regulation may be welcomed by individual workers and their families as they see it as central to decent work, work-life balance, and health and safety (van Wanrooy et al., 2011; Sanséau and Smith, 2012).
At supranational and international levels, as regulatory processes continue to shift (Martinez Lucio and MacKenzie, 2004; Angel-Urdinola and Kuddo, 2010); it is fundamental to collectively address emerging contradictions. For instance, government discourses of liberalisation and deregulation at national level see their counterpart in the implementation of tight regulation regimes at supranational level. However, regulation has led to contradictions at the organisational level, where the discursive promotion of labour market flexibility coexists alongside the practical implementation of a profound re-regulation of labour relations (Standing, 1997). Nonetheless, there is evidence (e.g., Germany) that employment protection and strong economic output can coexist (OECD, 2004).
The CIPD (2011:1) suggests that “the case for or against regulation should be analytically sound and assessed in relation to specific employment or workplace issues rather than pursued as a matter of ideology”. However, there is a disconnection between these different levels of analysis, as well as between policy and practice. The series brings together leading international academic thinkers with key policy influencers in order to advance theory, employment policy and practice.
The seminar series
The series comprised six one-day seminars with presentations from leading academic researchers, policy-makers, representatives from employers’ organisations, senior figures from business, trade union officials and other stakeholders.
Seminar 1 - Competing Approaches to the Regulation of Work and Employment
Aim: To explore regulatory asymmetries, ambiguities, similarities and contradictions in existing agendas for regulation focusing on: “What has changed in the way regulation is understood and used? What underlying assumptions are identified in the ways in which regulation of work and employment is understood and used by different stakeholders (e.g., academics, businesses, intergovernmental agencies).
Seminar 2 - Workplace Regulation, Employment and the State
Aim: To explore the changing dynamics of workplace relations in the context of declining collective regulation and shifts towards individualistic HRM, the role of trade unionism in supporting and resisting regulation, the quest for mutual gains, and the suitability of the proposition to (re)theorise employment relations and HRM practices to account for the impact of supranational level regulations, as well as the reconfiguration of ‘rules’ at the national level.
Seminar 3 - International Regulation
Aim: To explore the diversity of regulatory regimes across geographies focusing on the relationship between regulation and multilayered governance, and the diffusion of political authority. It will contribute to discussions about ‘domestic labour market regulation’ (Häberli et al., 2012).
Seminar 4 - Regulation and the Individual Experience of Work
Aim: To explore how regulation intersects with individual differences, such as gender, age and ethnicity, focusing on individual experiences of work (e.g., career trajectories, professional identities) and the implications different forms of regulations have for intersectional inequalities and discrimination.
Seminar 5 - Regulation and the Firm
Aim: To explore the impact of regulation on firms; the similarities and differences between MNCs and SMEs, the impact of employment protection regulations on firms’ hiring and firing decisions, and the possibility to harmonise firms’ need for labour market dynamism with workers’ needs for decent, secure jobs.
Seminar 6 - The Future of Regulation
Aim: To explore future agendas and identify core foundations of a collaborative model to advance understanding and practical uses of regulation, and their implications for business and society