Newcastle University Business School

Staff Profile

Dr David Lain

Senior Lecturer in Employment Studies


I am a Senior Lecturer in Employment Studies at  Newcastle University Business School. My teaching and research explores how the organisation, management and experience of work varies between different countries. My research has tended to focus on the factors influencing employment in older age, the management of ‘late careers’, and prospects for the future of retirement.

I have been exploring these issues, through research and teaching, for a number of years now. I began my academic career as a Research Officer at the Institute for Employment Studies in 2000, working on a range of projects funded by the UK government and the European Commission. Following this I completed a PhD in Sociology at the University of Sussex, which explored employment beyond age 65 in the UK and USA. I then worked at the University of Brighton Business School between 2008 and 2017, progressing to the position of Senior Research Fellow.

I am a member of the British Sociological Association, the Gerontological Society of America, the British Society of Gerontology and the Social Policy Association.

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My research has mostly focused on issues related to older workers and retirement.  My recent book, 'Reconstructing Retirement', explores prospects for extended working lives in the UK and USA.

I led the Economic and Social Research Council 'Rethinking Retirement' seminar series between 2011 and 2012. Between 2011 and 2014 I held a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship. From 2014 to 2017 I was a co-investigator on the Economic and Social Research Council project 'Uncertain Futures: Managing Late-Career Transitions and Extended Working Lives'. Alongside this I also worked with Professor Sarah Vickerstaff on the EU project 'Understanding the employment participation of older workers'.

I am currently completing a qualitative project on grandparents and employment, working with the charity Grandparents Plus. In addition I am leading a UK team of Researchers for a project exploring the management of older workers in UK and Norway (funded by the Norwegian Research Council).

For a full list of my research projects, grants, impact activities and publications please see my Research CV.



Over the last 15 years I have taught on a range of modules spanning the fields of Human Resource Management, Organisational Behaviour, Academic Skills, Sociology and Politics. At Newcastle my teaching responsibilities relate to the following modules:

NBS8286 – People Management in Global Context – Module Leader.

NBS8326 – Managing Organisations and People - Module Leader.

NBS8387 – HRM in Cross-national Contexts – Module Leader.

I also contribute to the following modules:

BUS3006 - Managing Diversity 

BUS3024 - Critical Perspectives on Human Resource Management

BUS3005 - Advanced Business Topics

I also supervise undergraduate and MSc dissertations.

I have supervised three PhD students to completion. Students I have supervised have conducted research on older workers in the UK, Germany and Denmark, the National Living Wage and Educational Maintenance Allowance. I am particularly interested in hearing from people who want to want to conduct PhD research on older workers.

I am an Admissions Selector for the Business Management BA Honours (N200) and External Examiner at the University of Edinburgh for the degree programmes Business Management MA (Hons), Business with Human Resource Management MA (Hons), and Business and Law MA (Hons).

 I enjoy teaching and have in the past been nominated for a Students Union Teaching Excellence Award.