The latest news from BUIRA
This is a little out of date but might still be of interest
6th December 2019
Study With Scholarships at the Sheffield Business School (SBS)
A PhD in SBS offers you a brilliant opportunity to develop your research skills and knowledge to create a real impact either in academia, public sector, private sector or as an entrepreneur.
At Sheffield Business School we have a vibrant international community of research students, academics and support staff, and a 30-year history of delivering high-quality postgraduate research that places a strong emphasis on close supervision and support.
Join us in our search for new thinking because:
We have extensive expertise in creating new knowledge and applying business research to solve real world problems
You will be supervised by a vibrant community of academics who are driven by the discovery of new knowledge
Your research will be conducted alongside a diverse community of doctoral researchers from the globe who bring a wealth of international experience
Our reputation for excellence is recognised through our high-quality research training and the support we offer our doctoral students
Sheffield Business School is committed to providing you with an outstanding student experience in a collegiate environment
Sheffield Business School is one of the largest such institutions in the UK, with over 200 academic staff. As a result, the school’s research covers a wide spectrum of disciplines, ranging from finance and accounting, management, strategy, marketing, economics, international business and human resource management, hospitality, tourism, events management, food and nutrition.
Research undertaken at Sheffield Business School is largely shaped by the University's Creating Knowledge strategy, which sets out the following ambitions:
We will be recognised internationally for research which has real social, economic and cultural impact
We will identify and seize opportunities to lead in new and emerging areas
We will apply research to enrich students' learning and work with others to ensure translation into practice
In Sheffield Business School our research supports two overarching themes which are The Experience Economy and Social and Cooperative Economy. We welcome applications from prospective PhD students to undertake research that contributes to this agenda.
The Experience Economy covers a broad range of research interests linked to both the experience economy and the related area of customer experience management, focusing on the design, delivery and development of consumer experiences in a range of leisure, recreation, events, hospitality and tourism contexts. Research within this theme spans the breadth of the consumer experience process in various product markets. It includes a variety of service management issues and is also concerned with the employee workplace experience and the associated functional management issues.
Social and Cooperative Economy - Sheffield Business School is a leading centre of research into alternative forms of business organisation, notably social enterprise, through which businesses combine commercial objectives with the achievement of social aims such as environmental improvement or support for vulnerable groups in society. In particular SBS and our partners have pioneered the development of the Fair Shares model, which focuses on the democratic involvement of all stakeholders and the distribution of rewards on a fair and equitable basis.
How to apply
Anyone can apply for a PhD scholarship. However you would need to meet the standard Programme application entry requirements (see below). All applicants wishing to be considered for a PhD scholarship need to submit by the closing date (12 noon on Monday 2nd March 2020) the following documents (see below) by email to email@example.com.Please indicate clearly in the body of your email that you would like to be considered for a SBS PhD scholarship.We require the following documents for your application:
-a fully completed Sheffield Hallam University application form.
-a detailed research proposal (4-6 sides of A4 in length). All submitted research proposals will be uploaded to Turnitin to assess their originality.
-a transcript of marks from your highest qualification (we require a dissertation mark of 60 or higher).
-a copy of your award certificate from your highest qualification.
-two references, both of which must be recent letters on headed notepaper or the reference form found within the University application form (one of which should ideally be from an academic source). Referees can submit their references electronically by scanning and emailing the original documents direct to us from their own email address, but these must be on headed notepaper or the official form.
English Language proficiency evidence - Where English is not your first language, you must show evidence of English language ability to the following minimum level of proficiency. You must provide evidence of either a current IELTS score of 7.0 overall (with all component marks of 6.5 or higher and preferably Academic IELTS); or a current TOEFL test with an overall score of 100 internet based (with a minimum component score of 23 in listening and reading, 26 in writing and 22 in speaking) or SHU TESOL English Language qualification – final overall grade of A (with all components graded at B or higher) or a recognised equivalent testing system. Please note that your test score must be current, i.e. within the last two years.
A generous and comprehensive package is offered. This funding is for 3 year full-time PhD study. Our SBS PhD Scholarship covers tuition which is equal to the Home/EU fee. This includes a stipend at Research Council UK levels (this is currently £15,009 for 2019/20) per annum plus Home/EU tuition fees (£4,330 in 2019/20). For international students, a top up tuition fee of approximately £8,200 per year is required.
Successful applicants will be required to attend an interview where you will be asked to discuss your research proposal. Interview panel members will include the PhD Programme Leader, a prospective Director of Studies and a representative from the SBS Creating Knowledge Board. All applicants wishing to be considered for a PhD scholarship need to submit all their documents by e-mail on 12 noon on Monday 2nd March 2020 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Interview dates are provisionally scheduled for week commencing 20th April 2020.
Areas of study
We are seeking PhD scholarship applications for 3 year funded full-time study with proposed theoretical and managerial implications in one of our department
Service Sector Management (SSM)
If you have any queries about full-time PhD Scholarships in SBS please contact:Dr. Alisha Ali PhD Programme Leader Sheffield Business School Sheffield Hallam University Alisha.Ali@shu.ac.uk Tel: 0114 225 4593
Deadline is 2 noon on Monday 2nd March 2020) the following documents (see below) by email to email@example.com.
Find a PhD: https://www.findaphd.com/phds/programme/sheffield-business-school-phd-scholarships/?p4325
SHU’s Website: https://www.shu.ac.uk/research/degrees/phd-scholarships/sheffield-business-school-phd-scholarships
John Foster, Kenny MacAskill and Rory Scothorne: symposium on the Jimmy Reid biography by McKinlay and Knox
Ewan Gibbs & Jim Phillips: Remembering the Auchengaich mining disaster
Alan McKinlay, John Boyle & William Knox: Unionising BSR in East Kilbride, 1969
Rory Stride: Women, Work & Deindustrialisation: the case of James Templeton & Son, Glasgow, 1960-81
Adam McInnes: Deindustrialisation and Gordon Brown's approach to devolution in Scotland
Ian Gasse: The 1905 Dumfries Bakers' Strike
Please see https://www.scottishlabourhistorysociety.scot/ for details on access and subscriptions to Scottish Labour History.
If you are interested in signing the below letter please let me know by return email by 12 pm on Thursday firstname.lastname@example.org Dr. Manoj Dias-Abey, Lecturer in Law, University of Bristol
Britain’s labour laws are in desperate need of reform. Working people are increasingly engaged in work that pays poorly, is insecure, and contains few avenues of redress if they are treated unfairly by their employers. In-work poverty is at a record high. In the large majority of families in poverty (60%) there is at least one person in work. The current government boasts about record low unemployment figures whilst at the same time it fails to protect workers from poverty pay and insecurity.
Evidence shows that collective bargaining helps to improve productivity and secure stable and well-paying jobs. In 1979, over 80% of UK workers were covered by collective agreements, but today that figure is less than 20%. The decline in collective bargaining was hastened by waves of anti-union legislation that began in the 1980s. Today, British trade union laws are some of the most restrictive in the Western world.
The Labour Party’s 2019 manifesto proposes significant labour law reform, explaining: “[w]ork should provide a decent life for all, guaranteeing not just dignity and respect in the workplace, but also the income and leisure time to allow for a fulfilling life outside it.” We believe that this vision is backed up by a credible plan of action.
Labour will support the introduction of sectoral collective bargaining to set minimum terms and conditions covering all workers in UK sectors. Enterprise-based collective bargaining will be boosted so that employers and workers can negotiate agreements suited to the needs of their workplace. Labour will introduce a real “living wage” and require employers to replace zero-hour contracts with minimum hours contracts based on a new right to regular hours. It will ensure the full range of employment protections are available to all workers from day one of employment and it will create a properly resourced government agency to proactively enforce these rights. Race and gender pay equality will be achieved by making the state responsible for enforcing equal pay legislation and by requiring employers to publicly report on pay disparities for BAME workers.
Labour will also introduce several important corporate governance reforms for large businesses, such as worker representatives on boards and the creation of “inclusive ownership funds”, which have the potential to radically democratise the economy.
Collectively, we have spent many decades studying labour law and industrial relations in the United Kingdom. We believe that the Labour Party is the only party with a transformative plan to create jobs that offer security, fair pay and dignity at work as well as an economy that works for the many.
3rd December 2019
Ideas in Employment Relations Research Call for Papers for Special Issue Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society
We are currently accepting long abstracts for this Special Issue – full details are available at the following link:
Ideas in Employment Relations Research
Call for Papers for Special Issue
Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society
Martin B. Carstensen (Copenhagen Business School): email@example.com
Christian Lyhne Ibsen (Michigan State University): firstname.lastname@example.org
Vivien Schmidt (Boston University): email@example.com
We look forward to receive your long abstracts by January 15, 2020.
Martin B. Carstensen, Vivien Schmidt and Christian Lyhne Ibsen
13th November 2019
CIPD Applied Research Conference
We are delighted to announce that tickets are now on sale for the CIPD Applied Research Conference (ARC)! The conference, taking place in Dublin City University (DCU) St Patrick’s Campus, Ireland, on 22-23 January 2020, explores cutting-edge research into work, employment and people management.
ARC is CIPD’s annual meeting place to discuss cutting edge research into work, employment and people management. It holds a unique place in strengthening links between academic research and HR practice, focusing on the applications of research insights to organisational life and labour markets.
This year’s conference, in partnership with DCU Business School, will see the CIPD Applied Research Conference held in Ireland for the first time, further expanding our research and impact, while giving practitioners, researchers, and keen learners, the opportunity to gain insights, apply learnings, and network in one of Ireland’s most dynamic universities.
Registration for the CIPD Applied Research Conference 2020 is now open, and the fees for attending are as follows:
For full details on the programme, themes, location and everything else, make sure to click https://www.cipd.co.uk/learn/events-networks/applied-research-conference
We look forward to seeing you there!
A reminder about our exciting CREW seminar on The four day working week on 27th Nov at Hamilton House. All welcome!
A future Labour government is committed to implement a four day working week with no loss of pay. This is also the Trades Union Congress (TUC) policy. As Stephen Hawking predicted we need to think carefully about how the potential benefits of automation and artificial intelligence are shared in society. Reductions in working time has been seen to have a positive impact on the environment and integral to challenging climate change, as well as the possibility of shared child and eldercare and benefits for mental and physical health.
Yet, how do we move towards a 4 day week? This seminar hears from Professor Andre Spicer on the wider benefits and the introduction of ‘an infrastructure of conviviality’. It reflects on the experience of trade union campaigns to cut the working week, but also hears from employers who have already introduced a 4 day week, their experiences and the outcomes for their business.
Come along and find out more, as it may be that exciting times lie ahead of us!
The Four-day working week – possibilities and implications
Wednesday 27th November 2019
TIME: 15.00 – 17.30
VENUE: Room HH103, Hamilton House, Park Vista, Greenwich SE10 9LZ
BUIRA 70th Anniversary Conference 2020
The past, present and future of industrial relations and the politics of work
Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester,
30th June to 2nd July 2020
Call for papers
BUIRA turning 70 presents a good opportunity to reflect on the past, present and future of industrial relations. Despite facing recent challenges, the field of industrial relations continues to be a vital topic of academic and practitioner enquiry. Issues that have long been central within the study of industrial relations, such as pay, collective bargaining, rights at work, employee representation, national and transnational forms of regulation, health and safety, job (in)security, precarity, and workplace conflict are highly prominent within many current political and academic debates. Understanding the politics of work, grounded in a critical social science tradition, is crucial for academics and policy makers alike.
IR continues to face a tough institutional environment. In the university, ‘HRM’ and ‘people and work’ has overtaken ‘industrial relations’ in the nomenclature of courses and modules. Within organisations and workplaces, trade unions continue to struggle to maintain a presence and voice for workers. While many university departments may nevertheless offer critical perspectives on work and employment, there is concern that the way ‘HRM’ is taught in some business schools may lack a sufficient diversity of perspectives and critical engagement with hegemonic neoliberalism. This in turn could lead to a potential ‘immiseration’ of the subject matter, and an inability to prevent or address trends such as the spread of precarious work, and the growing problem of in-work poverty (Dundon and Rafferty, 2018). At the same time, IR scholarship is often accused of being theoretically weak, suffering from a descriptive, and institutional bias, i.e. focusing on the dwindling institutions of trade unions and collective bargaining (Kelly, 1998).
Where are we now? How have we got here, and what should the future of the field look like? Reflecting on historical developments in industrial relations is crucial in order to ground and contextualise current developments in the world of work. History matters in helping us to understand the changing nature of industrial relations, and yet is often overlooked in modern accounts of work relations. It is also important to reflect on pressing current issues such as the impact of austerity and the crisis in an increasingly financialised world. What have been their consequences for public sector industrial relations? What is the impact of patterns of precarious work and non-standard employment relationships on the changing nature of work and employment, skills and the quality of work? Across all of these questions, issues of social class, equality and diversity remain more relevant than ever before. Looking to the future, one key question concerns the extent to which unions can play an active role with social movements to tackle climate breakdown.
We welcome empirical (both quantitative and qualitative), analytical, conceptual and methodological papers that concern any area of industrial relations, or fields cognate to industrial relations. We would particularly appreciate submissions from early career researchers and doctoral students. Papers concerning topics under the following headings will be particularly welcome:
Abstracts of papers should be submitted here:
Abstracts should be a maximum of 500 words in length and cover the following headings:
Deadline for submission of abstracts: Monday, 13th January 2020
All abstracts are refereed anonymously by BUIRA Executive Committee members.
Dundon T and Rafferty A (2018) The (potential) demise of HRM? Human Resource Management Journal 28(3): 377– 391.
Kelly J (1998) Rethinking Industrial Relations: Mobilisation, Collectivism and Long Waves. London: Routledge.
4th November 2019
31st October 2019
On 23 June 2016, the United Kingdom held a referendum on whether to remain in or leave the European Union. The result was 51.9% of voters voting to leave. Two things were immediately clear. First, the negotiations would be a very complex, technical, and politically charged affair. Second, the UK would face tough choices and would not be allowed to ‘cherry-pick’ the terms of the Brexit arrangements.
About this book https://www.ier.org.uk/publications/brexit-and-workers-rights
Now, on the brink of the third deadline for a Brexit deal, two leading UK academics consider the possible implications of a ‘no-deal Brexit’ for UK workers’ rights. They conclude that the process and the post-Brexit architecture will be owned and determined by the political party in power at the time of Brexit and they pose two alternative scenarios.
Either the future could deliver a relentless process of ossification, stagnation and erosion of UK labour rights led by politicians traditionally hostile to workers’ rights. Or, the UK could not only protect those UK rights already on the statute book but could resist the tendencies of the European Commission to decentralise collective bargaining arrangements and deregulate employment protection legislation.
The post is part time and for a year. It might suit someone just finishing up their thesis, or it would suit a post-grad person who has an understanding of how social care works or an interest in improving job quality https://jobs.kent.ac.uk/Vacancy.aspx?ref=SS-137-19
Professor Peter Ackers, Professor John Kelly and Professor Jill Rubery have been appointed Fellows of the Academy of Social Sciences. All three were nominated by BUIRA as academics who have made a significant contribution to the social sciences.
The Academy of Social Sciences is the national academy of academics, learned societies and practitioners in the social sciences. Its mission is to promote social science in the United Kingdom for the public benefit. https://www.acss.org.uk/introduction/
The Academy is composed of 1335 individual Fellows, 43 Learned Societies and a number of affiliates, together representing nearly 90,000 social scientists. Fellows are distinguished scholars and practitioners from academia and the public and private sectors. Most Learned Societies in the social sciences in the UK are represented within the Academy. The Academy also sponsors the Campaign for Social Science.
Please send us feedback on the below suggested BUIRA Code of Practice.
BUIRA Code of Practice
The British Universities Industrial Relations Association (BUIRA) is devoted to increasing scholarly and professional knowledge about the present and future of Industrial Relations. BUIRA promotes the use of this knowledge to improve the work lives of individuals through critical debate that influences public dialogue about Industrial Relations, Employment Relations, Sociology of Work and Employment and cognate fields such as HRM. At the core of its activities, BUIRA places the rights and well-being of its members and those it comes into contact with, embracing a collegiate, welcoming and inclusive environment where members’ civil and human rights and their freedom of inquiry and expression in research, teaching, and publication are respected and protected.
This Code of Practice puts forward (1) principles that underlie the professional responsibilities and conduct of BUIRA members, and (2) enforced ethical standards that apply to BUIRA members in official roles in the association and to those participating in BUIRA-sponsored activities. BUIRA members perform many roles, acting as researchers, educators, administrators, supervisors, commentators, activists and social interventionists who maintain a personal and professional lifelong commitment to ethical standards of behaviour, and encouraging those they come in contact with, such as colleagues, students, supervisees, collaborators, professional contacts, employees and employers, to behave ethically.
The Code of Practice is structured in three main sections: General Principles, Professional Principles, and Ethical Standards. A separate document, a “Policy and procedure for handling claims and violations related to the BUIRA Code of Practice” accompanies the present document.
These general principles serve as aspirational guidelines for the members of BUIRA in matters pertaining ethical conduct. The general principles upon which BUIRA is built are:
Integrity: Members of BUIRA promote accuracy, honesty, and truthfulness in the research, teaching, and practice of their profession. They strive to conduct themselves with dignity, fairness, and care in all their contacts and relationships with peers, students, professional contacts and the community at large.
Respect: Members of BUIRA establish relationships of trust with those with whom they work. They respect the dignity and worth of all people and the rights of individuals to privacy, confidentiality, and self-determination. They are aware of and respect cultural, individual, and role differences, including those based on gender identity, race, ethnicity, disability, age or youth, culture, nationality, religion, political persuasion, sexual orientation, real or suspected status with regards to AIDS/HIV, language, socioeconomic status, and subordinate status; and they are mindful of these factors when working with all people. They are committed to providing academic and professional work environments that are free of harassment (sexual or otherwise) and all forms of intimidation and exploitation (sexual or otherwise).
BUIRA’s professional principles aim to support the professional interactions of colleagues within BUIRA and the Industrial and Employment Relations field more broadly. The professional principles of BUIRA will impact on members’ research, scholarship, teaching, mentoring and professional development activities.
We have two major responsibilities:
Members of BUIRA must conduct themselves in line with the highest ethical standards. These standards are to be adhered to in all professional activities, including when interacting with other members of BUIRA and in their conduct of official roles in BUIRA.
BUIRA members must commit to the exclusion of the following:
Subscribing to the Code of Practice
On joining BUIRA, members agree to comply, promote and enforce the contents of this Code of Practice, which exemplifies the highest ethical ideals of professional conduct of the profession. BUIRA members are responsible for:
Policy and procedure for handling claims related to the BUIRA Code of Practice
This document outlines the policy and procedures to deal with matters associated with the violation of the BUIRA Code of Practice. The policy and procedures are intended to reinforce the highest standards of professional ethical practice and behaviour through a process that is fair, procedurally just, and effective. This policy and procedures should be formally reviewed every four years and, if necessary, in accordance with any changes deemed necessary by the Ethics Committee. All recommended changes are approved by BUIRA’s Executive Board.
The policy and procedures are guided by the following eight principles:
Role, Scope and Responsibilities
The implementation of this policy and procedures is the responsibility of BUIRA members who are appointed and elected to the various roles as detailed in this document. Members involved in enforcing BUIRA’s policy and procedures have an obligation to act in an unbiased manner, to work expeditiously, to safeguard the confidentiality of any adjudication process, and to follow the procedures established to protect the rights of all individuals involved. In addition, each member is expected to act only to uphold the Ethical Standards of the Code of Practice while keeping in mind the principles that guide this policy and procedures.
There are two different dimensions to handling claims related to the BUIRA Code of Practice: (a) education, information and guidance, and (b) application and maintenance of policy and procedure for handling claims related to the BUIRA Code of Practice
Education, information and guidance to members
Education, information and guidance to membership about Ethical Standards related to the BUIRA Code of Practice is the responsibility of the Ethics Officer.
Ethics Officer Role
The Ethics Officer role is a single position of expert member elected by the BUIRA membership. The role has a term of 3 years and is elected outside of the stewardship cycle. The role is open to re-election only for an additional term. Having served one term, if not seeking re-election individuals shall not be eligible to serve again in the role for a period of 2 years. Having served 2 terms (e.g. including re-election), individuals shall not be eligible to serve again for a period of 5 years.
The responsibilities of the Ethics Officer are, as follows:
Application and maintenance of policy and procedure for handling claims related to the BUIRA Code of Practice
Application and maintenance of the policy and procedure for handling claims related to the BUIRA Code of Practice are the responsibility of the Ethics Committee and the Ethics Appeals Committee.
The Ethics Committee is an enforcement committee, comprised of two members of the BUIRA Executive Board appointed by the BUIRA President (one of whom will act as Chair of the Ethics Committee), and three elected BUIRA members. All members except the Ethics Office serve for a period of 1 year. The roles are not open for consecutive re-election. Having served, individuals shall not be eligible to serve again in the same role for a period of 2 years.
The responsibilities of the Ethics Committee are, as follows:
Chair of the Ethics Committee
The Chair of the Ethics Committee is a single position undertaken of one of the two members of the BUIRA Executive Board appointed by the BUIRA President to be part of the Ethics Committee. The role has a term of 1 year. The role is not open to re-appointment. Having served one term, if not seeking re-election individuals shall not be eligible to serve again in the role for a period of 1 year. Having served twice, individuals shall not be eligible to serve again for a period of 5 years.
The responsibilities of the Chair of the Ethics Committee are, as follows:
Ethics Appeals Panel
In cases where individuals involved in a claim want to appeal the outcome of their claim, this will be dealt with by an Independent panel assembled to hear appeals. The Ethics Appeals Panel will be comprised by a Chair and two members appointed by the President of BUIRA. The panel is assembled to settle appeals on a case-by-case basis. This means that the term begins and ends with each case.
The responsibilities of the Ethics Appeals Panel are, as follows:
The Ethics Appeal Panel engages in these procedures adhering to the guiding principles of predictability, transparency, professionalism, impartiality, democracy, confidentiality, efficiency and education.
Screening of Inquiries
Eligibility to File Claims
Standards of the Code of Practice from the following individuals:
Filing of Formal Claims
Preliminary screening of formal claim by Ethics Officer
Preliminary screening of formal claim by the Chair of the Ethics Committee
Notice of claim, informal resolution, and investigation
Notices of decisions
The decisions and decisions both of the Chair of the Ethics Committee (in the case of deferrals and dismissals) and of the Ethics Committee (in the case of dismissals and decisions of ethical violations), are subject to notice in the Ethics Committee report.
Notice of Appeal
Filing of decided cases
A completed file containing all forms and supporting documents is forwarded to the Ethics Officer by the Chair of the Ethics Committee or the Chair of the Ethics Appeal Committee for confidential and encrypted storage at the close of a case. Any records will be kept and maintained in accordance with GDPR legislation.
We have a vacancy for a Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in the Organisation, Work and Employment group in Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham. Applications in the area of HRM/Employment Relations welcomed. Deadline is 1/12/19
A Just Transition? trade unions and climate change
Dr Béla Galgóczi (European Trade Union Institute) Two faces of a Just Transition: challenges for trade unions in addressing climate change’
Alana Dave (International Transport Federation) Towards a social model of public transport – ITF global strategy and policy
Friday 29 November 2019, 10.30am – 12.30pm, followed by buffet lunch
University of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS
(opposite Madame Tussauds and nearly opposite Baker Street tube)Room tbc
For further details and to reserve a place, contact Linda Clarke (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This regular monthly seminar is focused on the urgent question of climate change and how this is and can be addressed by trade unions.
Béla Galgóczi has been working as senior research officer at the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI), Brussels since April 2003. His main research fields over the years have been capital and labour mobility in the EU, third country migration and income convergence. His current research focus is a just transition towards a carbon neutral economy, focussing on fair labour market transitions in carbon intensive sectors and regions. Béla will speak about the two faces of a just transition towards a net-zero carbon economy, drawing lessons from two carbon-intensive sectors, coal-based energy generation and the automobile industry, and regarding just transition not as an abstract concept but a real practice in real workplaces. While decarbonisation itself is a common objective, concrete transitions take place in work environments that are, farther on, determined by the capital-labour relationship with conflicts of interest during the transition. This is where the role of trade unions and social dialogue is key. The cases presented will demonstrate major differences between the two sectors in both the nature and the magnitude of the challenge, as well as in the applied practices and the role of actors.
Béla has a degree in electronical engineering (Budapest Technical University), in sociology (University of Sciences Budapest) with post-graduate studies in political science (University of Amsterdam) and a Ph.D. in economics (Hungarian Academy of Sciences).
Alana Dave is Urban Transport Director at the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), based in London. Alana leads the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) global programme on public transport, which includes a number of strategic projects on labour impacts and workers issues. She is responsible for the development of a trade union public transport policy to further decent work, social and climate justice and gender equality and represents the ITF in external relationships with political decision makers and public transport employers. Alana will present the ITF’s Our Public Transport programme and how it links current issues in the sector with a long-term vision of a pro-public democratic model of public transport. Alan was the education officer of the ITF from 2002 and has a long history in trade union education. She was previously the director of International Labour Research and Information Group in South Africa and projects officer of the International Federation of Workers’ Education Associations, for which she has been an executive board member since 2012.
This seminar is an opportunity to air and discuss these issues in an open forum and consider their implications for industrial relations. Anyone interested is welcome to attend this event. These meetings can be full though so, if you would like to attend and to help forecast catering provision, please Contact: Professor Linda Clarke, email@example.com or 020350 66528 and if you would like to attend subsequent London BUIRA seminars including:
31st January 2020, Digitalisation, employment and industrial relations, with Prof Birgit Mahnkopf (Berlin School of Economics and Law) on The future of work in the era of ´digital capitalism´: Promises of digitalization and its impact on employment, workers and industrial relations, and Dr Kim Moody on The ‘logistics revolution’ of the 21st century as a material aspect of digital capitalism
27th March 2020, Higher education, marketisation, RF/TEF and employment relations, with Prof Dorothy Bishop (University of Oxford) on REF and TEF: are they useful?" and Dr Olga Kuznetsova (Manchester Metropolitan University’ on Employee relations in marketizing universities
16th October 2019
We’re very excited that the November meeting of the ‘Midlands Labour Employment Relations Society’ (MLERS) will be taking place on Tuesday 12th November 2019 18:00 – 20:00 (talk starts at 18:30) at the Birmingham & Midlands Institute (5 min walk form New Street Station).
Please register for free here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/november-midlands-labour-employment-relations-society-meeting-tickets-77030102109
‘Beyond ideology: comparing confrontational union responses to restructuring in France‘
Ruth Reaney, London School of Economics, Genevieve Coderre-LaPalme, University of Birmingham
For several decades, workplace restructuring has been a central feature of a shift towards market-driven employment relations in both the public and private sectors in France (Beaujolin-Bellet and Schmidt 2012). Within this challenging environment, local unions have responded to workplace restructuring in various ways. Whilst ‘cooperative’ strategies such as concession bargaining and the negotiation of social plans are common responses to this type of restructuring, some unions have employed more ‘confrontational’ strategies such as political mobilisation to prompt negotiations about alternative plans (Pulignano and Stewart 2013; Marginson and Meardi 2009; Foster and Scott 1998; Jalette and Hebdon 2012; Greer et al 2013). Under what conditions do unions adopt a confrontational approach? While external circumstances (Frege and Kelly 2003; Jalette and Hebdon 2012; Martinez-Lucio and Stuart 2005) and power resources (Levesque and Murray 2005; Murray et al 2010) help shape the opportunities and threats which unions see in their environment, internal ideology and identity are also considered to be key factors in shaping and sustaining union strategy (Bacon and Blyton 2004; Levesque and Murray 2010; Hodder and Edwards 2015; Hyman 2001).
In examining local unions’ choices to engage confrontational responses to restructuring, this paper compares case studies of ‘critical restructuring incidents’ in two of the country’s most unionised sectors, public healthcare and automobile manufacturing. In doing so, it extends understanding of unions’ tactical choices in responding to restructuring, thereby offering insight into the extent to which internal and external factors shape trade union strategic choice.
Findings from the study indicate that inter- and intra-union variation in strategy across and within cases is explained by the interplay which occurs between ideology and resources. Whereas some unions in the cases had confrontational responses because this forms part of their usual repertoire of action and general union identity, others opted for a confrontational response to ensure their access to resource in the future. Unions which are generally considered in the literature to be “non-militant” engaged in confrontational action in instances where it was deemed the best way to protect their legitimacy and power within the organisation and in the eyes of employees. Patterns within the case findings therefore suggest that unions’ responses to restructuring, although ostensibly similar, are motivated by various external and internal factors, demonstrating that union strategic choice is neither determined by external factors nor professed union ideology. Thus, restructuring poses strategic dilemmas for unions, forcing them to navigate the process by balancing union identity with membership and workforce preferences.
Ruth Reaney is an LSE Fellow in the Department of Management with research interests in work and employment. Her current research concerns trade union response to decreasing institutional security, with specific focus on the French labour movement.
Genevieve Coderre-LaPalme is a Lecturer in Employment Relations at Birmingham Business School. Her research so far has focused on comparative industrial relations, in particular trade union strategies towards restructuring. She is also developing research around employment, stratification and disability.
Details on how to join MLERS and future meetings can be found on our website
Professor William Brown obituary
Academic whose work on industrial relations led to the minimum wage and who took Arthur Scargill, the miners’ leader, to task
The drive for a national minimum wage in Britain owed much to Willy Brown’s childhood ability to talk his way out of trouble. Brown, who according to his brother Henry was “a social chameleon”, came from an academic family and in time turned his negotiating skills into an economics professorship that focused on how wages should be set.
The minimum wage first hit the statute book in 1604 when James I passed an Act Fixing a Minimum Wage for textile workers. It was scrapped in the 19th century, but Tony Blair seized on the idea when he became prime minister in 1997. He created the Low Pay Commission (LPC), of which Brown was a founder member.
In the 1960s Brown had worked for the Wilson government’s Prices and Incomes Board, an early attempt to regulate the economy. After being appointed to the University of Warwick he put a strong emphasis on case-study research, but found that policymakers were not much impressed with case studies because they thought there was only limited scope to generalise from them into political solutions. So he started the Workplace Employment Relations Study, a regular exercise that he eventually persuaded the government to fund and which continued until only a few years ago.
Brown used his survey techniques to research the effects of raising the minimum wage on employment, prices, inflation, exports and imports. “It was Willy who laid down the modus operandi of the LPC,” Sir George Bain, its first chairman, said, “treating the national minimum wage as an empirical rather than theoretical question.”
The balding and bespectacled Brown rejected theoretical economics in favour of a more practical approach. It may also have better suited his sociable temperament, which inclined him to linger over a pint or three in the pub after work. New acquaintances were often taken off guard when his soft tone of voice gave way to a sudden, loud laugh that lit up his crinkly eyes.
Yet he did not suffer fools. It was at one of the university’s regular management-union seminars in 1984, when Arthur Scargill, the leader of the National Union of Mineworkers, was in the throes of the miners’ strike, that Brown bared his intellectual teeth.
Bain, then the chairman of Warwick Business School, said: “I remember Willy cross-examining Scargill in a forensic way, exposing how shallow his tactics were. He thought he was just a fraud and a sham, leading the miners to disaster.” Brown, a Labour Party member since the 1950s, would have been naturally sympathetic to a well-argued union case. “He got along well with most people, including union leaders,” Bain said. “But he didn’t bother to get along with shits.”
William Arthur Brown was born in Oxford in 1945 to Joan (née Taylor) and Arthur Brown (obituary, April 9, 2003), an economist and fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, who soon after his son’s birth was appointed pro-vice chancellor at the University of Leeds.
The family had a large house in an acre of garden, much of it woodland, on the edge of the Meanwood valley north of Leeds. William (known as Willy) wrote: “The garden gave us considerable freedom from parental supervision. We were free to climb trees and dig dens — and later learn more constructive skills such as use of axes, bow saws and scythes. As they grew older, our parents beat a careful strategic retreat with the garden, allowing it to become ever more jungle-like.”
There was no television in the house, but the sound of The Goon Show and the American humourist Tom Lehrer floating out of the radio was acceptable. The family had an extensive family library, with Chambers’s Encyclopaedia to answer impossible questions from small boys. Holidays started on the Settle-to-Carlisle railway line, followed by two weeks in a hotel near Loweswater in the northwest Lake District near Crummock Water. However, Willy was pitchforked into adult reality aged 14 when his eldest brother, John, died in a climbing accident in the Swiss Alps.
“Willy was the brightest of us boys,” Henry said. “He could certainly think on his feet, and he had a real sense of mischief.” A scholarship boy, he breezed through Leeds Grammar School on his way to Wadham College, Oxford. There he read PPE and fell under the influence of Hugh Clegg, who taught Brown about real ale and took him to the National Board for Prices and Incomes. In 1968 Brown moved to the University of Warwick and then, in 1985, to Wolfson College, Cambridge, where he was the Montague Burton professor of industrial relations for 27 years. He was appointed to the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) in 1998.
Yet even the knottiest problems Brown had to disentangle at Acas paled into insignificance compared with the potential pitfalls he faced at home: Brown had two pairs of stepdaughters with the same names.
He first married Kim, who had daughters Rachel and Sarah from her marriage to his friend Nick Hewitt at the University of Warwick. After his ten-year marriage to Kim ended in 2003 (it was not formally dissolved until ten years later) he partnered with Jackie Scott and they were married in 2017. She was a colleague at Cambridge, where she was head of the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences and is now retired. She had two daughters, also called Rachel and Sarah. “It was a bit tricky, but he always said he wanted four daughters,” Jackie said.
Rachel Hewitt is a writer who lectures in creative writing at the University of Newcastle. Her sister Sarah was until recently a housing officer in Lewes, East Sussex. Jackie’s daughter Sarah Goodwin was a financial officer for the National Trust. Rachel Scott has worked in non- government organisations helping refugees and asylum seekers in Canada and the UK.
From 2000 Brown was master of Darwin College, Cambridge, for 12 years, but he maintained his links with Yorkshire. Henry said: “Willy and I, and many family and friends, shared a strong attachment to a remote family cottage in Middlesmoor on a steep green hillside, anchored by a stocky church and a tall stand of sycamores, in the Yorkshire Dales.” The brothers laboured to renovate the cottage in the 1970s, turning it into a spiritual home and base for energetic moorland walks, in Willy’s case punctuated by reciting huge chunks of Wordsworth and Shakespeare from memory, with a varied stock of ribald verses and limericks that often ignited that explosive laugh.
In retirement Brown and Jackie moved to Hinxton in Cambridgeshire, where he would be entranced by the Red Arrows circling the Hinxton church spire before flying over the Duxford air show, with Lancasters, Spitfires and other aircraft that had been part of his childhood. He entered local politics, using his arbitration skills to take the rough edges off commercial property development plans.
While busy with a large garden, Brown still had time for writing. As well as dozens of academic papers, he wrote several significant books on the modern workplace and the changing face of industrial relations. To those he added, two years ago, The Emerging Industrial Relations of China.
“I can see a parallel in the intellectual stance of our father,” Henry said. “Sceptical of theories and models, and happy to struggle with awkward data to make sense of the world. They were both determined that policy based on that understanding can make the world a better place.”
William Brown, CBE, professor of industrial relations, was born on April 22, 1945. He died of acute aortic dissection on August 1, 2019, aged 74
Book Series “Trade Unionism: Changing Contexts And Shifting Paradigms” Series Editors: Andy Hodder and Miguel Martinez Lucio
Proposals are invited for books and research monographs in the area of trade unionism. The series focuses on trade unions in terms of a range of relevant changes and developments internally and in relation to the social, economic and political environment. The series is an attempt to provide a space, not just for established academics, but for emerging commentators and researchers.
The aim of the series is to present a series of interventions that are thorough and well-grounded in terms of their analysis but that are also innovative and provocative in terms of their impact on debates and reflections on worker organisation and representation. We aim is to provide a more innovative space and variety of voices engaging with regards to the debate on and within trade unionism. To this extent, we also welcome books that involve discussants, roundtables and conference presentations and not just standard monographs and edited collections, although these latter forms will constitute the core of the series. All texts in the series will publish in paperback after 18 months of hardback sale.
Further information: https://books.emeraldinsight.com/page/series-detail/trade-unionism-changing-contexts-and-shifting-paradigms/
‘Moving forward in 2020, Unions 21 wants to be more effective at bridging the gap between the academic and union community, enabling the sharing of best practices, learning and projects.
8th October 2019
This is an exciting opportunity to join the Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management Group at Essex Business School. If successful, you will be part of a team of over 15 research active colleagues with a global reputation for their work in critical organisation studies, HRM, and equality and diversity.
We are keen to appoint a talented scholar with experience in the field of Human Resource Management and, ideally, with the ability to contribute to the teaching of Employment Law. We would, therefore, especially welcome applications from those with expertise in:
* UK and international employment law* Employee relations
The offer is competitive, and includes a generous relocation allowance, the possibility of paid research leave, and research funds.
Durham University Business School is looking to hire a Full Professor and an Assistant Professor in HRM (including industrial relations).For further information regarding the job as Professor in HRM please see the attachment or the following link:https://www.dur.ac.uk/jobs/recruitment/vacancies/mgmt19-02/For further information regarding the job as Assistant Professor in HRM please see the attachment or the following link:https://www.dur.ac.uk/jobs/recruitment/vacancies/dubs18-2/I would be very grateful if you could draw this to the attention of potential applicants. If you would like further information, please let me know.Best wishes
3rd October 2019
BUIRA History of Industrial Relations Study Group
Labour Unrest pre-First World War: Germany and the UK Compared
Tuesday 12 November 2019
3.30pm for 4.00-6.00m (Tea/ coffee from 3.30)
Room L195, University of Westminster Business School, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS (opposite Madame Tussauds and nearly opposite Baker Street tube)
For further details or to reserve a place, please email Michael Gold (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Linda Clarke (email@example.com).
3.30-3.50pm: Tea/ coffee/ refreshments
3.50-4.00: Welcome: Michael Gold and Linda Clarke (Chairs)
4.00-4.30: Ralph Darlington
Pre-First World War Labour Unrest and Women’s Suffrage Revolt: Never the Twain Shall Meet?
During the years immediately preceding the First World War, Britain experienced social unrest on a scale beyond anything since the first half of the 19th century. Both the women’s suffrage revolt for the vote (embracing suffragettes and suffragists) and the unprecedented labour unrest of 1910-14 (involving strikes in pursuit of higher wages, better working conditions and trade union recognition) utilised dramatic extra-parliamentary ‘direct action’ forms of militant struggle from below that represented a formidable challenge to the social and political order of Edwardian Britain. This presentation re-examines the historical record to deploy both new and previously unutilised evidence to provide a detailed assessment of the interconnections between the women’s and labour movements in this defining period of British history.
4.30-5.00: Joern Janssen
This presentation analyses the greatest industrial confrontation in German history, which ran from 15 April to 20 June 1910 and ended with the virtually complete defeat of the construction employers’ federation on 16 June 1910 through the verdict of a tripartite court of arbitration. It consolidated a new stage in labour-property relations and the role of labour in the development of anonymous capital. This industrial dispute was about a national framework agreement on collective employment relations and bargaining. It transformed employee organisation and divided the employers’ organisation, benefiting, on the one hand, the central sectoral industrial labour unions to the detriment of trade organisations and, on the other, the anonymous corporations to the detriment of personal ownership of industrial enterprise.
5.00-5.30: General discussion
5.30pm: Close (followed by drinks until 6.00pm)
Ralph Darlington is Emeritus Professor of Employment Relations at the University of Salford. He is the author of The Dynamics of Workplace Unionism (Mansell 1994) and Radical Unionism: The Rise and Fall of Revolutionary Syndicalism (Haymarket 2013), co-author of Glorious Summer: Class Struggle in Britain 1972 (Bookmarks 2001), and is currently researching for a book to be published by Pluto Press on The Labour Unrest 1910-1914.
Joern Janssen, born in Düsseldorf in Germany, studied architecture in the 1950s and worked as an architect from 1960 to 1970. He was awarded his PhD in political sciences (rer. pol.) in 1973 and became a Professor in construction economics at the Fachhochschule Dortmund from 1972 to 1997. He was a Visiting Professor at the University of Westminster 1997-2001, and since 1997 has been researching the history of labour-property relations.
Thursday October 17 2019 6pm
Arthur Priest Memorial Lecture/ Joint Meeting with the CIPD
Reducing the Disability Employment Gap in Britain
Professor Kim Hoque
Professor of HRM, University of Warwick
Thursday 14 November 2019, 6pm
Independent Trade Unions: Organising Precarious Workers and Winning
Henry Chango Lopez
President, Independent Workers Union of Great Britain
Discussant: Dr Gabriella Alberti, University of Leeds
Thursday 5 December 2019, 6pm
Work, Technology and What Counts: Surveillance and Monitoring and Worker Responses
Dr Phoebe Moore
Associate Professor, Political Economy & Technology, University of Leicester School of Business and Guest Research Fellow, WZB Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society
Thursday 13 February 2020, 6pm
Joint meeting with the Industrial Law Society
Individual Labour and Equality Rights at Work Through the Lens of Bullying and Harassment
Professor Lizzie Barmes
Professor of Labour Law, Queen Mary University
Thursday 19 March 2020, 6pm
Employment Relations in the Informal Economy?
The Spatial Dynamics That Shape the Presence of Hand Car Washes
Ian Clark (Professor of HRM), James Hunter (Principal Lecturer in Public Policy), Richard Pickford (Knowledge Exchange and
Impact Officer), and Huw Fearnall-Williams (Lecturer in HRM and OB) Nottingham Trent University
Thursday 14 May 2020, 6pm
Shirley Lerner Memorial Lecture
Union Organising and Power:
Is This The Missing Link in Union Revitalisation?
Professor Jane Holgate
Professor of Work and Employment Relations, University of Leeds
All meetings take place at the Ground Floor, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School, All Saints Campus, Oxford Road, Manchester M15 6BH (near Oxford Road railway station)
26th September 2019
The following book on Theories ion HRM and Employment Relations may be of interest.
While we now understand a range of explanations for unfair pay, including gender and ethnic segregation; human capital; workplace practices and processes; the limitations of the law and of course discrimination, many of these explanations remain as relevant today as they were 50 years ago. It is still the case that these reasons are as relevant today as 50 years ago and that they continue to fundamentally challenge genuine and sustained reform.
This event will engage with these and other issues relevant to making equal and fair pay a reality (see programme below). Speakers and contributors from academia, law, business, unions and equality organisations will provide insight into the context of unequal pay, strategies that have been successful and strategies that have failed, and the barriers navigated to progress equal pay. It will also provide the opportunity to share ideas on how change might take place in multiple arenas in order to affect fair and equal pay and built a strategic way forward. It will also be an opportunity to share and transfer ideas across sectors and contexts.
DLA Piper UK LLP | Princes Exchange | Princes Square | Leeds LS1 4BY | United Kingdom
Monday, 9 December 2019 from 10:00 to 16:00 (GMT)
Register here if you want to attend- https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/equal-pay-50-making-equal-and-fair-pay-a-reality-registration-72058558087
Academics, diversity specialists, lawyers, policy makers, employers, trade unions, consultants, shareholders, third sector groups working on gender and intersectional pay gaps, living wage and students interested in reward in their careers.
The diversity of participant roles will ensure that this is a lively, interactive event committed to moving forward with respect to pay equality and provide an ideal opportunity for delegates to network and work together for change.
Organised by the Centre for Employment Relations Innovation and Change at the University of Leeds Business School and in partnership with The Equality Trust and sponsored by DLA Piper, Global Law firm.
10:30 Session 1: Welcome and opening session: Equal Pay @50: Making equal and fair pay a reality
Chair: Jane Holgate, Leeds University Business School
11:30 Session 2: Unequal pay in the private sector
Chair: Jana Javornik: Leeds University Business School
12:30 Session 3: Gender inequality and the law
Chair: Iyiola Solanke: University of Leeds, School of Law
13:45 Session 4: Unequal pay in the public sectorChair: TBC
14:45 All panel speakers
Chair: Jane Holgate: Leeds University Business School
15:30 Taking forward the challenge of equal pay
Chair: John Page: Equality Trust
Heather Connolly, University of Leicester
Unions and Social Movements: Institutional Rivalry or Alliance and Cooperation?
This paper explores the relationship between labour and non-labour movements and whether the relationship is likely to be characterised by institutional rivalry or alliance and cooperation. To what extent are non-labour movements, including community-based, campaigning/single-issue groups and advocacy organisations replacing organised labour as the main dynamic force advancing workers’ interests? There are overlapping interests and methods between labour and non-labour movements but there is also the potential for and evidence of tension and rivalry. Existing research shows that much of the tension and rivalry is a result of institutional barriers rather than fundamental differences in interests and methods.
The paper draws on my research and the work of others to explore the argument that the primary (and potentially most sustainable) way in which labour and non-labour movements have come together is through ‘absorption’, where the labour movement has provided an institutional field upon which other movements can organise and campaign. The paper considers the significance of the ‘gilets jaunes’ in France – a non-labour based movement which emerged in November 2018 initially as a protest against rising fuel prices and which has enjoyed strong support from the wider population. There has been a shift in the movement’s approach from an explicit rejection of any connection with the trade union movement to the adoption of a more conciliatory approach on both sides. This rapprochement has the potential to develop synergies between the organisational capacity of the ‘old’ (the trade unions) and the imaginative spontaneity of the ‘new’ (the ‘gilets jaunes’). Drawing on the strengths of each is an important means to build effective resistance. The emergence of non-labour movements like the ‘gilet jaunes’ has important implications for trade unions reflecting on their role and their strategies for renewal.
Heather Connolly is Associate Professor of Employment Relations at the University of Leicester. Her research in France, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK, explores how trade union activists respond to contemporary challenges, particularly the innovative role that unions might play in the social inclusion of migrant workers. Her publications include The Politics of Social Inclusion and Labor Representation: Immigrants and Trade Unions in the European Context, published in May 2019 by Cornell University Press.
Tue, 8 October 2019
18:00 – 20:00 BST
Add to Calendar
Birmingham & Midland Institute
9 Margaret Street
Read Willy Brown's Obituary in the Guardian by George Bain
18th September 2019
Labour Unrest pre-First World War: Germany and the UK Compared
Room tbc, University of Westminster Business School, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS (opposite Madame Tussauds and nearly opposite Baker Street tube)
For further details or to reserve a place, please email Michael Gold (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Linda Clarke (email@example.com).
5.30pm: Close (followed by drinks until 6.00pm)
Ralph Darlington is Emeritus Professor of Employment Relations at the University of Salford. He is the author of The Dynamics of Workplace Unionism (Mansell 1994) and Radical Unionism: The Rise and Fall of Revolutionary Syndicalism (Haymarket 2013), co-author of Glorious Summer: Class Struggle in Britain 1972 (Bookmarks 2001), and is currently researching for a book to be published by Pluto Press on The Labour Unrest 1910-1914.
16th September 2019
Journal of Industrial Relations (JIR)
CALL FOR PAPERS
‘Old Frames and New Lenses:
Frames of Reference and the Field of Industrial Relations’
Special Issue: Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol.63(2), April 2021
Special Issue Guest-Editors:
Professor Michael Barry, Griffith University, Australia
Professor Adrian Wilkinson, Griffith University, Australia
The ‘frames of reference’ has been a guiding and enduring concept since the celebrated work of Fox (1966) (see Heery, 2016). Countless courses that introduce students to industrial/employment relations feature a discussion of the distinctions between the traditional unitarist and pluralist frames as outlined by Fox, and the Marxist/critical frame as articulated for an industrial relations audience by authors such as Hyman (1975). Through dissemination, the frames of reference has been impactful on generations of students who have gone on to become academics and practitioners. Though much used as an instructional tool, and given its wide acceptance appearing as it does in most textbooks on the subject of industrial relations (IR), it is perhaps surprising that there has been limited scholarly research seeking to apply the frames (For an exception see Ramsay, 1974).
Despite the apparent influence of the concept of frames there are issues around the application. Industrial relations academics have been prone to assert that managers’ views of the employment relationship are guided by the unitarist frame, but it is not entirely clear what this means. As Fox noted, unitarism can vary from a soft form of paternalism at one end to an absolute assertion of a right to unilaterally manage the employment relationship at the other end. Unitarism in its soft form may be manifest through welfare provisions, such as high pay and fringe benefits, or though human resource management policies that provide satisfying work and career development (Purcell and Ahlstrand, 1994; Provis, 1996). The soft variant of unitarism simply asserts that conflict can be avoided and that where effective HR policies and procedures apply, unions have no role to play. In this sense unions are not so much excluded as they are rendered unnecessary. Critical here is the role of management to avoid the conditions that would give rise to conflict, such as by providing clear and effective communication.
As similar critique of the traditional frames has been made by Purcell (1987). Purcell argued that the unitarist and pluralist frames, on their own, did not adequately explain variation in the way employers treated workers, which he labelled management styles. Purcell preferred the terms individualism and collectivism, where individualism denoted the extent to which management sought to develop individual workers (and this could range from low to high, with labour control at the low end and extensive employee development at the high end). Similarly, collectivism, scaled, related to the extent to which management supported workers having a collective voice and influence in decision making.
Cullinane and Dundon (2014) argue that while unitarism has been often cited as the guiding ideology of management, there is little evidence on which to base this assertion. They note that ‘Few studies have had empirical access to union-resistant employers, with analysis of unitarism, as a consequence, based on conjecture and inference of a presumed intent.’ Therefore, IR has suffered from an ‘excess of deduction’ and a ‘paucity’ of investigation into the actual views and intentions of management.
As might be expected there has been more research into the pluralist frame of reference given its long standing, mainstream position. Contemporary research on the pluralist frame has focused principally on examining how it has adapted (or indeed failed to do so) to the significant changes affecting work; namely the breakdown of the traditional breadwinner model of male, full time employment occurring in large manufacturing workplaces governed as they were by a prevailing structure of unionised collective bargaining. Ackers (2014) argues that pluralism has failed to move beyond its core assumption of the primacy of unions and collective bargaining, that reflected the system of the 1970s much more than contemporary employment relations, whereas at least through the efforts of authors such as Kelly (1988), Marxist analysis has engaged in some critical self-reflection and revision to reflect modern workplace realities.
The Ackers’ (2002) critique of pluralism centres on how it has failed to account for relations that occur outside the auspices of unionised collective bargaining. His account argues for a need for a new (neo) pluralism that captures the important interactions between work, family and community which have produced a growing disparity in opportunity and outcome. Ackers’ call is for pluralism to re-find its moral and ethical compass, which for him became lost in the preoccupation with rule-making processes and outcomes.
Heery (2002; 2016) has also examined how those in the pluralist academic tradition have responded to changes that cut deep into pluralisms’ core assumptions. Unlike Ackers, Heery’s (2016) overall focus remains more squarely on evolving market and workplace relations, and how pluralism has come under attack from an ascendant unitarism and neo-liberalism. More specifically, Heery (2002), examine the frames of reference through academic research on worker participation and employee voice. Heery notes that worker participation is a heavily contested area of academic analysis, and that the frames of reference offers a way to understand the divergent scholarly views, which offer both analysis and prescription of different forms of participation. In HR (and OB research) there is a strong unitarist prescription for direct participation, with employee participation seen as a means to assist business performance. Other writers have noted this trend as well, with Godard (2014) arguing that this research agenda reflects the influence of psychology on current employment relations scholarship.
John Budd has added to the work of Fox by introducing the ‘egoist’ frame of reference. The egoist frame is itself aligned to neo-liberalism and is used as a term to summarise a world view in which markets are perfectly competitive and are governed purely by supply and demand transactions. Actors are assumed to be self-interested and rational. In such markets, exit is costless and voice unnecessary because labour is a treated as a commodity. Budd and Bhava (2008) argue the need for the egoist frame as an addition to the other frames, and in particular because the unitarist frame does not properly capture the deregulatory and commodifying features of neo-liberal employment relations.
A key aim of this proposed special issue is to explore the relevance of frames in the contemporary world of work. Articles for inclusion in the special issue will include research that makes a significant contribution to the literature. Such research includes re-conceptualisation of frames, testing frames, and integrating theories with frames to open new avenues for research. While we invite prospective authors to focus on the questions they consider most relevant to our theme, the following are offered as illustrative questions that are consistent with the spirit of this special issue.
Papers should add value both to theory-building and to practice. We welcome empirical and conceptual papers that increase our understanding of frames while developing theory.
The topics listed above are examples of possible research questions and should not be considered an exhaustive list. However, contributions to the special issue must be consistent with the theme outlined in this call for papers.
Abstracts of between 500-1,000 words should be submitted to the Guest Editors (see contact details below) by 1 October 2019. The abstracts should clearly indicate which theme the paper fits within and outline the aims, method and significance of the proposed paper to be submitted for consideration. The organisers aim to advise the authors if their abstract has been accepted by 10 October 2019. Those who are successful will be expected to submit their full paper online to the JIR for peer review by 3 February 2020.
All submitted abstracts will be examined by the Guest Editors for suitability for the special issue. All submitted papers must be based on original material and not under consideration by any other journal or outlet. All manuscripts are reviewed initially by the Guest Editors and only those papers that fit within the aims and scope of the special issue and meet the academic and editorial standards of the journal, are sent out for external review. All papers will undergo a full double-blind review process and will be evaluated by the Guest Editors of the special issue and at least two independent reviewers.
Griffith University, Australia
− Professor Adrian Wilkinson
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 5
Join MLERS here: https://mlers.org.uk/join-us/
The ILERA Americas Regional Congress submission deadline is Sept 15. In addition to the usual call for research presentations (https://www.ryerson.ca/tedrogersschool/ilera2020/call/), there is also a special call for teaching-related contributions (see https://www.ryerson.ca/content/dam/tedrogersschool/ilera2020/documents/ILERA2020_mini-conference-teaching-labour-employment-relations.pdf)
6th September 2019
Organisational Psychology Group &
Work and Equalities Institute
Tuesday October 22nd 2019, 6.00pm-7.30pm,
Main Lecture Theatre (Room G.003)
Professor Johannes Siegrist
University of Düsseldorf, Germany
The impact of work on (un)healthy aging:
How to reduce social inequalities?
Epidemiologic evidence indicates that the quality of work and employment has a direct effect on workers‘ health and their aging process. This holds true for material (physical) and psychosocial (mental, emotional) aspects of work. Moreover, this quality is socially graded, with lower levels among workers in lower socioeconomic positions (SEP). In this presentation, new findings on this social gradient and its effects on health are presented and discussed, with special emphasis on an adverse psychosocial work environment, as defined by the effort-reward imbalance (ERI) model. High ERI is prospectively associated with elevated risks of a variety of stress-related disorders, and these effects are often particularly strong among working people with low SEP. These theory-based findings can instruct measures towards reducing work-related health inequalities. To improve the quality of work and employment these measures need to be implemented at two levels, the organizational level of worksite health promotion in companies and the national/international level of appropriate social and labor policies.
Johannes Siegrist is Senior Professor of Work Stress Research at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Duesseldorf, Germany. Trained as sociologist at the University of Freiburg i.Br. he held Professorships at Marburg University (1973-1992) and Duesseldorf University (1992-2012) and Visiting Professorships at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, USA (1981) and Utrecht University, The Netherlands (1993). His main research area is social determinants of health, with a focus on stressful psychosocial work environments, being the author of the internationally established effort-reward imbalance model. In addition to extensive, long-standing scientific research he has been –and continues to be – involved in policy-oriented collaboration, in particular with WHO and ILO. Among other distinctions he is a member of Academia Europaea (London) and a corresponding member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences.
Inclusive Growth in Cities: Theory, Evidence and Practice
The first academic conference on inclusive growth in the UK
University of Manchester 19th / 20th November 2019
Call for Abstracts
We welcome papers on a wide range of topics related to inclusive growth, both conceptual and empirical. The central focus is on the level of the city or city-region, but relevant findings may be drawn from other larger and smaller spatial scales. Themes could include, but are not limited to:
Inclusive growth: theories and concepts
Measurement of inclusive growth, at city, neighbourhood and project level
Labour market trends and inclusive growth
Building Inclusive Economies (e.g. community wealth building, municipal companies, building the social economy, procurement, anchors)
Politics and governance of inclusive growth, including citizen engagement
Planning, housing and transport
Finance, investment and appraisal models for inclusive growth
Employment support programmes and employer/business engagement
Education and skills
Innovative actions at neighbourhood level
The role of welfare states in inclusive growth
Inclusive growth, sustainability, health and well-being
Migration and inclusive growth
If you would like to present at the conference, please submit your abstract of 250-300 words email@example.com . Please include your name, title and institutional affiliation and indicate whether you are an early career researcher, and if so whether you would like to apply for bursary support.
Abstracts should be submitted by Monday 9th September 2019 and participants will be notified of acceptance by Friday 20th September at the latest.
Conference registration will be open from mid August. Details will be circulated via mailing lists. If you do not wish to submit an abstract but are interesting in attending, please email
firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a direct email when registration opens. A modest conference fee (£40-50 for two days, or 1-day equivalent, to cover administration and site visits) will be payable on booking.
Historical Studies in Industrial Relations 40 (2019) will be published later this month. Length is over 100,000 words; subscriptions remain low.
All subscriptions are now handled by Liverpool University Press –
Tel: 0151 795 1080 (Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm; UK time).
Casual Employment and its Consequences: An Historical Appraisal of Recent Labour Market Trends
Australian Unions during the Formative Years of Federal Arbitration: ‘Cogs in a bureaucratic machine’?
Right-Wing Pressure Groups and the Anti-Union ‘Movement’ in Britain: Aims of Industry, Neoliberalism and Industrial Relations Reform, 1942–1997
R. H. (Bob) Fryer
Reforming Trades Union Governance: The Reorganization of the National Union of Public Employees
R. H. (Bob) Fryer and Steve Williams
Latecomers to Trade-Union Democracy: The Emergence, Growth and Role of Union Stewards in the National Union of Public Employees
The Thatcher and Major Governments and the Union of Democratic Mineworkers, c. 1985–1992
After the Long Boom: Living with Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century
Review Essay: The Moral Economy and Industrial Politics in the UK from the 1960s to the 1980s
Review Essay: The Neoliberal Convergence of European Industrial Relations since the 1970s: An Economic Inevitability or the Result of European Political Choices?
MLERS exists to develop an in-depth understanding of the politics of work among academics, trade unionists, managers, and the general public in the Midlands.
We organise monthly meetings which are addressed by internationally renowned researchers of the world of work.
Our meetings currently take place on the second Tuesday of the month during term time at the Birmingham & Midlands Institute (walking distance from New Street) at 6:30-8pm.
At the first meeting on the 8th Oct Heather Connolly (University of Leicester) will discuss 'Unions and social movements – can they ever be brothers and sisters in arms?' see https://mlers.org.uk/events/ for more details.
3rd September 2019
It is with great sadness that we convey the news that Emeritus Professor Willy Brown passed away unexpectedly on Thursday evening at his home near Cambridge.
Willy’s achievements in the industrial relations and labour economics fields were exceptional. For many decades Willy was an eminent scholar in these fields, not only in the United Kingdom but also internationally. He was arguably one of the most influential academics of his generation in both research and policy formulation.
Willy was Emeritus Master of Darwin College and Emeritus Professor of Industrial Relations at the University of Cambridge. He was previously the Director of the Industrial Relations Research Unit at the University of Warwick, which gained an international reputation for excellence and influence under his leadership, before becoming the Montague Burton Professor of Industrial Relations at the University of Cambridge from 1985 to his retirement in 2012.
Willy provided academic leadership through various senior administrative roles at Cambridge. He also served as President of the British Universities Industrial Relations Association from 1986 to 1989 and as a member of the Executive of the International Labour and Employment Relations Association (formerly the International Industrial Relations Association) from 1989 to 1995.
Willy held a number of significant government appointments in the UK including foundation member of the Low Pay Commission from 1997-2007 and as a senior member of the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service Council and Panel of Arbitrators.
Willy was the author of many seminal journal articles and books including Piecework Bargaining (1973), The Changing Contours of British Industrial Relations (1981), The Evolution of the Modern Workplace (2009) and The Emerging Industrial Relations of China (2017). In 2002 he was made Commander of the British Empire for services to employment relations.
Willy was an Honorary Professor at Renmin University in Beijing and was instrumental in bringing together international and Chinese scholars to examine developments in Chinese employment relations. In 2015 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Sydney in recognition of his significant contributions to industrial relations scholarship and policy in Australia and internationally.
Notwithstanding Willy’s considerable academic accomplishments, his greatest impact may have been through his personal connections and friendships. Willy strived to make the world not only a better place but also a fairer place. In this respect he lived by example. Willy was a truly magnificent person with a unique capacity to speak with anyone on equal terms. He was so selfless, so humble, so generous, and so kind. Willy was greatly loved and will be sorely missed.
- Willy’s former doctoral students
4th August 2019
Elections to the two vacant places on the BUIRA Executive Committee took place at the association's Annual General Meeting earlier this month in Newcastle. Eleanor Kirk (University of Glasgow) and Yvonne Rueckert (Portsmouth University).
21st July 2019
Following a successful conference hosted at Newcastle University, we're pleased to announce that a team from the University of Birmingham have become the BUIRA Stewards. Many thanks to Jo McBride, Ana Lopes, Stewart Johnstone, Stephen Procter and Michael Brooks for their hard work running the association.
The Birmingham team is as follows: Tony Dobbins – President
David J Bailey – Membership Officer
Genevieve Coderre-LaPalme – Events and Conference Officer
Andy Hodder – Secretary
Paul Lewis – Treasurer
Alex Wood – Communications Officer
The latest schedule is available here. Please check as there have been some minor adjustments.
We look forward to welcoming you all to Newcastle on Monday.
The Organising Team
27th June 2019