Human resource management and employment relations
The implications for managers and employees of ‘new’ workplace initiatives such as flexible working, team working, well-being, quality and knowledge management are pressing contemporary concerns. Similarly, the ways in which employees are managed, and the way this has differential impacts according to the age, gender and professional status of an individual are equally significant. The Department makes substantial contributions to the critical exploration of such developments in both the public (e.g National Health Service) and private sectors (e.g. financial and professional service firms) as part of an analysis of the changing world of work and employment.
- Changing forms of workplace autonomy versus intensified control. Such issues have been theorised by Bogdan Costea, Norman Crump and Kostas Amiridis, and studied empirically in UK financial services (David Knights, Darren McCabe), global professional service firms (James Faulconbridge), the education sector and veterinary surgery (David Knights), the National Health Service (Pete Thomas), the care sector (Bev Evans, Norman Crump) and internationally in the Austrian public sector(Bernadette Loacker).
- Inequalities in the Employment Relationship. Work in this area includes empirical and theoretical analysis of age and retirement (Pete Thomas), age and gender in the professions and empirical research on academics and vets (David Knights), and empirical work on the employment relationship in the gym and fitness industry (Kay Greasley and Pete Thomas). Lara Pecis has investigated the marginalising effects of gender dynamics on innovation processes within knowledge-intensive organisations.
- The creation of new images of the ideal employee: the enterprise or entrepreneurial self. This topic has been explored in relation to UK Banking (Darren McCabe), Austrian management graduates (Bernadette Loacker), the ‘enterprise’ economy in Poland (Pete Thomas), the impacts of executive search firms on labour markets (James Faulconbridge) and in the Passive Fire Protection Industry (Darren McCabe).
- How ‘space’ is being reconfigured in the contemporary workplace. This is explored by Karen Dale in her book ‘The Spaces of Organization and the Organization of Space’ (with Gibson Burrell), and in research examining the practices of those designing commercial offices completed by James Faulconbridge as part of the Lancaster based DEMAND Centre.
- National cultural factors in employment – The transfer of HR policies and practices within multinational corporations, particularly the impact of Chinese cultural values on the HR policies and practices from the Western multinational companies to their subsidiaries in China (Yu Fu).
Members of the Department also play a central role in the Lancaster University Centre for Mobilities Research, examining forms of mobile work, its management and effects on workers and society.