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Leeds University Business School
University of Leeds
Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change (CERIC)
Newsletter July 2020

In spite of the Covid-19 and the lockdown, we are still marking our 15th year anniversary with a range of activities, including a series of webinars showcasing CERIC research, and a dedicated celebration event later in the year (fingers crossed). Our anniversary activities will focus on our three overarching themes of:
  • social inequalities,
  • representation and
  • voice and digital futures of work.
We have much to celebrate in terms of research and impact in the past 15 years. We have had a wealth of high impact publications. CERIC has held the Editorship of the leading international journal Work, Employment and Society from 2011 to 2014 and the Stewardship of the British Universities Industrial Relations Association from 2013 to 2016.

We have hosted major international conferences including the International Labour Process Conference in 2011, and Work, Employment and Society and the British Universities Industrial Relations Association annual conference in 2016, alongside many other events and workshops attracting international delegates, including most recently our Disrupting Technologies Conference in January 2020.

Over the years, CERIC has acted as a focal point for visiting researchers, attracting colleagues from Australia, USA, China, Turkey, Spain, Finland, Germany, Italy and Sweden.

In August 2020 we anticipate the publication of our Anniversary Brochure, which will present our core staff profiles and research areas, as well as the Doctoral Academy and the Post-doctoral Fellowship Programme. You can read about a selection of the funded projects we are working on and the key publications in the last 5 years. 

Well done and congratulations!

Professor Irena Grugulis was a runner up in this year's Business School Partnership Awards in the "Best Supervisor" category. 

Dr Cheryl Hurst has also been a runner up in the category "B
est Postgraduate Researchers who Teach or Demonstrate".

There were over 250 nominations across twelve categories and it was a difficult task for the panel of student and staff Faculty representatives to shortlist.
Professor Irena Grugulis
On 30 January 2020 CERIC and partners launched
an £8m ESRC funded Digit research centre.

The Digital Futures at Work Research Centre (Digit) is led is led by CERIC (Leeds University Business School) and University of Sussex Business School with partners from Aberdeen, Cambridge, Manchester and Monash Universities. The centre aims to advance our understanding of how digital technologies are reshaping work. It examines the impact and interaction of these technologies for employers, employees and their representatives, job seekers and governments. Digit aims to provide a compelling empirical base that will allow policy makers to move beyond current levels of speculation, while contributing intellectually with empirical evidence to contemporary debates on the future of work.

Digit is supported by an advisory board which brings together representatives from organisations including: Ernst & Young, Marks and Spencer, the Department for Work and Pensions, the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD), Unionlearn and TUC. Representatives from the Pew Research Centre in Washington, the International Labour Office in Geneva, the German Ministry of Labour and the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) are also on the advisory board. Read more about the launch of Digit.

Three Research Fellows joined
The Digital Futures at Work Research Centre 
In January 2020 we also welcomed two new academics
Helen Norman joined CERIC as a Senior Research Fellow. Previously she worked in Sociology at the University of Manchester. Helen's research interests focus on fathers and fatherhood, the gendered division of labour and gender inequalities in work, employment and family life. She is also interested in cross-national variations of gender inequalities in work, employment and care practices, and gender equality policies in Europe. Much of her work uses quantitative analysis to explore how policy regimes, gender role attitudes, socio-demographics, employment hours and other employment related factors affect unpaid work (childcare and housework), work-family reconciliation and working-time.
Read Helen's profile IN FULL.
Zlatko Bodrožić is a Lecturer in Information Management at Leeds University Business School. His research focuses on the evolution of technologies, organisational paradigms/ management models, and public policy. In particular, Zlatko is interested in Digital transformation and the sustainability of societies. At the European Group of Organizational Studies conferences (2021-2024), he acts as co-coordinator of the Standing Working Group "Organization Studies in the Anthropocene: System Change, not Climate Change". In December 2019, Zlatko received the Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence.
Read Zlatko's profile IN FULL.

Special hip-hip-hooray to the new Doctors in the house!
Both Dr Cheryl Hurst and Dr Maisie Roberts
are post-doctoral Research Fellows in CERIC.

Congratulations and best wishes to Dr Ian Greenwood who will be retiring at the end of October. Ian started at Leeds in 2001, as Research Fellow on the EU Framework project 'Learning in Partnership: Responding to the Restructuring of the EU Steel and Metal sectors. He has been a core member of CERIC since it was established in 2005, and he is well-known for his research into restructuring, industrial strategy and the steel industry. Amongst many achievements, Ian co-authored the influential Steel 2020: Forging a Future for the UK Steel Industry. Beyond academic work, Ian has been (and continues to be) involved in a wide range of local and regional community initiatives. He is a much valued colleague, mentor, supervisor, friend and comrade, and will be missed by everyone. We wish him all the best for his retirement - though we know he will not 'go gentle into that goodnight!' - and hope he will continue to be involved in CERIC.
Off to pastures new ...

Dr Jo Ingold will be leaving CERIC and Leeds in August to take up a role as Associate Professor of Human Resource Management in the Department of Management, Deakin Business School, Melbourne, Australia.  

Dr Chris McLachlan completed his postdoc contract with us and was promptly snatched by the lucky Cranfield University, where Chris is  taking up a lectureship position. He still has some live research projects with CERIC colleagues so he will not be going too far away just as yet.

Visitor to CERIC

In February 2020 we were pleased to welcome Associate Professor Hiroya Hirano who was visiting CERIC from Mejiro University, Japan. His visit was to inform his comparative research on social security and employment policies in Japan and the UK. Hiroya has written extensively about these topics and about Basic Income in Japan. 

At CERIC we organise and host various activities throughout the year: seminars, workshops, conferences, book launches, big ideas sessions and discussion groups.

Disrupting Technology  Conference

On 16 and 17 of January 2020 CERIC hosted a large international "Disrupting Technology" Conference with Janine Berg (INWORK, Switzerland) and Enda Brophy (Simon Fraser University, Canada) as keynote speakers. Attendance far exceeded our expectations, with nearly 100 delegates from all over the world (including Australia, US, many European countries, Israel, Vietnam). Many overseas delegates were so impressed they have asked if they can come and visit us at Leeds and we have already had one application for a visiting position. Outputs will include a CERIC edited Special Issue of New Technology, Work and Employment. The conference was good in terms of extending the international reputational reach of Leeds colleagues in this field.
Janine Berg
INWORK, Switzerland
Enda Brophy
Simon Fraser University, Canada

CERIC Away Days

Also in January 2020, CERIC held its Away Days at Weetwood Conference Centre. This was an opportunity for CERIC members to meet and discuss research activities in a focused, interactive way over a couple of days. This year there was a particular focus on CERIC strategy and governance, along with the formulation of the fewer, more decisive research themes, which are presented below:

CERIC Seminars in Semester 2

In Semester 2 we enjoyed a number of outstanding presentations as part of our Seminar Series (which from April, as a result of covid-19 lockdown, transformed into Zoom webinars):
  • 5 February 2020 - Professor Ewart Keep (Oxford) Is UK skills policy being undermined by poor job quality?

  • 19 February 2020 - Dr Mark Williams (Queen Mary University of London) Mapping good work: the quality of working life across the occupational structure

  • 22 April 2020Dr Kendra Briken (University of Strathclyde) New technologies at work: situated knowledge, collaboration and voice

  • 29 April 2020 - Dr Mariya Ivancheva (University of Liverpool) Platform academic labour? New divisions and vulnerabilities in online higher education

  • 6 May 2020Dr Joyce Jiang (York) Visualising the voice of migrant domestic workers in London

  • 27 May 2020 - Dr Ian Fitzgerald (Northumbria University) Trade unions and the 2016 UK European Union referendum
Professor Ewart Keep

CERIC 15th Anniversary Webinar Series June-July 2020

As part of our 15th year anniversary activities and celebrations, we put on a series of webinars to showcase a diverse range of research interests within the Centre while also reflecting our sustained record of research on themes of social inequalities, voice and representation and digital futures of work. You can view the webinar recordings in the links provided.
  1. 3 June - Charles Umney 'Creative placemaking and the cultural projectariat: Artistic work in the wake of Hull City of Culture 2017'

  2. 10 June - Helen Norman 'Does paternal involvement in childcare influence mothers' employment trajectories during the early stages of parenthood in the UK?' 

  3. 17 June - James Brooks, Irena Grugulis and Hugh Cook 'Remembering to remember and learning to forget: unlearning in the UK fire and rescue service'

  4. 24 June - Andy Charlwood, Ioulia Bessa and Danat Valizade 'Do Unions Cause Job Dissatisfaction? Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment in the United Kingdom'

  5. 1 July - Gabriella Alberti 'The value of work in the pandemic: new insight into the post-Brexit regulation of migration'

  6. 8 July - Danat Valizade and Jennifer Tomlinson: 'Gender, ethnicity and the stratification of career pathways in the legal profession of England and Wales'

  7. 22 July - Xanthe Whittaker 'Datafication of the Labour Process: A study of newspaper journalism'

  8. 29 July - Meenakshi Sarkar 'The Sociology of Human capital and the Economics of Cultural capital'

Research grants awarded

£100k (AIDSFonds) has been awarded to Dr Kate Hardy for a 5-year project Longitudinal Study: Sex work, violence and HIV in Southern Africa.

Together with colleagues from SSP at Leeds, Salford, Kent, LSE Dr Jo Ingold and David Robertshaw were awarded a UKRI Covid-19 Rapid Response Grant Welfare at a (Social) Distance: Accessing social security and employment support during the Covid-19 crisis and its aftermath
Professor Chris Forde (PI), Dr Zyama Ciupijus, Dr Jiachen Shi will work on a COVID-19 and Migration Systems in Transition project funded by World Universities Network (£10k).
Leeds University Business School Small Research Grant (£13k) has enabled Dr Sundeep Aulakh to research The Impact of AI-Technologies on Lawyers & Auditors' Work (Professional Service Firms and Practitioners of the Future).
Professor Jennifer Tomlinson is a CERIC investigator alongside Professor Susan Durbin (University of Bristol) in a £10k British Academy/Leverhulme project Navigating reduced hour careers: experiences of male and female executives and senior managers.
Professor David Spencer (PI) together with Professor Mark Stuart, Dr Simon Joyce, Dr Xanthe Whittaker and Dr Matt Cole have received €15k from the European Parliament for a Future of Work Review.

Our researchers - Simon JoyceDenis NeumannVera TrappmannCharles Umney.- have been working on an Index of Platform Labour Protest. The newly developed Leeds Index provides an overview of developments in platform worker organisation and mobilisation on a global scale. First findings are now published with the European Trade Union Institute as a Policy Brief. Read more about it here

On 12 February Winkworth Sherwood Law (WS Law) published a report titled 'Shifting attitudes to flexible working and childcare for working parents' with specialist input from Dr Jana Javornik. Dr Javornik, who is currently the Interim Director-General of Higher Education at the Government of Slovenia, stressed that the uptake of shared parental leave will depend on equal pay for fathers and mothers who will take parental leave, as well as the culture of organisations changing. Read more about it here

Recent publications

Ciupijus Z Forde C Mackenzie R (2020) Micro and meso-regulatory spaces of labour mobility power: the role of ethnic and kinship networks in shaping work-related movements of post-2004 Central Eastern European migrants to the UK. Population, Space and Place 25(1): 1-11

Cook H MacKenzie R and Forde C (2020) Union partnership as a facilitator to HRM: Improving implementation through oppositional engagement. The International Journal of Human Resource Management 31(10): 1262-1284
Ingold J (2020) Employers' perspectives on benefit conditionality in the UK and Denmark. Social Policy and Administration 54(2): 236-249

Ingold J (2020) Employer engagement in active labour market programmes: the role of boundary spanners. Public Administration 96(4): 707-720

Norman H (2020) Does paternal involvement in childcare influence mothers' employment trajectories during the early stages of parenthood in the UK? Sociology Vol 54(2): 329-345

Oliver L Carter C Stubbs C and Aiello A (2020) Generating interdisciplinary insights to regulate for inclusive employment. In Fielden S Moore M and Wright G eds (2020) Handbook of Disability at Work, Springer International Publishing AG

Roe A and Athelstan A (2020) Defending Wellbeing at Work: A Case Study of Autism. In Dundon T and Wilkinson A eds Case Studies in Work, Employment and Human Resource Management. Cheltenham UK: Edward Elgar

Spencer D and Slater G (2020) No automation please, we're British: technology and the prospects for work. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society 13(1): 117-134.

Appointments and presentations
Dr Jo Ingold was appointed as a Fellow of the Institute of Employability Professionals (IEP). In March 2020 Jo gave an invited keynote at the inaugural IEP Summit in London. And in June, together with Tony Carr (4FrontPartners) she gave a LiveLearnLunch webinar on employer engagement, attended by 100 employability practitioners. Lastly, Jo has been appointed to the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Disability and Social Justice.

Media coverage
23 June 2020 - Ian Greenwood shared his expert opinion in the Yorkshire Business Insider sector review on manufacturing.

13 May 2020 - Jennifer Tomlinson discussed the gender pay gap and the lack of females at Executive Director level in the City of Leeds in the Yorkshire Evening Post.

29 April 2020 - Professor Jennifer Tomlinson was featured in The Telegraph, discussing why countries with female leaders have been perceived as the most effective at controlling the coronavirus pandemic.
Professor Jennifer Tomlinson

Blog posts

"Technologies in the workplace" podcast

Professors Chris Forde and Mark Stuart gave an overview of the impact of digital technologies and how they might replace jobs, create new types of jobs, and change the nature of the way we work in this Research and Innovation Podcast.

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