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The Department of Organisation, Work and Employment (OWE) provides critically focussed, theoretically informed research on work and employment in contemporary organisations in the public and private sectors.
Members of OWE have developed a strong international focus with research and scholarly partners in the United States, Canada, and other countries, particularly in Europe, and regularly undertake commissioned research and consultancy for employers, trade unions, government departments and supra national agencies such as the European Trade Union Confederation.
Degrees and Courses
Find out about the Organisation, Work and Employment related degrees and courses offered across all levels of study, as well as programmes offered in other departments, that are available at Birmingham Business School; view degree programme and courses.
The research and scholarship undertaken by the OWE department covers three broadly defined areas:
Human Resource Management and Employment Relations
Specific research areas include training and development, management development, leadership, the market for corporate control, new models of capitalism, HRM in multinational firms, the financial crisis, labour market regulation and the role of the state.
Specific research areas include global value chains (GVCs), corporate social responsibility, the internationalisation of firms and capital, private equity and the emerging system of multilevel governance of employment.
Specific research areas include organisational transformation and the management of change, knowledge management, the changing nature of careers and new organizational forms.
Specific projects currently being undertaken include:
Jo is working on a BA funded project examining the career pipeline for women engineers. She is also involved in a research project examining the career experiences of ex-senior managers from local government, post redundancy.
Paul is working with Monder Ram and others on new migrant businesses and their implications for the economy and jobs. Part of this work entails a new project of a comparative analysis of global cities and the place of migrant labour and migrant businesses within them.
Rory is currently working on a BA/Leverhulme funded project examining the role of reward and recognition in shaping value creation and capture in IT firms in the UK and USA.
Michel is working on a study of reforms in International Banking with Rachel Epstein (University of Denver), David Howarth (University of Luxembourg), and Huw Macartney (University of Birmingham).
Geraint is currently undertaking a research project with an external collaborator for the European Transport Workers' Federation, supported by the European Commission into work and employment relations in the European civil aviation industry. I am also working with colleagues at Birmingham Business School to explore the future role of trade unions in the workplace and their contribution to ethical business
Andy’s research looks at trade union renewal. Current projects include the relationship between young workers and trade unions; issues associated with union mobilisation and strike action (with John Kelly, Nick McCarthy and Mark Williams); trade union involvement in Corporate Social Responsibility (with Geraint Harvey); social media and employment relations (with David Houghton); job intensification and work-life balance in the public sector (with Steve French).
Christina is currently looking at management and trade union responses to the 2006 ILO Maritime Convention; labour leverage in global value chains; and trade union pedagogy & cross-border action (with Andy Hodder)
Potential PhD interest areas
Banking/Sovereign debt crisis and the transformation of employment relations (Goyer)
The financial crisis and the reconfiguration of diversity across varieties of capitalist economies. (Goyer)
Comparative corporate governance. (Goyer)
Contemporary employment relations and the evolution of the HRM function in the workplace (Harvey).
Trade unionism (Hodder)
Employment relations in the public sector (Hodder)
Young workers and precarious work (Hodder)
Corporate social responsibility & core labour standards in MNCs and Global Value Chains (Niforou)
International, comparative employment relations (Niforou)
Employment relations in emerging economies (Niforou)
The knowledge economy and knowledge workers, such as management and IT consultants (Donnelly)
Internationally comparative research on HRM and employment systems/relations (Donnelly)
Flexible working and the reconciliation of work and private life (Donnelly)
OWE group members consistently publish in journals ranked as 4* world-leading and 3* internationally excellent by the Association of Business Schools. These journals include The British Journal of Industrial Relations, The British Journal of Management, Human Relations, Human Resource Management Journal, the Journal of Management Studies, the International Journal of Human Resource Management The Journal of Vocational Behavior and Work Employment and Society.
Collaborative research has been undertaken with the Centre for Economic Policy Research in Washington DC and with Cornell University (the movement to financial capitalism), De Montfort University (HRM in Multinationals and Migrant Workers) and the Universities of Cardiff (labour standards in global value chains), Edinburgh Napier (social care workforce research), Manchester Business School (Knowledge workers) and UCLA (employment conditions and job quality in retailing), Nottingham and Duisberg-Essen (entrepreneurship and careers) and Sheffield (organisation theory).
Associated Research Centres
The Centre for Research on the Economy and Workplace (CREW) promotes quality research on the economy and workplace in the areas of workplace performance and productivity, with an emphasis on how workplaces are managed and human resources developed and utilised under different ownership regimes.
In addition to the Undergraduate Suite of Programmes in Business and Management (Programme Director: Dr Geraint Harvey), OWE department manage two of Birmingham Business School’s premier research-led MSc programmes:
Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour
Holly is a Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour. She has previously worked at The University of Warwick and Scottish Power Plc. Holly has taught Organisation Management, Orgnaisation Theory and HRM at undergraduate and masters levels and conducts research in the fields of careers, work transitions, identity, social enterprise and retirement.
Telephone +44 (0)121 414 2928
Reader in HRM & OB
Head of Department: OWE
Programme Director: MSc HRM
I am the Head of the Organisations, Work and Employment Department (OWE). The department comprises over 20 members of faculty who are active in critically focused and theoretically informed research and teaching on contemporary management, work and employment in organisations.
I am also the Director of the MSc HRM Programme at the Business School. Two pathways are ...
Telephone +44 (0) 121 414 5144
Professor of Organisational Studies
Jo is a Professor of Organisation Studies. She has previously worked at Heriot Watt University, Sheffield University, Leeds University and Sheffield Hallam University. Jo has taught OB, HRM and change management to postgraduate and undergraduate students. She has supervised 6 PhDs to completion and is currently supervising 7 PhD students and 1 DBA student.
Telephone +44 (0) 121 414 6387
Professor of Employment Relations
Paul Edwards joined BBS in April 2011 from Warwick Business School where he was Director of the Industrial Relations Research Unit and held several Associate Dean positions. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, and has served as the chair of the Academy’s Social Science Group. He was a member of the 2008 RAE sub-panel for business and management, and is a member of the sub-panel ...
Telephone +44 (0) 121 414 8886
Michel Goyer joined BBS in June 2013 from Warwick Business School where he was a member of the Industrial Relations and Organizational Behaviour group. He was also a committee member in the Industrial Relations Research Unit (IRRU) at Warwick. Previous appointments include visiting research fellow at the Wissenschaftszentrum (Berlin), post-doctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for ...
Telephone +44 (0) 121 414 2546
Senior Lecturer in HRM and Industrial Relations
Harvey is a Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations. He joined Birmingham Business School in April 2013, having previously worked at the School of Business, Swansea University and Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University.
Telephone +44 (0) 121 415 8436
Lecturer in Employment Relations
Dr Andy Hodder joined Birmingham Business School in September 2012 after completing a PhD at Keele University. Andy’s PhD looked at trade union organising within the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS). This research reviewed the extent to which the PCS has adopted the organising agenda and evaluated its impact on membership and levels of activism, during a period of civil ...
Telephone +44 (0)121 414 6536
Lecturer in Human Resource Management and Organizational Behaviour
Etlyn Kenny joined Birmingham Business School in September 2014 and is a member of the Department of Organizations, Work and Employment. Prior to this Etlyn was a lecturer in the Department of Organizational Psychology at Birkbeck, University of London. Etlyn is currently module leader for the Training and Development module on the MSc HRM and for the undergraduate module ...
Telephone +44 (0)121 414 6219
Lecturer in Political Economy
Paul is a Political Economist interested in examining and understanding key features of contemporary capitalism. He has an undergraduate background in the natural sciences and the philosophy of science, a post-graduate training in political science and international relations, and professional experience as a management consultant.
Telephone 0121 414 8786
Lecturer in Human Resource Management
Christina joined Birmingham Business School in 2013. She received her PhD from Warwick Business School, University of Warwick. She is interested in comparative employment relations, global labour governance and corporate social responsibility. She has received funding from the Onassis Public Benefit Foundation, the ESRC, Warwick Business School and TURI (Trade Union related ...
Telephone +44 (0) 1214145257