Professor Paul Edwards

Professor Paul Edwards

Department of Management
Emeritus Professor of Employment Relations

Contact details

Birmingham Business School
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Paul Edwards joined Birmingham Business School 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 was a member of the sub-panel for REF 2014.


  • BA, Economics, University of Cambridge
  • BPhil, Sociology, University of Oxford
  • DPhil, Sociology, University of Oxford


His research career began with the study of workplace industrial relations and industrial conflict. He has subsequently studied new management practices in the workplace and managerial careers, both in the UK and in international comparison. Recent research projects include the first representative survey of the human resource management practices of multinational companies in the UK; this survey is the base of an international team embracing 7 other countries. Current research is focusing on small firms and their employment practices, with a particular emphasis on firms run by new migrant to the UK.


  •  Human resource management policies in multinational companies.
  • Employment relations in small firms.
  • Workplace employment relations, and industrial conflict.
  • Sociology of work and employment.
  • Teaching and admin responsibilities

Other activities

  •  Associate Fellow, Industrial Relations Research Unit, Warwick Business School.
  • Visiting Professor, Faculty of Business and Law, de Montfort University.
  • Associate Editor, Human Relations.
  • Member, REF 2014 Sub-panel 19 (Business and Management)


With Judy Wajcman, The Politics of Working Life (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005). 

Edited, with Marek Korczynski and Randy Hodson, Social Theory at Work (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006). 

With John Storey and Keith Sisson, Managers in the Making: Careers, Development and Control in Corporate Britain and Japan (London: Sage, 1997). 

Conflict at Work: A Materialist Analysis of Workplace Relations (Oxford, Blackwell: 1986). 

With Sukanya Sengupta and Chin-Ju Tsai, ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ordinary: Work Identities in “Good” and “Bad” Jobs in the UK’, Work and Occupations, 26, 1 (2009): 26-55. 

With Sukanya Sengupta and Chin-Ju Tsai, ‘Managing Low-skill Workers: A Study of Small UK Food Manufacturing Firms’, Human Resource Management Journal, 19, 1 (2009): 40-58. 

With Paul Marginson, Tony Edwards, Anthony Ferner and Olga Tregaskis, ‘Employee Representation and Consultative Voice in Multinational Companies Operating in Britain’, British Journal of Industrial Relations, 48, 1 (2010): 151-80. 

With Olga Tregaskis, Tony Edwards, Anthony Ferner and Paul Marginson, ‘Determinants of Transnational Learning Capability in Multinational Firms: Organizational Context and National Embeddedness, Human Relations, 63, 4 (2010): 471-500. 

With David J. Storey, George Saridakis, Sukanya Sengupta, and Robert A. Blackburn, ‘Linking HR Formality with Employee Job Quality: the Role of Firm and Workplace Size’, Human Resource Management, 49, 2 (2010): 305-29. 

With Sukanya Sengupta and Chin-Ju Tsai, ‘The context‐dependent nature of small irms’ relations with support agencies: a three-sector study in the UK’, International Small Business Journal, 28, 6 (2010), 543-65.