Dr Alex J. Wood

Dr Alex J. Wood

Department of Management
Lecturer in the Sociology of Work

Contact details

Address
Birmingham Business School
University House
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TY
United Kingdom

Alex joined the Department of Management in Birmingham Business School as a Lecturer in the Sociology of Work in 2019. He is also a Research Associate at the Oxford Internet Institute, a member of the iLabour project and the Communication Officer for BUIRA – the UK’s main association for those researching the politics of work.

As a sociologist of work and employment, Alex’s research focuses on the changing nature of labour relations and labour markets. His most recent research has investigated worker voice, organisation and collective action in the gig economy as part of the iLabour project at the University of Oxford.

Alex’s research has also investigated the impact platform work and the gig economy in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.

Alex completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge Department of Sociology where he also worked as Research Associate on an ESRC impact acceleration project to evaluate potential ways of reducing workplace stress resulting from insecure scheduling.

Alex’s PhD thesis (2016) “The flexible worker: workplace control in the 21st Century” focused on the changing nature of flexible and insecure forms of work, such as zero hour contracts. A book based on my thesis ‘Despotism on Demand: How Power Operates in Flexible Workplaces’ will be published by Cornell University Press on May 15th 2020.

You can read more about Alex’s research at his personal website alexjwoodsociology.com

Qualifications

  • PhD in Sociology 2016, University of Cambridge.
  • MPhil in Sociology 2011, University of Cambridge.
  • BSc (Hons) Politics and Sociology 2009, Aston University.

Teaching

  • Employee Relations
  • International Perspectives on Industrial Relations

Research

Research interests

Alex’s research focuses on the changing nature of labour relations and labour markets. His research is particularly focused on the impact of new technology on work and his most recent research has investigated worker voice, organisation and collective action in the gig economy as part of the iLabour project at the University of Oxford.

Alex also has a long standing interest in the relationships between industrial relations, union renewal and emerging forms of workplace representation and new patterns of class and inequality. Alex is passionate about using social science to move towards a more sustainable, egalitarian and democratic society.

Current projects

Online Labour Movements (work package 3. of the iLabour project).

Publications

Wood, A.J. Graham, M. Lehdonvirta, V. and Hjorth, I. (2019), Networked but Commodified: The (Dis)Embeddedness of Digital Labour in the Gig Economy. Sociology, EPub ahead of print.

Wood, A.J. (2019), The Taylor Review: Understanding the gig economy, dependency and the complexities of control. New Technology, Work and Employment, 34(2): 111-115

Wood, A.J. Graham, M. Lehdonvirta, V. and Hjorth, I. (2019) Good gig, bad gig: autonomy and algorithmic control in the global gig economy. Work, Employment and Society, 33(1): 56-75.

Wright, C. Wood, A.J. Trevor, J. McLaughlin, C. Huang, W. Harney, B. Geelan, T. Colfer, B. Chang, C. Brown, W. (2019) Towards a new web of rules: An international review of institutional experimentations to strengthen labour standards. Employee Relations 41(2): 313-330.

Wood, A.J. (2018) Powerful Times: Flexible Discipline and Schedule Gifts at Work. Work, Employment and Society, 32(6): 1061–1077.

Wood, A.J. Lehdonvirta, V. and Graham, M. (2018) Workers of the Internet unite? Online freelancer organisation in six Asian and African countries. New Technology, Work and Employment 33(2): 95-112.

Wood, A.J. (2016) Flexible scheduling, the degradation of job quality and barriers to collective voice. Human Relations 69(10): 1989-2010.

Wood, A.J. (2015) Networks of injustice and worker mobilisation at Walmart. Industrial Relations Journal 46(4): 259–274.