Prof Caroline Lloyd
Service Sector Occupations and Performance in Comparative Perspective. This project forms part of the core ESRC-funding of SKOPE. It focuses on the way in which specific service sector jobs (vocational teachers, fitness instructors and café workers) are designed across three different countries: Norway, France and the UK. The project is undertaken in conjunction with Jonathan Payne. The aim is to ascertain whether there are discernible cross-country differences in work organisation in these jobs, to account for any differences that are identified in the research and to explore possible implications both for job holders and the ‘performance’ of the organisation. Two initial publications compare vocational teachers in England and Wales with Norway, focusing on levels of control and autonomy and the effectiveness of on-going training. A SKOPE research paper is available to download ‘‘We have got the freedom’ A study of autonomy and discretion among vocational teachers in Norway and the UK’ .
Opportunity in the Workplace - a United States-European Comparison. The Russell Sage Foundation, New York, financially supported a five country European comparative research project on employment conditions and work organisation in low paid jobs. This follows on from a US study that looked at workers without a high school qualification (Eileen Appelbaum et al (2003) Low-wage America). Working with colleagues from the NIESR, Manchester and Strathclyde Universities and teams from Germany, France, Denmark and the Netherlands, the European project compared and contrasted the US and European experience of low paid work, and its place within the competitive strategies of organisations. Low-Wage Work in the United Kingdom , edited by Caroline Lloyd, Geoff Mason and Ken Mayhew was published in 2008, along with four other country studies. In March 2010, Low-Wage Work in the Wealthy World , edited by Jérôme Gautié and John Schmitt was published. This book brings together the country studies and research from the United States to provide a comparative analysis of the conditions of work at the bottom end of the labour market. See also Making Bad Jobs Better .
The Political Economy of Skills. This is a collaborative project with Jonathan Payne (SKOPE) which aims to improve on existing theoretical frameworks for analysing the development and use of skills at the workplace. We have developed an approach which links macro-institutions and the state with workplace dynamics and the development of high skill strategies. The research focuses on exploring the constraints and opportunities that exist for shifting public policy in the area of skills. The analysis has been applied to the English education system, British trade unions, the policies of New Labour, exploring the high skills vision, and the role of the high performance work organisation.