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Decent work

We focus on the rapid technological transformation of work and the impact of different ways of working, in combination with long-standing challenges of job quality, employee wellbeing, voice and participation, and workplace inequalities.

Our research expertise in the fields of employment relations and organisation studies means we’re ideally placed to examine these challenges.

Long-standing issues are combining with new forms of employment to produce:

  • uncertainty and precarity for employees on zero-hour contracts
  • low pay for key workers in areas such as social care
  • work overload, burnout and challenges to wellbeing
  • challenges for employee representation, engagement and participation
  • persistent discrimination and exclusion within organisations
  • the need for skills adjustments linked to automation and artificial intelligence.

Collaborating with under-represented and excluded communities

Within this broad context of workplace challenges, our researchers have been able to give voice to under-represented and excluded communities, including examining the employment conditions of garment workers at the bottom of extremely competitive global supply chains in India and Bangladesh.

Collaborative research relationships with external stakeholders and organisations, where goals and outcomes are co-created are central to the success of projects such as this.

This model is fundamental to our appointment of our Public Value Engagement Fellowships (PVEFs) – a School-wide initiative which gives students and faculty the opportunity to engage with external partners to tackle projects aligned to each of our five flagship grand challenges.

Promoting inclusion in the workplace

Professor Debbie Foster, one of our PVEFs, carries out research on the workplace experiences of disabled people in the legal profession. Funded by the Disability Research into Independent Living and Learning programme, Professor Foster alongside co-researcher Dr Natasha Hirst, works with the Law Society’s Lawyers with Disabilities Division to understand why disabled people are under-represented within the legal profession and what more can be done to create a culture of inclusion and access.

Employee ownership

Dr Preminger and Dr Stoyanova Russell’s research aims to understand what difference employee ownership (EO) makes to employees’ working conditions and their experience of work, including ‘decent work’ criteria such as:

  • voice and participation
  • workplace democracy
  • distribution of benefits
  • local community engagement
  • equality, diversity and inclusion

Making a difference through our research

Our research impacts on people and policy, making a difference to our economy and to society.

A Race Equality Plan for Wales

Professor Emmanuel Ogbonna’s hard-hitting report on the impact of COVID-19 on black, Asian and minority ethnic communities in Wales has prompted Welsh Government to instigate a new Race Equality Plan for Wales.

Disability in the workplace

Research by Professors Melanie Jones and Victoria Wass provides evidence for policy and practice on disability in the workplace.

The impact of the real Living Wage

Professor Ed Heery, Dr Deborah Hann and Dr David Nash assessed the impact of the campaign for the real Living Wage on individuals and organisations across the UK.

Related people

Picture of Debbie Foster

Professor Debbie Foster

Professor of Employment Relations and Diversity

+44 29208 75358
Picture of Deborah Hann

Dr Deborah Hann

Pro-Dean for Education and Students

+44 29208 75559
Picture of Jean Jenkins

Professor Jean Jenkins

Head of Management, Employment and Organisation Section
Professor of Employment Relations

+44 29208 75338
Picture of Emmanuel Ogbonna

Professor Emmanuel Ogbonna

Professor of Management and Organization

+44 29208 75212
Picture of Jonathan Preminger

Dr Jonathan Preminger

Senior Lecturer in Management, Employment and Organisation

+44 29208 74000 ext 77243
Picture of Dimitrinka Stoyanova Russell

Dr Dimitrinka Stoyanova Russell

Senior Lecturer in Management, Employment and Organisation

+44 29208 77697