Employment Research Unit
We aim to coordinate and develop employment relations and human resource management research.
The Employment Research Unit (ERU) aims to coordinate and develop employment relations, industrial relations and human resource management (HRM) research.
This includes organising research seminars and conferences, supporting PhD students, conducting joint research projects, managing the Montague Burton Visiting Fellowship and developing joint funding proposals.
ERU is based within the Management, Employment and Organisations section of Cardiff Business School, but also includes researchers with an interest in human resource management and employment relations from other areas.
Since 2017, ERU has been a member of the CRIMT (Interuniversity Research Centre on Globalisation and Work) network. ERU is also a participant in the CRIMT ‘Experimentation in Better Work’ project.
ERU is a warm and supportive home for our PhD students, who participate fully in ERU activities. We welcome applications from PhD candidates in the broad areas of employment relations and HRM, including but not limited to:
- trade unions and employers’ organisations
- equality, diversity and inclusion
- decent work
- labour rights and modern slavery
- the future of work
- corporate governance and employment
- living Wage
- arbitration and dispute resolution
- new industrial relations actors
- skills development
Operationalising Labour Rights ESRC GCRF Project
Urgent Appeals: Data and Shared Learning ESRC GCRF Project
Interest representation of European Employers’ Organisations
Mona Aranea, Leon Gooberman, Marco Hauptmeier
This research project focuses on interest representation of European Employers’ Organisations (EEOs) in the European Union (EU). The project concentrates on those European collective bodies which represent employer interests, considering a wide range of issues in the areas of employment relations, labour and Human Resource Management (HRM).
The project inquires as to how EEOs advance the interests of employers on the European level, analysing the joint regulation and policy-making with labour unions in the European social dialogues, political representation and lobbying in the EU political system, service provision to members and their role in standard-setting.
In addition, the project examines how EEOs develop their goals and policies, gauging the democratic influence by national member federations versus the autonomous decision making by the EEO leadership. Finally, the project aims to identify the population of EEOs, gather information on each organisation and compile their profiles in a new handbook of EEOs.
Gaining collaborative advantages: The changing role of employers' organisations in the British economy
This project ran from 20 June 2014 to 19 June 2017.
It was sponsored by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and led by Dr Marco Hauptmeier with Dr Leon Gooberman and Professor Edmund Heery.
Award type: Research, ESRC Future Research Leaders Fellowship
Meet the team
- Bondy, A. S. and Preminger, J. 2022. Collective labor relations and juridification: a marriage proposal. Economic and Industrial Democracy 43 (3), pp.1260-1280. (10.1177/0143831X20983593)
- Gooberman, L. and Hauptmeier, M. 2022. The adaptation and resilience of employers' organizations. In: Gooberman, L. and Hauptmeier, M. eds. Contemporary Employers' Organizations Adaptation and Resilience. Routledge. , pp.1-20.
- Morris, J. et al. 2021. Understanding managerial work in the modern Japanese firm: The influence of new organizational forms and changing human resource management practices. Economic and Industrial Democracy 42 (4), pp.1378-1406. (10.1177/0143831X19875785)
- Aranea, M. , González Begega, S. and Köhler, H. 2021. The European Works Council as a management tool to divide and conquer: corporate whipsawing in the steel sector. Economic and Industrial Democracy 42 (3), pp.873-891. (10.1177/0143831X18816796)
- Musilek, K. , Jamie, K. and McKie, L. 2020. Cold winds and warm attachments: interrogating the personal attachment to neoliberal work and economy. Work, Employment and Society 34 (3), pp.514-525. (10.1177/0950017019856798)
- Preminger, J. 2020. ‘Ideational power’ as a resource in union struggle. Industrial Relations Journal 51 (3), pp.209-224. (10.1111/irj.12289)
- Hassard, J. and Morris, J. 2020. Corporate restructuring, work intensification and perceptual politics: exploring the ambiguity of managerial job insecurity. Economic and Industrial Democracy 41 (2), pp.323-350. (10.1177/0143831X17710733)
- Gooberman, L. , Hauptmeier, M. and Heery, E. 2020. A typology of employers' organisations in the United Kingdom. Economic and Industrial Democracy 41 (1), pp.229-248. (10.1177/0143831X17704499)
- Foster, D. and Hirst, N. 2020. Legally Disabled? The career experiences of disabled people working in the legal profession. Full report.
- Heery, E. and Williams, S. 2020. The expression of worker voice through civil society organizations. In: Wilkinson, A. et al., Handbook of Research on Employee Voice. Edward Elgar. , pp.202-221.
- Heery, E. , Hann, D. and Nash, D. 2019. Going it alone? The involvement of trade unions in the Living Wage campaign in the UK. In: Pulignano, V. and Hendrickx, F. eds. Employment Relations in the 21st Century. Wolters Kluwer. , pp.105-122.
- Masso, M. et al., 2019. The influence of collective employment relations on work accommodation: case studies in Estonia, Hungary and Poland. Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research 25 (4), pp.451-464. (10.1177/1024258919828597)
- Pandeli, J. , Marinetto, M. and Jenkins, J. 2019. Captive in cycles of invisibility? Prisoners' work for the private sector. Work, Employment and Society 33 (4), pp.596-612. (10.1177/0950017018777712)
- Foster, W. M. et al., 2019. The changing nature of managerial work: The effects of corporate restructuring on management jobs and careers. Human Relations 72 (3), pp.473-504. (10.1177/0018726719828439)
- Gooberman, L. , Hauptmeier, M. and Heery, E. 2019. The evolution of employers' organisations in the United Kingdom: extending countervailing power. Human Resource Management Journal 29 (1), pp.82-96. (10.1111/1748-8583.12193)
- Prosser, T. 2018. European labour movements in crisis: from indecision to indifference. Manchester University Press.
- Heery, E. 2018. Fusion or replacement? Labour and the 'new' social movements. Economic and Industrial Democracy 39 (4), pp.661-680. (10.1177/0143831X18777616)
- Morris, J. , Delbridge, R. and Endo, T. 2018. The layering of meso-level institutional effects on employment systems in Japan. British Journal of Industrial Relations 56 (3), pp.603-630. (10.1111/bjir.12296)
- Hassard, J. and Morris, J. 2018. Contrived competition and manufactured uncertainty: understanding managerial job insecurity narritives in large corporations. Work, Employment and Society 32 (3), pp.564-580. (10.1177/0950017017751806)
- Leung, W. S. et al. 2018. Organization capital, labor market flexibility, and stock returns around the world. Journal of Banking and Finance 89 , pp.150-168. (10.1016/j.jbankfin.2018.02.008)
- Preminger, J. 2018. Labor in Israel: beyond nationalism and neoliberalism. Ithaca and London: ILR Press/Cornell University Press.
- Foster, D. 2018. The health and well-being at work agenda: good news for (disabled) workers or just a capital idea?. Work, Employment and Society 32 (1), pp.186-197. (10.1177/0950017016682458)
- Preminger, J. 2018. Creating a multilayered representational ‘package’ for subcontracted workers: the case of cleaners at Ben-Gurion University. Industrial Relations Journal 49 (1), pp.34-49. (10.1111/irj.12201)
- Jenkins, S. and Delbridge, R. 2017. Neo-normative control and value discretion in interactive service work: a case study. In: Vallas, S. P. ed. Emerging Conceptions of Work, Management and the Labor Market. Vol. 30, Research in the Sociology of Work Emerald Publishing Limited. , pp.59-85.
- Jenkins, J. and Blyton, P. 2017. In debt to the time-bank: the manipulation of working time in Indian garment factories and 'working dead horse'. Work, Employment and Society 31 (1), pp.90-105. (10.1177/0950017016664679)
- Jenkins, S. and Delbridge, R. 2017. Trusted to deceive: A case study of 'strategic deception' and the normalization of lying at work. Organization Studies 38 (1), pp.53-76. (10.1177/0170840616655481)
- Gooberman, L. 2017. From depression to devolution: economy and government in Wales, 1934 to 2006. University of Wales Press.
- Preminger, J. 2016. Effective citizenship in the cracks of neocorporatism. Citizenship Studies 21 (1), pp.85-99. (10.1080/13621025.2016.1252719)
Seminars, conferences and other events
ERU holds regular seminars, conferences, discussion forums and other events, including presentations from ERU members and visiting scholars.
ERU 2023 report
Throughout 2023, Dr Luciana Zorzoli served as the ERU interim Director, while Dr Jonathan Preminger was on research leave.
In 2023 we congratulate our colleague Prof Ed Heery for being awarded the BUIRA Fellowship. This esteemed recognition is a testament to Ed's exceptional contributions to IR and his remarkable dedication to publishing high-impact and quality publications.
In June, we had the honour of hosting Dr Jonathan Preminger, who presented his thought-provoking research on "Nationalist Industrial Relations and the Ethnic 'Other': A Critical Border Studies Perspective."
Also in June, ERU members presented work in progress and recent research at the Management, Employment and Organisation Section Research Conference. Have a look at the conference program online (permission required).
May brought two distinguished colleagues, Dr David Nash and Dr Deborah Hann, who presented their collaborative work entitled "Strategic, Disconnected, or Reactive? Towards a Typology of Conflict Management Approaches in the UK."
In April, I presented and discussed the book titled "70 Years of the ILO Committee of Freedom of Association: A Reliable Compass in Any Weather" with Karen Curtis, Chief of the ILO Freedom of Association Branch, International Labour Standards Department and Dr Kamala Sankaran from the National Law School of India University, Bengaluru. This book provided valuable insights into the work of the ILO Committee of Freedom of Association over the past seven decades.
Our activities in March were cancelled as part of UCU's industrial action.
In February, we had the privilege of hosting Dr Maayan Niezna from the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights at the University of Oxford. Dr. Niezna presented her research on the exploitation of Palestinian workers in Israel, specifically focusing on recruitment fees.
In January, we had the pleasure of hosting a joint book presentation organized by ERU and CORGies. The event celebrated and discussed two new books written by our CARBS colleagues. The first book, titled "Contemporary Employers' Organizations: Adaptation and Resilience," was edited by Leon Gooberman and Marco Hauptmeier. The second book, "Developing Public Service Leaders: Elite Orchestration, Change Agency, Leaderism, and Neoliberalization," was authored by Mike Wallace, Michael Reed, Dermot O'Reilly, Michael Tomlinson, Jonathan Morris, and Rosemary Deem.
You can learn more about these books from the following news stories.
We also continued our tradition of collaborating with CORGies to organize our PhD mini-conference at the beginning of the year. The event featured presentations from PhD students from our Management, Employment and Organisation Section (MEO) and other Cardiff University schools, covering a wide range of research topics. You can find the full report online.
In February, ERU collaborated with CORGies and the Centre for Researching Education and Labour at the University of the Witwatersrand, for an online symposium titled, Critical Perspectives on the 4th Industrial Revolution. Speakers included Ian Moll (University of the Witwatersrand), Paul Thompson (Stirling University) and Ivor Baatjes (Nelson Mandela University), with Irena Grugulis (Leeds University) and Rick Delbridge (Cardiff Business School) commentating on the speakers’ presentations.
In January, ERU hosted the Cardiff Business School MEO section PhD conference, organized jointly with CORGies, in which the section’s PhD students presented their research.
In October, Arianna Marcolin (Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa) discussed how digitalisation affects industrial relations in the retail sector, using evidence from Italy and Spain.
In June, Luciana Zorzoli (Cardiff Business School) presented her research on employment relations and gig workers’ expectations, interests and experiences, focusing on Buenos Aires (Argentina), São Paulo (Brazil) and Santiago de Chile (Chile).
In March, Bradon Ellem (University of Sydney Business School) presented his research into productivity and industrial relations policy in Australian ‘megaprojects’.
In February, Sarah Pickard (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle) discussed the reasons for low rates of trade union membership and activism among the young precariat in Britain.
In January, ERU hosted the Cardiff Business School MEO section PhD conference, organised jointly with CORGies, in which the section’s PhD students presented their research.
In January, Dr Søren Kaj Andersen (University of Copenhagen), Professor Russell Lansbury (University of Sydney) and Dr Chris F. Wright (University of Sydney) presented their work on actors’ perspectives of low growth in Australia and Denmark (event held online due to Covid-19)
In January, Dr Johannes Kiess (University of Siegen and University of Leipzig) talked about participation, solidarity and recognition in the workplace, and the possibility of strengthening democratic attitudes through industrial citizenship (event held online due to Covid-19)
In November, Cardiff University’s Professor Alan Felstead talked about his research into homeworking during the Covid-19 pandemic, and Cardiff Business School’s Professor Emmanuel Ogbonna talked about the impact of the pandemic on black, Asian and minority ethnic communities (event held online due to Covid-19)
In November, Dr Paolo Tomassetti (University of Bergamo) talked about the main findings of the EU project ‘Agreenment: A Green Mentality for Collective Bargaining’, which investigates the role of social dialogue and collective bargaining in promoting sustainable development and a just transition (event held online due to Covid-19)
In July, Professor Guy Mundlak (Tel Aviv University) talked about his new book, Organizing Matters: Two Logics of Trade Union Representation (ILO and Edward Elgar, 2020) (event held online due to Covid-19)
In June, Dr Stefano Gasparri (University of the West of England) presented his paper, “Workers of the world, unite and then divide! Ideological variation in trade union strategies towards zero-hours contracts in Italy” (event held online due to Covid-19)
In May, Dr Mona Aranea (Cardiff University) spoke about employers and the European social pillar, part of the Interest Representation by European Employer Organisations research project (event held online due to Covid-19)
In March, Daniel Nicholson (Cardiff University) presented his paper, “Which side are you on? Technological change, worker involvement and shopfloor patterns of class compromise in the aerospace sector” (event held online due to Covid-19)
In November, Huw Thomas (Bristol University) presented his paper “From a ‘moral commentator’ to a ‘determined actor’? How the International Labour Organization is orchestrating a reframing of the international industrial relations field,” and Dr Fernando Ramalho Martins (Universidade Estadual Paulista) presented his paper, “The reconfiguration of automotive industry: The Iracemápolis’ (Brazil) Mercedes-Benz case”
October: Günter Hinken (VHS Essen) and Tracy Corley (Northeastern University)
In June, Professor Edward Webster (Wits University) presented “The South African inequality paradox”
May: Professor John Budd and Prof. Sarosh Kuruvilla
In May, ERU hosted a book launch for Thomas Prosser’s European Labour Movements in Crisis: from Indecision to Indifference (Manchester University Press, 2019), with Professor Guglielmo Meardi (Warwick University)
In March, ERU hosted a half-day’s workshop in partnership with the CRIMT network.
In January, Dr Jonathan Preminger (Cardiff University) presented his paper, “Union revitalization through social partnership: potential and limitations,” and Dr Jean Jenkins (Cardiff University) presented her work on unionizing in the Indian garment industry.
January: Cyntia Vilasboas Calixto Casnici (Fundação Getulio Vargas, EAESP) and Carolyn Graham (Seafarers International Research Centre, Cardiff University)
February: Mark Bergfeld (Queen Mary University of London)
May: Professor Lidia Greco (Università di Bari)
In November, Helen Blakely and Rhys Davies (WISERD, Cardiff University) presented their paper, “Family, community and the inter-generational transmission of union membership”
In May, ERU held the Global Value Chains and their Employment Relations Consequences conference and special issue
In May, ERU hosted a book launch for Jonathan Preminger’s Labor in Israel: Beyond Nationalism and Neoliberalism (Cornell University Press, 2018), with Professor Marco Hauptmeier (Cardiff Business School)
In February, ERU hosted a book launch for Leon Gooberman’s From Depression to Devolution, Economy and Government in Wales, 1934-2006 (University of Wales Press, 2017).
In April, ERU hosted a special forum for discussion of the French Presidential election
On 15-16 September, ERU held the Employers’ Organisations and Employers’ Collective Action Conference
Montague Burton visiting fellowship
Since 1990, the ERU has organised a regular visiting scholar programme based on the Montague Burton Fund.
The unit uses these funds to build up contacts with international researchers, to facilitate research collaboration between members and internationally renowned scholars and to enhance the international reputation of both the Employment Research Unit and Cardiff Business School.
Past visiting scholars
- Professor John Budd (University of Minnesota)
- Dr Todd Dickey (Syracuse University)
- Professor Edward Webster (Wits University)
- Dr Tracy Corley (Northeastern University)
- Professor Lidia Greco (Università di Bari)
- Professor Peter Gahan (University of Melbourne)
- Dr Assaf Bondy (Tel Aviv University)
- Mona Aranea Guillen (Oviedo University)
- Howard Gospel (Kings College)
- David Yeandle (former employer representative, EEF)
- Rebecca Givan (Rutgers University, USA)
- Lise Lotte Hansen (Roskilde Universitet, Denmark)
- Cathie Jo Martin (Boston University, USA).
- Kerstin Harmann (University of Central Florida, USA)
- Greg Bamber (Monash University, USA)
- Lowell Turner (Cornell University, USA).
- Charles Heckscher (Rutgers University, USA)
- Sanford Jacoby (UCLA, USA)
- Christian Levesque (Montreal University, Canada).
- Ed Carberry (Boston University, USA)
- Morris Kleiner (University of Minnesota, USA)
- Sarosh Kuruvilla (Cornell University, USA).
- Janice Fine (Rutgers University, USA)
- Martin Behrens (Hans Böckler Foundation, Germany)
- Marian Baird (University of Sydney, Australia).
- Luis Ortiz (Pompeiu Fabra)
- Nikola Smit (North West University, South-Africa)
- Michael Burawoy (University of California, Berkeley, USA)
- Ruth Milkman (CUNY, USA)
- Bradon Ellem (University of Sydney, Australia).