CESR Review: March 2015
Articles by CESR members
In this article, we report on a new ESRC project which aims to design, implement and develop a mentoring scheme for female professionals within the aviation and aerospace industry, through a knowledge exchange partnership between UWE, the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS), the Royal Air Force (RAF) and Airbus. The project is co-funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the project partners. The team at UWE comprises Susan Durbin, Ana Lopes, John Neugebauer and Stella Warren.
Many of us carrying out research in employment relations (and cognate disciplines) often find ourselves having to consider the role of labour markets – for example, do trade unions cause wage increases and, thereby, unemployment? In such cases, we are faced with a decision vis-à-vis which model of labour markets we should use. Here Steve Fleetwood argues that this decision is made problematic by two factors: (i) there is, currently, no established alternative to the neoclassical, mainstream or orthodox model of labour markets; but (ii) this model is unrealistic and false. He goes on, therefore, to suggest an alternative model.
The Higher Education sector in the UK has seen some unprecedented changes in recent years. One of the most striking changes has been the widespread use of casualised contracts in UK universities. In 2012-13, almost 34 per cent of academics worked part-time, nearly 36 per cent had fixed-term contracts, 25 per cent of all full-time contracts were fixed-term, and almost 56 per cent of all part-time contracts were fixed-term (HESA, 2014). A recent Freedom of Information Request by UCU revealed that 75 (53 per cent) of institutions that responded use zero hours contracts for teaching, research and/or academic related staff (UCU, 2013). Jenny Chen and Ana Lopes from UWE have conducted an exploratory study of the impact of casualised contracts in UK universities.
Why bargain collectively? Although the answer seems straightforward to a trade unionist – to establish common rules to reduce the possibility of exploitation from the employers – it is not necessarily so if examined from the employer’s perspective. Horen Voskeritsian’s on-going research is on the determination of terms and conditions of employment and managerial practices in post-Memorandum Greece. In this context he considers what might motivate employers to enter into a bargaining relationship and, potentially, hand over part of their decision-making power to their employees.
For her MA dissertation in Human Resource Management at UWE, Bristol, Philippa Bolton explored the introduction of Smarter Working at a telecommunications company based in the South West. Smarter Working is a bespoke, total flexibility policy that allows its employees to work when and where they work best.
New Internationalist, March 2015, ISBN-13: 978-1-78026-257-4
Blacklisted tells the controversial story of the illegal strategies that transnational construction companies resorted to in their attempt to keep union activists away from their places of work. This is a story of a bitter struggle, in which collusion with the police and security services resulted in victimization, violence and unemployment, with terrible effects on families and communities.
Andy Danford retired from the University of the West of England at the end of 2014, after 17 years as a teacher, researcher and research leader in the Bristol Business School and Faculty of Business and Law. His large contribution to Employment Studies research, its development at UWE and to FBL’s momentum of research success is difficult to summarise adequately in a short space. Aside from a prolific output of books, chapters and journal articles, he encouraged and supported colleagues – doctoral students, early career researchers, established researchers within CESR and across the Faculty – pursuing their research ambitions.
Bristol Business School
University of the West of England
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