Human Resource Management (HRM), pay and work organisation

CESR research projects

Apprenticeship and pay

Hilary DrewMichail Veliziotis and Felix Ritchie were commissioned by the Low Pay Commission to study the relationship between apprenticeships and earnings. This project built on the work conducted for the Commission by Behling and Speckesser for the 2013 Apprentice Pay Survey. The UWE study, published in March 2015, provided a detailed analysis of the position of apprentices vis-à-vis other labour market participants, particularly studying distributive effects before and after the introduction of the Apprentice Rate. Further funding has now been secured.

Front-line managers: Delivering effective people management

This research extends studies (for the NHS and CIPD) that Sue Hutchinson completed with former colleagues at Bath University (John Purcell and Nick Kinnie) that identified front line managers (FLMs) at the lower tiers of management as key HRM agents and critical to delivering effective organisational performance. FLMs are no longer traditional supervisors. They have increasingly complex, and often ambiguous roles, with growing responsibilities, particularly in the area of people management. This research found that these managers are often overlooked, unsupported and often face considerable barriers in their roles and explain why they are often blamed when strategies and policies fail to be implemented effectively. Sue's research in this area has helped a diverse range of organisations support their line managers as implementers of HR policies and transform the way they work in this area. It has also impacted the wider HR professional community, significantly through the CIPD, where it has informed policy and professional qualifications and curriculum. It also inspired the ACAS advisory booklet on front line managers. 

Growth, generativity and well-being among men in mid-to-late career

The importance of generativity for the study of work and career has long been recognised, since it concerns individuals’ productive contribution to organisations and society and the transmission of skills, knowledge and values between individuals and generations. Generativity may be especially relevant to middle and late career: for example, mid-career has sometimes been described as a time when the influence of formal career structures declines relative to personal motivations and the subjective meanings attached to career. However, generativity has seldom been studied in a career context despite substantial advances in the theory and measurement of the construct over the past 20 years. Mike Clark is currently finalising a theoretical paper which reviews the implications of generativity for careers, especially among older workers. It is written from a psychological standpoint and suggests ways in which generativity is shaped by career, and also how it can shape career. It proposes an agenda for careers research related to generativity.

Newcomer engagement

Following on from her doctoral research on newcomer socialisation processes in employing organisations in China, Jenny Chen is exploring how and why newcomers are motivated to engage in teamwork in the new workplace. Analytically her research draws on the activity engagement model, social exchange theory and social identity theory. It asks: what are the motivational underpinnings of newcomer engagement? When is newcomers’ interest in engagement likely to be undermined and when is it not? How do group members' attitudes affect new employees' perceptions and behaviours? How, tactically, do newcomers engage in building self-identity within the group? What are the strategies by which new employees gain group acceptance? Jenny’s research potentially benefits both academic communities and practitioners, especially in a context in which organisations are struggling to make sense of socialisation practices that can stimulate newcomer innovation and creativity.

Contact details

Bristol Business School
University of the West of England
Frenchay Campus
Coldharbour Lane
Bristol, BS16 1QY
Tel: +44 (0)117 32 83435


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