Essex Business School

Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management Group

A speaker delivers a keynote speech at the Centre for Work, Organisation and Society (CWOS) launch event.

We get inside organisations by focusing on the people

A business isn’t a collection of stock, equipment and buildings, it is an organisation made up of people. Our Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management research group digs deep into the heart of the people issues facing all types of organisations.

Whether it’s addressing issues of inequality, campaigning for changes they believe in or helping organisations like the NHS to manage change, academics in the group are exploring issues that should matter to all of us. Their regular seminars, events and publications ensure that the wider research community at Essex, students and the general public can all benefit from this work.

Our research

Collective creativity and innovation in organisations

Research in this area focuses on the key processes that are critical to developing collective creativity, underlining the types of organisational mechanisms that can be intentionally designed to foster collective creativity. Current projects are being undertaken with different collaborative research initiatives, developed thanks to partnerships with various organisations, particularly in the Italian fashion and industrial design industries. Another set of studies is on practices of collaborative innovation, focusing in particular on University-based intermediaries as key actors that can promote innovation-related collaborations and collaborative spaces.

Emotional and aesthetic aspects of work and workplaces

OSHRM research in this area includes the critical analysis of particular workplace cultures and settings, and of emotional, aesthetic and sexualized forms of interactive service work, using visual methods of data collection, analysis and critical discourse analysis. Current research also includes studies of organisational space, place and setting, incorporating immersive and embodied methods including rhythmanalysis. Current doctoral research on emotional labour includes a study of higher education institutions and organisational change.

Gender, sexuality and embodiment 

OSHRM researchers are working on several projects focusing on gender and work, including embodied experiences and perceptions of ageing and sexuality in the workplace, LGBT people’s experiences of work, the future of work in relation to gender, and reproductive labour in the Global South.

Integrated health care, workplace wellbeing and mental health 

Research in this area includes projects with Provide, a Community Interest Company (CIC), and Essex County Council. Other current projects involve an evaluation of mobile technologies with Essex and Kent police, a project with ACAS on the management of mental health at work, and action-learning research on mental health in the workplace, conducted in collaboration with a range of Essex based public, private and voluntary sector organisations. Other collaborations include: Equity, EY (Ernst & Young), and the Department for Work and Pensions.

Job insecurity and its consequences across countries

Research in this area includes international projects adopting a multilevel approach to studies of job insecurity, taking into account factors related to economic conditions, social policies and labour market features. The goal of this multidisciplinary research is to gain a comprehensive picture of job insecurity in order to identify resourceful contexts and common strategies for dealing with it.

Organisational change, transformation and leadership

Research projects in this area have sought to understand and evaluate the interrelated dynamics of organisational change, transformation and leadership in organisations. Examples of current work include projects on the evaluation of mobile technologies with Essex and Kent police; health and social care system transformations (including the aforementioned Provide CIC, and Anglian Community Enterprise); a range of longitudinal ethnographic case studies examining the lived experience of employees as recipients and agents of change, and a set of studies focusing on organisational learning and transformational leadership dynamics.

Sustainability, ethics and corporate social responsibility 

Critical research on sustainability, ethics and CSR is currently being undertaken in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation’s Decent Work Agenda and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals with specific reference to evaluation projects focusing on the Global South. Other research focuses on the role of multi-stakeholder networks addressing climate change, deforestation and the global food trade, and on global governance efforts in the areas of labour rights and sustainability. 

The history of management and human resource management in the public sector

OSHRM researchers apply critical perspectives to the analysis of human resource management in the public sector in Britain and internationally. Current projects include a critical analysis of governmentality, austerity and public service ‘reform’ in the UK Civil Service, local government and the NHS.

Work and employment in the global economy 

Our research has a strong international focus with expertise on emerging economies such as India and the Middle East and in the nexus of multinational corporations (MNCs) and their global value chains. In collaboration with colleagues across the Global South current projects examine informal and precarious work, reproductive work, automation and possible work futures. Of particular focus are core labour standards and rights, and workers’ organisations, as well as issues associated with job quality, workplace control and representation.

Students in a classroom
Centre for Work, Organisation and Society (CWOS)

The Centre for Work, Organisation and Society (CWOS) aims to support cross-disciplinary research on work, society and organisational life. Find out more about CWOS, its members and their research.

Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management

Edward Barratt
Senior Lecturer, EBS - Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management
Research interests: the use of genealogical and historical perspectives in the study of management and human resource management; management and human resource management in the Civil Service and public sector in the UK; power and elites; the ethics of human resource management
Stefano Cirella
Senior Lecturer, EBS - Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management
Research interests: Creativity and Organisation; Collective Creativity; Leadership, Change and Transformation; Organisational Learning Mechanisms; Collaborative Management Research; Collaborative Innovation
Huiyan Fu
Senior Lecturer, EBS - Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management
Sophie Hales
Lecturer, EBS - Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management
Research interests: Emotional, aesthetic and sexualized labour in interactive service work; Gender, sexuality and embodiment at work; Lived experiences of sexualized forms of work; Gender, sexuality and the body in work organizations
Anita Hammer
Senior Lecturer, EBS - Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management
Philip Hancock
Professor, EBS - Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management
Research interests: The Colonisation of Everyday Life Through Managerial Discourse and Practice; Critical Social Theory (Marxist and Post-Marxist) and Organisation; Critical Approaches to Recognition at Work and in the Labour Market; The Uses and Abuses of Organisational Culture, Art, Aesthetics and Symbolism; The Management and Lived Experience of Organisational Space and Architecture; The Organisational and Economic Dimensions of Christmas and Other Festivities; Vintage Production, Consumption, and its Organisation
Casper Hoedemaekers
Lecturer, EBS - Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management
Maria Hudson
Senior Lecturer, EBS - Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management
Research interests: Equality and Diversity; Precarious work and livelihoods; Organisational learning, social justice and moral economy; Qualitative research methodologies
Jayne Jennett
Lecturer, EBS - Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management
Research interests: Critical management studies; Stretegy and leadership in civil society organisations; Resource-based perspectives on organisations, Business ethics; Ethnographic methodologies in organisational research
Elisabeth Kelan
Professor, EBS - Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management
Paul Kelly
Lecturer, EBS - Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management
Research interests: Organisation Studies; Information Systems; Impact and Evaluation; Global Development; Approaches to "Power" and "Practice" for research and engagement
Aylin Kunter
Lecturer, EBS - Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management
Marina Michalski
Lecturer, EBS - Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management
Research interests: Sustainable HRM; Country-specific evaluations of Employment Relations, HRM practice and Talent Management (Global South/rest-of-the-world countries); Inclusion and diversity in Human Resource Development; L&D, skills development and macro human resource development; HRM professionals' identity and values from a national-context perspective.; Language-sensitive perspective on cross-national talent management; Apprenticeships in context
Sandra Moog
Lecturer, EBS - Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management
Research interests: international environmental politics and transnational civic activism (focus: forest issues/ the Amazon); globalization, sustainable development and environmental justice; the role of NGOs and corporations in processes of environmental governance; ideas of nature within the contemporary environmental movement
Louise Nash
Lecturer, EBS - Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management
Research interests: Organisational space, place, aesthetics and materiality; The lived experience of work in business clusters; The use of embodied methodologies in organisational research
Beatrice Piccoli
Lecturer, EBS - Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management
Research interests: Job insecurity; Organizational justice; Organisational identification; Psychological well-being; Organisational behaviours
Ian Roper
Reader, EBS - Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management
Stevphen Shukaitis
Reader, EBS - Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management
Research interests: cultural production and contemporary capitalism; social theory; artistic labour; social and political imaginaries; communication technologies; avant-gardes and aesthetics; continental philosophy; social movements; intellectual and social history
Danielle Tucker
Senior Lecturer, EBS - Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management
Research interests: Organisational change management; Change Communication; Organisational Trust; Public Sector Management; Organisational Memory and Forgetting; Policy Implementation; Change Agents; Organisational Failure; Integrated Care
Melissa Tyler
Professor, EBS - Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management
Research interests: Feminist perspectives on work and organization; Gender, sexuality and embodiment at work; Organizational space, place, aesthetics and materiality; Emotional, aesthetic and sexualized forms of labour; Sales-service work and consumer culture; Gender, sexuality and the body in work organizations; Any work drawing on and developing feminist theory; The organization, management and lived experience of organizational space, place and setting; Emotional, aesthetic and sexualized labour in sales-service work
Elaine Yerby
Senior Lecturer, EBS - Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management