Award-winning year for Essex Business School professor

  • Date

    Thu 18 May 23

Picture of Professor Shahzad Uddin standing outside the Essex Business School building in Colchester

Professor Shahzad Uddin, from Essex Business School, has been awarded the SAGE Prize for Innovation and Excellence.

It's his third award this year, recognising his commitment to ground-breaking research.

This prestigious prize is awarded annually by the British Sociological Association to one paper from each of its four well-renowned journals: Sociology, Cultural Sociology, Sociological Research Online, and Work, Employment and Society.

Professor Uddin, and co-author Khandakar Shahadat from the University of York, have been awarded joint first prize for their paper which features in Work, Employment and Society.

The paper, ‘Labour Controls, Unfreedom and Perpetuation of Slavery on a Tea Plantation’, examines labour controls in traditional tea plantations in Bangladesh. It highlights how organisational sites such as tea plantations present examples of how specific types of labour control restrict freedom of choice and produce “willing slaves”.

Professor Uddin said: “This article shows how so-called ‘free’ labourers are unable to walk away from exploitative conditions. Labourers found themselves in a never-ending cycle of bondage long after the abolition of the indentured system.

“I am so delighted to receive the WES-SAGE Prize for Innovation and Excellence from the British Sociological Association. I am grateful to my co-author and to tea plantation workers who shared their experiences and allowed us to publish their stories.”

Professor Thankom Arun, Dean of Research for the University’s Faculty of Social Sciences, said: “A big round of applause and well-deserved congratulations to Professor Uddin for this outstanding achievement recognised by one of the most reputed and well-regarded journals, Work, Employment and Society, and which brings so much visibility to the fantastic research done at Essex Business School.

“This co-authored paper, whose findings help us gain an in-depth understanding of modern slavery in tea plantations, contributes significantly to understanding workers' challenges due to discriminatory labour laws and complex labour-management relations.”

Earlier this year, Professor Uddin was awarded two other prizes from distinguished organisations. In January, he was recognised for his distinguished contribution to academic accounting by the British Accounting and Finance Association and by the Labor and Employment Relations Association for a paper on workplace bullying in Bangladesh.