Explore our research

  • Institute for Research into Organisations, Work and Employment (iROWE)

    Business incubation

iROWE encourages the conduct and dissemination of high quality academic research into organisations, work and employment. In particular it seeks to work closely with employers, government and trade unions to inform the development of effective workplace practice and employment policy.

For information on our ESRC Seminar Series 2012-2013 'Reframing Resolution - Managing Individual Workplace Conflict' please click on events and news below.

Expertise and subject areas

  • Business and management
  • Downsizing
  • Managing workplace conflict
  • Mediation
  • Redundancy
  • Lean management
  • Rhetoric
  • Discourse and its importance for managers
  • Public sector research
  • The NHS
  • Learning and development
  • Trade unions
  • Business ethics
  • Public relations
  • Leadership
  • Internal communication
  • Critical management
  • Resourcing
  • Health and social care research
  • Working in the media
  • Employment relations and performance
  • Internationalisation
  • Professions


i-ROWE will:

  • Generate high quality research in the field of organisation, work and employment.
  • Build and develop links with practitioners and policy makers.
  • Disseminate its work to a wide audience through the publication of research findings, conferences, workshops and seminars.
  • Co-ordinate the development and submission of bids for external funding.
  • Provide a basis for a sustainable doctoral programme in relation to work and employment.

Publications and Outputs

Managing conflict in the workplace


Saundry, Richard, Latreille, Paul, Ashman, Ian (Eds.) (2016) Reframing Resolution: Innovation and Change in the Management of Workplace Conflict. Palgrave Macmillan UK Chapters from iROWE staff and students include:


  • Jones, Carol and Saundry, Richard. A Crisis of Confidence? Front-line Managers and the Complexities of Conflict. Pages 105-125

  • Wibberley, Gemma and Saundry, Richard. From Representation Gap to Resolution Gap: Exploring the Role of Employee Voice in Conflict Management. Pages 127-148

  • Ashman, Ian. Downsizing: Managing Redundancy and Restructuring. Pages 149-167

  • Branney, Virginia. Workplace Mediation and UK Trade Unions: The Missing Link? Pages 191-214

  • McArdle, Louise and Thomas, Pete. Workplace Mediation Schemes: Antagonism and Articulation in the Discursive Process of Organizational Conflict and Disputes. Pages 265-287


Saundry, R., Bennett. T and Wibberley, G. (2016) ‘Inside the Mediation Room - Efficiency, Voice and Equity in Workplace Mediation’, The International Journal of Human Resource Management. [online before print] DOI: 10.1080/09585192.2016.1180314

Saundry, R. and Wibberley, G. (2016) ‘Workplace Mediation – Transforming the Culture of Conflict Management?’ CIPD Applied Research Conference 2015: The shifting landscape of work and working lives. Published Conference paper Conference paper number: CIPD/ARC/2015/8


Saundry, R., Adam, D., Ashman, I., Forde, C., Wibberley, G. and Wright, S. (2016) ‘Managing individual conflict in the contemporary British workplace‘ Acas Research Paper, Ref: 02/16

Acas (2015) Keeping a check on conflict: a case study in improving people management systems, Acas case studies on productivity (prepared case study)

Saundry, R., Jones, C. and Wibberley. G (2015), 'The challenge of managing informally', Employee Relations, Vol. 37 Iss: 4, pp.428 - 441

Wibberley. G. and Saundry, R. (2015) Will conflict be better managed informally in the workplace?, Workplace Trends 2015, Acas, HRZone and CIPD

Tony Bennett, (2014) "The role of workplace mediation: A critical assessment", Personnel Review, Vol. 43 Iss: 5

Saundry , R., Latreille. P., Dickens, L., Irvine, C. , Teague, P., Urwin, P. and Wibberley , G. (2014) Reframing Resolution - Managing Conflict and Resolving Individual Employment Disputes in the Contemporary Workplace, London, Acas.

Saundry, R. and Wibberley, G. (2014) Workplace Dispute Resolution and the Management of Individual Conflict —A Thematic Analysis of Five Case Studies Acas: 06/14,

Saundry, R., Bennett. T and Wibberley, G. (2013) Workplace mediation: the participant experience, London, Acas. ref 2/13

Bennett, Anthony Joseph William (2013) Workplace mediation and the empowerment of disputants: rhetoric or reality? Industrial Relations Journal, 44 (2). pp. 189-209.

Bennett, Anthony Joseph William (2013) Do learning partnerships reduce conflict in the workplace? Joint report for the University Forum for HRD and TUC Unionlearn

Bennett, Anthony Joseph William (2013) The learning and conflict project: A tutor’s guide. Joint teaching resource for the University Forum for HRD and TUC Unionlearn

Bennett, Anthony Joseph William (2013) Do union-management learning partnerships reduce workplace conflict? Accepted for publication in Employee Relations Journal.

Bennett, A. (2012) A review of ‘From Argument to Agreement: Resolving Disputes through Mediation’ By John Crawley Industrial Relations JournalVol. 43 Iss. 6

Bennett, A. (forthcoming) ‘The role of mediation: A critical analysis of the changing nature of dispute resolution in the workplace’ Accepted for publication by the Industrial Law Journal

Saundry, R. and Wibberley, G. (2012) Managing individual conflict in the private sector – a case study, London, Acas. 05/12

Saundry, R. and Wibberley, G. (2012) ‘Mediation and Early Resolution A Case Study in Conflict Management’, Acas. 12/12

Bennett, A. and Ridley-Duff, R. (2011) Mediation: Developing a theoretical framework for understanding alternative dispute resolution, Industrial Relations Journal Vol. 42 Issue 2.

Carol Jones & Richard Saundry (2012), ‘The practice of discipline: evaluating the roles and relationships between managers and HR professionals’, Human Resource Management Journal,

Saundry, R., Jones, C. and Antcliff, V. (2011) ‘Discipline, representation and dispute resolution – exploring the role of companions in workplace discipline’, Industrial Relations Journal. 42: 195–211

Saundry, R., McArdle, L. and Thomas, P. (2011) Transforming Conflict Management in the Public Sector? Mediation, Trade Unions and Partnerships in a Primary Care Trust, ACAS Research paper, Ref: 01/11.

Lisa Banks and Richard Saundry (2010) 'A comprehensive review of the literature examining workplace mediation', iROWE Research Paper No. 1.

Jones, C. & Appleby, Y. (2009) Domestic violence and its impact on women's experiences of employment and work-based learning in the UK: Results of a pilot study.

Antcliff, V. and Saundry R (2009) ‘Accompaniment, Workplace Representation and Disciplinary Outcomes in British Workplaces – Just a Formality?, British Journal of Industrial Relations, 47:1, 100-121.

Saundry, R, Antcliff, V. and Jones, C (2008) “Accompaniment and Representation in Workplace Discipline and Grievance”, Acas research papers, London: ACAS.

Saundry, R. and Antcliff, V. (2006) “Employee Representation in Grievance and Disciplinary Matters – Making a Difference?”, DTI Employment Relations Research Series, No. 69, London: DTI

Jones, C. (2006), ‘Drawing boundaries: Exploring the relationship between sexual harassment, gender and bullying’, Women’s Studies International Forum, Vol. 29, pp147-58.

Managing redundancy

Ashman, I. (2013) The Face-to-Face Delivery of Downsizing Decisions in UK Public Sector Organizations, Public Management Review, Taylor and Francis Early Online,

Ashman, I. (2012) ‘The nature of bad news infects the teller’: the experiences of envoys in the face to face delivery of downsizing initiatives in UK public sector organisations, London, Acas.

Ashman, I. (2012) ‘Downsizing envoys: A public/private sector comparison’, London, Acas. 11/12

Ashman, I. (2012) ‘A new role emerges in downsizing: Special envoys’ People Management

Rhetoric, discourse and its importance for managers

 Thomas P. and Hewitt J (2011) Managerial organization and professional autonomy: a discourse-based conceptualization. Organization Studies,, Vol.32, No. 10, pp 1373-1393

Thomas, P. (forthcoming) Strategy Talk - A Critical Discourse Analysis of Strategic Management, London, Routledge

Thomas, P., Hewitt, J. and Wilson, J. (2010) ‘The discursive construction of professionalism in British management’, International Journal of Critical Accounting 2(3): 319—336.

Thomas, P. and Fairclough, N. (2004) ‘Globalization : the discourse of globalization and the globalization of discourse’ in Grant D. et al (eds) The Sage Handbook of Organisational Discourse. London : Sage.

Thomas, P. (2003) ‘The recontextualization of management : a discourse based approach to analysing the development of management thinking’, Journal of Management Studies 40(4): 775-801.

Public sector research

Waterworth, C, Willcocks, S G, Roddam, H and Self, J 2015 Implementing Care Aims in an Integrated Team: the Impact of Culture, British Journal of Healthcare Management

Willcocks S G 2015 Exploring the use of Strategic Frameworks in Dental Practice, British Dental Journal,

Willcocks S G 2012 Exploring leadership Effectiveness: nurses as clinical leaders in the NHS Leadership in Health Services.

Thirkhill, E. (2012) ‘Spotlight: Emma Thirkell, Lecturer in Human Resource Management, University of Central Lancashire.’ ProcessFix, Spring Newsletter,

S G Willcocks (2012) The entrepreneurial role in primary care dentistry, British Dental Journal
Willcocks S G 2011 Understanding strategy, change and leadership in health and social care in the UK, Journal of Integrated Care.

Willcocks S G 2011 Identifying Clinical Leadership Functions in the NHS British Journal of Health Care Management, March.

Willcocks SG 2011 Leadership theory: Implications for developing dental surgeons in primary care? British Dental Journal.

Bennett, A. (2011) Learning to be job ready: Strategies for greater social inclusion in public sector employment, Journal of Business Ethics Vol. 103 No. 4

Bennett, A. Employee voice initiatives in the public sector: Views from the workplace (2010) International Journal of Public Sector Management Vol. 23 Issue 5. pp. 444-455.

Willcocks S G 2002 Adopting a Multi-Perspective Approach to the Study of Public Sector Managerial Effectiveness, International Journal of Public Sector Management.

Willcocks S G 2001 “Diversity, Change and The Professional Manager,” in Baxter C, (Ed) Managing Diversity And Inequality In Health Care, Baillere, Tindal London.

Elmer P (2000) Beyond professionalism: exploring a government model Corporate Communications; an international journal, December 2000

Learning and Development

Fox, S and Vickers, D (2014) ‘Innovation, learning, communities and actor-networks of practice’, Chapter 2 in Soliman, F. (ed.) “From Knowledge Management to Learning Organization to Innovation: The way ahead!” Cambridge Mass., IGI Global Publishing.

Saundry, R., Hollinrake, A. and Antcliff V. (2011) Union Learning Representatives –
Activity, Impact and Organisation - Results of the 2009 survey of ULRs and managers, Unionlearn, Research paper 12, TUC: London.

Vickers, D.; Morgan, E. and Moore, A. (2010), ‘Theoretically Driven Training: from Design to Evaluation’, ch.3 in Ireland, C. A. and Fisher, M (eds.) “Consultancy and Advising in Forensic Practice: Empirical and Practical Guidelines”, BPS-Blackwell.

Saundry, R. Hollinrake, A. Antcliff, V. (2010), Learning Works, Report of the 2009 survey of union learning representatives and their managers, unionlearn with the TUC

Hollinrake, A. Antcliff, V. and Saundry, R. (2008), Explaining activity and exploring experience—findings from a survey of union learning representatives, Industrial Relations Journal 39:5, 392–410.

Hollinrake, A, Antcliff, V and Saundry R. (2008) “Explaining activity and exploring experience – findings from a survey of union learning representatives”, Industrial Relations Journal, 39:5, 392-410.

Hollinrake, A. (2006), Union Learning Representative Research Report 2004-05 2006, unionlearn with the North West TUC.

Willcocks S G and Milne, P 2006 Work Based Learning for Practice Managers in Primary Care, Work Based Learning in Primary Care.

Elmer P and Ferguson S (2005) ‘Blurred Boundaries, Sharp Focus: Learning how to be a consultant’ International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management.

Woodall, J. Alker (nee Hollinrake), A. MacNeil, C. and Shaw, S. Convergence and Divergence in HRD Research and Practice across Europe in McGoldrick, J. Stewart, J. and Watson, S. (2001), Understanding Human Resource Development A research-based approach, Routledge.

Working with the trade unions


Wibberley, G. , Jones, C., Bennett, T. and Hollinrake, A. (2016) ‘Domestic Violence–a management challenge: how trade unions can help’, in Overcoming Challenges to Gender Equality in the Workplace : Leadership and Innovation, (eds.) Flynn, P., Haynes, K., and Kilgour, M., Greenleaf Publishing: Sheffield, pp.124-138

Richard Saundry, Valerie Antcliff and Alison Hollinrake(2016) ‘Union learning representatives in the UK: activity, impact and organization’, Work Employment & Society. Published online before print doi: 10.1177/0950017016630247


Saundry, R. and Wibberley, G. (2013) Contemporary union organizing in the UK – back to the future? Labor Studies Journal, Vol. 38 No. 4, pp. 281-299

Saundry, R., Stuart, M. and Antcliff, V. (2011), ‘Social Capital and Union Revitalization: A Study of Worker Networks in the UK Audio-Visual Industries’. British Journal of Industrial Relations. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8543.2011.00850.x 

Bennett, A. Exploring the potential of the union equality representative (2010) Employee Relations Journal Vol. 32, Issue 5. pp. 509-525.

New ways of promoting equality and diversity in the workplace: The role of the union equality representative (2009) Equal Opportunities International Vol. 28 Issue 5 

Martin D,(2010)The removal of workplace partnership in the UK Civil Service: a trade union perspective” in the Industrial Relations Journal 41:3, pp.218-232

Business Ethics

J.A.H. Hine and I. Ashman (2010) ‘Iceland’s Banking Sector and the Political Economy of Crisis’ in R.W. Kolb, (ed.) Lessons from the Financial Crisis: Causes, Consequences, and Our Economic Future, Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Ashman, I. & Winstanley, D. (2007) ‘For or Against Corporate Identity? Personification and the Problem of Moral Agency’, Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 76, 83-95.

Ashman, I. & Winstanley, D. (2006) ‘Business ethics and existentialism’, Business Ethics: A European Review, Vol. 15, No. 3, 218-233. This article was selected as one of the fifty best articles published in 2006 in management and winner of an Emerald Management Reviews Citation of Excellence.

Ashman, I. & Winstanley, D. (2006) ‘The ethics of organizational commitment’, Business Ethics: A European Review, Vol. 15, No. 2, 142-153.

Public Relations

Elmer P (2012, in press) PR in a digital age in Tench R and Yeomans L (eds) Exploring Public Relations (3rd ed), Harlow, Pearson

Elmer P (in press) Public Relations People: the social construction of PR work and workers

Elmer P (2011) Public relations and storytelling in Edwards L and Hodges C (eds) Public Relations: Society and Culture, Abingdon, Routledge

Elmer, P. (2010). Re-encountering the PR man. PRism 7(4):

Elmer P (2008) Exploring embodied practices: public relations education and the problem of complex social performance, CIM 08, Vol 2, pp 783-798, Istanbul University Press ISBN 978-975-404-834-6

Elmer P (2007) Unmanaging public relations, PR Review, Fall 2007

Welch, M. (2006) Rethinking relationship management: exploring the dimension of trust. Journal of Communication Management. Vol. 10 No.2 pp. 138-155.

Elmer P (2005) Constructing the public relations role, Journal of Media Practice, Autumn 2005

Elmer P (2001) Accounting for public relations: exploring radical approaches, Corporate

Communications; an international journal March 2001


Steve Willcocks (forthcoming) ‘Exploring leadership in the context of dentistry in the UK’, Leadership in Health Services

Willcocks, S. and Wibberley, G (2015), ‘Exploring a shared leadership perspective for NHS doctors’ Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 28 Iss: 4, pp.345 – 355. Awarded ‘Outstanding Paper in the 2016 Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence’

Willcocks SG Milne, P 2013 The Medical Leadership Competency Framework: Challenges raised for GP educators by a pilot study of culture in General Practice, Education for Primary Care.

Willcocks S G 2012 Exploring leadership Effectiveness: nurses as clinical leaders in the NHS Leadership in Health Services

Lawler, J. and Ashman, I. (2012) ‘Theorising Leadership Authenticity: A Sartrean Perspective’, Leadership , Vol8. No 4, pp327-44

I. Ashman (2010) ‘Ethical Leadership’ in C. Fisher (ed) Business Ethics, The Marketing & Management Collection, Henry Stewart Talks Ltd, London (online at

Willcocks SG 2010 Marketing and Clinical Leadership, E. Hospital: Journal of the European Association of Hospital Managers, Vol. 12.1*

Willcocks S G 2010 Leadership Effectiveness, Health Service Journal (Online:, 19/5)*

Willcocks S G 2010 Leadership: the challenge for GPs, British Journal of Health Care Management, October.

Ashman, I. and Lawler, J. (2008) ‘Existential Communication and Leadership’, Leadership, Vol. 4, No. 3, 253-269.

Willcocks SG 2008 Clinical Leadership in UK Healthcare: Exploring a Marketing Perspective, Leadership in Health Services.

Ashman, I. (2007) ‘Existentialism and Leadership: A Response to John Lawler with Some Further Thoughts’, Leadership, Vol.3, No. 1, 91-106.

Willcocks S G 2005 Doctors and Leadership in the UK NHS, Clinician in Management.

Internal Communication

Mary Welch (2015) Internal communication education: A historical study. Journal of Communication Management. Vol. 19 No. 4 pp. 388-405.

Welch, M. (2015) Dimensions of internal communication and implications for employee engagement. In Ruck, K. (Ed.) (2015) Exploring internal communication: Towards informed employee voice (pp. 25-36). Farnham. Gower.

Welch, Mary (2013) Mastering internal communication: Knowledge foundations and postgraduate education. Public Relations Review, 39 (5) Pages 615–617. ISSN 03638111

Ruck, K. Welch, M. (2012) Valuing internal communication: management and employee perspectives. Book chapter in Ruck, K. (Ed.) Exploring internal communication. Harlow. Pearson Education.

Welch, M., Jackson, P.R. (2012) Rethinking internal communication. Book chapter in Ruck, K. (Ed.) Exploring internal communication. Harlow. Pearson Education.

Ruck, K. Welch, M. (2012) Valuing internal communication; management and employee perspectives. Public Relations Review. Vol. 38 No. 2 pp. 294-302.

Welch, M. (2012) Appropriateness and acceptability: Employee perspectives of internal communication. Public Relations Review. Vol. 38 No. 2 pp. 246-254.

Welch, M. (2011) The evolution of the employee engagement concept: communication implications.
Corporate Communications: An International Journal. Vol. 16 No. 4 pp. 328-346. DOI:10.1108/13563281111186968

Welch, M., Jackson, P.R. (2010) Rethinking internal communication. In Ruck, K (Ed.) Exploring internal communication. Harlow. Pearson Education.

Welch, M., Jackson, P.R. (2007) Rethinking internal communication: a stakeholder approach. Corporate Communications: An International Journal. Vol. 12 No. 2 pp. 177-198.

Critical Management

Wright, A. (2015), It's all about games: enterprise and entrepreneurialism in digital games. New Technology, Work and Employment, 30: 32–46.

Judi Morgan and Pete Thomas ‘Special Ones, Zombies, and Tissue Rejection: An Exploration of the Experience of a Leadership Development Programme and its Impact on Participant Identity’ Callahan, J. L., Stewart, J., Trehan, K., Sambrook, S., & Rigg, C. (Eds.) (2015). Realising Critical HRD: Stories of Reflecting, Voicing, and Enacting Critical Practice. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. (Academy of Human Resource Development R. Wayne Pace Outstanding Book of the Year Award).

McClelland, G. P., Leach, D. J., Clegg, C. W. and McGowan, I. (2014), Collaborative crafting in call centre teams. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 87: 464–486.

Louise McArdle, Pete Thomas, (2012) "Fair enough? Women and Fair Trade", Critical perspectives on international business, Vol. 8 Iss: 4, pp.277 – 294.

Vickers, D and Fox, S (2010) ‘Towards practice-based studies of HRM: An Actor-Network and Communities of Practice informed approach’, International Journal of Human Resource Management, 21, 6, May 899-914.

Bolton, S. and Wibberley, G.(2007) ‘Best Companies, Best Practice and Dignity at Work’ in Bolton, S. (ed) Dimensions of Dignity at Work, London: Butterworth Heinemann, pp. 134-

Thomas, P. (2006) ‘Strategizing is organizing: does practice add anything to strategy and does strategy add anything to organizing?’ Sub-theme: Strategizing and Organizing Activity and Practice, 22nd EGOS Colloquium, Bergen.

Vickers, D; (2008) ‘Beyond the Hegemonic Narrative - A Study of managers’, Journal of Organizational Change Management, 21, 5, 560-573.


Causer, G. & Jones, C. (1993), “Responding to ‘Skill Shortages: Recruitment and Retention in a High Technology Labour Market”, Human Resource Management Journal vol. 3 no. 3 Spring, pp 1-20.

Ashman, I. (2007) ‘An Investigation of the British Organizational Commitment Questionnaire: A Qualitative approach to Evaluating Construct Validity’, Management Research News, Vol.30, No.1, 5-24.

Health and social care research

Waterworth, C, Willcocks, S G, Roddam, H and Self, J (2015) Implementing Care Aims in an Integrated Team: the Impact of Culture, British Journal of Healthcare Management


Willcocks S G (2015) Exploring the use of Strategic Frameworks in Dental Practice, British Dental Journal

Ashman, Ian; Willcocks, Steve (2014) Engaging with clinical commissioning: the attitudes of general practitioners in East Lancashire, Quality in Primary Care, Volume 22, Number 2,pp. 91-99

Bolton, S. and Wibberley, G. (2014) Domiciliary care: the formal and informal labour process, Sociology, Vol. 48, No.4 , pp.682–697

Wibberley, G. (2013) The problems of a ‘dirty workplace’ in domiciliary care, Health and Place, Vol 21, Pages 156-162

Wibberley, G. (2013) ‘Getting the bodies of the workers to the bodies of the clients - the role of the rota in domiciliary care’ in (eds.) Wolkowitz C., Cohen,R., Sanders, T. and Hardy,K. Body/Sex/Work – intimate, embodied and sexualised labour :Critical Perspectives on Work and Employment Series, Palgrave: Basingstoke, pp223-238

S G Willcocks (2012) The entrepreneurial role in primary care dentistry, British Dental Journal

Willcocks S G 2004 Clinician Managers and the Cultural Context: comparisons in Secondary andm Primary Care, Health Services Management Research.

Willcocks S G 2003 Developing the effectiveness of Primary care organisations: A Case Study, Journalof Health Organisation and Management, Vol 17.

Willcocks S G Conway A 2002 Managing the Seamless Service: the Case of the Primary Care Group, Health Services Management Research.


Emma Thirkell & Ian Ashman (2014) Lean towards learning: connecting Lean Thinking and human resource management in UK higher education, The International Journal of Human Resource Management, (online before print) DOI:10.1080/09585192.2014.948901

Martin,D,“Can Lean make managers mean?” in Public Sector Executive (2009) September/October edition, pp33 & 41.

Martin,D,“Leaner does not always mean fitter” in Public and Commercial Services Union’s Activate magazine (2009) June edition, p16

Working in the media

J. Singer and I. Ashman (2009) ‘User-Generated Content and Journalistic Values’ in S. Allan and E. Thorsen (eds) Citizen Journalism: Global Perspectives, New York, Peter Lang.

Singer, J. and Ashman, I. (2009) ‘“Comment Is Free, But Facts Are Sacred”: User-generated content and ethical constructs at the Guardian’, The Journal of Mass Media Ethics, Vol. 24, No. 1, 3-21

Ashman, I. (2008) ‘Deep Acting and Bad Faith: A Sartrean Treatment of Emotion Work’, The International Journal of Work, Organization and Emotion, Vol.2, No.3, 288-304.

Antcliff, V., Saundry, R. and Stuart, M. (2007) “The Weakness of Weak Ties – Networks and Social Capital in UK Television”, Human Relations, 60:2, 371-393

Saundry, R., Stuart, M. and Antcliff, V. (2007) “Broadcasting Discontent: Freelancers, trade unions and the internet”, New Technology, Work and Employment, 22:2.

Saundry, R., Stuart, M. and Antcliff, V. (2006) “It’s More Than Who You Know’ - Networks and Trade Unions in the Audio-Visual Industries”, Human Resource Management Journal, 16:4, 376-392.

Saundry, R (2001) “Employee Relations in British Television – Regulation, Fragmentation and Flexibility”, Industrial Relations Journal, March 2001, vol. 32, no. 1, pp. 22-36.

Saundry, R (1998) "The Limits of Flexibility - The Case of UK Television", British Journal of Management, Vol. 9.

Employment relations and performance

Saundry, R and Turnbull, P (1999) “Contractual (In)Security, Labour Regulation and Competitive Performance in the Port Transport Industry: A Contextual Comparison of Britain and Spain”, British Journal of Industrial Relations, June 1999, vol. 37, no. 2., pp 271-294


Thompson, P., Nickson, D., Wallace,. T., & Jones, C. (1998) ‘Internationalisation and Integration : A Comparison of Manufacturing and Service Firms’, Competition and Change : The Journal of Global Business and Political Economy, vol. 3, pp 387 – 415.

Jones, C., Thompson, P., & Nickson, D. (1998), ‘Not one of the family : The limits to managing the corporate way in international hotel chains’, International Journal of Human Resource Management vol. 9 no. 6, pp 1048 – 1063.

Jones, C., Taylor, G., & Nickson, D. (1997) ‘Whatever it takes? Managing ‘empowered’ employees and the service encounter in an international hotel chain’, Work, Employment and Society vol. 11 no. 1, pp 541 - 554.


Causer, G., & Jones, C. (1996), ‘One of them or one of us ?: the ambiguities of the professional as a manager’ in Robin Fincham (ed), New Relations in the Organisation Professions: Managers, Professionals and Knowledge Workers (Avebury), pp 91 - 112.

Causer, G., & Jones, C. (1995), ‘Management and the Control of Technical Labour’, Work, Employment and Society, vol. 10, no. 1, pp 1 – 19

Jones, C., & Causer, G. (1995), “Men Don’t Have Families: Equality and Motherhood in Technical Employment” Gender, Work and Organisations, vol. 2, no. 1, pp 51 – 62

News and Events

Please find details about the iROWE evening seminar series 2015-2016, the latest event is:

'Does Social Media Cause Conflict in the Workplace?'


Dr Ian Ashman
Dr Gemma Wibberley

Thursday June 9th - 5.30 – 7pm

Brook 008, UCLAN

Refreshments available from 5pm
Attendance is free.
To book a place please contact

'Mental health in the workplace'

Guest Speaker:

Dave Eva

Delivery Manager, Unionlearn


Thursday February 11th - 5.30 – 7pm
Brook 008, UCLan

Attendance is FREE. To book a place please email:

'The Complaining Body'

Tuesday 3rd November, 5.30 - 7pm

Media Innovation Studio Room 413, Media Factory, UCLan

For more information

Click here to book a free place

Fit For Work: Managing absence in the new landscape

Guest speaker :Caroline Rayner, Solicitor, Baines Wilson LLP

Tuesday 1st December - 5.30 – 7pm Brook 008, UCLan

To book your free place please contact Gemma :


Managing the Generations: A 20:20 vision

Exploring the challenges and benefits of age diversity in the workforce

Guest Speaker: Peter Monaghan, Area Director, ACAS NW.

Thursday 4th December 2014 - 5.30pm until 7pm

Brook BB008, UCLAN

To book a place please contact Gemma Wibberley

iROWE evening seminar series

Please find details about the iROWE evening seminar series 2013- 2014, the latest event is:

A bigger picture for coaching

Guest Speaker: Helen Bailey
Head of Coaching, PINNA Ltd

 4th November 2014 - 5.30pm until 7pm, 

Room VE011, UCLAN 

To book a place please contact Gemma Wibberley

Workplace Mediation

Guest speaker: Charlie Irvine
Visiting Professor, Strathclyde University

Wednesday 14th May 2014 - 5.30pm until 7pm

Refreshments available from 5pm

To book a place please contact Gemma Wibberley.


Past, Present and the Future – employment law and tribunal practice

Guest Speaker: Oliver McCann
Employment and HR Partner, Napthens LLP

Tuesday 1st April 2014 - 5.30pm until 7pm

To book a place please contact Gemma Wibberley


Social Media and Employment Relations

Guest Speaker: Peter Harwood
Acas Chief Conciliator and Head of Profession.

Tuesday 28th January 2014- 5.30pm until 7pm
Brook 008, UCLAN

Please find attached the slides and video from the seminar. It is requested that if using these materials please follow ‘Chatham House rule’ [of not attributing it to Peter].


People Management and the Entrepreneurial Mindset

Guest Speaker: Philip Dyer
Chairman of nxo, UCLan Entrepreneur in Residence

Wednesday 23rd October 2013: 5.30- 7pm
Brook Building 008, UCLAN

Attendance is free, but places are limited.

To book a place please contact: Gemma Wibberley

ESRC seminar series 2012-2013 'Reframing Resolution - Managing Individual Workplace Conflict'

ESRC logo

iROWE will be running a series of ESRC seminars exploring conflict in the workplace at universities throughout the UK starting in October 2012. This is the first time in the UK academics, practitioners and policy makers will be encouraged to come together to discuss individual workplace conflict and resolution. For further information about the ESRC see

ESRC Seminar Series 2012-2013 'Reframing Resolution - Managing Individual Workplace Conflict'

Recent years have seen increased concern over a perceived rise in individual workplace conflict. As a result, the resolution of individual employment disputes has become a crucial issue. This seminar series hosted by iROWE brings together, for the first time in the UK, academic researchers, policy-makers and practitioners to explore workplace dispute resolution and the management of conflict. This ESRC seminar series is sponsored by Acas, CMP Resolutions, Consensio Partners and the TCM Group. It is also supported by Department of BIS, CBI, TUC, BCC, CIPD.

The programme will be made up of day long seminars. There will be presentations from leading academic researchers (both nationally and internationally), senior HR practitioners, managers, representatives from employers’ organisations, senior figures from Acas and BIS, trade union officials and other stakeholders.

For a review of the series written by Virginia Branney, iROWE PhD student, please see the attached 'Grievance procedures and workplace mediation: the case for peaceful coexistence'.

Acas policy paper now out from our ESRC Seminar Series 'Reframing Resolution - Managing Individual Workplace Conflict' .The paper was written by the seminar organisers and reflects the key issues that arose during the series, and the implications these have for policy, practice and academic research. It is now available on:

Poster Presentations

Delegates are invited to bring a poster detailing their current research. These will be displayed during the seminar, providing an opportunity to disseminate your work with the practitioners, academics, policy makers and stakeholders who will be in attendance. We particularly welcome posters from students and early career researchers. We request that posters are brought to the seminar, printed and ready to display. For further information please contact:

With kind sponsorship from Acas, CMP resolutions, Consensio and the TCM group

irowe sponsor logos



Managing conflict and resolving disputes: synthesising research and practice to inform policy

The final seminar will seek to bring academics, practitioners and policy-makers together to examine the themes that have emerged during the series. The seminar will comprise of short presentations by Seminar Rapporteurs who will describe the potential implications for practice and policy of each of the five seminars outlined above. There will be a wide representation, from major public and private sector employers; employer-representative organisations such as the CBI, EEF, FSB, BCC and CIPD; TUC and major trade unions; and governmental and policy-making organisations such as BIS, the Ministry of Justice, Acas and the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Westminster University

For a review of the day written by the organisers please see the attached paper.


Professor Nick Bacon, Cass Business School

Prof. Greg Bamber, Monash University

Professor Rob Blackburn, Kingston University, London

Pete Burgess, University of Greenwich

Andy Cook, Employee Relations Institute

Dr Tony Dundon, NUI Galway

Mike Emmott, Advisor Employee Relations, CIPD

John Forth, Principal Research Fellow, NIESR (National Institute of Economic and Social Research
Presentation slides. (.pdf, 1MB) Video

Kim Frost (.doc, 13KB), Director of Human Resources, University of London

Professor Abby Ghobadian, Henley Business School

Katherine Graham, Managing Director, CMP

Charlie Irvine, University of Strathclyde

Professor David Lipsky, Cornell University.
Presentation slides. (.pdf, 1014KB) Video

Michael Mealing, Chairman Employment Law Policy Unit, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)

Sarah Messenger (.doc, 26KB), Head of Workforce, Local Government association

Pete Monaghan (.doc, 3MB), Acas

Gillian Morris, Matrix Chambers

Ian Moss, Head of Equality and Employment Rights Team, Citizens Advice

Kieran Mulvey (.doc, 17KB), Chief Executive, Labour Relations Commission

Jeff Neild, National Head of Employee Relations, EEF

Stephen Overell, independent writer and commentator

Ben Patrick, UNISON

Matthew Percival, Senior Policy Adviser, CBI

Professor John Purcell (.doc, 27KB), Associate Fellow, University of Warwick

Hannah Reed, Employment Rights Policy Officer, TUC

Richard Saundry, Reader in Human Resource and Leadership Studies, Plymouth University. Presentation slides. (.pdf, 227KB) Video

Professor Ron Seeber, Cornell University

Ed Sweeney, Chair, Acas Video

Anna Shields, Consensio- Director

Bill Roche, University College Dublin- Professor of Industrial Relations

Sarah Veale, Head, Equality and Employment Rights Department ,TUC

Bill Wells, Deputy Director, Analysis, Briefing and Minimum Wage, Department for Business, Innovation & Skills


This is an all day event. Find out more about the programme schedule. (.pdf, 493KB)


Information regarding travel and accommodation is available in this document. (.doc, 19KB)


Student and early careers researchers travel bursaries
There are a small number of travel bursaries available for students and Early Career Researchers (ECRs). Each bursary is a maximum of £100, and receipts will need to be submitted for reimbursement. Travel and/ or accommodation costs are allowed. You are expected to make the most economic arrangements practical. Each recipient will be expected to write a short piece on the seminar they attended for dissemination. This can be on anything about the series perhaps 300 words on a presentation they found particularly interesting, or how the seminar will influence their research.


To register you interest please send your completed booking form to Haydn Worley ( ) or

Haydn Worley
Research Administrator
The University of Westminster
Westminster Business School
35 Marylebone Road
London NW1 5LS

Past Seminars

Seminar 1: 11th October 2012 – University of Strathclyde

ESRC logo

Understanding individual employment disputes

The first seminar in the series will comprise of both conceptual and empirical research in order to explore the trajectory of individual conflict and the main factors that determine whether and how workplace conflict becomes manifest in individual employment disputes. In addition the seminar will examine how different types of employment disputes are conceptualised and the implications of this for resolution.

Strathclyde logo

For a review of the day written by the organisers please see the ESRC Paper 1 download (.doc, 35KB)

Speakers included:

Andrea Broughton, Principal Research Fellow, Institute of Employment Studies : ‘Understanding the drivers of individual disputes and conflicts at work’
Presentation slides (.ppt, 264KB) and video

Gill Dix, Head of Strategy, Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas): ‘Dispute resolution and policy objectives: past, present and future’
Presentation slides (.ppt, 3261KB) and video

Charlie Irvine, Visiting Professor, Strathclyde Law School, University of Strathclyde: 'Do you see what I'm dealing with here? Vicious cycles in workplace conflict.'
Presentation slides (.ppt, 1181KB) and video
Charlie’s paper has now been published in the Journal of Mediation & Applied Conflict Analysis, 2014. Available:

Rachel McCloy, Senior Lecturer, School of Psychology and Clinical Language Science, University of Reading :‘Individual Dispute Resolution: Insights from behavioural economics’
Presentation slides (.ppt, 748KB) and video

Richard Saundry, Reader in International Employment Relations, Institute for Research into Organisations, Work and Employment : ‘Unpicking conflict resolution – informal process and formal procedure’
Presentation slides (.ppt, 135KB) and video

Phil Taylor, Professor of Work and Employment Studies, University of Strathclyde: ‘Performance management, lean and sickness absence - the new workplace tyranny?’
Presentation slides (.ppt, (please note there is no music on this presentation) and video

Seminar 2: 12th December 2012 – University of Central Lancashire

ESRC logo

Resolving workplace disputes-employee voice engagement and representation

Recent research has suggested that effective structures of employee representation can underpin informal processes of resolution. At the same time, the growing number of unrepresented workers appear to find it difficult to resolve workplace problems through existing formalised policies and procedures. This seminar will examine these issues – it will discuss the role played by trade union representatives and the impact of employee engagement and alternative structures of employee voice on the way that conflict is managed and disputes handled.


Speakers included :

Dr Andy Charlwood, University of York : Presentation (.ppt, 405KB), video
Professor Ralph Fevre, University of Cardiff : Presentation (.ppt, 257KB), video
Paul Nowak, Head of the Organisation and Services Department, TUC : Presentation (.ppt, 283KB), video
Dr Gemma Wibberley, University of Central Lancashire : Presentation (.ppt, 430KB), video
Steve Stott, Regional Manager, Unison : Presentation (.ppt, 135KB)
Jonny Gifford, Research Adviser, CIPD : Presentation (.ppt, 77KB),  video

A review of the day (.ppt, 325KB)

Seminar 3: 14th February 2013 - Swansea University

ESRC logo

Mediation and alternative dispute resolution – outcomes and impacts

The third seminar will focus on the growing body of research into mediation and alternative dispute resolution in the UK. While mediation is seen as effective in resolving certain types and disputes, key questions remain in relation to its broader impact on management practice, workplace relations and organisational culture. Furthermore the seminar will examine key barriers to its development and implementation. In addition to UK based speakers, Prof Lisa Bingham, one of the USA’s leading authorities will contribute to the seminar.

Swansea University logo

Speakers Included :

For a review of the day written by the organisers please see the attached paper (.pdf 354KB)

Dr Tony Bennett University of Central Lancashire : Presentation slides (.ppt, 2341KB) and video
Katherine Graham, Managing Director, CMP Resolutions : Presentation slides and video
Professor Paul Latreille Sheffield University : Presentation slides and video
Dr Richard Saundry, University of Central Lancashire : Presentation slides (.ppt, 170KB) and video
Anna Shields and Alex Efthymiades, Directors, Consensio Partners : Presentation slides and video
Professor Peter Urwin University of Westminster : Presentation slides (.ppt, 180KB) and video
David Liddle, Founder and Chief Executive, The TCM Group : Presentation slides and video
Dr Rory Ridley-Duff, Sheffield-Hallam University : Presentation slides (.ppt, 596KB) and video
Louise McArdle, University of Central Lancashire : Presentation slides (.ppt, 1883KB) and video
Nicola Cullen, Team Leader, Employment Tribunal Reform and Mediation BIS : Presentation slides and video
Andrew Wareing, Chief Operating Officer, Acas : Presentation slides and video


ESRC logo

The management of workplace conflict – structures, systems and strategies

This seminar will look at the potential of different management strategies designed to manage conflict and increase organisational capability to resolve disputes. In doing so the implications of changes in HR structures and roles and the development of high involvement work practices for workplace conflict will be examined. In particular the seminar will include perspectives of leading US scholars and assess the potential of integrated conflict management systems for workplaces in UK and Ireland.

Queens University logos

Speakers included :

For a review of the day written by the organisers please see the attached paper (.pdf 612KB)

Ariel C. Avgar, UI (University of Illinois) : Presentation (.ppt, 1139 KB) and video 1, video 2
Alex Colvin, CU (Cornell University) : Presentation (.ppt, 200 KB) and video
John O’Dowd, UCD (University College Dublin) : Presentation (.ppt, 296 KB) and video
David Liddle, Founder and Chief Executive, The TCM Group : Presentation (.ppt, 1361 KB) and video
Kieran Mulvey (.doc, 20KB), Chief Executive, Labour Relations Commission : video
Bill Roche, UCD (University College Dublin) : Presentation (.ppt, 99 KB) and video
Paul Teague, QUB (Queens University Belfast) : Presentation (.ppt, 457 KB) and video
Richard Saundry, UCLan (University of Central Lancashire) : Presentation (.ppt, 55 KB) and video
Professor Paul Latreille, Sheffield University : Presentation (.ppt, 55 KB)

Seminar 5: 5th June 2013 – University of Warwick

ESRC logo

The changing face of regulation – rights, resolution, fairness and efficiency

There has been a shift in the main source of regulation at the workplace. As collective bargaining has receded, the legal framework has come to provide the main focus of policy attention, with implications for conflict articulation and resolution. The current policy emphasis is on reducing the scale and scope of regulation in order to reduce perceived ‘burdens’ on employers and spur economic growth. This seminar will explore the implications of changing forms of regulation and examine key tensions between notions of fairness, equity and efficiency which underpin the current policy debate.

university or warwick and IRRU


 For a review of the day written by the organisers please see the attached paper (.pdf 319KB)

David Coats : Work Matters Consulting
Presentation slides (.pdf,  478 KB)

Prof Hugh Collins : London school of economics 
Presentation slides (.pdf, 136 KB)

Prof Sue Corby : University of Greenwich
Presentation slides (.pdf, 743 KB); 2nd part of presentation and handout (.pdf, 538 KB)

Mike Emmott : CIPD 

Prof Edmund Heery : Cardiff University
Presentation slides (.pdf, 119 KB)

Fiona Hobbs (.doc, 13KB): EEF

Prof Paul Latreille : University of Sheffield 
Presentation slides (.pdf, 743 KB); 2nd part of presentation and handout (.pdf, 538 KB)

Matthew Percival : CBI

Dr Melanie Simms : University of Warwick
Presentation slides (.pdf, 258KB)

Ed Sweeney : Acas

Hannah Reed (.doc, 22KB) : TUC 

Stephen Williams (.doc, 25KB): Acas
Presentation slides (.pdf, 104 KB)


The draft schedule for the day is now available. (.doc, 63KB)


Please see the University of Warwick for travel information, more detailed information will be available shortly.


There are a small number of travel bursaries available for students and Early Career Researchers (ECRs). Each bursary is a maximum of £100, and receipts will need to be submitted for reimbursement. Travel and/ or accommodation costs are allowed. You are expected to make the most economic arrangements practical.

Each recipient will be expected to write a short piece on the seminar they attended for dissemination. This can be on anything about the series perhaps 300 words on a presentation they found particularly interesting, or how the seminar will influence their research.


To register you interest in this seminar please email
For information on this seminar or the series as a whole please contact

Does Lean Thinking and HRM connect in UK higher education?

Emma Thirkell and Ian Ashman recently published their findings on the introduction of Lean Thinking in UK Higher Education. From its origins in the automotive industry, Lean Thinking is increasingly being seen as a solution to problems of efficiency and quality in other industries and sectors. In recent years attempts have been made to transfer Lean principles and practice to the higher education sector, with indications of mixed consequences and debate over its suitability. Their paper contributes to the debate by drawing evidence from 34 interviews conducted across two UK universities that have implemented Lean in some of their activities, and they pay particular attention to the role of the human resource function in facilitating its introduction. The findings suggest that there are problems in understanding, communicating and transferring Lean Thinking in the higher education context; despite human resource systems being vital facets of Lean, human resource professionals are excluded from participation; and as a consequence the depth and breadth of Lean application in the two institutions is very limited.

Emma Thirkell & Ian Ashman (2014) Lean towards learning: connecting Lean Thinking and human resource management in UK higher education, The International Journal of Human Resource Management, (online before print)

The full paper can be accessed here (free for a limited period and then via subscription) 


Student Employee of the Year

A student from the Lancashire Business School has won the student employer of the year award.

Hayley Cooling, a marketing assistant for the Institute for Research into Organisations, Work and Employment (iROWE), was the winner of UCLan’s On Campus Student Employer of the Year award.

Hayley was nominated for the award by her iROWE colleagues. Gemma Wibberley, of the Institute said: “she contradicted stereotypes, exceeded expectations and inspired senior colleagues. The Institute team ‘are incredibly proud of her results and the substantial positive impact she has made’ and for confounding low expectations of student staff “

Hayley said: “I feel very honoured to have been nominated for the award and I’m extremely pleased to have won.”

iROWE staff are very proud of Hayley’s achievement, who beat over 20 other candidates across the University. The award is a great achievement, and well deserved recognition of her hard work. Hayley will now go on to be nominated in regional and national heats in the Student Employee of the year awards (SEOTY) organised by National Association of Student Employment services (NASES).

New downsizing research makes an impact

The launch of Ian Ashman’s latest Acas funded research on ‘downsizing envoys’ has made a big impact.

This study builds on Ian’s previous research paper which explores the experiences of public sector employees who have been given the task of delivering the bad news of downsizing decisions face to face with the victims and then deal with the immediate repercussions – labelled downsizing envoys

The evidence from that paper is combined here with data gathered from envoys in the private sector in order to identify the similarities and differences in the experiences of envoys between the two sectors.

The impact of the paper, entitled ‘Downsizing envoys: A public/private sector comparison’, has had far reaching benefits. This research has informed new Acas policy on redundancy handling.

Ian’s findings have also formed a paper for practitioners in People Management, the CIPD magazine and a further investigation by the Sunday Times. His research also inspired an interview with BBC Radio Lancashire.

The research was also featured in both local and national press and HR publications including: London Evening Standard, HR Review, Bourne local, Lancashire Evening Post, Chorley Guardian, Burnley Express, Fleetwood News, Garstang Courier and Wigan Today.

One of CMI’s Management Articles of the Year

Dr Ian Ashman’s article, “A New Role Emerges in Downsizing: Special Envoys‟, which was published last year in People Management, has been chosen as one of five Management Articles of the Year by the Chartered Management Institute.

Ian attended the award event held at the British Library Conference Centre in January. He said: “I was extremely pleased and a little surprised to find out that I had been placed in the top five for CMI‟s Management Articles of the Year. The research is of real interest to me and the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) and People Management (PM) were delighted that I had been awarded this accolade.

It is very important to me that the judging was carried out by practicing managers and those working in business, as it shows that we can successfully bridge the gap between academic thinking and industry know-how. I was pleased to know that the research was of particular significance to the audience I’m eager to reach in the business world.”

Ashman, I. (2013), The Face-to-face Delivery of Downsizing Decisions in UK Public Sector Organizations, Public Management Review, is scheduled for publication on the Taylor and Francis iFirst early view website in April.

The problem of unpaid work for domiciliary careworkers

The book was launched at the International Labour Process Conference at Rutgers University, USA, 18th march. Unpaid overtime for domiciliary care workers is a major issue argues iROWE‟s Gemma Wibberley in her chapter of new book, ‘Body/sex/work : Intimate, embodied and sexualised labour’ (Edited by Carol Wolkowitz, Rachel Lara Cohen, Teela Sanders and Kate Hardy).

Gemma’s chapter reveals the logistical challenges in getting domiciliary care workers to the clients. She highlights that problems are compounded by the lack of remuneration for domiciliary workers travel time, which can easily be over an hour a day, and therefore the extensive unpaid work the care workers are expected to perform.

The book was launched at the International Labour Process Conference at Rutgers University, USA, 18th March. Gemma and several of the other authors attended this exciting event. It is now available from Palgrave publishers.

Introducing mediation: An alternative approach to dispute resolution in the workplace and in a legal context

Interesting in knowing more about how mediation can resolve disputes in your workplace?

Interested in understanding how mediation can also offer an alternative to expensive litigation cases?

For law professionals the opportunity to gain 8 CPD points for the year

This new workshop will help delegates to better understand the key issues of:

  • Why conflict occurs
  • How mediation can help us resolve conflict
  • When mediation may be a better route than more confrontational approaches to litigation
  • The tools and techniques needed to effectively mediate
    - On behalf of clients
    - Between colleagues in the workplace

For further information on the workshop, please contact Tony Bennett

Workplace mediation: The participant experience

New iROWE research investigates the perceptions and experiences of participants in workplace mediation. The project explored why and when disputants participated in mediation; their views of the effectiveness of mediation and the sustainability of outcomes. It also examined the broader impact of mediation on the individuals and organisations involved.

This research provides crucial insights into mediation processes and outcomes. While it identifies a number of positive benefits, it also underlines the impact on those who participate and points to the complexity of the issues that mediators confront and the ambiguity of consequent outcomes. In doing this it suggests that organisations and mediation providers need to ensure that participants are supported and also that careful consideration is given to when mediation is used and how it is designed. Furthermore, this small study highlights the need for more detailed research which not only seeks to assess the longer term sustainability and consequences of mediated settlements but also explores the way in which mediation interacts with conventional disputes procedures and broader processes of conflict management.

For further information about the project please contact Gemma Wibberley

This research was kindly sponsored by Acas and the report is now available on their website:

Award winning teaching and learning resources on conflict management

Congratulations to iROWE's Tony Bennett, who came 2nd in the 2013 Teaching and Learning Prize Winners from the internationally renowned University Forum for Human Resource Development (UFHRD).

His learning and conflict resources will be invaluable for managers seeking an alternative way of successfully managing conflict in the workplace. Tony’s materials are available as below:

iROWE staff present at the Management History Research Group (MHRG) conference

'The MHRG is an annual, friendly and informal gathering concerning management history (broadly defined), including ideas affecting the management history community of researchers’ (Bill Cooke, Lancaster University Management School). This year there were keynote contributions from Professor Gibson Burrell (Leicester University) and Professor John Wilson (Newcastle University)

IROWE was very pleased to provide two speakers at this important international event that showcases the on-going and increasing relevance of management and business history for today’s practitioners and researchers. Both papers were well-received by delegates.

Ruth Slater delivered a critical reflection on the long, complex and challenging process CIPD undertook in order to achieve Chartered status entitled ‘A clash of intent: The case of the Privy Council and the occupational association for personnel management in Britain, the Institute of Personnel Management (IPM) 1968-2000.

Tony Bennett’s paper reflected on the lessons for management through a historical analysis of the creation of UNISON, twenty years ago this month, in terms of the drivers for, and challenges and outcomes of merging three organisations in the creation of a union with over 1.3 million members.


iROWE’s ESRC seminar series makes the news


iROWE’s ESRC seminar series ‘Reframing Resolution - Managing Conflict and Resolving Individual Employment Disputes in the Contemporary Workplace’ was featured in Personnel Today this week.

Ed Sweeney (Acas) and Richard Saundry (iROWE, Plymouth University) discussed the key topics that emerged from our recent series. They argued that “conflict is an inevitable feature of organisational life, but too often it is pushed down the business agenda”. In particular they called for senior managers to recognise the problems that disputes can cause in their organisations, and to take action to enable early and effective resolution of disputes.

From the series, strategic steps organisations can take to improve their handling of workplace conflict were identified, such as: “ensure that conflict resolution is seen as a core competency for managers”; “ invest in new and innovative approaches to managing conflict”; and “building positive relationships with trade unions and/or employee representatives”

The article “Is it time to see conflict management as a strategic issue?” is available now from Personnel Today, and was released 1st October 2013.


iROWE research on workplace conflict features in Acas’s ‘Employment Relations Comment’

The latest Acas ‘Employment Relations Comment’ explores iROWE research into workplace conflict.

Richard Saundry and Gemma Wibberley compiled a thematic analysis of their Acas funded case studies into individual disputes and their resolution at work, which has just been published.

Adrian Wakeling, Acas Senior Policy Adviser cites the research to highlight the challenges for frontline managers in handling workplace conflict and the need for an improvement in how organisations resolve disputes.

For the Acas ‘Employment Relations Comment’ piece: Wakeling, A. (2014) Plugging the confidence gap? Changing perceptions of conflict at work, Acas, May

For the thematic analysis: Saundry, R. and Wibberley, G. (2014) Workplace Dispute Resolution and the Management of Individual Conflict —A Thematic Analysis of Five Case Studies Acas: 06/14,

Workplace mediation in Higher Education: A sectoral approach to dispute resolution


The findings of a new study of workplace mediation in the university sector by Tony Bennett are discussed in the latest issue of Personnel Review. Interviews were conducted with a cross section of key players in mediation from a sample of universities in the North of England.

The key findings of the research suggest that whilst there are many similarities with other organisations in terms of the rationale for and management of mediation in the workplace, there are also some sector specific variables that inform that practice. These include:

  • The ethos of the sector,
  • The nature of the academic labour process
  • A propensity to network with others within the sector


Courses and Postgraduate Study

 iROWE staff are involved in teaching on a wide range of courses in HRM, Leadership, Strategy and Enterprise, Marketing, PR, International Business, Retail and Business Studies including:


PGCert research methods




BA (Hons) Business Studies

BA (Hons) Business & Management

BA/ BSc Business Joints

BA (Hons) Business Administration

HRM Pathway lead

MSc Business & Management



BA(Hons) International Business

BA (Hons) Global Business Management


BA (Hons) Retail Management

PGCert Business Research Methods

BSc (Hons) Fire & Leadership Studies

iROWE staff also supervise PhD students across diverse research topics that explore key issues in organisations, employment and work, current students include:

Greg Allen
Expatriate management from a postcolonial perspective

Suleiman Babagana
Processes, Perceptions and Politics: An evaluation of performance management for academics in Nigerian higher education institutions

Gwen Boothby
Organisational dynamics, occupational community and the search for workforce diversity

Virginia Branney
Workplace mediation and trade unions: Friends or foes? A study of trade unions' attitudes and experiences


Rozina Chohan
An evaluation of inter-organisational identity theft knowledge sharing in the UK retail sector


Robert Dobek
An analysis of the impact of experiences with the dominant group(culture) on job performance of employees with different sociobiological backgrounds in a culturally diverse organizational settings

Meaghan Grabrovaz
Skills forecasting in the nuclear industry

David Hanley
Managing disability in the workplace

Louise McArdle
An evaluation of trade union membership in processes of identity construction

Kevin Ruck
Rethinking internal communication measurement?

Amer Khan Shehzad
The role of employee representatives during downsizing initiatives

Tara Styles
An exploration of the specialised service provision for BME women who have experienced domestic violence with reference to three support provides in the North West of England

Tony Thornton
Is it still good to talk? The changing nature of trade union representative in the telecommunications industry

Keith Tomlinson
Discipline and grievance procedures: HRM - friend or foe?

If you are interested in undertaking a PhD with iROWE staff please contact Mitch Larson or Steve Willcocks


Advisory Board

The iROWE advisory board provides guidance and support to the institute, and we are very grateful for their ongoing participation. The members represent a cross-section of our stakeholders and assist in ensuring our research is relevant, timely and of interest to the wider community. Currently our members are as follows, with profiles available where highlighted:

Bill Adams, Regional Secretary, Yorks and Humber TUC  (.doc, 99KB)

Karen Swindley, Assistant Director, HR and OD, NHS 

Frank Hont, Regional Secretary, UNISON

Kathryn Earl, Employee Relations Manager, Military Aircraft Systems, BAE Systems

Mike Green, HR Director for Protective Coatings & Marine EMEA (Europe Middle East & Africa), Leighs Paints a Sherwin-Williams Company  (.doc, 14KB)

David Baker, Federation of Small Business  (.doc, 25KB)

John Crawley, John Crawley Mediation  (.doc, 1231KB)

Peter Monaghan, Area Director, Acas, North West  (.doc, 3268KB)

iROWE Newsletters

May 2016 newsletter (.pdf 2MB)

November 2015 newsletter (.pdf 1MB)

May 2015 newsletter (.pdf 1MB)

November 2014 newsletter (.pdf 1.17MB)

May 2014 newsletter (.pdf 2MB)

November 2013 newsletter (.pdf 1MB)

April 2013 newsletter (.pdf 1MB)

November 2012 newsletter (.pdf 2MB )

May 2012 newsletter (.pdf 915KB)

November 2011 newsletter (.pdf 865KB)

May 2011 newsletter (.pdf 651KB)

November 2010 newsletter (.pdf 557KB)

Additional Information

Join iROWE

iROWE brings together academics, managers, HR professionals, union representatives and policy makers. If you would like to be part of this exciting institute and kept at the forefront of research then become an ASSOCIATE MEMBER. This FREE membership is open to all those with a professional interest in organisations, work or employment. Benefits include: research e-newsletter, regular free seminars by key speakers in the field, consultancy opportunities for your organisation, and networking. To join just email Gemma Wibberley at :

To find about more about iROWE and its activities, contact:
Gemma Wibberley
Tel: 01772 894674
email :

Related Projects

'Reframing Resolution - Managing Individual Workplace Conflict' - ESRC seminar series - Richard Saundry and Gemma Wibberley

‘Research into the Attrition of Union Learning Representatives ‘–TUC – Tony Bennett, Richard Saundry and Alison Hollinrake,

‘Evaluation of Unison Organising Initiatives’ – National Union funded- Richard Saundry, Tony Bennett, and Gemma Wibberley

‘Exploring the relationship between union initiated learning in the workplace and the reduction of conflict within organisations’ - Universities Forum for HRD and TUC Unionlearn North West- Tony Bennett

‘Piloting a CPD model for mediation training in the legal sector’ – UCLAN Innovation voucher – Tony Bennett

‘Knowledge Network 4 Business’ – ESRC- Richard Saundry (Co-investigator)

Douglas Martin is collaborating with Dr Mona Fineide and colleagues from Østfold University College in Norway on an examination of the impact of lean working within the public sector.

Research into the everyday practices, behaviours and discourse of HR professionals - David Vickers, Ruth Slater and Emma Thirkell

Examining general practitioner engagement with clinical commissioning – funding details remain confidential at present – Ian Ashman & Steve Willcocks

The face-to-face delivery of downsizing decisions – funded by Acas – Ian Ashman

Emma Thirkell is currently working in partnership with Lancashire Teaching Hospitals to explore the role of leaders within the Trust during organisation change.

Emma Thirkell and Mark Robinson (University of St Andrews) - Assessing the impact of Lean training and Rapid Improvement Events, and how employees use their new skills within their roles.