Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management


People, Organisations and Work

Research in the Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management Subject Group focuses on the themes of People, Organisations and Work.  We publish regularly in high-ranked academic journals. The subject group also enjoys strong links with practitioner bodies, with members engaged in research collaborations with organisations such as the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and the Higher Education Academy (HEA). A regular publication – the HR Bulletin: Research and Practice – is produced from within the Subject Group. With contributions from managers, academics and students, it features research articles aimed at managers and HR practitioners.

We have particular research strengths in the following five areas (see below for further details):

  • HRM, global HR and leadership (including talent management)
  • Workplace learning and development
  • Employment relations
  • Business ethics and CSR
  • Organisation Studies

Follow us on Twitter for updates on our research activities.

We also publish a regular research blog.

Please contact the Research Lead Steve Williams if you want any more information about our research activities.

We actively encourage applications and proposals from individuals wishing to undertake postgraduate research (either full-time or part-time) on topics relating to people, organisations and work. Currently the subject group has around 20 research students, researching diverse topics including: managing volunteer labour; female labour in Saudi Arabia; the relationship and effect of career stage on workplace learning and its effectiveness; women and leadership; and employee engagement and well-being. We aim to provide a stimulating and supportive intellectual environment for researchers with staff and students working closely together to ensure a successful research outcome.

Our research degree students

Whether you already have a proposal you wish to discuss, or simply want to find out more about what's involved in undertaking a research degree in the Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management Subject Group, we look forward to hearing from you. Please contact Yvonne Rueckert for further information about research degrees, or if you have any questions.

Our Current Research 

HRM, Global HR and Leadership

The subject group’s research strengths include the topics of HRM, global HR and leadership, including talent management. James McCalman leads the Centre for Strategy and Leadership. His research interests include: ethical leadership challenges and the politics of change; leading large-scale organisational change; and leadership development and coaching. Karen Johnston's research interests are in the areas of public sector management and leadership. Her research covers aspects of organisational reforms and innovations, public-private-voluntary sector partnerships and gender equality. Hongqin Li’s research interests cover: (entrepreneurial) leadership, entrepreneurship, sense making, identity, reputation and Daoist philosophy. The research of Yi-Ling Lai focuses on HRD strategies and talent management, particularly how to enhance motivation and positive behavioural change through organisational learning activities and leadership development. Foteini Kravariti’s research interests include capacity building, cross-cultural management and talent management. She is particularly concerned with the impact of national and organisational culture on the implementation of talent management.The topic of global HR is a key focus of research in the subject group. Liza Howe-Walsh, for example, is looking at global leadership competencies, repatriation, self-initiated expatriation and HR policy. Emmanouil Papavasilieou’s focus is on inter-generational differences and their impacts on managing people and work dynamics within an international context. Jagiti Tanwar’s research interests include gender inequalities in labour markets and organizations; quantitative research methods, particularly event history analysis and regression models; and survey methods in developing countries. Meanwhile, Kajal Sharma’s research involves understanding the role of HRM in the Indian health care sector.

Workplace Learning and Development

The subject group also has research expertise in the area of workplace learning and development and HRD. Members play an active part in the Business and Education Research Group (BERG). Valerie Anderson’s research interests are: doctoral education and development; international human resource development; managerial coaching; and strategic HRD. She also explores reflective learning, leadership development and critical thinking to strengthen the personal development impact of business school education. Cheryl Brook’s research focuses on the practice of cross-cultural action learning; while Michele Towell has research interests in the areas of coaching, learning and development, change and performance management. 

Employment Relations

The subject group has a strong research interest in the field of employment relations, including international and comparative employment relations. It hosts a dedicated research cluster – the Portsmouth Employment Relations Network (PERN). Iona Byford’s research includes studies of union organising and attitudes of young workers towards trade unions. Peter Scott and Steve Williams research employment relations policy. Steve is also interested in the role of civil regulation in employment relations. Yvonne Rueckert’s research is concerned with international comparative employment relations and organization theory. She has a particular focus on the issue of international labour standards and the dialogue between the global unions and the international financial institutions (World Bank and IMF). 

Business Ethics and CSR 

Rui Yang’s research is on corporate community involvement behaviours in the context of the Chinese market. The research interests of Matthew Anderson focus on the intersection between civil society and business.  His main research outputs, to date, have investigated the role of the Fair Trade movement and have explored the key drivers behind the mainstreaming of an alternative business model.

Organisation Studies 

The research interests of Hamid Foroughi encompass ethnographic and narrative approaches to study change, resistance and politics in organisations, social memory and forgetting, and critical analysis of professionalisation discourse in civil society organisations. Lorenzo Todorow’s research focuses on the concept of dialogue. He is particularly interested in the philosophical aspects of dialogue theory, as well as in concrete applications of dialogue within cross-organisational collaborations for sustainable development.


Example of current research