I’m a Lecturer in the sociology of work at the University of Birmingham. At Birmingham I teach the undergraduate module ‘Employee Relations’ and the Masters module ‘International Perspectives on Industrial Relations’. I am also a Research Associate at the Oxford Internet Institute, a member of the iLabour project and the Communication Officer for BUIRA – the UK’s main association for those researching the politics of work.
About my research
As a sociologist of work and employment, my research focuses on the changing nature of labour relations and labour markets. My most recent research has investigated worker voice, organisation and collective action in the gig economy as part of the iLabour project at the University of Oxford. Previously I researched the impact of platform work and the gig economy on Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia as part of the “Microwork and Virtual Production Networks in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia” project.
I completed my PhD at the University of Cambridge Department of Sociology where I also worked as Research Associate on an ESRC impact acceleration project to evaluate potential ways of reducing workplace stress resulting from insecure scheduling.
My PhD thesis (2016) “The flexible worker: workplace control in the 21st Century” focused on the changing nature of flexible and insecure forms of work, such as zero hour contracts. In particular, I investigated both the impact of precarious scheduling on workers’ well-being and power relations in the workplace. A book based on my thesis ‘Despotism on Demand: How Power Operates in Flexible Workplaces’ will be published by Cornell University Press on May 15th 2020.
I also have a long standing interest in the relationships between industrial relations, union renewal and emerging forms of workplace representation and new patterns of class and inequality. I am passionate about using social science to move towards a more sustainable, egalitarian and democratic society.
I received my MPhil in Sociology from the University of Cambridge (2011) with distinction and a First Class BSc (hons) degree in Politics and Sociology, from Aston University (2009).
Awards, Scholarships and Grants
2009: Prize: Aston University School of Languages and Social Sciences Best Student (value: £120).
2010: Scholarship: ESRC 1+3 Studentship at the University of Cambridge (value: £73,000).
2013 Scholarship: ESRC oversees fieldwork research funding (value: £1,272).
2013 Prize: Best PhD paper at Work, Employment and Society 2013 Conference (value: £500 bursary + £150 prize).
2013 Grant: University of Cambridge Overseas Fieldwork Funding (value: £1,340).
2014 Grant: Cambridge Political Economy Society Trust Supplementary Funding (value: £6,916).
2015 Grant: ESRC Impact Acceleration Award based upon my PhD research (Principle Investigator: Brendan Burchell) (value: £9821.34).
2017 Prize: University of Oxford Reward and Recognition Scheme Award for Excellence (value: one pay grade increment approx. +£1100 per year).
I can be contacted at the University of Birmingham’s Department of Management. I also regularly tweet and blog new publications.