MIRS - Meetings Archive 2020-21

Please click on the (plus) or (minus) signs or on the meeting title to show/hide more information about each meeting.

Managing organisational culture: Lessons from Covid-19 and Black Lives Matter Thursday October 15, 2020 (6-7.30pm)

Arthur Priest Memorial Lecture/ Joint Meeting with the CIPD and the Work and Equalities Institute, University of Manchester

Professor Emmanuel Ogbonna

Professor of Management and Organization, Cardiff University

Emmanual Ogbonna, Professor of Management and Organization at Cardiff University, will present on his research, followed by Wilson Wong, Head of Insight & Futures/ Interim Head of Research at the CIPD as a discussant. A short description of the meeting is below - to attend, please sign up on Eventbrite via this link and the joining details for the meetings will follow:

Book Here

"My talk will look at existing understanding of culture management in the context of recent developments in organisations and society that have been brought about by Covid-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement. The aim will be to show how these different but linked environmental forces have helped to destroy any remaining credibility of the culture management school, and to highlight the implications for theorists and practitioners."

Emmanuel Ogbonna

Covid at Work: the rich get richer, the poor get sick Thursday 4 November 2020 (6-7.30pm)

Meeting held jointly with the Work and Equalities Institute, University of Manchester.

Steve Tombs, Professor of Criminology at the Open University, and Janet Newsham of the Hazards Campaign

In this presentation, Janet Newsham and Steve Tombs will discuss aspects of the ongoing health crisis as it impacts upon health and safety at work. Steve Tombs will begin by providing the broader and longer-term contexts of the Government management of the crisis, with specific reference on already existing trajectories in terms of social protection in general and health and safety at work in particular. Janet Newsham will then discuss various aspects of these trends and trajectories as they affected workers and workplaces during the crisis, and continue to impact detrimentally as the UK Government seeks to restore ‘business as usual’. The net effect of the processes outlined here is to further exacerbate pre-crisis economic and social inequalities.

Janet Newsham is Chair of the national Hazards Campaign and Coordinator at Greater Manchester Hazards Centre. She has worked in Trade Union Education and been a trade union activist for nearly 40 years.

Steve Tombs is Professor of Criminology at The Open University. He has a long-standing interest in the incidence, nature and regulation of corporate and state crime and harm. He has long worked with the Hazards, and is a Trustee and Board member of Inquest.

An Eventbrite page and Zoom link will be available for this meeting nearer the time.

Employment Relations in the unregulated economy? The spatial dynamics that shape the presence of hand car washes and nail barsThursday 4 February 2021 (6-7.30pm)

Ian Clark, James Hunter, Richard Pickford and Huw Fearnall-Williams

Centre for Work, Informalisation and Place, Nottingham Trent University

Tickets available on Eventbrite. The event will be held on Zoom - you will receive the link when you register.

In this presentation, our aim is to improve understanding of non-compliance with labour market regulations in the unregulated informal economy, its high visibility and the permissiveness that surrounds it. Allied to this we draw on our methodological innovations from criminology and quantitative geography to understand the tolerance of unregulated practice at hand car washes and nail bars – where neighbourhood and class dynamics are a factor that inform regulator and consumer behaviour. One further point we aim to make in terms of employment relations approaches to ‘hard to reach workplaces’ is the necessity of going outside embedded approaches and methods. We will illustrate our talk with empirical material on hand car washes and nail bars in Greater Manchester.

Professor Ian Clark is a member of Nottingham Business School’s research leadership team; his research focuses on the impact of innovative business models on workers and worker interests. Ian edited Work, Employment and Society, 2014-2019 and has published on economic performance, American multinationals and the private equity business model.

Dr. James Hunter is Principal Lecturer in Public Policy at Nottingham Trent University. His research interests focus upon the spatial dimensions of victimisation risk and crime inequalities. Recent research has seen the development of neighbourhood-level community engagement, anti-social behaviour harm, and predictive burglary profiles that are widely used by police forces and other agencies across England.

Mr Richard Pickford is Knowledge Exchange and Impact Officer for the Nottingham Civic Exchange in Social Sciences at Nottingham Trent University. His research interests centre on unregulated informal Work, Social Networks, Place and Local Economies. Richard has published on the foundations of a good work city, mapping Nottingham's employment and ordinary working families in Nottingham and the UK.

Dr. Huw Fearnall-Williams is a Lecturer in organizational behaviour and HRM at Nottingham Business School. His current research interests include the modern-day resurgence of unregulated informal employment and business practices (e.g. hand car washes, nail bars, construction, small garment manufacturing) seeking to address questions of how these sectors can be effectively regulated.

A grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council supports CWIPs research and our work is part of The Modern Slavery, Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre. https://modernslaverypec.org

Work, Informalisation and Place


Industrial Relations and Labour Law: Recovery of a Shared Tradition? Thursday 18 March 2021, 6pm

Joint meeting with the Industrial Law Society

Ruth Dukes and Eleanor Kirk, University of Glasgow School of Law

Please register on Eventbrite. The event will be held on Zoom - you will receive the link when you register.

In the UK, the scholarly disciplines of industrial relations and labour law have common roots, above all in the pioneering work of Sidney and Beatrice Webb. Since the 1980s, the field, or fields, of study have been transformed, in part by complex and partially intertwined processes of ‘juridification’ and human resource managerialization. Notwithstanding the shared heritage of labour law and industrial relations, deepening disciplinary silos have meant that these processes have been studied, for the most part, in isolation from one another. Today the ‘fissuring’ and precarization of work suggests the need for a sociology, or economic sociology, of labour law that would bring together empirical study and normative legal reasoning to identify the kind of law that might help to create more secure and equitable working relations in a wide variety of work-settings. In our presentation, we trace the shared roots of the disciplines, considering both why they diverged and how a fruitful inosculation, or entwining, could again be cultivated. By way of an example, we discuss our own combined efforts to develop what we have called an ‘economic sociology of labour law’.

The Shrewsbury pickets and the struggle for justice, 1972-2021On Zoom: Thursday 6 May 2021, 6pm

On Tuesday 23 March, the Court of Appeal overturned the criminal convictions of the Shrewsbury 24, a group of trade unionists in the construction industry who were convicted and in some cases imprisoned on charges of unlawful assembly, conspiracy to intimidate, and affray following the 1972 national building workers strike.

A 47 year campaign for justice has resulted in the judgements being overturned, and on 6 May MIRS will be holding a meeting to mark this historic result.

Ralph Darlington, Professor Emeritus in Employment Relations, University of Salford (and the author of a chapter on the 1972 building workers strike in his co-authored book with Dave Lyddon, Glorious Summer), Eileen Turnbull (the researcher for the Shrewsbury 24 campaign who discovered all of the crucial evidence that saw the convictions overturned), and Terry Renshaw (one of the 24 pickets, who was convicted of unlawful assembly in 1973) will be speaking at the event.

The meeting will be held over Zoom at 6pm-7.30pm on 6 May – book now!

Why has organising in the UK not succeeded in union revitalisation?13 May 2021, 6pm

Shirley Lerner Memorial Lecture

Professor Jane Holgate

Professor of Work and Employment Relations, University of Leeds

This presentation will argue that unions must revisit their understanding of power in order to regain influence and confront capital. Drawing on two decades of research and organising experience, Jane Holgate examines the structural inertia of today’s unions from a range of perspectives: from strategic choice, leadership and union democracy to politics, tactics and the agency afforded to rank-and-file members. The talk will draw upon Jane’s forthcoming book, Arise. Power, Strategy and Union Resurgence.

In the midst of a neoliberal era of economic crisis and political upheaval, the labour movement stands at a crossroads. Union membership is on the rise, but the ‘turn to organising’ has largely failed to translate into meaningful gains for workers. There is considerable discussion about the lack of collectivism among workers due to casualisation, gig work and precarity, yet these conditions were standard in the UK when workers built the foundations of the 19th century trade union movement.

Drawing on history and case studies of unions developing and using power effectively, the presentation will argue that there is hope that unions can move beyond the pessimism that prevails in much of today’s union movement. By placing power analysis back at the heart of workers' struggle, Jane will argue that transformational change is not only possible, but within reach.

The meeting will be held over Zoom at 6pm-7.30pm on 13 May - book now!

Past Meetings...