March 2014 saw the announcement of no less than eleven (11) separate investments into projects within the broad area of work and employment. The small grants of up to £2,500 will further boost the School of Management’s profile in this area since it merged with the Centre for Labour Market Studies (CLMS).
Some of the released funding will be used to stimulate new areas of research such as Ian Clark’s research on car washes, Sarah Robinson and Elke Weik’s examination of the key actors and communities of practice in the developing market for English wine and Rutvica Andrijasevic’s exploration of the high-profile electronics manufacturer Foxconn’s Turkish-based operations. The funding will also be used to extend and develop work which is already under-way. Vanessa Beck and Glynne Williams will use the funding to help them look at the effects of performance management on older workers in the increasingly pressurised library sector,Stephen Wood will explore the experiences of young workers using the Workplace Employment Relations Study (WERS), Paul Brook, Bob Carter, Jo Grady and Will Green will undertake a small study of early career NHS clinicians and Chris Grocott and Jo Grady will explore the historical development of anarchism within trade unions in Gibraltar.
Not all of the funding will be used to generate primary research either: support has also been given for high impact dissemination activities such as Henrietta O’ Connor’s conference on research methods using paradata and marginalia. Similarly, John Goodwin has received funding to help support the upcoming conference that will focus on the groundbreaking work of the sociologist Norbert Elias while Martin Quinn and Richard Courtney have both been funded to attend the high profile and prestigious World Congress of the International Sociological Association to present their work on heritage in the age of austerity. The funding will also be used to research the experience of students in our teaching provision. Toward this end,Katharine Venter and Heidi Ashton will undertake a study comparing the experiences of campus-based and distance learning students which should provide interesting and important results for the School’s teaching practice.
All of these projects have clear objectives with many forming the basis of future research outputs in the form of papers, discussion documents and policy advice. Watch this space for updates as the projects progress.