The School of Organisations, Economy and Society are particularly interested in reading research proposals in the following topics:


  • Evaluation in education and labour economics
    There is an increasing use of quantitative techniques to evaluate the effectiveness of policy measures/reforms in the areas of education and labour.
  • International trade, investment and integration
    The Brexit process has highlighted the importance of understanding the impact of both the integration and disintegration of trade blocks. Moreover, trade deals very often go hand-in-hand with investment agreements. The picture is further complicated by projects such as the Chinese-led Belt and Road Initiative, which operates like a trade deal but without the detailed rules set out in an agreement. 
  • The impact of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) on wages, working conditions, and knowledge transfer in low or middle income countries
    There is an ongoing and often contradictory debate surrounding the contribution of FDI to the economies of low and middle income countries. This usually covers a variety of dimensions, including the impact that FDI has on wages and working conditions of host countries, and the FDI potential for knowledge transfer. The debate is often divided between the media and anti-sweatshop campaign message, pointing to a largely negative role of Multinational Corporations and FDI, and the academic literature which aims to contextualise the impact of FDI and explore its various dynamics.
  • Health systems in low and middle income countries
    Many countries around the world experience challenges related to the capacity and outreach of their public health sector. At the same time, there is a coexistence of their indigenous and biomedical health-care systems. This has roots in and implications for users’ access to health services, while it carries both risks and potential for the quality of health-care provided. A number of countries have undertaken policy efforts to coordinate the two medical systems in a way that improves overall national health-care provision.
  • Local Development Impact of CSR 
    The research and literature on CSR has developed very recently and it is often divisive. The so called Bottom of the Pyramid approach identifies developmental potential in market-led initiatives including CSR. On the other hand, a more structuralist view sees dangers in CSR interventions who do not coordinate their provisions of goods, infrastructure, and services with local and national governance institutions.

Other Economics areas include:

  • Applied microeconomics and macroeconomics
  • Urban and regional economics
  • Entrepreneurship (Quantitative)
  • Emerging Economies and Monetary Policy
  • Employment and Education Economics (Micro Econometric Methods)
  • Labour Economics
  • Policy Evaluation
  • Innovation Economics
  • Organisational Economics
  • Econometric Methodology
  • Econometric Theory Financial Econometrics
  • Volatility
  • Long-Memory Time Series
  • Semi-Nonparametric and Continuous-Time Methods
  • Inflation Regimes and Persistence and Phillips Curve Models
  • Inequality
  • Poverty and Microfinance in Mena Countries
  • Foreign Direct Investment
  • External Debt Management
  • Budget Deficit Financing
  • Financial Risk Management
  • Development Policy Management
  • Political Economy of Development
  • Global Value Chain Analysis
  • Natural Resource Economics


  • Ethnic minority, female, and young entrepreneurs
  • Small and medium businesses
  • Entrepreneurship education
  • International entrepreneurship (start-ups and SMEs internationalisation)
  • Entrepreneurial ecosystems and innovation ecosystems
  • Regional Innovation Systems
  • Marketing capabilities and entrepreneurial marketing
  • Entrepreneurship pedagogy
  • Rural small business innovation (especially Malaysia and Ireland)
  • Family business succession
  • Innovation resistance
  • Farming ethics
  • Design and innovation
  • Entrepreneurial cognitive logics in service innovation
  • Value chains and SMEs or start-ups
  • Specialism in entrepreneurship in the Chinese context.

Human Resources Management

  • Diversity management: Interest in studies focusing on diversity at the workplace, organisational diversity management, equality, inclusion, intersectionality, gender pay, age and gender diversity in male-dominated environments such as STEMM, in UK and European contexts. Research proposals on diversity in Science and Innovation in Agriculture would also be welcomed.
  • Employment relations: Interest in studies on employee relations in general, trade unionism, conflict management, organisational justice, in a global context. Especially proposals around European Employment Relations: employment conditions, industrial relations and wage relations and vocational education and training across Europe.
  • International and comparative HRM: Interest in studies focusing of HRM functions in international or comparative contexts, particularly talent management, performance management, management development and expatriate management.
  • Green HRM
  • Digital transformation of work and HRM
  • Organisation Behaviour
  • Employee Relations
  • Reward Management
  • Construction Management
  • Construction labour history, in particular of direct labour and including oral labour history
  • Comparative Employee Relations
  • HRM and pedagogy

The Centre for the Study of the Production of the Built Environment

  • Making a living: building industry workers in Britain c.1945-c.1990.
    Unlike manufacturing sectors the building industry was never the focus of any intensive sociological investigations in the post-war period, resulting in a dearth of historical data on this complex sector. This project will explore the lives of building industry workers, in both private and public sector employment, through an analysis of their social, work, cultural and political affiliations. The role of women and other minority groups in the sector is also under-researched and is an area for particular focus. The research will make use of sources at the TUC Library Collections, local and regional archives, and new material originating from the Leverhulme oral history project.
  • The transformation of the employment relation: the example of the construction industry
    The employment relationship is in a process of rapid transformation, as evident from the changes in employer associations and trade unions and the range of different employment contracts – from agency and temporary labour, to self- and directly employed. No longer is there the expectation of staying with one employer for life, with huge implications for the structure of education and training provision and for employment rights and benefits and the status of unemployment. Nowhere are these changes more evident than in the construction sector in Europe. The project will involve a detailed study of these changes in different European countries, their implications for construction workers and professionals, and the impact of different policies and institutional arrangements to address them.
  • Vocational education and training for low energy construction
    That building envelopes rarely meet their design intent in terms of energy efficiency is well documented. This failure in performance has multi-disciplinary implications for professional and vocational education and training (VET), contracts of employment, payment systems and site conditions. We therefore propose PhD studies to explore appropriate VET provision for low energy construction and the impact of training, working conditions, teamwork and thermal literacy on the quality of building performance.
  • Climate Change and Work
    Following the partnership with York University, Toronto, Canada, ProBE is gaining increasing expertise and recognition in the area of climate change and work, in particular in relation to the role of trade unions and the strategies required for a just transition, locally, regionally, sectorally, nationally and globally. Given the importance of labour as an agent of change, detailed studies of interventions in relation to climate change and work where trade unions have played an important role provide important insights into how a just green transition can be achieved. Future research also needs to investigate the disparate green transitions paths in the construction sector in relation to industry structure and dynamics as well as national legislative, policy and economic contexts, encompassing the role played by the multitude of agents and organisations involved.