I have worked in the Education Sector for over 30 years. I started my teaching career in Further Education teaching Politics, and worked in three colleges at senior management level before moving to the University of Wolverhampton Business School as a Senior Lecturer in HR.
I took two years out of teaching in 1999 to develop a management development consultancy; Crosby Management Training in Birmingham. When joining the University I initially taught on HRD courses and became the MSc HRD course leader, but then moved into HRM becoming a generalist.
I have been at the University since 2001 and in that time have been a Principal Lecturer for HR Portfolio Development, and for the last five years Head of HR and Leadership in the School. Last year I successfully led the CIPD revalidation of the new HR professional standards.
I have extensive International experience having delivered HR management courses for 20 years all over the world. Over the last two years I was a consultant to FRONTEX; the EU Border agency. The EU project consisted of developing a degree and masters course for Border Management. Last year I was awarded an EU transversal project.
I specialise in cross cultural knowledge transfer from a HRD perspective, and have recently completed a PhD on developing conceptualisations of knowledge transfer in a cross cultural context. I teach on a range of generalist HR topics including, Action Learning, Organisational Change, Leadership, People Management and Development, Personal Development Planning, International HR, and HR in the EU. I have worked extensively on CPD consultancy courses, and more recently have delivered courses to Dudley Community Services, Wolverhampton Council, Assa Abloy, and completed Index Voucher Scheme projects. With my colleague I am currently writing a Leadership Development programme for Wolverhampton NHS Hospital Trust and Wolverhampton City Council.
I am interested in cross cultural knowledge development from a HRD perspective, and have recently completed a PhD on developing conceptualisations of knowledge transfer in a cross cultural context. My research focuses on organisational development through collaborative co- inquiry and in particular on the use of critical reflective practice, and the different methods to capture this, i.e. the use of journals, action learning, focus groups etc.
I have delivered several EU consultancy projects directly linked to my research I and have applied these to my teaching. I have other research interests in curriculum development and course design.
Areas of supervision: Organisational change and development, critical reflective practice.
Fellow Member (FCIPD)- Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)
Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)
Member of the University Forum for HRD (UFHRD
- PhD University of Wolverhampton Business School.
- MSc Human Resource Development, University Of Wolverhampton
- PG Diploma Human Resource Development, University Of Wolverhampton.
- PGCE, University Of Wolverhampton
- D32/33/34/36 Assessor/Verifier Awards, City & Guilds
- BA (Hons) Politics & Law, Birmingham Polytechnic
- Cert Ed Secondary Education, Dartford Teacher Training College
Gill Mclure, W. & Firth, J. (2016) Managing People at Work: The Travel Industry in P. Robinson, P.Fallon, H.Cameron,J.Crotts (eds) Operations Management in the Travel Industry. Oxford: CAB International.
Firth, J. (2011) 'Organisation Development through collaborative co inquiry'. Presented at the University of Wolverhampton Business School Conference, January 2011.
Firth, J. (2008) 'Developing competencies for the affective domain of learning'. British and Eastern European Psychology Conference, University Westminster, London.
Firth, J. (2007) 'Models of knowledge transfer in a cross cultural context’ 2nd International Conference on Change, Prato, Italy.
Firth, J. (2007) ‘Enabling critical reflective practice’. Presented at the 8th International Conference on HRD Research and Practice Across Europe, Leeds Met.
Firth, J. (2006) ‘Emerging conceptualisation of knowledge transfer in a transitional society’. Presented at the 7th International Conference on HRD, Tilberg, Holland.
Firth, J. (2004) ‘A case study analysis of an organisations strategic HR approach to integration into the EU: the Romanian Border Police’. Presented at the 5th International Conference on HRD, Limerick.
Firth, J. (2003) ‘Can the HR Practitioner Work as a Moral Change Agent Within an Organisation’. Presented at the European Business Ethics Conference, Selwyn College Cambridge.
Firth, J. (2002) The Role of the HRD Practitioner: Opportunity or Deception’. Presented at the HRM in a Changing World Conference, Oxford Brookes.
I teach on a range of generalist HR topics including, Action Learning, Organisational Change, Leadership, People Management and Development, Personal Development Planning, International HR, Appraisal training, Performance management all at PG masters level. I can teach any of the CIPD modules.
I have designed and taught modules at level 4/5/6.
I have an interest in teaching qualitative research methods – Action research, collaborative inquiry, use of journals in research, a Knowledge transfer in a cross cultural context.
I have supervised PG and UG dissertations.
I have a degree and teaching qualification in politics and law and can teach to A level.
I have extensive experience of teaching in an International and corporate context.
Corporate and community engagement
I am a member of the CIPD Black Country Branch. This gives the opportunity to link with local HR professionals. I attend the CIPD local branch Student Awards every year where UWBS students are regularly nominated for regional awards.
I was a member of the Wolverhampton Business Breakfast Group. This network has given me the opportunity to speak at local Rotary events. I was in 1999 Director of a Management Development Consultancy and until recently an Executive Director.
I have worked extensively on CPD consultancy courses over the last 20 years, and more recently have delivered courses to Dudley Community Services, Wolverhampton Council, Assa Abloy, and completed Index Voucher Scheme projects. With my colleague I am currently writing a Leadership Development programme for Wolverhampton NHS Hospital Trust and Wolverhampton City Council.
I am a member of my local Parish Council and also a nominated member of the Deanery Standing Committee for Walsall.
International corporate work -2008 EU Research Project with Frontex. Consultancy on the design of a degree and Masters in Management of Borders
2008 EU Research Project granted through PHARE for the implementation of a Common Core Curriculum for Schengen Countries
External academic roles
- Currently an External Examiner at Glasgow Caledonian University for MA HRM.
- External Examiner at Plymouth University Business School for CIPD PG HR Courses including MA HRM. (Tenure completed Jan 2015).
- External Examiner Southampton Solent University 2014-2014
- External Examiner University of Gloucester, PG HR Courses 2005-2009