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Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations Research Cluster

The Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations cluster focuses on the study of employment relations in the public and private sector, labour markets and pay determination, career development and mentoring. The cluster is headed by Professor Roger Seifert BA (Oxon) MSc (Econ) PhD (London) who is also the past president of the British Universities Industrial Relations Association (BUIRA), a council member of the World Association of Political Economy (WAPE), and visiting professor at universities in Zimbabwe, Malawi and China.


  • Promotion of research directed at improving labour relations in the public and private sectors
  • The promotion of international collaborative research into the determinants and consequences of labour management and change
  • The promotion of inter-disciplinary research on public sector management
  • Engagement with the wider business community to promote better employment practices


The cluster includes research-active staff and doctoral students from the Business School, as well as researchers from health, social work, policing and education. Current research projects are identified below. Researchers currently work with a range of organisations including the national unions (UNISON, Fire Brigade Union, PCS), NHS trusts and police forces in the West Midlands. We regularly host seminars, including the BUIRA public sector study group. 

Research areas

  • The impact of government cuts on the police, fire and ambulance services
  • Union responses to public sector reform
  • Changes in labour management and labour process
  • Efficiency drives in the civil service
  • Race discrimination in local government
  • Comparative developments in UK and Chinese hospitals
  • The impact of organisational change
  • Labour flexibility and team-working
  • Mid-life career change