The Work, Employment, Organisation and Public Policy (WEOPP) research group – research statemtent

The Work, Employment, Organisations and Public Policy (WEOPP) academic group engages in research and engagement on a range of organisational forms and practices. It comprises approaches that are typically connected to wider social, political and cultural issues. Key research strengths are in the areas of:

  • the future of work (e.g. sociodigital futures, creative technologies, platform labour);
  • governance, social justice and decent work (e.g. industrial relations and groups on the fringe of labour markets);
  • community wealth building (e.g. the social and solidarity economy; community technology)
  • creative/participatory methodologies (e.g community economies, action research, feminist and decolonial approaches).

We work with diverse communities and stakeholders such as trade unions, third sector organizations, policymakers, businesses, and alternative forms of organizing, such as co-operatives, partnerships and activist groups. This work has achieved significant impact, engagement and development of public policy across contexts from local and regional economies to global institutions, for example Bristol City Council, Voscur, Wellspring Settlement, the NHS and local/regional social enterprises as well as ILO, United Nations, European Commission, Responsible Business Alliance and Electronics Watch.

We continue to build interdisciplinary research strengths across emerging ethical, social and cultural challenges in areas such as AI, inclusive economies, financialization, intersectionality, modern slavery, underemployment, citizen science and natural resource management, platform economy, and management consulting. Our research comprises strong links with University Institutes and Research Centres such as: Bristol Digital Futures Institute, ESRC Centre for Sociodigital Futures, Bristol Poverty Institute, Migration Mobilities Bristol and MyWorld, as well as The Cabot Institute for the Environment, and Brigstow Institute. Members of WEOPP (co)lead several of the Faculty’s research groups that act as interdisciplinary hubs for innovative research: Global Political Economy, Perspectives on Work, and Gender. The group also leads School research groups on: Action Research and Critical Inquiry in Organisations (ARCIO); Sustainable Production, Consumption and Inclusive Economy (SPICE); and Work Futures.

The WEOPP group comprises researchers at all stages of career with members publishing (in) international, impactful, well-regarded and highly cited journals and books, as well as impact-generating briefings through Policy Bristol. We also attract external support and funding from research councils (UKRI) such as the ESRC and other sources around impact acceleration, for example. We pride ourselves on our focus on interdisciplinarity and social science perspectives that connect the group to other Schools in the Faculty of Arts, Social Sciences and Law, Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of Health Sciences. We attract excellent doctoral researchers from across the globe who significantly contribute to building the research culture of the Business School.

We are committed to engaged research that benefits wider society and explores ethical and political questions of historical, contemporary and futures of work orientated towards creating a more socially just and environmentally sustainable world.

Find out more about academic groups at the University of Bristol Business School.

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