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Module Reading List

Economic Institutions (Labour), 2021/22, Semester 2
Charles Umney
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

**Key journals**

Work, employment and society. ISSN: 0950-0170

the Economic and Labour Relations Review ISSN: 1035-3046


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1. The meaning of work and employment relations

Applebaum, E. (2011) Macroeconomic policy, labour market institutions and employment outcomes Work, employment and society. ISSN: 0950-0170 25(4) 596–610

Beamish, TD and Biggart, NW (2006) 'Economic Worlds of Work: Uniting Economic Sociology with the Sociology of Work' in Korzynski, M., Hodson, R. and Edwards, P. Social theory at work ISBN: 0199285977 (hbk); 0199285985 (pbk); 9780199285976; 9780199285983 Oxford University Press: Oxford. pp233-271.

Blyton, P. and Noon, M. (2007) The Realities of Work, London: Palgrave, Chapter 2

Blyton, P. and Turnbull, P. (2004) The Dynamics of Employee Relations, London: Palgrave, Chapters 1 and 2

Edwards, P. (2003) Industrial relations : theory and practice, London: Blackwell, Chapter 1

Grint, K. (2005) The sociology of Work, Cambridge: Polity Press

Frayssé, O. (2014) 'Work and Labour as Metonymy and Metaphor' tripleC 12(2): 468–485.

Spencer, D. (2009) The political economy of work ISBN: 9780415457934 (hbk.); 9780203889978 (eb) Routledge: London. 

Spencer, D. (2011) 'Getting personnel: contesting and transcending the "new labour economics2' Work, employment and society. ISSN: 0950-0170 25(4) 596–610

Watson, T. (2003) Sociology, Work and Industry, 3rd edition, London: Routledge (earlier editions are also good), Ch 4. and 7


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2. Class and labour market 


Alberti, G., Bessa, I., Hardy, K., Trappmann, V., & Umney, C. (2018). In, against and beyond precarity: work in insecure times.  Work, Employment and Society32(3), 447-457.

Choonara, J. (2020). The Precarious Concept of Precarity. Review of Radical Political Economics52(3), 427-446.

Gallie, D., Felstead, A., Green, F., & Inanc, H. (2017). The hidden face of job insecurity. Work, employment and society31(1), 36-53.

Howell, C. (2005). Trade unions and the state: The construction of industrial relations institutions in Britain, 1890-2000. Princeton University Press. (especially Chapter One: Introduction: The Puzzle of British Industrial Relations)

Manolchev, C., Saundry, R., & Lewis, D. (2021). Breaking up the ‘precariat’: Personalisation, differentiation and deindividuation in precarious work groups. Economic and Industrial Democracy42(3), 828-851.

Savage, M., Devine, F., Cunningham, N., Taylor, M., Li, Y., Hjellbrekke, J., ... & Miles, A. (2013). A new model of social class? Findings from the BBC’s Great British Class Survey experiment. Sociology47(2), 219-250.

Standing, G. (2011). The precariat: the new dangerous class, Bloomsbury Academic. London, New York.

Standing, G. (2014). A precariat charter: From denizens to citizens. A&C Black.

Umney, C. (2018). Class Matters Inequality and Exploitation in 21st Century Britain. Pluto Press (UK). (particularly chapters two and three: available Open Access at


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3. Migration and labour mobility

Baxter-Reid, H. (2016) ‘Buying into the ‘good worker’ rhetoric or being as good as they need to be? The effort bargaining process of new migrant workers’, Human resource management journal. ISSN: 0954-5395, 26(3): 337-350

Cook, J, Dwyer, P, Waite, L (2011) ‘The experience of Accession 8 migrants in England: Motivation, work and agency’, International migration. ISSN: 0020-7985, 49(2): 54–79

McDowell, L. (2009) ‘Old and New European economic migrants: whiteness and managed migration policies’, Journal of ethnic and migration studies. ISSN: 1369-183x, 35(1): 19-36

Ciupijus, Z. (2011) ‘Mobile Central Eastern Europeans in Britain: successful EU citizens and disadvantaged labour migrants’, Work, employment and society. ISSN: 0950-0170, 25(3): 540-550

Lever, J. and Milbourne, P. (2017) ‘The structural Invisibility of Outsiders: The Role of Migrant Labour in the Meat-Processing Industry, Sociology. ISSN: 0038-0385, 51(2): 306-322

Morosanu, L. (2016) ‘Professional bridges: migrants’ ties with natives and occupational advancement’, Sociology. ISSN: 0038-0385, 50(2): 349-365

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4. Low pay, high pay and the minimum wage


Grimshaw, D. (2009). Can more inclusive wage‐setting institutions improve low‐wage work? Pay trends in the United Kingdom's public‐sector hospitals. International Labour Review148(4), 439-459.

Heery, E., Hann, D., & Nash, D. (2018). Trade unions and the real Living Wage: survey evidence from the UK. Industrial Relations Journal49(4), 319-335.

Machin, S. (2015, September). Real wage trends. In Understanding the Great Recession: From Micro to Macro Conference, Bank of England

Ram, M., Edwards, P., & Jones, T. (2007). Staying underground: Informal work, small firms, and employment regulation in the United Kingdom. Work and occupations34(3), 318-344.

Resolution Foundation (2018) Low Pay Britain Resolution Foundation


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5. The state and globalisation


Baccaro, L., & Howell, C. (2011). A common neoliberal trajectory: The transformation of industrial relations in advanced capitalism. Politics & Society39(4), 521-563.

Blyton, P., & Turnbull, P. (2004). The dynamics of employee relations. Macmillan International Higher Education.

Dickens, L. (2014). The C oalition government's reforms to employment tribunals and statutory employment rights—echoes of the past. Industrial Relations Journal45(3), 234-249.

Teague, P., & Donaghey, J. (2018). Brexit: EU social policy and the UK employment model. Industrial Relations Journal49(5-6), 512-533.

Edwards, P., & Wajcman, J. (2005). The politics of working life. Oxford University Press.

Hall, P and Soskice, D (2001) Varieties of capitalism Oxford University Press. Especially Introduction: available at

Novitz, T. (2017). Collective bargaining, equality and migration: the journey to and from Brexit. Industrial Law Journal46(1), 109-133.

Umney, C (2018) Class matters Pluto Press. Chapter 5- “Government”. Available at


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6. Employers

Barry, M. and Wilkinson, A. (2011) ‘Reconceptualising employer associations under evolving employment relations: countervailing power revisited’, Work, employment and society., 25(1):149-162

Blyton, P. and Turnbull, P. (2004) The Dynamics of Employee Relations, London: Palgrave, Ch. 4 Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva

Hollinshead, G. et al (1999) Employee Relations, London: Pitman Publishing

Legge, K. (1995) Human Resource Management: Rhetorics and Realities, London: Macmillan, Chapters 1&3

Sisson, K. and Marginson, P. (2003). `Management: Systems, Structures and Strategy’, in Edwards, P. (ed). Industrial relations : theory and practice, Ch. 7

Watson, T. (2001) Sociology, Work and Industry, 3rd edition, London: Routledge (earlier or later editions are also good), Ch. 7

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7. Labour organising and trade unions

Blyton, P. and Noon, M. (2007) The Realities of Work, London: Palgrave

Blyton, P. and Turnbull, P. (2004) The Dynamics of Employee Relations, London: Palgrave, Ch. 5


Dølvik, J. E., & Waddington, J. (2004). Organizing marketized services: are trade unions up to the job?. Economic and Industrial Democracy25(1), 9-40.

Freeman, R and Medoff, J (1979). ‘The two faces of unionism’, The Public Interest, No. 57, Fall, pp 69-93

Heery, E., Kelly, J., & Waddington, J. (2003). Union revitalization in Britain.  European Journal of Industrial Relations, 9(1), 79-97.

Howell, C. (2005). Trade unions and the state: The construction of industrial relations institutions in Britain, 1890-2000. Princeton University Press

Kelly, J. (2004). Social partnership agreements in Britain: labor cooperation and compliance. Industrial relations: a journal of economy and society, 43(1), 267-292.

Kirton, G. (2017). From ‘a woman’s place is in her union’to ‘strong unions need women’: changing gender discourses, policies and realities in the union movement. Labour & Industry: a journal of the social and economic relations of work27(4), 270-283.

Novitz, T. (2020). COVID-19 and Labour Law: United Kingdom. Italian Labour Law e-Journal13(1S)

Simms, M., & Holgate, J. (2010). TUC Organizing Academy 10 years on: what has been the impact on British unions?. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 21(3), 355-370.

Smith, P., & Morton, G. (2001). New Labour’s reform of Britain’s employment law: the devil is not only in the detail but in the values and policy too. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 39(1), 119-138

Waddington, J (2016) “Employment Relations in the United Kingdom” in Abamber et al, eds “International and Comparative Employment Relations SAGE

Holgate, J. (2015). Community organising in the UK: A ‘new’approach for trade unions?. Economic and industrial democracy. ISSN: 0143-831x36(3), 431-455

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8. Employment relations and economic performance

Freeman, R and Medoff, J (1984). ‘The two faces of unionism’, The public interest., No. 57, Fall, pp 69-93

Kaufman, B. (2003) ‘High level of employee involvement at Delta Air Lines’, Human resource management., 42(2): 175-190

Nolan, P. and O’Donnell, K. (2003). ‘Industrial Relations, HRM and Performance’, in Edwards, P (ed.) Industrial relations : theory and practice, Blackwell

Procter, S. and Rowlinson, M. (2012) ‘From the British worker question to the impact of HRM: understanding the relationship between employment relations and economic performance’, Industrial relations journal., 43(1): 5–21

Ramsey, H., Scholarios, D and Harley, B (2000). ‘Employees and High Performance work systems: testing inside the black box’, British Journal of Industrial Relations., 38(4): 510-31

Truss, C. (2001) Complexities and controversies in linking HRM with organisational outcomes. Journal of management studies.. 38:8, 1121-1149

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9. The changing labour market and the future of work

Autor, D., Katz, L.F., Krueger, A.B., 1998. Computing inequality: have computers changed the labor market? Q. The quarterly journal of economics. ISSN: 0033-5533. 113 (4), 1169–1213.

Autor, D., Levy, F., Murnane, R.J., 2003. The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration. The quarterly journal of economics. ISSN: 0033-5533. 118 (4), 1279–1333.

Brynjolfsson, E. and McAfee, A. The second machine age : work, progress, and prosperity in a time of brilliant technologies ISBN: 9780393350647; 0393350649.

Frey, C. and Osbourne, M. (2017) 'The future of employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation?' Technological forecasting and social change. ISSN: 0040-1625 114: 254–280.

Grint and Woolgar (1992) ‘Guns, and Roses: What's Social about Being Shot? Science, technology, & human values. ISSN: 0162-2439 17 (3): 366-380.

Hodgson, G. (2017) 'The Future of Work in the Twenty-First Century' Journal of economic issues. ISSN: 0021-3624 L(1)

Mason, Paul (2015). PostCapitalism : a guide to our future , London, Allen Lane

Nolan, P, and Slater, G. (2003). `The Labour Market: History, Structure and Prospects’ in Edwards, P (ed). Industrial relations : theory and practiceISBN: 0631222588 (pbk : alk. paper ; hbk : alk. paper); 1405142022 (electronic book); 063122257X (2nd edition), Ch. 3

Nolan, P., and Slater, G. (2010), `Visions of the future, the Legacy of the past: Demystifying the weightless economy’, Labor history., vol. 51 (1), 7-27

Snierck, N. and Williams, A. 2015. 'Inventing the future : postcapitalism and a world without work ISBN: 9781784780968 paperback; 1784780960 paperback' Verso, London.

Spencer, D. (2018) 'New Technology, Work and Employment'

Spencer, D. 2017. ‘Work in and beyond the Second Machine Age: the politics of production and digital technologies’ Work, employment and society. ISSN: 0950-0170 31(1) 142-152.

Stanford, J. (2017) 'The resurgence of gig work: Historical and theoretical perspectives' the Economic and Labour Relations Review ISSN: 1035-3046 28(3) 382–40

Todoli-Signes, A. (2017) The ‘gig economy’: employee, self-employed or the need for a special employment regulation? European Review of Labour and Research 23(2) 193–205

Gallie, D., Felstead, A., Green, F., & Inanc, H. (2017). The hidden face of job insecurity. Work, employment and society. ISSN: 0950-017031(1), 36-53.


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10. Training and skills formation


Booth, A. and Snower, D. (1996) Acquiring skills: market failures, their symptoms and policy responses Cambridge University Press, 1996 (Chs 1, 11, 15) (CH 1 in MINERVA – Reading)

Buchanan, J. et al. (2017) Introduction: Skills and Training: Multiple Targets, Shifting Terrain in Buchanan, J. et al The Oxford Handbook of Skills and Training Oxford Handbooks (ONLINE)

Green, F. (2016)  Skills Demand, Training and Skills Mismatch: A Review of Key Concepts, Theory and Evidence Future of Skills & Lifelong Learning Evidence Review, Government Office for Science

Grugulis, I. (2007)  Skills, training and human resource development: a critical text, Palgrave Macmillan (Chs 2, 5) (ONLINE)

Keep, E. (2017) Current challenges: Policy lessons and implications. The Oxford Handbook of Skills and Training, Oxford University Press, New York, pp.671-692. (ONLINE)

COVID and Skills

Bergfeld, M and Farris, S (2020)

Fernández-Reino, M., Sumption, M., Vargas-Silva, C. (2020) From low-skilled to key workers: the implications of emergencies for immigration policy, Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Volume 36, Issue Supplement_1, 2020, Pages S382–S396

Froud, J. et al. (2020) ‘(How) does productivity matter in the foundational economy?’ Local Economy, 35(4), pp. 316–336. doi: 10.1177/0269094220956952.

Curtis, J. (2020) The Value of Care workers,


Braverman, H. (1974) Labor and monopoly capital: The degradation of work in the twentieth century. NYU Press, 1998.

Busemeyer, M. R. and Trampusch, C. (2012) The political economy of collective skill formation Oxford University Press (Ch 1) (ONLINE)

Cooney, R. and Stuart, M. (2012) Trade unions and workplace training: issues and international perspectives  Routledge (Ch 1) (ONLINE)

Crouch, C. (2006) ‘Skill formation systems’, in Ackroyd et al, S. The Oxford handbook of work and organization. Oxford University Press (Ch 4) (ONLINE)

Crouch, C. and Sako, M. (2010) Are skills the answer? : the political economy of skill creation in advanced industrial countries ISBN: 0199241112

Gleeson, S. and Keep, E. (2004) Voice without accountability, the changing relationships between employers, the State and Education in England, Oxford Review of Education. ISSN: 0305-4985, (30-1)

Goos, M., & Manning, A. (2007). Lousy and lovely jobs: The rising polarization of work in Britain. The review of economics and statistics. , 89(1), 118-133

Green, F. (2013) Skills and skilled work : an economic and social analysis ISBN: 9780199642854 (hbk.), OUP (Chapter 1) (ONLINE)

Keep, E et al (2010) Skills policy and the displacement of industrial relations in Colling, T and Terry, M. Industrial relations: theory and practice.. 3rd ed. Wiley-Blackwell (Ch 17) (ONLINE)

Rainbird, H (2000) Training in the workplace: critical perspectives on learning at work  Macmillan, 2000 (Chs 1, 8, 10) (ONLINE)

Thelen, K. (2004) How institutions evolve : the political economy of skills in Germany, Britain, the United States, and Japan. Cambridge University Press (ONLINE)

Warhurst, C., Keep, E. and Grugulis, I. (2004) The skills that matter Palgrave (ONLINE)

Wilkinson, A., Redman, T. and Dundon, T. (2017) Contemporary Human Resource Management, 5th edition, Prentice Hall (Ch 5) (ONLINE)


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11. The course review

This list was last updated on 29/04/2022