Research students

Current research (PhD) students

Research student: Eve Ewington

Supervisors: Dr Jenny Rodriguez and
Professor Stephen Procter

This research is primarily concerned with understanding the intersections between gender and participation in trade unions.   Women’s professional and personal lives will be considered in order to establish how and why professional women participate in public sector trade unions, in this case the FDA trade union which represents senior managers and professionals in the UK Civil Service.  The  objectives of this research, therefore, are to explore the ways in which professional  women identify with, experience and act within trade unions; the barriers to and the motivations for participation; and ultimately, to consider how trade unions could better represent their female membership. The final objective links to the debate over trade union renewal, which must be considered with both an external focus – that of bringing in new members – but also in the context of internal pressure for change that allows for a wider, more representative bargaining agenda to be offered to both existing and potential members .  This research is positioned within a feminist, intersectional approach allowing the heterogeneity of gendered experiences to be explored. 


Research student:
Andrew Kozhevnikov

Supervisors: Professor Steve Vincent and Dr Tracy Scurry

The current project is looking at the role of social networks in careers of highly skilled migrants in the North-East of England. This study aims to contribute to our understanding of professional careers of foreign workers and how their careers may be shaped by social ties and resources accessible through networks. Seeing careers as a multi-faceted and context-dependent phenomenon, the research attempts to identify and examine a range of factors and powers which affect the degree to which migrants rely on social contacts and the outcomes of such reliance. The study explores the strategies of the social networks usage employed by foreign professionals for career development purposes, the logic behind these strategies, and the actual and potential results in different contexts. The project challenges a perception of highly skilled migrants as homogeneous and networks as immutable and investigates how changes in social ties composing the network and ego’s positioning may influence the availability of resources through social networks and consequently affect career attainments.


Research student: Judith Watson

Supervisors: Dr Stewart Johnstone and Dr Jo McBride

Striking a balance?

A multiple case study of Efficiency, Equity & Voice in worker co-operatives

The proposed research will provide a contextually rich investigation of the complex dynamics of workplace engagement within worker co-operatives. The concept of engagement is of growing interest to social scientists and builds upon well-established research examining worker motivation, satisfaction and commitment. Nevertheless, despite the enthusiasm about workforce engagement, it remains under-studied within contemporary employment relations literature. Moreover, where engagement is investigated, it tends to use a quantitative approach, under-emphasises the importance of the broader organisational context and has largely neglected co-operatives. Worker co-operatives have generated academic interest over many years with some of this literature suggesting that worker co-operatives are more engaging places to work. As such, these organisational forms could offer advanced and distinctive forms of employee participation.

Research student: Costas Photiou

Supervisor: Dr Tracy Scurry and Dr Mark Smith

Antecedents, Mediators and Outcomes of Employee ‘Line of Sight’ to the Strategic Objectives

This research project focuses on the alignment of the employee with the strategic priorities of the organisation. Drawing on the theory of employee ‘Line of Sight’ (LOS) defined as employee understanding of the organisation’s objectives and how to contribute to those objectives I explore the impact of supervisor–subordinate communication on LOS and the mediating effect of perceived supervisor support and dyadic trust on this relationship. The notion of communication is considered to be central in bridging the employee-strategy gap – an area largely neglected from empirical research in the field of strategic human resource management. Simultaneously, the social context is seen to provide the platform with which to strengthen the process of knowledge. As such, employees who understand how their contribution fits with strategic goals are more likely to feel a sense of belonging in the organisation. This in turn relates to positive outcomes for multiple stakeholders: for the organisation (e.g., employee performance, effectiveness) and for the employee (e.g. job satisfaction, commitment and perceived social worth).


Recently completed research students

Research student: Muhammad Siddique

Supervisor: Professor Stephen Procter

"Before joining PhD program at Newcastle University Business School, I have been working as a lecturer at the university level in Pakistan for 10 years. My research interest is quantitative research in Human Resource Management. Specifically, my main area is exploring the linkages between high performance work systems (HPWS) and organizational performance. I am focusing on the role of relational coordination in the process of how HPWS affect organizational performance with special focus on employees’ perspectives in the banking sector. 

Many characteristics of Newcastle University Business School were important to my decision. I choose NUBS because of the quality of teaching, supervision, mentoring, resources and opportunities. The school is a very welcoming place with outstanding facilities and high expectations. Being a PhD student it is very challenging and will gain a great deal from PhD program. My entire PhD experience at Newcastle University Business School was very motivating and refreshing. I found that the faculty provides many learning opportunities for PhD students and gives sufficient self-autonomy. The most I like about our research group is the supervisors. They are extraordinary supportive teachers and highly experienced researchers. As a PhD student, you will be stretched academically, encouraged and supported to carry out excellent research"

Interested in doctoral study?

More information about doctoral opportunities is available here