James Richards


  • EH14 4AS

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Disability in the workplace; in-work poverty; sustainable HRM; trade union organising


Research output per year

If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile

Research interests

I am part of the HRM and Law group within the Edinburgh Business School, School of Social Sciences, at Heriot-Watt University (also see @HrmHwu).

I am a long-term Academic Member of the CIPD, a Fellow of the HE Academy, and member of BSA and BUIRA.

I am currently a Co-Investigator on the EPSRC funded Disability Inclusive Science Careers (DISC) project.

I am also involved in current research projects looking at Leaveism (@Leavism) (nothing to do with Brexit!) - a paper from this research project is planned for the ILPC in Newcastle 15-17 April 2020.

A further current research project involves trade union organising responses to the balloting thresholds of the Trade Union Act 2016 - an impact case based on disseminating "get the vote out" (GTVO) practices is being developed for post-REF2021. A summary article can be accessed here.

My most recent publication represents an attempt to re-conceptualise sustainable HRM to better account for employee interests and the many stakeholders to such practice.

I have recently completed a research project on in-work poverty leading to publications in in-work poverty and disability and in-work poverty and human resource management philosophy and practice.

I have also recently completed a research project with the TSSA trade union, aimed at providing training recommendations for line managing neurodiverse employees in the UK transport and travel industry.

I am presently finalising an impact case for REF2021 based on how our research has led to greater awarness of neurodiversity in the UK transport and travel industry and helped the TSSA build bargaining capacity related to neurodiversity.

Publication to come from the TSSA project include articles on trade unions as facilitators for disabled employees, masculinities and disability and the role of emotional labour in the management of neurodivergent employees.

Previous research has looked at employee use of the Internet/social media. For example, I have had research published on how Generation Y employees regulate their social media settings to avoid employer surveillance, how Facebook can be used to help employees cope with anti-trade union employers, cynicism expressed via social media can give employees a sense of empowerment.

As of May 2020 I have two publications under review:  job quality in relation to gig work, and, strategic HRM in Nigeria.

I have two other papers very close to submission: sustainable working lives and common mental health conditions, and, organising to beat the Trade Union Act 2016.

I currently supervise seven PhD students on the following topics: quality of working life and the gig economy, marketing of disability services to employees and employers, socially irresponsible HRM in the betting shop industry, work experiences of LBGTQ academics, disability and academic careers, history and emergence of HRM, and disability in professional working.

I have supervised PhD students to completion on the following topics: work values in the third-sector, intersectionality and experiences of work for women Polish migrants, bi-polar disorder and the workplace, lived experiences of Nigerian line managers under strategic HRM, meaning of work in Sri Lanka, the labour process in the music industry, and, human resource management in the Chinese oil industry.

At present I would be interested in supervising PhD students in the area of in-work poverty, trade union organising, sustainable working lives, socially responsible/sustainable HRM, social media and employee resistance/misbehaviour, and disability issues in the workplace.

I am a member of the Editorial Board for Work, Employment and Society (2019-)

I am also an adhoc reviewier for the following journals: Culture and Organization; Cyberpsychology; Economic and Industrial Democracy; Employee Relations; Equality, Diversity and Inclusion; Human Relations; International Human Resource Management Journal; International Journal of Human Resources; Development and Management; International Perspective of Equality and Diversity; Journal of Human Resources Costing and Accounting; Journal of Management and Orgaization; Journal of Managerial Psychology; Journal of Marketing Management; Journal of Organisational Ethnography; International Journal of Retail Distribution Management; New Technology, Work and Employment; Personnel Review. 

I also hold the following roles at Heriot-Watt University: Chair of Social Sciences Research Ethics Committee and member of the Combined Joint Negotiation and Consultation committee.

In the past 5 years I have Chaired the University Research Ethics Committees (3 years), been a member of Senate (5 years), a staff representative on Court (1 year).

I am Vice-President of the HWUCU and been awarded prizes for organising from UCU Scotland and the STUC in 2019.

External positions

Work, Employment and Society

25 Jan 201924 Jan 2021

Edinburgh Napier University

1 May 2016 → …

University of Bradford

1 Jun 20141 May 2016


Dive into the research topics where James Richards is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles

Co Author Network

Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.
If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.