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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!) - link to Leaveism survey here.

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.

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 October 2019 I have four publications under review:  re-conceptualising sustainable HRM, job quality in relation to gig work, sustainable working lives and mental health conditions in the workplace, and strategic HRM in Nigeria.

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, 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 committees.

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

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Research Output 2002 2019

Organising to beat the Trade Union Act 2016

Richards, J., 12 Oct 2019, In : Post-16 Educator. 97, p. 3-5

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Human resource management
Personnel
Lenses
Testing
HRM practices
Open Access
File
Finance
Lenses
Disadvantage
Financial crisis
Poverty

Transforming HE for Disability Inclusion

Remnant, J., Sang, K., Calvard, T. & Richards, J., 22 May 2019, A New Vision for Further and Higher Education Essay Collection. p. 56-63

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

“I’ve found it extremely draining”: Emotional labour and the lived experience of line managing neurodiversity

Richards, J., Sang, K., Marks, A. & Gill, S., 4 Nov 2019, In : Personnel Review. 48, 7, p. 1903-1923 21 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
File
Occupational Health
Industry
Vulnerable Populations
Sample Size
Research Design

Prizes

Graduate Teaching Prize

James Richards (Recipient), 2012

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Scottish Trades Union Congress Organising Award

James Richards (Recipient), 15 Apr 2019

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

trade union
workplace
equality
promotion
health

UCU Scotland Reps Organising Award 2019

James Richards (Recipient), 29 Mar 2019

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Scotland
Organizing
Equality
Turnout
Trade unions
Team work
Hospitality industry
Employee relations
Customer service

Activities 2012 2019

Neurodiversity Training Seminar

James Richards (Speaker)
4 Apr 2019

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

Scottish Trades Union Congress

James Richards (Participant)
15 Apr 201917 Apr 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Neurodivergent voices in the workplace

James Richards (Participant)
23 May 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

UCU Congress: Fringe meetings

James Richards (Invited speaker)
26 May 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

Biting the Ballot: Getting ready for the pay and pensions ballots

James Richards (Speaker)
24 Aug 2019

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

Press / Media

The hidden tactic overloaded workers are using to catch up

James Richards

6/09/19

1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Research

Is paid research time a vanishing privilege for modern academics?

James Richards

25/07/19

1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Research

Solving In-work Poverty

James Richards & Kate Sang

24/02/16

1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Research