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Personal profile

Research interests

I am part of the HRM group at Heriot-Watt University (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!) and the Trade Union Act 2016 - link to survey here.

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.

Publication to come from the TSSA project include articles on trade unions as facilitators for disabled employees, and, masculinities and disability.

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 June 2019 I have three publications under review on conceptialising sustainable HRM, job quality in relation to gig work, and, sustainable working lives and mental health conditions in the workplace.

I currently supervise six 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, and, history and emergence of HRM.

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, social media and employee resistance/misbehaviour, and disability issues in the workplace.

I am a reviewier for the following journals:

Culture and Organization


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

Work, Employment and Society (member of Editorial Board, 2019-2021)

I am a member of Court and Senate at Heriot-Watt University, including being a member of the Campus Committee and Remuneration Committee.

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

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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employee Social Sciences
Employees Business & Economics
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networking Social Sciences
disability Social Sciences
industrial nation Social Sciences
work culture Social Sciences
workplace Social Sciences

Co Author Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2002 2019

Human resource management
HRM practices
Open Access
Financial crisis

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)

Employers beware: Generation Y loves social media, but to a point

Hurrell, S. A., Scholarios, D. & Richards, J., 25 Apr 2017, LSE Business Review.

Research output: Other contribution

Open Access
Open Access
Management support
Line management
Training needs
Line managers


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

UCU Scotland Reps Organising Award 2019

James Richards (Recipient), 29 Mar 2019

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Trade unions
Team work
Hospitality industry
Employee relations
Customer service

Activities 2012 2019

TSSA Neurodiversity Seminar

James Richards (Speaker)
4 Apr 2019

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

Inclusion Matters Workshop

James Richards (Participant)
20 Mar 2019

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

UCU Congress: Fringe meetings

James Richards (Invited speaker)
25 May 2019

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

UCUL National Meeting and AGM

James Richards (Speaker)
1 Feb 2019

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

Press / Media

The hidden tactic overloaded workers are using to catch up

James Richards


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Research

Is paid research time a vanishing privilege for modern academics?

James Richards


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Research

Solving In-work Poverty

James Richards & Katherine Sang


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Research