Menu Close

John's work is focused in three areas: employment relations; pay and rewards; and economic performance.

Work in the area of employment relations has focused on patterns of workplace representation, trade union effectiveness and conflict at work. This has included a substantial role in the design and analysis of the long-running and internationally-renowned series of Workplace Employment Relations Surveys (WERS). Major publications include All Change at Work? (Routledge), Inside the Workplace (Routledge), The Evolution of the Modern Workplace (CUP) and Employment Relations in the Shadow of Recession (Palgrave). Other research on employment relations includes a study of workplace employee representation across the EU27 for Eurofound and research on union resources for the TUC. John has recently completed a Leverhulme-funded comparative study of employment relations in Britain and France using data from WERS and its French equivalent REPONSE: Comparative Workplace Employment Relations: An Analysis of Britain and France is published by Palgrave.

Past work on pay and rewards has focused on methods of wage determination, and particularly the declining role of unions, thus linking with the work on employment relations. Some of this previous work has been published in Labour Economics and Industrial Relations. However, Alex Bryson and I have recently been focusing on the prevalence and impact of performance-related pay. An ESRC-funded project with Minghai Zhou at Zheijang University has examined the use of incentive pay among CEOs in China (see the Feb 2014 issue of the Economic Journal). Another ESRC-funded project has studied the use of performance pay across by employers in the UK (articles forthcoming in Manchester School, Human Resource Management Journal and the British Journal of Industrial Relations). Other work on pay and rewards includes a series of reports for the DWP on employers’ provision of pensions, a study of occupational licensing for the UK Commission for Employment and Skills and a study of public sector pay trends for the Office for Manpower Economics.

The third strand of work is on economic performance, particularly the determinants of workplace performance. Past work has examined the impact of the National Minimum Wage on business performance. However there is again a link to John's work on employment relations, through a focus on the effects of trade unions, with previous work having been published in the Scottish Journal of Political Economy and the Industrial Relations Journal. Some of this work is comparative, including a study of union effects on workplace performance in Britain and France, published in 2011 in the European Journal of Industrial Relations. John recently co-authored a chapter on Britain's productivity performance for a CUP-published book on Productivity Puzzles in Europe.


  • –present
    Fellow, National Institute of Economic and Social Research