Professor CHRIS FORDE - BA (Hons), MA, Ph.D. (Leeds)

Telephone: +44 (0)113 343 2619

Chris is Professor of Employment Studies. He took up his first position at Leeds in 1998.

My research interests look at the changing nature of work. I conduct research into temporary agency working, which looks at the changing structure of the agency industry and the experience of work for agency temps. I also conduct research into migration, looking in particular at the experiences of migrant workers, asylum seekers and refugees. I have further research interests in restructuring, job quality, discipline and grievance at work, and the effects of collective bargaining on performance.  I have published widely across these interests and have received funding for my research from ACAS, BIS, the European Parliament, the International Labour Organisation, and the Home Office.

My work has led to the production of high profile policy reports and been recognised with prestigious awards. A joint report for the European Parliament Employment and Social Affairs Committee has just been published in September 2015, looking at the tensions between internal market law and social and labour rights. I have published two recent reports for ACAS, with Gary Slater, on the role of agencies in pay setting and the effects of the Agency Worker Regulations in the UK. I have helped to establish a Migration Research Network at the University of Leeds, and have been involved in co-ordinating a roundtable event on migration with key stakeholders in the Leeds region.

I am co-ordinator of the Q-Step Programme, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, the ESRC and HEFCE. The University of Leeds is one of 15 Universities funded to promote a step change in quantitative training in the social sciences (LINK HERE to

Curriculum Vitae

Conference Papers and Invited Presentations

PhD Supervision:

My research interests are in the areas of employment studies, HRM, employment relations and labour economics. My specific research interests are around: contingent forms of employment (particularly temporary agency work); migration; labour market restructuring and layoffs; job quality; and business lobbying.

I am involved in a number of collaborative projects with colleagues in CERIC and would be interested in supervising projects in any of the following areas:

With Professor Robert MacKenzie, Dr Gabriella Alberti and Zinovijus Ciupijus we are currently interested in supervising doctoral projects related to:

•    The management of migration: labour and migration policy regimes
•    Transnational mobility and temporary staffing agencies
•    Work experiences and regulation of migrant employment
•    The impact of migrant labour on HRM strategies

Other areas of interest for supervising PhD students involve:

•    Temporary agency employment (any aspect) and the growth of contingent forms of work
•    Job quality and the experience of work
•    Restructuring and layoffs and notions of ‘socially responsible ‘ restructuring
•    Lobbying activities of big business, and the relationship between big business and the state

My research utilizes a broad range of research methods, including qualitative and quantitative approaches, and the use of archival data.

If you would like to contact me about a proposal or application, please contact:

Students who I have successfully supervised to completion:

•   Niki Kyriakidou (1999-2004) ‘Graduate employment in the Greek labour market’ (jointly supervised with Mark Stuart.
•   Sarah Mollitt (2002-2006, LUBS scholarship) ‘The case of 'unwanted flexibility': a study of temporary agency workers in the U.K.’ (jointly supervised with Ian Kirkpatrick)
•   Neil Wolfenden (2002-2006, ESRC scholarship) ‘Non-standard employment contracts in the IT sector: The shifting boundaries of control’ (jointly supervised with Robert MacKenzie).
•   Khalid al Hoor (2004 – 2009, jointly supervised with Robert MacKenzie)‘Political contingency and the implementation of localisation policies: a case study of the oil and gas sector in Qatar
•   Antonios Panagiotakopolous (2005- 2009, jointly supervised with Mark Stuart) ‘An empirical investigation of employee training and development in Greek manufacturing small and medium sized enterprises’.
•   Hadi El-Farr (September 2007-2011), jointly supervised with Ian Kirkpatrick)  ‘Knowledge management and Human Resource Management’
•   Hugh Cook (September 2007-2013), ESRC scholarship, jointly supervised with Robert MacKenzie) ‘High Performance Human Resource Management Practices and Performance: A Case study of a large supermarket retailer’
•   Zyama Ciupijus (September 2007-2015), LUBS Doctoral Research Fellowship, jointly supervised with Robert Mackenzie) ‘Eastern European workers in Britain: examining the status quo and potential of EU migrants from the perspective of soft skills development'

Current students:

•   Fatima Malik (October 2008 – present, University Scholarship, jointly supervised with Mark Stuart) ‘Managing training and workplace learning: policy and practice across biotech high skills ecosystems’
•   Nousheen Zakaria (October 2009-present, jointly supervised with Andrew Robinson) ‘HRM strategy and implementation in Pakistan’.
•   Rana Alyani (2012-present, joint with Mark Stuart) ‘Quality management in healthcare: a case study of Saudi Arabia’
•   Abdulraman Basuhal (2012, joint with Robert MacKenzie) ‘HRM and localisation initatives in Saudi Arabia’
•   Tanusree Ghosh (2012-present, joint with Robert MacKenzie’, ‘CSR and HRM in India’
•   Kate Morgan (2012-present, joint with Robert MacKenzie) ‘Employee silence’
•   Nuzo Ezeichi  (2010-present, joint with Steve Vincent) ‘Stress amongst offshore oil workers in Nigeria’
•   Danat Valizade (2012-present, joint with Robert MacKenzie) ‘ Trade union responses to non-standard forms of employment’.
•   Angeliki Skondra (2012-present, joint with Mark Stuart) ‘Training and development in SMEs in Greece’.
•   Anne Jones (2010-present, joint with Jane Holgate and Ian Greenwood) - ‘The Political Economy of Workplace Health and Safety’.