Postdoctoral Research Fellows
Do you have experience in multi-sited and cross-national ethnography of workplaces, unions or labour activism? Would you like to investigate the emerging hybrid areas of work, and to join an exceptional transdisciplinary research project? Do you want to further your career in one of the UK’s leading research intensive Universities?
You will be a post-doctoral researcher experienced in qualitative methods in labour studies and will work on a multi-method research project aimed at investigating the challenges of social protection and labour representation in the ‘hybrid areas of work’.
The three successful candidates will work both independently and as part of a larger team of researchers, within a project funded by the European Research Council at the Leeds University Business School, and led by Dr Annalisa Murgia. You will carry out case studies in two European countries to understand to what extent and under which conditions solo self-employed workers are able to develop collective practices of organising, focusing not only on unions, but also on alternative associations and emerging claims-making activities.
Seizing the Hybrid Areas of work by Representing self-Employment (SHARE) is a transdisciplinary and multi-method study of the hybrid areas of work, with a particular focus on the work arrangements that destabilise traditional employment relations.
SHARE is a five-year research project funded by the European Research Council. The project will be carried out at the University of Leeds under the direction of Annalisa Murgia, Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change (CERIC) at Leeds University Business School. The project team will include four postdoctoral researchers (2018-22) and one PhD student (2018-21).
The project takes the case of solo self-employed workers. This is an emblematic category within the hybrid areas of work because it undermines the classical employment/ self-employment opposition, by comprising very heterogeneous subjects, who differ by gender, age, national origin and education: from highly skilled independent professionals, able to manage entrepreneurial risk, to ‘fake self-employed’ workers, hired on a self-employed contract only because this was the cheapest option for the employer.
The study involves two main phases of data collection. The first phase combines a multi-sited and cross-national ethnography, to be conducted within unions and solo self-employed associations in six European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Slovakia, the Netherlands and United Kingdom), with a comparative labour law perspective and quantitative research methods. In the second phase of the research, the focus will shift from cross-national comparison to the broader European context. The project aims to explore:
- How the growing of solo self-employment, across different European countries, is producing consequences at the level of social protection, as well as at the level of collective representation.
- How solo self-employment is regulated, measured and represented at the European level.
- How these work arrangements are challenging the theoretical framework used so far to interpret work and employment.
The project leading to this application has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
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