News and Events

Hidden Inequalities in the Workplace: A Guide to the Current Challenges, Issues and Business Solutions

Edited by Valerie Caven and Stefanos Nachmias, this book offers a comprehensive understanding and awareness of managerial and organisational practices that perpetuate social exclusion and discrimination towards individuals in the workplace

The book presents a critical framework for assessing whether organisational practice and function reinforces unseen potential differences amongst individuals in the workplace. It offers a comprehensive understanding and awareness of managerial and organisational practices that perpetuate social exclusion and discrimination towards individuals in the workplace. The book draws together themes of non-declared medical or physical conditions, voluntary and involuntary disclosure of difference, dietary requirements, lifestyle, organisational engagement and cognitive bias. As a result, the book provides a unique blend of scholarly and professional research, and brings those who have been affected by social stigmas and discrimination in the workplace to the fore. Hidden Inequalities in the Workplace also offers practical and strategic insights for practitioners, students and policy-makers, and delves the strategic nature of policy intervention and thought-provoking dialogue.

Exploring the role of line managers in the implementation of employee engagement

The aim of the research is to explore engagement in practice, specifically, the role of line managers in the implementation of employee engagement.

Principal Investigator: Dr Sarah Pass

Research Team: Derek Watling, Dr Nadia Kougiannou, Dr Maranda Ridgway, Dr Valerie Caven, Catherine Abe

In 2016, Engage for Success established the Line Manager Thought and Action Group (TAG) to explore the role of line managers in driving and sustaining employee engagement. Engage for success is a not-for-profit, voluntary movement, raising awareness and understanding of engagement in the workplace.  A key focus of the group is to undertake case study research to better understand the crucial role of line managers. The aim of the research is to explore engagement in practice, specifically, the role of line managers in the implementation of employee engagement. In collaboration with several public and private sector organisations, this research will study the relationship between line managers, HR, senior managers, trade unions, and its impact on employee engagement. The team recently submitted a bid for the BA Leverhulme Small Grants to further develop this research.

Visit to find out more about Engage for Success.

Human Resource Management, Innovation and Performance

New book by centre leader Professor Helen Shipton

Centre Leader Helen Shipton is proud to announce that her latest book: Human Resource Management, Innovation and Performance has had over 5900 chapter downloads.

Human Resource Management, Innovation and Performance investigates the relationship between HRM, innovation and performance. Taking a multi-level perspective the book reflects critically on contentious themes such as high performance work systems, organizational design options, cross-boundary working, leadership styles and learning at work.

The book is available from SpringerLink and is a part of the Business and Management Collection.

Knowledge Brief

Professor Helen Shipton shares her research on innovating from the bottom-up

In July Professor Helen Shipton was invited by Knowledge Brief to share her research on innovating from the bottom-up – and looked at whether we should treat ‘non-creatives’ differently from designated creative staff.

The full interview is available here:

Human resource management, creativity and innovation: job requirements and levels of analysis

A conceptual paper by Helen Shipton, Veronica Lin, Paul Sparrow and Pawan Budwar

QUEENS BELFAST, Wed 23rd November, 2016

Helen Shipton

Veronica Lin

Paul Sparrow

Pawan Budhwar

The innovation literature is dominated by research on scientific and technological innovation and commercialisation and this is reflected in policy debates, priorities and interventions. There is, however, an increasing understanding that focusing on this alone, while important, is insufficient. Organisational effectiveness and performance may depend as on the ability of an organisation to explore and engage the creative and innovative capacity of all employees, including those who do not have a specific remit to contribute to deliver innovation.   In this conceptual paper (which is a working document), using creativity job requirement and level of analysis as two dimensions, we consider the HRM practices/ configurations that promote expected and unexpected innovation at both individual and collective levels.  HR architecture research suggests that organizations may utilize a variety of HR configurations to manage different employee groups (Lepak & Snell, 1999; 2002). We work towards a typology that distinguishes between the creative and innovative orientation of employees, also reflecting levels of analysis.   Taking a holistic yet differentiated approach towards managing different employees group would allow an organization to allocate its resources efficiently and enhance its innovation output.

Helen Shipton has been Professor of HRM at Nottingham Business School (NBS) since 2013 and before that was a senior academic at Aston Business School (ABS), Birmingham (2003- 2013).   Helen is the Director of the NBS Centre of People, Innovation and Performance and having had responsibility for leading vocationally-oriented academic programmes such as the DBA at NBS and the CIPD accredited MSc in HRM at ABS has written and consulted widely on developing organizational cultures to foster employee creativity, learning and performance.  Helen’s research interests centre on HRM, workplace learning and innovation and she has recently co-edited a book entitled Human Resource Management, Innovation and Performance which is unique in adopting a multi-level perspective, with a particular focus on building skills and capacity from the bottom up. Helen has published in many top-tier journals including Human Resource Management; Human Resource Management Journal; British Journal of Management; International Journal of Management Reviews and Journal of Organizational Behaviour.  Helen has been invited to speak at venues including the Scottish Centre for Employment Research, Strathclyde Business School (June 2016) and Knowledge-Brief, London (July 2016).  Helen is a member of the British Academy of Management Council and UK ambassador for the Academy of Management (US).


Power point Presentation here: queens-nov-2016


Developing talent through apprenticeships

Centre Director Professor Helen Shipton discusses how HR departments can utilise the recent changes to apprenticeship schemes to develop their employees

The changing economy means that apprenticeships are undergoing reform and development. How can HR departments use this growth to develop their employee talent? Read the below article by Centre Director Professor Helen Shipton to find out more:


An Examination of Organisational Trustworthiness and Stakeholder-Organisation Relations in Challenging Contexts – Dr Konstantina Kougiannou and Dr Matthew Wallis

This project investigates organisational trustworthiness and stakeholder relations



This project investigates organisational trustworthiness and stakeholder relations; an investigation of opinions of stakeholders concerning operational decisions made by firms in challenging contexts. With a focus on the firm trustworthiness (Mayer et al., 1995), we can make a contribution by bringing together the stakeholder literature with the literature on trust (Greenwood and Van Buren, 2010).

For firms, engaging in community stakeholder relations offers an opportunity to gain ‘social license to operate’ (Deephouse and Suchman, 2008, Dowling and Pfeffer, 1975) and manage social risk. Another way of conceptualising these issues of legitimacy is through whether organisations possess the trust of relevant stakeholders. Furthermore, it is in the interests of firms operating in close range to communities to understand what impact the perceptions of such stakeholders, with regard to organisational trust, can have on the achievement or otherwise of organisational goals. We focus therefore on the community stakeholder with regard to organisational trustworthiness, specifically the firm’s ability, integrity and benevolence (Mayer et al., 1995). This research brings together the stakeholder literature with the literature on trust, and makes a contribution by empirically exploring the dependent stakeholder of the local community. How organisational trustworthiness unfolds in the organization-stakeholder relationship, and ‘how stakeholders, especially dependent stakeholders, might assess organisational trustworthiness’ (Green and Van Buren, 2010: 436) are under-researched. This paper attempts to shed light upon how decisions perceived as ethically questionable, and which potentially breach trust, change the dynamic of dependent stakeholder to organization relationship. The implications of this change for the firm and the stakeholder-organization relationship are also explored.

Most definitions of trust entail a three-stage process (McEvily et al., 2003): trust as a belief, where one party assesses the other party’s trustworthiness (Lewicki et al., 1998); trust as a decision, where one party, based on its previous beliefs, has ‘the intention to accept vulnerability based upon positive expectations of the intentions or behaviour of another’ (Rousseau et al., 1998:395); and trust as an action, where, according to Mayer et al. (1995) the parties engage in risk-taking activities after having evaluated their target’s trustworthiness. They propose that the level of perceived trustworthiness depends on the existence of three factors (i.e. ability, benevolence, and integrity) and emphasize that a lack of any of them would weaken trust.

When examining the trust relationship between the organisation and its stakeholders, such trustworthy behaviour would mean that the company has to demonstrate competency in its operations (ability)(A), awareness and active acknowledgment of the other party’s concerns (benevolence)(B), and adherence to corporate social responsibility principles acceptable by the stakeholder (integrity)(I). According to stakeholder literature, this can threaten the long-term sustainability of firms: the aim of the project is to investigate this assumption.

The literature linking trust and stakeholder-organisation relations is scarce. Greenwood and Van Buren (2010) was one of the few that added trust and trustworthiness to the study of organization-stakeholder relations. In their theoretical paper, they argue that trust is the only option for dependent stakeholders when interacting with an organisation. This project would empirically explore how the stakeholder-relationship unfolds when beneficial, favourable or at least not detrimental behaviour ends, and when a breach of trust is perceived by a stakeholder constituent.



How Innovative Behaviour Needs a Framework to Thrive

Recently published, results of team members’ research

Centre members Dr Karin Sanders and Professor Helen Shipton have recently published the results of their research on ‘How innovative behaviour needs a framework to thrive. The full results are available on Business Think, the University of New South Wales’ business school site: