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Forthcoming Events

Nick Krachler and Ian Kessler, King’s College London on Wednesday 26 April 2023, 14:00 – 15:30.

Speaker: Nick Krachler and Ian Kessler, King’s College London


Topic: A New Workforce Crisis in Healthcare? Examining the role of Healthcare and ER Institutions for the Pandemic Response in England (Abstract attached)

Time: Wednesday 26 April 2023, 14:00 – 15:30 (GMT)

Location: The seminar will be hybrid (In-person at WBS room 3.002d and Online via Zoom). Please email Louise Cullen ( if you are attending in-person (for catering and room capacity purposes).


Abstract: Healthcare workers have put in immense effort to manage the pandemic, with government representatives leading 'claps for carers' in symbolic recognition. Since then, the healthcare workforce crisis has reemerged, evident, among others, by industrial action. This research examines the responses to the pandemic in the employment relations (ER) areas of health and wellbeing, work organization, and pay, and the role of healthcare and ER institutions in influencing these responses. It also reflects on the roots of the current health workforce challenges in light of the long-term sustainability of the healthcare workforce. We argue that while ER institutions and actors generated highly significant responses, including some innovations in health and wellbeing and work organization, pay has been an area of limited response. Furthermore, we argue that the pandemic response has not addressed, and has perhaps even deepened, the broader, structural workforce challenges that existed before the pandemic, undermining the long-term sustainability of the health workforce. Given the structural nature of these issues, a concerted effort by state actors is required to address the healthcare workforce crisis and contribute to the healthcare workforce's long-term sustainability.

Bio: Nick Krachler is a Lecturer in Human Resource Management at King’s Business School, King’s College London. His international and comparative research program examines institutional change in the care economy through three mechanisms: the regulation of work and employment; workforce innovation through new roles; and marketization.

Ian Kessler Professor of Public Policy and Management & Acting Director NIHR Health and Social Care Workforce Policy Research Unit, Kings College London.


Andrea Signoretti, University of Trento

'Bye Bye Unions: Push, Pull and Strained Values for Union Officers' Turnaway in Canada, Italy. and USA'

Co-authored with Lorenzo Frangi, Andrea Signoretti and Tingting Zhang

Wednesday 10 May 2023, 14:00 – 15:30 (GMT)

Hybrid (In-person: WBS room 3.002d and online: Zoom platform)

Abstract: Studies about why employees leave an organization (turnover) abound, while knowledge is sparse about why employees leave an occupation (turnaway). The few studies targeted at turnaway have been limited to skilled-based professionals (e.g., engineers and ICT professionals), the effect of one factor at the time (e.g., wage), and a single country. We move the debate about turnaway forward focusing on a vocational occupation, i.e. union officers, and on the synergic effect of few factors across Italy, Canada and US. We build from Rhodes and Doering’s (1983) model for career change (of which turnaway is a peculiar case) considering push (i.e., workers’ dissatisfaction) and pull (i.e., occupational alternatives in the external environment) forces by pinpointing the role of values (i.e., value-fit between the individual and the occupation) and the institutional influence. We conducted 104 semi-structured interviews (33 in Canada, 37 in Italy and 33 in the US). We performed a thematic analysis through a three-step coding (reasons, factors, types) that resulted in an innovative six category typology to enhance theoretical reasoning and empirical analysis about turnaway. Our results point out that turnaway decisions are often determined by the interplay of different factors, attention to occupational value misfit is fundamental, and institutional settings shape some aspects of former union officers’ turnaway, also in an unexpected way.


Lorenzo Frangi is Professor of Employment Relations at the School of Management, University of Quebec in Montreal (ESG UQAM). His research examines how new employment relations settings and social dynamics affect both union actions and working conditions, mainly through an international comparative perspective. He analyzes different data sources with the goal of highlighting resources that foster union actions, opportunities to improve labour conditions, and industrial relations strategies to promote effective change. His contributions appeared in the British Journal of Industrial Relations, Work Employment and Society, European Journal of Industrial Relations, Economic and Industrial Democracy, among others.

Andrea Signoretti is Associate Professor of Sociology of Organization at the Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Trento. His research focuses on organizational models, human resource management, industrial relations, and collective workers representation, also from an international perspective. He also studies human resource management practices and employment non-profit sector organizations. His contributions appeared in the Human Resource Management Journal, British Journal of Industrial Relations, European Journal of Industrial Relations, Economic and Industrial Democracy, Industrial Relations Journal among others.

Tingting Zhang is an assistant professor at the School of Labor and Employment Relations (LER), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research focuses on unions as organizations in the United States, in comparison with other countries, mainly on how labor unions utilize their resources to respond to new external changes, such as the growing interest in social movement unionism and the rapid changes introduced by the future of work. She has published in journals such as British Journal of Industrial Relations, International Migration Review, Industrial Relations Journal, International Journal of Training and Development, and Canadian Public Policy.

Registration: Book now via Eventbrite:

Email Louise Cullen ( if you are attending in-person (for security purposes and entry in the WBS building).