Coronavirus (Covid-19): Latest updates and information
Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Professor Christopher Warhurst

Research interests

Main research interests: job quality, skills, and labour market and labour process developments, trends and issues. Interested in supervising doctorate and masters research degrees in job quality, skills and aesthetic labour.

Academic profile

As Director of IER, Chris Warhurst is motivated by wanting to see better scientific and policymaker understanding of work and employment. He is an Associate Research Fellow of SKOPE at the University of Oxford, a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and a Trustee of the Tavistock Institute in London. He was previously Professor of Work and Organisational Studies at the Sydney University Business School and Founding Director of the Scottish Centre for Employment Research at Strathclyde University Business School. He is currently Chair of the Management Committee for the journal Human Relations, co-editor of Palgrave's Critical Perspectives on Work and Employment book series and an Editorial Advisory Board Member for Research in the Sociology of Work. Previously, he was co-editor of the journal Work, Employment and Society. His research expertise centres on job quality, skills and aesthetic labour. He uses mixed methods in his research, which ranges over small-scale qualitative case studies to national surveys. He has secured more than 70 research awards from national research councils, government, employers, trade unions and charities etc.. He has published 16 books including The Skills That Matter (Palgrave), Are bad jobs inevitable? (Palgrave), Job Quality in Australia (Federation Press) and the Oxford Handbook of Skills and Training (Oxford University Press). He has published over 50 academic journal articles, over 60 book chapters and over 50 reports for government and practitioners. He has been an expert advisor to the UK, Australian and Scottish Governments as well as the OECD, Oxfam Scotland and the Scottish Living Wage Campaign. He sat on the Measuring Job Quality Working Group co-chaired by the Carnegie Trust UK and the Royal Society of the Arts that was tasked with responding to the UK Government’s Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices recommendation to develop a measure of job quality for the UK.

Current projects

  • Productivity institute with Professor Nigel Driffield (WBS), Professor Stephen Roper (WBS) , Irina Surdu,(WBS), Professor Janet Godsell (WMG); Funded by ESRC; Project Start Date: 01/09/2020 - Project End Date: 31/08/2025

  • BEYOND 4.0 - Inclusive Futures for Europe BEYOND the impacts of Industrie 4.0 and Digital Disruption.

    With Sally-Anne Barnes, Sally Wright and Sudipa Sarkar with Chris Mathieu (Lund University), led by Steven Dhondt (TNO). Project Start Date: 01/01/2019: 30/12/2022 [details]

  • Developing a Model of Employment Relations for Northern Ireland. With Sally Wright and Gaby Atfield. Funded by the Labour Relations Agency. Project start date: 01.02.20.
  • Review of the Teaching of Fair Work in Scottish Business Schools. With Mel Simms (Glasgow University). Funded by the University of Warwick Strategic Priorities Fund. Project start date: 01/01/2020 - Project end date: 31/03/2020
  • Provision for ERM Restructuring factsheets. Funded by European Foundation for Living and Working Conditions. Project Start Date: 23/04/2014.

All projects

Selected publications

  • Warhurst, C. and Knox, A. (2020). Manifesto for a new Quality of Working Life. Human Relations (online first)
  • Warhurst,C. and D. Nickson (2020). Aesthetic Labour. London Sage. ISBN: 9781847870858
  • Warhurst, C. and S. Wright (2020) ‘What makes a good job for low-waged workers?’ in T. Dundon and A. Wilkinson (eds) Case Studies in Work, Employment and Human Resource Management. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
  • Warhurst, C, Muñoz de Bustillo, L.R., Antón Pérez, J-I., Grande Martín, R., Pinto, H.F., Wright, S. (2019). Upward convergence in working conditions, Eurofound, ISBN: 978-92-897-1997-1.
  • Knox, A. and Warhurst, C. (2018) 'Occupations, the missing link?: A new theoretical and methodological approach to product markets, skill and pay’, Work, Employment and Society, vol.32, no.1, pp.150-186.
  • Findlay, P., Warhurst, C., Keep, E. and Lloyd, C. (2017) ‘Opportunity Knocks?: The Possibilities and Levers for Improving Job Quality’, Work and Occupations, vol. 44, no.1, pp.3-22.
  • Warhurst, C., Wright, S. and Lyonette, C. (2017) Understanding and measuring job quality, CIPD Research Services Job Quality Study, Report 1. London: CIPD.
  • Warhurst, C. Mayhew, K., Finegold, D. and Buchanan, D. (2017) (eds) Oxford Handbook of Skills and Training, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Knox, A. and Warhurst, C. (eds) (2015) Job quality in Australia: Perspectives, Problems and Proposals, Annandale, NSW: Federation Press.
  • James, S., Warhurst, C., Tholen, G. and Commander, J. (2013) What We Know and What We Need to Know About Graduate Skills’, Work, Employment and Society, 27:6, 952-963.
  • Warhurst, C., Carré, F., Findlay, P. and Tilly, C. (eds) (2012) Are bad jobs inevitable? Trends, determinants and responses to job quality in the twenty-first century, London: Palgrave.

All publications

All conference presentations

Doctoral supervision

  • Jon Winfield, Understanding employer delivery of good work in the UK.
  • Paul Quigley, Explaining employer engagement with apprenticeship policy.
  • Rebeka Balogh, Investigating mechanisms between precarious employment and workers’ mental health. A longitudinal approach.
  • Joanna Octavia, How informal workers organize in the platform economy .
  • Mags Bexon, Young people NEET – how do they make their career decisions?




Institute for Employment Research
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL

Tel: +44(0)24 76528170
C dot Warhurst at warwick dot ac dot uk