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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

Chris Warhurst is an internationally recognised expert on job quality, skills and aesthetic labour. He is motivated by wanting to see better scientific and policymaker understanding of work and employment.

He is Co-Chair of the ERSC-funded Renewing Work Advisory Group of Experts (ReWAGE), a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and an Associate Research Fellow of SKOPE at the University of Oxford. He was previously Professor of Work and Organisational Studies at the Sydney University Business School, Founding Director of the Scottish Centre for Employment Research (SCER) at Strathclyde University and a Trustee of the Tavistock Institute in London. He was Chair of the Management Committee for Human Relations and co-editor of Work, Employment and Society.

He uses mixed methods in his research, which ranges over small-scale qualitative case studies to national surveys. He has secured more than 90 research awards from national research councils, government, employers, trade unions and charities etc.. He has published 17 books including Aesthetic Labour (Sage), 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 70 book chapters and nearly 70 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. He is currently a member of the Education and Labour Market Research Group of the Scottish Qualifications Authority and the UK Government's Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation.

Current projects

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

    With Sally Wright, Katharina Sarter and with Chris Mathieu (Lund University), led by Steven Dhondt (TNO). Project Duration: 01/01/2019 - 30/06/2023 [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 SchoolsLink opens in a new window. 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

All projects

Selected publications

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