Christopher Forde

Chris Forde

Professor of Employment Studies,
Co-Director of CERIC

+44(0)113 343 2619
+44(0)113 343 4465
Academic, Work and Employment Relations, Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change (CERIC)
2.01, 31 Lyddon Terrace
Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change (CERIC):
Curriculum Vitae:
Christopher Forde CV
Gig economy, platform economy, social protection, temporary agency work, contingent work, non-standard work, job quality, restructuring, labour migration, conflict at work, HRM.


2001 Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (PGCLTHE), University of Leeds
1998 PhD University of Leeds, Temporary Employment Agency Working: Issues and Evidence
1994 MA Economics, University of Leeds
1993 BA Economics and Management Studies Joint Honours, 1st Class, University of Leeds


2007 and 2016 2 times winner of the Ian Beardwell Prize for best research paper at the CIPD Professional Standards Conference (2017 - with Andrew Brown, Andy Charlwood and David Spencer and 2016 - with Gary Slater).


2012 - present Professor of Employment Studies, Work and Employment Relations Division

2014 - present Co-Director of the Centre for Employment Relations Innovation and Change, (CERIC) 

2014 - 2019 Co-ordinator of the Q-Step Programme at the University of Leeds (£19m National programme funded by the Nuffield Foundation, ESRC and HEFCE to improve quantitative training in the social sciences)

2016 - 2019 Programme Director, MSc. Management Consulting Programme

2006 - 2012 Senior Lecturer in Industrial Relations, Work and Employment Relations Division, Leeds University Business School

September 2009 - September 2012 Head of Work and Employment Relations Division

1998 - 2006 Lecturer in Industrial Relations, Work and Employment Relations


External Roles

2014 - present Academic Fellow, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

2014 - present ACAS Research Associate 

2013 - 2016 British Universities Industrial Relations Association Steward (Communications Secretary)

2011 - 2014 Joint Editor, Work, Employment and Society

2011 - 2014 Academic advisor for the Leeds Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Economic Survey 

2016 - 2019 External Examiner, BA HRM and Employment Relations programmes, University of Keele 

2015 - 2019 External Examiner HRM and Employment Relations programmes, University of Cardiff 

2017 - 2020 External Examiner,MSc Human Resource Management, University of Durham 

2011 - 2015 External examiner, MBA Programme, Nottingham University Management School

2013 - 2016 External examiner, MSc Employment Relations, Manchester Business School 

2011 - 2015 External examiner, UG Management Programmes, Heriot-Watt University 

2009 - 2012 External Examiner, UG Programme York Management School, University of York 

2005 - 2011 External Examiner on the Trade Union Studies Programme, Northern College, Barnsley 

2009 - 2012 Expert on European Union Experts Forum on Restructuring 


My research interests look at the changing nature of work. I conduct research into temporary agency working, which looks at the changing structure of the agency industry and the experience of work for agency temps. Another main research interest is around the gig or platform economy. I also conduct research into migration, looking in particular at the experiences of migrant workers, asylum seekers and refugees. I have further research interests in restructuring, job quality, discipline and grievance at work, and the effects of collective bargaining on performance.  I have published widely across these interests and have received funding for my research from ACAS, BIS, the European Parliament, the International Labour Organisation, and the Home Office.

My work has led to the production of high profile policy reports and been recognised with prestigious awards. A joint report for the European Parliament Employment and Social Affairs Committee has just been published in December 2017, written with CERIC colleagues on the Social Protection of Workers in the Platform Economy.  I also co-authored an earlier report for the European Parliament in September 2015, looking at the tensions between internal market law and social and labour rights. I have published three reports for ACAS over the last decade. Two of these are with Gary Slater, on the role of agencies in pay setting and the effects of the Agency Worker Regulations in the UK. The third report for ACAS looked at The Management of Conflict in the Contemporary British Workplace. I have helped to establish a Migration Research Network at the University of Leeds, and am currently involved in an evaluation of the Migration Access Plus project, commissioned by Leeds City Council.

I am co-ordinator of the Q-Step Programme, at the University of Leeds, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, the ESRC and HEFCE. The University of Leeds is one of 15 Universities funded to promote a step change in quantitative training in the social sciences.


External Funding and Grants

Evaluation of the Migrant Access Plus project’, (with Gabriella Alberti, Louise Warwick Booth’, Leeds City Council, £12,000, September 2017-July 2019

The social protection of workers in the collaborative/platform economy’, European Parliament, €145,000 (Principal Investigator). (Co-investigators: Mark Stuart, Simon Joyce, Gabriella Alberti, Kate Hardy, Danat Valizade, Charles Umney, Vera Trappmann, Liz Oliver, Calum Carson), December 2016-December 2017

Migration, equality and social cohesion, promoting inter-community dialogue in times of change’ (with Gabriella Alberti and Louise Waite), ESRC Impact Acceleration Fund, Leeds Social Science Institute, November 2016-January 2018

The Employment and Social Situation in the USA’ European Parliament, €4,000 (Principal investigator, with Mark Stuart), December 2016-April 2017.

Approaches to conflict management’, ACAS, £10,000 With Richard Saundry, University of Portsmouth. Gemma Wibberley and Ian Ashman (University of Central Lancsashire), Duncan Adam and Sally Wright (University of Warwick), December 2014-October 2015

The impact of the Essential Skills in Wales programme: Counterfactual Evaluation’ Welsh Assembly, £11,000, Principal investigator, with Jo Cutter, Ioulia Bessa and Mark Stuart (through York Consulting).

Compatibility of social and labour rights with European internal market and competition law’ European Parliament, Employment and Social Affairs Committee, E100,000, Co-investigator, with Dagmar Schiek, Liz Oliver, Gabriella Alberti, plus international partners,September 2014-September 2015.

The impact of collective bargaining’ TUC/Institute of Employment Rights, £2,000, Co-investigator with Robert MacKenzie, Hugh Cook and Danat Valizade, January-December 2014

The impact of the Agency Working Regulations on agency and employer practice’, ACAS, £12,000, Principal investigator with Gary Slater, January-September 2013.

'The National Minimum Wage and the commissioning of adult social care: the impact on the pay, hours and work of domiciliary workers Low Pay Commission', £27,000, Co-investigator with Sian Moore, Mark Stuart and Ioulia Bessa, January -December 2012.

Women transport workers and the economic crisis’, International Transport Federation, Value: £23, 510, Co-investigator with Mark Stuart, Jane Holgate, Jennifer Tomlinson, January-September 2012

'The State of the Yorkshire Economy' Higher Education Impact Innovation Fund, £17,500 Principal Investigator with Andrew Robinson(PI), Mark Stuart, Peter Buckley, Heinrich Voss and Paul Ellwood, LUBS. January 2011-July 2011

'Migration Worker Project: The experiences of migrants in Barnsley' Home Office Migration Impact Fund, £8,000 Co-investigator with Robert Mackenzie and Zyama Ciupijus. December 2009-April 2010

'The Role of Employment Agencies in Pay Setting' ACAS, £12,000 Principal Investigator with Gary Slater, University of Bradford. June 2009-September 2010

'A Comparative Study of Non-Standard Employment' Japanese Institute for Labour Policy and Training (JILPT), £4,000 Co-investigator with Gary Slater, University of Bradford. June 2009-March 2010

'E-Skills Funding in Europe' European Commission, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, through EU Research Associates, £12,000 Co-investigator with Mark Stuart (PI), CERIC. April 2009-December 2009

'Estimating the Range of Socio-Economic Benefits of Improving the Overall Quality of Working Life, and Wellbeing for Employees in the Working Age Population' ESRC and Health and Safety Executive, £2,000 Co-investigator with Andrew Brown, Andy Charlwood and David Spencer, CERIC. November 2008-February 2009

Encouraging workplace dialogue over training and skills: Case studies’ Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform for CBI/TUC/DIUS/BERR Joint Working Group on Training and Skills', £12,500, Co-investigator (with Mark Stuart (PI) and Jo Cutter), September-November 2007

'An Impact study on relocation, restructuring and the viability of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund: The impact on employment, working conditions and regional development' European Parliament, €39,950, Co-investigator (with Mark Stuart (PI) and Robert MacKenzie), July 2006 – April 2007.

Changing job quality in Great Britain, 1998-2004’. Department of Trade and Industry, £12,500, Co-investigator (with Andrew Brown, Andy Charlwood and David Spencer), February-October 2006.

‘The social and economic experiences of asylum seekers, migrant workers, refugees and overstayers’ Home Office (through the Investing in a Multicultural Barnsley initiative), £8,000, Co-investigator (with Robert MacKenzie), September 2005 – February 2007.

'Good employment relations in the UK offshore oil industry' International Labour Office, $4,500, Principal Investigator (with Mark Stuart, Robert MacKenzie and Rob Perrett), June-October 2004.

'Examination of the social and economic impact of steel redundancies in Wales' Steel Partnership Training/ ISTC Community Union, £26,805, Co-investigator (with Mark Stuart, Robert MacKenzie, Jean Gardiner, Ian Greenwood, and Rob Perrett), December 2002 - December 2003.



Doctoral supervision

My research interests cover employment studies, HRM, employment relations and labour economics. My specific research interests are around: the platform (‘gig’) economy; contingent forms of employment (particularly temporary agency work and zero hours contracts); migration; labour market restructuring and layoffs; job quality; the management of conflict at work, and business lobbying. 

I am involved in a number of collaborative projects with colleagues in CERIC and would be interested in supervising projects in any of the following areas:

  • The platform economy: drivers of growth, regulation, social protection and implications for workers
  • The management of migration: labour and migration policy regimes; work experiences and the regulation of migrant employment; transnational mobility and temporary staffing agencies
  • Transnational mobility and temporary staffing agencies
  • Work experiences and regulation of migrant employment
  • The impact of migrant labour on HRM strategies
  • Temporary agency employment (any aspect) and the growth of contingent forms of work
  • Job quality and the experience of work
  • Restructuring and layoffs and notions of ‘socially responsible ‘ restructuring
  • Lobbying activities of big business, and the relationship between big business and the state

My research utilizes a broad range of research methods, including qualitative and quantitative approaches, and the use of archival data.

If you would like to contact me about a proposal or application, please contact:

I have successfully supervised 15 doctoral students to completion. I am currently supervising 3 doctoral students.


Current doctoral students

Jiachen Shi (September 2013-present) ‘External influences on HRM strategies: a case study of the Chinese banking sector’, jointly supervised with Hugh Cook

Marina Boulos (January 2015-pesent) ‘Causes and impacts of stress in the workplace: an analysis of stress management interventions’, jointly supervised with Jo Ingold

Rana Alyami (January 2012 – present, Saudi Arabia Government) ‘Integrated teams in healthcare in Saudi Arabia’, jointly supervised with Mark Stuart


Previous students

Kate Morgan (April 2011-2017, ESRC 1+3 scholarship) ‘Employee silence in the workplace’, jointly supervised with Robert MacKenzie

Angeliki Skondra (September 2012-2017, CERIC scholarship) ‘Skills and training in SMEs, jointly supervised with Mark Stuart

Adejoke Ige (April 2013-March 2017) ‘Collective Conciliation in Nigeria, jointly supervised with Ian Greenwood. 

Danat Valizade (September 2012-September 2016, LUBS scholarship) ‘Trade union strategies towards non-standard workers’, jointly supervised with Robert MacKenzie

Abdul Basahal (October 2011-April 2016), Saudi Arabia Government) ‘Localisation policies in Saudi Arabia’, jointly supervised with Robert MacKenzie

Nuzo Ezeichi (October 2010-2015) ‘Health and Safety in the Nigerian Offshore Oil Industry’, jointly supervised with Steve Vincent

Nousheen Zakaria (October 2009-December 2013), ‘HRM strategy and implementation in Pakistan’, jointly supervised with Andrew Robinson

Zyama Ciupijus (September 2007- September 2013, LUBS Doctoral Research Fellowship), ‘Eastern European workers in Britain: examining the status quo and potential of EU migrants from the perspective of soft skills development', jointly supervised with Robert MacKenzie

Hugh Cook (September 2007-September 2012, ESRC scholarship) ‘High Performance Human Resource Management Practices and Performance: A Case study of a large supermarket retailer’, Jointly supervised with Robert MacKenzie.

Hadi El-Farr (September 2007-September 2011), ‘Knowledge management and Human Resource Management’, jointly supervised with Ian Kirkpatrick

Antonios Panagiotakopolous (2005- 2009) ‘An empirical investigation of employee training and development in Greek manufacturing small and medium sized enterprises’, jointly supervised with Mark Stuart. 

Khalid al Horr (2004 – 2009) ‘Political contingency and the implementation of localisation policies: a case study of the oil and gas sector in Qatar’, jointly supervised with Robert MacKenzie.

Neil Wolfenden (2002-2006, ESRC scholarship) ‘Non-standard employment contracts in the IT sector: The shifting boundaries of control’, jointly supervised with Robert MacKenzie.  

Sarah Mollitt (2002-2006, LUBS scholarship) ‘The case of 'unwanted flexibility': a study of temporary agency workers in the U.K.’, jointly supervised with Ian Kirkpatrick

Niki Kyriakidou (1999-2004) ‘Graduate employment in the Greek labour market’ , jointly supervised with Mark Stuart.




Current teaching

LUBS5241 HRM: An International Perspective (Executive Level)

LUBS5592 Research Methods and Practice for Consultants

LUBS5594 Management Consulting Project 

LUBS5376 HRM Dissertation 

LUBS2590 Labour Economics




Recent published journal articles and reports

Cook, H., MacKenzie, R. & Forde, C. (Forthcoming) ‘Union partnership as a facilitator to HRM: Improving implementation through oppositional engagement. The International Journal of Human Resource Management’.

Forde, C., Stuart, M. Joyce, S., Oliver, L., Valizade, D., Alberti, G., Hardy, K., Trappmann, V., Umney, C. and Carson, C. (2017) The Social Protection of Workers in the Collaborative Economy, Report for European Parliament Employment and Social Affairs Committee, December 2017. 

Forde, C. and Stuart, M. (2017) The Employment and Social Situation in the USA, Report for the European Parliament Employment and Social Affairs Committee, Digitalisation of the Labour Market Working Group, April 2017.

Cook, H., MacKenzie, R. and Forde, C. (2016) ‘HRM and performance: the vulnerability of soft HRM practices during recession and retrenchment’. Human Resource Management Journal, 26(4): 557-571.

Forde, C. and Slater, G. (2016) ‘Labour market regulation and the ‘competition state’: an analysis of the implementation of the Agency Working Regulations in the UK’, Work Employment and Society, 30 (4): 590-606.

Valizade, D., Ogbonnaya, C., Tregaskis, O. and Forde, C. (2016) ‘A mutual gains perspective on workplace partnership: Employee outcomes and the mediating role of the employment relations climate’. Human Resource Management Journal, 26(3), pp.351-368

Saundry, R., Adams, D., Ashman, I., Forde, C., Wibberley, G. and Wright, S., (2016). Managing individual conflict in the contemporary British workplace. Managing individual conflict in the contemporary British workplace, ACAS Research Report 2016, Number 2.

Forde, C., and Slater, G., (2016). ‘Temporary agency work: evolution, regulation and implications for performance’, Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, 3(3): 312-322.

Schiek., D., Oliver, L., Forde, C. and Alberti, G. (2015) EU Social and Labour rights and EU Internal Market Law, European Parliament Employment and Social Affairs Report.

Forde, C., MacKenzie, R., Ciupijus, Z. and Alberti, G. (2015) ‘Understanding the connections between temporary employment agencies and migration’, International Journal of Comparative Labor Law and industrial Relations, 31 (4), 357-370.

Charlwood, A., Forde, C., Grugulis, I.,  Hardy, K., Kirkpatrick, I., MacKenzie, R. and Stuart, M (2014) ‘Clear, rigorous and relevant: publishing quantitative research articles’ in Work, employment and society, 28, 2, 155-167

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