Lecturer in Employment Relations and HRM

+44(0)113 343 4558
Academic, Work and Employment Relations, Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change (CERIC)
GM.26, Maurice Keyworth Building


2013:    PhD, University of Leeds
2006:    MA Human Resource Management, Distinction, University of Leeds
2004:    BSc Psychology, 2:1, University of Liverpool

Associations and Professional Memberships:

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.  Full academic member: MCIPD.
Member of the British Universities Industrial Relations Association (BUIRA)
Member of Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE)


2012-2015: BA HRM Programme Director
2011-Present: Lecturer in Employment Relations and HRM

2009-2010: Research Fellow, Leeds
2007-2011: Part time Teaching Assistant & Associate Lecturer, Leeds
2007-2011: ESRC funded Doctoral Research Fellow, Leeds

External Roles:

Reviewer for The International Journal of Human Resource Management
Reviewer for Economic and Industrial Democracy
Reviewer for Employee Relations


Key research interests focus on the implementation of strategic HRM systems in the retail sector; the sustainability of high performance work systems during recession and retrenchment; and the interacting dynamics between trade union representation and organisational HRM systems.  Further interests stem from a large scale survey project on collective bargaining practices, including pay distribution during recession, and union behaviours, priorities and interactions with HRM practice.

I am also interested in the contribution of trade unions to skills provision in the UK economy, in particular, partnerships with employers around the learning agenda and how this contributes more broadly to debates around union modernisation and renewal.  This has research has stemmed from a key involvement on the largest programme of research projects on union-led learning undertaken to date. Finally, I have interests in understanding determinants of job satisfaction, resulting from collaboration on a large qualitative project of multiple occupational groups.  Contributions are being developed on meaningful work, class and reflexivity in the labour market, and morale of junior doctors.

PhD Students:
I have supervised one doctoral student to completion, and am currently supervising a number of ongoing projects, two of which have submitted theses and are awaiting viva voce. These are:

  • Dr Joanne Cutter: Getting learning into the bargain: trade union strategies for bargaining over learning in the workplace (Completed 2015)
  • Dr James Brooks: Know and tell: Understanding knowledge transfer in the fire and rescue service (Completed October 2017)
  • Edister Jamu: An institutional analysis of academic talent management in Malawian universities (Submitted September 2017)
  • Jiachen Shi: Employers' HRM response to external economic factors in China
  • Lydia Suleh: Training systems in the Nigerian Oil and Banking sectors during recession

Research Supervision:

I am interested in secondary supervision of projects related to:

    •   The implementation of strategic HRM systems
    •   Work and employment in the retail sector
    •   Macroeconomic variation and HRM strategies
    •   Social partnership, HRM and employment relations
    •   Trade union and partnership based approaches to learning and skills 

If you would like to contact me about a proposal or application, please contact: H.S.T.Cook@leeds.ac.uk


I teach or have taught on a range of modules on undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in HRM and supervise postgraduate dissertations.  These include:

•    Personal Tutorials for HRM (Level 1)
•    Economic Institutions, Industry (Level 1)
•    HRM Research Practice (Level 2)
•    Contemporary Industrial Relations (Level 2)
•    Contemporary HRM (Level 2)
•    Labour Economics (Level 2)
•    Controversies in Employment Relations (Level 3)
•    HRM Dissertation Supervision (Level 3)
•    HRM Research Methods and Practice( M Level)
•    Human Resource Management Core (M Level)
•    MA Dissertation Supervision

Winner of ‘The Dean’s Prize for Teaching Excellence’ in 2012.
Winner of ‘The Dean’s Prize for Teaching Excellence’ in 2013.


Journal articles:

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.

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

Stuart, M., Cutter, J., Cook, H. & Winterton, J. (2013) Who stands to gain from union-led learning in the UK?  Economic and Industrial Democracy. 34: 2, 227-246.

MacKenzie, R., Forde, C., Robinson, A., Cook, H., Eriksson, B., Larsson, P. & Bergman, A. (2010) Contingent work in the UK and Sweden: Evidence from the construction industry. Industrial Relations Journal. 41: 6, 603-621.

Other published articles and reports:

Bessa, I., Charlwood, A., Cook, H. and Jephson, N. (2016) CERIC Policy Report No. 8: An Enquiry into the Morale of Junior Doctors. Leeds: CERIC

Valizade, D., MacKenzie, R., Cook, H and Forde, C. (2015). CERIC Policy Report No 7: Collective bargaining, pay and union-management relationships in unionised workplaces during the post-recession period. Leeds: CERIC.

Stuart, M., Cutter, J., Cook, H., Valizade, D. and Garcia, R. (2016) Evaluation of the Union Learning Fund Rounds 16-17 and Support Role of Unionlearn. London: TUC.

Stuart, M., Cutter, J., Cook, H., Mustchin, S. (2013) The sustainability of union learning and the ULF. London: TUC

Stuart, M. & Cook, H. (2011) Sustaining union-led learning: findings from the UPO follow-on survey. London: Unionlearn

Stuart, M., Cutter, J., Cook, H. & Winterton, J. (2010) Evaluation of the Union Learning Fund Rounds 8-11 and unionlearn: Final Report. London: TUC

Stuart, M., Cook, H., Cutter, J. & Winterton, J. (2010) CERIC Policy Report No. 4.  Assessing the impact of union learning and the Union Learning Fund: union and employer perspectives.  CERIC. April 2010.  

Stuart, M., Cook, H., Cutter, J. & Winterton, J. (2010) Evaluation of the Union Learning Fund and unionlearn: Preliminary findings.  London: Unionlearn

Vincent, S. & Cook. H. (2008) Evaluating learning and assessment methods for teaching management research.  A project report prepared under the auspices of the “Research into Teaching” Initiative.

Conference papers and presentations:

Cook, H., Forde, C. and MacKenzie, R. (2017) ‘The vulnerability of commitment focused HRM’ 35th International Labour Process Conference (ILPC) Sheffield, UK.

Cook, H., Valizade, D., MacKenzie, R. and Forde, C. (2016) Pay rises in unionised workplaces during and after the recession’ Presented at 28th annual meeting of Society for Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE).

D. Valizade, R. MacKenzie, C. Ford, H. Cook (2016) ‘Trade union strategies for changing collective bargaining priorities in the UK’ 34th International Labour Process Conference (ILPC) Berlin, Germany.

Mackenzie R., Forde C., Cook H., and Valizade, D. (2015). ‘The Effect of Trade Unions on High Performance Work Systems (HPWS): Does industrial Relations Climate Matter?’ 17th International Labour and Employment Relations Association World Congress (ILERA). Cape Town, South Africa.

Cook H., Stuart M., Cutter, J. and Mustchin, S. (2014) Learning as a union strategy for resilience. 32nd  International Labour Process Conference, Kings College, London.

Cook, H. (2013) The impact of recession on HRM and the intensity of work: capitalising on insecurity.  Work, Employment and Society Conference 2013, Warwick, UK.

Cook, H. (2012) The recession as a lever to increase output through HRM strategy at a highly performing UK firm.  Paper for the 30th International Labour Process Conference: Stockholm, Sweden

Stuart, M., Cook, H., Cutter, J. & Winterton, J. (2011) Learning as a ‘core’ agenda issue for unions in Britain.  Paper accepted for the Industrial Relations in Europe Conference 2011, Barcelona, Spain.

Stuart, M., Cook, H., Cutter, J. & Winterton, J. (2011) The impact of union-management learning agreements on HRD practice in Britain. Paper presented at the 12th International Human Resource Development Conference. Cheltenham, UK.

Cook, H. (2011) HRM and performance: qualitative progress at the largest private sector employer in the UK. Paper presented at the 29th International Labour Process Conference. Leeds, UK.

Stuart, M., Cutter, J., Cook, H. & Winterton, J. (2011) Who stands to gain from union-led learning in the UK? Paper presented at the 29th International Labour Process Conference. Leeds, UK.

Cook, H. (2011) The retail sector: HRM, partnership and the recession.  Paper presented at the ILPC CERIC doctoral conference.

Stuart, M., Cook, H., Cutter, J. & Winterton, J. (2010) The state of union-led learning in Britain.  Paper presented at the 28th International Labour Process Conference. Rutgers, New Jersey.

Cook, H. (2009) Unpacking complexities of the ‘high performance human resource management and establishment performance’ debate using qualitative research in the retail sector.  Paper for the 15th International Industrial Relations Association. Sydney, Australia.

Cook, H. (2009) A qualitative study of HRM in the retail sector: beginning the fieldwork.  Presented at the 2009 Centre for Employment Relations Innovation and Change annual doctoral conference.

Cook, H. (2008) Reviewing the literature on HRM and organisational performance.  Presented at the 2008 Centre for Employment Relations Innovation and Change annual doctoral conference.

Book contribution:

In – Field, A. (2009) Discovering Statistics Using SPSS.  Sage publications with Shift-Media.  Produced multiple choice questions to accompany each chapter of this statistics textbook for the companion website.

In the media:

The Conversation (2016): Five things junior doctors need to know before they hit the wards: https://theconversation.com/five-things-junior-doctors-need-to-know-before-they-hit-the-wards-63571

Employee benefits (2015):
The outcomes and complexities of flexible benefits schemes: https://www.employeebenefits.co.uk/issues/december-2015/dr-hugh-cook-the-outcomes-and-complexities-of-flexible-benefits-schemes/

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