Xanthe Whittaker

Teaching Fellow in Human Resource Management

+44(0)113 343 6718
Academic, Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change (CERIC), Work and Employment Relations
GM.29, Maurice Keyworth Building

2016    Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)   
2001     BPPM Public Policy and Management (Hons), University of Melbourne

Associations and Professional Memberships:
British Sociological Association (BSA)
British Universities Industrial Relations Associations (BUIRA)

2016 - Present : Teaching Fellow in Human Resource Management, University of Leeds Business School.

2015 - 2016: Interviewer, Health working lives: a longitudinal study of early career clinicians’ expectations and experiences of work, employment and career in the NHS. School of Management, University of Leicester.

2014 - 2016: Associate Tutor, University of Leicester Business School

2013 - Present: University of Leicester Business School funded Doctoral Researcher

2009 - 2010: Research coordinator, x:talk project ‘Human Rights Sex Work and the Challenge of Trafficking’. European Commission’s Daphne programme.

2008 - 2009: Researcher. ISET, London Metropolitan University. ESRC project ‘Migrants in the UK   Sex Industry’.



I started working as a teaching fellow at CERIC in September 2016, while undertaking my doctoral research at University of Leicester School of Business. My doctoral research is an ethnographic study of newspaper journalism, focusing on the role of digitalisation in the reorganisation of work and work practices. The research examines whether digitalisation of work fragments and de-centres the labour process, leading to mobility and flexibility; a redefining of the boundaries of work, and the creation of new social subjects. It also considers the extent to which digitalisation has resulted in de-professionalisation and precarity for journalists. My research interests include digital labour and the effects of processes of digitalisation at work, knowledge work, atypical work and the creative industries, labour process theory and organisational ethnography.


I have worked to bring researchers on digital transformations of work into conversation; drawing together insights from inside and outside the academy, as well as from disciplines including sociology of work, organization studies, media and cultural studies. In 2017 I convened a stream on Digital Labour at the International Labour Process Conference. I have recently co-edited a collection of essays, Humans and Machines at Work, which came out of a symposium at WZB in Berlin 2016 and includes discussions of monitoring and surveillance, automation, the gig economy and the quantified self in the workplace from different disciplinary perspectives. I am currently developing a research agenda that extends my research on the digital transformations of work to look at the challenges these pose for employment relations and HRM. 


I have taught on courses in HRM, sociology of work, critical management studies and business ethics. I currently teach at foundation, masters and MBA courses in the Work and Employment Relations Division. In August 2016 I was made a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In addition to my academic teaching, I have a background in critical pedagogy and have worked in teaching settings with marginalised groups, including Somali women refugees and migrant sex workers. I have a deep commitment to creating learning environments that are inclusive, enable participation and that recognise the role learning plays, not just in terms of skills and employability, but in the wider context of democratic participation in civil society and social change.


LUBS5330M - Human Resources Management
LUBS5592M - Research Methods and Practice for Consultants
LUBS5442M - Internal Communications and Change Management
LUBS5761M - Strategic HRM and Talent Management


Whittaker, X. (2017) There is only one thing in life worse than being watched, and that is not being watched: Digital data analytics and the reorganisation of newspaper production in Moore, P., M. Upchurch & X. Whittaker (Eds.) (forthcoming) Human and Machines at Work: Monitoring, Surveillance & Automation in Contemporary Capitalism. Dynamics of Virtual Work Series. London: Palgrave

Moore, P., Upchurch, M. & Whittaker, X. (Eds.) (2017) Human and Machines at Work: Monitoring, Surveillance & Automation in Contemporary Capitalism. Dynamics of Virtual Work Series. London: Palgrave

Whittaker, X (2016) Book review: Christina Garsten and Anette Nyqvist (eds), Organisational Anthropology: Doing Ethnography in and among Complex Organisations in Work, Employment & Society first published on January 11, 2016 as doi:10.1177/0950017015618134 

Read more about: