Professor Mark Stuart

Professor Mark Stuart


I joined the Faculty in Leeds in 1992, completed my Doctorate in 1999 and was promoted to a personal Chair in 2005. I took up the Montague Burton Chair in September 2012. My research interests focus on the dynamics of organisational restructuring and skill formation, trade union strategy and change and the modernisation of employment relations. Most recently, my research has focused on the impact of new digital technologies on the future of work and employment.

My work has been funded by the European Commission, European Parliament, Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BERR/ DTI), the Economic and Social Research Council, International Labour Office, CIPD, ACAS, Low Pay Commission, TUC and numerous trade unions. Since 2001, I have won and led some 45 external awards totalling more than 10 million pounds. This included the co-ordination of a prestigious EU Framework Five funded study investigating the implications for employment and skills of the restructuring of the European steel and metal sectors. The study involved research partners in seven European countries, during 2001-2005. I was also the lead evaluator of the UK government’s Union Modernisation Fund (UMF) and have conducted numerous evaluations of the Union Learning Fund (ULF). Most recently, I have been awarded a grant of £6.5 million from the ESRC to establish a research centre on Digital Futures at Work (Digit). The Digit research centre is co-directed by myself and Professor Jackie O’Reilly (University of Sussex – see:

I have published more than 70 journal articles and book chapters, some 70 reports, monographs, edited books and miscellaneous articles and presented papers at conferences and workshops in over 20 countries. I have published in internationally leading journals, such as: British Journal of Industrial Relations; Human Resource Management Journal; Human Relations; Sociology; Work, Employment and Society

I am currently an editorial board member of the International Journal of Training Research, Labour and Industry and the Human Resource Management Journal, and was previoulsy an editorial board member of Work, Employment and Society (2004-2007). In terms of wider academic service, I was a member of the Executive of the British Universities Industrial Relations Association (BUIRA) between 2010-2013, the President of BUIRA between 2013-2016 and the Co-Editor-in-Chief of Work, Employment and Society (2011-2015). Internationally, I have served as the Chair of the International Section of the Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA: 2008-2015) and the Chair of the LERA award for Best International Paper. I am currently serving a third term on the ESRC Peer Review College. I was a member of the scientific panel for the 2015/ 2018 reviews of the Association of Business Schools Journal Quality Guide and am a sub panel member (assessment stage) for Business and Management for the 2021 Research Evaluation Framework. I was elected as Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS) in 2019. 

I am an associate member of the the ESRC Centre for Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance (SKOPE at Oxford University) and have spent periods as a visiting researcher in the USA (Cornell), Australia (Sydney, Monash and Griffith), France (Toulouse) and Sweden (NIWL). 



  • Montague Burton Professor of Human Resource Management and Employment Relations
  • Founding Director of CERIC
  • Co-Director: ESRC Digital Futures at Work Research Centre

Research interests


1. The wide-ranging effects of digitalisation on the future of work. This has a included a recent study, funded initially by the European Parliament, on the social protection of workers in the platform economy. This research has included policy level interviews in eight European countries and a survey of workers across 4 online platforms. In collaboration with Simon Joyce, Chris Forde, Danat Valizade and others we are currently extending this research through qualitative interviews with platforms workers and further survey investigations. 

2. Leeds Index of Platform Labour unrest – see recent publication: 

2. Restructuring and displacement in the Steel sector - building on longstanding research, Chris McLachlan, Ian Greenwood and myself are examining the ongoing restructuring of the steel sector and in particular the post-steel career trajectories of redundant workers.

3. Union modernisation, skills and learning.

4. Covid-19 and the jobs crisis – currently undertaking an employer survey to explore use of the Job Retention scheme and long-term employers’ strategies for labour retention.

Research Supervision 

I have supervised 14 Doctoral students to successful completion and I am interested in supervising projects related to:

  • Trade-union led learning (union learning reps, learning partnerships)
  • Partnership-based approaches to employment relations
  • Trade union modernisation
  • Workforce development and corporate training strategies
  • Globalisation, restructuring and employment relations outcomes
  • Comparative studies of labour market restructuring and welfare reform
  • Workplace restructuring, redundancy and experiences of job loss
  • Unemployment and labour market activation
  • Skills, workplace change and organisational restructuring

I am also interested in working with interested international applicants for funding for post-Doctoral Fellowships (e.g. EU Marie Curie positions). Depending on experience, students will get an opportunity to contribute and work on some of current funded projects. 

If you are interested in doctoral study in any of these areas please contact me at:


  • BA (Hons)
  • MA
  • PhD

Professional memberships

  • Chartered Member, CIPD

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change

Current postgraduate researchers