Jo Cutter

Jo Cutter


My research focuses on organisational change, systems of skill formation and worker representation. I am currently undertaking research on these themes in relation to two areas: the impact of climate change mitigation strategies on work, jobs and skills and the re-shaping of UK labour mobility and workers’ rights resulting from the 2016 EU ‘Brexit’ Referendum. 

I worked for 20 years as a policy researcher and consultant in the field of skills and employment and produced many reports for government (Department for BEIS/BIS/Dti/DfES, The Welsh Assembly), public agencies and NGOs (Kings Fund, HEFCE), HE (Open University) and trade unions (TUC; NIC-ICTU; PCS; UNITE; GMB) authoring many reports on learning and skills policy and practice.

I am interested in participatory research methods and have written on the co-production of research with non-academic partners. 

I am the Director of the MSc in Management Consulting at the University of Leeds


2017- Present: Lecturer in Work and Employment relations , Work and Employment Relations Division, Leeds University Business School

2015-2017: Faculty Research Engagement Manager, Leeds University Business School

2012-2015: Assistant Director, Professional Services Sector Hub, University of Leeds 

2004-2012: Founder and Director, JMC Research

1995-2004: Principal Consultant, York Consulting Ltd

1994-1995: Director, Positively Women

1994-1996: Research Manager, North Yorkshire Training and Enterprise Council and Business Education Partnership        

1992-1994: Senior Policy Analyst, Policy Research Unit, Leeds Business School, Leeds Metropolitan University


  • Programme Director MSc Management Consulting

Research interests

My research interests cover organisational change; trade union modernisation; collective bargaining; labour market institutions and labour mobility; skills and training systems; professional work; low carbon transitions.

I am currently supervising one PHD student and I am interested in supervising projects related to the research interests noted above.

Research Grants 

I have successfully bid for a range of academic, policy and organisational research projects including the following:

Combating climate change: The role of labour LUBS Challenge Fund (£21,778) with Dr Vera Trappmann (PI)

The impact of Brexit on employers and employment rights LUBS/CERIC (£3,300) with Dr. Gabriella Alberti (PI), Dr. Ioulia Bessa, Dr. Zyama Ciupijus, Prof. Chris Forde

Theorising worker-employer relations in the new world of work 2018-9 BSA Early Career Network £990 with Dr Simon Joyce

Practice to profession: a framework for the development of professional associations, American Society of Association Executives Foundation, (£10,219), March 2015, with Ian Kirkpatrick (PI), Sundeep Aulakh and Daniel Muzio

Evaluation of the Union Learning Fund rounds 15-16 and support role of unionlearn TUC Unionlearn, (£127,622), Jan 2015, with Mark Stuart (PI) and Hugh Cook on collaboration with the University of Essex

Building capacity and reflexive learning for urban co-production, RCUK-N8, (£15,000), December 2014, with Paul Chatterton (PI) and Gary Dymski

The impact of the Essential Skills in Wales programme: counterfactual evaluation, Welsh Assembly Government, (LUBS £11,000), Dec 2013, in collaboration with York Consulting with Chris Forde (PI) and Ioulia Bessa

Sustaining union-led learning, TUC Unionlearn/BIS. (£80,000), Nov 2012, with Mark Stuart (PI).

ESRC-SAMS-UKCES Management and Business Fellowship Scheme (£95,000), August 2012 with Ian Kirkpatrick (PI)

Evaluation of unionlearn and the Union Learning Fund, Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), in collaboration with Institute for Employment Studies, (£110,000). Dec 2011, with Mark Stuart (PI) and Hugh Cook.

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, Sept 2007, (£12,500), Mark Stuart (PI), and Chris Forde.


  • PhD
  • Masters in Business and Economic Studies (by research): Gender attachment to the labour market
  • BA (Hons) Economics, School of Economic Studies, University of Leeds

Professional memberships

  • Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA)
  • British Sociological Association (BSA)
  • British Universities Industrial Relations Association (BUIRA)
  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Student education

Teaching Experience

My teaching experience covers undergraduate, Masters and Executive MBA level provision covering courses on economic and labour market institutions, gender and the labour market, research methods and practice, introductory economics, international economic history (1870-1945) and management consulting.

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change