Professor Irena Grugulis - BA (Hons), PhD

Professor of Work and Skills

Irena Grugulis

My principal research interests lie in the (broadly constituted) area of skills, particularly the way that organisations attempt to shape their employees and the impact and implications of this for the employees themselves.  The notion of a partial coincidence of interest between employer and employee is central to much industrial relations writing but has been largely neglected in the more prescriptive human resource development literature and I have tried to remedy this omission.

My research has been funded by the ESRC, EPSRC and EU.  Recent research projects include an ethnographic study of work and skills in the computer games industry, a study of freelancers and small independent companies in UK film and TV production and research into work and skills in supermarkets.  I have published extensively including articles in Organization Studies, Journal of Management Studies, British Journal of Industrial Relations and Work, Employment and Society.

I am an ESRC/AIM Services Fellow and an Associate Fellow of SKOPE (an ESRC research centre based at Oxford).  I have been a member of the UKCES’s Academic Advisory Panel and done government advisory work on skills, contributing to both the Leitch Review and the National Skills Task Force as well as advising the Singaporean government.

I am currently Joint Editor in Chief of Work, Employment and Society, having previous served as Editor of the journal’s Research Notes and Debates and Controversies sections.  I have organised six major international conferences, including the Critical Management Studies Conference which I co-founded and am a member of the Steering Group for the International Labour Process Conference. 

PhD supervision

I am interested in supervising PhDs in any area of skills, particularly:

  • Skills and work
  • Skills in the creative industries
  • Skills and gender
  • Low skills/low wage work
  • Managerial work
  • Managerial skills 

I am also interested in working with international applicants to secure funding for post-doctoral fellowships (such as EU Marie Curie fellowships).  Please contact me to discuss this. 

Contact and CV


Tel: +44 (0)113 3434460