Strathclyde Business School
Department of Human Resource Management

Nickson Dennis Prof

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Prof Dennis Nickson

head of department


Tel : +44 (0)141 548 3970

Prof Dennis Nickson

Education: BA Hons Industrial Relations – Politics and Government (University of Kent), Postgraduate Certificate in Education – Further Education (PGCE – FE) (University of Huddersfield), PhD in International Human Resource Management (University of Strathclyde).

He is an Academic Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (Academic FCIPD).

Professor Dennis Nickson is head of the Department of Human Resource Management. He has been head of department since 2008. During his time as head Dennis has completed the Association of Business Schools Development Programme for Heads of Department and the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education Head of Department course.

His primary research interests centre on work and employment issues in interactive service work, with a particular concentration on the retail and hospitality industries. More specifically, he has extensively researched labour market, skills and employability and human resource issues in entry-level work in these industries. He is one of the team – along with Professor Chris Warhurst and the late Professor Anne Wtiz – who developed the concept of aesthetic labour. His work has been published in journals such as Work, Employment and Society, the Human Resource Management Journal, the International Journal of Human Resource Management, Industrial Relations Journal and Economic and Industrial Democracy. Sole and co-authored books include Human Resource Management for the Hospitality and Tourism Industries, 2nd edition (Routledge, 2013). Professor Nickson’s published work has over 1200 citations on Google Scholar.

He is also Editor-in-Chief of Employee Relations.

Prior to becoming Head of Department in 2008 he had previously been co-Director of the Scottish Centre for Employment Research (SCER). In this role Professor Nickson led a number of research projects working closely with a variety of funding organisations in developing and disseminating findings to a wide range of stakeholders. Projects which he led included an analysis of the relationship between product market strategies and HRM in the hospitality industry; a review of recruitment issues in the Scottish voluntary sector; and a major project examining equal pay issues for classroom assistants in Scottish schools.

Professor Nickson has featured as a ‘Professor to Watch’ in the Financial Times and regularly engages with a variety of stakeholders outside of the University, for example chairing a one-day conference on Welfare Reform in Scotland in 2011, which included speeches from the UK Minister for Welfare Reform and the Scottish Government’s Minister for Skills and Lifelong Learning.

He has been an External Examiner at the University of Abertay; Loughborough University; University of St Andrews and the University of Kingston.

Professor Nickson is currently first supervisor to four PhD students. He welcomes applications from students interested in pursuing doctoral research around labour market, skills, employability and human resource issues in the retail and hospitality industries. For example, recently completed PhDs that he has supervised have focused on aesthetic labour and social exclusion; and the experience of migrant workers in Scotland. Current PhDs that he is supervising include research examining emotion work/emotional labour of managers in hospitality SMEs.

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