As a trained sociologist, my research focusses on work, emplyment, and technology. I am specifically interested in developments around digitalisation of work, the decision making processes around the invention and implementation of new technologies, and workforce outcomes. I am interested in the cross-sectional emerging varieties of automation, the related power structures, and how they are impacting on work and life. The integrity of teaching and research is crucial to my pedagogical approaches.
My teaching covers the broad range of sociology of work.
My core areas are:
- Sociology of Work
- Social Theory
- HRM and Public Sector
- (International) Employee Relations
- Surveillance Studies
My reserach interests are in the broad area of changing work and employment structures, with a focus on new technologies and re-roganisation. I did research the impact of the implementation of New Public Management on public servants in different nations and sectors (police, waste collection, energy). More recently, I started to investigate in the effects robotics-led workplaces have on job quality. I am also interested in reseraching trade unions, particularly in terms of their representational and oragnisational capacities. My research relies on inter-disciplinary as well as international collaborations.
- International Labour Process Conference 2023
- “We are a service class” A workers’ inquiry into the class composition of service commodity production
- New Technologies at Work: Situated Knowledge, Collaboration and Voice
- A two day Conference: Disrupting Technology
- Launch of the Centre for the Political Economy of Labour
- Upskilling and intensification of work; are robots the answer?
More professional activities
- Industry 4.0: Can AI ethics be embedded in the innovation lifecycle?
- Briken, Kendra (Principal Investigator) Rose, Emily (Co-investigator) Scholarios, Dora (Co-investigator)
- 01-Jan-2022 - 31-Jan-2023
- The Care Necessities - Developing Inclusive Digital Technologies for Scotland’s Post Pandemic Social Care (Digit Innovation Fund)
- Briken, Kendra (Principal Investigator) Cunningham, Ian (Co-investigator)
- 01-Jan-2021 - 31-Jan-2022
- Cities as mobility hubs: tackling social exclusion through ‘smart’ citizen engagement SMARTDEST
- Baum, Thomas (Principal Investigator) Briken, Kendra (Co-investigator) Sambajee, Pratima (Co-investigator)
- Cities as mobility hubs: tackling social exclusion through ‘smart’ citizen engagement(SMARTDEST) H2020-SC6-TRANSFORMATIONS-2018
- 01-Jan-2020 - 31-Jan-2022
- Pesticide, labour and public health
- Garvey, Brian (Principal Investigator) Briken, Kendra (Co-investigator)
- Interdisciplinary, strategic research project to link hazardous chemicals to agricultural workplace risk
- 01-Jan-2019 - 31-Jan-2020
- Who cares? Platform work and Low-income home service work in the digital economy
- Briken, Kendra (Co-investigator) Houij Gueddana, Wifak (Principal Investigator) Hall, Miranda (CoI) Stewart, James (Academic)
- Despite the rapid platform takeover of reproductive work, i.e. child and elderly care, domestic work and sex work, there has been little research to date on the way in which the vulnerabilities and opportunities of platform work are shaped by gender, race and class. Public debates on the ‘gig economy’ have overwhelmingly focused on unicorn startups such as Uber and Deliveroo which have a predominantly male workforce. Yet, in the UK, women make up over half of gig workers (52% Huws et al 2017) and their experiences have been overlooked. This gap critically limits the ability of policy-makers and trade unions or campaigning organisations to understand the economic, social and working conditions of those using platforms and apps to work in the context of broader labour market issues.
There is need for a deeper understanding of how these technologies come to reproduce the rigid gendered and unequal labour markets where the hidden work of migrant and BAME women in low-income home service sectors remains invisible, undervalued, underpaid and under-protected. There is potential for the exploitative dynamics of these sectors to be amplified as, for example, online profiles and rating systems generate new forms of abuse and discrimination (Mateescu and Ticona 2018) or platform mediation enables wage theft and the further erosion of protections (Van Doorn, 2017).
This project brings together a cross-disciplinary research collaboration to provide first empirical insights using an innovative methodological toolbox of alternative forum data and interviews to explore parts of a vulnerable labour force so far hidden in the media hype on the gig economy. Through workshops and policy roundtables we will share our findings and identify key challenges with relevant stakeholders to fuel future grassroots campaigns, inform policy and shape the design of new technologies.
- 01-Jan-2019 - 30-Jan-2020
- EAT Pharmacy 2019
- Findlay, Patricia (Principal Investigator) Briken, Kendra (Co-investigator) Dunlop, Emma (Co-investigator) McQuarrie, Johanna (Co-investigator) van der Meer, Robert (Co-investigator)
- 01-Jan-2019 - 31-Jan-2020
Work, Employment and Organisation
University of Strathclyde
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