Dr Kendra Briken

Senior Lecturer

Work, Employment and Organisation


Personal statement

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.

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Area of Expertise


  • New Technologies and the Workplace
  • Work and Gender
  • Labour Process Analysis & Critical Theory
  • Research Methods
  • Trade Unions 
  • Organisation theory


Prize And Awards

Awarded Guest Lectureship

More prizes and awards

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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
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Research Interests

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.

Professional Activities

Gender, Work and Organisation
The impact of the AI revolution on our businesses and teams
Gendered organisations and its impact on women's leadership trajectories
Is your organisation ready for the ChatGPT of things? (Episode 159, CIPD podcast)
International Labour Process Conference 2023
AI and workplace cultures. Unpacking the Human in Industry 5

More professional activities


Fair Work in Scottish HEI's
Remnant, Jennifer (Principal Investigator) Briken, Kendra (Co-investigator)
18-Jan-2023 - 01-Jan-2023
Amplifying Employee Voice and Hearing the Unheard: A Multidisciplinary Study of Contemporary Working Lives in Deindustrialised Communities
Johnstone, Stewart (Principal Investigator) Briken, Kendra (Co-investigator) Cunningham, Ian (Co-investigator) Hadjisolomou, Tasos (Co-investigator) McCarthy, Tony (Co-investigator) McIntyre, Stuart (Co-investigator) Scholarios, Dora (Co-investigator) Taylor, Philip (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2022 - 30-Jan-2025
Research Excellence Award: Hearing the unheard: amplifying the voices of frontline essential workers £99,008
Johnstone, Stewart (Principal Investigator) Briken, Kendra (Principal Investigator)
Employee voice – defined as the ability to have a say at work and influence over workplace affairs – is a central dimension of a good job and fair work (Fairwork Convention, 2021, Norris-Green and Gifford, 2021; Taylor, 2017; Wilkinson et.al, 2021). For much of the twentieth century in Britain employee voice was synonymous with trade unions and collective bargaining. However, union representation is now unavailable in 90% private sector workplaces, and limited voice has a disproportionate impact on workers most vulnerable to exploitation. It also has the the potential to exacerbate intersectional inequalities among those already identified as having a constrained voice at work including women, the disabled, younger workers and ethnic minorities (Hodder and Lefteris, 2015; Wacjman 2002; William et.al, 2009). The pandemic highlighted societies dependency on frontline 'essential workers' defined by the Scottish Government as 'people who keep the country running'. However, many essential workers, including those in retail, logistics and the platformed mediated gig economy, are in low paid and insecure employment. These 'minimum wage heroes' (BBC, 2020) are also among the most likely to be treated unfairly but least likely to have access to traditional collective union voice mechanisms. This does not, however, mean such workers have no voice. Many employers have devised their own organisational voice channels, though concerns have been raised about the extent to which these can challenge management authority or promote employee interests. Workers also have alternative means of expressing themselves, including informal dialogue with peers and managers, social media, as well as support from other interest and advocacy groups. However, little is known about whether such channels are sufficient in empowering vulnerable frontline workers, promoting good jobs or promulgating fair work. Assessing this issue is the aim of the project.
01-Jan-2022 - 01-Jan-2025
AI and Ethics in Manufacturing
Briken, Kendra (Principal Investigator) Rose, Emily (Co-investigator) Moore, Jed Hanson (Co-investigator)
Preparation of online training module for the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, Manufacturing Skills Academy
01-Jan-2022 - 23-Jan-2022
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

More projects

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Dr Kendra Briken
Senior Lecturer
Work, Employment and Organisation

Email: kendra.briken@strath.ac.uk
Tel: 548 4074