Professor Ian Cunningham

Head Of Department

Work, Employment and Organisation

Personal statement

Ian Cunningham is Professor of Employment Relations in the Department of HRM. He is an Academic Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and between 2010 - 2013 he was Treasurer of the British Universities Industrial Relations Association (BUIRA). Professor Cunningham's research interests include voluntary sector employment relations, sickness absence and disability management, employee involvement and participation and public sector employment relations during austerity. Professor Cunningham has published in a wide range of HR and public administration journals and has strong research links with scholars from Canada and Austrlia. He is currently supervising four Phd students.


Has expertise in:

    Non-profit employment relations

    Social Care work

    Impact of public service austerity

    Union organising in the non-profit sector

    Employment relations in the public sector

    Absence and disability management

    Involvement and participation

    Line managers and employee relations


Evaluating the role of Trade Unions and Civil Society Organisations in supporting graduate educated disabled workers
William Laura, Cunningham Ian
Economic and Industrial Democracy (2018)
The Enablers and Barriers to Voluntary Sector Organisations Providing Personalised Support through Delivery of Self Directed Support : Part Two: The Experience of SDS
Eccles Andrew, Cunningham Ian
(De) regulation of working time, employer capture, and 'forced availability' : a comparison between the UK and Cyprus food retail sector
Hadjisolomou Anastasios, Newsome Kirsty, Cunningham Ian
International Journal of Human Resource Management Vol 28, pp. 3047-3064 (2017)
Analysing public service outsourcing : the value of a regulatory perspective
Cunningham Ian, James Philip
Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy Vol 35, pp. 958-974 (2017)
'How could management let this happen?' Gender, unpaid work and industrial relations in the nonprofit social services sector
Cunningham Ian, Baines Donna
Economic and Industrial Democracy, pp. 1-33 (2017)
You’ve just cursed us : precarity, austerity and worker participation in the nonprofit social services
Cunningham Ian, Baines Donna, Shields John
Industrial Relations/Relations Industrielles Vol 72, pp. 370-393 (2017)

More publications


Professor Ian Cunningham currently teaches on undergraduate and postgraduate in employee relations.

Along with Dr Colin Lindsay Ian has developed an Honours level module in HRM and Employee Relations in Public Services.

Research interests

Professor Ian Cunningham's research interests include employee relations in voluntary organisations, absence and disability management, employee involvement in voluntary organisations and employment relations in the public services during austerity. In recent years in has published a book with Routledge (2008) entitled 'Employment Relations in the Voluntary Sector'. In addition, with Professor Phil James he published an edited volume entitled 'Voluntary Organisations and Public Service Delivery', Routledge. This includes contributions from scholars from the UK, Canada, Australia and the United States. Ian has been involved in 7 funded research projects in recent years, including two with a international comparative aspect. Currently he is working with Professor Donna Baines of McMaster University on a project examining precarious work among the non-profit workforce. Ian is currently beginning work looking at employment conditions in voluntary and private care providers in Scotland. His other research interests include employee absence and disability, involvement and participation and public service employment during austerity. Professor Cunningham currently has four Phd students.

Professional activities

External Examiner HRM Programmes
External Examiner
A view from here
Keynote/plenary speaker
Sage (Publisher)
Guest editor
Benchmarking Pay and Conditions in the Social Care sector
Skills for Care and Development (External organisation)
Invited seminar speaker, University of St Andrews School (29/10/10), Third Sector Research Forum, Challenging Times: Voluntary Sector Employee Relations in Recession
Invited speaker

More professional activities


Benchmarking Pay and conditions 5
Cunningham, Ian (Principal Investigator)
12-Jan-2018 - 30-Jan-2019
Understanding rationale, process and impact when third sector providers withdraw from service provision
Cunningham, Ian (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 28-Jan-2019
Employee Turnover in Voluntary Sector Social Care
Cunningham, Ian (Principal Investigator) Scholarios, Dora (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 30-Jan-2018
The living wage in adult social care
Cunningham, Ian (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 14-Jan-2018
Benchmarking pay and conditions in Scottish Social Care
Cunningham, Ian (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2017 - 30-Jan-2018
Redesigning Work in Social Care: An Evaluation of a Buurtzorg/Franchise Model
Cunningham, Ian (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2017 - 14-Jan-2020

More projects


Work, Employment and Organisation
Duncan Wing

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