Professor Patricia Findlay

Work, Employment and Organisation

Personal statement

I joined the University of Strathclyde in 2010 as Professor of Work and Employment Relations.  I was appointed Distinguished Professor in 2019.  My research and teaching expertise is in the study of work and the management of the employment relationship. To illustrate, my published work includes topics such as workplace innovation; improving job quality; skills implication of automation; workplace learning, including union-led learning; skills and skills valuation; employer-employee partnerships. My research is funded by a variety of organisations including the ESRC, ERDF, the Technology Strategy Board, government, public, private and third sector organisations.

I am also the Director of the Scottish Centre for Employment Research (SCER) which aims to inform academic, policy and practice debates on work and employment. Building on our previous Innovating Works initiative, SCER has worked closely in recent years with multiple stakeholders in a project aimed at Harnessing Knowledge, Research and Networks to drive Fair, Innovative and Transformative Work (FITwork) in Scotland, funded by Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland and the Scottish Funding Council and supported by STUC. in addition, SCER has delivered a series of industry facing Workplace Innovation Masterclasses in conjunction with Scottish Enterprise and is leading an evaluation of Community Pharmacy Technology Pilots in conjunction with Scottish Government and NHS Scotland.  With Lindsay, I recently worked with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation on research analysing employers' roles in addressing in-work poverty. 

I currently lead a research team of colleagues from SCER, the Fraser of Allender Institute and Global Public Health at Strathclyde University and from Eindhoven University and the Erasmus University in the Netherlands on an £861k ESRC funded project on ‘Improving management practices, work engagement and workplace innovation for productivity and wellbeing’.

I am currently the Co-Chair of Scotland’s Fair Work Convention (since 2017) having previously been a member of, and Academic Adviser to, the Convention, since its inception.  I was previously a member of the Scottish Government Review Group - Working Together: Progressive Workplace Policies in Scotland.  I am also a member of the Scottish Government's Innovation Forum; the SG Gender Pay Action Plan Steering Group; and the SG Human Trafficking and Exploitation Strategic Oversight Group.

I currently sit as a member of SCDI’s Productivity Club and am a member of the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board’s Gender Commission.

I am a member of the Economic and Social Research Council Peer Review College and previously of the ESRC Future Research Leaders SIFT panel.  I am a member of the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland Review Panel.  I sit on the Editorial Board of the Industrial Relations Journal, having previously been a board member of the journal Work, Employment and Society.  I have a long-standing association with, and have co-organised, the International Labour Process Conference and have organised streams at the Society for the Advancement of Socio Economics (SASE) Conference.  I am a member of the British Universities Industrial Relations Association, the British Sociological Association and SASE. I am also a long-standing member of the Employment Tribunals Service and sit on the Steering Group of the Scottish Living Wage Campaign and the Advisory Group to the Oxfam Decent Work Project, having previously sat on the Steering Group of the Oxfam Scotland Humankind Index.  

A key part of my role at SCER is to support the activities and career development of SCER’s researchers and doctoral students attached to SCER projects. 


Business models, innovation and employees' experiences in the workplace : challenges for the post-Covid-19 economy
Findlay Patricia, Lindsay Colin, Roy Graeme
Productivity and the Pandemic Challenges and Insights from Covid- 19 (2021) (2021)
Fair work and workplace practice in the current crisis [Podcast] EP3
Roy Graeme, Findlay Patricia
Influencing Employers so More People Break Free from Poverty through Work
Findlay Patricia, Lindsay Colin, Watson Amy, Young Doug
Skills and the social value of work
Findlay Patricia
Handbook on the Politics of Labour, Work and Employment (2019) (2019)
Understanding the skills opportunity for today and tomorrow in Glasgow : Report for Glasgow Chambers of Commerce
, Roy Graeme, McIntyre Stuart, Findlay Patricia, Butler Joanna
Upskilling and intensification of work; are robots the answer?
McQuarrie Johanna, Findlay Patricia, Briken Kendra
Nordic Academy of Management (2019)

More publications


My two main areas of responsibility in teaching in recent years has been for a group of doctoral students and for the MBA Module Managing People in Organisations. I have also delivered teaching for bespoke MBA programmes through the Centre for Corporate Connections.

Research interests

My recent research activity has focussed on four key themes:  job quality and how this can be improved; skills and learning, gender equality; and industrial relations governance within and outwith the workplace.  These distinct research themes are also relevant to my broader interest in workplace innovation within a mutual gains framework.  Current/recent research projects include:

  • Harnessing Knowledge, Research and Networks to drive Fair, Innovative and Transformative Work (FITwork) in Scotland
  • Evaluation of Community Pharmacy Technology Pilots
  • Workplace Innovation Masterclasses
  • Innovating Works ... improving work and workplaces
  • The future of work, employment, skills and training in Scotland
  • Automation, organisational redesign and associated skills implications within hospital pharmacy services
  • Profiling women’s participation in manufacturing
  • Smart HR metrics and monitoring equality and diversity data
  • Occupational pay comparisons
  • Union-led employability and employment rights support
  • Making bad jobs better
  • Improving skills utilisation
  • Union-led learning and trade union revitalisation
  • Employer-employee partnerships and mutual gains organisational change
  • Teachers’ pay comparability
  • Gender inequality in financial services

Professional activities

Fair Work for the future of South of Scotland
Keynote/plenary speaker
Partnership working and work engagement in NHS Scotland
Managing People for Innovation and Work
Keynote/plenary speaker
The Future of Work?
Keynote/plenary speaker
Fair work in Scotland and Beyond
Work and wellbeing: levelling up the UK
Keynote/plenary speaker

More professional activities


KTP - SHE Transmission. The project will embed engaging work practices, flexible management processes and systemic capacity for the effective implementation of strategy and innovation initiatives.(2 associates)
Mackay, David (Principal Investigator) Findlay, Patricia (Co-investigator) Lindsay, Colin (Co-investigator) Smith, Marisa (Co-investigator)
18-Jan-2021 - 17-Jan-2023
Supporting Innovative Work Behaviours to Drive DEAS Innovation in Fintech
Lindsay, Colin (Principal Investigator) Findlay, Patricia (Co-investigator) Revie, Matthew (Co-investigator) Murray, Nicola (Research Co-investigator)
08-Jan-2021 - 07-Jan-2021
Fair Work in Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships
Findlay, Patricia (Principal Investigator) Anderson, Pauline (Co-investigator) Lindsay, Colin (Co-investigator)
13-Jan-2020 - 14-Jan-2021
Jobs supported by Exports - Dept of Int Trade
Roy, Graeme (Principal Investigator) Spowage, Mairi (Principal Investigator) Allan, Grant (Co-investigator) Black, James (Co-investigator) Cooper, Benjamin (Co-investigator) Findlay, Patricia (Co-investigator) McGeoch, Adam (Co-investigator)
03-Jan-2020 - 30-Jan-2020
NPI Dignity & Respect
Lindsay, Colin (Principal Investigator) Findlay, Patricia (Co-investigator) Loeffler, Elke (Co-investigator) STEWART, Robert (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 27-Jan-2020
The PROPEL Hub - Productivity Outcomes of workplace Practice, Engagement and Learning
Roy, Graeme (Principal Investigator) Findlay, Patricia (Co-investigator) Lindsay, Colin (Co-investigator) Shaw, Eleanor (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 31-Jan-2023

More projects


Work, Employment and Organisation
Duncan Wing

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