Professor Patricia Findlay

Work, Employment and Organisation

Personal statement

I have been in post since 2010.  I am Professor of Work and Employment Relations and 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 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.  

I am currently the Academic Adviser to the Fair Work Convention, having previously been 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. I previously supported the work of the Scottish Government’s Strategic Group on Women and Work through my activities as Chair of Research and Analysis for the Women’s Employment Summit.

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 is currently working closely  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 is delivering a series of 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.  

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. 


Collaborative innovation, new technologies and work redesign
Lindsay Colin, Findlay Patricia, McQuarrie Johanna, Bennie Marion, Corcoran Emma, Van Der Meer Robert
Public Administration Review Vol 78, pp. 251-260 (2018)
Contemporary work : its meanings and demands
Findlay Patricia, Thompson Paul
Journal of Industrial Relations Vol 59, pp. 122-138 (2017)
Calm seas or choppy waters? The role of procurement in supporting fair work
Findlay Patricia, Roy Graeme
Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary Vol 41, pp. 38-45 (2017)
Opportunity knocks? The possibilities and levers for improving job quality
Findlay Patricia, Warhurst Chris, Keep Ewart, Lloyd Caroline
Work and Occupations Vol 44, pp. 3-22 (2017)
Employer choice and job quality : workplace innovation, work redesign and employee perceptions of job quality in a complex healthcare setting
Findlay Patricia, Lindsay Colin, McQuarrie Jo, Bennie Marion, Corcoran Emma D, Van Der Meer Robert
Work and Occupations Vol 44, pp. 113-136 (2017)
Job quality
Findlay Patricia
Encyclopedia of Human Resource Management (2016) (2016)

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

Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland (External organisation)
International Labour Process Conference
Invited speaker
Workplace Innovation Academic Network Event
Oxfam Scotland (External organisation)
Close the Gap Report Launch
Invited speaker

more professional activities


Developing the skills system for the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland (NMIS)
Anderson, Pauline (Principal Investigator) Findlay, Patricia (Co-investigator) Ion, William (Co-investigator)
23-Jan-2019 - 22-Jan-2019
JRF What works: influencing employers on work and poverty
Findlay, Patricia (Principal Investigator) Lindsay, Colin (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 31-Jan-2019
Review of Partnership Working in NHS Scotland
Findlay, Patricia (Principal Investigator) Lindsay, Colin (Co-investigator)
09-Jan-2018 - 21-Jan-2018
Women in New Green Occupations: tackling occupational segregation or blowing in the wind?
Anderson, Pauline (Principal Investigator) Findlay, Patricia (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2016 - 30-Jan-2018
Harnessing knowledge, research & networks to drive fair, innovative & transformative work in Scotland
Findlay, Patricia (Principal Investigator) Lindsay, Colin (Research Co-investigator) McQuarrie, Johanna (Researcher)
01-Jan-2015 - 30-Jan-2017
Workplace Innovation Consortium (ERDF Project)
Findlay, Patricia (Principal Investigator) MacBryde, Jillian (Co-investigator) Lindsay, Colin (Co-investigator) Chalmers, Dominic (Academic) Pascoe-Deslauriers, Rachelle (Researcher) Matthews, Russell (Researcher) Wilson, James (Post Grad Student)
This project will provide an industry facing Workplace Innovation Coalition (WIC) to support organisational change and innovation in SMEs in Scotland. The WIC unites multi-disciplinary academic expertise with industry leaders to identify workplace challenges, evaluate alternative solutions and provide expert support to deliver outcomes that align the needs of all workplace stakeholders. It will apply best practice from research on employee-led innovation, workplace development, operations management and enterprising behaviour to establish their effectiveness in improving productivity and the quality of working life, focussing on how business innovation can improve workplace performance and promote greater equality, sustainability and social inclusion.
24-Jan-2014 - 24-Jan-2015

more projects


Work, Employment and Organisation
Duncan Wing

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