Professor Philip Taylor

Emeritus Professor

Work, Employment and Organisation


Personal statement

Philip Taylor is Professor of Work and Employment Studies in the Department of Human Resource Management at Strathclyde Business School (SBS). He is also Vice Dean International of SBS and leads on the development of the Faculty's international activities, notably in India, China, Hong Kong and France. Amongst his other University-wide responsibilites, he convenes the 'Community of Practice' on India co-ordinating Strathclyde's intitiatives in that geography. 

Phil has held international visiting Professorships in India, Australia and in the UK. He is a leading Global Scot, part of the Scottish Government's international business engaged network. 

In total, Phil has 5 co-authored or edited books, 50 published journal articles journals (the overwhelming majority in leading international journals), 30 book chapters and diverse impact-enhancing publications. For the next REF, he already has published one article in a 4* journal, three in 3* and one in a 2* journal, as well as two books and two book chapters. A healthy pipeline of submitted articles to, or articles in an advanced stages of preparation for, 3* and 4* publications bodes well for an even stronger REF submission. 

His established international reputation can be evidenced by the breadth and impact of publications and in other ways. For example, he was the first invited plenary speaker at the international 25th anniversary conference of Work, Employment and Society (October 2012). 

His research into call centres and offshoring continues to have a significant impact on academia and diverse practitioner communities. A few examples of excellence in scholarship follow. Two articles published in Work, Employment and Society (4*) in 2002 and 2005 are in the top five articles cited from that journal. One in the Industrial Relations Journal is the single most cited, and the most downloaded, article in the journal's history. A further article in Human Relations (4*) won the award for the best article published in 2011 and one in New Technology, Work and Employment is the most cited article in the journal's 30 year history.

Phil has been at the cutting-edge of research in several ‘sub-disciplines of management’, evidenced by his co-editorship (2008-2011) of Work, Employment and Society, a multi-disciplinary and multi-methodological journal. He led a number of innovations (e.g. ‘On the Front Line’ first-person ethnographic accounts; international advisory board), and the journal rose in the Impact Factor and citation rankings. Deep engagement with the diverse debates taking place within management and labour studies has been sustained through his subsequent (2012-present) editorship of another multi-disciplinary journal New Technology, Work and Employment. I am co-editor of (and lead author of the introduction to) the latest volume in the Palgrave Critical Perspectives on Work and Employment. This places me centre stage in debates on the integration of labour, employment relations and HRM with the global value chains and global production networks. 

Phil has a track record of securing research income from a wide range of sources, including funding councils, government agencies, employers and trade unions. Despite current major administrative responsibility for internationalisation, Phil is actively pursuing major grants from funding bodies through collaborative networks in the UK and transnationally on a scale similar to the successful ESRC application. Several proposals are in an advanced stage of preparation.

In respect of leadership in teaching, Phil emphasises the importance of research-led teaching, enthusing students with knowledge of the contemporary worlds of work and employment, combining such freshness with innovatory teaching and assessment methods and the application of student centred learning. His teaching evaluations from international classes (e.g. MBA in Switzerland and Hong Kong) have been amongst the highest in the Faculty and over the past five years he has been short-listed or come first at the student union organised Teaching Excellence Awards. There is another major area, knowledge exchange/transfer/impact, which will be increasingly important for REF 2020. He demonstrates great strengths as can be seen from the extent and depth of practitioner engagement. Phil's Impact Case Study was reviewed as the second strongest in SBS for REF 2014. 

Phil’s research, teaching and knowledge exchange activities are diverse. The following subjects and themes are most prominent; call and contact centres; offshoring and the global relocation of business services; global value chains and global production networks; performance management; new technology, work and employment; lean production and service delivery; the labour process; occupational health and safety; strikes and mobilisation; prison privatisation; white collar work. 

Phil would welcome proposals from students wishing to pursue in any of these general or specific areas. 

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Area of Expertise

  • Call Centres
  • Business Process Outsourcing and Offshoring
  • Lean Working
  • Performance Management
  • Strikes and Industiral Action
  • Trade Unions
  • Global Value Chains
  • New Technology and Work


Prize And Awards

Best Paper 2015 Nomination
Scholarios, D. and Taylor, P. (2011) ‘Beneath the glass ceiling: explaining gendered role segmentation in call centres’, Human Relations, 64.10: 1291-1319
Wiley-Blackwell Prize, Most Read Article in Industrial Relations Journal - 2010

More prizes and awards

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Research Interests

Professor Philip Taylor has a wide range of research interests, activities and proposed projects. For the past twenty years he has undertaken many studies in diverse aspects of the call or contact centre, whether in respect of work organisation, labour process or employment relations. These studies have been complemented by focused audits of the contact centre market in Scotland and in other other countries. Global overviews of the sector have also been published.

One stage of the contact centre research was synthesised with a major ESRC funded project under the Future of Work Programme, themes which remain an important element in research activities,particularly in the underpinning of new technologies for the structuring and experience of work and employment.  

Other principal research themes include occupational health and safety, mostly white collar work but involving a number of additional projects. Relatedly, Professor Taylor has researched and published extensively on lean working in clerical work and more resently is developing studies of Performance Management and its consequences for work and employment.

Professor Taylor is also interested in reseraching trade unions, particularlly in terms of their representational and oragnisational capacities. He has an interest too in industrial conflict, whether in the terms of formal disputes and strikes or in the form of informal employee resistance.

Recently, he has undertaken research on globalisation, in particularly the globalisation of business services which have drawn on and critique the existing global value chanin and global production network frameworks

Professional Activities

Launch of the Centre for the Political Economy of Labour
I'd rather work at McDonalds but there was no bus. Labour market coercion and oppression in Amazon fulfilment centres.
Lean Working, Work Intensification and Occupational Ill-health
Performance Management - Challenging the Workplace Tyranny
Automation and the changing dynamics of the location of global business services
Industrial Conflict, Strikes and Dispute Resolution

More professional activities


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
Work, Employment and Employment Law in Retail Fulfilment Centres - UK and India
Taylor, Philip (Principal Investigator) Briken, Kendra (Co-investigator) Newsome, Kirsty (Principal Investigator) Busby, Nicole (Co-investigator) Minz, Johnson (Co-investigator) Paul, Bino (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2016 - 31-Jan-2018
Scottish Trade Union Congress Policy Committee, STUC, Glasgow, 13 August 2015
Taylor, Philip (Principal Investigator)
Presentation on ‘Recent Developments in Performance Management’, Scottish Trade Union Congress Policy Committee, STUC, Glasgow, 13 August 2015
13-Jan-2016 - 13-Jan-2016
Royal Bank of Scotland - Unite the Union Reps National Conference
Taylor, Philip (Principal Investigator)
Key note address: Performance Management - Are Cracks Appearing in the Monolith?
Hilton Hotel, Glasgow 16 May 2016
16-Jan-2016 - 18-Jan-2016
Performance Management - Consultation Between HSBC and Unite the Union
Taylor, Philip (Principal Investigator)
18-Jan-2016 - 18-Jan-2016
Annual General Meeting of Ministry of Defence - PCS Branch Kentigern House, Glasgow
Taylor, Philip (Principal Investigator)
Presentation to 200 members of PCS at their AGM on Sickness Absence Management
25-Jan-2016 - 25-Jan-2016

More projects

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Professor Philip Taylor
Emeritus Professor
Work, Employment and Organisation

Tel: 548 3998