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Wednesday, 5 June 2024

Collectivism after Collectivism: orientations to collectivism and its role in post-redundancy lives

This year's annual Work and Equalities Institute Lecture will be given by Professor Robert MacKenzie, who will explore how collectivism can support individuals after losing their jobs and create a sense of community post-redundancy.

Event Time
5 Jun 11:00 - 5 Jun 12:30
Event Location
Alliance Manchester Business School
Event Type

At this year's annual Work and Equalities Institute lecture, guest speaker Professor Robert MacKenzie will explore orientations to collectivism amongst ex-steelworkers, based on an international collaborative study involving the UK, Sweden and Australia tracing the post-redundancy transitions of people five to ten years after the initial job loss.

In framing the discussion, he will draw on various aspects of the debates around collectivism, notably the divide between norm-based or instrumental motivations, and Social Custom Theory.

Crucially, the study contributes to debates that posit a more dynamic view of collectivism, which goes beyond the tendency to conflate collectivism with union organisation and the obsession with the presence or absence of workplace conflict as an indicator of collectivism. Professor MacKenzie's talk draws inspiration from studies that go beyond the factory gate to locate the world of production in the wider social domain.

Based on working-life biographical interviews with ex-steelworkers in the UK and Sweden, Professor MacKenzie will explore variations in orientations to collectivism over the course of their time in the steel plant and in the wake of redundancy.

About the speaker

Robert MacKenzie is Professor of Working Life Science at Karlstad University, Sweden. He has a longstanding interest in the regulation of employment and the relationship between macro, meso and micro level mechanisms of regulation.

His work has sought to link research on the social and economic experiences of workers with broader patterns of socio-economic restructuring and changes in the regulation of the employment relationship. This has led to research on the role played by trade unions, contract form and occupational identity in mediating the experience of restructuring.

He has conducted research on restructuring in the telecommunications, steel and construction sectors, and broader labour market change in terms of the social and economic experiences of migrants. He has written on issues of regulation across various levels, from the role of the state, to workplace industrial relations and human resource management practices.

Professor MacKenzie is a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Employment Innovation and Change (CERIC), University of Leeds and an Honorary Professor Alliance Business School, University of Manchester. He is also a Senior Editor of New Technology Work and Employment.

Work and Equalities Institute

Work and Equalities Institute logo

The agenda of the Work and Equalities Institute is to identify and promote the conditions for more inclusive and fair work and employment arrangements.

Their research will be used in knowledge exchange, dialogue and debate with key stakeholders and policymakers, and to make informed contributions to policy formation and the development of practice. 

Find out more about the WEI >>

A light lunch will be served after the lecture.