The Fairness at Work Research Centre


The Fairness at Work Research Centre (FairWRC) at Alliance Manchester Business School is hosting  the third Fairness at Work International Conference:

Fairer Futures? Understanding Standards and Practices at Work in a Challenging Global Context.’

12 and 13 September 2016

Roscoe Building, The University of Manchester

The context for enhancing and raising the working conditions of individuals has been deteriorating for some time in larger parts of Europe and North America. What is more,  the pressures for cost savings and the adoption of organisational techniques which intensify work across the global supply chains  are impacting on many parts of Africa and the developing world more generally.
Yet, increasingly, organisations and governments are confronted with the need to be more transparent and rigorous in the way they sustain labour standards and develop rights.

This conference will bring together leading international academics and practitioners to discuss issues on the subject of fairness at work in what remains a challenging environment both politically and economically.

This year the conference will be jointly shared on the first day with Alliance Manchester Business School’s  Health Services Research Centre, who will focus on similar questions in relation to health and the care sector where work and employment have been under severe pressure.

Key speakers and themes include:
Rosemary Batt, Cornell University  –  leading international academic dealing with labour issues in health and care.
Rachel Cohen, City University London,  and Tony Dundon and Damian Grimshaw of Alliance Manchester Business School who will deliverup to date insights in the changing nature of work and its context

Salvo Leonardi of the CGIL Union – a leading European trade union researcher from Italy who is working on transnational labour standards

Richard Saundry of the University of Plymouth – changing forms of mediation and conciliation in terms of fairness

Carol Woodhams of the University of Exeter will discuss issues of pay and class.
The conference will also be joined by leading journalist in this field –  Madeleine Bunting of the Guardian who will be one of the first speakers.

The debate
Discussions will centre on how initiatives in terms of good employment practices (for example the use of labour standards, trade union responses to change, social movement audits and management interventions) are being influenced or undermined by the current environment.

The conference will contribute to our understanding of the challenges facing such initiatives and how organisations are responding to the hostile and uncertain context we live in, especially given highly complex global networks and structures in terms of production and service delivery.
The questions of equality, social inclusion, worker participation and worker health – and their enforcement – are ongoing concerns regardless of the changes taking place.   The continuing demand for clearer and more progressive standards will not recede even with the current context of austerity and globalisation – quite the contrary –  as there will be ongoing interest and rising expectations about how people are rewarded and supported at work, as well as how they can play a role in the destiny of their own employment.
We hope you can join us for this debate to address these key issues.  Details of the conference and ways to register can be found here and further details found on


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Alliance Manchester Business School has a global reputation for innovative and influential teaching and research, which impacts business on a local, national and international level. We call this Original Thinking Applied.

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