Ian Cunningham

Ian Cunningham
University of Strathclyde · Department of Human Resource Management

PhD

About

89
Publications
8,952
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1,815
Citations

Publications

Publications (89)
Article
This longitudinal case study contributes to debates concerning how ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ forms of regulation can interact to contribute to the advancement of worker rights. More specifically, the article explores the contribution of Scotland's soft fair work (FW) programme and the UK's hard statutory recognition procedure to union re‐recognition in a v...
Chapter
Experts from around the world review the complex and rapidly changing politics and policies of austerity in this comprehensive collection of essays. The book details the many different means and expressions of austerity since the financial crisis of 2008, as well as backlashes and emerging political alternatives.
Chapter
This chapter explores austerity in relation to two major pieces of social policy recently introduced in Australia and Scotland, namely the National Disabilities Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and Personalisation Self-Directed Care. Claiming to promote human rights and consumer choice, both policies introduce cash-for-care packages that significantly chang...
Chapter
This introductory chapter sketches out some of the major debates concerning austerity, neoliberalism, and work. Austerity is viewed as a set of interwoven policies aimed at reducing public debt and expenditure, increasing consumer taxes and purportedly stimulating economic wellbeing through corporate tax cuts and support for private business. Since...
Article
Full-text available
Drawing on a study of a Scottish government initiative to ensure the provision of a living wage to social care workers, the article sheds new light on the value of regulating domestic supply chains to enhance labour standards in supplier organisations, and the factors that facilitate and hinder such regulation. The study confirms that supply chains...
Article
Full-text available
Focusing on social care workers in public, private and voluntary sectors, this article contributes to research on the impact of austerity on public service human resource management (HRM). The article uses an innovative diary method to highlight the importance of intrinsic elements of job quality such as supervision practice in mitigating degradati...
Chapter
Austerity was presented as the antidote to sluggish economies, but it has had far-reaching effects on jobs and employment conditions. With an international team of editors and authors from Europe, North America and Australia, this illuminating collection goes beyond a sole focus on public sector work and uniquely covers the impact of austerity on w...
Chapter
Austerity was presented as the antidote to sluggish economies, but it has had far-reaching effects on jobs and employment conditions. With an international team of editors and authors from Europe, North America and Australia, this illuminating collection goes beyond a sole focus on public sector work and uniquely covers the impact of austerity on w...
Chapter
This chapter discusses the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) and austerity on collective bargaining and wage outcomes internationally. It adopts a perspective that sees the GFC and austerity as providing a convenient point from which to further consolidate neoliberalism's hold on society and simultaneously undermine one of the chief forms...
Article
This article will bring together the social glue concept of social reproduction and a feminist analysis of civil society to the study of nonprofit care work in order to cast analytic light on the dynamics of care work in the nonprofit sector and contribute to theorizing care work, to identify and theorize aspects of nonprofit care work which reprod...
Article
Full-text available
This study explores the perceptions of disabled graduates regarding the effectiveness of employment-related advice and support provided by trade unions and civil society organisations (CSOs). The article reveals distinct areas of expertise, with union impact largely based in the workplace, as disabled graduates indicate limited knowledge of collect...
Poster
Full-text available
A poster providing an overview of a recent paper on disabled graduates' interaction with trade unions and civil soceity organistions.
Article
In order to compete in increasingly tight quasi-markets generated by government cutbacks and contracting-out, management in nonprofit agencies have argued that wages and benefits must be reduced or jobs and services will be cut. These arguments have motivated some of the female-majority workers to join and/or organize unions and undertake strike ac...
Article
This article is concerned with exploring how working time is regulated and experienced in the international food retail sector in the UK and Cyprus. Following Martinez-Lucio and Mackenzie the article accepts that regulation in employment relations is a multifaceted phenomenon shared by a number of competing actors at different institutional levels....
Article
Though not monolithic, the non-profit social services sector has been an arena where workers and management participated in various forms of shared planning, service development and organizing the labour process. This included: 1- formal participation processes such as collective bargaining with union representation, and 2- practice-profession or t...
Article
Since the mid-1980s, New Public Management (NPM) and cuts in social funding have resulted in highly restructured organisations in the voluntary social services. These changes moved front-line supervisors, often referred to as line managers (LMs), away from direct, front-line service and replaced much of their supervision and support with tasks conn...
Article
Unpaid work has long been used in nonprofit/voluntary social services to extend paid work. Drawing on three case studies of nonprofit social services in Canada, this article argues that due to austerity policies, the conditions for ‘pure’ gift relationships in unpaid social service work are increasingly rare. Instead, employers have found various w...
Article
This article draws on findings from two longitudinal case studies of voluntary organisations engaged in delivering social care services via purchaser–provider relations with local authorities. The study focuses on changes to contractual relations, employment conditions in provider organisations and service quality. The article argues the influence...
Article
This article explores the impact of state reforms to increase customer authority in social care at a time of public sector austerity in Scotland. The article focuses on the implications of these reforms for state–non-profit relations and the latter’s employment policies. The study proposes a theoretical framework to explore these themes using insig...
Article
Full-text available
Drawing on qualitative interview data from case studies in Scotland and Canada in the post 2008 era, this article explores the impact of austerity policies on the conditions and experience of employment in two nonprofit social service agencies and their shifting labour process. Despite differences in context, the article finds a similarity of exper...
Article
Using the customer-orientated bureaucracy (COB) construct, this qualitative study investigates changes to the Human Resource (HR) function’s status in eight Scottish voluntary organisations delivering public services at a time of contradictory government calls for greater customer service (personalisation) and cost control (austerity). HR attempts...
Article
Full-text available
Drawing on three case studies in each of Australia, New Zealand and Scotland, this article explores how care workers employed in the social services sector negotiate their unpaid care responsibilities in the context of lean work organization and low pay. For younger workers, the unrelenting demands of service provision and low pay made any long-ter...
Article
This introduction establishes the context for a series of articles exploring the outcomes for work, employment, worker orientation and service quality from the emerging context of austerity in public services in three countries - Canada, the UK and Australia. The paper outlines the development of outsourcing in care under new public management and...
Article
This qualitative study of two social care organizations, explores how public sector austerity and policies to personalize social care services through introducing individual budgets in the UK combine to reshape employment conditions. It further explores how these new market relations impact on staff morale and commitment. The individual case summar...
Article
This paper examines the impact of precarity on thenonprofit serviceproviding sector (NPSS). Using in depth qualitativeinterviews, recentempirically-based surveys of the Ontario nonprofitsector and key academic andgrey literature, we explore the deeper meaning of precarity in this sector. Wecontend that the NPSS is a unique, and in many respects, an...
Article
The movement of men into care work in the predominantly female voluntary sector appears to be an unintended impact of welfare state contracting-out, managerialism and labour market restructuring. While not uniform, our comparative, international data (New Zealand and Scotland) show that some groups of men in nonprofit care work jobs embraced manage...
Article
Full-text available
The article provides a comparative exploration of New Public Management (NPM) funding models on the non-profit sectors in the UK and Australia, and the implications for services, employment conditions, and worker commitment. A degree of convergence exists around the principles of NPM in the two case studies, creating employment regimes of low pay,...
Article
Utilising an institutional, inter-organisational and inter-personal framework, longitudinal qualitative data are used to examine the changing nature of state–voluntary sector relationships in the area of social care outsourcing and its implications for the terms and conditions of those employed by Scottish voluntary organisations. Over the period 2...
Article
This article uses survey data to explore how far the terms and conditions of voluntary sector staff in Scotland are undergoing a process of reform against the backdrop of the sector's greater engagement in contracting for outsourced public services and a more challenging public expenditure environment. Its findings reveal that they have been underg...
Article
Since the mid-1980s, the nonprofit social services sector has been promoted as an option for cheaper and more flexible delivery of services. In order to comply with government standards and funding requirements, the sector has been subject to ongoing waves of restructuring and the introduction of new private market-like, outcomes-based management m...
Article
Using data collected as part of a larger, four country, international comparative study, the challenges and strengths of rapid ethnography (RE) are explored. To deepen and enhance the study, in each case study (nine completed to date) an insider is paired with an outsider researcher in order to draw on a comparative perspective from the researcher...
Article
The findings discussed in this paper are drawn from a larger study of the changing work experience of front-line workers in four comparable, restructured, liberal welfare states, in a subsector of the economy known as the nonprofit social services (NPSS). Older practices, unique to the sector, such as collectivist ethics, relationship building, car...
Article
This new book addresses the topical issues surrounding employment relations in UK voluntary organizations that operate within the quasi-market of social care. Combining an analysis of the established literature with in-depth qualitative field work, Ian Cunningham explores the nature of power relations between state and voluntary sector; implication...
Article
Drawing on comparative data from Canada and Scotland, this article explores reasons why violence is tolerated in non-profit care settings. This article provides insights into how the predominantly female (paid) workers' orientations to work, the desire to care and the intrinsic rewards from working in a non-profit context interact with the organiza...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose – This paper aims to consider the impact of the European Union procurement regulations. It assesses the impact of the re-tendering of services on the terms and conditions of employment and sense of well being, and commitment of employees in the social care sub-sector of the voluntary sector. Design/methodology/approach – The study employs a...
Article
Full-text available
Participation in the predominantly female voluntary social services is the norm that most workers expect, but little is known about how participation plays out in the circumscribed realities of managerialism and outsourcing. This paper asserts that there are three kinds of overlapping participative processes in the voluntary social services: (1) pr...
Article
This paper considers the potential occupational health effects of the way in which the outsourcing of public social care services is prompting reforms to the employment regimes within voluntary organisations involved in their delivery. It does so by juxtaposing research findings on the nature of these reforms with existing evidence on how key featu...
Chapter
This chapter is concerned with the expansion of outsourcing public services to third sector organisations under successive Conservative and Labour administrations, investigating the implications for voluntary sector independence and employment conditions. Drawing on research in the sub-sector of social services provision, it will report on findings...
Article
Full-text available
This article argues that our understanding of absence and absenteeism, deriving from seminal studies in the sociology of work and employment, has been overtaken by hugely significant developments in political economy, regulation and employment relations. A new research agenda that addresses the changed organisational politics of absence management...
Article
This article explores how inter-organisational relations with the state impact on the status of human resource (HR) professionals in voluntary organisations. It reveals a constrained and under-resourced HR function in voluntary organisations, implementing few strategic interventions. Explanations centre on the dynamics of power relations, instituti...
Article
In an era of increased involvement by the third sector in the delivery of social services due to public sector outsourcing, this paper explores the resilience of employee psychological contracts in voluntary organizations in the context of their close relationship with state funding bodies. The results suggest that value-laden psychological contrac...
Article
In the face of significant declines in union membership and organizing, a variety of strategies for union renewal have been identified. Views differ, however, concerning how far these strategies should be seen as mutually supportive. This article explores this issue drawing on research findings that shed light on the challenges that unions face in...
Article
This article argues that our understanding of absence and absenteeism, deriving from seminal studies in the sociology of work and employment, has been overtaken by hugely significant developments in political economy, regulation and employment relations. A new research agenda that addresses the changed organisational politics of absence management...
Article
While recent decades have witnessed a growth in the outsourcing of public services in Britain, the post-1997 UK Labour governments have sought to put in place mechanisms aimed at encouraging long-term collaborative contracting relationships marked by less reliance on cost-based competition. This article explores empirically how far these mechanisms...
Article
This paper presents findings of a study examining state-voluntary sector inter-organizational relationships, and the capacity of third-sector organizations to exercise autonomy over employment matters in this relationship. The aim is to provide insights into an under-researched area of the inter-organizational literature, especially in relation to...
Article
This paper provides exploratory insights into the impact of the UK government's Best Value policy on employment policies in voluntary organisations. Best Value is one of a number of institutional pressures on HR policies within the sector: many of which have positive implications for the conduct of HR and delivering care. However, the data also rev...
Article
This article assesses the prospects for union membership growth in the UK voluntary sector. It examines the efforts of workplace activists to defend terms and conditions and recruit and retain members in two voluntary organisations in the context of the sector's close relationship with external state funding and regulatory bodies. The study confirm...
Article
Given the widespread introduction of empowerment within the UK, this article examines meanings of the concept and the implementation of specific initiatives. From a study of thirteen organisations it is suggested empowerment has limitations and tensions including little power dissemination, close control over employees, poor prospects of extra remu...
Article
A wide variety of initiatives characterized under the umbrella term of new public management have been introduced over the past two decades to improve efficiency and cost-effectiveness in the public sector. The implications of these initiatives for public sector employment relationships have been the subject of on-going debate. This article contrib...
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to put forward a conceptual framework which details the policies and practices that can potentially contribute to the effective management of long-term absences, and hence the return to work and retention of ill and injured workers, and considers how far UK employers currently do have in place management arran...
Article
In the light of the long-standing concern in management regarding the gap that can arise between organizational policy prescriptions and line-management practice, the purpose of this article is to provide insights into the nature and causes of that gap. The particular focus of analysis is the line manager's role in facilitating the employment secur...
Article
This article seeks to provide an insight into how employers have initially responded to the DDA. From a study of twenty four organisations it was found that many were revising their policies and procedures on disability as a result of the Act. However, it is suggested that there were problems of implementation due to attitudes among the workforce,...
Article
Full-text available
This article examines how human resource (HR) practitioners are responding to the current UK Government's “business case” approach to promoting family-friendly policies. The ethical basis of the Government's approach to work-life balance is examined and the results of a survey of HR practitioners’ views on this issue are presented. Findings indicat...
Article
Britain’s record for training and developing managers and employees was subject to severe scrutiny in the 1980s. Subsequently, a range of employer initiatives were launched with the avowed intention of enhancing the human capital of both managers and their subordinates. A major initiative has taken place under the umbrella title of ‘empowerment’, w...
Article
This paper examines the importance of the “business case” in relation to disability practice. In order to investigate this issue, it draws on an analysis of over 400 top company annual reports. Findings cast doubt on the notion that organisations are influenced by an explicitly economic rationale, and also indicate the apparent limited influence of...
Article
Considerable debate has taken place concerning the nature of the human resource strategies and policies that have been introduced by employers over the last two decades and the implications that they have for employer-worker relations. This article seeks to contribute to this debate through the presentation of a study on the management of long-term...
Article
Strategies aimed at facilitating the job retention and return to work of sick and injured workers are currently the subject of growing attention. In this article the authors examine the nature and potential significance of such strategies to absence management and utilise interview findings to shed light on current employer policies and practices r...
Article
Workforce absence rates in Britain have been found to be higher in the public sector than the private. The Government has set ambitious targets for the reduction of public sector absence rates and published a range of recommendations. The authors look at the ways the two sectors manage long-term absence. Although many public sector organizations, a...
Article
Over the past two decades, two distinct types of action have been taken to address discrimination in the labour market against people with disabilities. First, the introduction of legislation and, second, the launch of “best practice” initiatives. Analyses company annual reports to test whether these two types of action have acted to increase senio...
Article
Presents results from an exploratory study of 143 voluntary organisations. Aims to evaluate management employee relations policies in the voluntary sector in the era of contracting. Reveals evidence of employee relations policies being influenced by the funding priorities of the state. Provides evidence to suggest that these policies may be leading...
Article
Since the 1980s, public policy developments have promoted the role of the voluntary sector in a variety of UK settings. In parallel, there has been a growing interest in the impacts of employment relations regulation. This paper combines these themes by exploring the impact of the Employment Relations Act (1999) on the Scottish voluntary sector. Pr...
Chapter
Two apparently positive and interrelated pressures for change currently exist to reduce discrimination against the disabled at work. The first is the managing diversity movement, which focuses on organisations responding to the individual needs and aspirations of all disadvantaged people in the labour market as a way of eradicating discriminatory p...
Article
The article argues that despite the imminent introduction of the Employment Relations Act 1999, unions face a difficult environment in which to achieve recognition deals in the voluntary sector. However, it also highlights how some large charities are re-evaluating their position on employee representation in response to government legislation and...
Article
Notes that the present human resource literature on absence pays relatively little attention to the management of genuine injury and illness. Seeks to partially address this lacuna in the literature through the findings of an exploratory study of the arrangements used to facilitate the return to work of ill and injured employees in 77 organisations...
Article
The paper presents findings from a case study organisation which has ostensibly adopted an empowerment programme. The findings indicate a rather different trajectory for empowerment than anticipated by most prescriptive accounts. Both employees and their empowered managers expressed high levels of discontent with the programme and its effects. Litt...
Article
This article discusses issues facing personnel specialists within the voluntary sector who are trying to implement people management policies associated with the Human Resource Management (HRM) model. It outlines the pressures for change in management practice in the voluntary sector and then focuses more precisely on the definition of HRM theory,...
Article
Alternative hypotheses for the personnel function are presented, based on findings from four case study organisations which have devolved personnel responsibilities from a designated personnel department to line managers. The views of line managers and employees are sought to assess the effects of these changes. The study finds that devolved respon...
Article
This paper originates from a 30‐month study funded by the Leverhulme Trust on ‘Preparing Managers for Changes in Employee Relations’. The study consists of two linked empirical stages, the first consisting of in‐depth surveys of 45 establishments, with aggregated employment in excess of 100,000 employees. Each establishment has been subjected to a...
Article
States that in recent years, empowerment of National Health Service (NHS) Trust employees has been given substantial political and managerial support. Examines the extent to which the commitment and morale of staff in two NHS Trust hospitals has altered following the introduction of a raft of techniques under the empowerment label. The researchers...
Article
Line managers and supervisors have a prime role in ensuring the success of performance outcomes under HRM. They are required to take on new people management roles, whether it be through a style which is “hard” and control centred or more “soft” and facilitative. Presents findings from an in-depth study of 45 establishments. Highlights concerns ove...
Article
This article examines how human resource practitioners are responding to the current UK Government's 'business case' approach to promoting family-friendly policies. The ethical basis of the Government's approach to work-life balance is examined and the results of a survey of HR practitioners' views on this issue are presented. Findings indicate tha...

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