Dr Anita Hammer

Job: Senior Lecturer, Comparative and International HRM

Faculty: Business and Law

School/department: Leicester Castle Business School

Research group(s): International HRM Contemporary Work and Employment Relations

Address: The Gateway, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK, LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 257 7208

E: ahammer@dmu.ac.uk

W: http://www.dmu.ac.uk

 

Personal profile

My research focuses on the comparative political economy of work in the Global South. The research is interdisciplinary and draws on sociology of work (labour process analysis) and political economy to examine organisations and work, especially the informal economy, skills, migration and workers' organisations. It contributes to academic and policy debates on regional development, industrial and social upgrading, firms' strategies and the nature of capitalism.

I convene a scholarly international network on ‘Labour, work and development in the Global South’, based jointly at DMU and a number of UK Universities. I collaborate with Euro-Canadian network on Globalisation and Work, CRIMT, based at University of Montreal, Canada. 

I am an Associate Editor Work, Employment and Society (4*)

I am currently supervising 8 PhD students and have experience of supervison to completion and examining of doctoral students. I am the Programme Leader for MA HRM, POWI Institute Head of Research Students, and Module leader at PG level.

Research group affiliations

People, Organisation and Work, De Montfort University (POWI)

Research collaborator with Euro-Canadian network on Globalisation and Work, CRIMT, based at University of Montreal, Canada, in partnership with 19 Universities worldwide

Co-convener of a scholarly international network on ‘Labour, work and development in the Global South’, based jointly at DMU and a number of UK Universities. Blog: https://labouranddevelopment.wordpress.com

Publications and outputs 

  • HR practice in a fast food MNC: Exploring the low discretion, high commitment phenomenon
    HR practice in a fast food MNC: Exploring the low discretion, high commitment phenomenon Butler, Peter; Hammer, Anita The UK’s widespread use of low-skill, low-paid employment has been well documented. It has been argued internal labour markets (ILMs) benefit such workers, affording them with opportunities for progression. Relatively little is known, however, about the impact of ILMs on entry level workers undertaking routinised service sector work. Drawing on qualitative data this article explores the prospects on offer in a market leading, fast food MNC. Potential enabling features include on the job training, a transparent and integrated pay structure and a professed culture of progression. Occupational movements to positions above the low-pay threshold are, however, relatively rare. We conjecture this contradiction is the result of the business context in which the firm operates. The findings suggest that in sectors where price leadership strategies dominate, escape from low-pay is likely to be exceptional, even within large organisations featuring some of the classic characteristics of ‘pure’ or strong ILMs. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • Embedding Saudi Capitalism at the Workplace
    Embedding Saudi Capitalism at the Workplace Hammer, Anita; Adham, Ayman This chapter critiques political economy approaches for their focus on state-capital relations and the neglect of capital-labour relations in Southern capitalisms. It argues that they are insufficient to understand southern capitalisms and a focus on work and the workplace is crucial for a fuller understanding of their specific capitalist dynamics. Using the example of Saudi Arabia, it critiques the characterisation of Saudi capitalism as ‘patrimonial capitalism’ for its predominant focus on state–capital relations and institutional complementarities and coherence. Through two detailed workplace studies in Saudi Arabia and using a labour process lens, the chapter examines the dynamics of the Saudi workplace which remain insufficiently explored and aims to demonstrate the significance of capital–labour relations in analysing Saudi capitalism.
  • Work and Employment in the Times of Automation and Artificial Intelligence: The Indian Case
    Work and Employment in the Times of Automation and Artificial Intelligence: The Indian Case Hammer, Anita; Karmakar, Suparna This chapter is a study of how automation and AI may impact employment and skills, probing the role of institutions and actors, and its policy implications. To the purpose, it critically assesses the National Strategy on AI recently devised by the NITI Aayog, Government of India. It undertakes a meta-analysis of data and recent evidence to look at how recent developments in AI and advanced robotics have become a disruptive technology insofar as Indian labour market and employment structures are concerned, and the issues that redressal mechanisms (viz. regulation and institutions) needs to address. The main argument is that the current National Strategy on AI does not take into account the logic of capital accumulation in India where a large informal economy interlocked with the formal economy is central to how work and employment is organised, skills are developed and deployed, and where a majority labour are locked in insecure, low pay and unprotected jobs. Any strategy has to start by acknowledging this reality in the Indian context, and then address it – something lacking in the current strategy.
  • The Political Economy of Work in the Global South: Reflections on Labour Process Theory
    The Political Economy of Work in the Global South: Reflections on Labour Process Theory Hammer, Anita; Fishwick, Adam Part of the Critical Perspectives on Work and Employment series, this edited collection brings together contributions from leading international scholars to initiate an important dialogue between labour process analysis and scholarship on work in the Global South. This book characterises the forms of work and labour process that characterise globalising capitalism today and addresses core analytical concerns within Labour Process Theory and research on work in the South. It explores how a wide range of production relations in the Global South, ranging from formal to informal employment and self-employment, are embedded in wider social relations of gender, caste, religion and ethnicity, and are related to wider patterns of commodification and resistance. Drawing on cutting-edge research, the book’s chapters consider a diverse range of working situations, covering migrant workers in the Middle East, commercial surrogacy work in India and cooperative garment workers in Argentina. In offering a novel reading of the political economy of work in the Global South and shedding light on lesser-considered fields of work and worker organization, this volume will provide new insights for making sense of the changing world of work for students, scholars, labour activists and practitioners alike.
  • Understanding Arab Capitalisms: Patrimonialism, HRM and Work in Saudi Arabia
    Understanding Arab Capitalisms: Patrimonialism, HRM and Work in Saudi Arabia Hammer, Anita; Adham, Ayman This article critiques the scholarship on contemporary Arab societies for according a primacy to state-capital relations and neglecting the significance of capital-labour relations. Both, the comparative capitalism approach, which characterises Arab capitalism as patrimonial, and the literature on HRM in the Middle East pay insufficient attention to the workplace and often write labour out as repressed. They are unable to explain the selective implementation of key labour market and HR policies. Explanations of patrimonial capitalism consider societal coordination modes of co-optation and coercion as central to patrimonial capitalism and its state-capital relations. However, by neglecting labour and the workplace, dynamics of coercion and co-optation are conceived as unified and uncontested; equally policies such as Saudisation and Kafala are perceived as unproblematic and any failure in those policies cannot be explained. This article makes two contributions: first, it shows how key policies within patrimonial capitalism – Saudisation and Kafala – are implemented selectively and circumvented at the workplace. Second, these inconsistencies in co-optation and coercion mechanisms are explained through a focus on contestations at the workplace, bringing to the fore dimensions of power, interests and conflict. The study has implications for institutional analysis and societal change in Arab economies. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version.
  • Comparative Capitalism and Emerging Economies: Formal-Informal Economy Interlockages and Implications for Institutional Analysis
    Comparative Capitalism and Emerging Economies: Formal-Informal Economy Interlockages and Implications for Institutional Analysis Hammer, Anita Research in comparative capitalism has seen an increasing interest in emerging economies and has made attempts at integrating the informal economy as a distinct and significant feature of the institutional configuration and reproduction of contemporary capitalisms. The way this has been achieved, however, is problematic as it has mainly worked with a dualist notion of the formal and informal economies, thereby making it difficult to conceptualise any interlinkages. This article argues that the relation between the formal and informal economies needs to be conceptualised as an interlocking one in order to analyse the constitutive place the informal economy has in the dynamics of formal institutions as well as the overall institutional configuration of emerging capitalisms. A focus on interlockages helps in conceptualising diversity, by bringing the heterogeneity of social relations within the formal and informal economies to the fore. This focus also allows for a more nuanced understanding of the distribution of resources across institutions and actors, and how change is shaped by struggles within specific interlocking configurations. India serves as a useful example in this respect insofar as the centrality of the informal economy to Indian capitalism can be shown to be due to the specific interlockages as opposed to the, probably more eye catching, size of its informal economy. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • A minutes a life-time in fast-food!: Managerial job quality in the quick service restaurant sector
    A minutes a life-time in fast-food!: Managerial job quality in the quick service restaurant sector Butler, Peter; Hammer, Anita The fast-food sector remains significantly under researched relative to its size and importance. Drawing on qualitative data this article explores the nature of managerial work in a market leading organisation. The research speaks to important contemporary debates vis-a-vis managerial job quality in routinised service sector work and the compatibility of such jobs with key quality of working life criteria (e.g. opportunities for skills development, decision latitude, voice and meaning). The theoretical contribution of the article lies in the rigor of the analytical lens and exploration of how objective QWL criteria are coloured by subjective expectations and social processes to produce nuanced and unanticipated outcomes e.g. accounts of rewarding, interesting and meaningful work notwithstanding severe structural constraints and bureaucratic rigidities.
  • Book review: Jonathan Pattenden; Labour, state and society in rural India: A class-relational approach
    Book review: Jonathan Pattenden; Labour, state and society in rural India: A class-relational approach Hammer, Anita This is a book review of 'Labour, state and society in India' which applies a class-relational approach to processes of development in the South Indian state of Karnataka on three interrelated areas: labour relations, collective action, and the mediation of class relations by the state and civil society. It examines changing forms of exploitation and domination at multiple levels and assesses its implications for pro-labouring-class change. It argues that it is relational processes, historical and contemporary, that actively create inequalities and perpetuate the status quo in societies.
  • Book review: Matthias Ebenau, Ian Bruff and Christian May (eds), New Directions in Comparative Capitalisms Research: Critical and Global Perspectives
    Book review: Matthias Ebenau, Ian Bruff and Christian May (eds), New Directions in Comparative Capitalisms Research: Critical and Global Perspectives Hammer, Anita
  • Book reveiw: Matthias Ebenau, Ian Bruff and Christian May (eds); New Directions in Comparative Capitalisms Research: Critical and Global Perspectives
    Book reveiw: Matthias Ebenau, Ian Bruff and Christian May (eds); New Directions in Comparative Capitalisms Research: Critical and Global Perspectives Hammer, Anita This is a book review of 'New Directions in Comparative Capitalisms Research: Critical and Global Perspectives' that opens comparative capitalism (CC) research to diverse and critical approaches that examine capitalist diversity and, importantly, examine it in contexts beyond the Triad i.e. Europe, USA and Japan. It sets a research agenda for new directions in CC research. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.

Click here to see a full listing of Anita Hammer's publications and outputs.

Key research outputs

[Add key research outputs information here]

Research interests/expertise

Political economy of work in the Global South, especially India & the Middle East

Comparative capitalism and Emerging Economies

Sociology of work: informal economy, skills, collective organisations/organising, social reproduction

Labour process analysis

Languages: Hindi and English (fluent) Urdu, Punjabi and Gujarati (functional) German (basic)

Areas of teaching

Comparative and International HRM

Research methods

Doctoral Training Programme

Previously: International HRM and Organisational Behaviour, Distance Learning MBA programme, Royal Holloway, University of London

Qualifications

PhD, University of London

MPhil, JNU, Delhi

MSc LSE, University of London

MA SOAS, University of London

BA (Hons), St Stephens, Delhi University

Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy (HEA)

Postgraduate Certificate in Skills of Teaching, University of London

Certificate in Research Supervision, De Montfort University

Policy making, implementation and HRM Training for Senior Civil Servants, Government of India

Honours and awards

Reviewer for ESRC research grant extension proposals

Invited speaker at Research Seminar at British Universities Industrial Relations Association (BUIRA)/CROWE seminar (2014) on 'Global Integration and Comparative Capitalism': A Hammer and N Hammer (University of Leicester) The Informal Economy in Emerging Economies’ Labour Market Dynamics: a comparison of India and Russia

Thomas Holloway Fellowship (2002-5) for PhD at the Royal Holloway, University of London

LSE Merit Award (2001) to pursue MSc, LSE, University of London

University Grants Commission five-year Research Fellowship for MPhil and PhD, Govt. of India

Savitri Prasad Memorial Award for ‘Highest Academic Standard’, Delhi University

Membership of external committees

External Examiner at School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK

Membership of professional associations and societies

Regional Studies Association (RSA)

Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economic (SASE)

British Universities Industrial Relations Association (BUIRA)

Associate at the Centre for Workplace Research in Asian Societies (CWRAS), Royal Holloway, University of London

Senior Fellow, Higher Education Academy (HEA)

Projects

EU researcher (affiliated) on SSHRC partnership project ‘Institutional Experimentation for Better Work’. A 7-year project with 19 University partners across the world and based at CRIMT, University of Montreal, Canada for 2017-2024. CAN $1.5 million.

HR strategy and practices in a fast-food Multinational firm

Current research students

Supervision to completion:

  • Ayman Adham, Political economy of work in Saudi Arabia, (July 2018, Straight pass)
  • Rochelle Haynes, MNCs and Expatriates, (November 2017)

Current supervison as First Supervisor:

  • Marco Gottero, Social movements in Greece and Argentina, Full time
  • Rene Sehi, Dynamic capabilities in start-ups, Full time
  • Johannes Brill, Startegic renewal of business models, Full time
  • Gareth Preece, FDI, manpower planning and regional development, Part-time

Second Supervisor:

  • Kennedy Dagu, International HRM, Full time
  • Amina Chitembo, Leadership among migrant women, Full time
  • Heather Powell, CSR in the garment sector in Leicester, Full time
  • Sylvia Delpratt, Professionalisation of the energy sector in Africa, Full time

I welcome PhD proposals that explore the nature of work, capitalism, regional development and the informal economy in the Global South and Southern Europe. Some background in disciplines of political economy, development, sociology or economic geography with an interest in labour would be useful.

Externally funded research grants information

EU researcher (affiliated) on SSHRC partnership project on 'Institutional experimentation for better work'. A 7-year research project with 19 University partners worldwide based at CRIMT, University of Montreal, Canada 2017-2024. Can $ 1.5 million

Professional esteem indicators

Associate Editor: Work, Employment and Society

Referee for Journals:  Personnel Review, Industrial Relations Journal, Human Resource Managment Journal, Personnel Review

Reviewer for ESRC  grant applications

Invited speaker at Research Seminar at British Universities Industrial Relations Association (BUIRA)/CROWE seminar (2014) on 'Global Integration and Comparative Capitalism': A Hammer and N Hammer (University of Leicester) The Informal Economy in Emerging Economies’ Labour Market Dynamics: a comparison of India and Russia

Case studies

Industry engagement in the Fast-food MNC research

Industry report was submitted to the firm in early 2018

ORCID number

0000-0002-3637-5010

Anita-Hammer

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