Professor Jonathan Payne

Job: Professor of Work, Employment and Skills

Faculty: Business and Law

School/department: Leicester Castle Business School

Research group(s): Director of the People, Organisations and Work Institute (POWI)

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

T: +44 (0)116 257 7236

E: jpayne@dmu.ac.uk

W: www.dmu.ac.uk/bal

 

Personal profile

Jonathan Payne is Professor of Work, Employment and Skills. His main research interests include the political economy of skill, workplace innovation and job design, UK skills policy, low wage work and job quality.

He has published extensively in these areas and is a co-author of 'Skills in the Age of Over-Qualification: Comparing Service Sector Work in Europe' (Oxford University Press, 2016).

Prior to working in higher education, Jonathan was a teacher in mainstream secondary schools. He has extensive teaching experience and is currently module leader for the second-year undergraduate module, ‘Human Resource Management in the Workplace’, and for the postgraduate MA/PGDip module in ‘Employee Resourcing’.

He is a member of the editorial board of the 'British Journal of the Sociology of Education' and an associate member of the research network on Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance (SKOPE), for whom he was a lead researcher between 1998 and 2012.

He has advised policy makers on skills utilisation, lifelong learning and workplace innovation in Scotland, England, Finland and Norway.

He is currently working on three research projects:

1. A comparative study of the impact of robotics and artificial intelligence on jobs, skills and job quality in the UK and Norway: case studies of food processing and hospitals (with Caroline Lloyd, Cardiff University)

2. Music and service work (with Marek Korczynski and Rob Cluley, Nottingham University Business School)

3. Devolution, local skills strategies and inclusive growth in England under austerity

Research group affiliations

People, Organisations and Work Institute (POWI) Centre for Urban Research on Austerity (CURA)

Publications and outputs 

  • LE(a)P in the dark? Devolution, local skills strategies and inclusive growth in England
    LE(a)P in the dark? Devolution, local skills strategies and inclusive growth in England Payne, Jonathan A central challenge for local skills strategies is whether they can contribute to ‘inclusive growth’ including ‘more and better jobs’ across a local economy. Skills strategies, it has been argued, must go beyond simply boosting skills supply and be integrated with policies that shape employer demand for, and utilisation of, skills, including economic development and business improvement. Among developed countries, this is particularly challenging for neo-liberal economies, with weakly regulated labour markets where many firms compete through low wages and low-skill job design. How much progress can be made locally is unclear. The article focuses on England, a highly centralised neo-liberal economy, with high levels of low-wage work and over-qualification. Since 2010, UK governments have promised to empower local communities to drive growth, reforming the infrastructure for sub-national economic development and localising elements of skills policy, as part of a devolution agenda for England set in the context of austerity. There are important questions around how local actors understand the ‘skills problem’ and whether they can evolve integrative approaches that might contribute to inclusive growth. Drawing upon qualitative research with local actors in the Midlands, the article explores their assumptive worlds in order to shed light on opportunities and constraints. The research was partly funded with DMU funds through the Centre for Urban Research on Austerity (CURA) at DMU 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.
  • Hard times in latte land? Analysing pay and working time in the café industry in France, Norway and the UK
    Hard times in latte land? Analysing pay and working time in the café industry in France, Norway and the UK Payne, Jonathan; Lloyd, Caroline Industrial relations and employment regulation are central elements of the national institutional framework shaping country-level differences in job quality. However, researchers are also interested in within-country variation by sector. International sector comparisons can shed light on the role of national institutions, individual employer approaches and workplace unions in shaping outcomes within a sector. This article uses qualitative data on pay and working time in the café industry in France, Norway and the UK to weigh the effects of institutions and employer differentiation on worker outcomes in a sector particularly challenging for union organisation. The findings identify the importance of national institutions for worker outcomes, and for shaping the scope at organisational level for employers and unions to make a difference. This is the accepted manuscript of the paper due to be published in the journal, 'Economic and Industrial Democracy', currently awaiting proofs.
  • Hearing music in service interactions: A theoretical and empirical analysis
    Hearing music in service interactions: A theoretical and empirical analysis Payne, Jonathan; Korczynski, Marek; Cluley, Rob There is an extensive literature concerned with the impact of music on customers. However, no study has examined its effects on service workers and their interactions with customers. Drawing together literatures on service work and music in everyday life, the article develops a theoretical framework for exploring the role of music in service exchanges. Two central factors are identified – how workers hear, and respond, to the music soundscape, and their relations with customers, given these have the potential to be both alienating and positive to the point of meaningful social interaction. From these, a 2×2 matrix is constructed, comprising four potential scenarios. The authors argue for the likely importance of music’s role as a bridge for sociality between worker and customer. The article considers this theorising by drawing upon interviews with 60 retail and café workers in UK chains and independents, and free text comments collected through a survey of workers in a large service retailer. The findings show broad support for music acting as a bridge for sociality. Service workers appropriate music for their own purposes and many use this to provide texture and substance to social interactions with customers. The paper has been accepted for publication and the journal confirms this author version can be uploaded on the university repository. 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.
  • Licensed to skill? The impact of occupational regulation on fitness instructors
    Licensed to skill? The impact of occupational regulation on fitness instructors Lloyd, Caroline; Payne, Jonathan 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.
  • The changing meaning of skill: still contested, still important
    The changing meaning of skill: still contested, still important Payne, Jonathan
  • Skills in the Age of Over-Qualification: Comparing Service Sector Work in Europe
    Skills in the Age of Over-Qualification: Comparing Service Sector Work in Europe Lloyd, Caroline; Payne, Jonathan
  • Towards a broad-based innovation policy in the UK: Can design help?
    Towards a broad-based innovation policy in the UK: Can design help? Payne, Jonathan
  • 'It's all hands-on, even for management': Managerial work in the UK cafe sector
    'It's all hands-on, even for management': Managerial work in the UK cafe sector Lloyd, C.; Payne, Jonathan
  • Measure for measure: towards a measurement and evaluation framework for skills utilisation policy in the UK
    Measure for measure: towards a measurement and evaluation framework for skills utilisation policy in the UK Payne, Jonathan
  • Quel développement professionnel continue pour les enseignants des matières professionnelles? L’exemple de la coiffure. Approche comparée Angleterre, Pays de Galles, France et Norvège
    Quel développement professionnel continue pour les enseignants des matières professionnelles? L’exemple de la coiffure. Approche comparée Angleterre, Pays de Galles, France et Norvège Larré, Francoise; Lloyd, C.; Payne, Jonathan believe I have correct ISSN but on the web page there appears to be a couple of different ones floating about. Also, on one page it gives an ISBN.

Click here to see a full listing of Jonathan Payne's publications and outputs.

Research interests/expertise

The political economy of skill

Skills policy

Workplace innovation

Job quality

Low wage work

Areas of teaching

Human Resource Management in the Workplace (undergraduate)

Employee Resourcing (postgraduate)

Comparative political economy / international HRM

Dissertation supervision

Qualifications

BA (Hons) Politics (University of York) 1987

MA (econ) Political Theory (University of Manchester) 1989

PGCE (University of East Anglia) 1991

Courses taught

HRM in the Workplace (2nd year UG module); Employee Resourcing module (MA/PGDip)

Membership of professional associations and societies

HEA Associate Fellow (2016)

Projects

Jonathan's current research projects are:

1. A comparative study of the impact of robotics and artificial intelligence on jobs, skills and job quality in the UK and Norway: case studies of food processing and hospitals (with Caroline Lloyd, Cardiff University)

2. Music and service work (with Marek Korczynski and Rob Cluley, Nottingham University Business School)

3. Devolution, local skills strategies and inclusive growth in England under austerity

Consultancy work

  • Provided feedback to the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research on apprenticeships in Norway and the UK (1999 and 2002).
  • Feedback on the Finnish Workplace Development Programme used to inform discussions within the Finnish Ministry of Labour (2003).
  • Unpublished report on Recognition of Non-Formal and Informal Learning in Norway used as a basis for an overarching OECD report on RNIFL.
  • Discussions with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on the 2009 skills strategy, Skills for Growth.
  • Advice to key Scottish policy makers/stakeholders on skills utilisation policy in Scotland through the running of a high-level ministerial policy seminar (2011),
  • Advice to the Scottish Funding Council and the Skills Committee on the future development of its programme of skills utilisation projects (2011).

Current research students

Mara Stanculescu, PhD student, Migrant Transitions (1st supervisor)

John Kimberley, PhD student, Edward Cadbury, (1st supervisor)

Externally funded research grants information

'Days of Future Past? The impact of robots on work in the UK and Norway', British Academy small grant, 2017-2019, co-investigator with Caroline Lloyd (Cardiff University), award: £9,640.

Professional esteem indicators

Editorial board member of the British Journal of the Sociology of Education since 2000.

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