Professor Kirsty Newsome

BA, MA, PGDip, PhD

Associate Dean Research

Room: A018
Phone: +44 (0)114 222 3469

Kirsty is a Professor in Employment Relations. She joined the Management School in September 2014 having previously been Senior Lecturer in the Department of Human Resource Management at the University of Strathclyde. She is a member of the Work, Employment Relations Research Centre (WOERRC) located within the Management School.

Kirsty is Visiting Research Affiliate, Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at UCLA, USA and was recently appointed a Visiting Research Fellow, Centre for Sustainable Work and Employment Futures, University of Leicester.

Teaching and Learning

Kirsty's approach to ‘Teaching and Learning’ is to provide students with a critical and engaging understanding of work and employment which is both theoretically embedded and empirically driven. Kirsty is concerned to ensure that students are able to critically evaluate and interrogate current trends within the management of the employment relationship. In recent years she has developed a strategy in all her teaching to draw closer connections between her own research and teaching provision.

Kirsty was presented with a University of Strathclyde Teaching Excellence Award in 2011, 2013 and 2014.

She is currently teaching on the following modules:

  • MGT309 Industrial Relations (final year undergraduate module)
  • MGT3003 Work and Employment in the 21st Century
  • MGT659 Industrial Relations (MSc HRM module)
  • MGT6157 Social Theory for Management Students.


Kirsty’s research interests are focussed around three interconnected core themes: the changing character of employment regulation; the shifts and transformations in the politics of production; and the dynamic interplay of global value chains and the labour process. In recent years the empirical focus of her research has been two-fold. First with Professor Paul Thompson and Johanna Commander (University of Strathclyde), she has been concerned with exploring labour process change in the supermarket supply chain. Second, funded in part by a grant from the Nuffield Foundation, Kirsty has focussed on examining the interplay of internal and external forces in the restructuring of the employment relationship, the labour process and value chains in retail distribution and logistics. She is currently co-editing a book entitled ‘Putting Labour in its Place’: Labour Process Analysis and Global Value Chains with Professor Phil Taylor, Dr. Jennifer Bair and Professor Al Rainnie published by Palgrave Macmillan. Kirsty’s current research focus is to explore changing work and employment within the logistics sector.

Kirsty is a member of the team (with Professor Paul Stewart, Professor Dora Scholarios and Ms Claire Scott, University of Strathclyde) which co-ordinates the research network "The changing nature of employment in Europe in the context of challenges, threats and opportunities for employees and employers". This is an international comparative European FP7 Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN) of Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) and Experienced Researchers (ERs). It is amongst a small number of multi-disciplinary social science programmes to be awarded funding in the current Marie Curie awards under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Development (FP7). The ITN, brings together new and recent post graduate researchers working on an international post graduate research programme supervised by internationally renowned senior academics.

PhD Supervision

Kirsty is currently supervising a number of PhD students. She is interested in supervising doctoral research in the following areas;

  • Factory work and the politics of production
  • Labour process change in retail and retail supply chains
  • Work and Employment in the logistics sector
  • Labour and Global Value Chains.

Key Projects / Grants

Title/ Description Awarding body Dates People Involved Amount
The changing nature of employment in Europe in the context of challenges, threats and opportunities for employees and employers Marie Curie ITN December 2012-2016 The ChangingEmployment network comprises 9 Full Academic Partners and 9 Associate Partners. The ChangingEmployment network currently employs two Experienced Researchers (post-doctoral level) and 12 Early Stage Researchers (doctoral level). The project is co-ordinated by the University of Strathclyde  Euro 4,060,000
The ‘Politics of Distribution’: Understanding Employment Change in Grocery Distribution and Warehousing Carnegie Trust May 2010 Kirsty Newsome £2,500
Supermarkets, Systematic Rationalisation and Work Restructuring in Grocery Distribution and Warehousing. Nuffield Foundation March 2008-2009 Kirsty Newsome £5,850

Professional Activities, Recognition and Other Information

Kirsty is a member of the Editorial Board of the Industrial Relations Journal (IRJ) and Work, Employment and Society (Jan 2015-18). She was previously Associate Editor of Employee Relations (2004-12).

She is external examiner for PG People Management subjects at Edinburgh Business School, Heriot Watt University. Kirsty has recently been appointed external assessor the HRM Doctoral programme at the University of Strathclyde.

Kirsty was recently a steward of the British Universities Industrial Relations Association (BUIRA) 2010-2013 at the University of Strathclyde.