Dr Mark Tomlinson

Department of Sociological Studies

Senior Lecturer in Sociology

Exams officer (UG and PG)

Library Officer

Dr Mark Tomlinson
mark.tomlinson@sheffield.ac.uk
+44 114 222 6426

Full contact details

Dr Mark Tomlinson
Department of Sociological Studies
Room LG11
Elmfield Building
Northumberland Road
Sheffield
S10 2TU
Profile

Mark joined the department in March 2012. He has extensive experience of working in international, interdisciplinary teams and has advised policy makers at the highest levels (including the European Council, European Commission, OECD and UNIDO). He has also worked with organisations such as the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Child Poverty Action Group who have published several reports based on his work on poverty, labour markets and well-being (with Professor Robert Walker). 

His current work is mainly focused on two areas. Firstly, analysing the concept of underemployment and its relation to worker wellbeing and performance (mainly with Jason Heyes at Sheffield University Management School), and second work related to the employment quality and health. He has also recently been working with Oscar Molina at the Autonomous University of Barcelona on a European project on labour market segmentation for Eurofound.

Mark is also interested in advanced quantitative methods. He has recently been exploring the use of Machine Learning and AI in analysing quantitative and textual data. He has several years’ experience of applying multivariate statistical techniques to social scientific data.

Mark has previously held posts such as Senior Research Fellow in the Institute of Social Policy at the University of Oxford, and senior research posts at the Universities of Manchester, Aalborg (Denmark), and Galway (Ireland).

Research interests

Mark's main current areas of research are:

  • Labour markets, learning, skills, underemployment and training;
  • Social quality, health and psychological wellbeing;
  • Socio-economic indicators;
  • Poverty and deprivation (measurement and impacts);
  • Advanced multivariate methods (such as Structural Equation Models, panel regression);
  • Machine Learning (Text Analytics, Neural Networks, Support Vector Machines etc.)

He has a strong methodological focus and is constantly exploring the boundaries of quantitative methods for use in social science. Mark's recent work has explored the use of Structural Equation Modelling in its many forms for the measurement of multiple dimensions of poverty and disadvantage. This has been executed in tandem with exploring causal linkages between various dimensions of poverty, labour market engagement and well-being, and how these relate to outcomes later in life. This has involved extensive use of panel data from several countries and the implementation of panel regression techniques. He is also exploring Machine Learning and its application to quantitative and qualitative social scientific data.

Mark is also experienced in comparative social science research at several levels. For example, his PhD was an extensive study of labour market segmentation across three eastern European countries. He has undertaken comparative research since then on projects such as the Advanced Benchmarking Concepts project for the European Commission (which was inspired by Mark's work with Bengt-Åke Lundvall for the Portuguese Presidency of the EC when it formulated what was to become known as the Open Method of Co-ordination). This project sought to understand how different European states could be compared with each other in a rational way in order to devise new innovation and social policies without resorting to crude league tables and the ‘naming and shaming’ of poor performers which was a popular device at the time.

Currently, Mark's research is revisiting work he undertook in the past on innovation systems and innovation policy. There is significant scope for combining insights derived from social policy analysis (such as labour market activation and training policy) and social capability theories related to innovation systems. Mark has been a collaborator of Bengt-Åke Lundvall at Aalborg University, Denmark, who has been instrumental in the development of the theory of innovation systems and the so-called 'learning economy' framework. This postulates that developing human capabilities is a key to economic growth and fostering innovation, but there has been relatively little attention paid by innovation scholars to employment systems and related employment and social policy dynamics. It should be possible to combine data based on innovation and learning with the type of data used in welfare policy analysis in order to further comparative work on welfare regimes and innovation system typologies.

Publications

Books

  • McMeekin A, Green K, Tomlinson M & Walsh V (2018) Innovation by demand? An introduction. RIS download Bibtex download
  • McMeekin A, Green K, Tomlinson M & Walsh V (2018) Innovation by demand: An interdisciplinary approach to the study of demand and its role in innovation. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tomlinson M & Walker R (2009) Coping with Complexity: child and adult poverty. London: Child Poverty Action Group. RIS download Bibtex download
  • A M, K G, M T & V W (2002) Innovation by Demand. Manchester: Manchester University Press. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Gallie D, White M, Cheng Y & Tomlinson M (1998) Restructuring the Employment Relationship. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tomlinson M () LEARNING, KNOWLEDGE AND COMPETENCE BUILDING AT EMPLOYEE LEVEL IN THE U.K. Emerald (MCB UP ). RIS download Bibtex download

Journal articles

Chapters

  • Windrum P & Tomlinson M (2015) Knowledge-Intensive Services and International Competitiveness: A Four Country Comparison In Gallouj F & Djellal F (Ed.), Services and Innovation Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Raian-Rankin S & Tomlinson M (2013) Do Work-Family Policies Really “Work”? Evidence from Indian Call Centres, Expanding the Boundaries of Work-Family Research (pp. 32-50). Palgrave Macmillan UK RIS download Bibtex download
  • Rajan-Rankin S & Tomlinson M (2013) Do work-family policies really work? Evidence from Indian call centers In Greenhaus J, Poelmans SAY & de la Heras M (Ed.), Expanding the boundaries of work-family research: A vision for the future Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tomlinson M & Walker R (2012) Labor Market Disadvantage and The Experience of Recurrent Poverty, The Age of Dualization: The Changing Face of Inequality in Deindustrializing Societies RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tomlinson M & Walker R (2012) Things get better (and sometimes worse): Poverty dynamics and children In CPAG (Ed.), Ending child poverty by 2020: Progress made and lessons learned London: Child Poverty Action Group. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Ferragina E, Tomlinson M & Walker R (2011) Determinants of Participation in The United Kingdom: A Preliminary Analysis In Buck N (Ed.), Overview of Understanding Society (pp. 65-74). Institute for Social and Economic Research: University of Essex/ESRC RIS download Bibtex download
  • Walker R, Tomlinson M & Williams G (2010) The Problems with Poverty: Definition, measurement and interpretation In Walford G, Tucker E & Viswanathan M (Ed.), The SAGE Handbook of Measurement Sage Publications Ltd RIS download Bibtex download
  • Christensen JL, Gregersen B, Johnson B, Lundvall B-A & Tomlinson M (2008) An NSI in Transition? Denmark In Edquist C & Hommen L (Ed.), Small Country Innovation Systems: Globalization, Change and Policy in Asia and Europe Edward Elgar Publishing RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tomlinson M (2006) Do European learning styles converge In Lorenz E (Ed.), How Europe's Economies Learn: Coordinating Competing Models Oxford: Oxford University Press. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tomlinson M & Lundvall B-A (2004) Le benchmarking international : un instrument d'apprentisage politique et strategique In Rodrigues MJ (Ed.), Vers une societe Europeenne de la connaissance La strategie de Lisbonne (2000-2010) (pp. 199-226). Brussels: Editions de l'Universite de Bruxelles. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tomlinson M (2004) Learning, knowledge and competence building at employee level in the UK In Christensen JL & Lundvall B-A (Ed.), Product Innovation, interactive learning and economic performance Elsevier RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tomlinson M & Ndhlovu T (2003) Do services matter for African economic development? In Muchie M & Gammeltoft P (Ed.), Putting Africa first: The making of African innovation systems Aalborg: Aalborg University Press. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tomlinson M & McMeekin A (2002) Does the social have a role in the evolution of consumption? In McMeekin A, Green K, Tomlinson M & Walsh V (Ed.), Innovation by Demand Manchester: Manchester University Press. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tomlinson M & Lundvall B-A (2002) International benchmarking as a policy learning tool In Rodriguez MJ (Ed.), The new knowledge economy in Europe: A strategy for international competitiveness with social cohesion Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tomlinson M (2001) �A new role for business services in economic growth� In Archibugie D (Ed.), �A new role for business services in economic growth� (pp. 97�110). Oxford: Oxford University Press. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tomlinson M (2001) �Employment growth, social capability and human mobility�, �Employment growth, social capability and human mobility� (pp. 33�44). Paris: OECD. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tomlinson M (2001) �The supply and demand of high technology skills in the UK�, �The supply and demand of high technology skills in the UK� (pp. 203�218). Paris: OECD. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tomlinson M (2000) �Information and technology flows from the service sector: A UK-Japan comparison� In Miles I & Boden M (Ed.), �Information and technology flows from the service sector: A UK-Japan comparison� (pp. 209-222). London: Continuum. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Miles I & Tomlinson M (2000) �Intangible assets and service sectors: The challenges of service industries� In Buiges P, Jaquemin A & Marchipont J-F (Ed.), �Intangible assets and service sectors: The challenges of service industries� Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tomlinson M (2000) �Learning-by-comparing � reflections on the use and abuse of international benchmarking� In Sweeney G (Ed.), �Learning-by-comparing � reflections on the use and abuse of international benchmarking� (pp. 120�136). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tomlinson M (2000) �The contribution of services to the manufacturing industry� In Andersen B, Howells J, Hull R, Miles I & Roberts J (Ed.), �The contribution of services to the manufacturing industry� (pp. 36�48). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tomlinson M & Miles I (1999) �The career trajectories of knowledge workers�, �The career trajectories of knowledge workers� (pp. 152�167). Paris: OECD. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Warde A & Tomlinson M (1995) �Taste Among the Middle Classes, 1968-88� In Butler T & Savage M (Ed.), �Taste Among the Middle Classes, 1968-88� (pp. 241�256). London: UCL Press. RIS download Bibtex download
  • White M, Gallie D, Cheng Y & Tomlinson M (1994) �Job Search Effort and Motivation in Unemployment� In White M (Ed.), �Job Search Effort and Motivation in Unemployment� London: Policy Studies Institute. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Gallie D, Cheng Y, Tomlinson M & White M (1994) �The Employment Commitment of Unemployed People� In White M (Ed.), �The Employment Commitment of Unemployed People� London: Policy Studies Institute. RIS download Bibtex download

Conference proceedings papers

Reports

  • Newsome KJ, Heyes J, Moore S, Tomlinson M & Smith D (2018) Living On The Edge: The Experiences Of Insecure Work in The UK. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tomlinson M & Walker R (2013) Poverty, Participation and Choice: The Legacy of Peter Townsend RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tomlinson M & Walker R (2010) Recurrent Poverty: the impact of family and labour market changes RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tomlinson M (2009) Emerging Demands for UNIDO Statistical Data: Consultancy report to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tomlinson M (2005) Nonresponse bias in the National Employer Skills Survey 2004 RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tomlinson M & Ekeland A (2001) The supply and demand of skills in the UK, The Netherlands and Norway RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tomlinson M & Lundvall B-A (2001) Policy learning through benchmarking national systems of competence building and innovation – learning by comparing RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tomlinson M & Coombs R (2001) Innovation Survey 2000: Results and Analysis RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tomlinson M (2000) Report to the OECD National Innovation Systems Focus Group: Competence Flows: Human Resources and Mobility in the System of Innovation RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tomlinson M & Lundvall B-A (2000) Benchmarking national systems of innovation RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tomlinson M, Peneder M & Miles I (1999) Intangible investments, industrial sectors and competitiveness: International comparison RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tomlinson M, Tether B & Coombs R (1999) Report to the Department of Trade and Industry on the 1998 UK Community Innovation Survey RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tomlinson M, Kostova D, Kuchar P & Gallie D (1996) Employment Conditions, Labour Market Insecurity and Work Motivation: A Comparison of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Great Britain RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tomlinson M, White M, Cheng Y & Gallie D (1994) Individual Influences on Unemployment RIS download Bibtex download
  • Tomlinson M, da Corta L & Joseph G (1992) Economic Mobility and Crises in Drought-Prone Villages of Andhra Pradesh, South India RIS download Bibtex download
Research group

Mark has supervised several dissertations at Masters and PhD level.

He is particularly interested in supervising students who undertake quantitative work or who are engaged in novel methodologies.

Mark has a broad range of experience with primary data collection, secondary data analysis and advanced statistical methods.

Grants
  • 2015 Title: Developing a policy learning tool for anti-poverty policy design and assessment.
    • Sponsor: ESRC Partnership award fund
  • 2011-12 Title: Poverty, Choice and Diversity: Re-interpreting Peter Townsend’s ideas on participation and poverty.
    • Sponsor: Joseph Rowntree Foundation
  • 2011-12 Title: Integrating Macro and Micro Perspectives in Cross-National comparison: Dynamic Policy Structures and Individual Outcomes.
    • Sponsor: ESRC Comparative Methods Programme
  • 2008-9 Title: Joint application for the funding of an international research network on social inequality across social science departments in Oxford University.
    • Sponsor: John Fell Fund
  • 2008-9 Title: Recurrent poverty, labour market segmentation and household change.
    • Sponsor: Joseph Rowntree Foundation
  • 2005 Title: Examining Nonresponse Bias in the New Employers Skills Survey.
    • Sponsor: Labour and Skills Council
  • 2004 Title: Proposal for a 5 year research programme to explore the National System of Innovation in the Republic of Ireland.
    • Sponsor: CISC, Galway
  • 2003-5 Title: The Diffusion of Cultures of Consumption: a comparative analysis.
    • Sponsor: ESRC
  • 2002-4 Title: The LOCNIS Project.
    • Sponsor: European Commission
  • 2001-3 Title: ENMOB project (thematic network).
    • Sponsor: European Commission
  • 2001 Title: The Advanced Benchmarking Concepts Project (ABC).
    • Sponsor: European Commission
  • 2000 Title: CBI - Collaboration and culture survey 2000.
    • Sponsor: Confederation of British Industry
  • 2000 Title: International benchmarking as a policy learning tool.
    • Sponsor: Portugese Presidency of the European Council
  • 2000-2 Title: Social capital and social networks in political movements.
    • Sponsor: ESRC
Teaching activities

Mark teaches the following modules:

  • SCS2017 Sociology of Work (BA)
  • SCS6093 Multivariate Methods in Social Research (MA)
  • SCS6106 Quantitative Research and Fundamental Statistics (MSc)

Mark teaches and supervises students at both undergraduate and post-graduate levels. He believes in fostering strong linkages between his research and teaching.

Mark's lectures and workshops are therefore dependent on and influenced by his own research experience both as a sociologist and as an adviser to policy makers.

Mark tries to encourage students to think critically about the course material as well as social research in general, and believes that maintaining a healthy scepticism is a great asset in the pursuit of any scientific or social-scientific endeavour.