Personal profile

Personal Statement

I joined the University of Strathclyde in 2010 as Professor of Work and Employment Relations.  I was appointed Distinguished Professor in 2019.  My research and teaching expertise is in the study of work and the management of the employment relationship. To illustrate, my published work includes topics such as workplace innovation; improving job quality; skills implication of automation; workplace learning, including union-led learning; skills and skills valuation; employer-employee partnerships. My research is funded by a variety of organisations including the ESRC, ERDF, the Technology Strategy Board, government, public, private and third sector organisations.

I am also the Director of the Scottish Centre for Employment Research (SCER) which aims to inform academic, policy and practice debates on work and employment. Building on our previous Innovating Works initiative, SCER has worked closely in recent years with multiple stakeholders in a project aimed at Harnessing Knowledge, Research and Networks to drive Fair, Innovative and Transformative Work (FITwork) in Scotland, funded by Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland and the Scottish Funding Council and supported by STUC. in addition, SCER has delivered a series of industry facing Workplace Innovation Masterclasses in conjunction with Scottish Enterprise and is leading an evaluation of Community Pharmacy Technology Pilots in conjunction with Scottish Government and NHS Scotland.  With Lindsay, I recently worked with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation on research analysing employers' roles in addressing in-work poverty. 

I currently lead a research team of colleagues from SCER, the Fraser of Allender Institute and Global Public Health at Strathclyde University and from Eindhoven University and the Erasmus University in the Netherlands on an £861k ESRC funded project on ‘Improving management practices, work engagement and workplace innovation for productivity and wellbeing’.

I am currently the Co-Chair of Scotland’s Fair Work Convention (since 2017) having previously been a member of, and Academic Adviser to, the Convention, since its inception.  I was previously a member of the Scottish Government Review Group - Working Together: Progressive Workplace Policies in Scotland.  I am also a member of the Scottish Government's Innovation Forum; the SG Gender Pay Action Plan Steering Group; and the SG Human Trafficking and Exploitation Strategic Oversight Group.

I currently sit as a member of SCDI’s Productivity Club and am a member of the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board’s Gender Commission.

I am a member of the Economic and Social Research Council Peer Review College and previously of the ESRC Future Research Leaders SIFT panel.  I am a member of the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland Review Panel.  I sit on the Editorial Board of the Industrial Relations Journal, having previously been a board member of the journal Work, Employment and Society.  I have a long-standing association with, and have co-organised, the International Labour Process Conference and have organised streams at the Society for the Advancement of Socio Economics (SASE) Conference.  I am a member of the British Universities Industrial Relations Association, the British Sociological Association and SASE. I am also a long-standing member of the Employment Tribunals Service and sit on the Steering Group of the Scottish Living Wage Campaign and the Advisory Group to the Oxfam Decent Work Project, having previously sat on the Steering Group of the Oxfam Scotland Humankind Index.  

A key part of my role at SCER is to support the activities and career development of SCER’s researchers and doctoral students attached to SCER projects. 

Research Interests

My recent research activity has focussed on four key themes:  job quality and how this can be improved; skills and learning, gender equality; and industrial relations governance within and outwith the workplace.  These distinct research themes are also relevant to my broader interest in workplace innovation within a mutual gains framework.  Current/recent research projects include:

  • Harnessing Knowledge, Research and Networks to drive Fair, Innovative and Transformative Work (FITwork) in Scotland
  • Evaluation of Community Pharmacy Technology Pilots
  • Workplace Innovation Masterclasses
  • Innovating Works ... improving work and workplaces
  • The future of work, employment, skills and training in Scotland
  • Automation, organisational redesign and associated skills implications within hospital pharmacy services
  • Profiling women’s participation in manufacturing
  • Smart HR metrics and monitoring equality and diversity data
  • Occupational pay comparisons
  • Union-led employability and employment rights support
  • Making bad jobs better
  • Improving skills utilisation
  • Union-led learning and trade union revitalisation
  • Employer-employee partnerships and mutual gains organisational change
  • Teachers’ pay comparability
  • Gender inequality in financial services

Teaching Interests

My two main areas of responsibility in teaching in recent years has been for a group of doctoral students and for the MBA Module Managing People in Organisations. I have also delivered teaching for bespoke MBA programmes through the Centre for Corporate Connections.

Expertise & Capabilities

  • Workplace Innovation
  • Job quality, skills and learning
  • Fair work
  • Employee Relations
  • Employment Regulation
  • Gender Equality

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification


Award Date: 1 Jan 1997

Doctor of Philosophy, What management strategy? Labour utilisation and organisation at Scotland's 'leading edge'., University of Oxford

Award Date: 1 Jan 1991


Award Date: 1 Jan 1984

External positions

Member, Scottish Apprenticeships Advisory Board Gender Commission

2019 → …

Member, Scottish Government Gender Pay Gap Action Group

2018 → …

Member, Scottish Government Human Trafficking and Exploitation Strategic Oversight Group

2018 → …

Co-Chair, Scotland's Fair Work Convention

Dec 2017 → …

Fellow, Royal Society of Arts

2017 → …

Member, Scotland Can Do Innovation Forum

2017 → …

Research Assessor, The Carnegie Trust

2016 → …

Member, ESRC Peer Review College

2012 → …

Member, Employment Tribunals Scotland

1993 → …


  • employment
  • skills
  • workplace learning
  • workplace innovation
  • job quality and fair work
  • labour market
  • trade unions
  • HRM
  • gender inequality
  • employment regulation and governance
  • Women and work


Dive into the research topics where Patricia Findlay is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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