My academic career was preceded by many years in the catering and retail trades. I have also been an active trade unionist for many years and have undertaken the role of shop steward or workplace rep in a number of workplaces. I have been an academic for seventeen years, first at Bristol Business School and since 2007 at the Faculty of Business and Law.
I gained my undergraduate degree as a mature student from the Open University, followed by a Masters degree in Industrial Relations from the London School of Economics and a second Masters in Applied Social Research from the University of the West of England. My PhD was undertaken at the University of the West of England and was titled 'A Comparative Study of Trade Union Renewal Strategies: Partnership, Organising and Social Unionism'.
My research interests are concerned generally with trade unions, trade union renewal, and conflict at work. I am working on a comparative union project with researchers from Australia and New Zealand looking at retail unions. Further research interests are in community unionism and emotions during strike action.