Marie Curie ITN 'ChangingEmployment' eNewsletter, Second edition (March 2014)

Welcome to the second edition of the ChangingEmployment eNewsletter

Welcome everybody to second eNewsletter of ChangingEmployment ITN, this issue sees a shifting focus to Scandinavia and the activity of, especially, theme 3 colleagues.  Future issues will include information about a range of our outreach activities, including film and photographic material and development of links with similar Marie Curie networks, academics, researchers and practitioners working with social sector, private organisations and social movements from Ireland to Spain.  We hope that readers enjoy access to our range of activities and we encourage you to contact any of the ESRs whose research is of interest to you - they would be happy to come and talk to you wherever you are.  Enjoy the Spring whenever it reaches you!

Professor Paul Stewart, Project Coordinator
University of Strathclyde

This second eNewsletter of the Marie Curie ‘ChangingEmployment’ programme is in press one year after the doctoral students started in their positions. For me as a supervisor it has meant that I will get the privilege to follow Pille Strauss-Raats, an international PhD student, to her graduation. During the first year, we have written together a research review on health & safety for temporary agency workers, Pille’s research area. The results of this review were presented for the Swedish Work Environment Authority and with fieldwork initiated in two of three plants in Poland and Sweden, Pille is well on her way in the research process.
Since I am a Theme 3 leader I also have the privilege to work with two other PhD students under the theme “Employee Wellbeing and Work Life Quality” - Laurens Deprez and Pedro Mendonca. For the PhD students this means that they meet regularly with their two fellow students during their three year PhD time for co-operation and support, as well as meeting supervisors of others and getting regular input on their texts. The last week of March we had a fruitful Theme 3 meeting in Gothenburg, where during two full days the three fellow PhD students Pille, Laurens and Pedro together with supervisors Dora Scholarios, Kristina Hakansson and I discussed texts relevant to the present phase in their development of becoming full feathered researchers. Besides their own PhD projects we also discussed joint reach-out activities for our theme.
A positive side effect of this closer cooperation between supervisors from different universities is creating opportunities for future collaboration. During the week-long stay at our university, Dora presented her own current and planned research for Kristina, myself and our fellow researchers at the department and some possible seeds were planted that may evolve into new research projects.
Dr Tommy Isidorsson
University of Gothenburg


Professor Steve Jefferys, Working Lives Research Institute, London Metropolitan University speaking at the Launch of the Network, May 2013 (University of Gothenburg)
This edition of the eNewsletter was edited by Pille Strauss-Raats, University of Gothenburg

Dlibert by Scott Adams

Theme 1

Management and Employees: Find out what Theme 1 ESRs have been doing since the last eNewsletter more

Theme 2

Inclusion and Exclusion: Find out what Theme 2 ESRs have been doing since the last eNewsletter more

Theme 3

Employee Wellbeing and Work Life Quality: Find out what Theme 3 ESRs have been doing since the last eNewsletter more


ChangingEmployment Fellows take part in ECPR Methods School at Vienna University 

In February, eight Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) participated in a Methods School organized by the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) at the University of Vienna. As fieldwork in different communities and organizations forms a central part of each ESR's individual research project, this training event was very useful for improving skills and techniques in data collection, processing and presenting.

The Methods School started with introductory software courses over the weekend. Radek Polkowski, Karima Aziz and Nina Sahraoui took part in an introductory course on software for computerized qualitative data analysis (nVivo). Mateusz Karolak participated in the introductory course for statistical software for quantitative data analysis (SPSS) and Nina took an additional course on the software R for statistical computing and graphics.
During the following week, the ESRs took part in a wide variety of more in-depth week-long methodological courses, reflecting the wide variety of projects and approaches in the Network.
Radek with Sara Lafuente and Mona Aranea took part in a course on qualitative interpretive methods. The course provided insights into techniques of interview transcription and data display as well as an overview of theoretical approaches in interpretive research.
Mateusz and Karima continued with advanced training in qualitative data analysis with nVivo. The course introduced participants to the methods of thematic analysis, qualitative content analysis, cross-case analysis as well as grounded theory. Besides studying readings from leading scholars in each method, the ESRs appraised papers with respect to their performance in using the methods.
Nina took part in the course ‘Political Anthropology’ that presented interesting links with institutional ethnography upon which she will draw for the methodology of her PhD research. The course covered ethnographic methods in data collection and analysis such as for example life stories and participant observation.
Pille Strauss-Raats and Pedro Mendonca participated in the introductory course on Applied Social Network Analysis (SNA). The course provided an introduction to the key theories and methodologies of network analysis with a brief overview of the main software packages used in this field (UCINET, NetDraw, Pajek).


Staff News

We are pleased to inform you that the Network has two new members of staff:

Central European University (Hungary) appointed Dragos Adascalitei (ESR3), who joined the Network on 15 February 2014. Dragos moved from the University of Mannheim, Germany. The University of Strathclyde (Scotland, UK) welcomed Dr Olena Fedyuk (Experienced Researcher 2) who joined the Network on 3 March 2014 from CEU, Hungary.   

Interviews for a replacement for the Experienced Researcher 1 post ‘Social dialogue as multi-level governance in times of change: employer and employee experiences’ based in Evry took place on 14 March 2014.  Dr Maria-Magdalena Richea has been appointed to the post in place of Dr Seda Akcakoca. Dr Richea has published a number of papers in the field of HRM in 'social profit organisations'. She obtained her PhD at the National School of Political and Administrative Studies, Bucharest, Romania, in Sociology. The title of the PhD was “Models of management and voluntary participation in the Romanian nonprofit volunteer centres”. She was a visiting scholar at the Universities of Bologna, Italy, and Brno in the Czech republic. We welcome Maria to her post and wish her the very best for this new step in her very promising career and look forward to meeting her at the ChangingEmployment Network School in Leuven in June.


Radek Polkowski's photo included in exhibition

Radek Polkowski’s photo from his fieldwork in Northern Ireland has been shortlisted in the Images of Research Competition 2014 and will be exhibited in the Insight Institute throughout the week of Engage with Strathclyde (28 April - 2 May). On the Opening Night (28 April), the public and panel judges will choose the winning pictures in this year’s edition of the contest.  Everyone interested in attending the event to cast their vote for the best picture should register here: Images of Research – Opening Night


ESR Personal Reflections

Each of the 12 Marie Curie Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) reflect on their experiences over the last 12 months. They discuss the programme, their changing lives and experiences. Find out more...


ChangingEmployment Network Schools

Leuven Network School: the next Network School is being arranged around the topic Flexicurity, Labour Market and Social Dialogue and will take place 2-6 June 2014. This will be the first Network event open to external PhD students (please note that the closing date for applications is mid-April 2014. To apply register on the KU Leuven website. Further details about the School can be found on the ChangingEmployment website.
Wroclaw Network School, Mid-term Review and Annual Colloquium: The final Network School will be centred on theoretical and empirical exploration of European models of capitalism in terms of macroeconomic context, collective bargaining structures, unionism/employee relations and work organisation and will take place from 14-25 November 2014. As part of the colloquium ESRs will present a poster summarising their research at the Social Boundaries of Work Conference,14-15 November 2014 in Wroclaw. Further details about this Network School can be found on the ChangingEmployment website.

For inspiration…

«La mise à mort du travail» Film by Jean-Robert Viallet (68 minutes, three episodes, France, 2009)
Sara Lafuente: This documentary was played at ETUI and the canter Federico García Lorca in Brussels and was followed by a discussion with the director. The film conveys how productivity objectives and management methods push employees to their limits in the current stage of capitalism, and what role the financial markets play in this extreme reality where human beings are put at the service of economy in the most sophisticated ways.
Thanks to three thematic episodes, the director is able to focus on different standpoints on the same problem: «La dépossession» deals with the quality of work through stories of men and women suffering from stress, mobbing or pressure at work; «l’alliénation» films the core of the managerial logics from the inside of a multinational company; and finally, «la destruction» shows the impact of the global financial markets in labour. I absolutely recommend it!


Report published:
Changing Employment in Europe

The Changing Employment in Europe report outlines progress and trajectory of initial findings of ESR research by Theme (1, 2 and 3) in the first period (March 2013 – February 2014) of both doctoral research and network activity. Specifically, Theme 1 Management and Employees, Theme 2 Inclusion and Exclusion and Theme 3 Employee Well Being and Work life Quality,  The report can be downloaded from the web-site 

The Spanish Marches for Dignity 
by Sara Lafuente

A peaceful demonstration of over 500.000 people took place on the 22 March against the Troika's "austerity package", under the motto "bread, work and roof for all". Some protesters had been walking for up to a month from other cities all over Spain to converge in Madrid and rally together against the rising unemployment, social inequality and precocity. Since the beginning of the crisis, governmental policies in Spain have entailed cuts up to €150 billion in public services and led to deep legal reforms, meaning serious cuts in labour rights and social dialogue, universal health and public education among other fundamental rights. Bank bailouts are being paid for while hundreds of people are daily evicted from their homes, unemployment rates are at 26%  and 55% for under-25, and thousands of young people are leaving their homeland looking for better opportunities abroad. 

The Marches for Dignity were seconded in other European cities, such as Brussels, where around 300 people met to "bury" their lost rights and demand "dignity for the South" of Europe. It was a citizens' call for an urgent change and redress of European policies against the crisis. 
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