Podcast and blog
Welcome to the blog and podcast page for the Future of Work Research Centre. Here, you can find podcast episodes with our members, blogs that feature more about the episodes and special bonus content.
Episodes and blogs
You may have heard a lot in the news about pay gaps, but what really is at the heart of the issue?
The Future of Work Research Centre recently had the chance to interview an expert who knows a lot about this complex subject. Professor Carol Woodhams, a professor in Human Resource Management, explains in this podcast interview the history of pay gap research, the complexity in untangling the root causes of it, and the direction of future research.
Especially illuminating in this episode is learning how deeply entrenched and layered pay gap issues are. As Professor Woodhams shares, rectifying disparities is not as simple as changing a pay gap structure administratively. There are several internal, external, and influential factors (both individual-level and structural) working in concert to make resolving pay gaps more challenging, many of which she has uncovered in her extensive work with the NHS and reporting her research data into UK Health Secretaries over the last decade.
In this interview, Professor Woodhams also shares her top book and scholar picks, and why her library cards (pictured) are one of the most critical accompaniments to her success – and why you should have them, too!
- Professions and Patriarchy by Anne Witz
- Relational Inequalities: An organizational approach by Don Tomaskovic and Dustin Avent-Holt
- Equal: How we fix the gender pay gap by Carrie Gracie
Professor Carol Woodhams’ biography:
Carol Woodhams is Professor of Human Resource Management and former Head of the Department of People and Organisations at the University of Surrey. Her research is interdisciplinary and theoretically grounded in psychology, economics, and sociology. Her research interest is in labour market disadvantage. Currently she is best known for progressing an understanding of pay gaps for NHS doctors. She has published widely including in Human Resource Management, the Journal of Social Policy, Human Resource Management Journal, and British Journal of Industrial Relations. She is a Chartered Fellow of CIPD. Earlier this year she was named “Most Influential Thinker in HR 2023” by HR Magazine.
For more about Professor Woodhams and to find her contact information, please see her staff page with the University of Surrey.
Have you ever wondered what Organizational Neuroscience is (or even heard of it)? Well, it is as fascinating as you think and that is why the Future of Work Research Centre was happy to record a podcast episode with Dr Sebastiano Massaro, one of the leading global experts in this emerging field and a senior lecturer of organizational neuroscience at Surrey Business School.
According to Dr Massaro on the podcast, organizational neuroscience is ‘a field that is leveraging neuroscience theories, experimental approaches, method and practical implications to the advancement of organizational and management disciplines.’ An example he gives in his podcast episode is using smart watch-type technologies to use heart rate signals to understand physiological determinants of human behaviour in the workplace, and even unleash new parameters to predict certain human behaviours by picking up important biological antecedents. The implications of this can be highly consequential to detect stressful environments for employees which can impact productivity and well-being. In short, according to Dr Massaro, this ground-breaking field can ‘generate biologically and physiologically informed models of behaviour in organisations.’
In his podcast episode, Dr Massaro offers the following song, book and scholar pertaining to his research:
- Scholar: David Marr, one of the founding fathers of Computational Neuroscience
- Book: Vision by David Marr - https://mitpress.mit.edu/9780262514620/vision/
- Song: No Surrender by Bruce Springsteen – as a reminder to not listen to those who doubt your ambitions, and to follow your passions in research.
Chosen object: a blue erasing rubber (pictured)! A gift from his mother, it serves as a reminder to him that mistakes are a part of life, and sometimes a critical component in how we learn, how we build our lives and our research.
Here is how you can learn more about him:
How would you define intuition? How does intuition shape our decisions as managers? How can creativity enhance this intuition? On the Future of Work Research Centre podcast, we speak with Prof Eugene Sadler-Smith, a leading scholar in intuition research, who has been writing about these very questions for 20 years.
Intuition is not a blind hunch as some may think, but rather an informed nudge based on life and work experiences pointing us in a particular direction or towards a certain decision. In the workplace, intuition can have positive effects and spur innovation and speed up decisions but can also have potential negative impacts such as systematic errors and unconscious biases in managing fairness. In the podcast episode, Prof Sadler-Smith talks about the importance of managers knowing how much their decisions are rooted in intuition and how these decisions are (or are not) balanced by rationality and logic.
Prof Sadler-Smith offers the following recommendations on a book, scholar and article related to his work:
- Book: Administrative Behavior and The Sciences of the Artificial – both by Herbert Simon
- Scholar: Herbert Simon, scholar on decision-making, and theorist of bounded rationality
- Article: Herbert Simon, ‘Making management decisions: the role of intuition and emotion’ Academy of Management Perspectives.
Chosen object to highlight on the podcast: His A6 notebook (pictured) where he captures his ideas and curiosities. Saying he would be devastated if he ever lost it, he notes the importance of having something non-digital and tangible to capture such ideas and how the very act of writing can spur creativity.
Visit the Hubris Hub for more on Prof Sadler-Smith’s work on hubris.