Ying Zhou

Professor Ying Zhou

Professor of Human Resource Management; Director of Future of Work Research Centre
MPhil (Oxon), DPhil (Oxon)
+44 (0)1483 686344
50 MS 03
Tuesday (11-12.30); Wednesday (11-12.30)



Research interests



Zhou Y, Zou M, Wu CH, Parker SK, Griffin M (2024) A Study of New Labour Market Entrants’ Job Satisfaction Trajectories During a Series of Consecutive Job Changes. Journal of Applied Psychology, 109(2): 293–306.

Zhou Y (2021) Improving International and UK Policies on Employee Involvement and Well-being. Impact Case Study Submitted to the 2021 Research Excellence Framework. Presented to Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Surrey University and featured on Surrey Business School homepage.

Zhou Y, Felstead A, Henseke G (2020) A Response to the Department for Work and Pensions' Call for Evidence in Preparation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (invited for oral presentation to the DWP Committee in the House of Commons on 4th November 2020). Available on the UK Parliament website: https://committees.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/7601/pdf/

Zhou Y, Wu CH, Zou M and Williams M (2021) When is the Grass Greener on the Other Side? A Longitudinal Study of the Joint Effect of Occupational Mobility and Personality on the Honeymoon-Hangover Experience during Job Change. Journal of Organizational Behaviour, 42(4), 551-566 (Finalist for "Best Overall Paper Award" at the 77th Academy of Management Conference in Atlanta, Careers Division).

Gallie D, Zhou Y (2020) Employee Involvement, Work Engagement and Skill Development. Dublin: European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (presented to Eurofound, European Council and Dutch Prime Minister's Scientific Council).

Parent-Thirion A, Biletta I, Demetriades S, Gallie D, Zhou Y (2020) [Published in English, French, German and Spanish]. How Employee Involvement Benefits Organisations. European Working Conditions Survey 2015 series, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.

Zhou Y, Zou M, Woods SA, Wu CH (2019). The Restorative Effect of Work after Unemployment: An Intra-individual Analysis of Subjective Well-being Recovery through Reemployment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 104(9), 1195–1206 (Winner of "Best Overall Paper Award" at the 78th Academy of Management Conference in Chicago, Careers Division).

Gallie D, Zhou Y (2013) Work Organisation and Employee Involvement in Europe. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union (cited in the European Commission policy document Employment and Social Developments in Europe 2014 and featured in French newspaper Le Monde in 2018 and 2019).

Gallie D and Zhou Y (2013). Job Control, Work Intensity and Work Stress. In Gallie D (ed.) Economic Crisis and the Quality of Work. Oxford: Oxford University Press (presented to the UK Cabinet Office at No.10 Downing Street and cited in the UK policy document Wellbeing and Policy Report).

Paugam S, Zhou Y (2007). Job Insecurity. In Gallie D (ed.) Employment Regimes and the Quality of Work. Oxford University Press (cited in the French government policy Mesurer les facteurs psychosociaux de risque au travail pour les maitriser. Rapport du Collège d’expertise sur le suivi des risques psychosociaux au travail, faisant suite à la demande du Ministre du travail, de l’emploi et de la santé).

Zou M, Zhou Y, Williams MT (2022) In Search of the ‘Buffering’ Effect in the Job Demands–Control Model: The role of Teamwork HRM Practices and Occupations. Economic and Industrial Democracy, 45(1), 6-28.

The job demands–control/support (JDC/JDCS) models are highly influential in the HRM and employee well-being literature. Despite the high face validity, however, research has failed to find convincing empirical support for the ‘buffer’ hypothesis suggested by the JDC/JDCS models. In this article the authors explore this issue from three perspectives. First, they test the controversial ‘buffer’ hypothesis using a large nationally representative matched employer–employee sample from Britain. Second, they examine the role of teamwork HRM practices as a moderator of the buffering effect of job control against job demands on employee well-being. Finally, incorporating occupational level data into the analysis, the authors further explore the moderating effects of teamwork under different occupation-specific work intensity. The analysis suggests that there is strong evidence supporting the ‘buffering’ hypothesis. Also, it was found that teamwork moderates the buffering effect for employee intrinsic job satisfaction. Finally, the moderating effect of teamwork differs between occupations with different levels of work intensity.

Williams MT, Gifford J, Zhou Y (2022) Social Stratification in Meaningful Work: Occupational Class Disparities in the United Kingdom. British Journal of Sociology, 73(3), 536-553.

Sociologists have long been interested in the meaning workers derive from their jobs. The issue has garnered increasing academic and policy attention in recent years with the concept of ‘meaningful work’, yet little is known about how access to it relates to social stratification. This paper addresses this issue by exploring how the meaningfulness of jobs—as rated by their incumbents—is stratified across classes and occupations in a national survey of 14,000 working adults in the United Kingdom. It finds modest differentials between classes, with those in routine and manual occupations reporting the lowest levels of meaningfulness and those in managerial and professional occupations and small employers and own account workers reporting the highest levels. Detailed job attributes (e.g., job complexity and development opportunities) explain much of the differences in meaningfulness between classes and occupations, and much of the overall variance in meaningfulness. The main exception is the specific of how useful workers perceive their jobs to be for society, in which a handful of occupations relating to health, social care, and protective services which cut across classes stand out from all other occupations. The paper concludes that the modest stratification between classes and occupations in meaningful work is largely due to disparities in underlying job complexity and development opportunities. The extent to which these aspects of work can be improved, and so meaningfulness, especially in routine and manual occupations, is an open, yet urgent, question

Zhou Y, Wu CH, Zou M, Williams MT (2021) When is the Grass Greener on the Other Side? A Longitudinal Study of the Joint Effect of Occupational Mobility and Personality on the Honeymoon-Hangover Experience during Job Change. Journal of Organizational Behaviour, 42(4), 551-566.

Previous research shows that job satisfaction often increases sharply upon initial entry into the new job and gradually falls back to the baseline level over time. In this study we propose that this ‘honeymoon-hangover’ pattern is affected by both the direction of occupational mobility and the individual’s personality in terms of extraversion and neuroticism. Drawing on the British Household Panel Survey which followed 10,000 individuals annually for eighteen years, this study shows that only those who move up the occupational class ladder experience significant ‘honeymoon’ effects, while those who move downwards experience dissatisfaction that lasts for several years after the transition. While the positive effect of upward mobility is not amplified by extraversion, the negative effect of downward mobility is exacerbated by neuroticism. This study highlights the importance of taking into account both situational and dispositional factors for understanding the long-term impact of career change on subjective well-being.

William MT, Zhou Y, Zou, M (2021) Differentiation in Pay for Performance Within Organizations: An Occupational Perspective. International Journal of Manpower, 42(4), 537-555.

This article addresses the question of why organizations do not uniformly apply pay for performance (PFP) throughout the organization, focusing on the wider occupational structure in which they and the jobs they create are embedded. We propose a model of ‘occupational differentiation’ whereby the probability of a job within a given organization having PFP increases with levels of monitoring difficulty and requisite human asset specificity characterizing the occupation to which a job belongs, being highest in occupations characterized by high levels of both (generally managerial and professional occupations). Using the Workplace Employment Relations Survey (a nationally-representative matched employer-employee dataset for Britain), this paper investigates this question for all 350 occupations delineated by the UK’s Office for National Statistics using regression methods that adjust for other confounding factors such as demographic factors and workplace fixed-effects. We find organizations ‘occupationally differentiate’ the use of PFP in ways consistent with the model i.e., PFP is most likely to be found in occupations characterized by both high monitoring difficulty and high requisite human asset specificity (mainly managerial and professional occupations) and least likely in occupations scoring low in both. The finding holds across PFP types (individual, group, organizational), whether organizations are large or small, and hold across most industrial sectors.



Jones RJ, Woods SA, Zhou Y (2021) The Effects of Coachee Personality and Goal Orientation on Performance Improvement Following Coaching: A Controlled Field Experiment. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 70(2), 420-458.

This study presents a field experiment to test the question: What are the individual characteristics that influence whether coaching is beneficial for people’s performance. We focus our attention on the Big Five personality traits, core self-evaluations and goal orientation. Using a control group for comparison, coaching was provided to a sample of working adults (N = 84) and both self-ratings and supervisor-ratings of performance (N = 74) were measured over three time points. Our analysis indicates that individuals high in Openness and avoid goal orientation and low in core self-evaluations benefit the most from coaching. We contribute to the literatures on coaching effectiveness and the wider learning and development literatures by providing an empirically robust examination of the interaction between individual differences and coaching and the subsequent impact on performance. Furthermore, our findings suggest that coaching may be an effective development technique for individuals who tend to perform less well in other forms of instructional learning due to their individual characteristics.

Felstead A, Gallie D, Green F, Zhou Y (2010) Employee Involvement, the Quality of Training and the Learning Environment: an Individual Level Analysis. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 21(10), 1667-1688.

Theories such as human capital theory, the metaphors of learning and the high-involvement work paradigm all suggest that the quality of training and learning varies along a number of axes. This article shows how these theoretical insights have been translated into questions used in a UK survey of 6,829 employees carried out in 2006. We find that the qualities of both the training experience and on-the-job learning are strongly associated with the extent and nature of employee involvement. This suggests that employee involvement is likely to play an important role in the process of upskilling the workforce, which has been accorded a central role in the economic strategies of many nation states as well as supra-national organizations such as the European Union.

Zhou Y, Zou M, Williams MT (2020) Downward Occupational Mobility and Subjective Well-Being: When Does it Hurt Less? Proceedings of the 80th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management.

Downward occupational mobility is a generally under-explored subject in career research despite its widespread occurrence. This study investigates the impact of downward occupational mobility on job satisfaction trajectory and the individual and contextual factors that moderate such impact. Drawing on a UK longitudinal sample of 10,000 individuals from 5,500 households followed over eighteen years, our analysis shows that downward occupational mobility has significant and enduring effects on job satisfaction following the transition. However, these detrimental effects are absent when individuals make downward career transitions after a spell of unemployment or when they live in regions with high unemployment rates. These results are likely to reflect the influence of self- and social comparisons, as individuals tend to evaluate their current jobs relative to their past career trajectory as well as other people’s labour market experiences. This study highlights the relativity of individuals’ well-being functions. It appears that no life event is simply ‘good’ or ‘bad’ for subjective well-being, as the meaning of the event is shaped by an individual’s life course and social environment.

Williams MT, Zhou Y, Zou M (2020) The Rise in Pay for Performance Among Higher Managerial and Professional Occupations in Britain: Eroding or Enhancing the Service Relationship? Work, Employment and Society, 34(4), 604-625.

Higher managerial and professional occupations are now the most incentivised occupational class in Britain. It is not yet known whether the rise in pay for performance (PFP) signifies an erosion or enhancement in the ‘service relationship’ that purportedly characterises these occupations. Taking an occupational class perspective, this paper investigates the implications of the rise in PFP for the employment relationship and conditions of work across the occupational structure using two nationally-representative datasets. In fixed-effects estimates, PFP is found to heavily substitute base earnings in non-service class occupations, but not in service class occupations. PFP jobs generally have no worse conditions relative to non-PFP jobs within occupational classes. The article concludes the rise in PFP should be conceptualised more as a form of ‘rent sharing’ for service class occupations, enhancing the service relationship, and as a form of ‘risk sharing’ for non-service class occupations.

Zhou Y, Zou M, Woods SA, Wu CH (2019) The Restorative Effect of Work after Unemployment: An Intra-individual Analysis of Subjective Well-being Recovery through Reemployment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 104(9), 1195–1206.

Previous research shows that unemployment has lasting detrimental effects on individuals’ subjective well-being. However, the issue of how well-being evolves after individuals switch back into the labour force has received little theoretical and empirical attention. This study examines the extent to which reemployment restores individuals’ subjective well-being following a period of unemployment. Applying fixed effects models to the large-scale longitudinal data from the British Household Panel Survey, we find that recovery of subjective well-being upon reemployment is fast, complete and enduring, even when individuals take less favourable employment options to return to work. By contrast, transitions into economic inactivity following unemployment are accompanied by persistent scars on subsequent well-being trajectories. This study advances our understanding of well-being development over the entire employment-unemployment-reemployment cycle.

Jones R J, Woods S A, Zhou Y (2018) Boundary Conditions of Workplace Coaching Outcomes. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 33 (7/8), 475-496.


In order to address the need for greater understanding about the occupational and practice determinants of effective workplace coaching, the purpose of this paper is to examine the associations of two coaching practice factors (coaching format and external vs internal coaching provision), and coachees’ job complexity with perceived outcomes from coaching.


A survey of 161 individuals who had received workplace coaching was conducted. Participants provided data on two outcome criteria (self-reported work well-being and personal effectiveness at work).


Analysis indicated that external coaches and blended format coaching were most strongly associated with work well-being outcomes. The examination of interaction effects showed that coaching provided by external coaches was more strongly associated with outcomes for individuals working in the most complex job roles.


The original contribution of the authors’ findings is in terms of the implications for coaches, managers and HR practitioners by showing how coaching can be implemented differentially and most effectively based on desired outcome criteria and features of coachees’ job situations.

Zhou Y, Zou M, Woods SA, Wu CH (2018) The Restorative Effect of Work after Unemployment: An Intra-individual Analysis of Subjective Well-being Recovery through Re-employment. Best Paper Proceedings of the 78th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Chicago, Illinois (Winner of “Best Overall Paper Award", Careers Division).

A substantial body of research shows that unemployment has detrimental effects on individuals’ subjective well-being, which is consistent with the prediction of the theory of latent functions of employment. However, empirical research also shows that individuals generally fail to return to their baseline well-being even after exiting unemployment, a puzzle that runs counter to latent functions theory. This study argues that the ‘scarring effect’ uncovered by the previous literature is largely a statistical artefact resulting from the use of inadequate measures of baseline well-being and failure to distinguish those who follow different routes to exit unemployment. Applying fixed effect modelling to a UK longitudinal survey that followed approximately 10,000 individuals annually for eighteen years, this study shows that recovery of subjective well-being upon re-employment is fast, complete and enduring. By contrast, transitions into economic inactivity are accompanied by persistent scars on subsequent well-being trajectory. This study contributes to the literature by closing a hitherto unresolved gap in the explanatory power of latent functions theory on the temporal effects of unemployment on subjective well-being.

Zhou Y, Zou M, Williams M, Tabvuma V (2017) Is the Grass Greener on the Other Side? A Longitudinal Study of the Impact of Employer Change and Occupational Change on Job Satisfaction. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 99, 66–78.

Research shows that individuals experience a honeymoon-hangover pattern when they change employers. This study provides further insight into this pattern by comparing the experience of those who change employers within and across occupations. Drawing on the longitudinal data from the British House Panel Survey 1991–2008, we find that the honeymoon effect was primarily driven by the experience of those who change employers across occupations. Patterns of post-transition adaptation also differ between the two categories of job changers. While there is evidence of adaptation of job satisfaction to employer change within occupation, those who change employers across occupations experience a steady decline of intrinsic job satisfaction which continues for at least six years after the transition.

Zhou Y (2013) The State of Precarious Work in China. American Behavioural Scientist, 57(3), 354-372.

Precarious work which is characterized by the uncertainty and unpredictability of employment can be found in the labor market of most industrialized countries. Although precarious work was relatively rare in China until the 1980s, it has experienced a rapid growth over the past two decades. The factors underlying the diffusion of precarious work are varied and interrelated, notably reflecting the impact of changes in the structure of industry, occupations, urbanization, state policies, labor market institutions as well as employers’ manpower strategies. Although the spread of precarious work is sometimes advocated as an effective means of generating employment and increasing labor market flexibility, substantial evidence shows that such work is plagued by a series of problems, including low pay, low skill, high work intensity, poor working conditions and lack of employment protection. This article reviews research on the trends and quality of precarious work in China in the past two decades and offers insights for policymakers with respect to the ways to integrate precarious workers into the primary labor market.

Zhou Y, Wu CH, Zou M, Williams M (2017) A Longitudinal Study of the Impact of Occupational Mobility on Job Satisfaction Trajectory: Individual Differences in Neuroticism. Best Paper Proceedings of the 77th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Atlanta, Georgia (Finalist for “Best Overall Paper Award", Careers Division).

Previous research on job change has identified a common pattern of job satisfaction trajectory during the turnover process. Individuals often experience a sharp increase in job satisfaction upon initial entry into the new job which gradually returns to baseline levels over time. This study examines how this ‘honeymoon-hanger’ pattern is affected by the nature of the job change and the individual’s personality.  Drawing on the British Household Panel Survey, this study shows that only those who successfully move up the occupational ladder experience significant ‘honeymoon’ effects. By contrast, individuals who make lateral or downward career transitions experience no significant honeymoon effect but a lasting scar on their job satisfaction for several years after the transition. However, the pattern varies depending on the individual’s level of neuroticism. Compared to emotionally stable individuals, those high in neuroticism react more strongly to both upward and downward occupational mobility, with the job satisfaction gap between the two groups growing wider over time. These findings highlight the importance of taking into account both situational and dispositional factors for understanding individuals’ reactions to job change. 

Gallie D, Zhou Y, Felstead A, Green F, Henseke G (2017) The Implications of Direct Participation for Organizational Commitment, Job Satisfaction and Affective Psychological Well-Being: A Longitudinal Analysis. Industrial Relations Journal, 48(2), 174-191.

The article examines the implications of direct participation for employees’ organisational commitment, job satisfaction and affective psychological well-being. It focuses on both task discretion and organisational participation. Applying fixed effect models to nationally representative longitudinal data, the study provides a more rigorous assessment of the conflicting claims for the effects of participation that have hitherto been based primarily on cross-sectional evidence. Further, it tests a range of mechanisms by which direct participation leads to improved employee outcomes. Contrary to the critical literature, it shows that even after controlling for unobserved individual heterogeneity, both forms of direct participation have positive effects for employees’ organisational commitment and well-being. The effects of task discretion are primarily direct, reflecting the intrinsic importance of personal control over the job task; in contrast, those of organisational participation derive to a greater extent from its indirect effect on the quality of working conditions.

Williams M, Zhou Y (2017) Paying for Performance in Britain: Does the Type of Job Matter? Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Applied Research Conference (Featured in People Management 26 April 2017).
Inanc H, Zhou Y, Gallie D, Felstead A, Green F (2015) Direct Participation and Employee Learning at Work. Work and Occupations, 42(4), 447-475.

The creation of a learning environment at work has been seen as an essential concomitant of the growth of an advanced economy. This article explores the implications of direct participation for different types of employee learning, drawing upon the British Skills and Employment Surveys of 2006 and 2012. It confirms that direct participation is strongly associated with enhanced learning opportunities at work but finds important differences in the benefits of specific forms of direct participation. Moreover, direct participation was found to be particularly important for those in less favorable work contexts with respect to technological level and skill.

Gallie D, Zhou Y, Felstead A, Green F (2012) Teamwork, Skill Development and Employee Welfare. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 50(1), 23-46.

There has been a sharp divergence in the literature about the benefits of teamwork. Some have claimed that it is solely in the interests of management, others that it is beneficial for employees and yet others that it makes little difference to either productivity or well-being. This article draws upon the British Skills Survey Series. It shows that while teamwork did expand between the early 1990s and 2006, this was due primarily to the growth of the type of teamwork that allowed employees little in the way of decision-making power. Indeed, there was a decrease in the prevalence of self-directive teamwork. At the same time, our evidence shows that the benefits of teamwork, in terms of both enhancing work motivation and employee welfare, are confined to self-directive teams, while non-self-directive teams suppress the use of personal initiative and discretion at work.

Halldén K, Gallie D, Zhou Y (2012) The Skills and Autonomy of Female Part-Time Work in Britain and Sweden. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 30(2), 187-201.

Most OECD countries have experienced an increase of female part-time employment in the last decades. It has been argued that part-time work may give greater employment flexibility, enabling mothers to reconcile conflicting demands of family and work and thereby facilitating their integration into the wage economy. At the same time, it has been suggested that female part-time work implies segmentation of the labour force into a core and a periphery, with marginalized, low qualified jobs for part-time employees. However, little attention has been given to the possible mediating effect of the institutional context on potential job quality disadvantages of part-timers. We examine this question by comparing the skills and autonomy of female part-time workers in two countries, Britain and Sweden, often considered as representing quite distinct forms of institutional regime. The results show that female part-time employees in Sweden hold positions of higher skill and have more autonomy compared to their equivalents in Britain. Even so, both British and Swedish part-time employees face relative disadvantage when compared to female full-time workers. We conclude that differences in the institutional systems of Sweden and Britain do have a significant effect on the absolute skill level of part-time work. However, the relative disadvantage of part-timers persists despite Swedish policies giving greater salience to improvements in the quality of work.

Gallie D, Zhou Y (2011) The Changing Job Skills of Female Part-time Workers in Britain 1992–2006. Human Resource Management Journal, 21(1), 28-44.

The work situation of female part-time workers has been a central focus of diverse interpretations of labour market disadvantage. While providing rather different accounts of why this should be the case, these share a view that part-timers are largely confined to jobs with lower levels of skill than full-timers. This article, drawing on nationally representative surveys, shows that the skill requirements of female part-time jobs have improved significantly since the early 1990s relative to male full-timers. While some sectors of part-time work have benefited more than others, there is evidence of polarisation only with respect to part-timers with different working hours. The overall rise in the relative skills of part-timers poses significant issues about employer practice with respect to the wider involvement of part-timers in
the organisations for which they work.

Zhou Y (2009) British Employees' Organizational Participation. Germany: VDM Verlag.
Green F, Felstead A, Gallie D, Zhou Y (2007) Computers and Pay. National Institute Economic Review, 201(1), 63-75.

This paper describes the diffusion of computer use among jobs in Britain, and shows that the technology is having notable effects on the labour market. By 2006 three in four jobs entailed job-holders using computers, while for two in four jobs computer use was essential. Computing skills have a significant impact on pay but, in 2006, much of this effect is interactive with what we term 'influence skills'. The average effect of a unit increase in the Computing Skills index (which rangesfrom 0 to 4) is to raise pay by an estimated 5.3 per cent and 6.0 per cent for men and women spectively. For men there is an additional 19.2 per cent boost to pay in establishments where at least three quarters of workers are working with computers, compared to establishments where no one uses computers. These effects are greater for those people in jobs with above-average influence skills requirements. Our estimates allow for education, a large number of other generic skills and other conventional controls, which makes them more robust to the critique that they are overestimates because they might suffer from omitted skill bias. IV estimates show only small differences from the OLS estimates. We also find that the direct and interactive effects of computer skills and influence skills have risen over the decade, indicating increased scarcity.

Zhou Y, Zou M, Wu CH, Parker SK, Griffin M (2024) A Study of New Labour Market Entrants’ Job Satisfaction Trajectories During a Series of Consecutive Job Changes. Journal of Applied Psychology, 109(2), 293–306.

Previous research on the psychological effect of job change has revealed a honeymoon-hangover pattern during the turnover process. However, there is a dearth of evidence on how individuals react and adapt to multiple job changes over their working lives. This study distinguished adaptation to a single job change in the short term from adaptation to the process of job change in the long term. Drawing on two large-scale, long-running panel datasets from Britain and Australia, it examined how job satisfaction trajectory evolved as individuals made a series of consecutive job changes since they first entered the labour market. Our fixed effect analyses showed that in both countries, individuals experienced a stronger honeymoon effect with each successive job change, before gradually reverting to their baseline job satisfaction. In short, the amplitude of the honeymoon-hangover effect increased across multiple job changes. By distinguishing ‘adaptation to change’ from ‘change in adaptation’, this study generated original insights into the role of job mobility in facilitating career development and extended set point theory from understanding the impact of single life events to recurring life events.

Zhou Y, Zou M, Williams MT (2024) Downward Occupational Mobility and Job Satisfaction: When Does it Hurt Less? European Sociological Review (in press).

Downward occupational mobility is a generally under-explored subject in careers research. This study examines how job satisfaction evolves before, during and after a downward career transition and how the pattern is moderated by individual and contextual factors. Drawing on the UK Household Longitudinal Study which followed respondents from 40,000 households over the last decade, our fixed effects analysis shows that downward occupational mobility has negative effect on job satisfaction that lasts for several years following the transition. However, the detrimental effect of downward occupational mobility on job satisfaction is mitigated when the event is preceded by a spell of unemployment or when individuals reside in regions with high levels of unemployment. These results likely reflect individuals’ tendency to evaluate their careers in the context of their employment history as well as their peers’ labour market experience. This study highlights the relativity of subjective well-being function, as self- and social comparisons feature prominently in how people judge their lives. 

Green F, Lee S, Zou M, Zhou Y (2024) Work and Life: the Relative Importance of Job Quality for General Well-being, and Implications for Social Surveys. Socio-Economic Review (in press).

We investigate the relative importance of variations in job quality in accounting for variations in general well-being among employed people in Europe, the United States, Australia and South Korea. We find that the importance of job quality is everywhere of a similar magnitude to that of health, while both are far more important than other conventional determinants, including education, gender, marital status, parental status, age, or household income. Job quality accounts for somewhat more of well-being’s variation among men than among women. Within the majority of European countries, the R-squared for the variation accounted for ranges between 14 and 19 percent. The paper’s findings, alongside rising policy interest, support the allocation of a greater priority for job quality in general socio-economic and labour force surveys than hitherto.

Woods SA, Ahmed S, Zhou Y, Agneessens F (2024) The Perils of Leadership Development: Unintended Consequences for Employee Withdrawal Behaviour and Conflict. Work & Stress (in press).

This study examines potential negative human resource consequences of leadership development. Applying theoretical perspectives on job demands and resources, we argue that leadership development may result in potential negative outcomes by introducing new and different demands on workers, requiring adjustment and adaptation. We further argue that the pervasiveness of this risk increases as leadership training is distributed across an organisation. We examine the effects of the implementation of a leadership development programme across a whole organisation (N = 9471), analysing data on incidences of withdrawal (absenteeism) and conflict (formal grievances) over a four-year period. We analyse data using fixed-effects modelling, and our findings indicated that increases in the proportions of leaders undertaking development in nineteen service units of the organisation over this period predicted increases in absenteeism and grievances raised by staff. Implications for theory in leadership development, and the management of development initiatives are discussed.