Date of release: Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Bargaining for a better workplace: Greenwich leads new studyThe ways in which good relations between management and workers can boost productivity is the subject of a €60,000 research project being led by the University of Greenwich.

Dr Graham Symon, from the university's Business School, and his team will investigate the importance of constructive dialogue between employers and unions, analysing how co-operation and 'bargaining' between the two parties can deliver benefits in areas such as pay, workforce diversity, employee involvement and skills.

He says: "With concerns about the UK's economic performance and low rates of productivity, I believe that workplace relations are the key to unlocking the potential of the British workforce. Enhanced communication and partnership between employers and unions is a crucial step towards building economic growth, prosperity and higher wages."

The Business School's Work and Employment Research Unit (WERU) is carrying out the project in partnership with institutions in Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland and Spain. The international dimension will provide an opportunity for researchers to compare employment relations in different economies and to share best practice.

A specialist in human resources and organisational behaviour, Dr Symon adds: "We are excited to have this opportunity to engage with employers, unions and policy-makers in the UK and across Europe. We aim to establish how we can build a system of employee relations that will lead to a fairer and more competitive economy, both for Britain and the rest of Europe. We are working with very prestigious partners, so this promises to be a landmark and influential study."

The project will culminate in the publication of a book, a series of briefing workshops for employers, unions and policy-makers, and a high-profile conference at Greenwich in 18 months' time.

Other University of Greenwich academics working on the project are Dr Bethania Mendes De Brito Antunes, Dr Ulke Veersma and Dr Laura William.

To find out more about studying with the Business School:, email or call 020 8331 9000.

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Story by Public Relations