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Unusual and Atypical Work Contexts

This work examines jobs that stand outside of conventional conceptualisations of work and which are often unregulated by employment law or usual employment relations policies and practices.

Research highlight 1

The Work of Clergy women in the Anglican and Methodist denominations in the UK. This project is led by Anne-marie Greene and conducted in conjunction with Mandy Robbins, Glyndwyr University. It has received funding from Warwick Business School, DMU Faculty Funding, and the Southlands Trust, Roehampton University. This project involves a series of qualitative interviews with stipendiary clergywomen. We explore women in an unusual and under-researched work context, highlighting the difficult position they often face, uncovering widespread examples of sex discrimination, at the same time as satisfaction with their work and the need to follow their calling regardless of the difficulties. This is explained through an analysis of the significance of their religious calling as a party to the ‘employment relationship’ and to an ability to endure their work and as a constraint on their ability to challenge discriminatory treatment.

Research Highlight 2:

Managing A Volunteer Workforce: This project involves Anne-marie Greene and Jenna Ward and explores what it means to manage a volunteer. The project intends to identify the nature of similarities and differences between the management of volunteers and paid staff, and what the implications are of these similarities or differences for policy, resourcing and strategic planning within voluntary sector organisations. The research aims to understand the perceptions, attitudes and views of organisational stakeholders (managers, volunteers and paid staff members) around issues concerning the management of volunteers. It is intended to be of practical significance to voluntary organisations which face particular operational issues with managing volunteers, and would benefit from clear and focused empirical investigation in this area in order to improve organisational effectiveness.

Phase One of the project was funded by the DMU Research Investment Fund and aimed to establish the key areas of concern to organisations in the area of the management of volunteers and to gain interest from organisations in future research. It involved interviews with senior individuals in 10 third sector organisations, in a variety of service provision, including; counselling and advice services; the arts (theatres, art projects); conservation organisations; sports organisations; trade unions; and faith organisations. A one day workshop was also held on June 6th 2013, involving interview participants and academics, to discuss the key issues from the interviews in the light of existing academic research and to establish the agenda of the future research project.

Phase Two of the project has been funded by the National Trust and involves a series of case studies in order to achieve an in-depth understanding of what managing a National Trust volunteer involves and how this is similar or different to managing paid staff.

See detailed information about the National Trust Project including summary findings reports, dissemination activities and a short film by clicking here.

Selected outputs:

McMurray, R., & Ward, J. (2014). ‘Why would you want to do that?’: Defining emotional dirty work. Human Relations, 0018726714525975.

Dean, D. and Greene, AM (2014) ‘The puzzle of varying work orientations: As the actress said to the bishop’, presented at the BUIRA Conference, University of Westminster, 25-27 June.

Greene, A.M. (2013) ‘The experiences of women ministers: the cost of a calling?’ presented at a symposium of the British Academy of Management (BAM) Special Interest Group on Leadership and Leadership Development, 9 October, The Work Foundation, London

Greene, A. M. and Ward, J. ‘Managing a volunteer workforce: Industrial relations challenges in the era of the Big Society’ presented at the British Universities Industrial Relations Association (BUIRA) Conference, 27-29 June 2013.

Greene, A. M. and Ward, J. ‘Managing a volunteer workforce: Industrial relations challenges in the era of the Big Society’ presented at the International Labour and Employment Relations Association (ILERA), Conference, Amsterdam, June 20-22 2013.

Greene, A. M. (2012)  'Recovery or Recovering? The precarious work of clergy women in the Church of England' Invited Speaker: MODEM 2012 Conference 'Leading for Tomorrow's World', September 28th, London: Methodist Church House



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