John's work is focused in three areas: employment relations; pay and rewards; and economic performance.
Work in the area of employment relations has focused on patterns of workplace representation, trade union effectiveness and conflict at work. This has included a substantial role in the design and analysis of the long-running and internationally-renowned series of Workplace Employment Relations Surveys (WERS). Major publications include All Change at Work? (Routledge), Inside the Workplace (Routledge), The Evolution of the Modern Workplace (CUP) and Employment Relations in the Shadow of Recession (Palgrave). Other research on employment relations includes a study of workplace employee representation across the EU27 for Eurofound and research on union resources for the TUC. John has recently completed a Leverhulme-funded comparative study of employment relations in Britain and France using data from WERS and its French equivalent REPONSE: Comparative Workplace Employment Relations: An Analysis of Britain and France is published by Palgrave.
Past work on pay and rewards has focused on methods of wage determination, and particularly the declining role of unions, thus linking with the work on employment relations. Some of this previous work has been published in Labour Economics and Industrial Relations. However, Alex Bryson and I have recently been focusing on the prevalence and impact of performance-related pay. An ESRC-funded project with Minghai Zhou at Zheijang University has examined the use of incentive pay among CEOs in China (see the Feb 2014 issue of the Economic Journal). Another ESRC-funded project has studied the use of performance pay across by employers in the UK (articles forthcoming in Manchester School, Human Resource Management Journal and the British Journal of Industrial Relations). Other work on pay and rewards includes a series of reports for the DWP on employers’ provision of pensions, a study of occupational licensing for the UK Commission for Employment and Skills and a study of public sector pay trends for the Office for Manpower Economics.
The third strand of work is on economic performance, particularly the determinants of workplace performance. Past work has examined the impact of the National Minimum Wage on business performance. However there is again a link to John's work on employment relations, through a focus on the effects of trade unions, with previous work having been published in the Scottish Journal of Political Economy and the Industrial Relations Journal. Some of this work is comparative, including a study of union effects on workplace performance in Britain and France, published in 2011 in the European Journal of Industrial Relations. John recently co-authored a chapter on Britain's productivity performance for a CUP-published book on Productivity Puzzles in Europe.
1990-1993 - UMIST, Manchester
BSc (Hons) Mathematics and Management Sciences (First class)
1994-1995 - University of Warwick
MA Industrial Relations (awarded with distinction)
1995-1998 - Research Officer, Policy Studies Institute
1998-2000 - Research Officer, NIESR
2000-2004 - Senior Research Officer, NIESR
2004-2011- Research Fellow, NIESR
2011-2016 - Principal Research Fellow, NIESR
2016-present - Fellow, NIESR
A full CV is available here: John Forth CV
Current projects (funder in italics):
Wage Growth in Pay Review Body Occupations, Office for Manpower Economics
Employers' Pension Provision Survey 2017, Department for Work and Pensions
Stokes L, Bryson A, FORTH J and Weale M (2017) “Who fared better? The fortunes of performance pay and fixed pay workers through recession”, British Journal of Industrial Relations. Accepted for publication.
Bryson A, FORTH J and Stokes L (2017) “How Much Performance Pay is there in the Public Sector and What Are Its Effects?”, Human Resource Management Journal. In press.
Bryson A, FORTH J and Stokes L (2017) “Employees’ subjective wellbeing and workplace performance”, Human Relations. Early view.
FORTH J, Bryson A and George A (2017) “Explaining cross-national variation in workplace employee representation”, European Journal of Industrial Relations, Early View.
Bryson A, FORTH J and Stokes L (2016) “The performance pay premium and wage dispersion in Britain”, Manchester School. Early View.
Amossé T, Bryson A, FORTH J and Petit H (2016) Comparative Workplace Employment Relations: An Analysis of Britain and France, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN: 9781137574190.
Bryson A and FORTH J (2016) “The UK’s productivity puzzle”, Chapter 5 in P Askenazy, L Belman, A Bryson and E Moreno Galbis (eds) Productivity Puzzles Across Europe, Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198786160.
FORTH J and Dix G (2016) “Exploring the nature and extent of workplace conflict”, Chapter 3 in R Saundry et al (eds) Reframing Resolution - Innovation and Change in the Management of Workplace Conflict, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN: 9781137515605.
FORTH J, Bryson A and Stokes L (2016) “Are firms paying more for performance?”, International Journal of Manpower, 37, 2: 323-343 (part of a Special Issue on the (Mis)Alignment of Productivity and Wages).
Bryson, A., FORTH, J. and Zhou, M. (2014) 'Same or Different? The CEO Labour Market in China's Public Listed Companies', The Economic Journal , Vol 124, Issue 574, pp. F90-F108.
Bryson, A., FORTH, J. and Zhou, M. (2014) 'CEO bonding: who posts performance bonds and why?', China Economic Review, Vol 30, pp. 520-529.
van Wanrooy, B., Bewley, H., Bryson, A., FORTH, J., Stokes, L. and Wood, S. (2013) Employment Relations in the Shadow of Recession: Findings from the 2011 Workplace Employment Relations Study, Palgrave MacMillan.
Riley R, Metcalf H and FORTH J (2013) “The business case for equal opportunities”, Industrial Relations Journal, 44, 3: 216-239.
Bryson A and FORTH J (2011) “Trade union membership and influence: 1999-2009”, Chapter 17 in J Wadsworth and P Gregg (eds) The Labour Market in Winter, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
FORTH J, Bryson A, Humphris A, Kleiner M and Koumenta M (2011) A Review of Occupational Regulation and its Impact, UK Commission for Employment and Skills Evidence Report No. 40.
Bryson A, Forth J and Laroche P (2011) “Evolution or revolution? The impact of unions on workplace performance in Britain and France”, European Journal of Industrial Relations, 17, 2: 171-188.
Forth J and others (2010) “Methodologies for surveys of employers and employees”, in N Greenan and E Lorenz (eds) The MEADOW Guidelines (MEAsuring the Dynamics of Organisations and Work), Paris: The MEADOW Consortium
Brown W, Bryson A, Forth J and Whitfield K (eds) (2009) The Evolution of the Modern Workplace, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Forth, J., McNabb, R., (2008), "Workplace Performance: A Comparison of Subjective and Objective Measures in the 2004 Workplace Employment Relations Survey", Industrial Relations Journal, Vol. 39, pp. 104-123.
Publications by John Forth
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Blog posts by John Forth
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