John Forth is a Senior Lecturer in HRM at Cass Business School and a Fellow of NIESR.
He is an applied social scientist with a background in labour economics and employment relations. His research focuses on the management and organisation of work and its implications for employees and economic performance. He has a particular interest in pay and rewards.
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 The Evolution of the Modern Workplace (CUP), Employment Relations in the Shadow of Recession (Palgrave) and Comparative Workplace Employment Relations: An Analysis of Britain and France (Palgrave).
John's research on pay and rewards has focused on methods of wage determination. This work has charted the declining influence of trade unions on pay levels, but also shown their enduring influence on other aspects of the employment relationship, including work-life balance. Recent work has also focused on the prevalence and impact of performance-related pay, showing the role that it played in facilitating wage flexibility in Britain through recession.
The third strand of John's research focuses on economic performance, particularly productivity. Particular interests include the effects of trade unions on workplace productivity and profits, and the productivity performance of low-wage sectors. John recently co-authored a chapter on Britain's productivity performance for a CUP-published book on Productivity Puzzles in Europe.
Publications: John's research has been published in a number of 3* and 4* journals, including The Economic Journal, British Journal of Industrial Relations, Human Relations, Industrial Relations, Labour Economics, European Journal of Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management Journal.
Media/Impact: John's research has been covered by all of the major news outlets and he has made appearances on national television and radio. His recent work (with Alex Bryson) on public sector pay was covered by The Guardian (front page), The Telegraph, The Independent, The Times, The Financial Times and BBC News, among others. The research was also cited in the House of Commons in the debate over the public sector pay cap.
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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
Current projects (funder in italics):
Productivity in Low-Wage Sectors, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
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. In press.
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. Early View.
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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