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People in Employment Settings (PiES) Research Group

This is an interdisciplinary group to foster and promote investigation into people and the workplace.

The People in Employment Settings (PiES) Research Group draws on expertise across the University and collaborates with local, regional and national organisations.

As a key focus, the group seeks to promote research into the modern experience of individuals and their place in organisations across all areas of the economy.

Key research areas include (but are not limited to):

  • Leadership
  • Motivation
  • Human resource management (HRM) and human resource development (HRD)
  • Employability
  • Psychological and sociological approaches to the world of work, workplace behaviours and work practises, particularly given the prevalence of such areas as key sites for challenging issues of social justice.

Operating as an umbrella group, PiES seeks to challenge and encourage researchers to develop research in a safe space and be accountable for raising the profile of the group and York St John University within associated communities.

Get in touch

As an eclectic research group, we welcome staff members, researchers and postgraduate research students from across the University, who have an interest in better understanding issues linked to people in employment settings.

Research activity

  • Alsarhan, F., Ali, S., Weir, D. and Valax, M. (2020) Impact of gender on use of wasta among human resources management practitioners. Thunderbird International Business Review. 63(2) 113-143.
  • Boak, G. and Crabbe, S. (2019) Evaluating the value of coaching skills training on individual and corporate behaviour.  European Journal of Training and Development. 43 (1/2) 153-165.
  • Boak, G. and Crabbe, S. (2019) Experiences that develop Leadership Capabilities. Leadership and Organization Development Journal. 40(1) 97-106.
  • Cock, S. (2018) Doing developmental research as a figurational sociologist: A case-study on the long-term sportization of swimming. In Malcolm, D. and Velija, P. (eds.) Figurational Research in Sport, Leisure and Health. Abingdon. Routledge.
  • Johnston, A. (2016) Motivation and the academic – where the drivers sit. Journal of Management Development. 35(6) 765-777.


Johnston, A. (2018) Understanding the Psychological Contract and the Challenge of the Individual. In Bishop, G. and Johnston, A.  (eds) Management: Self, People and Organization. Custom Edition. Andover. Cengage Learning.

Johnston, A. (2018) Thinking and Learning about Management, Leadership and the world of work.  In Johnston, A. (ed) Management and Leadership. Custom Edition. Andover. Cengage Learning.

Mierzwinski, M., Cock, S. and Velija, P. (2020) A position statement on social justice, physical education and bullying: A figurational sociological perspective. Quest. 71(2) 215-226.

Motasem, T., Weir, D., McIntosh, B. and Walker-Smith, L. (2022) HRM practices and innovation: an intra-organisational perspective. International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management. 22 (1-2) 98-118.

Walsh, S. and Johnston, A. (2022) Volunteering during Covid-19: Leadership Matters – The case of Scrubs. Voluntary Sector Review. {Online}

Group members

Dr Steven Cock

Group Co-Chair, Senior Lecturer

Dr Alan Johnston

Group Co-Chair, Senior Lecturer

Professor David Weir

Professor of Intercultural Management

Dr George Boak

Associate Professor

Sarah Crabbe

Dr Sarah Crabbe

Associate Professor

Susan Walsh


Lynsey Walker-Smith

Senior Lecturer

Ruby Christine Mathew


Owen Powell


Panagiotis Dimitriadis


Spencer Swain

Senior Lecturer

Simon Kumar

Simon Kumar


Stuart Healy


Winojith Sanjeewa


Profile image of Charles Taylor

Charles Taylor

Postgraduate Researcher

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