Robert MacKenzie, Professor of Working Life Science
Robert MacKenzie comes from Leeds in Great Britain. He lived in various places around Britain in his twenties but ended up spending the majority of his academic career in the Work and Employment Relations Division of Leeds University Business School. After being a visiting professor for a year Robert MacKenzie became a full-time employee of Karlstad University in November 2015.
Robert MacKenzie’s research is concerned with the regulation of the employment relationship and industrial restructuring at the macro, meso and micro level.
“My work has sought to link research on the social and economic experiences of workers with broader patterns of socio-economic restructuring and changes in the regulation of the employment relationship. This has led to research on the role played by trade unions, contract form and occupational identity in mediating the experience of restructuring. My work comprises a mixture of theoretical pieces on the changing nature of regulation and industry based case studies."
Work, or the lack of, is a central feature of life in advanced capitalist societies. In many ways work is central to our every day existence, our experience of life and to our very identities. Understanding the regulation of the employment relationship, the processes and influences that shape the ways in which work is organised, beyond the reductionist, statutory-legal frameworks, is therefore important. The shifting boundaries of jurisdiction and roles of regulatory actors, such as the state, employers and trade unions, impacts our lives on a daily basis, whether we are conscious of this or not.
“In addition to contributing to the academy, I have worked with various ‘end-users’ over the course of my research career, notably trade unions, local authorities (Communes) and migrant support agencies. It is a source of satisfaction that my work has had direct, tangible impact on the support provided to migrants and for the pension rights of workers who have been made redundant. “
Having lived exclusively in heavily urbanised environments until now, Robert MacKenzie and his family are enjoying the pleasures of life in Sweden and Värmland in particular. But there are some things he misses from the UK.
“I have tried filling the gap left by Leeds United by going to watch Färjestad or Degerfors play but sadly this just feels like a mixture of adultery and idolatry.“