PhD students - Future of Work research centre - University of Bath - School of Management

Future of Work research centre

University of Bath School of Management

PhD students

Future of Work PhD students
portrait of Nima Ali

Nima Ali


I explore the dynamic change of interns' commitment over time. I am studying the influence of organisational socialisation (OS) on interns' many commitments.

I decided to conduct a qualitative longitudinal study. This offers a richer understanding of how individuals' interpretations of OS can influence the progress of their commitment.

My research contributes to the debate on the dynamic nature of commitment and addresses the importance of interns' work bonds.

Education and background

From the early stage of my career, I have found my passion in human resource management. Professionally, I worked in different divisions in HR departments, until I became an HR director.

I received my masters in HRM at the University of Business and Technology in Saudi Arabia. Then I shifted to the academic field to start teaching at UBT.

I realized that my real interest is understanding people's behaviour. That is why I decided to pursue my PhD in organisational behaviour.

Selected publications and conference papers

  • Ali, N., Swart, J. 'The Dynamics of Interns' Commitment in Professional Service Firms' European Academy of Management, June, 2017, Glasgow, UK.
portrait of David Cross

David Cross


I research the commitment bonds and relationships that individuals form with a variety of targets and entities.

I couple this with liminality, the ambiguous but liberating position of being 'betwixt and between', to investigate independent consultants. These are knowledge workers who work for many clients at the same time.

Crucially, they are not employed but are independent contractors. This has implications for how they commit, who they commit to and how they resolve conflicts.

Independent consulting is a growing area of alternative work and organising. It's also an increasingly regulated area and key policy battleground. The UK government is keen to end 'bogus employment' and the exploitation of independent contractors.

Education and background

  • BA in History and Sociology, University of Warwick
  • MSc with Distinction in Management, University of Bath

Before starting my PhD on a full university scholarship I worked for Avon and Somerset Police. Before that I was a Commissioned Officer and Pilot in the Royal Air Force.

Selected publications and conference papers

  • Cross, D. 2016. Holidays are coming: Independent contractors and the work Christmas Party. Paper presented at the Global Workshop on Freelancing and Self-Employment Research. Brighton Business School, November 2016
  • Cross, D. & Swart, J. 2016. 'Commitment in Liminality'. Paper presented at the EAWOP Small Group Meeting on Commitment. University of Bath School of Management, September 2016.
  • Cross, D., Swart, J., & Kinnie, N. 2016. 'Anchoring in Liminality: Independent contractors in-between organisations'. Paper presented at the 32nd EGOS Colloquium, Naples, July 2016
  • Cross, D. Swart, J. & Kinnie, N. 2016. 'Commitment in liminality: Independent contractors in-between organisations'. Paper presented at the annual Workshop on Research Advances in Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management, Université Paris Dauphine, May 2016
  • Cross, D., Swart, J., & Kinnie, N. 2015. 'The liminality of liminality: A systematic review of organisationally liminal spaces'. Paper presented at the EGOS/APROS conference, University of Technology Sydney

Media and online

Membership of academic communities

I am an Academic member of the Centre for Research on Self-Employment (CRSE).

portrait of Kerrie Howard

Kerrie Howard


My current research focuses on organizational sub-strategies, specifically how firms strategize in CSR. My research is driven by an interest in whether and how business will meet society's expectation of the good organization. Taking a strategy-as-practice approach, I draw on my practitioner interest in sub-strategies and practice based approaches. Other research interests include strategy, organizational development and knowledge management.

Education and background

I hold an MBA with distinction from the University of Bath and also teach on MSc management and MBA programmes.

As a consultant, I have recently worked with a wide range of INGOs, United Nations agencies (UN Women, UNFPA and UNCDF), donors, governments and large companies across diverse contexts.

I have extensive international experience having worked in over 50 countries. Before 2011, I worked with Amnesty International as Deputy Regional Director for the Americas. There I held global responsibility for strategy and research in the Americas, leading many new areas of work and guiding responses to big challenges such as rule of law in Guatemala, the Mexican war on drugs, the Haitian post-earthquake disaster. As a member of the global leadership team, I championed a transition in mission and aims, implementing numerous change projects, including a new project management system and a new performance management scheme.

Selected publications and conference papers

  • Howard, K.E., and Swart, J. Inspiration Through Integration From Islands To Plateaus: A United Nations Case Study. Organizational Learning and Knowledge Conference, 2017, Valladolid, Spain.
portrait of Thushel Jayaweera

Thushel Jayaweera


My research involves understanding how the psychological contract influences work related behaviours. The psychological contract can be understood as employees' beliefs regarding mutual obligations between the self and the employer.

I am also interested in understanding:

  • the role of culture in shaping psychological contract
  • how employee feelings, emotions and thinking patterns unfold over time in the cross cultural context

The University Research Studentship Allowance funds my research.

Education and background

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Research Methods, University of Bristol
  • Bachelors degree in Psychology (upper second),University of Pune
  • Masters degree in Human Resource Management (1st class), University of Pune

Before joining Bath, I held various graduate teaching roles at several universities and business schools in UK. These included the University of Bristol, Middlesex University, the University of the West of England and the Kaplan International Colleges.

I also worked as a higher education lecturer and a counsellor abroad.

Selected publications and conference papers

Journal papers

Conference presentations

  • Jayaweera, A.T., Bal, P.M., and De Jong, S. (2016). Breach and work outcomes: a meta-analysis, Psychological Contract Small Group Conference, Ireland
  • Jayaweera, A.T. (2015). Working conditions, motivation and job performance of hotel workers, International Conference on Psychological, Educational, Health and Social Sciences
  • Jayaweera, A.T. (2015). Working conditions and work motivation on job performance among hotel workers: examining the moderating role of job stress, Costa Rica Global Conference on Business and Finance
  • Jayaweera, A.T. (2015). Working conditions and health of hotel workers: evidence from the hotel sector, International Labour Process Conference
  • Jayaweera, A.T. (2009). Non-standard work schedules and the relationship with partners: The perceptions and feelings of full-time hotel workers, The British Sociology Annual Conference
  • Jayaweera, A.T. (2009), Impact of Emotions on Employee Job Performance among British Hotel Workers, Sociology Summer Conference, University of Lancaster
  • Jayaweera, A.T (2009), Working conditions, Work Performance and Well-being of Hotel Workers, Conference on 'Globalisation' and Human Welfare: Innovations in Sustainable Solutions,University of Oxford
  • Jayaweera, A.T, Impact of Work Stress on Job Performance:Perspectives of Hotel Workers and Managers, XIth European Conference (ENOP 2009) on Organizational Psychology and Human Service Work: New Challenges and Interventions in Human Services, Lisbon.
portrait of Thushel Jayaweera

Natasha Rose


TItle: Worlds apart? Bridging the divide between organisational ambidexterity theory and practice. My research straddles the organisation studies and strategy disciplines.

My research was presented at the British Academy of Management. I was awarded the 2016 Tony Beasley Award for outstanding work by a doctoral student.

Education and background

I have over 12 years' international management experience advising on business transformation and performance improvement across the Middle East and Africa.

My experience includes more than eight years as a group senior manager focusing on emerging market telecoms operations. My last project involved the proposal, design and implementation of a satellite head-office in Dubai to secure tax benefits.

After completing my MBA at Manchester University, I left a successful career to pursue a PhD. This evolved from a keen interest in bridging the divide between rigorous academic research and practical relevance.

Conference papers

  • Rose, N. (2016, September), 'Organisational Ambidexterity: The theory, practice conundrum'. The award was 'in recognition of outstanding work in the form of a quality paper by a doctoral student' presented at the British Academy of Management (BAM) Doctoral Symposium, in Newcastle.