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Power, Politics, and Influence at Work

Discover the causes of global employment inequalities, how workers gain a voice through unions, and the future of work itself.

1,686 enrolled on this course

Power, Politics, and Influence at Work

Help build workers’ rights and a better future for employment and society

With the world of work in unprecedented flux, the role of workers’ rights has never been more pressing, as society grapples with issues such as how to ensure better employment equity and safety.

On this course, you will get an introduction to the world of ‘work and employment studies’ (WES), from experts at the Work and Equalities Institute at the University of Manchester, the Department of Work and Employment Studies at the University of Limerick, and Liverpool University Management School.

You’ll explore how global employment conditions have become ever more fragmented and unequal, before examining the different frameworks of power and politics that relate to your workplace, learning how employees can find a voice through trade unions.

Ultimately you’ll explore what the future of work and equalities themselves could look like – and how employment could become more just.

“Almost everyone has to work, but why is it so unequal? This unique, timely, and engaging course pulls back the curtain to reveal the sources of power differentials and ways to redress them. Take this course to become empowered in your work, it’s critically important”

Professor John W. Budd (University of Minnesota, USA)

Carl Roper, Trades Union Congress (TUC), National Education & Organising Manager

Tish Gibbons, Head of SIPTU College, Dublin

Skip to 0 minutes and 5 seconds Hello and welcome to the course: Power, Politics and Influence at Work. The purpose of the module is to stimulate learning and hopefully conversations around big ideas affecting us all in the world of work. For example, do we have a satisfactory voice in our workplace, why is there growing inequalities in society, and who has the power to influence things for the good, and what can workers and activists - say trade unions - do to improve the work experiences and the equality for people in a society. The course is supported by a book of the same title. It is published by Manchester University Press. It is short, relatively cheap, and it’s available on most outlets and online providers.

Skip to 0 minutes and 49 seconds It will help to have the book as you work your way through each of the five weeks that make up the module. In addition to the book there are a series of materials each week to support your

Skip to 1 minute and 4 seconds learning: discussion prompts, video talks, video interviews, short articles to read online, and some multiple-choice quizzes. In week one, this week, the objective is to review the context of the world of work along with the different frameworks to understand power in the workplace. We will shortly touch on the historical developments of some worker struggles, how to define power, and the subject area of work and employment studies. In week two, the objective is to explain the rise in precarious and non-standard forms of employment, along with the discussion about new technologies, the gig-economy, and how this is changing people’s working lives.

Skip to 1 minute and 46 seconds In week 3, the goal of describing the role of the state will be considered, along with the law and how things like bogus self-employment, gender inequalities among other issues affect the world of work. The objective for week 4 is to discuss who speaks for whom in the workplace. In week five, the final week, we will look to a decent work agenda for the future. We will review three particular scenarios, each of which may be shaped by the power capacities and the mobilizing forces of workers, and to try and improve rights and agendas

What topics will you cover?

  • Work and employment relations
  • Frameworks of power
  • Globalisation
  • Employment regulation
  • New technology
  • Trade unions and worker voice
  • Future of work debates

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explain the dimensions of work and employment studies as a discrete field of study
  • Describe different models of power that affect employment conditions
  • Assess the way Government (e.g. the State) regulate employment equalities
  • Discuss the way new technologies can influence employment relationships and work conditions
  • Evaluate different systems for worker voice
  • Debate different developments and scenarios that can affect the future of work

Who is the course for?

This course would appeal to workplace representatives and trade unionists, as well as those who work or volunteer for social and political movements concerned with labour and citizenship rights.

It would also benefit policymakers and policy influencers.

Who will you learn with?

Miguel Martinez Lucio is a Professor at the University of Manchester, England.
He researches on questions related to work, employment, representation and regulation.

Tony is a Professor at the University of Limerick, Ireland; and Visiting Professor at the Work & Equalities Institute, University of Manchester.

Emma Hughes is a lecturer in Human Resource Management at the University of Liverpool Management School.

Roger is Honorary Lecturer in Labour and Employment Law at Alliance Manchester Business School and a member of the Work and Equalities Institute, Society of Legal Scholars and Industrial Law Society

Who developed the course?

The University of Manchester

From splitting the atom to giving the world graphene, The University of Manchester has a history of world firsts and brilliant discoveries.

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