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School of Business and Management

Professor Mark Williams


Professor of Human Resource Management

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 2194
Room Number: Room 4.21a, Francis Bancroft Building, Mile End Campus




Mark Williams is a Professor of Human Resource Management in the School of Business and Management.

Mark researches socio-economic disparities in the quality of jobs in the United Kingdom. Much of his work has focused on pay disparities across occupations and classes. Over the years, his work has branched out into working conditions more broadly (e.g., job insecurity, job control) as well as in workers’ attitudes to their jobs (e.g., job satisfaction, job meaningfulness). More recently, his research has explored the relationship between labour market regulation and the quality of jobs.

Mark joined QMUL in 2019. Prior to QMUL, he held posts at the University of Surrey and the London School of Economics. He undertook his undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral training at the London School of Economics and the University of Oxford.


On sabbatical leave. 


Research Interests:

  • Social stratification
  • Pay
  • Job quality
  • Job attitudes

Centre and Group Membership:

Grants, Contracts and Awards

I have been Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on research grants and contracts totalling £2 million from numerous organisations including the UKRI/ESRC, Norwegian Research Council, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, Department for Business and Trade, Department of Health and Social Care, British Academy, and trade unions.



Areas of Supervision Expertise:

I am interested in hearing from potential doctoral researchers who would like to carry out quantitative research in the broad area of the quality of employment (e.g., pay, hours, job insecurity, job control, wellbeing, etc.).

I am especially interested in hearing about projects making use of nationally representative survey or administrative data to explore disparities in this area (e.g., by socio-economic background, occupation, class, ethnicity, age, or sex, etc.).

My expertise is on the United Kingdom and China, but I am happy to consider proposals concerning Anglophone or European countries, and potentially, countries in East/South-East Asia too.

Note the University offers a variety of scholarships for doctoral study.

Please get in touch with me directly if you would like to discuss an idea or a proposal.

Please note I will not consider proposals (as first supervisor) that are removed from my main substantive and geographical areas of interest, or are majority qualitative.

Current Doctoral Students:

1st Supervisor

  • Rebecca Florisson, 'Path dependence in career mobility: The effect of precarious early work experience on career trajectories over the life course'
  • Lan Lu, The impact of China's increasing work overtime problem on Chinese employees.

2nd Supervisor

  • Ying Cui, Social Returns to Education: Evidence from China.

Public Engagement

I have acted as an Advisor or presented research to various government departments in the UK (e.g., DB&T, Cabinet Office, DH&SC, and the ONS) and internationally (e.g., European Commission). My research has been cited by most national newspapers/broadcasters, in various policy documents, and I have even been personally named by Members of Parliament in House of Commons debates on a few of occasions in reference to my research.

My chief contributions have been (i) mapping disparities in the quality of jobs across occupations and classes and (ii) related measurement, classification, and data collection issues (e.g., occupational classifications, NS-SEC, job quality scales, job tasks, large-scale surveys, etc.).

A recent project, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, explored some of these themes, and is summarised in Mapping Good Work.

Outside of QMUL, I am an Associate Editor at the British Journal of Industrial Relations, a member of the ESRC Peer Review College, Affiliated Member of the Future of Work Research Centre at the University of Surrey,  an external examiner at LSE, and an Academic Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. I previously served terms on the Associate Editorial and Editorial Boards at Work, Employment and Society and on the Editorial Board at Human Relations.

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