School of Business and Management

Mark Williams


Reader In Human Resource Management

Telephone: 0207 882 2194
Room Number: 4.21a


I am a Reader in Human Resource Management in the Department of People and Organisations and the Centre for Research in Equality and Diversity (CRED) in the School of Business and Management.

I specialise in mapping socio-economic disparities in the quality of working life using large-scale survey and administrative data. Much of my work has focused on mapping the evolution in pay disparities across the occupational structure. In more recent years, I have developed interests in the quality of working life more broadly (job quality, wellbeing), as well in mapping disparities between genders and ethnic groups.

I regularly engage in consultancy and advisory work for government, trade unions, and professional bodies, both in the UK and internationally. My latest project, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, explores disparities in the quality of working life across occupational groups to increase transparency and inform policies on the issue. The main findings are summarised in my forthcoming book Mapping Good Work (Bristol University Press) and at

I joined QMUL in 2019. Prior to QMUL, I held posts at the London School of Economics and the University of Surrey. Outside of QMUL, I have a part-time post at HKU SPACE, University of Hong Kong as part of the University of London International Programmes. I also serve on the Editorial Board at Work, Employment and Society and I am an Academic Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. I hold degrees from the London School of Economics and the University of Oxford.


Employment Relations (Undergraduate)

Research Methods for Human Resource Management (Postgraduate)


Research Interests:

Research specialisms:

  • Labour market inequality
  • Pay
  • Job quality
  • Wellbeing



  • Williams, M., Y. Zhou, and M. Zou (2020). Mapping Good Work: The Quality of Working Life Across the Occupational Structure. Bristol University Press.

Academic Publications

  • Williams, M., Y. Zhou, and M. Zou (2019). ‘The Rise in Pay for Performance Among Higher Managerial and Professional Occupations in Britain’, Work, Employment and Society, forthcoming. (ABS 4)
  • Williams, M. and M. Koumenta (2019). ‘Occupational Closure and Job Quality: The Case of Occupational Licensing in Britain’, Human Relations, forthcoming. (ABS 4 / FT-50)
  • Koumenta, M. and M. Williams (2019). ‘An Anatomy of Zero-Hours Contracts in the United Kingdom’, Industrial Relations Journal, 50(1): 20-40. (ABS 3)
  • Williams, M. (2018). ‘Understanding the Efficacy of Financial Participation Across Europe: The Role of Country-Level Factors’, Economic and Industrial Democracy, 39(2):195–227. (ABS 3)
  • Williams, M. and E. Gardiner (2018). ‘The Power of Personality At Work: Core Self-Evaluations and Earnings in the United Kingdom’, Human Resource Management Journal, 28(1): 45–60. (ABS 4)
  • Williams, M. and T. Bol (2018). ‘Occupations and the Wage Structure: The Role of Occupational Tasks in Britain’, Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 53: 16-25.
  • Chen, Y. and M. Williams (2018). ‘Subjective Social Status in Transitioning China: Trends and Determinants’, Social Science Quarterly, 99(1): 406–422.
  • Zhou, Y., M. Zou, M. Williams, and V. Tabvuma (2017). ‘Is the Grass Greener on the Other Side? A Longitudinal Study of the Impact of Occupation Change on Employee Job Satisfaction’, Journal of Vocational Behavior, 99: 66–78. (ABS 4)
  • Zhou Y, Wu CH, Zou M, Williams M. (2017) 'A Longitudinal Study of the Impact of Occupational Class Mobility on Job Satisfaction Trajectory: Individual Differences in Neuroticism'. Best Paper Proceedings of the 77th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Atlanta, Georgia (finalist for AoM Careers Division’s Overall Best Paper award).
  • Williams, M. (2017). ‘Occupational Stratification in Contemporary Britain: Occupational Class and the Wage Structure in the Wake of the Great Recession’, Sociology, 51(6): 1299-1317. (ABS 4)
  • Williams, M. (2017). ‘An Old Model of Social Class? Job Characteristics and the NS-SEC Schema’, Work, Employment, and Society, 31(1): 153-165. (ABS 4)
  • Hodder, A., M. Williams, J. Kelly, and N. McCarthy (2017). ‘Does Strike Action Stimulate Union Membership Growth?’ British Journal of Industrial Relations, 55(1): 165–186. (ABS 4)
  • Booth, J., D. Lup, and M. Williams (2017). ‘Union Membership, Free-Riders, and Charitable Giving in the United States’, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 70(4): 835-864. (ABS 3)
  • Chen, Y. and M. Williams (2016). ‘Subjective Wellbeing in the New China’, British Journal of Sociology, 67(4): 719-746. (ABS 3)
  • Williams, M. (2013). ‘Occupations and British Wage Inequality, 1970s-2000s’, European Sociological Review, 29(4): 841-857. (ABS 3)

Policy Reports and Other Publications

  • Williams, M. (2019). ‘Gender Analysis of Pay and Employment in the Civil Service’, Public and Commercial Services Union.
  • Koumenta, M. and M. Williams (2018). ‘Regulatory Effects of Occupational Licensing on Driving Instructors in the UK’, European Commission.
  • Williams, M. (2018). ‘Field of work determines pay, and increasingly so’, Work In Progress, American Sociological Association (invited post).
  • Williams, M. and Y. Zhou (2017). ‘Paying for performance in Britain: Does the type of job matter?’, CIPD Report.
  • Williams, M. (2017). ‘Civil Service Pay Trends 2007 to 2016’, Public and Commercial Services Union.
  • Williams, M. (2016). ‘What Do Unions No Longer Do? Book Review’, Work, Employment and Society, 30(1): 202-204.
  • Koumenta, M. and M. Williams (2016). ‘An Anatomy of Zero-Hours Contracts in the United Kingdom’, CIPD Report.
  • Williams, M. and E. Gardiner (2016). ‘The Power of Personality in the New Economy: Core Self-Evaluations and Earnings in the United Kingdom’, CIPD Report.
  • Williams, M. and J. Booth (2013). ‘Union members are more likely to give to charity, and to give more when they do’, LSE American Politics and Policy Blog (invited post).
  • Williams, M. (2012). ‘British wage inequality: what occupation you have has never mattered so much’, LSE British Politics and Policy Blog (invited post).
  • Gallie, D., M. Williams, and H. Inanc (2009). ‘The Vulnerability of the Unskilled Across Europe’, EQUALSOC Policy Paper, European Commission.
  • Williams, M. (2009). ‘How Does the Workplace Affect the Quality of Employment?’, Employment Relations Occasional Paper, Department for Business Innovation and Skills.


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 work (e.g., pay, insecurity, job control, job demands, wellbeing, etc.). I am especially interested in hearing about projects making use of large-scale survey or administrative data. Please get in touch with me directly if you would like to discuss an idea or a proposal.