Professor Nikolaus Hammer

Professor of Work and Employment

School/Department: School of Business, Department of Work and Employment/Management and Organisation

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 5938



I am a member of the Department of Work and Employment/Management and Organisation as well as the Centre for Sustainable Work and Employment Futures (CSWEF) within the University of Leicester School of Business. I am also a researcher in the CRIMT network on globalisation and work. Previously I was a visiting researcher at the ILO’s International Institute for Labour Studies at IRES (Noisy-le-Grand France) the New School for Social Research New York (Dept of Economics) and held research positions at Cardiff School of Social Sciences.


My research investigates the impact of globalisation, notably the restructuring of global value chains and production networks, on work and employment. This includes aspects such as the labour process in fast fashion production in the UK (2019; 2016) as well as the role of social standards in the governance of global value chains (e.g. International Framework Agreements and social standards more broadly; 2011a; 2011b).

My current research focuses on the relationship between the growth of non-standard work and productivity (funded through the ESRC Productivity Insights Network), institutional experimentation for better work (funded through CRIMT and various Canadian institutions), and outsourcing and the reorganisation of production networks (with the European Trade Union Institute). I have acted as expert for the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, consulted for the ILO, and served as a member of the editorial team of Work, Employment and Society (2015-2017).


Hammer, N. (2023) Searching for institutions: Upgrading, private compliance, and due diligence in European apparel value chains, Transfer, onlinefirst,

Hammer, N. (in press) Exhaust and switch: Labour and the garment industry in global production networks, 521-533, in: Atzeni M., Azzellini D., Mezzadri A, Moore P. and U. Apitzsch (eds) Handbook of Research on the Global Political Economy of Work (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar)

Pulignano, V., Hammer, N. and N. Doerflinger (2021) Explaining Employment Effects in Multipolar Value Chains: A Cross-National Study on Soft Drinks and Dairy Manufacturing in Europe, British Journal of Industrial Relations, 59(1), 25-51,

Hammer, N. and R. Plugor (2019) Disconnecting Labour? The Labour Process in the UK Fast Fashion Value Chain, Work, Employment and Society, 33(6), 913-928,

Hammer, N. and R. Plugor (2016) Near-sourcing UK apparel: value chain restructuring, productivity and the informal economy, Industrial Relations Journal, 47(5-6), 402-416,

Hammer, N., Plugor, R. Nolan, P. and I. Clark (2015) A New Industry on a Skewed Playing Field: Supply Chain Relations and Working Conditions in UK Garment Manufacturing (Leicester, London: University of Leicester/CSWEF, Ethical Trading Initiative),

Hammer, N. and , L. Riisgaard (2015) Labour and segmentation in value chains, 83-99, in Newsome, K., Taylor, P., Bair, J. and A. Rainnie (eds), Putting labour in its place. Labour process analysis and global value chains (London: Palgrave).

Riisgaard, L and N. Hammer (2011) Prospects for Labour in Global Value Chains. Labour Standards in the Banana and Cut Flower Industries, British Journal of Industrial Relations, 49(1), 168-190,

Davies, S., Hammer, N., Williams, G., Raman, R., Ruppert, C. S. and L. Volynets (2011) Labour Standards and Capacity in Global Subcontracting Chains: Evidence from a Construction MNC, Industrial Relations Journal, (42)2, 124-138,

Hammer, N. (2010) Cross-border Cooperation under Asymmetry - The Case of an Interregional Trade Union Council, European Journal of Industrial Relations, 16(4), 351-367,

Hammer, N. (2005) International Framework Agreements: Global Industrial Relations between Rights and Bargaining, Transfer, 11(4),

Fairbrother, P. and N. Hammer (2005) Global Unions: Past Efforts and Future Prospects, Relations Industrielles/Industrial Relations, 60(3), 405-428,


global value chains restructuring work and employment garment and fashion value chain social standards and enforcement in supply chains international HRM


I teach across a spectrum of modules and programmes on research design; work and employment in global value chains; international HRM; UK and international industrial relations. I am a Fellow of the HEA.

Press and media

global value chains restructuring work and employment garment and fashion value chain social standards and enforcement in supply chains

Media coverage

My research was drawn on in parliamentary enquiries on Human Rights and Business as well as the Sustainability of the Fashion Industry and was reported in numerous media outlets such as The Financial Times The Guardian the BBC The Leicester Mercury or Deutschlandfunk amongst others.
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