Dr Réka Plugor

Associate Professor of Work and Employment

Image of Reka Plugor

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



I joined the University of Leicester in 2009 and have held research positions at the Centre for Labour Market Studies and the Centre for Sustainable Work and Employment Futures. Prior to moving to the United Kingdom I worked as a researcher and educational consultant in Cluj-Napoca Romania. I have a BA and an MA in Sociology from Babeş-Bolyai University an MA in Public Policy from the Central European University and I completed my PhD studies in Labour Market Research at the University of Leicester. 

I am playing an active role in the Work, Employment, Management and Organisation Department (WEMO) at the University of Leicester as Deputy Head of Department (since 2022) and Co-Director for Learning and Teaching (2020-2022).

I am co-leading the Education and Work Transitions Research Group with Dr Sally-Anne Barnes and I am a member of the Future of Work research cluster.


Since the beginning of my research career I have been working on topics related to education and work particularly transitions into and out of (higher) education and work as well as experiences in education work and MSP (multiple status positions - like learning and working at the same time). My research interests are related to policy and organisational change and how they shape and are shaped by individual lives and career paths. I conducted empirical research in Romania, Hungary and the United Kingdom exploring people’s experiences using qualitative quantitative or mixed methods (including primary and secondary statistical analysis narrative inquiry semi-structured interviews focus group interviews case studies and mental maps).

My current areas of interest are:

  • the experiences of people in multiple status positions (MSP): how MSP are formed, maintained and used in the life course and in career development;
  • transitions into and out of work (from education, unemployment, retirement, sick leave and maternity/paternity leave);
  • employee experience and employee experience management.

My current research projects are:

  • Constructing and maintaining work identities among domestic violence engagement workers in a police force (connected to Project 360 done in collaboration with Dr Martin Foureaux Koppensteiner and Dr Jesse Matheson);
  • Experiences of ethnic minority PhD students and their supervisors (in collaboration with Dr Chandrima Roy);
  • Agency in higher education - from individual to global level (in collaboration with Zsuzsanna Géring, Gábor Király, Réka Tamássy, Katalin Fehér and Gergely Kováts from the Future of Higher Education Research Centre, Budapest Business University, Hungary).


Foureaux Koppensteiner, M., Matheson, J. and Plugor, R. (2024) Improving access to support services for victims of domestic violence: demand for services and victim outcomes. Forthcoming in American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.16(1), pp. 292-324. DOI: 10.1257/pol.20210131

Tamassy, R., Gering, Zs., Kiraly, G., Plugor, R. and Rakovics, M. (2023) The portrayal of the role and agency of students and higher education institutions in highly ranked business school discourses. Journal of International Education in Business. 17(1), pp. 1-20.

Géring, Zs., Király, G., Plugor, R., Rakovics, M. and Tamássy (2022) ‘Talented student’, ‘future leader’ or ‘you’: student naming in highly ranked business schools’ mission statements. In: Szegedi, K. (ed.) Szemelvények a BGE kutatásaiból. Budapest: Budapesti Gazdasági Egyetem, pp 215-222. ISBN: 9786156342492

Roy, D., Weyman, A. K., Plugor, R., & Nolan, P. (2020). Institutional commitment and aging among allied health care professionals in the British National Health Service. Health Services Management Research.

Foureaux Koppensteiner, M., Matheson, J. and Plugor, R. (2019) Understanding Access Barriers to Public Services: Lessons from a Randomized Domestic Violence Intervention. Sheffield Economic Research Paper Series no. 2019013, University of Sheffield.

Hammer, N. and Plugor, R. (2019) Disconnecting labour? The labour process in the UK fast fashion value chain. Work, Employment and Society, 33(6), pp. 913-928.

Foureaux Koppensteiner, M., Matheson, J. and Plugor R. (2019). Project 360: An intervention to address victim-police engagement in repeat domestic violence cases. Final Report. Department of Economics Policy Brief, University of Sheffield.

Furlong, A., Goodwin, J., O'Connor, H., Hadfield, S., Hall, S., Lowden, H., and Plugor, R. (2017) Young People in the Labour market: Past, Present, Future. London: Routledge.

Ercsei, K., Kiss, Z., Plugor, R. and Szabo, J.(2017) Mapping leisure and life through ages in Romania, In Modi, I. and Kamphorst, T. J. (Eds). Leisure and Life through the Ages. Rawat Publications.

Ercsei, K., Kiss, Z., Plugor, R., Szabo, J., and Veres, V. (2017) Patterns of Leisure-Time Activities in the Context of a Youth Festival in Romania, In Benko Zs., Modi I and Tarko K. (Eds.) Leisure, Health and Well-Being, Springer International Publishing. pp. 187-227.

Foureaux Koppensteiner, M., Matheson, J. and Plugor, R.. (2017) Project 360: An intervention to address victim-police engagement in repeat domestic violence cases, Economics Discussion Paper 17/08, University of Leicester.

Hammer, N. and Plugor, R. (2016) Near-Sourcing UK Apparel: Value Chain Restructuring, Productivity, and the Informal Economy. Industrial Relations Journal, 47(5-6): 402-416.

Plugor, R. (2016) Exploring University Student' Experiences of Double Academic Statuses in Romania. Who? When? Why?. Belvedere Meridionale, 28(2): 5-20.

Matheson, J., Koppensteiner, M. and Plugor, R. (2015) Project 360: Preliminary report. Leicester: University of Leicester.

Hammer, N., Plugor, R. Nolan, P. and Clark, I. (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.

Goodwin, J., O'Connor, H. and Plugor, R. (2014) ) Ifjúság és Elias: A Fiatal Munkás projekt. Erdélyi Társadalom. 12(2): 83-96. (In Hungarian).

Goodwin, J., Hadas, M., Hughes, J., Plugor, R. (2014) Bevezetés: Norbert Elias és a folyamatszociológia. Erdélyi Társadalom, 12(2): 9-18. (In Hungarian).

Plugor, R. (2013) Transitions and Translations. The story of carrying out higher education field research in three languages in two countries. Narrative Works, 3(2): 92-110.

Ercsei, K., Kiss, Z., Szabo, J., Plugor, R. and Veres, V. (2005-2013) Peninsula Festival Research Report. Cluj-Napoca: Max Weber Centre for Sociological Research. (In Hungarian, Romanian & English).


I am happy to hear from potential PhD candidates with interests around my research areas.

Current students:

  • Robert Gonouya: Understanding the impact of social prescribing on the wellbeing outcomes and transitions into work of young BAME NEET.
  • Aaron Jackson: Senior Women Entrepreneurship and Mental Wellbeing: A Study on the Fashion Industry in the East Midlands.
  • Rawan Kadhim: Storytelling and Narratives in Change Management in Universities: A Middle Eastern Perspective.
  • David Maingi: Asset-Based Approach and Rural Youth Labour Pathways in Kenya.
  • Tasneem Shaikh: Job factors that influence work-nonwork conflict and its impact on employee turnover intentions.
  • Jen Cartwright: The dark side of paid placements? A longitudinal study of the impact of emotional labour on Higher Education placement year students in the Midlands: preparedness consequences and resistance.
  • Mehran Habib: HR issues in the Yorkshire United Kingdom acute hospitals ‘accident & emergencies (A&E) departments’.
  • Aishath Asif: Effectiveness of organizational grievance mechanisms in increasing social capital: A look at donor-funded initiatives across small island developing states.
  • Rohit Sharma: University responses to under-represented students, employment and closing of progression gaps?: A case study of the ‘Student First’ initiative
  • Happy Umwagarwa: Multiple job holding among highly educated and highly paid nationals of the developing countries - Drivers, Effects, and Regulations. (Case studies: Rwanda, Nepal & Haiti).
  • Bang Ly: Paradoxical Leadership Behaviour (PLB), Psychological Capital and Young Workers’ Subjective Career Success. The Case of Young Workers in Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) Industry in Vietnam.
  • Rasha Ismail O'Mare: The experiences of Arab female expatriates in the UK
  • Oluwagbemiga Oduntan: Can CSR influence Creative Potential among Employees?

Completed doctoral supervision:

  • Chenyiman Lou: Understanding Chinese students’ experiences in PhD studies: An exploration in a UK institutional context.
  • Rita Singh: The Conceptualization and Experiences of Work-life Balance: A Case Study of Employees at a University in Hong Kong.
  • Tadiwa Muradzikwa: To what extent is the skills shortage debate instrumentally informing policy makers in the private sector?


In the 2022-23 academic year I lead the following modules: 

  • BA HRM - MN3202 - Dissertation 
  • BA HRM - MN3203 - Project  
  • DSocSci - LM8013 - Youth Transitions and the Labour Market  

I also do qualitative and quantitative analysis workshops including introductory and more advanced use of software packages: NVivo and IBM SPSS. See the Researcher Development website for more details. I am an NVivo 12 Certified Expert.


  • 2020 - present - Work Employment and Society Editorial Board member;
  • 2015 - present - Peer reviewer (conferences and journals including: Intersections. East European Journal of Society and Politics; Futures. The journal of policy planning and futures studies; Journal of Youth Studies; Social Change Review).


  • NVivo 12 Certified Expert
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
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