PhD position “Employee Workplace Participation and Industry 4.0 Technological Adoption: A comparative study of the influence of Workplace Participation Forums on Employee Quality of Working Life”

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
October 22, 2022
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PhD position “Employee Workplace Participation and Industry 4.0

Technological Adoption: A comparative study of the influence of Workplace Participation Forums on Employee Quality of Working Life”

(ref. BAP-2022-668)

Last modification : Thursday, September 8, 2022

For the Centre for Sociological Research, Unit ‘Work and Organization', and in collaboration with the Institute of Philosophy (both within KU Leuven), we are looking for a PhD candidate for contributing to the project on “Employee Workplace Participation and Industry 4.0 Technological Adoption: A comparative study of the influence of Workplace Participation Forums on Employee Quality of Working Life”.

Project

The project focuses on Industry 4.0 technologies, which consists of the automation of traditional manufacturing using ‘smart' technology. It encourages research to explore whether, how and why Workplace Participation Forums (WPFs) impact Industry 4.0 technological adoptions in ways that it improves workers quality of working life (QWL) by using a phenomenological perspective, supported by a sophisticated multi-case comparative design. A distinctive cross-countries (i.e. Belgium, The Netherlands and US) comparative approach is at the core of the research design of this project. Moreover, the project aims at considering at the core of the empirical investigation the supplier firms' different position in the value chain (lead in manufacturing and lower position) and the trade unions' presence (unionized and no-unionized) in workplaces. The target is to generate a total of 12 cases. Case selection is grounded in a theorization which opens expectation of revealing the relative potency of country, firm position and union presence as factors which generate patterns that lead to specific QWL outcomes.

The successful applicant will work towards a PhD degree in the Social Sciences together with the other members of the team and under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Valeria Pulignano, Prof. Dr. Lode Lauwaert, Prof. dr. Tod Rutherford, Prof. dr. Lorenzo Frangi, Dr. Lander Vermeerbergen.

The PhD researcher will be based at the faculty of Social Sciences, on a pleasant campus in the heart of Leuven.

Profile
  • Completed a Master's degree in sociology, labour studies, political science, anthropology, philosophy, economics, management, research methodology, psychology or related social science disciplines.

  • Interest in sociology of work, labour markets and employment and industrial relations systems, job quality and well-being, Industry 4/5.0 and digitalization issues;

  • (Near) Native language proficiency in Dutch and French (the candidate must be able to conduct in-depth interviews in both or either one of the two languages) – proficiency in German is an advantage;

  • Good knowledge of the Belgian/Flemish and Dutch labour markets. Good knowledge of the German labour market context is an advantage;

  • Excellent English speaking, reading and writing skills;

  • Ability to analyze and synthesize complex scientific theories;

  • Solid background in qualitative research methodologies for social science, in particular interviewing techniques (phenomenology) and data analysis with NVivo and ready, willing and able to extend the methodological toolbox;

  • Excellence in knowledge in qualitative inductive research. Knowledge of grounded theory is an advantage;

  • Commitment to stay abroad for sometimes to collect data;

  • Willingness to cooperate in an interdisciplinary team while at the same time able to work creatively and independently;

  • Strong motivation to engage in a PhD program.

  • Offer

    A 12 months full-time appointment to start with, to be extended with a further 36 months contingent on a satisfactory performance during the first year, in order to finish your PhD;

    Attractive doctoral scholarship adjusted to your research experience.

    Interested?

    For more information please contact Prof. dr. Valeria Pulignano, tel.: +32 16 32 31 62, mail: valeria.pulignano@kuleuven.be.

    KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.

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