Employment Relations Research Group

About this groupEmployment research group

Led by Professor Erling Rasmussen, the Employment Relations Research Group investigates key employment relations changes whether it is caused by legislative changes, labour market changes or industry and/or organisational change. The group is also largely involved with the New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations. This journal covers topics such as employment law and human resources management; a must for academics, students, researchers and policy makers. The editors of this journal are Associate Professor Felicity Lamm (AUT), Professor Erling Rasmussen (AUT) and Rupert Tipples (Senior lecturer, Lincoln University). The Employment Relations Group engages a broad range of projects, focusing on:

  • Employment relations and human resource management issues and practices
  • Labour market trends
  • Employment law
  • Conflict resolution.


Erling Rasmussen (Lead Researcher)Barry BrunetteBarry Foster
Bill CochraneClare GeorgeDanaë Anderson
David WilliamsonEffie TheodorouFelicity Lamm
Gaye GreenwoodGemma PiercyJarrod Haar
Julie DouglasKatherine RavenswoodMarcus Ho
Michael FletcherMike FrenchPam Nuttall (Convenor, Employment Law Forum)
Ronny TedestedtSwati NagarWarren Goodsir
Paul Woodfield  

Current research

  • Family business longevity in New Zealand

Description: The objective of the project is to explore how family businesses are sustained across generations through ‘industrial foundations’. Currently there is not a cogent understanding of the role of foundations or ‘family offices’ in the New Zealand context. What is less clear is how family businesses are given longevity when there are a number of variables to consider including managing shares/stock, wealth or governance.


  • Woodfield, P. J., Rasmussen, E. & Chandhok, Y. 2021. ‘Family businesses and employment relations: Review and suggestions for future research.’ New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations, 46(1): 68-87.

Team: Erling Rasmussen and Paul Woodfield.

  • The "Overworked Worker" Project

Description: This project is done in collaboration with the OHS Centre and union organisers.

Team: Employment Relations Research Group.

  • International Conflict Resolution in Public Agencies Project

Description: This collaboration with the Employment Institutions follows the 2018 Symposium.

Team: Employment Relations Research Group as well as participants from Cornell University (USA), University College Dublin & Queen’s University Belfast (Ireland), Cardiff, Plymouth & Sheffield Universities (UK), Toronto University (Canada), Newcastle University & RMIT (Australia), AUT (NZ)

  • UOHS Committees: Their Prevalence and Influence

Description: This project will be conducted in collaboration with the OHS Centre at AUT University.

Team: Employment Relations Research Group.

  • Hospitable work? A report on working conditions in the New Zealand hospitality sector

Description: Research projects and access to surveys conducted by RANZ will be developed.

Team: Employment Relations Research Group.

  • 'Working Poor’ and labour market regulations and transitions

Description: In light of the living wage campaign in New Zealand, this project overviews international research on overseas trends and experiences amongst ‘working poor’. The initial focus has been a comparison between New Zealand and Denmark.

Team: Jens Lind (Aalborg University, Denmark) and Erling Rasmussen.


  • New Zealand employment relations reforms and the quest for a high wage, high skill economy

Description: This project applies a historical, public policy and labour market angle to current and possible future employment relations reforms.


  • Rasmussen, E. & Fletcher, M. 2018. ‘Employment Relations reforms and New Zealand’s ‘productivity paradox’.’ Australian Journal of Labour Economics, 21(1): 75-92.
  • Fletcher, M. & Rasmussen, E. 2020. ‘Commentary: Labour market change and employee protection in light of the ‘Future of Work’ debate.’ New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations, 44(3): 32-44.

Team: Employment Relations Research Group.