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Dr. Lorraine Ryan


Lorraine is a lecturer in Employment Relations & Human Resource Management in the Department of Work & Employment Studies. She graduated from the University of Limerick with a BBS in 2002, an MBS (Human Resource Management) in 2003 and a PhD in 2010. Lorraine is a former IRCHSS government of Ireland scholar.

Her main research interests include precarious work, zero hours contracts, automation and the future of work, workplace democracy, workplace bullying, annual hours agreements and mutual gains, employment law and employment relations. She has published widely including in Economic and Industrial Democracy, International Journal of Human Resource Management and Employee Relations and has presented at numerous international conferences. Her research includes commissioned reports on zero hours work to the Irish Government and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Research Interests

My research focuses on precarious work and zero hours contracts, corporate social responsibility, democracy in the workplace, trade union strategies, the future of work, the impact of automation on work design and employment conditions and the impact of change within organisations. Underpinned by the Quality of Work research cluster current research projects include:

  • Comparative analysis of the regulation of zero hours and on-call work across seven Anglo-Saxon countries in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
  • Future of Work Project: Research with large private sector organisations to investigate the impact of automation on the design of work and employee skills requirements.
  • Children's Hospital Project: Conducting research for a large public sector hospital undergoing change to investigate the process of change management and the impact on employees.
  • Research commissioned by the Financial Services Union to investigate the impact of automation on the quality of work.
  • Comparative research with international colleagues in Denmark and Norway to compare the extent and regulation of marginal part-time work across countries.

Other research interests include working time, annual hours and collaborative bargaining, workplace partnership and mutual gains, workplace bullying, employment law and industrial relations in the airline industry.

Teaching Interests

Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management
Employment Law
Negotiation: Theory and Practice

Professional Activities


  • 2019 KBS Academic Mentor Committee,
  • 2016 KBS Research Ethics Committee,


  • 2010 UL - PhD
  • 2003 UL - MSC in HRM
  • 2002 UL - BBS


  • 2008 Member, Irish Academy of Management


Book Chapter


Zero Hours Work and the Role of the Law in Ireland'
McMahon, J., O'Sullivan, M., Turner, T., Ryan, L., Lavelle, J., Murphy, C., O'Brien, M. and Gunnigle, P
The New Foundations of Labour law

Conference Contribution


Working Time as Wage in Disguise
Ryan, L. and O'Sullivan, M.

Conference Publication


21st Annual Irish Academy of Management Conference
Turner, T., Ryan, L. and O'Sullivan, M.


Proceedings of the 11th MAC Conference
Turner, T., and Ryan, L

Edited Book

Peer Reviewed Journal


Does union membership matter? Political participation, attachment to democracy and generational change
Thomas Turner, Lorraine Ryan, Michelle O'Sullivan
European Journal Of Industrial Relations DOI:


The Role of the State in Shaping Zero Hours Work in an Atypical Liberal Market Economy
Michelle O'Sullivan, Thomas Turner, Jonathan Lavelle, Juliet McMahon, Caroline Murphy, Lorraine Ryan, Patrick Gunnigle, Mike O'Brien
Economic And Industrial Democracy


A comparative analysis of restructuring employment relationships in Qantas and Aer Lingus: different routes, similar destinations
Oxenbridge, S., Wallace, J., White, L., Tiernan, S. and Lansbury, R
International Journal Of Human Resource Management


Industrial Relations Conflict and Collaboration:: Adapting to a Low Fares Business Model in Aer Lingus
Wallace, J., Tiernan, S. and White, L
European Management Journal

Mutual gains success and failure: Two case studies of annual hours in Ireland
Lorraine Ryan and Joseph Wallace
Irish Journal Of Management