Ms Susan Hutchinson

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About me

I am Associate Head of Department (HRM), Associate Professor in HRM and  Associate Head of the HRM Teaching and Research Group at the University of the West of England.  I also teach on a range of HRM postgraduate modules, including performance management. 
Previous experience includes research and teaching at Bath University, industrial relations adviser in the paper industry and Academic Fellow of and policy advisor for the The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
My main research interests focus on the link between people management and performance, the role of line managers in HRM and performance management.  Much of my work in these fields has been published.

Area of expertise

My current research centres on the role of front line managers in people management, and performance management. These projects extends my earlier studies for the NHS and The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), completed with John Purcell and Nick Kinnie at Bath University.  These earlier studies identified front line managers (FLMs), at the lower tiers of management, as key HRM agents and critical to delivering effective organisational performance. The current project uses a multiple case study design to explore four core areas
  • the way FLM roles are defined in different contexts and how they are experienced (people management duties and other aspects of their role)
  • the nature of the relationship between FLMs, the HR function and other support functions
  • factors that enable and inhibit FLMs in delivering effective performance (HR policies and practices, FLM relationships with their own line managers, the role of senior management, IT, and issues of role conflict, work overload, and commitment)
  • the skills, behaviours and environments that make FLMs effective.


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