Co-Lead, Research Theme 1: The Impact of Digitalisation on Work and Employment
Leeds University Business School
+44 (0)113 3430353

I received my PhD in Cass Business School, City University and joined CERIC in 2013. Between 2013-2015 I held a post-doctoral post between Leeds University Business School and the School of Social Sciences and in 2015 I became one of the 250 Academic University Fellows.


My work on flexible work arrangements has been recently published in Human Resource Management and earlier, in 2017, in the Journal of Industrial Relations. In 2018 I co-edited the Special issue of the WES journal “In, Against and Beyond Precarity”. Using a number of datasets in my publications, I have been involved in projects and with a number of organisations, such as with the Labour Pay Commission in 2013-2015 on a project on Zero-hour contracts, projects with trade unions and third party organisations such as Talent Match-Your Consortium on disadvantageous NEETs. I have worked in international academic contexts, such as in the USA, Greece and in the University of Cyprus, where I was also awarded the Diaspora Scholarship for Distinguished Academics in 2018.

Research interests
  • Flexible Working Arrangements (FWAs) and Contingent employment (such as zero hour contracts)
  • (Flexible) working patterns in the platform economy
  • Digital (flexible) working patterns
  • Precariousness and precarity measures
  • Job security/insecurity

Recent Publications

Policy publications

A global analysis of worker protest in digital labour platforms

Bessa, I., Joyce, S., Neumann, D., Stuart, M., Trappmann, V. and Umney, C. (2022) International Labour Organization

Other publications

Research articles

Avgoustaki A. and Bessa I. (2019) Examining the link between flexible working arrangement bundles and employee work effort. Human Resource Management, 58(4): 431-449.

Alberti, G., Bessa, I., Hardy, K., Trappmann, V., Umney, C. (2018) Editorial Introduction ‘In, Against and Beyond Precarity: The Struggles of Insecure Workers’ Work, Employment and Society (WES), 32 (3): 447-457.

Bessa I. and Tomlinson J. (2017) Established, accelerated and emergent themes in flexible work research. Journal of Industrial Relations, 59(2):153-169.

Working papers

Bessa I., Stuart M. and Valizade D. (2019) Why flexible working arrangements did not protect the Greek labour market during the recession? A dual labour market perspective. Submitted in WES.

Bessa I., Charlwood A., Valizade, D. (2019) Do Labour Unions Cause Job Dissatisfaction? Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment. Under Review in the BJIR.

Bessa I., Forde C., Moore S. and Stuart M. (2019) Employer strategies and the actions of the state: Understanding the inexorable rise of Zero Hours Contracts in domiciliary care. Under Review in Human Resource Management (UK).

Bessa I., Charlwood A., Valizade, D. and Wooden, M. (2019) Does work affect subjective well-being? Longitudinal tests of the relationships between working conditions, job satisfaction and cognitive evaluations of subjective wellbeing. Working paper.

Bessa, I. and Ierodiakonou, C. (2019) Varieties of precarity in the European Union. Conference paper/Working paper.

Bessa I. (2019) Mirror, mirror on the wall who is the most precarious of all? Testing the use of flexible working options and their connection to precarity. Working paper.

Digit researchers’ findings on labour protests during the pandemic published by ILO

25 November 2022

The report documents protests by key workers in healthcare and retail against their working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Researchers present at BUIRA conference 2022

30 June 2022

Digit researchers discuss their work at the BUIRA Annual Conference

New ILO paper by Digit researchers on platform labour protest

28 June 2022

A new paper by Digit researchers, published by the International Labour Organization, "A global analysis of worker protest in digital labour platforms", aims to develop an understanding of labour unrest among platform workers as a global phenomenon.

Digit researchers present at 40th International Labour Process Conference

26 April 2022

There were more than 15 presentations involving members of the Digit community at the 40th ILPC in Padua.

Digit researchers deliver plenary talk on global labour unrest on platforms, using the case of food delivery workers

2 December 2020

 Digit Co-Director Professor Mark Stuart and Dr. Vera Trappman from Leeds University Business School will deliver a plenary talk on global labour unrest on platforms, using the case of food delivery workers, at the ILERA Regional Congress, Philippines, tomorrow, 03 December 2020.   You can read the abstract from their session below: Labour unrest by platform workers is an important phenomenon in the new world of work. This study examines patterns of platform labour unrest on a global scale, drawing from a database of over 500 instances of labour unrest in the food delivery sector. Results show that labour unrest […]