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Our People

Dr Barbara Bechter

Assistant Professor in HR Management


Barbara is Assistant Professor in Human Resource Management. She holds a PhD in Social and Economic Sciences from the University of Vienna. Prior to joining Durham University Business School in June 2015, she taught at the York Management School. She is an Academic Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

She is interested in international and interdisciplinary research at the intersection between work organizations, society and economy. The scope of her research activities covers research on comparative Human Resource Management, including the international level, and issues concerning individual and collective aspects of the employment relationship. Such aspects are performance management and employee voice, and cross-national and cross-industry differences in the organisational and institutional regulation of employment relationships. Her methodological background covers statistical and qualitative research techniques, with a special expertise in causal case study analysis in small N research. Barbara has extensive experience in externally funded projects. She has successfully developed and led multidisciplinary projects and managed international project teams to produce a successful track record of timely academic publications. She is also interested in contributing to the policy debate around work and employment. Her work is of interest to international organizations, e.g. European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound), and the European Commission.

Recent Projects

2018 - 2020: Barbara’s recent research includes the study on European, National and Transnational Industrial Relations: Visible and Invisible Hands in European and National Wage Setting (ENTIRE VIEW). This international collaborative project is funded by the European Commission to investigate and analyse the reasons for differences in wage developments within the European Union (EU) member states (

2016 - 2018: Barbara’s includes the study on Social Partner Engagement and Effectiveness in European Dialogue (SPEEED). The project investigates the capacity of trade unions and employer organisations in the hospital and metal sector in the EU28 member states to influence policy making at the European sectoral level. She is the principal investigator of this international collaborative project which has been funded by the European Commission (

PhD Supervision

Applications are encouraged in the fields of Human Resource Management and Employment Relations. Areas of special interest are: Performance management, data driven decision making, ethical issues in HRM, regulation of employment issues in different institutional settings at different levels, context and processes of cooperation in employment relations.

Research Interests

  • Comparative Human Resource Management
  • European Social Dialogue and Industrial Relations
  • International Employment Relations
  • Comparative Research Methods

Research Groups


    Chapter in book

  • Bechter, Barbara. & Brandl, Bernd. (2015). Recent Developments in European Industrial Relations. In Industrial Relations in Europe 2014. European Union. European Commission: Brussels.
  • Bechter, Barbara. & Brandl, Bernd. (2013). Overview of European, national and public sector industrial relations. In Industrial Relations in Europe 2012. European Union. European Commission: Brussels. 21-52.
  • Bechter, B. (2013). Seniority. In Sociology of Work Encyclopedia. Smith, V. SAGE. 757-759.
  • Bechter, B. (2011). Changing collective bargaining: pay flexibility and the search for a fair model. In Changing Labour Relations between Path Dependency and Global Trends. Baglioni, M. & Brandl, B. Peter-Lang. 111-124.
  • Arrowsmith, J., Nicholaisen, H., Bechter, B. & Nonell, R. (2008). The management of variable pay in banking: forms and rationale in four European countries. In Challenges in European Employment Relations. Blanpain, R. & Dickens, L. Alphen aan den Rijn, Netherlands: Kluwer Law International. 201-240.
  • Journal Article

  • Bechter, B,, Braakmann, N, & Brandl, B (2019). Variable Pay and/or Collective Wage Bargaining? Complements or Substitutes?. Industrial and Labor Relations Review
  • Bechter, B. & Brandl, B. (2019). The Hybridization of National Collective Bargaining Systems: The Impact of the Economic Crisis on the Transformation of Collective Bargaining in the European Union.. Economic and Industrial Democracy 40(3): 469-489.
  • Bechter, B., Brandl, B. & Prosser, P. (2017). Engagement in European Social Dialogue: an investigation into the role of social partner structural capacity.. Industrial Relations Journal 48(4): 365-382.
  • Bechter, B. & Brandl, B. (2015). Measurement and Analysis of Industrial Relations Aggregates: What is the Relevant Unit of Analysis in Comparative Research? . European Political Science 14(4): 422-438.
  • Bechter, Barbara., Bernd, Brandl. & Meardi, Guglielmo. (2012). Sectors or Countries? Typologies and Levels of Analysis in Comparative Industrial Relations. European Journal of Industrial Relations 18(3): 185-202.
  • Bechter, B., Brandl, B. & Meardi, G. (2011). Die Bestimmungsgründe der (Re-) Sektoralisierung der industriellen Beziehungen in der Europäischen Union. Industrielle Beziehungen 18(3): 143-166.
  • Pitlik, Hans., Schwarz, Gerhard., Bechter, Barbara. & Brandl, Bernd. (2011). Near Is my Shirt, But Nearer Is My Skin: Ideology or Self-Interest as Determinants of Public Opinion on Fiscal Policy Issues. Kyklos 64(2): 271-290.
  • Bechter, B., Brandl, B., Pitlik, H. & Schwarz, G. (2011). Mehr Politik als Sozial- und Wirtschaftspolitik? Determinanten der Akzeptanz von sozial- und wirtschaftspolitischen Maßnahmen. Österreichische Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft (Austrian Journal of Political Science) 40(3): 217-235.
  • Arrowsmith, J., Nicholaisen, H., Bechter, B. & Nonell, R. (2010). The management of variable pay in European banking. International Journal of Human Resource Management 21(5): 2716-2740.
  • Nergaard, K.; Dølvik J.E.; Marginson, P.; Bechter, B. & Arasanz Díaz, J. (2009). Engaging with variable pay: a comparative study of the metal industry. European Journal of Industrial Relations 15(2): 121-141.

Contact Details

Assistant Professor in HR Management
+44 191 3345743