My PhD launched me onto a series of research projects on the gendered nature of working lives and organizations - published in articles and books including Gender, Careers and Organizations (1996, with Mike Savage and Ann Witz), Gender, Power and Organizations (2001, with Pauline Leonard) and Negotiating Gendered Identities at Work (2006, with Pauline Leonard).
In 2008 Pauline and I joined with colleagues Professor Catherine Pope (Health Sciences) and Professor Alison Fuller (Education) in establishing the cross-disciplinary Work Future Research Centre together the University's research on the changing nature of work and organization in the 21st century. Since this time we have organized many high-profile events and worked on projects for the ESRC, Nuffield, the Norwegian Research Council and the National Institute for Health Research. I am currently working with Pauline on a Policy Commission Gender Equality at Work: how far have we come & how far do we have to go? for the University's own Public Policy@Southampton . http://publicpolicy.southampton.ac.uk/ and continue to work with Alison (now at the Institute of Education) on a new project exploring 'bottom-up' or 'employee driven innovation in healthcare. Funded by the ESRC as part of the LLAKES research centre http://www.ioe.ac.uk/research/159.html
this project aims to examine if and how the expertise of healthcare staff can be harnessed to meet the profound challenges facing the NHS and, in particular, the need to break down boundaries between acute and community care, and across professional divisions of labour. The project includes a comparative analysis of similar developments in Norway and France.
Organizational change has been a strong theme in all my work, and about 10 years ago I began to explore how digital technologies were changing work and working lives. This led me to a series of research collaborations with colleagues in Northern Norway, working in and around the Norwegian Centre for Telemedicine in Tromso and, via this circuitous route, to connections with Computer Scientists at Southampton. In 2008 we put together our successful application for the Doctoral Training Centre in Web Science and in 2009 launched the first UK MSc in Web Science. We have recently received a second round of funding for this from the EPSRC, which will support doctoral training in Web Science to 2022.
Pioneering the development of Web Science at Southampton has been a very exciting new phase of my academic career and led me in unexpected directions: for example, thinking about the politics of data and artefacts in linked data and the semantic web (Halford, Pope and Weal, 2012) and how social scientists and computer scientists can work together to develop theories and methods with which to tackle big data (Twitter in this case, http://soc.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/02/18/0038038513511561 .abstract; http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/366340/ ). Building on this, my colleague Les Carr (Computer Science) and I have recently established a suite of research projects on social media, designed to explore the theoretical and methodological opportunities and challenges of this new source of data http://www.southampton.ac.uk/wsi/research/social_media_analytics.page and build analytical tools for the Southampton Web Observatory http://web-001.ecs.soton.ac.uk/ .
I am a Director of the University of Southampton Web Science Institute, http://www.southampton.ac.uk/wsi/index.page with particular responsibility for interdisciplinary research
External research projects
Work Organization, Lifelong Learning and Employee Driven Innovation in Healthcare, as part of ESRC LLAKES (Institute of Education). http://www.llakes.ac.uk/research-project/67/project-23-work-organisation-lifelong-learning-and-employee-driven-innovation-health-sector
Web Science Institute
Professor Susan Halford
Sociology, Social Policy, Criminology University of Southampton Southampton SO17 1BJ United Kingdom
Telephone:(023) 8059 2572
Facsimile:(023) 8059 3859