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CIHRM is focused on two core areas: the future of work, and the future of boards.

The future of work

CIRHM’s research focuses on developments in how people work, the nature of the organisations through which they interact and the institutional changes underway. The Centre aims to shed a light on the future of work, and to understand how business can harness the full potential of the technology revolution. The new digital environment has made huge impacts on business strategies and business models. What is less clear is the impact on organisational cultures and structures. CIHRM is working with British Telecom (BT) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) on a major project into the new digital infrastructure in the UK and how this will influence choices about organisational design and employee motivation (

The future of boards

CIHRM’s research looks at two major issues which deal directly with the future of boards. First, the Centre focuses on the board’s key role in succession planning and leadership development. CIHRM recently completed a comprehensive research project with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Egon Zehnder involving 70 interviews with board members of companies and a comprehensive survey involving 400 more – on their experiences and perspectives on the role of the board in succession planning and leadership development. 

Download “Bringing science to the art of CEO succession planning”

A research study has also been launched in collaboration with McKinsey & Company on the transition from CEO to the Chair of the Board (CoB). The relationship between the CEO and the Chair is pivotal to board success and it flourishes when both individuals have confidence in the ability and knowledge of the other. Many CEOs, when they step down in their organisations, go on to become CoBs in other companies, and then attempt to develop a strong, working relationships with the CEO in a new company. But this transition can be challenging. CIHRM is conducting in-depth interviews with CEOs who have made the transition from the CEO role to the CoB role and exploring the critical success factors involved in this process. 

Further preliminary discussions have been conducted on launching research studies addressing:

  • The culture of boards – what is really is and how it best can be developed
  • How boards work on the sustainability agenda. 

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