Dr Stephen Blumenfeld

Dr Stephen Blumenfeld profile picture

Director - Centre for Labour, Employment and Work School of Management

Introduction

Dr Stephen Blumenfeld has been at Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand) since January 1999. Prior to then, he was affilated with and taught at the University of Illinois, Drake University, and Simon Fraser University. While most of his teaching experience is in the area of employment relations, Dr Blumenfeld has taught a range of courses in other areas of management and organisation studies, including labour economics, government regulation of business, international management, labour policy and employment law, human resource management, organisational behaviour, organisation theory, production and operations management, human resource management analytics, and quantitative and research methods.

Dr Blumenfeld has a thorough knowledge of and extensive experience researching and working in employment relations. He has researched and published widely on numerous aspects of this subject area, both within New Zealand and internationally, for more than two decades. As a member of the Editorial Boards of both Labour Industry and the New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations and as a periodic reviewer for several international journals in the field of employment relations, Dr Blumenfeld is familiar with a wide range of research and evaluative methods, many of which he has used in his own research. His own particular research interests include:

  • the economics of collective bargaining and trade unions,
  • employment law and labour policy,
  • international and comparative employment relations,
  • regulating employment in global commodity chains,
  • decent work and job quality, and
  • precairous and insecure working arrangements.

Dr Blumenfeld has also long been a frequent contributor to the work of the Centre for Labour, Employment and Work (formerly Industrial Relations Centre), and he has served as its Director since March 2009. In that capacity, Dr Blumenfeld has presented to employment relations practitioners on wages and conditions contained in the CLEW's collective agreements database as part of its annual series of Employment Agreement seminars, held throughout New Zealand. Each year, these seminars attract some 400 attendees, representing New Zealand employers, trade unions and various Government ministries and offices. In addition to those who attend its annual seminar series, CLEW also has a further 100 subscribers to its associated publications. This seminar series has established a reputation as the definitive source of practitioner-focused information on current employment relations practices in New Zealand.

Dr Blumenfeld is also responsible for dissemination of specific research findings through academic conferences organized by CLEW, including the biennial Conference on Labour, Employment and Work in New Zealand, which brings together researchers with an interest in labour markets, employment markets and the nature of paid work in New Zealand, and for publication of the CLEW’s quarterly CLEWed In (formerly The Employment Agreement) newsletter, its annual Employment Agreement and Employment Agreements: Bargaining Trends Employment Law Update, and various research working papers.

Much of the contribution Dr Blumenfeld has made to the understanding of employment relations in New Zealand has taken the form of comment and interviews he’s given to the print, radio and television media. To this end, Dr Blumenfeld has been interviewed and has spoken on radio and television media throughout New Zealand, and he’s been interviewed and quoted on several occasions by various national print media. Much of that media commentary has been focused on the on-going – albeit recently settled – labour dispute at the Ports of Auckland. Some of this can be accessed or is cited at the following:

Qualifications

PhD (Labor and Industrial Relations) 1997, University of Illinois

AM (Labor and Industrial Relations) 1988, University of Illinois

MA (Public Policy and Administration) 1986, University of Wisconsin-Madison

BS (Sociology) 1979, Carroll University (Wisconsin)

Journal articles

Bryson J, Wilson J, Plimmer G, Blumenfeld S, Donnelly N, Ku B, Ryan B, ‘Women workers: caring, sharing, enjoying their work – or just another gender stereotype? Labour & Industry, 24, 4 (2014), pp 258-271.

Bednarek R, Blumenfeld S, Riad S, ‘Union-Division: On the Paradoxes of Purpose and Membership Scope in Union Mergers,’ Industrial Relations Journal, 43, 6 (2012), pp. 548-571.

Malik A, Sinha A, Blumenfeld S, ‘Role of Quality Management Capabilities in Developing Market-based Organisational Learning Capabilities: Case Study Evidence from Four Indian Business Process Outsourcing Firms,’ Industrial Marketing Management, 41, 4 (2012), pp. 639-648.

Plimmer G, Blumenfeld S, ‘Trade Union Delegate Leadership and Union Commitment: A Cross-sectional Analysis,’ Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 33, 8 (2012), pp. 750-762.

Malik A, Blumenfeld S, ‘Six Sigma, quality management systems and the development of organisational learning capability: Evidence from four business process outsourcing organisations in India,’ International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management, 29 (2012), pp. 71-91.

Victorio A, Blumenfeld S, ‘Trade Liberalization and Union Power,’ International Advances in Economic Research, 17, 3 (2011), pp 366-367.

Blumenfeld S , Ryall S, ‘Unions and Union Membership in New Zealand: Annual Review for 2008,’ New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations, 35, 3 (2010), pp. 84-96.

Shulruf  B, Yee B, Lineham B, Fawthorpe L, Johri R, andBlumenfeld S, ‘Perceptions, Conceptions and Misconceptions of Organized Employment,’ Journal of Industrial Relations; 52, 2 (2010), pp. 236-241.

Blumenfeld S , Crawford A, Victorio A, ‘Union Membership with Import Liberalization,’ International Journal of Business, Economics, Finance and Management Studies, 1, 2 (2009), pp. 116-120.

Blumenfeld S , Malik A, ‘Through the Outdoor: Drivers of Training Supported by New Zealand Organisations in New Zealand’, New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations, 32, 1 (2007), pp. 17-27.

Blumenfeld S , Thickett G, ‘ Surfing the Knowledge Wave: The Impact of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) on ‘Decent Work’ in New Zealand’, New Zealand Journal of Industrial Relations , 28, 1 (2003), pp. 1-12.

Blumenfeld S , Crawford A, Walsh P, ‘ Globalisation, Trade and Unionisation in an Open Economy: The Case of New Zealand’, International Employment Relations Review , 8, 1 (2002), pp. 71-82.

Blumenfeld S , Partridge M, ‘The Long-run and Short-run Impacts of Global Competition on U.S. Union Wages’, Journal of Labor Research, 17 (1996), pp. 149-154.

Book chapters

Malik A, Blumenfeld S, ‘Skills, Strategy and People Management in the IT Industry’, in Business Models and People Management in the Indian IT Industry: From People to Profits, edited by A Malik, Rowley C (London: Routledge, 2015), pp. 35-57.

Blumenfeld S , ‘Collective Bargaining’, in Employment Relationships: Workers, Unions and Employers in New Zealand, edited by E Rasmussen (Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2010), pp. 40-55.

Blumenfeld S , ‘Canadian Public Sector Collective Bargaining’, in Handbook of Public Sector Labor Relations, edited by J Rabin, T Vocino, W Hildreth, G Miller (New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc., 1994), pp. 349-374.

Conference presentations and papers

Blumenfeld S, ‘Déjà vu all over again: The national government’s reforms to collective bargaining in New Zealand under the Employment Relations Act’, 29th Conference of the Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand (Auckland, February 3-5, 2015).

Blumenfeld S , Donnelly N, Plimmer G, Bryson J, Ryan B, ‘ Indicators of job quality in New Zealand public services’, 29th Conference of the Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand (Auckland, February 3-5, 2015).

Blumenfeld S , Malik A, A re-assessment of employer-funded training in New Zealand: Who benefits and who does not?, 29th Conference of the Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand (Auckland, February 3-5, 2015).

Donnelly N, Blumenfeld S, Plimmer G, Bryson J, Ryan B, ‘Model employment? Job quality in the New Zealand public services’, 29th Conference of the Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand (Auckland, February 3-5, 2015).

Blumenfeld S , Malik A, A re-assessment of employer-funded training in New Zealand: Who benefits and who does not?, Paper presented at the 16th Conference Labour, Employment and Work in New Zealand (Wellington, 27& 28 November, 2014 ).

Blumenfeld S, ‘Back to the future: an assessment of the Employment Relations Act 2000, as (greatly) amended’, 28th Conference of the Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand(Melbourne, February 5-7, 2014).

Blumenfeld S , Donnelly N, O'Neill P, ‘Globalization, commodity chains and the New Zealand red meat industry: In search of decent work?’ Interuniversity Research Centre on Globalization and Work (CRIMT) Multinational Companies, Global Value Chains and Social Regulation Conference (Montreal, June 6-8th, 2011).

Malik A, Blumenfeld S, ‘Temporal analysis of evolving organisational capabilities in India’s Information Technology (IT) sector’, 2010 Academy of Management Conference (Montréal, 6-10 August 2010).

Malik A, Sinha A, Blumenfeld S,‘Impact of quality management capabilities on developing market-based organisational learning capabilities: Case study evidence from four Indian business process outsourcing firms,’ 2010 Academy of Indian Marketing International Conference. (New Delhi, 2010).

Bednarek R, Blumenfeld S & Riad S ‘Union/division: Purpose and scope within union amalgamation.’Paper presented at the 14th ConferenceLabour, Employment and Work in New Zealand (Wellington, 30 Nov – 1 December 2010).

Lineham, B, Fawthorpe, L, Shulruf, B, Blumenfeld, S , & Johri, R ‘The impact of the Employment Relations Act 2000 on collective bargaining.’ Paper presented at the 13th Conference Labour, Employment and Work in New Zealand (Wellington, 11-12 December 2008).

Shulruf, B, Blumenfeld, S , Lineham, B., Yee, B, Fawthorpe, L, & Johri, R ‘Collective agreements and unionisation: The contemporary New Zealand perspective.’ Paper presented at the 13th Conference Labour, Employment and Work in New Zealand (Wellington, 11-12 December 2008).

Blumenfeld S and O’Neil P ‘From Fordism To Flexible Mass Production: The Case Of New Zealand’s Meat Processing Sector’ Proceedings of the 22nd Conference of the Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand (February 6-8, Melbourne, 2008).

Blumenfeld S , and Lafferty G, ‘Overview: Labour, Employment and Work,’ Conference on Labour, Employment and Work in New Zealand, (Industrial Relations Centre, Wellington, 2005).

Blumenfeld S , ‘Arrested Development? Trade Unions and Investment in R&D’, Fifty-seventh Annual Meeting of the Labour and Employment Relations Association (Philadelphia, 6-9 January 2005).

Blumenfeld S , ‘Unions and Investment in R&D: Evidence from U.S. Manufacturing Firms,’ Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand (AIRAANZ) 2003 Conference (Melbourne, 4-7 February 2003).

Blumenfeld S , Thickett G, ‘Surfing the Knowledge Wave: The Impact of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) on Decent Work in New Zealand’, Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand (AIRAANZ) 2002 Conference (Queenstown, New Zealand, 6-8 February 2002).

Blumenfeld S , ‘Exploring the Recesses of a Beautiful Mind: John Forbes Nash’s Contributions to the Study of Industrial Relations,’ 10th Annual International Employment Relations Association (IERA) Conference (Gold Coast, Australia, 6-9 July 2002).

Blumenfeld S , Crawford A, Walsh P, ‘Huffing and Puffing? New Zealand’s Trade Unions versus the Big Bad World,’ International Industrial Relations Association (IIRA), 4th Regional Congress of the Americas in conjunction with Canadian Industrial Relations Association (CIRA) 39th Annual Meeting (Toronto, 25-28 June 2002).

Blumenfeld S , ‘The Wages of Fear or Fear of Wages? New Zealand Manufacturing in the Global Economy’, Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand (AIRAANZ) 2001 Conference (Wollongong, Australia, 31 January-3 February 2001).

Blumenfeld S , Walsh P, Crawford A, ‘Import Penetration and Union Membership in a Small Open Economy: New Zealand in the 1990s’, Labor Markets and Economics, and International Refereed Papers Symposium, 53rd Annual Meeting of the Industrial Relations Research Association (New Orleans, 5-7 January 2001), pp. 317-325.

Blumenfeld S , ‘Do Trade Unions Stifle Innovation?: Evidence from U.S. Manufacturing’, R&D Management Conference 2001, Leveraging Research and Technology (Wellington, 8-9 February 2001).

Blumenfeld S , Crawford A, Walsh P, ‘My, What Big Teeth You Have!: Trade Liberalisation and Employment in New Zealand Manufacturing’, 8th Annual International Employment Relations Association (IERA) Conference (Singapore, 5-8 July 2000).

Blumenfeld S , ‘Free Trade, Technology & the Global Division of Labour’, 12th World Congress of the International Industrial Relations Association (IIRA)(Tokyo, 29 May-2 June 2000).

Blumenfeld S , Crawford A, Walsh P, ‘New Zealand Trade Unions in the Global Economy’ , Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand (AIRAANZ) 2000 Conference (Newcastle, Australia, 2-4 February 2000).

Blumenfeld S , Crawford A, Walsh P, ‘ Globalisation, Trade and Unionisation in an Open Economy: The Case of New Zealand’, 7th Annual International Employment Relations Association (IERA) Conference (Christchurch, New Zealand, 13-15 July 1999).

Blumenfeld S , Crawford A, Walsh P, ‘Trading Up or Trading In? Manufacturing Wages in a Globalised Economy: The Case of New Zealand’, Conference on ‘Globalisation and Labour Regulation in Small Open Economies’ (University of Newcastle, Australia, 13-14 May 1999).

Blumenfeld S (1998) ‘ Vertical Integration Strategy and Relative Power and Outcomes in IR’, Industrial Relations Research Association Proceedings of the Fiftieth Annual Meeting.

Blumenfeld S , Partridge M (1994) ‘The Structural Determinants of Union Wage Uniformity and Pattern Bargaining’, Industrial Relations Research Association Conference Working Papers Series.

Blumenfeld S (1993) ‘The Impact of Mergers and Acquisitions on Collective Bargaining Outcomes’, Industrial Relations Research Association Conference Working Papers Series.

Professional and technical reports and monographs

Blumenfeld S , Ryall S, Kiely P (2014) Employment Agreements Update 2013/14 (Wellington: Centre for Labour, Employment and Work, Victoria University) .

Plimmer, G., Wilson, J., Bryson, J., Blumenfeld, S ., Donnelly, N., & Ryan, B. (2013) Workplace Dynamics in New Zealand Public Services. Wellington: Public Service Association & Industrial Relations Centre, Victoria University of Wellington.

Blumenfeld S , Ryall S, Kiely P (2013) Employment Agreements Update 2012/13 (Wellington: Industrial Relations Centre, Victoria University) .

Blumenfeld S , Ryall S, Kiely P (2012) Employment Agreements Update 2011/12 (Wellington: Industrial Relations Centre, Victoria University) .

Blumenfeld S , Ryall S, (2012) Unions and Union Membership in New Zealand: Annual Review for 2009, Wellington: Industrial Relations Centre, Victoria University of Wellington.

Blumenfeld S , Ryall S, Kiely P (2011) Employment Agreements Update 2010/11 (Wellington: Industrial Relations Centre, Victoria University .

Blumenfeld S , Ryall S, (2010) Unions and Union Membership in New Zealand: Annual Review for 2008, Wellington: Industrial Relations Centre, Victoria University of Wellington.

Blumenfeld S , Ryall S, Kiely P (2010) Employment Agreements Update 2009/10 (Wellington: Industrial Relations Centre, Victoria University ).

Blumenfeld S , Ryall S, Kiely P (2009) Employment Agreements Update 2008/09 (Wellington: Industrial Relations Centre, Victoria University .

Blumenfeld S , O’Neil P (2008) ‘New Zealand’s red meat sector: Economic upgrading strategies’ Final Report for the ILO/Japan Institute for Labour and Policy Training (JILPT) Networking of National Institutes for Labour Studies Fifth Round of Joint Investigative Studies: Promoting Decent Work in Global Production Systems in Asia and the Pacific, 79 p.

Blumenfeld S (2004) ‘New Zealand’ Final Report submitted to the Fourth Round of Joint Investigations of the ILO/JILPT Network of National Institutes for Labour Studies: Determining the Impact of Information and Communication Technology on Decent Work in the Asia and Pacific Region, 61 p.

Editorships

Blumenfeld S , Donnelly N, Plimmer G, Editors (2011) Proceedings of the Fourteenth Conference on Labour, Employment and Work in New Zealand, (Industrial Relations Centre, Wellington, NZ).

Blumenfeld S , Lafferty G, Editors (2005) Proceedings of the Eleventh Conference on Labour, Employment and Work in New Zealand, (Industrial Relations Centre, Wellington, NZ).

Blumenfeld S (2002) Proceedings of the Tenth Conference on Labour, Employment and Work in New Zealand, (Industrial Relations Centre, Wellington, NZ).

Book reviews

Blumenfeld S , ‘Review of ‘Global Industrial Relations’ Edited by M Morely, P Gunnigle, and D Collings, Labour and Industry, 18, 1 August (2007), pp. 139-141.

Blumenfeld S , ‘ Review of ‘Immigration and American Unionism’ by Vernon M. Briggs Jr.’, Journal of Industrial Relations, 44 (2002), pp.155-157.

Blumenfeld S , ‘Review of ‘Five Years After: The New Zealand Labour Market and the Employment Contracts Act’ by Tim Maloney’, New Zealand Sociology, 14 (1999).