Home > Research > Researchers > Paul Sparrow
View graph of relations

Professor Paul Sparrow


Paul Sparrow

Charles Carter Building



Tel: +44 1524 510911

Current Research

HR Strategy

Global resourcing and talent management.  

Global human resource management,  


Research Grants

The Centre for Performance-led HR, November 2006-July 2016 attracted over £2 million industrial funding: £1.2 million 2006-2011 through the efforts of Professors Cary Cooper and Paul Sparrow, Dr. Anthony Hesketh and Martin Hird and a further £0.8 million attracted for 2011-2016 by Professor Paul Sparrow.

Lottery Research Fund, 2009- 2011, £322,000.  A collaborative bid with Working Families and Lancaster University Management Schooled with LUMS involvement led by Caroline Gattrell, and involving Cary Cooper and Paul Sparrow.  The research investigated and documented the barriers which prevent working fathers’ greater engagement as parents.

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development £30,000 (with Chris Brewster, Henley Management College)  Globalizing Human Resource Management: 2007-2008

Department of Health Policy Research Unit £250,000.  Improving health through human resource management. 2004-2007.Part of team with Paula Hyde, Mick Marchington, Bonnie Sibbald, Ruth Boaden, Claire Harris and Penny Cortvriend of MBS. 

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, £12,000.  International recruitment, selection and assessment.  2005-2006.  The research examined the impact of four contexts on internationalisation of HR processes at firm-level.

Customer Management Leadership Group, £15,000.  Creating and sustaining a customer service based culture.  2004- 2005.  Funded study to review the literature on the service-profit chain, employee engagement, role of coaching and selection for customer service

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, £110,000.  2000-2002.   Collaborative bid with Professor Chris Brewster and Dr. Hilary Harris of Cranfield University for a two year project to look at the role and contribution of International HR professionals.

Rolls-Royce Aerospace, £120,000.  July 2000- December 2002.  Collaborative bid with Professor Chris Clegg and Dr. Kamal Birdi of Institute of Work Psychology, University of Sheffield to assist Rolls-Royce in the implementation of its new vision for how the design process should work.   

European Regional Development Fund, £311,000. November 1998- June 2000.  Collaborative award in a bid with Professors Cathy Cassell and Bob Hanscombe of SUMS, Chris Clegg of IWP and Keith Ridgway of the Department of Mechanical Engineering for a study on 'Promoting innovation in products and processes'.   

European Regional Development Fund, £190,000.  June 2000 – June 2001.  Collaborative award as above to extend the work of the Innovation Advisory Service for a year.   

Institute of Personnel and Development, £10,000.  July 1998 – February 1999.  Produced a guide on International recruitment, selection and assessment with case studies and involves firms such as British Airways, British Petroleum, Cadbury Schweppes, Courtaulds Textiles, Diageo, Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, Cable and Wireless, British Telecom, Kelloggs, Unilever, S.W.I.F.T., Zeneca and EMI Music.

ESRC, £5,000.  January 1996 – December 1996. Research Seminar Series award with Professor Mick Marchington of UMIST and Ann McGoldrick of Manchester Metropolitan University in 1996 for a series on  ‘Human resource management in crisis?’.   


Paul Sparrow is Emeritus Professor of International Human Resource Management at Lancaster University Management School and was Director of the Centre for Performance-led HR from 2006 to 2016.

In 2022 he was awarded the British Academy of Management's Richard Whipp Lifetime Achievement Award for the course of his. career within the Business and Management field, nominated for his important and internationally recognised body of work on HR strategy, global resourcing and talent management, which has influenced HR practice around the world.

In 2016 he was awarded the USA’s Society for HRM Michael R. Losey Award for lifetime achievement in human resource research and research contributions that impact the HR management field.

Before retiring from academia, he was regularly voted amongst the Most Influential HR Thinkers by Human Resources magazine, listed from 2008-2012 and 2014-16. 

His research interests include cross-cultural and international HRM, HR strategy and the employment relationship. His latest books are on: International Human Resource Management 5th Edition. Globalizing HRM, Strategic Talent Management; Do We Need HR?; International HRM; Contemporary HR Issues in Europe; and Human Resource Management, Innovation and Performance

He was senior editor of the Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance and was a former Editor of the Journal of Organizational and Occupational Psychology.  He has served as an Editorial Board Member for Human Resource Management, International Journal of Human Resource Management, British Journal of Management, Human Resource Management Review, Cross-Cultural Management: An International Journal. International Journal of Cross-Cultural Management, European Management Review and Career Development International

He has been associated with the Centre for Global Work and Employment, Rutgers University, was an Honorary Fellow of the Institute for Employment Studies, Advisory Board member for Talent Management Institute, ESCP Europe, Berlin, International Steering Group Member for the Aalto University School of Business Human Capital Project, and was a Research Advisor on the CIPD/UKCES/CMI/IIP/CMI Valuing your Talent research and engagement programme.  

Before joining Lancaster University he worked as a Research Fellow at Aston University, Senior Research Fellow at Warwick University, Consultant/Principal Consultant at PA Consulting Group, Reader/Professor at Sheffield University and whilst at Manchester Business School he took up the Ford Chair from 2002-2004 and was Director, Executive Education 2002-2005.

External Roles

Visiting Scholar Centre for Global Work and Employment, Rutgers University,  October 2015 to date

Honorary Fellow, Institute for Employment Studies, October 2015 to date

Advisory Board member for Talent Management Institute, ESCP Europe, Berlin, October 2015 to date.

Research Advisor on the CIPD/UKCES/CMI/IIP/CMI Valuing your Talent research and engagement programme, October 2015 to date.

International Steering Group Member for the Aalto University School of BusinessHuman Capital Project on “Influence without authority: Examining the organizational influence of Human Resource professionals” funded by the Academy of Finland, 2014-2016.

Co-Series Editor for Routledge Global Human Resource Management books with Professors Schuler, Jackson and formerly Poole, 2002 to date.

External Assessor University for a leading Scottish University post-REF performance of Business and Management UoA, 2015

Expert Panel Advisor on Office of Manpower Economics research project on “A review of the evidence on the impact, effectiveness and value for money of performance-related pay in the public sector”, 2014. OME is the independent secretariat to seven Pay Review Bodies and the Police Boards that makes recommendations for the pay of the armed forces, doctors and dentists, the National Health Service (NHS), the prison service, school teachers, the senior Civil Service and the police, impacting on 2.5 million workers, or around 40% of public sector staff in the UK.

Delphi Panel Member for the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) research project on “The Future of Work: Jobs and Skills in 2030”, exploring the future of work and how jobs, and the skills needed in the workplace, will change by 2030. 2013.

Invited member to the Guru Steering Group for the Department for Business Innovation and Skills Employee Engagement Task Force - part of the second MacLeod Review, 2011 to date. 

Member of the Guru Group for the UK Government’s Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform’s (BERR) Macleod Review on Employee Engagement , 2009 – 2010.

Member of the Scientific Steering Board for the Research Project Future of Working World 2030 Europe. Technische Universitat Darmstadt, 2011-12. 

Founding and Senior Editor of the Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance. 2014 to date.

Journal Editorial Board Member: Human Resource Management, 2009–to date; British Journal of Management, 1999-to date;, International Journal of Human Resource Management, 2013 – to date; International Journal of Cross-Cultural Management, 2008-to date; Cross-Cultural Management: An International Journal, 2007-to date;; European Management Review, 2003-to date; Career Development International, 2003-to date; People Management, 2009-2012; Journal of World Business (formerly Columbia Journal of World Business). 1997-98.

Editor of Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 1998-2003. (Associate Editor1994- 98).  SSCI rating of journal doubled during editorship.  2003 ISI Journal citation reports Impact factor 1.308.

Visiting Faculty: ALBA, Athens, Greece 2003-2014; German Graduate School of Management and Law, 2013; Reykjavik University School of Business. Iceland 2012; Hong Kong Business School, 1995, 1996.

International Visiting Scholar, Dublin City University, 2011

Visiting International Fellow, Cornell University. USA, Industrial and Labor Relations School  2006-2007

Advisory Board for People Management from 2009-2012

Editorial Advisory Board for Kogan Page, from 2010 to date

Advisory Panel Member for the UK’s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development  Shaping the Future research programme 2008-2011.  

Member of the Guru Group for the UK Government’s Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform’s (BERR) Macleod Review on Employee Engagement, 2009 – 2010;  part of the Engage for Success Movement,  2011 to date. 

Expert Advisory Panel member to the UK Government’s Sector Skills Development Agency  2004-2008.

Specialist Advisor to UK Research Assessment Exercise Sub-Panel I36 - Business & Management, 2008

External Assessor for Monash University Research Quality Exercise preparation for the Research Quality Framework assessment, 2008

Elected Member of US Academy of Management HR Division Executive Committee, ChaIr of International Human Resource Management Committee, HR Division, US Academy of Management, 2005-2008. 

Research Associate of ESRC Centre for Organisation and Innovation, Institute of Work Psychology, 1999–2006

External Examiner at London Business School, 2005-2009 Birkbeck College, University of London1997-2000; Leeds University, 1997-99

Director and Council Member, Society for the Advancement of Management Studies, 2001-2008


BSc (Hons) Psychology, MSc Applied Psychology, PhD

Current Teaching


Paul has been a guest lecturer at a number of international institutions.


Paul has taught on executive programmes for many organisations

Research Interests

Through the Centre for Performance-led HR, his research focused on eight areas of research: the nature of strategic competence; HR leadership and boardroom engagement; performance drivers, such as customer service; business model change; the employee engagement-performance link; changing ways in which talent is managed; evaluating and benchmarking the ways in which people improve the capital of an organisation; and future HR trajectories.

His latest book Globalizing Human Resource Management just released by Routledge is available at:
His book Do We Need HR? Repositioning People Management for Success is available at:
There is a new edition of his CIPD Textbook on International Human Resource Management available at: http://shop.cipd.co.uk/shop/bookshop/international-human-resource-management-3
There is also a new edition of Contemporary Human Resource Issues in Europe available at: https://www.routledge.com/products/9781138776036


Professional Role

Paul was Director, Centre for Performance-led HR from 2006-16, a partnership between Lancaster University Management School and major corporations.   The Centre was nominated as a Times Higher Education Awards Finalist in 2009 under the Outstanding Employer Engagement Initiative, and was described in June 2011 by the Financial Times as "... an innovative research centre where academics and executives jointly set the agenda" that has "pioneered a new way to interact with business".  It was featured in a research spotlight by the US accreditation body AACSB International's Research and Scholarship Center. 

View all (173) »

View all (222) »