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Britta Holzberg

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PhD Student

Institute of Development Research and Development Policy
Ruhr-University Bochum
Universitätsstr. 105, Room 2.23 / 2.24 / 2.27 / 2.32
44789 Bochum

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: +49 (0)234 / 32-22278

Fax: +49 (0)234 / 32-14294

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Research Interests

  • Human Resource Management
  • Diversity Management
  • Decent Work and Labour Standards
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • MENA region: Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia

PhD Thesis

The Quality of Work in Global Supply Chains: Global, Local or Glo-cal Definitions and HR Practices?

The quality of work affects the well-being of workers as well as their performance. Providing a decent work environment is not only a company’s social responsibility towards its employees but has a proven positive impact on employee motivation, engagement and productivity. With the globalisation of production, the topic has attracted renewed interest in the scientific as well as policy debate. Before globalisation, a company’s Human Resource (HR) practices already needed to balance the local institutional and market environment with the needs of the company’s employees in order to be successful. In today’s era of global production, decision-makers have to additionally take global market dynamics and regulatory frameworks into account. Studies on International Human Resource Management have found that decision-makers in local companies are impacted by global dynamics as well as their local environment and in response develop distinctive, “glo-cal” HR systems.

The PhD project studies the quality of work in the export-oriented textiles and clothing industry in Egypt and Jordan. It aims to dissect how global and local factors shape local stakeholders’ definitions and companies’ HR practices. A special focus is laid on the design of working time arrangements, salary systems and employer-employee relations. The projects’ main research questions are: How do local stakeholders define a high quality of work in their respective industry and country contexts? How do local companies design their working time arrangements, salary systems and employer-employee relations? In how far can local definitions and HR practices be traced back to global and/or local influence factors? Methodologically, I will use a multiple case study approach to compare definitions and HR practices between the two countries and between different stages of the supply chain. The case studies will mainly be informed by interviews with key stakeholders and document analyses. The results of the analyses will be presented and discussed in three scientific papers.

Prof. Dr. Uta Wilkens, Ruhr-University Bochum
Prof. Dr. Peter Knorringa, International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague


since 2013:   Institute of Development Research and Development Policy, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany (since 2013) and
International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands (since 2016) PhD candidate in International Development Studies
since 2013:   Freelance Consultant, Germany Project Focus: HR Management, Organisational Development, Public Sector (MENA region and Europe)
2010 - 2013:   Roland Berger Strategy Consultants GmbH, Germany Project focus:
Social-political initiatives, HR Management, Gender Diversity, Project and Change Management (EU and Germany)
2003 - 2009:   Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany
Diplom in Business Administration
2007 - 2008:   London School of Economics and Political Sciences, United Kingdom
MSc in Organisational and Social Psychology


  • Human Resource Management
  • (Gender) Diversity Management
  • Organisational Development
  • Project and Change Management

Conferences and Workshops

  • ‘Labour Standards and Prize Competition in Global Production – the dilemma of mid-sized supplier firms in Egypt’ (poster), PhD Conference on International Development, Bochum (Germany), 24-25 September, 2015.
  • ‘Women’s Economic Empowerment and the New Global Development Agenda’, International Association for Feminist Economics Annual Conference, Accra (Ghana), 27-29 June, 2014.
  • ‘Lebensrealitäten von Frauen in Entwicklungs- und Schwellenländern‘, Tagung des Interdisziplinären Arbeitskreises Dritte Welt, Mainz (Germany), 17 January, 2014.

Teaching and Mentoring

  • Course: Qualitative Research Methods, MA in Development Management, 2015
  • Master supervision: Namuli, Proscovia (2015): Family Planning in Mukono District, Uganda – Knowledge, Perceptions and Determinants of Contraceptive Usage, MA in Development Management, 2015

How to contact us

Institute of Development Research and Development Policy
Ruhr University Bochum

Room 2.04
Universitaetsstr. 105
D-44789 Bochum

E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone:   +49-(0)234 / 32-22418
or   32-22243
Fax:   +49-(0)234 / 32-14-294

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Latest Publications

Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Löwenstein, Dr. Elkhan Richard Sadik-Zada & Mattia Ferrari: Privatization and the Role of Sub-National Governments in the Latin American Power Sector: A Plea for less Subsidiarity?, in: International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, Volume 8, No. 1, pp. 95-103

Britta Niklas: Impact of Annual Weather Fluctuations on Wine Production in Germany, in: Journal of Wine Economics, Volume 12/2017, No. 4, pp. 436-445
Britta Niklas, Karl Storchmann & Nick Vink: Fairtrade Wine Price Dispersion in the United Kingdom, in: Journal of Wine Economics, Volume 12/2017, No. 4, pp. 446-456

Khafagy, Amr: Regulation, supervision and deposit insurance for financial cooperatives: an empirical investigation. In: Annals of Finance (online first)

More information: "Publications / New Publications"

IEE on Tour

March 11 - 26:
Dr. Gabriele Bäcker
in South Africa and Namibia for evaluation, conference and institutional visit purposes.

March 17 - 24:
Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Löwenstein and Bettina Löwenstein
in Gordon's Bay and Cape Town/South Africa for the final meeting for the EUSA_ID project

March 17 - 28:
Britta Niklas
in Gordon's Bay and Cape Town/South Africa for the final meeting for the EUSA_ID project as well as a meeting for the DAAD African Excellence Centre UWC

April 04 - 06:
Dr. Elkhan Richard Sadik-Zada
at the University of Orleans, France, presenting at the International Conference "Environmental Economics: a focus on Natural Resources"

IEE on Field Research

Raffael Beier has a research stay at the International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague/The Netherlands from mid-March to mid-May 2018.

Ruth Knoblich spends a research period for her PhD as an EUSA-ID Scholar at the University of Cape Town/South Africa from January 2017 to April 2018.

Anne Siebert is at the University of Ghana, Legon, Accra und University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana, from 25th February to 9th April, 2018, for field research.