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Heejung Chung

Professor Heejung Chung

Professor of Work and Employment

Research interests

  • Human Resource Management


She / her


Professor Heejung Chung is Professor of Work and Employment at King’s College London and the author of the book The Flexibility Paradox: why flexible working leads to (self-) exploitation, (Policy Press).

Her research area is comparative labour market studies focusing mostly on work-family research, gender and other social inequalities, workers’ work-life balance and well-being outcomes. She is currently working on flexible working/remote and hybrid working, how it is stigmatised by managers and co-workers, how marginalised workers (women/BAME workers) may experience this differently, how this relates to our notions of the ideal worker, and policy solutions to tackle this bias.

Her area of expertise includes:

  • Work-family research ( Flexible working, Remote/hybrid working, Work-life balance, work-family conflict, Gender inequalities at work and at home, Division of labour, well-being outcomes)
  • Cross-national comparative research (Welfare state, policies including family and labour market policies, Cultural norms including gender norms)
  • Advanced quantitative methods (Large scale cross-national and longitudinal data analysis) and Qualitative research including digital diaries

Professor Chung's work has been published in journals such as Work, Employment & Society, Human Relations, European Sociological Review She is/has been in the editorial board of journals such as Gender & Society, Work, Employment & Society, and Social Policy & Administration. She is/has been on the executive board of the European Social Policy Analysis Network, Work and Family Researchers Network, and others.

She has been awarded over 10 million pounds in grant funding as PI and Co-I over the course of her career from grant funders such as ESRC (Future Research Leaders’ award), European Research Council (H2020 initiative), Nuffield, NORFACE and others.

She has been short-listed and long-listed for the Rosabeth Moss Kanter Awards for Excellence in Work-Family Research, and for the Cambridge University Press Excellence in Social Policy Research.

Professor Chung believes that for social sciences to be meaningful it needs to be impactful. Therefore, she has been active in influencing policy around work-family across the world – including the UK, Korean, German, Italian, Estonian government and international organisations such as the ILO, UN and European Commission. Her work has helped shape the European Commission’s Work-Life Balance Directive, and more recently the discussion around the Right to Disconnect. She has recently written a report on Flexible working and gender equality for the European Commission DG Justice Gender Unit.

Professor Chung has also worked actively in public engagement, including giving interviews in print media, radio/TV shows. This includes the New York Times, the Guardian, Forbes, the Economist, BBC Radio 4/World Service, Aljazeera, CNTV, France 24 etc. She has been on the front cover of the Dutch Magazine Vrij Nederland for her book. She has been named as one of the few academics in Onalytica’s Top Voices in Future of Work 2023.

Recently she has been on a BBC Radio 4 discussion panel with Amol Rajan on work culture.

You can hear her speak about flexible working and gender equality here.

Prior to joining King's Business School, she was Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Kent, having previously held roles at the European Data Centre for Work and Welfare at Tilburg University, Amsterdam Institute for Labour Studies, WZB(Social Science Research Centre Berlin), the Korean Labor Institute, Institute for Labour Studies (OSA) etc. She was awarded her PhD jointly from Tilburg University and the University of Amsterdam. She completed her BA/MA/MSc at Yonsei University and the University of Edinburgh.

Professor Chung is currently accepting PhD students.