Funding for The Scottish Centre for Employment Research

Strathclyde Business School’s Scottish Centre for Employment Research (SCER) has been awarded £860,000 funding for a project investigating management practices and their effect on innovation and productivity.

Led by Director of SCER, Professor Patricia Findlay and Depute Director Professor Colin Lindsay, it is one of five selected by ESRC (the Economic and Social Research Council) for joint funding of £3.8 million.

The SCER-led research collaboration, ‘Improving management practices: work engagement and workplace innovation for productivity and wellbeing’, will be supported by SCER researchers and leading international scholars.

Professors Graeme Roy from the Fraser of Allander Institute and Sir Harry Burns, Director of Global Public Health at Strathclyde, will also contribute to the £1 million project.

Positive business outcomes

Professor Findlay said: “This programme will build on SCER’s research over recent years on workplace innovation, job quality and fair work. 

“It will focus on the workplace practices and factors that support innovation, enhance productivity and deliver employee engagement and well-being.

“Our aim is to identify work practices that can deliver positive business outcomes and benefit employees at the same time. “

Productivity challenges

She said that combining expertise from work and employment studies, occupational psychology, economics and health, would allow researchers to understand better key issues around productivity challenges.

Professor Findlay added: “In Scotland, we have one of the most highly qualified workforces in Europe but productivity outcomes don’t fully reflect this - part of the explanation of why is likely to relate to workplace and management practices.

“Better jobs, fair work and more engaged workers may well be the key not only to improving innovation and productivity, but also to addressing economic inequality.”

During the 28 month project the research team will work with businesses and workforces in Scotland and the North East of England.

The five funded research projects will share insights through a co-ordinating research hub, and the SCER project will benefit from an Advisory Group of senior industry and policy stakeholders.

Dr Annie Gibney, portfolio lead at ESRC for Management & Business Studies and Transforming Working Lives, said: “This is a very strong set of projects that address the key management practices and employee engagement challenges facing business owners, managers and workers.

“Not only are they examples of excellent academic research that work closely with firms, policy-makers and key stakeholders – but they also have a real opportunity to lead to meaningful change in business and policy practices.”