DESCRIPTION OF MAIN THEME IN RESARCH PROJECTS

Current research focuses on analysing workplace flexibility practices (WFPs) in relation to various corporate performance measures, such as absenteeism, financial turnover or redundancies.

Alina's current research relates to labour market flexibility and workplace flexibility practices (WFPs). She works at in the Division of Business, Economics and International Business within a small team led by Professor Philip B. Whyman including Dr. Mark Baimbridge from the University of Bradford and Dr. Buraimo Babatunde from Liverpool University. Her activity is part of the Lancashire Institute for Economic and Business Research (LIEBR).

The current main focus of research is initially British labour market flexibility, but other national and international avenues may also be explored as our project will extend to embrace an international comparative perspective. This collaborative multi-facetted project involves a mixture of research methods, enabling an examination of, on the one hand, the interactions between different elements WFPs, as well as, on the other hand, an assessment of their impact upon employee, company and macroeconomic performance.

Thus, our research evaluates the flexibilisation of working life, both where initiatives are intended to provide improved work-life balance for employees, and, alternatively, where the stimulus arises from the intention to promote more efficient company working patterns, enhanced productivity and higher rates of economic expansion. Proposals advanced to improve the former employee work situation may be expected to modify the “time squeeze” experienced by a growing number of professional and/or managerial employees, together with a wider purported inability of many workers to balance work and family (or non-work) commitments. Similarly, programmes intended to facilitate the latter superior corporate performance may lead to greater labour market flexibility through better matching of production to fluctuating product demand, promoting productivity through more efficient reorganisation of working conditions and facilitating macroeconomic goals.

 

CURRENT PROJECT:  AN ANALYSIS OF PRODUCTIVITY IN LANCASHIRE-BASED SMES 

Summer 2016 - present

The Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the Lancashire County Council (LCC) have commissioned a research team from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) to examine the productivity of Lancashire economy.

The aim is to identify examples of best practice, assess how Lancashire’s organisations could be supported to become more productive, identify possible policy initiatives that could help our region grow, and hence what lessons can be learnt in order to help make Lancashire more prosperous in the future.

The research team is led by Professor Sue Smith (Director of the Centre for SME Development), supported by Professor Philip B. Whyman (Director of the Lancashire Institute for Economic and Business Research) and Dr. Alina I. Petrescu (LIEBR member and Research Fellow).

Lancashire SMEs are currently being invited to complete the Lancashire Productivity Survey 2017, available at:

https://uclan.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/lancashiresign

Please see http://www.uclan.ac.uk/research/explore/projects/sme_research.php for main project details.

 

 

Since joining UCLan in 2008, Alina's research projects can be summarised as follows:

May 2008 - Present


Research Fellow in Labour Economics

Lancashire Business School, University of Central Lancashire, Preston

 

  • data encoding and data modelling using the Workplace Employment Relations Survey 2004, using Stata software;
  • generating ideas of questionnaire design and research avenues related to: Small and Medium Enterprises in Lancashire - recession and workplace flexibility practices (see SME research page);
  • primary data collection via questionnaire (mail shot); email and e-survey;
  • commission, design and analysis of an independent suvey, the SME Survey 2009 (over 2,000 Lancashire- based observations);
  • data cleansing and data analysis (Excel, STATA);
  • data encoding and data modelling using the Workplace Employment Relations Survey 2004;
  • producing academic papers;
  • preparing journal / conference submissions

 


SELECTED COMPLETED PROJECTS AT UCLAN

 

 

2016-17

 

Co-writing a book on Brexit - see Research Disemination, section Books - publication date 1 Sep 2017.

 

 

 

2013-2016

 

 Workplace flexibility practices and corporate performance  - lead to three peer-reviewed papers

(corporate performance measured via absenteeism, turnover, redundancies etc.)

 

 

 

2012

An analysis of determinants of charitable giving - see www.uclan.ac.uk/charitiesresearch

An analysis of industrial socio-economic impact in Lancashire, UK

 

 

2011

Primary data collection and analysis of Workplace Flexibility Practices (WFPs) in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) via the LIEBR - SME Survey 2011 Series (see SME Research page; download the Glossary of Workplace Practices related to the SME Survey 2011).

 


2009 - 2010

Project Title (LBS Funding): “The impact of workplace flexibility practices on labour turnover in Lancashire-based SMEs" - primary data collection - lead to one peer-reviewed article

 


SELECTED COMPLETED PROJECTS PREVIOUS TO JOINING UCLAN

 

January 2007 - March 2008

Research Officer in Management and Productivity Analysis

Department of International Development, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford, Oxford

Project Title (EPSRC grant): “The role of management practices in closing the productivity gap - A Closing the Gap, Crossing the Levels Ideas Factory Project”.

Co-operation project between Oxford, Nottingham, Birmingham and Sheffield universities.

  • data encoding and data modelling using the Workplace Employment Relations Survey 2004, using Stata software;
  • using multilevel and multidisciplinary models of relevant variables to understand and predict management practices;
  • generating ideas on good practice for productivity improvements;
  • aided in the commission, design and analysis of an independent UK and US Retail Survey 2007 (500 UK observations and 500 US observations);

 

March 2004 - July 2004

Research Assistant

Department of Economics, Lancaster University, Lancaster

Project Title: ‘Training and Promotion in Britain’

 

  • preparation of academic papers for publishing.
  • Data encoding and data modelling of the British Household Panel Survey Waves 1991 – 2003, using Stata software
  • preparation of academic papers for publishing.

 

February 2000 - August 2000

Research Assistant

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), London

 

January 2000 - August 2000

Department of Experiential Learning, Huron University, London

  • compiling case study material on workplace learning;
  • researching theoretical concepts in experiential learning: literature research conducted in CIPD archives as well as mainstream libraries;
  • conducting interviews in business and academia (e.g. CBI, BAE, Nottingham University, Lancaster University).
  • helping to design an effective environment for work placements with the aim of producing a model of experiential learning;
  • collaborating with organisations such as the Prince’s Trust and Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) in co-ordinating research activity;
  • evaluating psychometric testing techniques: literature search and testing .