Dr. Alina Ileana Petrescu is Research Fellow in Labour Economics at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), in the North West of England, UK.
Alina's field of specialisation is Labour Economics, combined with an interdisciplinary approach on Human Resource Management (HRM) and Behaviour in Organisations.
Her research interests include analysing the impact of HRM practices on job satisfaction, company performance and work effort, in Britain as well as in an international comparative context. Examples of HRM practices of interest incorporate both pecuniary and non-pecuniary workplace incentives and practices including: workplace flexibility practices (WFPs), workplace organisation, employee participation, job autonomy, job design, training, communication and consultation, job security, and various pay methods.
The primary research aim is to answer the fundamental need for practitioners, employees and academics to estimate the role of HRM practices in improving workplace employee and company outcomes. It also contributes to the wider goal of creating a stronger economy and achieving higher societal well-being.
Alina's current research and teaching roles and her research and teaching experience are described on this page (see below).
Clicking on the tab 'Activities' will take you to Alina's detailed-activities page where all of the following are shown:
- her contacts inclusive of postal address and staff webpage at UCLan
- her areas of interest and expertise
- research dissemination via publications (Articles, Books, Reports, Conferences)
- recent and completed research projects;
- grants and awards - Alina has delivered externally-funded research, knowledge transfer and private industry / consultancy projects worth cumulatively over £400,000
- teaching and supervision
- educational and professional qualifications
- and other academic roles fullfilled by her - inclusive of media presence, languages spoken, and wider on-line presence.
You could also click separately on each item in the top menu to see the above.
CURRENT RESEARCH AND TEACHING ROLES
Alina's contract as Research Fellow in Labour Economics at UCLan implies both teaching and research duties.
Alina's research aims to inform the workforce, business leaders and policymakers about better-decision making on crucial economic aspects related to productivity, sustainable development and higher-levels of societal progress.
As such, Alina focuses on analysing workplace productivity in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and other organisations, with particular interest in flexible work or workplace flexibility practices (WFPs). The impact of flexible work is assessed in relation to various business and employee performance and productivity measures, such as job satisfaction and well-being, absenteeism, financial turnover, skill mismatch, business growth /productivity, redundancies or (regional) economic growth and development.
Labour economics themes of high relevance in the UK are present in Alina's research, such as: flexible work, business productivity, business growth, use of redundancies, COVID-19, (im)migration, Brexit, the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, (im)migration, skills mismatch, skills drain, absenteeism, business clusters, job satisfaction and employee well-being,
A mixture of research methods (mainly using STATA for secondary data analyses but also via 'courageous' primary data collection) and econometric models enable an in-depth, leading-edge examination of flexible work and business practice (such as employee training, promotion, homeworking / teleworking etc.) and their impact upon employee, company and macroeconomic performance.
Alina has been entered in the REF 2008 and REF 2021 (with a contribution to one for a REF impact case study).
Alina's teaching has encompassed a large variety of roles in more than a decade of work at UCLan, essentially in economics, business and management-related teaching and thesis supervision.
These have included PhD, MPhil and MBA thesis supervision, undergraduate dissertation supervision, internal PhD examiner, and module leader / tutor on Master and Undergraduate modules.
Some of the topics Alina has supervised and taught include: Labour Market Economics, International Labour Markets, Employee Wellbeing, Labour Market Discrimination, Human Capital, Europe and the World Economy, The Economics of Brexit, Microeconomics, International Economics, Trade, Globalisation, Business Economics, Business Environment, Public Goods, Economic Inequality, Regional Development.
RESEARCH - Alina has developed expertise in the analysis of business growth, productivity, resilience and response to crises, such as the 2008 Global Financial crisis and the 2020 COVID-19 crisis.
Her research uses quantitative analysis, predominantly based on constructing econometric models via STATA (statistical software) such as logit or probit models. Alina is an Accredited Researcher with the Secure Data Service (UK)
Research carried out by Alina is based on (large) secondary datasets, such as Understanding Society (formerly British Household Panel Survey BHPS) or the Workplace Employment Relations Survey (WERS 2011, WERS 2004, WERS 1998) as well as numerous other labour economics focused datasets available via the UK Data Archive or the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
A major stream in Alina's research has been a focus on current events, evidenced in primary data collection too.
Primary data collection and analysis: Alina has been key in the fast design and development of numerous and varied leading-edge research projects, started by Alina collecting primary data mainly from businesses, such as:
- in 2020 regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for business and workforce support
- in 2017-18 assessing business preparedness pre-Brexit
- in 2017 regarding to gaps in regional development in particular for Lancashire Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
- in 2015 in relation to potential new industrial development in the North West (UK)
- in 2009 in response to the global credit-crunch recession, addressing the use of flexible work to avoid redundancies, decrease absenteeism and increase financial turnover; and similarly in 2011 post-recession
- in 2006 assessing retail and productivity business practices in the UK, to ascertain business performance in a cut-throat and fast paced vital sector for activity in the UK.
TEACHING - Collaborative and individual involvement in teaching delivery, curriculum development, pastoral duties, and project supervision.
Alina has been module leader since 2008, and has delivered teaching on modules led by colleagues too, including visiting lectures. Alina's teaching roles have consisted of the following:
Classroom-based teaching: an average of 8 weekly hours of lectures/ seminars/ workshops per 24 week-teaching year at UCLan
Doctoral student supervision for PhD, MPhil and MBA thesis
Course curriculum design and development for lecture, seminar and workshop content
Face-to face and on-line teaching delivery
On-line and e-mail student teaching and learning support
Virtual learning environment use: via Skype, Microsoft Teams (more recently); Blackboard and TurnItIn (2012-present); WebCT and TurnItIn (2008-2012)
Internal moderator since 2014 - second-marker and advising/moderating assessment and module content for various modules
- where relevant to her teaching, Alina has included in her modules numerous topics informed by her own research. This has been enabled by teaching as well as researching in the area of Labour Economics.
- the choice of textbooks used in Alina's teaching is made based on the textbook covering empirical analysis (peer-reviewed references) and having a research-led design
Alina have obtained high satisfaction ratings from her students, as evidenced by the mid-semester and end-of-semester Module Evaluation Questionnaires (MEQs).
Alina has conducted exam test pilots, enabling students to choose whether they wrote their exam by hand or computer-assisted
Alina has offered mentoring to junior staff.
This site was last updated on: Wednesday the 27th of May 2020