Current Research 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.



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:

Please see for main project details.


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