Our ESRC-funded Projects on Management Practice and Employee Engagement

All of our activity at the PrOPEL Hub is underpinned by a robust evidence base.  Our work partly centres around 5 major on-going research projects funded by the ESRC that explore the relationship between workplace practice and productivity. These projects complement one another by considering this important issue from different perspectives according to each research team’s expertise. You can keep up to date with the latest findings and practical insights from the research by engaging with our content and events.

Productivity from Below: Addressing the Productivity Challenges of Microbusinesses in the West Midlands

This project is undertaken in collaboration with business and civil society partners. It focuses on firms facing major challenges: retailers in deprived areas; the Bangladeshi catering sector; and creative businesses with owners and workers from deprived backgrounds.

Understanding and Explaining Management Practices to Promote Higher Productivity in UK Businesses

This project, supported by the University of Nottingham, seeks to improve understanding of the causes and consequences of variation in management practices across UK businesses, and to draw from this a number of practical lessons for improving UK productivity.

Managerial Competences, Engagement and Productivity – Developing Productive Relationships

This project explores the impact on engagement and productivity arising from training managers in conflict and other core competencies that might foster improved working relationships.

Improving Management Practices: Work Engagement and Workplace Innovation for Productivity and wellbeing

This project explores how workplace and job design practices shape employees’ engagement, wellbeing and involvement in innovation, and how insights on these issues can help address the UK’s ‘productivity puzzle’.

Practices and Combinations of Practices for Health and Wellbeing at Work

This project explores whether certain combinations of workplace wellbeing practices are more effective than others in varied settings.  It examine factors that enable or hinder implementation of workplace wellbeing practices in combination.

Insights from our Network of Partner Institutions

As well as the Hub’s core research, our partners are also involved in a number of other projects which build and expand our knowledge of how business and workplace practice can help to improve productivity in the UK.

Information Provision and Web Performance

This research explores the extent to which providing firms with information on available technology and benchmarking their performance with competitors influences their adoption of technology and impacts their productivity.

Strategic Human Resource Development for Creativity and Innovation

Our team at Ulster University Business School will work with the PrOPEL Hub members and connect insights on productivity, engagement and wellbeing emerging from the various MP-EE projects to the Northern Irish context. The team will also use insights from their own research into Strategic Human Resource Management and its role in supporting people to be creative and innovative to help promote a productivity agenda in Northern Ireland and beyond.

Job Quality and the Experience of Work

Our team at WISERD at Cardiff University work with the Hub to integrate and drive forward key PrOPEL Hub research activities within a Welsh context and to showcase research being undertaken by academics across Wales.  This research primarily focuses on the experience of work from the employee’s perspective and explores issues such as homeworking during the pandemic, employee led innovation, job satisfaction, union membership and labour market inequalities.