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Business and Management Studies

Overview of Business and Management 

Our Business and Management submission in RAE 2008 placed us comfortably in the top half of Research Fortnight's Research Power League, at joint 38th.

The 2014 REF submission built on that achievement and reflects the step change we have undergone in the intervening period. We have strengthened research leadership, recruited new research active staff at all levels and supported the development of our existing staff.

REF 2014 results highlights

  • Business and Management Studies at Middlesex sees overall improvement in both GPA (48/101 in Research Fortnight) and power rankings (38/101 in Research Fortnight)
  • In the top 50 in the sector based on power ranking (38th)
  • 92% of our impact judged to be very considerable (3 star) or outstanding (4 star).

Our submission to this Unit of Assessment (UoA) comprises staff from our Business School plus two from other Schools.

The Unit of Assessment case studies are:

Alternative forms of employee voice

Summary: Employee relations in Britain have undergone fundamental change in the last three decades. Research by Lewis, Martin Upchurch, Richard Croucher and other colleagues has tracked these changes identifying the decline of collective bargaining and the rise of alternative forms of employee voice. 

The impact of this programme of research has been evident in influencing the evolution of wider public debate on issues of employee voice and shaping the development of policy frameworks and specific policy initiatives in the UK and abroad, particularly concerning whistleblowing.

Impact has been apparent through influencing the development of employment culture and the respective practices of employers, unions, and human resources and industrial relations practitioners.

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Improving labour market outcomes in South Africa

Summary: Research on the post-apartheid South African labour market showed high levels of economic inactivity among black people concentrated in certain areas and high employee turnover among these groups.

An integrated development programme was developed in and around Port Elizabeth, tailored to address specific failings in labour market supply and demand identified by the research findings. This brought greatly improved employment rates for over 3,000 participating job seekers, with more than 80% achieving a positive outcome in terms of employment or further training. 

Furthermore, the programme reduced turnover rates for those employers involved in the project, and built the capacity of Union workforce representatives. The development programme, comprising integrated training workshops and employer support, is now being rolled out across South Africa.

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Local economic policy and deprived areas

Summary: A major challenge to economic policy and public sector governance is how to provide a sustainable economic basis for less prosperous localities and neighbourhoods. Research findings demonstrated the need for a greater focus upon enterprise and jobs at a sub-regional level and improved co-ordination and integration of governance arrangements in order to tackle this issue. 

These findings influenced the development of national and local government policy and practice towards the economic development of deprived areas from 2004 onward. Impacts were evident through shaping a significant re-orientation in policy approaches towards deprived neighbourhoods as well as the development of specific policies and governance practice.

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Research findings have influenced how government measures the size of the social enterprise sector and the supply of social investment funds, feeding into strategy documents of the Cabinet Office and supporting the development of Big Society Capital

Research has also stimulated the growth of individual social enterprises, with one reporting an increased turnover of 20% over 2 years.

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Approaches to measuring social impact of enterprises and charities

Summary: There is a growing demand for evidence of the impact that non governmental and private businesses are having. Research findings have led to a range of practical and policy developments related to encouraging organisations to measure their impact and use it both for their own development and to access more resources. 

This research has resulted in social impact measurement being introduced to many organisations and an improvement in the tools used. Research insights into how social impact can best be measured have led to changes in the practices of charities such as Citizens Advice and the use of a measurement tool by over 200 smaller organisations.

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