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Dr Alina Petrescu

Research Fellow in Labour Economics
Lancashire School of Business and Enterprise

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. Alina is research active within the area of business and management and is a member of the Lancashire Institute for Economic and Business Research.

Current role

Alina's contract as Research Fellow in Labour Economics at UCLan implies both teaching and research duties. 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.

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.

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, undergraduate dissertation supervisor, 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.



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.

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.


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

Research informed teaching

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 has 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.