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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 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.


  • Educational
  • Ph.D. in Economics, Department of Economics, Lancaster University, U.K. Thesis title: “The Impact of Workplace Practices on Company and Employee Performance in Britain” Supervisors: Prof. Steve Bradley and Dr. Rob Simmons Examiners: Prof. Sarah Brown (external) and Prof. Jim Taylor (internal)
  • Master in Business Administration,Huron University, London, U.K.
  • Business Studies Programme, Institut Supérieur de Gestion, Paris, France B.Sc. Degree (Valedictorian), Major in Business Administration Faculty of Economic Studies in Foreign Languages, Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania
  • Professional Qualifications and Learning
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Certificate in Research Degree Supervision, University of Central Lancashire
  • Secure Data Service (SDS) Approved Researcher, London
  • Research Training Courses in Statistics and Career Development, Lancaster University, Lancaster
  • (Self-taught) Learning to use Stata and SPSS, Lancaster University, Lancaster
  • Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, Lancaster University, Lancaster
  • Diploma in Pedagogy for Higher Education Lecturers, Faculty of Economic Studies in Foreign Languages, Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania
  • Jun 2016 - Jun 2019
  • The University of Central Lancashire has obtained a score of 100% and achieved # 1 position in the UK in Economics rankings based on the National Student Survey (NSS) in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 - this is while Alina was part of a relatively very small but strong Economics Course Teaching Team at UCLan.
  • October 2001 - October 2004
  • Overseas Research Student (ORS) Awards Scheme, Awarded as funding for PhD Degree, Lancaster University, Lancaster
  • October 2001- October 2005
  • Management School Scholarship, Awarded as funding for PhD Degree, Lancaster University, Lancaster
  • October 1999 - October 2000
  • Huron University School Scholarship , Awarded as funding for MBA Degree, Huron University, London
  • August 1999
  • Excellence Recognition Award, Academy of Economic Studies (Valedictorian), Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania
  • October 1995 - August 1999
  • Academic Excellence Scholarship, Faculty of Economic Studies in Foreign Languages, Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania
  • January 1998 - July 1998
  • Erasmus Scholarship Programme, Mulhouse, France

Modules Taught

  • BU4101 - International Labour Markets
  • EC3004 - Labour Market Economics
  • Labour Economics:
  • - flexible work / Workplace flexibility practices (WFPs)
  • - job satisfaction / employee well-being
  • - employee, business and economy-wide productivity and performance measures such as related to high-performance workplace practices, financial turnover, absenteeism and redundancies
  • - links between training and promotion
  • - labour market trends such as social mobility, skills mismatch, inequality
  • Migration (Immigration)
  • Business resilience and growth:
  • - the economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic
  • - the economic impact of Brexit
  • - regional growth and development
  • - Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs); scale-ups; start-ups; high-growth firms
  • The European Union as an economic area and its role as part of the global economy
  • Business Management:
  • - HRM practices and their impact on company and employee performance;
  • - Historical and cross-country comparisons of development in management science and evolution of managerial techniques
  • Organisational Behaviour:
  • - Cross-disciplinary insights derived from sociology and psychology e.g. the role of attitudinal variables in understanding organisational and worker behaviour and work motivation;
  • - The impact of technology on organisational and societal evolution
  • Examples of flexible work and HRM workplace practices of interest in Alina's research incorporate both pecuniary and non-pecuniary incentives and practices such as: workplace flexibility practices (WFPs), workplace organisation, employee participation, job autonomy, job design, training, communication and consultation, job security, various pay methods.
  • The primary research aim is to answer the fundamental need for practitioners, employees and academics to estimate the role of business practices in improving workplace employee and company outcomes. This also contributes to a wider aim of creating a stronger economy and achieving higher societal well-being.
  • Journal Referee for various academic journals
  • Book reviewer for: Routledge
  • Rapporteur since October 2013 - The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • Media presence:
  • February 2020 - Dr. Alina I. Petrescu was interviewed about the recent report on an evaluation of skills drain from Lancashire, report co-authored with Professor Philip B. Whyman
  • January 2014 - Videocast (Presentation as part of the KN4B project on Small and Medium Enterprises research conducted at LIEBR, UCLan)
  • Intra-university institutes / organisations:
  • 2009-present
  • Seminar convenor and offering website support for the Lancashire Institute for Economic and Business Research (LIEBR)
  • External institutes / organisations:
  • European Association of Labour Economists (EALE)
  • Royal Economic Society (RES)
  • British Universities Industrial Relations Association (BUIRA)
  • Online presence:
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Languages:
  • English Fluent
  • Romanian Fluent/native
  • French Fluent reading and understanding
  • Italian Basic use
  • Spanish Basic use
  • German Basic understanding of some written academic terms