Lancashire Institute for Economic and Business Research (LIEBR)
The Lancashire Institute for Economic and Business Research (LIEBR) is part of Lancashire Business School at the University of Central Lancashire.
LIEBR is led by a Director, Professor Philip B. Whyman, whose role is to coordinate activities and manage the work of the institute on a day-to-day basis. The strategic direction of the centre is directed by an executive committee, comprising the Director, the Deputy Director, Professor Andrei Kuznetsov, and two other elected members of the institute.
The executive committee has responsibility for reviewing the progress of the institute and determining the allocation of internal funding. The executive committee, in turn, reports to the Lancashire Business School Research Academy Board, which will oversee all research groups within the business and management cluster.
The institute is located within Lancashire Business School, although members are drawn from across UCLan. Postgraduate research (PGR) and Postgraduate taught (PGT) students are offered affiliated membership, thereby enabling (and encouraging) their participation in the work of the institute.
LIEBR aims to encourage and facilitate research into the interaction between economic, business and public policy, broadly defined. It provides an interdisciplinary space for exchanging and developing ideas relating to the drivers, design, implementation and review of economic, corporate and public policy initiatives, together with their impact upon key stakeholders - primarily business, employees and the community. The institute seeks to support individual and collaborative research through enabling scholars to better exchange ideas, explore emerging research areas and to work more effectively with stakeholders. Researchers at LIEBR will endeavour to utilise their study of a variety of economic policy-oriented issues to provide input into research-informed public and corporate policy. The institute, moreover, provides a ‘home’ for PGR and PGT students, facilitating greater interaction, through research seminars and similar, though it is important to note that the intention is that this complements and enhances, not replaces, existing opportunities organised by the School.
LIEBR aims to promote, through academic research, a greater understanding of the impact of economic forces upon the lives and livelihoods of businesses, employees and the wider community, and thereby contribute towards the development of more informed public policy.
Palmer, C. and Larson, M. J. (2014) 'When (or how) do the Olympics become ‘stale’?', DOI: 10.1080/17430437.2014.951437. Article first published online on 05 September 2014.Sport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics
Whyman, P. B. and Petrescu, A. I. (2014) 'Workforce nationality composition and workplace flexibility in Britain', International Journal of Manpower, Special Issue: , Volume 35, Issue 3. Article first published online on 01 August 2014. Labour Market Flexibility and Spatial Mobility
Whyman, P. B., M. Baimbridge, M., Buraimo, B. and Petrescu, A. I. (2014) 'Workplace flexibility practices and corporate performance: Evidence from the British private sector', DOI: . Article first published online on 12 March 2014. British Journal of Management
Whyman, P. B. and Petrescu, A. I. (2013) 'Workplace flexibility practices in SMEs: Relationship with performance via redundancies, absenteeism, and financial turnover', . DOI: 10.1111/jsbm.12092. Article first published online on 29 December 2013. Journal of Small Business Management
Whyman, P. B., and Petrescu, A. I. (2014) 'Partnership, flexible workplace practices and the realisation of mutual gains: Evidence from the British WERS 2004 dataset', , Special Issue: , Volume 25, Issue 6, pp. 829 -851. DOI: 10.1080/09585192.2012.751439. Article first published online on 22 January 2013. The International Journal of Human Resource ManagementPartnership, Collaboration and Mutual Gains: An International Perspective
LIEBR, together with colleagues from across the Lancashire Business School, has established the Knowledge Network 4 Business (KN4B). This aims to develop a series of interlinked, business networks within Lancashire to facilitate knowledge exchange between academic and business participants. It provides the opportunity for small and medium businesses to interact with research-informed evidence, presented by academics from LBS, together with case studies of business practice, presented by leading practitioners drawn from within the region.
The KN4B programme utilised a series of master class presentations and action learning sets to stimulate peer to peer consideration of how new ideas and innovations may be adapted into their own operations and enhance business performance.
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Topic: PR & Communications Academic: Chris Shaw Business: Andy Chemney (Ignition)
|Topic: Human Resources & Mediation Academic: Dr. Richard Saundry Business: Forbes (Empt Solicitors) & ACAS
Topic: Marketing: Objectives & Opportunities Academic: Dr. Adrian Wright and Robin Carey Business: Breathe
Topic: Marketing: Practices & Communications Academic: Dr. Adrian Wright & Robin Carey Business: Breathe
|Topic: The Economic Environment Academic: Professor Philip B. Whyman
Webinar & Podcast
|Topic: Workplace Flexibility & Business Performance Academic: Dr. Alina Petrescu
|Webinar & Podcast
|Topic: Access to Finance Academic: Professor Thankom Arun
|Webinar & Podcast
|Topic: Corporate Social Responsibility Academic: Professor Andrei Kuznetsov
|Webinar & Podcast
|Practical Workshop: 3Man Factory Getting Your Social Media Strategy Right
|Practical Workshop: 3Man Factory Getting LinkedIn for Business
|Practical Workshop: 3Man Factory Analysing your Social Media Success
|Practical Workshop: 3 Man Factory Action Learning
In addition, workshops were supplemented by a short series of webinars, subsequently summarised and presented in the form of podcasts.
KN4B was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC, Grant Number ES/J021075/1). The network has been further supported by the economic development teams at local councils (research partners) in Preston, Chorley, Burnley and Pendle. The project was led by Professor Philip B. Whyman (PI) and managed by Sally Bate. LIEBR wishes to thank all concerned for their help and support in making this project a success.
The economics team within the Lancashire Business School has been awarded Jean Monnet Teaching Modules funding by the European Union Lifelong Learning Programme. This provides support for the development of a suite of modules relating to the teaching of the economics of European integration. The award will, furthermore, facilitate the development of a programme of related studies, where experts from academia, business and public policy institutions, will give a short series of guest talks aimed at supporting this programme. It will, furthermore, provide the opportunity for participation from outside LBS, whether students from elsewhere in UCLan, partner colleges or interested parties from the local community. Presentations will be presented on line for wider dissemination of the ideas arising from these sessions.
Whyman, P. B. and Petrescu, A. I. (2011) "Economic recession and workplace flexibility practices in Lancashire-based SMEs", (.pdf 337KB), Lancashire Business School Workplace Flexibility Series, LIEBR, University of Central Lancashire, March, ISSN 2064-9276.
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
Dr. Alina I. Petrescu has been interviewed on BBC Radio Lancashire related to the recent report on Skills Drain from Lancashire.
The report 'Leaving Lancashire: An Evaluation of Skills Drain from Lancashire' is co-authored with Professor Philip B. Whyman and . The research was commissioned by Accrington based online value retailer, Studio Retail.
This most recent study by the Lancashire Institute for Economic and Business Research (LIEBR) presents a multi-faceted approach to evaluating the determinants, extent and consequences of skills drain from Lancashire.
It evaluates seven potential causes of skills drain. A leading cause is identified as the lack of high-skilled jobs in the region, which could be costing the Lancashire economy £7bn each year due to people seeking employment elsewhere. In an estimation of commuting out of Lancashire, it also finds that 800,000 people (one is every seven of the region's workforce) who work outside Lancashire could be taking some £4.3bn out of the economy each year. The 11,500 graduates moving out of Lancashire yearly, the lower productivity in the region, an ageing and shrinking workforce, and residents' poor perception of the area, are evaluated as causes of skills drain and cost estimates are calculated, alongside suggesting comprehensive recommendations for policymakers, business and employees / the general public.
Paul Kendrick, Managing Director at Studio Retail, commented:
“To think that this region is potentially losing out on billions of pounds is very disappointing. By uncovering the true impact of this issue, we hope everyone with financial or emotional connection to Lancashire, will consider the steps they can take to minimise this drain.
“As one of the largest employers in the region, we are committed to supporting and growing the workforce as our business grows. We know that there is a wealth of smart, savvy and ambitious people in the region and we want to keep them here.
We believe it is the job of all employers to look at ways we can collaborate with business, local government, education providers and the Third Sector, to determine how we can reduce this economic drain and help Lancashire to flourish.”
Professor Philip Whyman, co-author of the report, added:
“The largest contributory factor, identified by our analysis, relates to skills mismatch, as more highly skilled individuals find it difficult to find suitable employment opportunities in the local area and either commute or relocate in search of greater opportunities and/or income.
Reversing this trend will require action, by local policy makers and business leaders, to create more high skill jobs within Lancashire, through a combination of attracting high productivity firms, facilitating the growth of new industries and/or encouraging those existing SMEs with high growth (scale-up) potential.
Leadership programmes to share best practice with business leaders, the creation of high-performance clusters in new rapidly expanding areas of the economy (such as digital, healthcare IT and/or renewable energy) and creative solutions to partner local businesses with higher education institutions to enhance retention of graduates within the local economy, can all make a difference."
The study is believed to offer the most up-to-date and clear view of skills drain from Lancashire and it constitutes the only evidence available of this sort for Lancashire.
- BBP Media, 7 Feb 2020: "REVEALED: Skills drain from Lancashire sees the region lose billions of pounds each year"
Professor Andrei Kuznetsov has delivered a research seminar presentation entitled "A Language Testing Conundrum: The Case of Foreign Nurses Recruitment in the UK Healthcare System" at the UCLan Centre for Business, Management and Enterprise (BME).
The globalisation of the labour market creates new challenges for organisations when hiring. This paper addresses one such challenge that is rarely in the spotlight: the implications of the choice of a language proficiency test for non-native speakers by the hiring organisation. We approach this issue from the vantage point of language-centred scholarly disciplines and use the UK National Health Service (NHS) recruitment practices as an example. With the help of a staged experiment, this practice-based study argues that the current international recruitment procedure into the NHS tends to underestimate some important differences between language as a formalised system of words and grammatical rules and discourse as ‘language in action’, causing the loss of staffing capacity. It follows from our analysis that when setting the requirements and objectives of a language test the recruiting organizations need to consider more explicitly the social and cultural context, in which their employees operate, and the impact of this context on the communication demands faced by the staff.Abstract:
Dr. Philip Kostov has delivered a research seminar presentation on the topic "Can direct payments facilitate agricultural commercialisation: Evidence from Kosovo"
Dr. Philip Kostov has delivered a research seminar presentation entitled "Can direct payments facilitate agricultural commercialisation: Evidence from Kosovo" at the UCLan Centre for Business, Management and Enterprise (BME).
: This paper investigates the possible impact of direct payments on agricultural commercialisation in Kosovo. Estimating the effect of direct payments on market integration faces endogeneity issues arising from the possible simultaneous determination of participation in support programmes and market participation. In order to achieve proper identification of the endogenous direct payments, the paper suggests a strategy of targeted identification search that combines several different methodological approaches. We find that direct payments for fruit and vegetables and those for cereals and oilseeds, have a positive effect on market participation. However, no definite effect of livestock payments has been established.Abstract
Professor Philip B. Whyman has delivered a presentation at the UCLan Leadership Dialogue Event
Professor Philip B. Whyman has presented on the topic of leadership at the UCLan Leadership Dialogue Conference.
Professor Philip B. Whyman was interviewed for a second time about Brexit on Dutch Television
29 July 2019
Professor Philip B. Whyman published in BriefingsforBritain.com a Brexit article on the British car industry
Professor Philip B. Whyman has shared his expertise with the audience attending the UCLan Business Breakfast event organised by the Centre for SME Development.
His presentation included a focus on the on-going Brexit uncertainty facing our country, revising Brexit options and, in particular, what they mean for business. Given the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, and the need for businesses to undertake preparations to take account of any resulting potential changes in the business environment, we will cover the following:Breakfast Highlights:Brexit - what it means for you
- A brief outline of the current state of play.Are we nearly there yet?
- What is the difference between Norway-plus-plus, a customs union and a free trade agreement? What is the backstop and why is it important for Lancashire when it is all about the Irish border?What do the Brexit options mean?
- Should I undertake Brexit planning? If so, what sort of issues?What does this mean for my business?
Professor Philip B. Whyman was interviewed about Brexit on Dutch Television in March 2019
Professor Philip B. Whyman authored a CIVITAS publication 'The Left Case for Brexit: Active government for an independent UK'
Professor Philip B. Whyman had his Brexit-analysis article published on BrexitCentral.com in September 2018
Professor Philip B. Whyman wrote a CIVITAS pamphlet entitled 'The Full Brexit'
Brexit can be a positive event for the Left. Withdrawal from the European Union offers the potential for an active government to transform our economy for our mutual benefit. This, in turn, can reinvigorate our political debate, as new challenges and opportunities demand new and innovative solutions.
Unfortunately, too many on the Left overlook this potential. Too many of the proposals for Brexit are either ambiguous in key respects or too timid to provide a realistic plan to make the most of the UK’s new independent status. As a result, they are likely to appeal to neither UK citizens nor EU negotiators.
What is needed is a clearer vision of how Brexit could be made to work for all communities across the UK. How Brexit can enable greater economic policy freedom of action and how this, in turn, can be used to transform the UK economy.
Long standing weaknesses in the UK economy need to be dealt with. These include issues relating to low levels of capital formation, poor productivity growth, a large and unsustainable trade deficit, problems with the efficient operation of the labour market and the need to rebuild manufacturing industry to rebalance the UK economy. New industries need to be nurtured in order to take advantage of the opportunities offered by Brexit, and which will, in turn, encourage the growth of more highly skilled jobs.
This requires a new and more imaginative use of economic policy to deal with these problems. This should be founded upon an improved macroeconomic strategy which will better facilitate growth and investment. An active industrial policy is required to stimulate new manufacturing opportunities and thereby both enhance productivity growth whilst rebalancing the economy. An active labour market policy would aim to increase skill levels in the UK and resolve potential labour supply bottlenecks for key businesses as any new migration policy is introduced. The combination of these measures should lead to the creation of more highly skilled jobs, thereby facilitating the growth of a high performance, high wage economy.
The Brexit deal that the UK pursues with the EU, and which in turn will determine how it chooses to trade with the rest of the world, needs to assist and not hinder this economic transformation. It is therefore wrong-headed to start with discussing trade options with the EU and, having chosen a favoured approach, simply hoping that everything else will naturally fall into place. For the best possible Brexit solution to be achieved, the needs of the citizens and the economy have to take precedence, and only then should a trade deal be pursued with the EU that best meets these objectives.
Since the economic transformation that lies at the heart of a progressive Brexit solution is dependent upon the introduction of a more active range of economic policies in order to be successful, it is crucial that any preferred trade agreement with the EU does not unnecessarily constrain economic policy flexibility.
Viewed on this basis, the EEA (Norway) option is too restrictive, as it requires the UK to follow all EU rules and regulations pertaining to the single market, but without having any say in their design. Customs unions require the imposition of a common external tariff wall and commercial policy, meaning that the UK could not negotiate trade deals with other countries. It would probably also have to follow many of the same rules and regulations designed by the EU but over which the UK would have no input. Trading on the basis of World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules would allow maximum policy independence, within the ground rules set by WTO treaties, yet the introduction of tariff charges on many goods would be a cost to exporters that would be better avoided.
Therefore, the preferred trade relationship with the EU is for the negotiation of a free trade agreement (FTA). This seems to be the most advantageous of all trade options. It allows more policy independence than EEA and customs union options, thereby making it easier to achieve the economic transformation of the UK economy, yet it avoids most of the trade costs associated with the WTO option. Taking a parallel from a well-known children’s story, where a small child tastes porridge made for three bears, if the EEA and customs unions are too hot, and the WTO option too cold, the FTA option comes closest to being just right.
The Left Case for Brexit would, therefore, propose the pursuit of a FTA with the EU, whilst simultaneously looking beyond our near neighbours in Europe to the trade and economic cooperation opportunities available across the rest of the globe. In order to take full advantage of these opportunities, and to ensure that as many UK citizens as possible share any resulting benefits, a Left Brexit should embrace the policy freedom arising from independence to pursue more active industrial, labour market and procurement policies. This would be further aided by a rejection of neo-liberal austerity and embracing a post-Keynesian macroeconomic framework capable of sustaining this more progressive economic model.
Professor Whyman was invited to speak on the development of future macroeconomic policy (post-Brexit) as a panel member at a Policy Exchange fringe meeting at the recent Labour Party conference.
On the BBC News Channel, Professor Philip B. Whyman gave his reaction to the Prime Minister’s speech on Brexit.
Professor Philip B. Whyman has given a presentation as part of the discussion group entitled ‘Trade Relations and Economic Impact’ at the House of Commons conference ‘Brexit: An Academic Conference’.
The conference took place on Thursday 10 November, and was introduced as follows:
‘Now that the UK has voted to leave the EU what will happen next? When the UK Government starts to negotiate the withdrawal process, the current situation in a range of policy areas – from fisheries to foreign and security policy – is likely to change. What light can academics throw on the uncertainties? This conference brings together parliamentary researchers and academics to consider some of the key policy areas affected by the UK’s decision to leave the EU.’
Professor Philip B. Whyman contributed as a panellist to the Labour Party Fringe 2016 strategic policy discussion entitled “Is there scope for a real Alternative Labour Economic Strategy post Brexit?”
The event theme was summarised as follows: “In the aftermath of Brexit, should Labour once against seek an alternative to what you might call the modern Treasury view of classical finance, monetary activism and ever increasing globalisation?”
Professor Philip B. Whyman had an article on post-Brexit published in The Conversation.
Professor Philip B. Whyman was part of the panel at the local Brexit Debate held at Longton Sports & Social Club on 13 June 2016
LIEBR Brexit Q&A Session Fri 3 June from 12-1 in GR350
The team held a Brexit Q&A session hosted by Professor Philip B. Whyman on 3 June 2016.
For those with a further interest in the Brexit debate, see the BMI Research webinar invitation available now.
Professor Philip B. Whyman has published an article in The Conversation on the case for Brexit.
Professor Whyman gave a research seminar at Manchester Metropolitan University
15 April 2016
His presentation, entitled 'Brexit': Should we stay or should we go?, formed part of the Accounting, Finance and Economics seminar series.
Professor Whyman was invited as one of the speakers in The Economics of 'Brexit' debate which took place as part of the Post-Crash Economics Society (PCES) conference 'Economics for Everyone' at the University of Manchester, on 17 April 2016. The other speakers were Andrew Lilico, Managing Director of Europe Economics, and Vicky Pryce, former Director General for Economics at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Joint Head of the UK Government Economic Service.
Thu 28 Apr 2016 18:30 – 20:30
Professor Philip B Whyman presented at this University debate
The EU referendum represents a once in a generation opportunity for everyone in the UK to decide whether we should remain a member of the EU or whether we should leave.
Join us for this Oxford Union style debate to hear from both sides, explore the options and put your questions forward to the guest speakers.
Chair - Fiona Armstrong, British television journalist
Prof Mike Thomas, Vice-Chancellor (2015-2018), University of Central Lancashire
Mark Hendrick MP, Labour and Co-operative Member of Parliament for Preston
Prof Philip B Whyman, Professor of Economics and Director of the Lancashire Institute for Economic and Business Research, University of Central Lancashire
Dr Mark Baimbridge, Senior Lecturer in Economics, University of Bradford
A further webinar "Brexit: Britain on the Brink" took place on 18 February 2016.
Professor Andrei Kuznetsov was invited to participate in a panel at the 2014 meeting of the Academy of International Business (Vancouver).
He presented a paper at the 30th colloquium of the European Group of Organizational Studies.
LIEBR hosted Professor Julie le Gallo (Professor in Economics and Econometrics, Université de Franche-Comté, CRESE, France) as Distinguished Visiting Professor.
During her time in LIEBR, Professor le Gallo worked with Dr. Kostov, on research projects related to spatial panel quantile convergence study (econometrics). Julie also acted as a member of a PhD supervision team and presented a paper in the institute's Jean Monnet Guest Speaker Programme.
Professor Andrei Kuznetsov presented two papers at the Academy of International Business 2013 Annual Meeting in Istanbul, Turkey.
Director: Professor Philip B. Whyman
Deputy Director: Professor Andrei Kuznetsov
Dr. Philip Kostov
Dr. Alina Ileana Petrescu
Dr. Kostas Iatridis (UCLan, Cyprus)
Penelope M. Marshall-Kalina
For general enquiries, please contact:
Professor Philip B. Whyman, Director, Lancashire Institute for Economic and Business Research, Lancashire Business School, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, PR1 2HE, UK.
Tel.: +44 (0)1772 894693
Twitter hashtag for LIEBR events: #LIEBRUCLan
Oxford Centre for Mutual and Employee-owned Business, Kellogg College, University of Oxford
European Economies Research Unit (EERU), University of Bradford
Global Institute for Finance and Development at Lancashire Business School, UCLan
Forum of Private Business (Director of LIEBR acts as FPB economic advisor)
Global Britain (European ‘think tank’)
The work of the institute currently focuses upon four research themes, namely:
This area of work encompasses aspects relating to enlargement, trade issues, regional convergence/divergence, competition and industrial policy, the development of the European Social Model and sustainability issues relating to Economic and Monetary Union. This research programme is led by Somnez, Whyman and Petrescu. External stakeholder-sponsors include the Global Britain organisation. Research findings have contributed towards House of Commons and House of Lords select committee reports.
This research stream focuses upon the interaction between organisations and their stakeholders, organisational sustainability, corporate social responsibility, standards and business strategy, co-operatives and mutual forms of ownership. This stream will be led by Kuznetsov, Kostov, Whyman and Petrescu.
Primary areas of work relate to labour market flexibility, work-life balance and well-being at work, human capital investment in education and training, together with EU labour markets and migration (including the impact of remittances on developing countries). This stream is led by Whyman, Petrescu, Buraimo and Larsson. Stakeholder-sponsors have included BIS (formerly BERR/DTI). Research findings additionally contribute towards the NWDA-funded LEAD programme, providing leadership and management training for SMEs within the North West.
This research programme includes ongoing projects relating to high performance workplaces, , economic policy and business innovation, determinants of charitable giving, together with the impact upon ownership and business structure upon performance and economic stability. This stream will be led by Petrescu, Whyman, Buraimo and Kostov. Stakeholder-supporters include the Forum of Private Business, Federation of Small Businesses, Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, and Lancashire County Council.