The Work Foundation & Lancaster University

Lancaster University's Work Foundation transforms people's experience of work and the labour market through high quality applied research that empowers individuals and influences public policies and organisational practices.

Lancaster and The Work Foundation share long-standing research synergies, which have now been brought together in order to have increased influence and to devote expertise to research in areas that are crucial to the UK economy.

A registered charity and think tank, The Work Foundation is governed by The Work Foundation Alliance Board, chaired by Professor Sue Cox, Dean of Lancaster University Management School. Director Cathy Garner from Lancaster University works alongside the other directors of The Work Foundation - Ian Brinkley, Professor Stephen Bevan and Damian Walne - to make up a 40-strong workforce in London.

Joint collaborative work between Lancaster and The Work Foundation include:

Performance-related pay in the public sector

The Office of Manpower Economics, commissioned The Work Foundation to conduct a literature review of the impact, effectiveness, and value for money of performance-related pay (PRP) systems in the public sector.  The review was undertaken by a team of researchers at The Work Foundation (Damian Walne, Kathryn Ray, Beth Foley, Tiffany Tsang and Zofia Bajorek), drawing on the expertise of a panel of advisers from the Lancaster University Management School, including:

  • Professor Colin Green, Economics
  • Professor Ian Walker, Economics
  • Professor John Heywood, Distinguished Visiting Scholar of Economics at LUMS from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Professor Paul Sparrow, Director of the Centre for Performance Led HR and Professor of International Human Resource Management

The review found evidence that PRP schemes can be effective in those public services for which evidence is available (such as health, education and the civil service), but the evidence base is relatively weak and findings are mixed and depend upon organisational and occupational context and scheme design and implementation.

Mapping the Creative Economy in Lancashire, Blackpool and Blackburn

A joint team of researchers from The Work Foundation and Lancaster University Management School have been commissioned by Creative Lancashire to map the creative economy across Lancashire, Blackpool and Blackburn. The objective is to deliver reliable intelligence that feeds into the future development of the creative economy within these local areas.

The project will involve quantitative mapping and profiling of the creative economy players in these areas using ONS data and expertise from Dun and Bradstreet, the global provider of business information and insights. The second phase of the project will involve interviews with key stakeholder groups including Local Enterprise Partnerships, Higher Education Institutions, Local Authorities, local chambers of commerce and providers of business support services.

The project is currently in progress with the findings expected to be presented by mid-December 2014

The Work Foundation is an independent think tank and was acquired by Lancaster University in 2010.