The Work Foundation & Lancaster University

The 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.

The Work Foundation has had a strong relationship with Lancaster University since 2010, enabling us to connect our research and share our knowledge expertise. Over the last year the Foundation has developed particularly strong ties with LUMS on a number of fronts from operational support to joint research priorities and bids.
This cooperation enables both organisations to have an increased influence on the change agenda, devoting expertise to research in areas that are crucial to the UK economy through collaboration and partnership.

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.


As an early initiative in the Devolution and Local Growth agenda, Lancaster University, supported by the Work Foundation with expertise in evaluation, delivered this £32m Regional Growth Fund Programme to establish 15 Growth Hubs from Teeside to Plymouth. The interim report charts the process followed; the progress made and the interim outcomes from the project which has supported the creation of over 4,000 jobs and a network of expertise across England.

Learn More about the Wave 2 Programme.