Author: Katie Truss Date: 21 September 2011 Impact Report
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Bilateral Ireland: Knowledge-intensive Firms in the UK and Ireland: Influences, Strategies and Skills
The aim of this study is to explore the impact of industrial policy, labour market regulation and firm strategies and practices on skills and broader employee outcomes in knowledge-intensive firms in the UK and Ireland. The ESRC is funding the UK team based at Kingston University, whilst the Irish team at Dublin City University, who are conducting a parallel study, are funded by the IRCHSS. The UK and Ireland have historically adopted divergent approaches to industrial policy, potentially leading to different outcomes at the level of the firm and the individual in terms of skills, productivity, wellbeing and performance. Prior research in this area has been limited and, given the growth of employment in the sector in both economies, there are important questions about the workforce in this sector that the study will explore. The first stage will involve a comparison of relevant national-level data across the UK and Ireland, followed by eight in-depth, matched-pair case studies in firms in two key knowledge-intensive sectors in each country: pharmaceuticals and software development. The findings from these will be used to inform a survey of companies in both sectors employing 100 or more staff aimed at exploring management practices in knowledge-intensive firms.