Is Declining Dynamism to blame for our Productivity woes?

Over the past decade, we have seen a historic slowdown in productivity growth. While there is some cause for optimism based on the rapid adoption of tech during the pandemic, boosting productivity should still be the top priority for any government. After all, more than anything else, it is what determines wages and living standards…. Read more

Large-scale business survey to shed light on rural resilience during COVID

The National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise (NICRE) is asking rural and farming businesses in the North East, South West and Midlands how they are dealing with COVID-19 to explore the lesser-known area of rural resilience. There is little research about how small firms in rural areas manage crises and how they recover so NICRE… Read more

The end of the beginning, or the beginning of the end for UK trade?

2020 was a terrible year for UK trade. Overall, UK exports in goods contracted by almost 15%, down by £54.5 bln[i] in the twelve-month period, this is even worse than the contraction seen in the UK economy as a whole, which was just under 10% in GDP terms. [ii] Furthermore, the early 2021 bilateral trade… Read more

Innovate short, innovate long

The dire consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on many firms across the UK continue with depressing implications for employment and future prosperity. The government has invested heavily in supporting businesses through the furlough scheme, loan schemes and rate relief. The strengths and limitations of these measures have been widely covered in the media, but less… Read more

What ‘works’ for improving small business productivity?

Ask anyone working with small business owners and they will tell you great stories of how mentoring and training can transform people and their businesses. Each of these stories is important in its own right. In terms of policy, however, this type of anecdotal evidence is of little value in terms of justifying public investments… Read more

Leadership in ‘laggards’ key to post-Covid productivity gains

New study challenges assumption that most productive firms will drive future productivity gains Inspirational leadership shown to boost productivity in firms of all sizes and sectors, even those starting with low levels Research provides evidence to support recent public investment in ‘soft skills’ training for business leaders New research from the Enterprise Research Centre suggests… Read more

Productivity in SMEs: A tale of the tortoise and the hare?

In recent years, we have heard much of the ‘frontier firms’ – those at the top end of the productivity scale, leaping further ahead of other firms – the hares and the tortoises, if you will. But our recent research, examining Companies House data for more than 17,000 firms across 12 sectors, suggests that small and… Read more

Could Covid-19 give SMEs strategic space to improve productivity?

For a long time, the UK has produced many firms that perform poorly yet manage to survive. Various descriptions of these firms have been used. In recent debates about productivity for example they have been referred to as ‘the long tail’ of underperforming businesses. Shortening the long tail has been identified as a policy priority… Read more

Can we afford to return to “busy-ness” as usual?

Lorry drivers on tight schedules. Pet owners demanding more from their vets. Sales and service staff working from home with little access to office support. Archaeologists staying in hotels as a way of life. Hospitality staff working longer than contracted hours to make ends meet. Short-term contracts restricting access to finance. Ex-Army personnel with PTSD… Read more

Bouncing back from the Covid-19 crisis: reflections on mental health and resilience

Bouncing back from the Covid-19 crisis: reflections on mental health and resilience Firms that survive adversity often have the abilities, characteristics and actions of their employees to thank. As many reflected during Mental Health Awareness Week last week, it is worth remembering that the current crisis will undoubtedly have impacted upon the mental health of… Read more

The duration of the economic restrictions is decisive for the German Mittelstand

As in the UK, significant parts of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Germany are affected by the corona virus pandemic. In this difficult economic situation, the Federal Government in Germany has sent a very positive signal with its comprehensive support measures targeted not only at large corporations, but also at medium-sized, small and micro… Read more

Avoiding Economic Meltdown In a National Emergency?

It took less than a week following the Chancellor’s Budget the package to feel woefully insubstantial given COVID-19 developments and the impact on the economy, businesses and jobs. As expected, he was on his feet again this week with a much bigger suite of measures aimed at supporting businesses with costs and cashflow. “Whatever it… Read more

Business resilience and the budget

The 2020s are already shaping up to be a decade we won’t forget and we’re barely three months in. Coming on the back of a decade when researchers and policy makers have been focused on the post-financial crisis productivity puzzle, the impact on the global economy from the Covid-19 pandemic brings new challenges and uncertainties…. Read more

Protecting our pies and pasties post-Brexit

What do Cornish Pasties and Melton Mowbray Pork Pies have in common? Well, neither appeal to vegetarians for sure but they share more than their meaty ingredients. Both are also protected food names covered by European legislation on Geographical Indications of Origin (or GIs). This means that just as Champagne can currently only be produced… Read more

Local knowledge innovation, exporting and productivity

Introduction

  • A fresh look at the role of local, regional and broader eco-system factors in supporting innovation and exporting, growth and productivity. What aspects of local business eco-systems are most influential in shaping the innovation and exporting activities of firms of different types? How do these interact with firms’ internal capabilities?
  • We will also consider the interaction between innovation and exporting and any feedback between the two influences building on Harris and Moffat (2011)? Methodological issues arise here, as in the competition and local growth project, relating to the definition of ‘local’ and also issues around causality.
  • The LEP outlook data provides a rich set of local eco-system indicators both for the most recent period and historically covering factors generally considered as productivity drivers (e.g. skills, R&D investment, capital investment) and some more novel factors such as local amenity and emissions. Use this data along with individual establishment level data from the UK innovation survey (which also covers exporting and productivity). Inter alia this will provide a test of the linkage between the LEP Outlook metrics and key performance indicators.

KeywordsInnovation, productivity, exporting
ThemeInnovation, productivity and performance
Project DirectorStephen Roper