Research impact

Our research has a very real and meaningful impact on the lives of people both in the UK and across the world. Through engaging with businesses, government bodies, trade unions and civil society organisations our academics have sought to use their research to directly affect policy, practice and commercial operations. This page outlines a series of case studies showcasing the impact of some of our academics’ research in the areas of society, public policy and enterprise.

Conflict Management and Dispute Resolution: Shaping the Policy Agenda

Research Team: Professor Richard Saundry, Professor Duncan Lewis and the HR and Leadership Group

Healthy and productive workplace relationships are essential to the success of any organisation. Ensuring workplace problems can be either avoided or addressed can save time, money and stress for both employers and employees. Research conducted by academics in Plymouth University’s HR and Leadership Group in such areas as: disciplinary and grievance handling; bullying and harassment; workplace mediation; and conflict management, has been instrumental in informing HR policy and practice. In particular, it has shaped the strategies, advice and guidance of the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).

Entrepreneurship in Sustainable International Development 

Research Team: Dr Robert Newbery and Dr Haya Al-Dajani

The promotion of entrepreneurship can play a major role in addressing such issues as poverty alleviation, food security and inequality. In recognition of this researchers based at the University’s Futures Entrepreneurship Centre have been working with partners in the UK, Kenya and Nigeria to use entrepreneurship as a tool for sustainable development. This work has led to improvements in well-being and food security for some 10,000 farming households and the establishment of 50 new micro-franchise shops.

Formula Funding of Public Services and the Goal of Equity 

Research Team: Professor Sheena Asthana, Dr Alex Gibson, Dr Joyce Halliday, Dr Paul Hewson (all Plymouth University) collaborating with Professor Trevor Bailey University of Exeter, Professor Graham Moon University of Portsmouth then Southampton and Dr Chris Dibben University of St Andrews 

This area of research challenges the assumption that the distribution of resources for English public services is either robust or ‘fair’. The well-established research programme rests on methodological and technical expertise in synthetic estimation, quantitative modelling and data linkage. This research has not only indicated potential weakness in existing practice and policy to effect change but has also been used to determine more appropriate methods of resource allocation to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and equity in the provision of public services.

Improving outcomes for Gypsies and Travellers in the Planning and Criminal Justice Systems

Research Team: Dr Zoe James

Gypsy, Traveller and Roma communities face considerable disadvantage when it comes to accessing both accommodation options and public services, such as schools and healthcare. However, Dr James’ research has also highlighted both the extent to which Gypsies and Travellers are vulnerable to hate crime (crime committed against them on the basis of their identity) and the inadequate support available to them, particularly in policing. These findings have gone on to directly inform government policy including, for example, the explicit inclusion, for the first time, of Gypsies and Travellers in the Government’s Plan to Tackle Hate Crime.

Interrogating the Rationale and Logic of Neo-Liberal Criminal Justice Policy 

Research Team: Dr Jill Annison, Dr Patricia Gray and Dr Lesley Simmonds

Over the last twenty years a discernible shift in Criminal Justice Policy has taken place whereby policy interventions have become increasingly privatised and market-driven in light of the wider political-economic paradigm of neo-liberalism. The research team have been exploring this trend through a variety of projects concerned with examining and evaluating interventions to address adult and youth offending and support victims of crime. The core findings from this research have been widely disseminated and used to inform policy, consider best practice and engage with various statutory and third sector agencies.

Sustainable Finance: Liquidity and the Management of Risk

Research Team: Professor Salima Paul and Dr Simon Ashby

The recent financial crisis has highlighted how weaknesses in risk management can have severe consequences for the stability of financial systems, the availability of credit, and the economic health of nations. Meanwhile, limited liquidity, including unreliable cash-flow, has been seen as a major impediment to growth amongst small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) during the post-recession recovery. The work by Professor Paul and Dr Ashby has sought to address these issues and has informed both industry practice and government policy.