ESRC PhD studentship - J Mowbray & L Jenkins

  This research studentship will investigate innovation and best practice in skills development in the workplace in Scotland, drawing comparisons with the rest of the UK and other countries. It will explore how employee-led workforce learning can be encouraged in Scotland to deliver innovation that leads to competitive advantage, employment growth and increased productivity.
The aims of the study are to:
1. Identify factors that underpin successful workplace learning and innovation

2. Determine how skills innovation in the workplace is facilitated by organisational culture and strategy
3. Demonstrate how a skills agency can support innovation in the workplace
4. Formulate practical and workable recommendations to policy makers concerned with the skills agenda in Scotland.
The main research questions to be addressed are:
1. How is workplace learning related to innovation?
2. What formulation of workplace learning promotes innovation?
3. How do OECD countries compare in their capacity for supporting workplace learning and innovation?
4. How do organisational culture and strategy facilitate or inhibit the development of skills aligned to innovation?
5. What is the role of agencies external to employing organisations in promoting training for innovation, and innovation in the workplace?
The work will make several broad theoretical contributions. It will identify good practice on how workplace training can be implemented to facilitate workplace learning so that incremental and radical innovation is fostered. Its impact will be felt in Information Science by furthering theoretical insight into how existing knowledge is shared, used, stored, and created. It will thus contribute to the field’s sub-domain of knowledge management. Located within the context of employment and labour market research, the study will also advance statistical methodologies for labour market investigations.
It is anticipated that the findings from this work will be used to prioritise investment in workplace learning for the benefit of Scotland’s economy. This responds to the wider skills policy agenda in Scotland that promotes self-efficacy. The findings will also be useful for informing agencies such as Skills Development Scotland in developing appropriate services for employees and employers.
A successful PhD completion will result in the addition of a skilled researcher to the Scottish research community. His/her PhD thesis will provide the evidence base that can be used to inform the development, implementation and evaluation of skills policy in Scotland as relevant to workplace learning and innovation.
In the longer term the study’s output will influence teaching and further research designed to improve understanding of current issues relevant to economic and social policy in Scotland. In particular, it will help ensure that future research in the domain is relevant, produces results that can deliver impact, and that are sustainable in encouraging enterprise and entrepreneurship in the Scottish economy.

  • Start Date:

    1 October 2014

  • End Date:

    16 November 2018

  • Activity Type:

    Externally Funded Research

  • Funder:

    Economic and Social Research Council, Skills Development Scotland

  • Value:

    £115978

Project Team