TPI brings together world-leading and UK experts from a range of disciplines and backgrounds. Experts work directly with policymakers and businesses to better understand, measure, and enable improvements in productivity across the whole of the UK, with the aim to improve living standards and wellbeing.
Impact acceleration funding allows research organisations to work with partners from all sectors to apply social sciences knowledge to challenges in society.
The aim of this funding opportunity is to better understand strategic approaches adopted by organisations to improve productivity and develop the evidence base to support the conversation around productivity with business leaders.
We invite research applications that will provide tested or testable frameworks, solutions or tools to address productivity at functional level or at the level of executive leadership teams within organisations.
We are looking for academic researchers to help better understand within-firm decision making and strategy to improve business performance and productivity within key professions or firm functions such as:
- digital and IT
- human resources (HR)
- marketing and operations
Although research shows some examples of firms explicitly addressing productivity, it is often not recognised as a key driver of sustained business growth; nor do businesses recognise their productivity performance as critical to the economic health of their local area and the nation.
A typical scenario is that firms track and manage other key performance indicators (KPIs) such as:
- profits and margins
- employee engagement
- customer satisfaction
- brand impact
However, the link between KPIs and productivity is not often understood. As a result, the executive leadership team or board of an organisation, or both, fail to explicitly address productivity as part of their strategy.
TPI is undertaking a multiyear research project to help executives better understand how their actions feed into productivity, both at a functional level and at an organisational level.
Read a preliminary report: strategic productivity for the leadership team
The key research questions for this funding opportunity are:
- what key aspects of performance drive productivity within one specific or multiple functions, such as operations, finance, HR, research and development and innovation, digital and IT, marketing, etc.?
- how is productivity reflected in decision making at the functional level?
- how do these functional aspects of productivity feed into planning and strategy at the organisational level?
More specifically we want to understand:
- how do business leaders make decisions around investment and activity on the five key productivity drivers?
- how do business leaders engage in strategic planning and decision making for productivity?
- where are the barriers and blockages to make or implement decisions to improve productivity, and how are they being addressed?
- how is productivity included in strategic planning?
- how do different functional leaders address productivity in their strategic planning?
Five productivity drivers
The five productivity drivers according to research by TPI are:
- Innovation and digital adoption.
- Worker skills, engagement and wellbeing.
- Management competencies.
- Access to finance and cost savings.
- Marketing and communication.
We are particularly interested in applications to understand the actions and behaviours of senior leaders in one or more the following functions:
- digital, IT and technology
- HR, people and organisational development
We invite applications that focus on how the functional insights on productivity are brought together and made operational for strategic planning and decision-making by the executive leadership team led by the general manager or chief executive officer.