Theme leaders: Professor Patrick Gunnigle and Dr Siobhan Tiernan

The core research challenge under this theme is to investigate how economies can strike a balance between economic and social performance in promoting ‘best practice’ that enhances competitiveness and productivity while concurrently embracing good employment standards and enhancing human capital and partnership at work. 

Building on a long-established record of achievement in workforce management research and teaching at UL, this research theme focuses on workplace learning, human resource development and intellectual capital; work design, workplace relations and employee wellbeing; embedding foreign direct investment; strategic human resource management and business performance; and the political economy of workplace relations and labour markets.

Theme leaders: Prof. Helena Lenihan, email:; Prof. Philip O’Regan, email:; Prof. Bernadette Andreosso-O’Callaghan, email:; and Kathleen Regan, email:

The public policy component of the PPEGS research theme covers a broad range of issues including: industrial/enterprise policy (with a particular focus on the role of innovation and science policy targeted at firms);  economic and social development issues and policy; factors driving enterprise survival and growth and the role that public policy (amongst other factors) plays in this regard are also considered.  There is a concern with public policy evaluation and impact (at the micro, meso and macro levels), including ongoing research on taxation, research and development and privatisation policies. The focus on governance reflects the importance of matters relating to regulation (including professional self-regulation), corporate governance and ethics, sustainability and responsibility. Ongoing research activity in these areas embrace risk (including political risk) and governance (including management compensation contracts and corporate structure), behaviour and dynamics of boards of directors, regulatory and legislative compliance, control mechanisms in large, medium and small firms and corporate social responsibility. Emphasis on sustainability considers the topic both as an area of discrete interest, and one that offers interdisciplinary possibilities.  Indeed, an openness to interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research possibilities and collaborations is at the core of the philosophy of the researchers involved in this theme.