Survey on Northern Ireland business management practices

A new survey of management practices in Northern Ireland’s businesses has been launched, titled Northern Ireland Management Practices Survey 2022.

The survey is being run by academics from Queen’s University Belfast, in partnership with the Productivity Institute’s Northern Ireland Productivity Forum, and seeks to measure how local businesses perform relative to best practice, while helping to identify where they can improve their performance by calculating management practices score for those that complete the survey.

John Turner, Northern Ireland Productivity Forum Lead and Professor at Queen’s Management School, explains: “Northern Ireland has the lowest productivity of any UK region, with a 20% gap to the UK average. International evidence shows a strong link between management practices and low productivity, but we have very little evidence for Northern Ireland.

“The aim of the survey is to understand how management practices vary across different types of businesses and across different sectors in Northern Ireland. In return for completing the survey, each business can opt-in to receive their own management practices score, which will be benchmarked relative to their peers and best practice.”

The survey is open to businesses which operate in Northern Ireland and have at least five employees.

To take part in the survey, please click this link.

Dr David Jordan, Research Fellow in Economics at Queen’s Management School and a research associate of The Productivity Institute, said: “To calculate a business’s score, we measure their current management practices across several key areas, including employment practices, service delivery, key performance indicators, and their use of targets.

By surveying a large number of businesses across Northern Ireland, it will create a new evidence base for policymakers when considering how best to support local business and raise productivity”.

The survey builds on research already completed by the Northern Ireland Productivity Forum, in its paper, Northern Ireland’s Productivity Challenge: Exploring the issues. The paper highlights the structural headwinds that Northern Irish industries have experienced and the unique struggles the territory deals with sharing a land border with an EU member, the Republic of Ireland.

Emphasising the benefits for local businesses in taking part in the survey, Dame Rotha Johnston DBE, Chair of the Northern Ireland Productivity Forum, said: “There are many successful businesses in Northern Ireland, but there are also those that may not have realised their full potential. Through this survey, we want to help local businesses identify where they can improve and learn from best practice, so that they can continue to grow and succeed.”

Further information about the survey is available on the survey site: