National Productivity Week 27th November 2023 | Visit Website

A diverse community of
leading experts, policymakers
and practitioners

The Institute’s key research themes
are led by ten academic partners
spread across the UK.

We’re a UK-wide research
organisation exploring what
productivity means for business

Businesses are crucial to solving
the UK’s productivity problems.


Purpose in business: empowering employees and enhancing productivity

Developing purpose in business defined in terms of focusing on finding profitable solutions for people and the planet is gaining government, business, and public attention. This is not only in relation to developing purpose but also how purpose can enhance productivity. One of the key challenges is how to empower employees to drive purpose.  This project will explore what purpose means for a range of employees, what would empower them to drive purpose and what skills they need. It will also identify what businesses need to do to support them, including changes in work organisation, job redesign, people management, worker voice practices within fair work principles.

The project will undertake secondary analysis of 14 businesses who have adopted business purpose. It will then interview 70 employee and 22 business managers from small, medium and large businesses with various ownership models in a range of sectors. This evidence-base will provide knowledge about empowering workers to drive purpose and provide recommendations for business and Scottish and UK Governments.

Lead researcher: Bridgette Wessels (University of Glasgow)

Collaborators: Anna Clover (University of Glasgow), Prosper, Peer Works.

University Of Glasgow