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SBRC current research

Learn more about the different research projects currently being undertaken at the Small Business Research Centre.

Review of the Banking Complaints and Alternative Disputes Resolution (ADR) Landscape for UK's SMEs

This project, commissioned by UK Finance, involves the SBRC providing the evidence base for a Review led by Simon Walker, former Director General of the Institute of Directors. It focuses on the disputes between financial service providers and small businesses. The SBRC, led by Professor Blackburn, will undertake an independent analysis of a comprehensive range of evidence, including secondary and primary data sources. This will then be used to underpin evidence-based conclusions to support recommendations for the industry and government.

Exploring the London freelance workforce, 2016

Freelancers are important contributors to the London economy. This report presents data drawn from official UK government sources to build a portrait of the capital's 400,000 freelancers with regard to gender, age, occupation. The project, led by Professor John Kitching, was commissioned by IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed.

The Quality of New Forms of Self-Employment, OECD

This project, headed by Professor John Kitching, draws on secondary sources to investigate new forms of self-employment in the developed economies. Specifically, the aims are to: Identify emerging forms of self-employment and their key characteristics; compare the quality of new forms of self-employment with the more ‘traditional' models of full-time solo self-employment and employment'; explore what types of policies and programmes aim to ensure that these new forms of self-employment are ‘quality' labour market activities; and to provide some key messages for policy-makers.

Freelancing and Flexibility: How Freelancers Enable Organisations to Meet Their Labour Requirements, British Academy

Professor John Kitching and Dr Mara Iskandarova are working on a study that develops our understanding of the expanding UK freelance labour market by investigating working practices in two contrasting sectors - publishing and architecture. Prior research on freelancing has been limited and fragmented and has focused largely on worker characteristics. The study extends previous research by investigating the demand for freelancers' services and specifically the need for workforce flexibility.

The study investigates (1) the nature, extent and drivers of end-user demand for freelancers, and the effect of using freelancers on organisational performance; (2) freelancers' responses to end-users' flexibility policies and the impact on working practices. Overall, the study develops our understanding of how end-users and workers jointly produce a dynamic and flexible freelance labour market and the challenges the parties face.

Contact us

Prof Robert Blackburn
Associate Dean for Research
Kingston Business School

SBRC current research

Faculty of Business and Social Sciences
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