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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/D503981/1
Title: Closing the Gap - Moving to the Next Level: A Scoping Study
Principal Investigator: MacBryde, Professor J
Other Investigators:
Burns, Professor N Battisti, Professor G Szwejczewski, Professor M
Randle, Dr BJ Anon Higon, Dr MD
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Design Manufacture and Engineering Man
Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 05 December 2005 Ends: 04 December 2006 Value (£): 52,879
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Manufact. Business Strategy
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine Healthcare
Information Technologies Manufacturing
Transport Systems and Vehicles Electronics
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The research team proposing this scoping study are arguing that whilst there is a body of work, post Porter, investigating what needs to be done in terms of policy, investment and management skills etc (ie. the macro level), there is less work being done at the level of the firm. Further, the research team argue (and are backed up by calls from other quarters eg. TUC 2003, Tiratsoo & Tomlinson 2004) that what is needed is in-depth research at the firm level to gather evidence as to what factors are important in helping companies to successfully step up from the low road as Porter puts it - and to make the transition to a higher level in the value chain.The research team believe they are well placed to carry out research at the firm level, looking at organisations that have successfully repositioned themselves in the value chain. This research would investigate the factors that helped these companies to reposition themselves. However, before embarking on this research the team firstly want to validate the belief that companies who reposition themselves actually see improvements in productivity. Therefore the research team brings together researchers from a variety of disciplines, and who use a variety of research methods and instruments, to carry out research which will really cross the levels in addressing the issue of closing the productivity gap ( crossing the levels was agreed to a crucial in tacking the problem at the EPSRC Ideas Factory on Productivity in Jan 2005).The purpose of this scoping study is two-fold. Firstly we wish to gather data to prove empirically whether companies who do move up the value chain - or take the high road , to use Porters expression, really do achieve productivity gains. Secondly we wish to develop a methodology and research instruments, which will allow us to study organisations in-depth to learn what factors contribute to successful repositioning. The scoping study will allow us to test research instruments in the field before embarking on a larger scale investigation.
Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.strath.ac.uk