Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

Institutional economics, entrepreneurship studies, political economy, organisation studies, financial economics


Francesca Gagliardi is Reader in Institutional Economics and Doctoral Research Tutor at Hertfordshire Business School. She is Operational Co-Lead for the University’s £1.25 million ESRC Impact Acceleration Account and a member of the Research Degrees Board. Francesca joined the Business School in 2006 as a Visiting Lecturer while she was a doctoral candidate. In 2009 she was appointed as Lecturer in Finance and later that year as Senior Lecturer in Finance. Francesca holds a BSc in Economics and Social Disciplines from the University of Calabria (Italy), an MSc in Economics from the University of York (UK), and a PGCE and a PhD from the University of Hertfordshire, which was awarded the Chancellor’s Medal for Outstanding Achievement in a Doctoral Research Programme in 2010. Francesca’s research applies comparative institutional analysis to the study of how the entrepreneurial ecosystem influences the creation, growth, performance, and survival of small and medium enterprises, particularly social enterprises and cooperatives. Her work in this area, published in leading international journals, is widely cited. It has been awarded the Horvat-Vanek Prize (International Association for the Economics of Participation, 2008) and has been included in the University’s REF 2014 and 2021 submissions. Francesca is a co-founder and the current Treasurer of the World Interdisciplinary Network for Institutional Research, as well as the Secretary of the UK Society for Co-operative Studies and Deputy Editor of the Journal of Co-operative Studies.

Education/Academic qualification

Economics, BSc, MSc, PhD


Associate Fellow, UK Higher Education Academy

External positions

Co-founder, Council member and Treasurer (elected), World Interdisciplinary Network for Institutional Research (WINIR)

Deputy Editor, Journal of Co-operative Studies

Trustee and Secretary, UK Society for Co-operative Studies

PhD Board Member, Doctorate Programme in Economics of the Tuscan Universities of Firenze, Siena and Pisa, Italy, University of Siena


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