Henley Research: BREXIT Survey: Early Insights - Impact and readiness

7 June 2017

Henley Research: BREXIT Survey: Early Insights - Impact and readiness

In April 2017, Henley Business School launched the Brexit Survey – it focuses on how Brexit will affect business, trade, real estate, leadership and entrepreneurship. Most importantly, how Brexit might affect the wider community and, in particular, how it will affect you, our alumni.

In April 2017, Henley Business School launched the Brexit Survey – it focuses on how Brexit will affect business, trade, real estate, leadership and entrepreneurship. Most importantly, how Brexit might affect the wider community and, in particular, how it will affect you, our alumni.

To date we have received 850 responses and we would like to say a big thank you to all our alumni who took time from their busy schedules to share their views with us.

The survey responses appear to be well balanced in terms of the company characteristics where respondents currently work (size, revenues, ownership, etc), with a significantly higher representation from the services/tertiary sector (90% of respondents).  Almost half of participating alumni are UK based (48%), with the remainder split between EU (29%) and non-EU based alumni (23%).

Early insights indicate a varying degree of perceived impact experienced already by respondents’ organisations (depending on the industry and existing trade and investment links with the EU). Some major challenges already faced by survey respondents include: contracts/investments put on hold/delayed/cancelled; loss of staff; import price increases due to weaker sterling, and sales/growth slowdown. Areas of immediate opportunity are: advantages of weak sterling for both exports and attracting investment into the UK; proactive seeking of new opportunities in Asia, and opportunities in the UK market (less competition).

Looking at the post-Brexit period, 38% of respondents perceive no direct impact on their organisation in the first two to three years after the UK leaves the EU. The remaining 62% express a mix of potential positive impact and challenges, with the overall weighted scores tipping heavily towards perceived challenges rather than opportunities. The chart shows those areas reported as major concerns.

Looking at how organisations are currently approaching the assessment of Brexit implications on their operations, 40% of respondents report that no formal activity has been undertaken yet, and a further 30% report that only early discussions at top level have been initiated. Just 15% have allegedly undertaken a more proactive and substantial approach to assessing the Brexit impact and established a taskforce or a defined Brexit strategy.

An initial analysis of the survey data implies a prevailing focus on the challenges versus the opportunities posed by Brexit, both in the short term (the period leading up to March 2019) and the longer term (the two to three years after March 2019).

The ongoing in-depth analysis of the survey data will lead to a better understanding of the issues that you, our alumni, see emerging as a result of the Brexit process. Going forward, we can look at how the data maps to your own industry, plus establish how Henley Business School can adapt and provide as much support as possible to our community of alumni and stakeholders.

If you and your organisation would like to get involved in informing and shaping this forward-looking research please contact: e.beleska-spasova@henley.ac.uk

Dr Elena Beleska-Spasova, Head of Post-experience Postgraduate Programmes, Subject Area Leader for International Business