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Introduction to Research and Thematic Groups


The School of Management is research intensive and underpinned by a strong grounding in the social sciences. We pursue a strategy of focusing our research activities and identity around the concept of responsible enterprise. This entails an ethical approach to managing within organisations, the impact of human enterprise on the environment, the interaction between forms of investment and social and organisational impact and the need to foster creativity and development.
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The School of Management operates four thematic groups which include academics, teaching fellows, researchers, visiting staff and PhD candidates. The thematic groups are:

The thematic groups are the main organising focus for research and its links into teaching, and it is here that scholarly activity and mentoring for early career and established staff takes place. Each thematic group is engaged in the development of activities which speak to wider audiences. Consequently, praxis and engagement infuse and invigorate our research activities. The School contributes to a number of research centres and institutes and these continue to be vehicles for research collaborations within and beyond the School, outwards facing activities and engagement. Members of the thematic groups contribute to the following Institutes and Centres:

  • Institute for Capitalising on Creativity, ICC
  • Centre of Social and Environmental Accounting Research, CSEAR
  • Centre for Responsible Banking and Finance, CRBF
  • Research Unit for Research Utilisation, RURU
  • Centre for Research into Information, Surveillance and Privacy, CRISP
  • Centre for the Study of Philanthropy and Public Good, CSPPG
  • Centre for Research into Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, CREDI; contact

The theoretical and empirical research undertaken by the subject groups strikes a balance between discipline-specific contributions, and the development of multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary work. This balance is reflected in our PhD programme. The School's emphasis is on sharing expertise and producing research of the highest quality. This is complemented by a first class Research Seminar Series (organised by the thematic groups). Previous presenters have included Mats Alvesson, Seth Armitage, Michael Barnett, Stewart Clegg, David Cooper, Keith Hoskin, Phil Molyneux, Lee Parker, Mike Reed, Richard Taffler and Richard Thorpe. Until summer 2017, a fifth thematic group, Cultural and Creative Industries, worked closely with the ICC, and hosted dynamic speakers including Bridget Fowler (British New Wave drama), Nick Prior (music in Reykjavik), Anna Upchurch (cultural policy), Alex Stanley (entrepreneurial ambition) and Nicola Searle (business models in digital media).

The sections below introduce the activities of each of the current thematic groups.

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Accounting, Governance and Organisations Group

Accounting, Governance and Organisations Group word cloudThe Accounting, Governance and Organistions Group [AGOG] focuses on the mechanisms of governance in organisations. Our research follows the circulation of numbers and discourses through accounting practices, regulatory assemblages, markets and other such organisational arrangements. It studies the construction of value in the post-modern world, and the processes of valuation and classification at work; we examine the construction of fact, of expertise, and of managerial agency. Within our shared intellectual framework, individual group members' research covers a wide range of interests: sustainability, the ethics and governance of management and organisations, markets, marketing and market exchange; it spans empirical sites such as water, waste, incentive systems, corporate accounting and accountability, and financial markets. We embrace largely qualitative methodological perspectives to construct our anthropology of governance. The group is underpinned by a commitment to understanding the ethics of governance and organisation, to responsible and sustainable enterprise. Our work has much to offer in understanding contemporary crises, whether of truth or politics.
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Individual group members are Julie Brooks, Anna Brown, John Ferguson, Lori Davis, Kirsty Holstead, Kelly Macatangay, Alison MacNeill-Weir, Rhona McLaren, Sam Mansell, Andreea Oniga, Francois-Regis Puyou (coordinator), Philip Roscoe (coordinator), Shona Russell, Lorna Stevenson, Lucy Wishart.

Please see Seminars and News - Archive for details of research seminars organised by the group.

We welcome applications from potential PhD students interested in pursuing research in areas related to the group theme. Interested individuals are advised to contact staff members directly. The group maintains close links with the Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research (CSEAR).

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Financial Institutions and Markets

Financial Institutions and Markets research thematic group wordcloudThe Financial Institutions and Markets Group has developed its research around three themes:
First, competition, risk and performance of financial institutions (especially banks, credit unions, Islamic banks and microfinance institutions) pre and post the global financial crisis.
Second, access to finance in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This includes various research projects examining traditional forms of debt-based finance and alternative forms of equity finance such as equity crowdfunding.
Third, responsible finance. Here the group investigates how social and environmental policies impacts performance of corporations and investment funds. As to the former, examples are the impact of pollution and carbon emissions on the cost of capital or firm value. As to latter, examples are studies regarding how social, religious or environmental constraints affect portfolio performance.
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Members of the group have advised a number of policy institutions including the Scottish and Irish Governments, the Institute for Chartered Accountants Scotland (ICAS), the OECD, the UK Financial Conduct Authority and the European Commission. In 2017, members of the group contributed to a HM Treasury Consultation on financing high growth innovative firms.

Members of the FIM group are also members of the Centre for Responsible Banking and Finance (CRBF) where much of the research on banking and finance within the School of Management takes place.

The membership of the group comprises: Pejman Abedifar, Kais Bouslah, Ross Brown, Jimmy Chen, Dimitris Chronopoulos (coordinator), Laurence Lasselle, Linh H Nguyen, Louis Nguyen, Daniel Oto-Peralias, Bert Scholtens, Anna Lucia Sobiech, John Wilson (coordinator) and Mao Zhang. A number of PhD candidates are members of this group, including: Edie Che Johari, Sotirios Kampanelis and Hiep Luu.

Please see Seminars and News - Archive for details of research seminars organised by the group.

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Knowledge and Practice

Knowledge and Practice research thematic group wordcloudThe Knowledge and Practice Group studies the relationship between knowledge, in all its forms, and practice in various areas of work across the private, public and third sectors. We are interested in the development of different ways of knowing and how this influences, and is influenced by, the actions and routines of individuals, groups and organisations.
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Within our group, researchers draw on a range of disciplines to examine the interrelationship between knowledge and practice, using a variety of methods and theoretical perspectives. Our research spans micro- meso- and macro-level analyses of knowing and doing, and the development of knowledge and practice. This includes studies of: the development of expertise, identities and new practices (e.g. in healthcare, accounting and creative settings); the mobilisation of research-based knowledge (e.g. around educational, environmental, healthcare, social care and philanthropic issues and activities); and the features and impact of grassroots activism in community woodlands.

Knowledge and Practice in Business and Organisations - book cover‌Members of the group work individually and in sub-groups on projects, which are supported and informed by the collaborative activities of the whole group. The latter has included the production of a book — Knowledge and Practice in Business and Organisation — which showcases some of the research undertaken by members of the group and discusses our collective understandings of the main perspectives on the interrelationship between knowledge and practice, including an emerging conceptual map of this field of research. The book also highlights the ways in which we work together to develop our own knowledge and practice. See more about the book launch and a slideshow about how the book was produced: book launch and slideshow.

We are not only interested in studying these issues but we also seek to engage with practitioners and policymakers in our fields to interest to influence and enhance their knowled ge and practice. One example is this is the research and engagement activities of members of the Research Unit for Research Utilisation (RURU), which were summarised in an impact case study [pdf] for the UK-wide research assessment process in 2014 (REF2014). Another example is the Centre for the Study of Philanthropy and Public Good (CSPPG), which works with individuals, organisations and other stakeholders — nationally and internationally — to provide a discussion and development forum on philanthropy and the public good.

Membership of the group comprises the following staff and research students: Cinla Akinci, Alina Baluch, Anna Brown, Ross Brown, Shiona Chillas, Anne-Marie Craig, Huw Davies, Martin Dowling, Siobhan Dumbreck, ‎ John Ferguson, Lisi Gordon (coordinator), Gail Greig, Bonnie Hacking, Paul Hibbert, Kirsty Holstead, Judith Hughes, Jeffrey Hyman, Tobias Jung, Laurence Lasselle, Charles Lovatt, Aly MacNeill-Weir, Brenda Marin, Rhona McLaren, Sandra Nutley, Kevin Orr‎, Alison Powell, Louisa Preston, Toma Pustelnikovaite, Benet Reid, Sandra Romenska, Shona Russell, Lorna Stevenson‎, Juliette Summers, Tricia Tooman, Vicky Ward (coordinator) and Lucy Wishart.

Please see Seminars and News - Archive for details of research seminars organised by the group.

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Organisations and Society

Organisations and Society research thematic group wordcloudOrganisations and Society is an interdisciplinary research group coordinated by David Dowell. It is concerned with the relations between organisations and society in the broadest possible sense.
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The group researches the role of organisations in shaping society and the role of society in shaping organisations. We examine this inter-relation from a range of theoretical perspectives (mainstream and critical), in a variety of empirical locations (from the micro-level of behaviour and inter-personal relations to the macro-level of institutions and societies) and adopting a range of qualitative (e.g. video-reflexive ethnography, ethnography, observation, interviews) and quantitative (panel, survey, experimental) analytical approaches. We interrogate taken-for-granted ideas about organisation and challenge orthodoxies of managerial practice. At the heart of our group is a concern with the sociological and psychological nature of organisational behaviour, and with the ethical and political context and consequences of organisations.

Our research engages with a wide range of issues across the social sciences. A sample of topics includes:

  • human resource management
  • marketing
  • non-profit organisations, and philanthropy
  • higher education
  • strategy
  • employees, employee ownership
  • social responsibility and sustainability
  • management and organisational learning
  • gender
  • inequality, equality, diversity and inclusion
  • organisations, organisational culture and performance
  • intuition
  • big data and surveillance
  • identity
  • wellbeing
  • creative industries.

The membership of the group comprises: Celal Cahit Agar, Cinla Akinci, Kirstie Ball, Alina Baluch, Bill Barlow, Boyka Bratanova, Julie Brooks, Ross Brown, Robert Brune, Eleanor Burt, Shiona Chillas, Lenna CumberbatchHuw Davies, Hannah Dean, David Dowell (coordinator), Martin Dowling, Siobhan Dumbreck, Tony Dundon, David Erdal, John Ferguson, Lisi Gordon, Robert Gray, Gail Greig, Hasan Harmanci, Tobias Hein, Paul Hibbert, Jasmin Hinds, Jeffrey HughesJeff Hyman, Tobias Jung, Mahmoud Khalik, Keyan Lai, Min Li, Brad MacKay, Sam Mansell, Brenda Marin, Rhona McLaren, Fergus Gilmour Neville, Ralitza Nikolaeva, Sandra Nutley, Matthew Pauley, Toma Pustelnikovaite, Jen Remnant, Sandra Romenska, Juliette Summers, Tricia Tooman, Roger von Laufenberg, Vicky Ward and Ruth Woodfield.

Visiting members include: Christine Coupland, Paul Dollman, Iain Henderson, John LuptonAlexa Rees-Jones and Keunsun You.

Members of the group also work with CRISP, CSPPG and ICC.

Please see Seminars and News - Archive for details of research seminars organised by the group.

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If cannot find what you are looking for or need to know more about research in the School please contact Professor John Wilson, Director of Research.