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School of Business and Management

Research Impact and Engagement

Since its inception, the School has had a longstanding commitment to the production of socially and economically impactful research. This follows from our vision to promote social justice, sustainability and good governance in business and society and in the management of organisations.

Many of our academics engage frequently with various stakeholders in the public, private and third sectors, in the UK, Europe and around the world. Over the last few years alone, the research produced by our academics has influenced the policies and practices of these stakeholders making a positive difference to the lives of many communities around the world. Key stakeholders in our ongoing impact work include:

  • UK and EU countries’ government departments and agencies
  • Directorates-General of the European Commission
  • Businesses based in the UK and internationally
  • Trade unions and professional associations
  • Non-profit organisations

Examples of the School’s impact and engagement work

Increasing gender and ethnic diversity on UK corporate boards and in senior leadership 

Dr Elena Doldor’s work has shaped national policy on women on boards and sectoral practice on ethnic diversity in senior leadership in UK businesses. Recommended interventions in her research reports on gender balance on FTSE350 boards and causes for female under-representation were endorsed by leading national reviews into women leaders (Davies 2011-2015; Hampton-Alexander 2015-2020). Dr Doldor’s research has influenced national policy resulting in the recommendation and widespread adoption of voluntary gender targets on boards and below, and increased gender balance on boards. Her work on pipelines of board talent examining ethnic diversity in leadership within a Big 4 professional services firm resulted in the firm changing its approach to developing over 100 ethnic minority leaders.


Improving international fisheries trade relations for development

Professor Liam Campling’s research and policy work on the global value chains in tuna, international fisheries trade and development has provided the bases for recommending more development-friendly ‘rules of origin’ for local fish processing to the East African Community in its trade agreement with the EU. His work has contributed to the official thinking and positions of six Pacific Island members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in the negotiation of prohibitions on fisheries subsidies, and informed the decision by the United Nations General Assembly to grant an extended transition to the Solomon Islands in its graduation from Least Developed Country status, thereby preserving  around 1,800 fish processing jobs.


Shaping policy on the regulation of occupations in the UK and EU labour market

Dr Maria Koumenta’s research has produced an evidence base on occupational regulation in the EU and UK, drawing key policy-makers’ attention to the adverse labour market effects of such regulation and providing the intellectual context for the EU Commission’s policy on the optimal levels of entry regulation to occupations.

Her work has informed the Transparency and Mutual Evaluation Exercise that the EU required Member States to undertake to assess the proportionality of existing regulatory arrangements. It also supported the follow-up policy formulation on relaxing the regulatory burden that Member States place on occupational entry presented in the Commission’s Single Market Strategy.


Supporting regulators with information-based approaches to drive positive changes in business behaviours, promote innovation and sustainable economic growth

Dr Panos Panagiotopoulos has undertaken a series of activities in collaboration with the UK government and the regulatory community on information-based approaches such as ratings, ranking, labels and similar disclosure practices. This work is supporting UK regulators to implement these approaches in domains such as the environment (DEFRA) and food policy (FSA) and to coordinate the government approach via the Better Regulation Executive (BEIS). The work has shaped regulatory design and enforcement by conducting pilot studies, collating contemporary research, evaluating the effectiveness of the range of instruments available and translating the findings through advisory groups, networks of experts, placements, training events, evidence in parliamentary select committees and policy documents.


Shaping and informing public policy in response to the financialisation of accounting practices and corporate behaviour

Professor Colin Haslam’s, Professor Sukhdev Johal’s, and Dr Nick Tsitsianis’ research in the area of financialisation has contributed to policy informing reports commissioned by the Labour Party, specifically on proposals for reforming company board structure, executive pay and regulation of audit practice. In addition, their work has also informed policy-making by the Welsh Assembly leading to procurement experiments with local SME providers of elderly social care with a view to reducing risk exposure from financialized companies.


Improving collective bargaining regulations and employment outcomes

Professor Pedro Martins’ research on the economic effects of collective bargaining - and specifically the extensions of collective agreements to non-unionised workers - has had a significant impact on employment policy in France, Greece and Portugal. His research and engagement with policymakers have driven policy reforms, enhanced labour market resilience and preserved several tens of thousands of jobs in Greece and Portugal. In France, Professor Martins’ research influenced the competition authority’s views on extensions and led to the establishment of a new monitoring and advice body. On a global scale, his research has shaped the policy thinking about collective bargaining of the OECD, the European Commission and the IMF.


Generating a new practice agenda on executive coaching

Based on a systematic review of executive coaching outcomes research, Dr Andromachi Athanasopoulou (with Prof. Sue Dopson, University of Oxford) assessed the quality of studies in the field and identified the antecedents and effects of executive coaching practice. Moreover, the study identified a range of practice pitfalls, but most importantly, offered a rigorous and detailed mapping of how and what aspects of the social context within which an intervention takes place are shaping coaching outcomes.

The research has been endorsed by practitioners in the UK and globally (e.g. US, Spain, Finland Australia) who have used the study to inform and improve their practice. Moreover, publications from this study have been included in the curricula of several Universities in the UK and abroad at undergraduate and postgraduate level, but also at executive education level, having a critical impact in the integration of executive coaching interventions in executive education offerings.

Andromachi and her co-author have received local and international awards for this research including an Academy of Management award as part of a joint executive coaching research submission which has been highlighted as making "the most significant contribution to advance management education and development”.

The present study has turned the executive coaching field’s attention from a focus on outcomes per se to a focus on the contextual factors that shape executive coaching outcomes. In a field that has been obsessed with measuring outcomes, this study has a transformative effect on how coaching is approached as a practice and as a subject of study. The impact of this research is of global scale and the beneficiaries include coaches, coachees (executives), HR practitioners, coaching and leadership development purchasers, psychologists, psychology and management academics with an interest in coaching research, heads of management education departments/business schools who wish to offer more personalised offerings to their executive education participants and MBA directors who incorporate coaching in the MBA curricula. At the end, though, the ultimate beneficiaries are the coachees – the individuals who are being coached by practitioners who have used this study to reflect and improve their coaching practice.


How to prevent Bank Runs?

Professor Gulnur Muradoglu’s research has focused on financial crisis and behavioural factors and human connections that relate to unfolding of financial crisis across the globe whose consequences are destructive for economies and especially the vulnerable groups for whom crisis mean job losses and hard to manage conditions for survival.

Professor Muradoglu’s work has involved ongoing collaborations with regulators from various different countries and practitioners from finance industry to prevent financial crisis and develop policy to mitigate damage. She has developed mitigating strategies for crisis resolution, particularly in relation to the phenomenon of bank runs that have been applied by major regulators in North America, UK, Europe and Asia. Her work in developing public awareness campaigns with Deposit Insurance Corporations in North America and Asia has resulted in an increase in the public’s understanding of financial regulations and protections, which those regulators has identified as contributing to fulfilling their duties of establishing and maintaining financial stability.


Reshaping the Eurozone (EZ) debate in a pivotal country – Italy

Professor Brigitte Granville’s research on the problems of the Eurozone (EZ) led to a 2017 paper with a co-author who, along with another Italian economist colleague active in this field, became the senior parliamentarians piloting the Italian government’s economic policy through the legislature. The core feature of that policy is a determination to bring about material changes in the EZ. Any such changes would be profoundly significant for the future of the European economy. This research has provided firm intellectual underpinning for the Italian government’s policy and thereby, reinforced the political will to stick to that policy strengthening perceptions among policymakers and financial markets (with powerful evidence on this point) that the Italian government is not bluffing. It is expected that this will strengthen prospects for EZ change towards either deeper integration or dismantlement.


Intellectual Property Rights in Europe

Dr Georg von Graevenitz’s research and policy work focuses on the effectiveness of patent and trademark systems. The research generates economic impact, by altering how patents and trademarks are issued, which affects innovation incentives and market competition. A specific focus is on clutter on the trademark register of the EU, which arises where trademarks are registered but not used, thereby creating costs for other users of the trademark system. Dr von Graevenitz’s work has influenced reform to address clutter of the EU trademark system. The European Union Trade Mark Regulation ((EU) 2015/2424, entered into force on 23 March 2016) and the Trade Mark Directive (EU 2015/2436) passed on 16 December 2015. Analysis of the reform is of current interest to policy makers in Europe, the United States and Australia.