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School of Business and Management

Research Impact

The School has had since its inception 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 the management of organisations, which involves a strong research impact dimension.

Indeed, many of our academics engage frequently with multiple 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 impacted the views and decisions of these stakeholders in multiple dimensions, making a positive difference to the lives of many people around the world, such as:

  • improving the gender balance in UK boards,
  • supporting fisheries in East Africa and the Pacific Islands,
  • promoting the role of labour standards in international trade agreements,
  • modernizing the regulation of occupations and creating more job opportunities across the EU,
  • shaping EU trade mark regulations so that firms can enter markets more effectively, and
  • increasing the resilience of the labour markets of Greece and Portugal.

Some of the key stakeholders in our ongoing impact work include:

  • the UK and Italian parliaments,
  • the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,
  • the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills,
  • multiple directorates-general of the European Commission,
  • the Governments of Greece and Portugal,
  • the East African Community, and
  • a large number of businesses based in the UK and abroad.

Our impact strategy has also been enhanced by REF 2014, which highlighted world-leading cases of research impact within the School and supported our overall REF results.

Case Studies

Dr Liam Campling
International fisheries Trade and Development

Liam Campling's research on the global tuna industry, the international trade regime and developing countries, and his ongoing policy collaboration with development agencies, trade unions and NGOs, has led to the following three sets of impacts:
(1) influencing free trade agreement (FTA) policy and legislation to support fisheries development in developing countries in the East African Community and the Pacific Islands;
(2) Contributing to the shaping of debates on fisheries subsidies disciplines at the WTO; and,
(3) influencing public debate and understanding of fisheries industry and policy.

Dr Liam Campling
Labour Provisions in EU Trade Policy

Research on labour provisions in international trade agreements by Liam Campling has led to the following five impacts:
i) Shaping the debate on the effectiveness of, and reform to, the European Union’s approach to Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD), with respect to labour provisions in its Free Trade Agreements.
ii) Informing the position of international trade union organisations and Members of the European Parliament in relation to debates over the reform of the EU’s approach to TSD.
iii) Establishing and informing a civil society group (‘Domestic Advisory Groups for Change’) with participants from civil society organisations involved in various EU FTAs.
iv) Contributing evidence-based analysis that fed into the EU triggering the TSD chapter in December 2018 to establish consultations with South Korea on its non-ratification of four ILO Core Labour Standards.
v) Contributing to the development of policy recommendations by civil society, European Commission and European Parliament on tailored labour rights ‘roadmaps’ and the improvement of monitoring and complaints by civil society on labour abuses in relation to the EU’s Generalised Systems of Preferences.

Professor Pedro Martins
Rethinking Collective Bargaining

Martins’ research on the economic effects of collective bargaining (and in particular the practice of the ‘extension of collective agreements’ to wider groups of workers) has had a major impact on government policy in Portugal and Greece. Moreover, the policies adopted there that were driven by his research had a positive impact in enhancing the resilience of those two labour markets and preserving several tens of thousands of jobs. Martins’ research has also had impact in leading to the establishment of a new body monitoring collective bargaining extensions in France and in shaping the policy thinking and recommendations about collective bargaining by the OECD and the European Commission. In the future, his research may also impact policy debate and government policy in Italy, China and Brazil.

Dr Georg von Graevanitz
Intellectual Property Rights in Europe

Georg’s research and policy work focus on the effectiveness of patent and the trademark systems. The research generates economic impact, by altering how patents and trademarks are issued, which affects innovation incentives and market competition. This case focuses on clutter on the trademark register of the EU. Clutter arises where trademarks are registered but not used, which creates costs for other users of the trademark system. The EU reformed aspects of its trademark system, in part to address clutter. The reform is encoded in European Union Trade Mark Regulation ((EU) 2015/2424, entered into force on 23 March 2016) and the Trade Mark Directive (EU 2015/2436) passed 16 December 2015. Analysis of the reform is of current interest to policy makers in Europe, the United States and Australia. A related impact is from education. This comes from co-authoring a chapter on Innovation, Information and the Networked Economy in an economics textbook sold and used world-wide (The Economy) [5.7].

Professor Colin Haslam & Dr Nick Tsitsianis
Financial reporting, resource stewardship and challenges to corporate governance

This impact case is broadly grounded in accounting. It is about how information disclosed by companies can be employed as a resource to assess the viability of companies and reveal the impact of accounting regulation on the governance of corporate resources. Research and reports produced include modelling carbon-financial risk in the corporate sector. Stress testing the viability of companies undertaking public sector contracts. Research outputs have also contributed to policy reports commissioned by the John McDonnell (Labour Party): HMRC and its public accountability; reforming executive pay; regulating audit and accounting practice; stakeholder inclusion in company boards and a policy paper submitted to 2070 Commission led by Lord Bob Kerslake.

Dr Maria Koumenta
Affecting Policy on the Regulation of Occupations in the Labour Market in the EU and UK

Dr. Maria Koumenta is a leading world expert on occupational regulation, having extensively researched its prevalence and impact on earnings, earnings inequality, employment, labour mobility and skills. Her research has provided the intellectual context for EU policy on how entry to occupations should be regulated and has increased attention on how occupations are regulated in the EU and UK. She has further advised on implementation and produced research that has evaluated its effects. In particular, her work informed the Transparency and Mutual Evaluation Exercise that the EU required Member States to undertake, and supported the follow-up policy formulation on regulating professions presented in the Commission’s Single Market Strategy, an impact that spreads across the entire EU workforce. Her research has also informed policy on the regulation of occupations by the HM Treasury and shaped the thinking of the BEIS in relation to the UK’s Action Plan for the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive.

Dr Elena Doldor
Improving gender and ethnic balance on UK boards and senior leadership

Research conducted by Doldor and Atewologun contributed to increasing gender and ethnic diversity on corporate boards and senior leadership in UK businesses. A set of projects monitored the gender and ethnic composition of FTSE100 boards, investigating causes for gender and racial imbalance at the top, and potential interventions. Ensuing reports were endorsed by leading national reviews (Davies and Hampton-Alexander Reviews into women leaders – Doldor; Parker Review into ethnicity on boards – Atewologun), and hosted on the government’s website. The work has influenced government policy, corporate practice and the wider debate about equality and inclusion in senior leadership. Another project focused on pipelines of board talent by examining ethnic diversity in a Big 4 professional services firm, resulting in the firm altering its approach to developing over 100 ethnic minority professionals, increasing engagement and retention.

Dr Panos Panagiotopoulos
Supporting regulatory innovation with information-based alternatives and data analytics

Regulatory alternatives offer innovative means for policy makers to deliver intended outcomes more effectively and often at lower cost. Panagiotopoulos and Bowen focus on information-based regulation (IBR) that occurs when regulators use information as a primary means to achieve their objectives (e.g. ratings, rankings, labels, inventories and other disclosure practices). Their research is supporting UK regulators to effectively implement information-based schemes in domains such as the environment (DEFRA) and food policy (FSA) and to further coordinate such activities via the Better Regulation Executive (BEIS). The research is shaping regulatory design and enforcement by conducting pilot studies, collating contemporary research, and translating the findings through committees, networks of experts, placements and training events. Further research in progress is exploring how UK regulators have been developing new capabilities in data analytics and artificial intelligence to support regulatory innovation.

Dr Andromachi Athanasopoulou
Executive Coaching Impact - Assessment of Evidence

This case study has generated a new practice agenda on executive coaching (EC) which shifts -at a global level- the field’s attention from a narrow focus only on outcomes to a more balanced focus on the management of contextual drivers to generate successful EC interventions. The impact applies both to EC practice and executive education contexts. Through a systematic review of EC outcome studies, the paper identifies the types of impact EC interventions generate, in what way EC works and where it does not but, most importantly, what are the drivers shaping EC practice, both at the individual and at the organisational level.

Professor Gulnur Muradoglu
Financial Stability in an Undisclosed Country

Professor Gulnur Muradoglu has contributed substantial research on international financial crises, particularly in relation to how human behaviour contributes to these crises. Through her research 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 Americas, Europe and Asia. Her work developing a public awareness campaign with the Undisclosed Country Regulatory Body has resulted in an increase in the public’s understanding of financial regulations and protections, which the regulatory body has identified as contributing to financial stability of sectors across the country.

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

Brigitte’s research on the problems of the Eurozone (EZ) has led up to a recent (2017) paper with a co-author who, along with another Italian economist colleague active in this field, have become the senior parliamentarians piloting the new 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 case study demonstrates two existing impacts of the knowledge and understanding to which Brigitte’s research has contributed. First, the research has provided firm intellectual underpinning for the new Italian government’s policy. Second, it has thereby reinforced the political will to stick to that policy and strengthened perceptions among policymakers and financial markets (with powerful evidence on this point) that the Italian government is not bluffing. The expected impact is that this combination of existing impacts will strengthen prospects for EZ change, towards either deeper integration or dismantlement. Brigitte’s current research has the potential to influence momentum behind such prospects in other decisive countries for the future of the EZ, particularly France.