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Comment: Reflecting on a workshop on Post-Brexit Industrial and Regional Policy. By Professor Sumon Bhaumik

June 9th, 2017

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In March, Professors from the University of Sheffield (Sumon Bhaumik (pictured above), Heather Campbell and Philip McCann) sat around the table with peers from Aston (David Bailey) and Warwick (Nigel Driffield) Business School to discuss post-Brexit industrial and regional policy. They were joined by representatives from regional bodies, trade bodies, and the private sector including representatives of Oxford Economics, Performance Engineered Solutions Ltd, Sheffield City Region, South and East Yorkshire Federation of Small Businesses, South Yorkshire International Trade Centre, The Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire, and West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

The view about the likely impact of Brexit on trade, investment and corporate performance was mixed. The private sector view emphasized the positive economic news in the immediate aftermath of the referendum, and the ability of the private sector companies to strategize better for Brexit, which is expected at this stage, than for the financial crisis of 2008, which was unexpected. There was general consensus that the significant depreciation of the pound sterling could spur exports and firm performance, at least in the short term. The impact of Brexit on onshoring was also viewed as a potential opportunity, especially for SMEs. There was some optimism about UK’s ability to strike trade deals relatively quickly with countries from the Middle East and Latin America.

This optimism was tempered by the uncertainty about the new trade deal between the UK and the EU. In particular, there was concern among some workshop participants about the impact of the loss of single market access to the organisation of supply chains, and the implications of imposition of tariffs on industries such as automobiles whose components crossed UK’s international borders a number of times before they are used in the final product. The discussion, however, suggested that divergence between EU and UK regulations, especially about rules of origin and product standards, could pose a greater challenge to businesses than tariff barriers. The difficulties of contract enforcement in an environment of diverging regulations was also highlighted, and there was some concern about the general impact of Brexit on bureaucracy about all matters related to cross-border transactions. It was also felt that while any dip in the UK’s ability to attract FDI in the short run would recover, it might not recover to the pre-Brexit trend.

There was general consensus around the table that if the Brexit deal restricts free movement of labour, skill shortage – indeed labour shortage for some sectors such as agriculture and hospitality – might prove to be the biggest challenge facing UK businesses, in particular, those in the Midlands and Northern England. It was argued that, to begin with, there should be closer cooperation between the universities and the private sector to ensure that the labour force of the future not only has high levels of skills but can also adapt quickly to the rapid changes in technology that are manifested through increased use of AI and robotics. The panel was also mindful of the need to shape labour market policies in a way that facilitates inclusive growth in the future, such that post-Brexit policies and private sector performance have the necessary democratic legitimacy. Further, some on the panel felt that policies regarding skill development should be devolved to the regions that have greater understanding of the skill requirements of the local companies.

Many on the panel felt devolution of the power to the regions would enable policies better suited to local economies in post-Brexit UK. In particular, it was felt that, given the heterogeneity in the industrial composition of the regions that make up the UK, it is imperative to seek their views before any new trade deal or industrial strategy is finalised. Some on the panel voiced concerns about lack of engagement with central government to date to discuss the regions’ trade and industrial policy needs. Some felt that elected mayors might be able to better negotiate with the central government, and that they would also be helped by access to greater financial resources. However, it was also felt that regions would have to cooperate – for example, within the framework for the Northern Powerhouse – rather than compete for resources within a zero-sum bidding framework.

Paucity of time left some issues undiscussed. In particular, future discussions would have to reflect on whether effective devolution of economic power to the regions requires that they be given the power to borrow to invest in physical and human capital. This, in turn, would require a discussion about the financial infrastructure, such as a “muni” bond market, to facilitate such borrowing. Issues such as these, as well as discussion of policies formulated by the individual regions, are expected to be part of ongoing discussions involving the stakeholders represented at the workshop.

 

This workshop has been supported through The University of Sheffield’s ESRC Impact Accelerator Account

An extraordinary achievement – Dr Angela Carter awarded Lifetime Achievement Award

June 8th, 2017

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Angie Carter is not your average academic.

Her untraditional route to the top is a story of passion, tenacity and patience which has recently been acknowledged with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology (EAWOP).

As a long-standing member of the Institute of Work Psychology at the Management School, Angie’s career has been underpinned by a drive to develop learning in others. She said: “It’s a passion of mine to apply learning to practice. I’ve decided that the biggest success I’ve had isn’t just imparting learning to other people – it’s encouraging others to do so. Some of the people I have supervised (practitioners and PhD scholars) are supervising others now, and that’s extraordinarily nice to hear.”

Angie’s first foray into teaching was at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London – having trained in radiotherapy, she enjoyed developing people in a technical and a caring job. It was the 1980s and the hospital told her to ‘go out and get a degree’, which she embarked on part-time: “I really enjoyed the part of my work that was about communication with people – I’d been teaching ultrasonographers how to talk to their patients, so psychology appeared to be the most obvious thing for me to do.

“I caught the bug and knew I wanted to do more research after that.”

Her legacy in London continues, as she was one of the team who established a regional school of radiography which still exists in Charterhouse Square.

Redundancy from her job in the health service was a catalyst for change: “I started teaching leadership and management in the early 1990s. Twenty-plus years later, I’m still teaching leadership and management! So it’s interesting how things go around.

“Redundancy was a real schism in my career that took me into further study. I had an opportunity to do what I wanted to do – I met people from the Institute of Work Psychology and came up to Sheffield to apply for a research assistant role looking at the first big stress study in healthcare. Got that, and my PhD four years later. And here I still am!”

Volunteering for professional associations like EAWOP and the British Psychological Society (BPS) has shaped Angie’s career for decades. After time spent on the BPS’s international committee, she was invited to join EAWOP’s executive committee on which she spent six years, one of the driving factors behind this award: “I got to meet fantastic people but built an unhappy image of the continent. If you look at Europe from the Western side, we have strong educational pathways, well-formed practitioner-academic roles, and work psychology is buzzing. Go further East, and it’s much less so.  Not only is there more poverty, but there isn’t a defined academic core of study.

“They just don’t have the opportunities – academic salaries are so low that work psychologists have to practice, so they don’t have time to do much research. There’s a flattening of ability, and as I met people there through EAWOP, we formed a group called the Baltic Alliance. I brought them together, enabling better funding for educational and research projects. They all became EAWOP constituents and one of my roles in the executive committee was to expand these numbers – I started with about ten, and left with 34. I expanded the scope of EAWOP, and what it could achieve.”

Building constituents was just the beginning of Angie’s EAWOP journey. While developing these links across Europe, she was working with practitioner Ute Schmidt-Brasse to develop a practice-based journal for the association – they’re now into their ninth year of publishing In-Journal, and it goes from strength to strength. Angie also established the Worklab, an annual meeting for work psychology practitioners with a minimum of two years’ experience, which again aims to bridge the gap between research and practice.

Back in Sheffield, Angie contributes to the Management School’s Masters in Occupational Psychology and Work Psychology, running a module called Applying Psychology to Work and Organisations. The module is assessed by a portfolio based on ten elements of practice that make a good work psychologist. She said: “The portfolio makes the applied learning more real for students and prepares them for their future work roles.”

“There are a number of challenges facing graduates – my advice would be not to just chase ‘any job’ – pursue an area of work that you’re passionate about. Use every opportunity you can to network and make contacts – we offer extraordinary opportunities for students that may mean a little bit of work outside the general curriculum, but you’ll get noticed.”

Angie considers ‘getting real’ as a concern for work psychology as a whole, particular post-recession when organisations are still keeping a close eye on the bottom line: “What worries me is that a lot of areas of research are too narrow and don’t look at the big picture facing business now, which is how to get the best performance from employees so organisations can achieve their goals in tough times.

“I think there’s a reality check that needs to happen – we need to research the big important questions, rather than things companies don’t want to know about. They’re interested in engaging, but they need to see that engagement relate to performance.”

The study of organisations is shaping Angie’s research now. She’s looking at youth employment – why businesses choose not to employ young people, what they don’t understand about the 18 to 24-year old demographic, and what they’re missing out on: “There are two sides, and until we start researching the work side of employability, we won’t get an answer to the big questions of getting young people into good work roles.”

The Lifetime Achievement Award from EAWOP is a wonderful summary of Angie’s career – recognising her voluntary work and contribution to the lives of work psychologists around the world. The Management School is incredibly proud of her exceptional contribution.

Highly commended: How SUMS impressed AACSB

June 6th, 2017

 

L-R: Bob Reid, Executive Vice President and Chief Accreditation Officer from AACSB, with Yvonne Beach, Prof David Oglethorpe and Prof Andrew Simpson from the Management School

Pictured above (L-R): Bob Reid, Executive Vice President and Chief Accreditation Officer from AACSB, with Yvonne Beach, Prof David Oglethorpe and Prof Andrew Simpson from the Management School

From an intensive focus on careers, to impact on organisations and commitment to the mission and vision, Sheffield University Management School has received standout feedback from accrediting body, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

In April, the School announced that it has been awarded another five years of accreditation from AACSB, further to a visit from their peer review team comprising Deans from thee other international business schools. Amongst the formal feedback from AACSB are a number of strengths, innovations, features and practices which they have chosen to commend.

The panel praises the School’s research, employability initiatives and its work with organisations, highlighting how these activities link back to a recognised mission and vision used by the Dean, Prof David Oglethorpe, to embed socially responsible and sustainable practices throughout.

A research-driven environment which impacts on learning and teaching is core to the School, and the University as a whole. AACSB’s panel credited this approach, also noting that toolkits deriving from academic research projects had contributed positively to a variety of organisations, including the International Labour Organisation.

This link with business was also recognised as excellent in the context of Futures First, the School’s student employability initiative which draws on expertise and knowledge from its advisory board members, whose high profile day jobs inform some of the content.

Professor Oglethorpe said: “I’m so incredibly proud of the School, which has once again been granted the full five-year accreditation from AACSB. This is a wonderful result and testament to everything we have all worked very hard towards.

A further five years of AACSB accreditation cements Sheffield’s position as having a top one per cent global business school.

Click here to read our Mission and Vision.

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AACSB were impressed that the School’s mission and vision were embedded throughout the School

Celebrated authors: Best paper awards for SUMS researchers

June 6th, 2017

A number of papers from academics at the Management School have been acknowledged as outstanding across revered journals.

In the annual Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence, two papers from SUMS were deemed the best of the year. The International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research named a paper by Dr Ranis Cheng and Dr Mike Simpson from Sheffield University Management School, alongside lead author Dr Sheilagh Resnick (Nottingham Trent University) and Dr Fernando Lourenco (Institute for Tourism Studies, Macau) ‘Marketing in SMEs: a “4P” self-branding model’, as outstanding.

Meanwhile, the Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal crowned a paper by Dr Panayiota (Julie) Alevizou and Dr Caroline Oates with Dr Claudia Henninger (University of Manchester), called ‘What is sustainable fashion?’.

Both articles are freely available to all for one year and will be promoted as the journal sample article.

From the Institute of Work Psychology, Dr Carolyn Axtell’s paper alongside the University of Manchester’s David Holman, ‘Can job redesign interventions influence a broad range of employee outcomes by changing multiple job characteristics? A quasi-experimental study’ has been awarded Best Paper by the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.

Finally, a paper by Sheffield’s Prof Tim Vorley and Dr Nick Williams (University of Leeds) won the prize for Best Paper from the International Small Business Journal. Entitled ‘Between petty corruption and criminal extortion: How entrepreneurs in Bulgaria and Romania operate within a devil’s circle’, you can click here to read the paper.

Representing Sheffield: Jessica reaches finals of Undergraduate of the Year Awards

May 5th, 2017

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One of our first-year International Business Management students is a UK Management Undergraduate of the Year Award 2017 finalist.

Jessica Lane, the only finalist in the awards representing the University of Sheffield, applied in January and was shortlisted – after a rigorous assessment process she reached the finals, held recently in London.

Jessica said: “I submitted my application after receiving emails about the Undergraduate of the Year awards. After some online tests, I was chosen from 300 applicants for a telephone interview. Forty-five successful candidates then attended an Enterprise Rent-A-Car assessment centre in Surrey which was really tough.”

“I was delighted to be chosen as one of the top ten to attend the finals in Canary Wharf and feel so proud to have represented Sheffield in becoming a UK Management Undergraduate of the Year Award 2017 finalist! I never expected to get as far as I did, and coming away with two summer internships with Enterprise Rent-A-Car was a great conclusion to an incredible experience!”

Other finalists attended from all over the UK, including Aston University, the University of Exeter and Strathclyde.

Programme director for BA International Business Management, Dr Julie Alevizou, said: “I’m so proud of Jessica’s achievement, especially reaching this level of the competition in her first year at Sheffield. The assessment centre had a very practical focus, including tasks such as ‘leading a morning meeting’, and it’s testament to her commitment to studies and natural leadership skills that Jessica progressed to the final stage.”

Click here to read more about the Undergraduate of the Year competition.

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Reporting a positive start to the year: Management School contributes to Sheffield City Region economic survey

May 5th, 2017

Analysis on survey data performed by experts at SUMS suggests that Sheffield City Region firms continued to show growth in both domestic and export markets since the New Year, and also demonstrates increased investment in plant, people and training.

Over 300 business leaders in the service and manufacturing sectors completed the Sheffield City Region Quarterly Economic Survey for Q1 2017 to report a mainly positive start to the year. They forecast a strong outlook for sales in the next quarter with manufacturing firms foreseeing a substantial increase in both domestic and export markets – particularly across Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Possibly in response to this, both sectors have increased their investment in their plant, staff force and training.

Businesses identified the most important elements of the Government’s Industrial Strategy as encouraging growth across the whole country, encouraging trade and inward investment, and supporting businesses to start and grow. However nearly half of the businesses polled felt they didn’t know enough about strategy and how it would impact their business.

Dr David Littlewood, lecturer in strategic management and a Divisional Director for External Business Advancement at the Management School, presented the Quarterly Economic Survey first-quarter results at a breakfast event in Doncaster on 5 May.

Sir Nigel Knowles, chair of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The results of the Quarterly Economic Survey give an important insight into the current experience of businesses around the region. Looking at the results, we know that businesses want more support for starting and growing business and to see the right local institutions to support people, industries and places. That’s why our Growth Hub is now the gateway for specialist business support including innovation, exporting, accessing finance and training and why we are telling Government that we want to see greater local decision-making as an important part of the Industrial Strategy.”

Click here to read the Quarterly Economic Survey results in full, including a foreword from our Associate Dean for External Business Advancement Professor Andrew Simpson.

Translating Japanese Popular Culture: Successful kick-off event in Kobe

May 5th, 2017

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Translating Japanese Manga research team, pictured above (front row): Dr Jerzy Kociatkiewicz (left), Prof Ryuta Suzuki, Prof Parker (second from right) and Dr Komori (right) with colleagues from Kobe

In their first joint event, Sheffield University Management School and the Graduate School of Business Administration in Kobe, Japan, held a workshop to discuss Japanese popular culture and management research, with a particular focus on manga.

Dr Naoko Komori and Dr Jerzy Kociatkiewicz from Sheffield hosted the event with Prof Martin Parker from the University of Leicester. He entertained attendees with his talk on critical management studies, which then led to four groups discussing this in the context of Japanese manga – they then presented on their ideas and received feedback.

This international workshop was an excellent start to our research partnership with Kobe University, who also documented the event here and on their Facebook page.

Click here for more information on the workshop.

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Sheffield women gain insight at IBM

May 5th, 2017

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In March, four Management School students joined a visit to tech giant IBM’s site in Hursley for a Women in Technology Insight Day.

The trip, shared with students from Sheffield Hallam University, offered participants a great opportunity to learn more about opportunities at IBM – they were able to get a feel for the culture, experience group work activity, get support with their CVs and meet with staff in a wide range of roles in the organisation.

Two BA Business Management students, Israa Abdelrahim and Monika Fekete, were joined by BA Hispanic Studies and Business Management student Anna Rubingh and Mirna Cheet, who studies our MSc Work Psychology.

We asked Israa about her experience:

“The Women in Technology event is organised exclusively for female Sheffield students by two alumni, now IBMers, Waleed and Emma. It was honestly the most valuable experience and opened my eyes to a whole world of technology I had never experienced before.

“On the first day we met some of IBM’s inspiring female employees. They talked about their experiences of working in top positions and each gave refreshing perspectives on how to progress through a career as women. There was a discussion on how IBM provides plenty of opportunities for employees, particularly women, to develop themselves and progress. A common aspect of their jobs they were all passionate about was the flexibility they have.

This gave us an insight as to how IBM employees work. There is a great deal of autonomy and control over their work which is fantastic if you are seeking for a position that allows you to lead and one that recognises your contributions and ideas. What’s more, you do not necessarily have to be a very technical person to work at IBM. For example, I spoke to a chemistry graduate who mentioned that IBM valued her analytical skills from her degree more than her knowledge on technology. Whilst this definitely a relief to know, having a valuable, unique skill is most definitely useful when it comes to finding a graduate job.

“After a chat with the ladies, we were taken on a tour of the campus starting with the ‘Innovative Room’. It had four stations in this room each showcasing different projects developed by IBM. One that stood out to me was the ‘Classifier Content’ software that was developed by IBM Watson – you could enter any baby name into a search box and the software provided a statistic showing what percentage of the name sounded female and what percentage male. The software was also able to ‘classify’ a name of a city to where in the world it is most likely situated. It was particularly fascinating because it was an unusual but original idea and there were some unexpected results.

“After this, we explored the surrounding parkland – if you are the kind of person who likes to take a walk outside during a break, this is the perfect spot.

“We spent the next day participating in a mock assessment centre, one of the stages of the IBM placement or internship application process. This was useful as I was put to the test with other women in my group to figure out the answers to two logical questions using statements given on a paper given to each one of us. What we’d thought was going to be straight forward turned out to be an ordeal and a few minutes in, we realised our own papers actually had different statements so had to scramble together the pieces! Something I learnt to keep in mind for any future assessment centres! In the end, we did manage to find two possible solutions and were given some great tips such as using a logic table when finding the answer.

“IBM does not necessarily look at how much experience you have in technology or coding but rather find any useful skills you may have. They also assess how well you work with other people. There are plenty of opportunities there to progress your career, be flexible with your job and have full control over your work.

“A massive thank you to Waleed and Emma and IBM for organising everything for us. It was a wonderful experience and one that I hope to share with others.”

Welcome back! The Management School opens its doors with new alumni network

April 27th, 2017

Northern Alumni Network

Whether you graduated two or 20 years ago, if you’re still in or around Sheffield our new network offers the perfect opportunity to get to know the Management School again.

On 10 May we’re launching the Northern Alumni Network. Open to all Sheffield graduates in business in the north, it’s a chance to connect with other alumni, have a look around our fantastic Crookesmoor premises, and meet members of the School who can help you get more involved in the future.

Prof Andrew Simpson, who will welcome attendees on the day, is Associate Dean for External Business Advancement at the Management School. He said: “The School has connections all over the world but with this event we’re looking to engage people a little closer to home. We’re very proud of the impact Sheffield graduates have on the city region and hope to harness this enthusiasm via the Northern Alumni Network.

“Whether your priority is reconnecting over a glass of wine with your old cohort, scoping out collaborative research opportunities with our academic staff, or understanding how to contribute your expertise to our students, this launch event will showcase everything we can offer our alumni and give guests a point of contact at the School.”

This focus on our regional alumni is an exciting step forward for the School. Let us know that you want to be part of it by signing up here:

http://management.sheffield.ac.uk/events/33526437477/

Venue: Sheffield University Management School, Conduit Road, Sheffield S10 1FL
Date and time: 10 May 2017, 6pm onwards
Programme:
6pm – Welcome
6.30pm – Food and drink
7pm-8.30pm – Showcase and Networking

We look forward to seeing you again in Sheffield.

For more information about Alumni activity at Sheffield University Management School, visit the Management Gateway Alumni pages here.

Management School secures triple crown with AACSB accreditation

April 19th, 2017

Sheffield University Management School has been awarded another five years of accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

The AACSB panel visited in February and undertook a rigorous two-day audit of our activities, meeting with professional and academic staff to discuss every aspect of the School.

Dean of the School, Professor David Oglethorpe, said: “I’m so incredibly proud of the School, which has once again been granted the full five-year accreditation from AACSB. This is a wonderful result and testament to everything we have all worked very hard towards.

“The panel, comprising three business school international deans from the US and China, were incredibly impressed by all the faculty, staff and students they met – particularly by the extent to which the mission, direction and values of the School were shared across the School and all of our activities. They remarked that the standard of our research and teaching was at a very high level and the professional support we enjoyed was amongst the best they’ve seen.

He concluded: “This is a milestone accreditation for us and ensures we retain our triple crown, which puts us in the top one per cent of business and management schools worldwide.”