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Management School News

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.”

First and second years – put the Module Choice Fair in your diaries!

April 11th, 2017

From 24-28 April, the Management School is holding a Module Choice Fair in the Courtyard Cafe.

From 2-19 May, the University wants to know which modules you will take next year – between these dates, you’ll be able to select your choices. If you don’t choose in May, you’ll have to wait until autumn when your preferred choices may be full. The University books its rooms in summer, to ensure capacity for students and classes.

If you’d like some extra information to ease the decision making process, come along to the Module Choice Fair in the Courtyard Cafe to chat with module leaders, other students, or programme directors about your options:

Module Choice Fair, April 24-28, SUMS Courtyard Cafe

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Email Jane Mallinson in the SEO with any queries: j.w.mallinson@sheffield.ac.uk

Manga and management research – SUMS workshop launched in Kobe

March 23rd, 2017

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In the first research event connected to their recent partnership, Sheffield University Management School and the Graduate School of Business Administration at Kobe University are discussing Japanese popular culture and management practice.

They launch with the aim to explore one of Japan’s most recent, influential and creative exports, manga. Invited expert Prof Martin Parker from the University of Leicester, a leading authority in critical management studies, is joined by Sheffield’s Dr Jerzy Kociatkiewicz – they will lead up-to 20 participants from Kobe on a discussion around manga.

Dr Naoko Komori, project organiser and lecturer in accounting at Sheffield, said: “This international workshop is an exciting way to kick-off our research partnership with Kobe. We want to create a dialogue between scholars from Japan and the West which will start to translate Japanese management knowledge and practice for a global context and audience.”

Following their discussion, participants will present their thoughts on such areas as the production process of manga; how manga illustrates corporate organisations, culture, and people; and the Western perception of manga.

Dr Komori concluded: “The workshop will start to explore the language used to describe Japanese management practice – I hope that it will start to create an alternative perspective so that the world can start to understand this unexplored area of research, from a critical perspective.”

The workshop will be held at Kobe University on 6 April 2017, 1-5pm. Please email Dr Komori for more information: n.komori@sheffield.ac.uk

British Academy/Leverhulme grant success for SUMS

March 23rd, 2017

From extinction accounting, to credit unions and developing welfare – the Management School’s successful British Academy/Leverhulme small research grant wins demonstrate the breadth of our expertise.

These two-year grants, awarded to researcher for stand-out projects in the humanities and social sciences, shape the British Academy’s most popular scheme. SUMS’s 2017 successes are as follows:

Prof Jill Atkins: Engaging business on the state of nature

Jill, a chair in financial accounting, has been awarded a substantial grant to explore the possibility of an extinction accounting framework. Implementation of this would mean that businesses could report on responsible investments – a transformational change that will prevent the extinction of critically endangered species identified on the IUCN Red List.

She said: “Extinction isn’t only an issue for naturalists, scientists and ecologists – businesses, investors and accountants also have a vital role to play. Biodiversity can’t be preserved without the cooperation of global companies, the responsible investment community, and corporate integrated reporting.”

Jill will be conducting the research with Warren Maroun from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Prof Bill Lee: Understanding English credit unions through an international comparison

Credit unions (CUs) are financial co-operatives owned by their members. By encouraging members to save regularly before borrowing, CUs promote thrift and self-help and recycle funds within a population that shares a common bond, helping to promote the financial health of that community.

Legal and regulation changes mean that CUs have been subject to a great deal of change – Bill’s research uses case studies to investigate whether English CUs are abandoning policies that build trust from their membership while implementing risk management policies, and the potential consequences of doing so.

Bill wants to explore whether a comparative study with CUs in New Zealand, which are at a similar stage of development, will unveil alternative strategies which may be pursued.

Dr Anna Topakas, Dr Kamal Birdi and Dr Sam Farley: Understanding how to build bridges for delivering welfare in the community

Public sector organisations, such as the police, councils and housing services, are under pressure to improve service delivery. However, highly publicised cases of poor standard of service are often attributed to failure to coordinate, share information and collaborate effectively between agencies and services.

They are recognising the need to build collaborative spaces, partnerships and networks which can provide a range of benefits. Anna, Kamal and Sam aim to explore the role of work-related factors and individual staff attitudes connected with these inter-organisational initiatives, evaluating them on employee and organisational outcomes.

The project will build a richer understanding of employee factors in this context, make recommendations to enhance collaboration, and provide a proposal for better-informed interagency collaborative platforms.

Collaboration for Inclusion: Social Inclusion Works

March 15th, 2017

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Social inequalities affect us all. From a social and economic perspective, collaboration between organisations and researchers is beneficial to promote equality of opportunity, eliminate discrimination, enable inclusive growth, give voice, and change societal norms and infrastructure to catalyse inclusive communities, workplaces, and societies.

Dr Andreana Drencheva, lecturer in entrepreneurship at the Management School, is making the first steps towards doing so in partnership with University of Sheffield Enterprise (USE) and the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA). She’s behind Social Inclusion Works, an innovative duo of events in Sheffield (4 April and 6 June, 2017) designed to bring together social entrepreneurs, academic researchers and entrepreneurship support organisations.

By running a creative space for individuals and organisations to learn with and from each other, the first event of the series on 4 April will result in mapping the common challenges organisations working toward social inclusion face in Sheffield. In the time that passes between the two events, participants will work together to collate and co-create evidence and insights to address these challenges. On 6 June, in the second part of the event series, participants will share actionable insights that social entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship support organisations, and researchers can take forward.

Andreana said: “The aim is to find better ways to catalyse social inclusion based on best practice and evidence. Together, we can share best practice, build capacity, and collaborate on new research or training projects that can make meaningful contributions to our communities. We are excited to host these events at Sheffield, where there’s lots of positive energy already in this area.

“The fact that the Centre for Regional Economic and Enterprise Development (CREED), USE and the RSA are working together is a testament to the collaborative approach of these events. Collaboration is the key here – we would like to engage with a diverse range of sectors and disciplines relevant to social inclusion such as education, housing, social and health care, political studies, technology, urban planning, and finance, to name just a few examples.”

Social Inclusion Works has a co-creative focus. The approach of the events recognises that social entrepreneurs, researchers and entrepreneurship support organisations bring different knowledge and skills. Focusing on the current challenges of social entrepreneurs, the events will not just enable a safe space to share what works, but also to co-create new initiatives related to research, training and public engagement to improve current practice. Because of this collaborative approach, it is essential that individuals and organisations register only if they can attend both dates (4 April and 6 June, 2017).

Join the events to make social inclusion work. Click here to book your place.

Entrepreneurship conference showcases regional business expertise

March 8th, 2017

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A conference hosted by Sheffield University Management School (SUMS) is taking full advantage of the city region’s vibrant business community.

Organised in collaboration with EFMD, a European management development network based in Brussels, the conference (8-10 March) explores the theme of entrepreneurship within organisations and launches in the Management School’s Middleton lecture theatre with a panel event featuring guests from organisations including Plusnet, Tech North and KPMG.

Attracting academics from all over Europe and the US, its influence, which draws on Sheffield’s business strengths, will have global impact. Chair of the conference, Professor Tim Vorley, said: “Researchers and practitioners in the field of entrepreneurship continue to push the boundaries about what we understand about entrepreneurs and how they operate. This has important implications for entrepreneurship education, both in terms of what leading businesses and management schools teach and how they teach it.

“Entrepreneurship inside organisations is an area of management education that is growing in interest. We’re delighted to be pairing with EFMD on leading this renowned annual event – welcoming input from the region’s business community is essential to its success.”

Guests on the panel include Andy Baker, CEO of Plusnet whose career at BT saw him take leadership roles in WiFi and gaming; business leader Douglas Dawson from the Liberty Industries Group who brings his exceptional global knowledge; Laura Bennett from Tech North, whose experience in entrepreneurship and organisational development sees her lead their Founders Network; KPMG’s Head of South Yorkshire region Philippa Sanderson; and Palie Smart from Cranfield School of Management whose interests encapsulate innovation and technology management.

EFMD runs and awards the EQUIS accreditation, one of SUMS’ triple crown accreditors which positions it in the top one per cent of business and management schools worldwide.

Click here to view the programme for the conference.

International Business Management students progress through UK competition

March 2nd, 2017
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ABOVE (L-R): Margaret Barrionuevo, Kristers Zuika, Meg Seaman, programme director of BA International Business Management Panayiota Alevizou, Dominique Von Oppell and Isaac Bamber Lister

A team of five BA International Business Management students have reached the UK semi-finals of a prestigious international competition.

The Universities Business Challenge (UBC), which runs annually, has educational and employer partners and guides them through three rounds of rigorous testing designed by Learning Dynamics. The Management School’s team, championed by programme director Panayiota Alevizou, stormed through the first round – an online simulation of a real business where they had to make business decisions with regards to the financial data of each trading period, the external business environment, competitor data, and other live factors that any executive board would have to consider.

Competing directly with seven randomly chosen groups from other universities, our team accumulated as much profit as possible after six trading periods, confidently progressing to round two which will be held at the Sheffield’s Octagon Centre on 7 March.

Should they progress to round 3 – the grand final – Margaret, Kristers, Meg, Dom and Isaac will go to compete live against ten other teams at a London venue in an event hosted by UBC’s lead employer partner.

Click here to read more about the competition.

Reducing the environmental impact of a loaf of bread: SUMS leads interdisciplinary project

February 28th, 2017

With an estimated 12 million loaves sold in the UK every day, bread remains a staple of the British diet. In a groundbreaking study researchers from the University of Sheffield have now calculated the environmental impact of a loaf of bread and which part of its production contributes the most greenhouse gas.

The group of interdisciplinary researchers from the University’s Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures, including three experts from Sheffield University Management School (SUMS), analysed the complete process from growing and harvesting the wheat; milling the grain; producing the flour; baking the bread and the production of the final product, ready to be sold by retailers.

The findings, published in the journal Nature Plants, show ammonium nitrate fertiliser used in wheat cultivation contributes almost half (43 per cent) of the greenhouse gas emissions – dwarfing all other processes in the supply chain.

Dr Liam Goucher, N8 Agrifood Research Fellow from the University of Sheffield who carried out the study and is based at SUMS, said: “Consumers are usually unaware of the environmental impacts embodied in the products they purchase – particularly in the case of food, where the main concerns are usually over health or animal welfare. There is perhaps awareness of pollution caused by plastic packaging, but many people will be surprised at the wider environmental impacts revealed in this study.

“We found in every loaf there is embodied global warming resulting from the fertiliser applied to farmers’ fields to increase their wheat harvest. This arises from the large amount of energy needed to make the fertilizer and from nitrous oxide gas released when it is degraded in the soil.”

How to produce sufficient healthy and affordable food for the world’s growing and more demanding population, whilst protecting the environment is one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century. It is estimated that up to 60 per cent of agricultural crops are now grown with the use of fertilisers. Although they can dramatically boast the growth of plants and vegetables – assisting the growing demand of food yields – fertilisers consist of substances and chemicals such as methane, carbon dioxide, ammonia and nitrogen. The emissions from these substances in synthetic fertilisers contribute to greenhouse gases.

Professor Peter Horton FRS, Chief Research Advisor to the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures at the University of Sheffield and corresponding author of the paper, said: “Our findings bring into focus a key part of the food security challenge – resolving the major conflicts embedded in the agri-food system, whose primary purpose is to make money not to provide sustainable global food security.

“High agricultural productivity – necessary for profit for farmers, agri-businesses and food retailers, whilst also keeping prices low for consumers – currently requires high levels of application of relatively cheap fertilisers.”

He added: “With over 100 million tonnes of fertiliser used globally each year to support agricultural production this is a massive problem, but environmental impact is not costed within the system and so there are currently no real incentives to reduce our reliance on fertiliser.

“How to achieve sustainable global food security is not only a technical question but a political economic one, and requires interdisciplinary research of the kind we do here at Sheffield.”

The study was made possible by a pioneering collaboration with the agricultural and food manufacturing sector developed by Richard Bruce, a co-author of the paper and Business Engagement Lead for the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures at the University of Sheffield.

The data analysed in the study was processed using an advanced life-cycle assessment tool – SCEnAT – developed by Professor Lenny Koh, Director of the Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre at the University’s Management School and co-author of the paper.

“This tool handles large and complex data sets and yielding data on the environmental impact, including greenhouse gas emissions of all the stages in the supply chain,” said Professor Koh. “The tool identifies the processes that yield the most impact – the hotspots. The findings raise a very important issue – whose responsibility is it to bring about the implementation of these interventions: the fertiliser manufacturer, the farmer, the retailer or the consumer?

“There is a growing recognition for a range of industrial processes of the notion of extended producer responsibility – the producer being responsible for downstream impact, expanded to the idea of shared producer and consumer responsibility. The consumer is key, whether being persuaded to pay more for a greener product or by applying pressure for a change in practice.”

The paper also highlights the solutions available which could potentially reduce these impacts in the future.

Co-author Professor Duncan Cameron, Co-director of the P3 Centre for Translational Plant and Soil Science explains: “The fertiliser problem is solvable – through improved agronomic practices”.

“These harness the best of organic farming combined with new technologies to better monitor the nutritional status of soils and plants and to recycle waste and with the promise of new wheat varieties able to utilise soil nitrogen more efficiently”.

Click here to read the paper in full.

Shadows: CRISP is tackling Undeclared Work in the European Union

February 27th, 2017

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The Cluster for Research on the Informal Sector and Policy (CRISP), based in the Management School, has reinforced its standing as the world’s largest group of researchers studying the informal sector with a major Marie Curie grant.

The €200,000 project will see a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow, Dr Ioana A Horodnic from Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi in Romania, spend two years with CRISP under the supervision of Prof Colin C Williams (pictured above).

Prof Williams said: “Paid transactions that are not declared to the state for tax, social security and/or labour law purposes when they should be declared, equal some 33 per cent of official GDP globally. As such, tackling undeclared economy has become a core issue on the policy agendas of supra-national agencies and governments. CRISP is pioneering research in this area.”

There are two policy approaches to tackling undeclared work: a ‘rational economic actor’ approach that ensures that payoff from undeclared work is not outweighed by the costs; and a ‘social actor’ approach grounded in a view that undeclared work arises when tax morale is low.

Prof Williams continued: “This Marie Curie Fellowship aims to advance knowledge, by evaluating not only the effectiveness of using each approach to reduce undeclared work across the European Union, but also by developing a fresh re-theorization of tackling undeclared work and, for the first time, analysing the interaction effects between these two approaches. The outcome will be to greatly increase understanding of the undeclared economy and provide policy relevant results.”

This project will further advance the world-leading reputation of CRISP which, in collaboration with North American private sector consultancy, ICF International, has recently secured a €5.6million, four-year contract from the European Commission to provide the expert services to the European Platform for Tackling Undeclared Work.

Find out more about CRISP here: www.sheffield.ac.uk/woerrc/crisp

Engaging with the city region’s business community: how will the industrial strategy impact business?

February 24th, 2017

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The Business Secretary announced industrial strategy investment in science, research and innovation but how do Sheffield City Region businesses think it will impact on them?

This is a question in the current Sheffield City Region Quarterly Economic Survey (QES), the results of which are analysed and reported by the Management School’s Associate Dean for External Business Advancement Professor Andrew Simpson (pictured above). These survey results for the first quarter of 2017 will give a snapshot of how the regional economy performed over the last three months and a forecast for the next quarter.

Business people are urged to complete the short online survey to provide up to date hard data on the current business economy, skills and labour market, international trade and other issues affecting business such as the Industrial Strategy. The results are used to inform the Sheffield City Region Chambers of Commerce and the Local Enterprise Partnership and help set the mandate of their work to influence policy makers at a regional and national level and help shape government support for business.

Prof Simpson said: “It’s vital that the School is at the heart of discussion around the regional economy and being involved with the Quarterly Economic Survey has given us great insight into the progress and changes we see locally.”

“This quarter’s survey will help the Chambers to identify what businesses think to the Government’s proposed Industrial Strategy and how it can be shaped to add most value for the Sheffield City Region’s businesses” added Dan Fell, CEO, Doncaster Chamber.

To influence policy and decision-making, and win free flights to Paris, Sheffield City Region businesses can take the survey at screconomy.org.uk/survey