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Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

Culture of cruelty – IWP discuss bullying in HE

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Two members of the Institute of Work Psychology (IWP), PhD student Sam Farley and Dr Christine Sprigg, have added comment to the recent discussion on the culture of bullying in higher education.

Published on The Guardian online’s Higher Education Network, their article has been widely shared and discussed in academic circles.

Approaching a number of key areas, including ‘what causes bullying’, ‘undermining behaviour’, and ‘how can employees beat bullying?’, the piece not only discusses recent research into the topic, but offers advice to those who may be affected.

Read the article in full here.

Management School at the 2014 ESRC festival: Find out more

Friday, October 31st, 2014

Next week, Sheffield academics take to the floor and open their research up to the general public, thanks for the 2014 ESRC Festival of Social Sciences.

The Management School is hosting a number of seminars as part of the event, which runs from 1-8 November – all of which support the School’s Mission to promote socially responsible work practices and have a positive impact on organisations and society throughout the world.

On Monday 3 November, Professor Lenny Koh brings her substantial expertise in supply chain management and resource efficiency to the Management School’s Hitchcock Boardroom. In a session from 9-10:30am, Prof Koh will discuss the University’s new Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre (AREC) which combines the our expertise in supply chain management, advanced materials, agritech and energy to produce a unique, world-class research facility.

As the leader of AREC, Prof Koh is an renowned expert in this field so the event could be of great benefit to businesses interested in ‘Improving Supply Chain Efficiency and Competitiveness under Resource Scarcity’. Her second session on Monday could also be extremely useful: ‘Promoting Sustainable Supply Chain Growth by Research and Innovation Exploitation’. Here organisations could learn how working with AREC, or the CEES and LSCM research centres could benefit them, with particular focus on the SCEnAT tool.

Book onto Prof Koh’s sessions here:

http://management.sheffield.ac.uk/events/improving-supply-chain-efficiency-competitiveness-resource-scarcity/

http://management.sheffield.ac.uk/events/promoting-sustainable-supply-chain-growth-research-innovation-exploitation/

On Tuesday 4 November, Dr Tina McGuinness discusses her expertise in business risk for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), with a particular focus on flooding.

Dr McGuiness will explore the issues SMEs are faced with around flood hazard and how best to prepare your business for this. Sheffield suffered a major flooding event in 2007 which impacted upon a significant number of SMEs, particularly located around the Lower Don Valley. This event will give relevant stakeholders from business and policy the opportunity to hear about the latest research into flood impacts upon SMEs.  It will help you gain insights into the factors that facilitate and enhance resilience to flooding as well as those issues which can exacerbate business vulnerability to the impacts of a major disruption such as flooding

Book on to the events, titled ‘Business as (un)usual: flood risk and SMEs’, here:

http://management.sheffield.ac.uk/events/business-unusual-flood-risk-smes-breakfast-event/

Finally, on Wednesday 5 November, Dr Geoff Nichols touches on a very current subject – the transfer of public lecture facilities, such as libraries, to volunteers.

The event will share Dr Nichols’ research findings on the transfer of delivery of local leisure services from local government to volunteers.

The event provides him with an opportunity to disseminate the results of research into the process of transfer of public leisure facilities; including sports centres, libraries and museums; towards delivery by volunteers.  This transfer is happening rapidly – mainly in response to funding cuts – and it will continue.

There are a number of relevant speakers attending the event. You can see the full list of speakers, and book your place, here:

http://management.sheffield.ac.uk/events/transfer-public-leisure-facilities-volunteer-delivery-exploring-good-practice/

 

Organisations benefit from the Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre (AREC)

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Lenny Koh AREC

 

The launch of the Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre (AREC), led by Professor Lenny Koh from Sheffield University Management School, has captured the attention of organisations looking to improve their sustainable credentials, both locally and on a national scale.

AREC has been formed as a facility to promote collaboration between industry and academics who can help introduce resource efficiency and sustainability across supply chains. It also offers a platform for access to policy makers and focuses on four main industries: Advanced Materials and Manufacturing; Energy and Nuclear; Water; and Agritech/Food.

Professor Koh together with her exceptional team across Faculties and disciplines, taken from leading industry and academia, have identified a number of issues affecting the development of resource sustainable supply chains in large organisations including getting support from the board for sustainability improvements, unless there is a legal requirement or financial benefit. AREC also recognises that Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) need to overcome supply chain challenges so gives them the opportunity to collaborate with larger industrial partners to benefit from their cutting edge academic research and skills – this endeavour fits directly with current Government and EU policies.

Industry partners include the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Tata Steel, Unilever and DLA Piper – in collaborations overseen by Professor Koh’s team, organisations of every size can benefit from their expertise and resources.

It is AREC’s view that long-term success lies in achieving a fair and sustainable balance between rewarding all stakeholders in a business, not just the shareholders. With this approach, customers, suppliers, employees and the community in which the business operates should benefit.

‘Green’ and sustainable organisational elements are becoming increasingly important to reputation, and investors are developing a longer-term view on their partners – if firms are seen to be neglecting these vital criteria, customers may choose to go to a competitor that is doing them well.

AREC will support businesses in considering development in these areas, and will provide resources and partnerships with which to do so. Professor Koh said: “I am delighted to be leading this Centre. The calibre of our industrial and academic partnerships speaks millions about the attention and investment the University is putting into our initiative.

“Sustainability and socially-responsible work practices are built into Sheffield University Management School’s mission statement, so my involvement and that of my Management colleagues is very relevant. This initiative sits well strategically with the specific research priority of the Faculty of Social Sciences on climate change and sustainable growth. The translational and cross disciplinary nature of the AREC work in partnership with industry, departments and Research Centres from the Faculties of Social Science, Science and Engineering, as well as the University’s AMRC and Nuclear ARMC, is connecting lower TRL and higher TRL activities together for greater societal impact.”

To find out more about the AREC, visit www.sheffield.ac.uk/arec, or email s.c.l.koh@sheffield.ac.uk.

www.sheffield.ac.uk/arec
www.sheffield.ac.uk/management

Teaching champions recognised internationally

Friday, October 24th, 2014

Andrea Ward, Director of Teaching Quality and Enhancement (Postgraduate) at Sheffield University Management School, has been awarded a prestigious US fellowship.

The Jane N Ryland Fellowship is offered by EDUCAUSE, an American organisation which helps those who lead, manage, and use information technology to shape strategic IT decisions at every level within higher education.

The grant Andrea receives through receiving the fellowship allows her to attend the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) Annual Meeting in February. Held in Anaheim, California, this event will enhance work that Andrea is doing on introducing technology-based learning and teaching in the Management School.

Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching, Professor Paul Latreille, said: “This is an exceptional professional development opportunity for Andrea, and I’m delighted that one of our key learning and teaching staff has been acknowledged with this honour.

“The Jane N Ryland Fellowship is highly competitive, and Andrea becomes one of a very small number of non-US recipients, and to my knowledge only the third from the UK. She has been recognised as a trailblazer in our sector, with the EDUCAUSE Fellowship Advisory Committee giving special mention to the well-focused, practical commitment reflected in Andrea’s application.”

Another ambassador for learning and teaching at the Management School, teaching champion for the Accounting and Financial Management Division, Jonathan Jeffery, has also been recognised in the form of an entry in a forthcoming Higher Education Academy (HEA) compendium.

Jonathan’s contribution showcases an excellent and innovative pedagogical approach in relation to independent learning, centred around an innovative tutorial format involving a mixture of whole group and tailored individual activities contributing to the creation of an overall understanding. Among its novel features the module includes formative in-class support, the use of Google Drive, Google Hangouts and Skype, and of peer review software.

Head of the Accounting and Financial Management Division, Professor Bill Lee, said: “The division, and wider Management School community, passes on its congratulations to Jonathan. His inclusion in this compendium demonstrates the importance of the high quality learning and teaching offered at Sheffield alongside our world-class research.”

Could you become a destructive leader?

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Destructive leadership in the workplace – many workers could identify a time where they think they’ve experienced this.

As part of his Antecedent Project, Peter Crellin, a doctoral researcher in the Institute of Work Psychology at Sheffield University Management School, sought to answer the question, ‘what causes destructive leadership?’.

With the certainty that the behaviour of followers, or fellow workers, could have something to do with the emergence of destructive leadership, Peter has set up a virtual workplace simulation to test users’ behaviour against his ideas.

Peter said: “After a couple of fruitless tests, the question became ‘how can we easily immerse people in an experience that will allow them to behave genuinely’. The answer was a Computer Simulation of an Actual Workplace (CSAW) – the product of several months of tailored graphics creation and programming.”

The CSAW is designed to create specific work scenarios that players react to. Peter created scenarios that were designed to see if he could elicit potentially destructive behaviours – the user assumes the role of ‘leader’ in a team of four followers, and is randomly allocated to a situation to do with popularity, workload or staff productivity. These scenarios were variable, so for example sometimes they were popular, other times there was low productivity amongst followers. The programme allowed users to communicate with their staff through emails.

Peter continued: “Users connected emotionally with the programme, through systems such as the emails. For example, if they were unpopular in the office they received three emails, two of which explicitly excluded them from social situations and one which directly outlined how much the player was disliked by their team.

“On top of that, each player had to make a number of choices regarding rewards – promises of promotion, training opportunities, bonus increases, positive appraisals, drinks rounds, and chocolates – and punishments – redundancy threats, reduced training, bonus decreases, lunch hour reductions, and negative appraisals – whilst monitoring operational and logistical matters, and incoming emails. Players were also free to write to their staff viaemail if they wanted to, and had to choose to make one member of staff redundant at the end of the working day.”

The programme collects a great deal of data which Peter is still analysing, but it has become very clear that engagement from users has been much higher than with previous test attempts. Users quickly attributed personalities to their followers as well as reasons for their behaviour, both of which were created by the computer so therefore should ignite no reason or discernable traits.

Peter concluded: “We are delighted with results from the CSAW – it has opened up a new avenue for research in this area. Users’ behaviour moved quickly and they were very much immersed in the virtual world – they agreed that they were drawn in and that they had experienced genuine emotional reactions to the simulations.”

For more information on Peter Crellin’s projects, visit: http://destructiveleadership.wordpress.com/

See the programme in action:


The Power of Words: PhD student makes international impact

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

certificate   presentation of the certificate

We love celebrating our students’ achievements, and a recent transatlantic win has turned heads in the world of management studies.

Sheffield University Management School PhD student, Paul Tristen Balwant, was awarded the Best Paper in Management Education at this year’s Academy of Management annual meeting (AOM2014) – a US conference for more than 10,000 students, academics, scholars and professionals in management and organisation.

The paper, entitled ‘Practice What You Preach: Instructors as Transformational Leaders in Higher Education Classrooms’, was a hit in the Management Education and Development Division at the Philadelphia-based conference. Paul’s supervisors, Dr Kamal Birdi (Sheffield University Management School) and Professor Ute Stephan (University of Aston) were also acknowledged on the certificate.

The theme of the conference was ‘The Power of Words’, and many inspiring papers were presented.

Programme Director of Postgraduate Research at the Management School, Dr Caroline Oates, said: “We are delighted for Paul. His excellent paper caught the attention of the esteemed panel and it’s great to see Sheffield management students making such an impression at that level.”

Dr Tim Vorley discusses the One North project

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

We asked Dr Tim Vorley, Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at Sheffield University Management School, to comment on the recent £15billion, 15-year One North transport plan:

“This represents  a tremendous opportunity for the north of England – with better links, the these five cities [Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle] can work together to create an economy that is stronger together than they are individually. London and the south east is a city state, and there is a n0rth-south divide, so if the north of England is to realise its potential, these cities need to grow through closer cooperation to attract investment as opposed simply competing with each other.

 “While there has been a great deal of hype behind high-speed rail (HS2) bringing the north closer to the south, investing in the infrastructure of northern cities offers an alternative means to generate growth. Creating a ‘super region’ of these five cities offers a way of securing growth potential – it will not only promote endogenous growth, but also act as a magnet for external investment to the north of England.

“Although the capital investment in infrastructure is a core element of the proposed project, it will have ramifications in the region far beyond that. Unlocking the specialist knowledge, skills and expertise is extremely important for the north, but also the UK economy more widely. For Sheffield it would enable the city to build on its strengths in advanced manufacturing and materials, digital and IT, and healthcare, and create new opportunities by working with other northern cities.”

The One North project proposes that a 125mph trans-Pennine rail link, a faster link to Newcastle and better access to Manchester Airport are needed.

It has been developed by an alliance of five cities – Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield.

 

Three-minute thesis success for SUMS PhD

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Ciara Kelly, a PhD student at the Institute of Work Psychology, Sheffield University Management School, has made a huge impact in Sheffield’s round of the international Three Minute Thesis competition.

For the first time ever, the University of Sheffield challenged all of its postgraduate researchers to take part in the national Three Minute Thesis competition. In Three Minute Thesis, doctoral researchers have just 180 seconds to explain their research and its importance to an audience of non-specialists. What’s more, they can only use one slide to help them.

The Three Minute Thesis was devised by the University of Queensland in 2008; since then, its popularity has grown and nearly 200 universities across the world take part. In 2013, the first international ‘Virtual 3MT’ competition was held, so by taking part, researchers really can share their research with the world.

Around 100 University of Sheffield researchers entered the competition and the standard of the presentations was very impressive. Through faculty heats and finals, judges had the difficult task of whittling all the entrants down to just 10 – one of whom was Ciara.

On Tuesday 10 June the finalists went to battle – unfortunately Ciara just missed the top spot, but clinched the ‘runner up’ spot. Watch a video of her presentation below:

Agile move for Dr Tarba

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Dr Shlomo Tarba

A special issue on Strategic Agility in Hypercompetitive Environments was guest co-edited by Sheffield University Management School’s Dr Shlomo Tarba and Dr Yaakov Weber from ISM, France.

The issue included their paper on ‘Strategic Agility: A State-of-Art Review’ that has been published by California Management Review (University of California, Berkeley) and is available online: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/cmr.2014.56.issue-3

Dr Tarba said: “I was delighted to co-edit the California Management Review. It is a highly regarded US executive-orientated journal, much like the Harvard Business Review and MIT Sloan Management Review.

“The editorial journey was fascinating. We received almost 50 high quality submissions from all over the world, from academics at Harvard, MIT, INSEAD and Imperial College London and it took almost three years to finalise our decision.”

Well done Dr Tarba!

IWP launches Research Update 2014

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

The Institute of Work Psychology (IWP), part of Sheffield University Management School, is delighted to announce the release of its Research Update 2014.

Collating just a few of the IWP’s fantastic research successes and ongoing projects, the publication documents work from prominent members of staff including Professor Peter Warr, Dr Carolyn Axtell, Dr David E Rast, Professor Penny Dick, Dr Kamal Birdi, Dr Eva Selenko, Dr Malcolm Patterson and Dr Jeremy Dawson. It also covers the work by the Institute’s high-achieving group of early career researchers and PhD students.

Read it online here, or see the document below. If you’d like to hear from the IWP in the future, email IWP-researchupdate@sheffield.ac.uk