The University of Sheffield
Management School

Management School News

Archive for the ‘Business Engagement’ Category

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

Friday, 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.

Sheffield women gain insight at IBM

Friday, May 5th, 2017

banner

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

Thursday, 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.

Collaboration for Inclusion: Social Inclusion Works

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

SIW

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

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

EFMD

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

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017
IMB UBC 2017-sm

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

Tuesday, 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.

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

Friday, February 24th, 2017

_MG_7373[1]

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

Tackling cold homes – taking action on fuel poverty

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

robert-marchand_small-124

‘The interactions between people, home and energy’ – the Fuel Poverty Research Network (FPRN), co-founded by Dr Robert Marchand at Sheffield University Management School (pictured above), is an ever-expanding group of international researchers aiming to bring domestic energy issues into the spotlight.

Wellbeing is affected significantly by living in a cold home, and many people can’t afford to heat them thoroughly – in fact the annual social cost of cold homes on mental health in a city like Sheffield alone is almost £20million. Robert and his colleagues aim for closer collaboration between their academic community and policy makers, so that government initiatives and funding are appropriate, informed and ultimately effective.

FPRN is now preparing for their third major event, a meeting and parliamentary reception in Edinburgh from 28-30 March 2017. Co-organisers, Energy Action Scotland and Glasgow Caledonian University, have planned an engaging agenda including a reception at the Scottish Parliament with Andy Wightman MSP. Click here for more information and to book your place.

Robert said: “We hope to create positive change through the network – having an impact on the people affected by fuel poverty drives our efforts. Whether it’s the pensioner who can’t afford to heat their home, the GP with a crowded waiting room of unwell people contributed to by energy costs, or the landlord who can’t yet see the value of insulating their property portfolio, we hope to reach all of them.

“The Edinburgh event is testament to the FPRN’s approach to collaboration. With contributions from a member of Scottish parliament, the only national body dedicated solely to eliminating fuel poverty, and relevant academic researchers, it’s an event where we’re can together identify key interventions.”

Find out more about the Fuel Poverty Research Network on their website (fuelpovertyresearch.net) and follow them on Twitter @FuelPovertyRN.

Real-world insight: Our students pitch AECOM entrepreneurship expertise

Friday, December 9th, 2016

image1 image2 image3

Entrepreneurship is about more than individuals starting businesses – in fact increasingly, big businesses are thinking and working more entrepreneurially.

As a part of our MSc Entrepreneurship and Management, students pitched ideas for entrepreneurship inside an organisation to directors at AECOM, a multinational engineering firm.

The module leader, Dr Chay Brooks, emphasised the importance of working with AECOM on the module, explaining: “Visiting AECOM is a great opportunity for our students and is a part of the learning experience, the contribution of AECOM to the module brings the realities of entrepreneurial activity in a corporate setting to life.”

This semester, students have studied the theory and practice of how big businesses are looking to create environments that encourage employees to be more entrepreneurial, while continuing to deliver their core business. Our collaboration with AECOM gives students a unique opportunity to see how an organisation with over 90,000 employees is changing its working practices to become more innovative and entrepreneurial. As a part of the module students have had guest lecturers by AECOM staff that provide real-world insights, and as a part of their final assessment they presented their recommendations for them to become a more entrepreneurial organisation.

Professor Tim Vorley, Director of the Centre for Regional for Economic and Enterprise Development (CREED), who developed the relationship with AECOM, said: “Taking our students out of the Management School to present their work in a corporate environment is a fantastic opportunity for them, and it is great to see them rising to the challenge as they pitch their ideas.”

The MSc Entrepreneurship and Management provides students with an understanding of entrepreneurship in different countries and contexts, as well as from start-ups to corporate organisation.

In 2017 Sheffield University Management School is hosting the EFMD Entrepreneurship Education Conference, the theme of which focuses on ‘Entrepreneurship inside Organisations’. This area of entrepreneurship education is of growing in interest to business and management schools, and is one in which Sheffield is a leading by example.

Click here to find out more about the conference.