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Archive for the ‘Knowledge Exchange’ Category

Breaking down barriers: Japanese organisations learn about obstacles for women’s career development

Friday, September 1st, 2017

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Japan has one of the most educated female populations in the world, yet women continue to face substantial difficulties in advancing their careers. Dr Huiping Xian (pictured above, left) from the Management School has used a British Academy research grant to identify the obstacles and how to overcome them

Huiping recently presented her findings at J.P. Morgan’s Tokyo head office, an event supported hosted by the financial services firm which welcomed 40 attendees from academia and industry, including managers from large Japanese firms like Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT), Tsukuba Bank Group, Dydo Pharmaceutical Corporation, Sekisui House and Information Services International-Dentsu, Ltd.

In her presentation, Huiping compared employment and career issues which women face in China, the UK and Japan. Her presentation drew knowledge and findings from the research project, in which her team conducted 25 face-to-face interviews with Japanese women who hold managerial and professional roles.

Following the interviews, researchers identified four issues which are hindering women’s career development in Japanese firms: gender bias against women; masculine organisational culture and practices; the difficulty of combining work and family; and the lack of female role models and mentors.

Huiping hopes that by holding events in business settings, Japanese firms will pay attention to the issues: “It is essential that organisations start to tackle issues that prevent women from progressing, such as long-hours culture and lack of support for women.

“I learned that J.P. Morgan has an informal group, based on their global network, which aims to promote better work-life balance for their employees – it is encouraging that their Vice President Marketing and Communications, Ms Ayako Asano, attended the workshop. This shows that it is on the agenda for large Japanese organisations.

“We would like Japanese organisations to train line managers to help support women in their team, ask successful women in their company to mentor and share experiences, and consider implementing policies which limit the number of overtime hours and encourage work-life balance.”

Huiping is Principal Investigator on this project, ‘Developing women’s careers in Japan’. Research has been done in collaboration with colleagues at Bournmouth University (UK) and the Women and Work Research Centre (Japan). Images courtesy of Kanae Toyama. Click here to view slide from the discussed research.

Establishing pathways to resource efficiency and sustainability: Joining academia and industry

Monday, July 3rd, 2017

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Prof Lenny Koh, chair in operations management, recently co-hosted an event at the European Parliament, Brussels. Alongside John Procter, MEP for Yorkshire and Humber (European Conservatives and Reformists Group), she brought industry and academia together to showcase the research excellence and impact of the Sheffield-based Advanced Research Efficiency Centre (AREC).

Focusing on environmental sustainability, resource production and consumption efficiency, Lenny aimed to maximise the centre’s global outreach and gave an informative introduction to the Supply Chain Environmental Analysis Tool – Intelligence (SCEnATi), part of AREC’s research output.

SCEnATi is a tool used by leading organisations to map their supply chain and identify improvement opportunities in terms of economic, environmental and social factors by relying on the tool’s businesses intelligence capability integrated within the hybrid lifecycle analysis methodology.  Lenny emphasized the importance of global stakeholder collaboration using the examples of mobile phone manufacturing, use and after-life disposal, and changes to the motor industry.

Other panel members also presented their vision for greener supply chains and how researchers and industry can work closer together. They included Prof Panos Ketikidis (International Faculty of the University of Sheffield in Thessaloniki, Greece), Jay Sterling Gregg (European Energy Research Alliance), Philippe Micheaux Naudet (Association of Cities and Regions for Sustainable Resource Management) and Maria Rincon-Lievana (Circular Economy Action Plan).

A number of key points emerged from the following discussion, including the importance of interdisciplinary innovation to a greener economy, greening public procurement, investors and innovators collaborating on advancing science, energy storage and security, and the importance of the circular economy.

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.

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

Friday, 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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Collaboration for Inclusion: Social Inclusion Works

Wednesday, 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.

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

Friday, 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

Cementing our link with Japan: the International Doctoral Programme with Kobe

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

As 2016 comes to an end, we reflect on a successful year of developing international partnerships with other world-leading schools. For Dr Naoko Komori, a lecturer in accounting, this has seen her achieve her personal academic goal – creating a shared learning space between East and West.

Naoko has been a key player in building a relationship with Kobe University’s Graduate School of Business Administration, with whom Sheffield has launched an innovative International Doctoral Programme (IDP).

The structure of this unique provides an opportunity for PhD students to study at both the host and partner university and benefit from supervision at both – graduating with two PhDs. Dr Komori commented: “This cross-cultural learning experience is an exciting development, for both schools and myself. I am aware that there is too much indigenous knowledge in Japan that remains untranslated in the international academic arena – I hope that the IDP will expand this dialogue.

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The first IDP student, Ruxandra Jianu, said: “I will be exploring the subject of entrepreneurship in Japan. The most exciting aspect is having four world-leading researchers guiding me in my studies – each will have different strengths and experiences, which I think will lead to a unique, cross-cultural PhD thesis. Living and studying in Kobe for a year presents an amazing opportunity to really understand this growing area of research in Japan and the UK.”

Dr Komori has been growing the relationship with Kobe for almost two years, since she was invited to deliver a lecture to young Japanese academics. Following a successful visit with the Dean of Sheffield University Management School at the start of 2016, she is returning in 2017 with Dr Tim Vorley, Associate Dean for Research Impact, to further build the mutual intellectual exchange.

Dr Komori concluded: “The IDP is just the start of this relationship – I’m looking forward to exploring more potential future collaborations.”

SCA-Emp Toolkit – Improving HR and accounting practices in Brazil

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

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Dr Juliana Meira, lecturer in management accounting at the Management School, has recently returned from a visit to Brazil.

As part of the SCA-Emp research project, which aims to improve HR and accounting practices across supply chains – particularly in Brazil and South Africa – she presented a resulting toolkit to organisations across the country, in major cities such as Recife, São Paulo and Curitiba, as well as João Pessoa, São José dos Pinhais and Ponta Grossa. Juliana also held a workshop in partnership with the Federal University of Pernambuco which was attended by both industry and academics.

Juliana said: “CEOs, human resources professionals, controllers, and supply chain managers were extremely positive about the toolkit. They had a number of ideas, such as using the toolkit to develop strategic planning, and consolidating all of the organisation’s information in one place. They made suggestions on how they would like to see it developed further, which is useful to both research and impact.”

When discussing her main incentive for disseminating the toolkit to organisations in Brazil, Juliana explained: “When we started this project in 2013 I was concerned about the reliance on foreign suppliers when unemployment in Brazil is so high – since then the situation has dramatically worsened. There is an urgent need for strategies that generate long term improvements and Brazilian companies need to seek efficiencies while further strengthening their accounting and HR practices and promoting best practice across within and across industries. I firmly believe that our toolkit can help them to do this.”

To make the toolkit more accessible, supported by impact funding from the Management School, Juliana and the SCA-Emp team have developed a business-

focused website which hosts the toolkit in English and Portuguese – www.sca-emp.com. The toolkit was launched at a UK workshop in June 2016 and has been downloaded by 42 different people. The collection of impact evidence is ongoing.

Juliana concluded: “In total, more than 120 people have attended my events in Brazil, and principal investigator on the project Prof Pauline Dibben contributed via Skype. We’re delighted with the developing interest from a variety of organisations.”

Visit www.sca-emp.com to explore the toolkit yourself

Predicting behaviour to save lives: Research with South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue comes to fruition

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

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How can South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue (SYFR) plan to maximise the effect of its fire prevention initiatives?

Research from the Management School, in collaboration with Edge Hill and Coventry universities, models community behaviour so SYFR can identify high-risk areas and intervene – reaching vulnerable communities and reducing incidents. This decision support tool, called Premonition, enables fire services to input scenarios – the mapping software then combines geographical, demographical and behavioural data to predict areas where there might be increased risk of fires and other emergencies.

This informs SYFR’s resource planning and means that fire prevention initiatives can be focused on the relevant areas, protecting the most vulnerable in our community.

Dermot Breslin from the Management School (pictured above) explained: “We live in increasingly complex social networks and our behaviours are influenced by many factors. This predictive model unpacks the complexity so SYFR, and potentially services in other areas, can manage their resources and services targeted at the most vulnerable groups in our community.

“We hope that over time this will lead to improved community behaviour and less emergencies.”

Hear from the Premonition team in this video:

Contact Dermot on d.breslin@shef.ac.uk

Management School to assist in design of major new Pilot Plant

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

The UK Centre for Carbon Utilisation (CDUUK) at the University of Sheffield recently won a competitive tender to join a team to design a new carbon capture and utilisation plant for the Tees Valley. The contract pairs the University of Sheffield with the Teeside Collective a pioneering infrastructure project who are at the forefront of innovative carbon capture and usage technology. The collective are working together to establish Europe’s first clean industrial zone. Prof Lenny Koh, chair in operations management at the Management School, is a member of the CDUUK board.

CDUUK are academic specialists from across seven departments (Chemical and Biological Engineering, Materials Science Engineering, Mechanical Science, Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy, Management School and Psychology) who will bring a range of interdisciplinary expertise to the Collective. CDUUK will be designing the demonstration centre and commercial and operating models of this ground breaking project.

The move comes as the Government formulates its policy on decarbonisation in the light of the cancellation in November of funding for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in the power sector. A policy review is due to be published by Lord Oxburgh, who visited Teesside to hear about the Collective’s plans as part of his review.

Professor Peter Styring, Chair of CDUUK, commented: “The impact of the proposed carbon capture and utilisation demonstration centre cannot be underestimated, helping more heavy industrial companies decarbonise their facilities and explore innovative uses for carbon and income streams. Utilisation of CO2 is gaining momentum globally and this will put the UK at the forefront of that effort”

CDUUK provides a cohesive centre for interdisciplinary research into carbon dioxide utilization in Sheffield. Using a co-ordinated approach to research and a strategic approach to funding opportunities the Centre is at the forefront of CDU research in the UK.

Teesside Collective are a cluster of leading industries with a shared vision: to establish Teesside as the go-to location for future clean industrial development by creating Europe’s first Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) equipped industrial zone. Tees Valley Unlimited, the Local Enterprise Partnership which includes the Teesside industrial cluster, has been awarded £1m funding by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change to develop a business case for deploying industrial CCS in the Teesside cluster and to make recommendations for a funding mechanism.