RAE2001 logo



RA5a: Structure,environment and staffing policy

Following the University's reorganisation in 1997, research in this Unit is centred in the Westminster Business School (WBS), the Harrow Business School (HBS) and in the Policy Studies Institute (PSI). The two Business Schools are part of the University’s Marylebone and Harrow Campuses respectively, while PSI has been a wholly owned subsidiary of the University since 1998. WBS was formed in 1997 from a merger of the Schools of Economic and Business Studies (EBS) and the London Management Centre (LMC) .
The two Business Schools (or their predecessors) grew steadily through the 1990's in terms of undergraduate and postgraduate student populations as well as research activity. They have maintained a very close pattern of cooperation on matters to do with both teaching and research throughout. There has been a constant effort to raise the profile of research within the Schools, and the recent acquisition of PSI has given further impetus to research in this unit. PSI also hosts the University's submission to UOA 40 (Social Policy and Administration) and contributes to UOA 39 (Politics and International Studies), while HBS is a contributor to UOA 59 (History).
Research activities in the area of Business and Management is coordinated by a joint Committee of senior staff from the two Schools and PSI and to date has been chaired alternately by the Directors of the Business Schools’ Graduate Centres, Dr N Zafiris (WBS) and Dr A Rieple (HBS, current Chair).
At University level, the structures for promoting and monitoring research have been modified since the last RAE. The University wide Graduate School Board (GSB) has responsibility for research policy and strategy, and monitors its implementation. The Board is chaired by the Provost responsible for Research and Consultancy, and it reports directly to Academic Council and the Vice-Chancellor’s Executive Group. Each School has a Graduate Centre whose Director is a member of GSB. Each Centre is responsible for overseeing research activity and monitoring students experience and progress.
The University's research environment in Business and Management has benefited over the last five years from a) HEFCE research funding, QR and NFF - the latter allocated on a competitive basis within the University, b) external research grants, c) support from the Quintin Hogg Trust, d) supplementation from staff development budgets and e) supplementation from general revenue. The acquisition of PSI has also led to an increase in both the volume and diversity of research income. This has come primarily from government departments, research councils and charitable foundations.
We have maintained a bias towards applied research generally on interdisciplinary themes which have the potential to achieve an impact on business and related public policy problems. To that end we have also continued to aim for a variety of dissemination outlets.
As indicated in previous submissions much of our activity in this area revolves around identified themes (sub areas in terms of RAE 1996). Activity under themes is, in some instances concentrated in particular research groups. This focus is likely to be maintained, although the membership and organisation of group activities is characterised by flexibility, necessitated by personnel changes but more importantly by our inter-disciplinary focus.
All themes have benefited from the rapid growth over the period of our taught programme of specialist Master's degrees. In the current period we have launched new taught Masters courses in, among others, Business Information Technology, Quantitative Finance, Development Administration, Design Management and Individual and Organisational Development. Both Business Schools are furthering their distinctive research identities partly based on specialist course strengths and their Campus location, enabling research and teaching links with other Schools on the same Campuses. Extensive commissioned research has made PSI a lead organisation in its areas of specialisation.
While the staff submitted for assessment have been listed alphabetically in RA2, the commentary which follows has been organised under the principal areas of activity. The headings have been selected to facilitate a logical classification of the research strengths and scholarly interests of WBS, HBS and PSI staff. The current themes, which largely represent evolution of sub-areas in our 1996 RAE submission, are:

· Education, Training and the Labour Market
· Labour Market Policy and Operation
· Marketing and Product Development
· Political Economy & the Environment
· Small Business and Entrepreneurship
· Strategic Management, Organisation and Management Development
· Design and Creative Management
· Information and Knowledge Management
These themes are not represented equally strongly in the submission. Nor are they exhaustive. A number of our researchers have been operating in a looser form of association, or in areas where a smaller volume of activity has not been highlighted as a distinct cluster. Furthermore the thematic, problem-centred and multidisciplinary approaches followed both within and outside research groups mean that individual researchers will often have a variety of interests, not all of which fit neatly into a single remit. This means that the output of some individuals is referred to under more than one theme. WBS is the primary host centre for activity in the majority of the above themes, while HBS has a substantial contribution under Strategic Management, Organisation and Management Development; Design and Creative Management; and Marketing and Product Development. PSI is the primary contributor under Labour Market Policy and Operation and also makes important contributions under Education, Training and the Labour Market; Small Business and Entrepreneurship; Strategic Management, Organisation and Management Development; and Marketing and Product Development.


There are regular (at least weekly) research seminars in each of the two Schools and PSI. Seminars are open to staff, research students, visiting scholars, professionals and policy-makers to attend and contribute papers. Staff from each School regularly participate in seminars in the other, helping to forge a cross-divisional research culture. Additionally the Business Forum, established in 1996 with support from the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), had a number of meetings in the period 1997-1999 which brought together UOW academics and representatives of the business community. We are currently hosting seminars of the London Region of the British Universities Industrial Relations Association (BUIRA). HBS staff play an active role in the University of East London's Organisation Studies Network and other cross-university communities for novice researchers. There are also occasional meetings to present the results of research sabbaticals or to discuss the application of new research software.

House Publications
The former (refereed) series of Business Management and Social Science Faculty Working Papers has been replaced by three regular publications, the University of Westminster's Working Papers Series (edited by Dr A Rieple from HBS), the Research Discussion Series (edited by Dr S Lissenburgh from PSI) and the Research Reports (edited by Prof. J Stanworth from WBS). The Research Reports feature more finished pieces of work with commercial potential, and are available for sale. All are refereed internally, issued with ISBN numbers and circulated to co-operating institutions with copies returned to Copyright Libraries. Some 35 papers have appeared so far under the three series.
WBS housed the European Journal of Finance (Hall & Chapman Publishers) until February 1999 when its editor Dr C Adcock (WBS) departed for a Reader’s post at the University of Bath.

Conferences/Seminars Hosted
WBS: Economics and Business Strategy, June 1999 in conjunction with Journal Economic Issues
WBS: EC supported conference on Dynamics of Wage Relations in New Europe, Maastricht, May 1-3, 1997, co-organised by Prof. L Clarke.
HBS: Design Management, UOW, Harrow, July 1999 and July 2000.
HBS/University of Tunis: Business Ethics, Tunisia, December 1998
HBS/ Diplomatic Academy of London and London Diplomatic Association: Ethics in International Practice, London, April 2000
PSI: The Employment Service: Past, Present and Future, addressed by Leigh Lewis, Chief Executive of the Employment Service, June 2000.
PSI: The Welfare State: The Way Forward, addressed by Rt. Hon David Blunkett, MP, Secretary of State for Education and Employment, October 2000.
PSI: Symposium on All Change at Work? Changes in Employment Relations, 1980-98, May 1998.


This is largely centred in the WBS-based Education Training and the Labour Market (ETLM) group, but also embraces much of the activity of the Employment Group at PSI. The ETLM group has been in existence since 1990 and is now led by Prof. J R Shackleton with an active membership which also includes Prof. L Clarke, Dr S Arkani, Dr G Herrmann, Dr Z Haque, E Michielsens, P Urwin and C Wall. The group has current projects on: innovation and skills, training requirements, segregated labour markets and ethnic minority economic performance. It maintains collaborative arrangements with the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Birmingham University, Technical University of Denmark, Fachhochschule Dortmund and the European Institute for Construction Labour Research, among many others.
Members of the group have produced numerous publications and a number of specially commissioned research reports. Indicative among these are papers by Prof. J Shackleton and his collaborators on: industrial relations reform in Britain; degree vs vocational qualifications; search methods and transition to employment; comparative European training policies; pensions reform; older workers in the labour force; and executive pay.

The Group produces a regular publication Labour Market Briefing (joint with LCCI) which covers topics in the specific area. P Urwin and Prof J R Shackleton have contributed published evidence to the House of Commons Committee on Education and Employment on two occasions (New Deal and Recruiting the Unemployed).

A distinctive section of the ETLM group, under Prof. L Clarke, has already established and growing strengths in the European labour market, with projects in such areas as gender segregation, wage relations, social protection and employability, skills, training, and employment in European countries, including Britain, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain. The section has a particular specialisation in the construction labour market including diverse notions of equality, gender segregation, social protection and skills training in the construction process. It has attracted substantial external funding from, amongst others, the EC, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Leverhulme Trust, the EPSRC, DfEE and DETR (over £300,000 in the past 5 years). Publications on these themes are listed in RA2 under L Clarke, E Michielsens, L Shackleton, P Urwin and C Wall.
PSI researchers have also been active under this theme. Major projects have been the financial returns to higher education and work-based training for the unemployed (Dr S Lissenburgh), school to work transitions and education and training for 16-18 years olds (Dr J Payne), trade unions and training practices (D Wilkinson) and women’s representation in science, engineering and technology (D Smeaton). This work has been funded primarily by the DfEE. Cooperation between PSI and WBS researchers has resulted in the production of Labour Market and Skill Trends 2000 for DfEE.
There are also established or intended links with researchers in the School of the Built Environment (SBE), located on the Marylebone campus and with North West London TEC (a year’s secondment of A. Gordon of HBS researching employment in the local economy).

PSI researchers have made a singular contribution with regard to Labour Market Policy and Operation, which has strong links to the Education, Training and the Labour Market theme. In particular, many of the major British labour market quantitative evaluation studies over recent years have been carried out by PSI, yielding a large number of publications. These include evaluations of the Employment Training and Employment Action programme, of public job placing services (Dr S Lissenburgh) and of the Training for Work programme (Dr J Payne). These evaluations were commissioned by the DfEE and the Employment Service, bringing in over £ 2 m over the last three years. As a result of this record, PSI has become a lead organisation in an Employment Service partnership for labour market research and evaluation, which commenced in April 2000.
PSI researchers have often moved on from the evaluation of government employment programmes to write more broadly about unemployment policy at the European level, including routes through unemployment (Dr M White) and about the costs of job loss and job insecurity (G Knight). A further strand of research has examined pay inequality, yielding publications on public sector workers pay (Dr D Bonjour), low pay (D Wilkinson) and ethnic minorities (Dr R Dorsett and J Lakey). Some of PSI’s work in this area has close links with the work of UoA 40/41 through the work of J Lakey who is submitted in that unit.

Partially centred on the Service Business Markets Research Group under K Tyler at HBS, the main research focus under this theme is on customer/supplier relationships within the corporate banking sector. Numerous papers have come from this work, and all of K Tyler’s submitted publications fall within this theme. This research group in future intends to address customer/supplier relationships within the creative industries. This is shaped by recent UK government policy documents which have highlighted the importance of the creative industries and links with the strategic plan of HBS. This group employs a dedicated researcher and K Tyler has received personal research grants of between £12-£18,000 p.a. for the last three years.
Other contributors include Dr D Mai - WBS (customer perceptions of mail order speciality foods, food safety with several papers and conference contributions) and Dr R Dorsett - PSI (has published extensively on issues relating to consumption patterns, especially with regard to meat and cigarettes). A related but newer area of research in HBS concerns the use of the internet as a marketing tool (two publications by N Bradley) and builds on HBS’s intention of maximising the research synergies with the Harrow School of Computer Science.

Main contributors: Prof. R Theobald - WBS (corruption in development context); Prof. J Burton - WBS (economics of crime, among other areas already mentioned); Dr S Motamen-Samadian (economic reforms and developing markets); Prof. M Hodd – WBS (African economic reform) and Prof D Henderson – WBS (corporate social responsibility). A successful Ph D thesis on the „Caring Enterprise“ by M Marinetto supervised by Prof. R Theobald, has been published in book form.
Research under the theme of environmental aspects, more narrowly defined, is centred on Business and the Environment (BAE) group under the direction of Prof. S Madhavan in WBS. This group has benefited from a NFF funding allocation shared with collaborating researchers in SBE following competitive bidding at University level. The current thrust of the work is sustainable development and transport policy which is a new area of work and not reflected in a submission for this assessment.
Work in this area, too, is closely linked with activities at PSI (see above), particularly the study of environmental policy formulation at national and international level and pollution management and industrial performance (main contributor Prof. J Skea, submitted under UOA 39, Politics and International Studies).
M Connolly’s work on Discrimination Law represents yet another distinctive area under this theme.

This is mainly centred in the Future of Work Group. The group is led by Prof. J Stanworth. It has a WBS-based 'core' membership which includes Dr N. Zafiris, D. Purdy, R. Bayldon with participation also of Prof Dr R Theobald, Prof J Burton and Dr C Stanworth, now of Greenwich Business School. The eclectic nature of the Group facilitates affiliations with HBS and PSI staff in relevant areas eg with Dr D Hitchcock (small businesses in the countryside), S O’Neil (improving the performance of Mauritian SME’s), Dr A Rieple (offenders’ entrepreneurship) and A Bryson (employee involvement in small firms). Activity under this theme includes a number of Ph D supervisions and has led to 2 successful completions over the period, one of which (B Parsons, with Prof R Theobald) has led to a number of published articles.
The greatest recent achievements of this Group however have been in the field of franchising. This follows the award of „DevR“ funds in this area in 1993 and the subsequent establishment of the International Franchising Research Centre. This has attracted in excess of £ 100,000 of commercial research funding (See RAE 4), and has won 'Best Paper' awards at conferences in the USA as well as two MCB Literati awards. Prof. J Stanworth and his collaborators have produced numerous papers in high ranking journals. The Centre is currently developing research in the area of Direct Selling and is raising external sponsorship for two PhD scholarships in the field.
Other lines of inquiry currently being pursued alongside this group, include economic concepts of innovation and entrepreneurship (Prof. J Burton), taxation of limited liability entrepreneurs (Prof. J Burton), and statistical aspects of ‘rare events’ prediction, including business failure (Dr N Zafiris and R Bayldon).
There have been outputs in nearly all the areas mentioned. Publications in RA2 under this group are: all of J. Stanworth’s submissions; two by Dr A. Rieple; two by Dr W Hollins and two by Prof J Burton. There are also number of publications by staff who are not included for submission on this occasion (e.g. Dr N Zafiris, D Purdy, D Hitchcock, S O’Neil).

This covers a range of people-related aspects of business as well as strategic management.
Strategic management research is partially centred in a group entitled Innovation and Organisational Change, under the leadership of Dr A Rieple (HBS). Current areas of interest include executive succession and organisational change, and strategic relationships in the recorded music industry. This group has recently recruited its first dedicated researcher and PhD students. Work in this group has been carried out jointly with staff from WBS (A Haberberg), and the School of Communication and Creative Industries at the Harrow Campus. As this is a new area for research it has not as yet been reflected in submissions for this assessment.
Other work allied to the strategic management sub-theme includes: Prof. J Burton (appointed to WBS in Sept 1999 -alliances, competitive strategies and European competition policy); A Haberberg (WBS - strategic groups analysis and strategic decision making) and N Botten (competitive strategy in service organisations). The last two contributors are not submitted for this RAE, notwithstanding significant publications, including books.
Another HBS based group entitled Management and Organisational Learning is led by R Harding (recently appointed Professor in Organisational History in HBS and Editor of the Mariner’s Mirror). This group has received funding from Kodak for a number of years to undertake research into the effectiveness of outdoor management development and produces consultancy reports for Kodak. Prof. Harding has an international reputation in 18th and 19th century history of the Royal Navy and this work is currently submitted under the History UoA. In future it is intended that Prof. Harding’s work will be linked more closely with Business and Management UoA, and he is in the process of setting up a research group in Organisational History. This will have close links with ongoing research in strategy and organisation development.

Another important contributor to the management and organisation development theme is Prof. C Hales, known for his published work in organisational change and the nature of managerial work (including the extensively cited Managing through Organisation, now in its second edition), especially in tourism and retailing organisations. All of Prof. Hales’ submitted publications come under this theme.
PSI’s research in this area has centred around two major workplace and employee surveys in which there has been substantial PSI involvement over a number of years. The fourth Workplace Employee (formerly Industrial) Relations Survey was carried out in 1998. This was funded by the Department of Trade and Industry, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service. Two of A Bryson’s submitted publications are based on analysis of this data. The Employment in Britain survey arose from a collaboration between PSI and Nuffield College, Oxford. Funded by a consortium of private companies, the original survey was carried out in 1992. A second survey, funded by ESRCunder its Future of Work programme, followed in 2000. Two of Dr M White’s submitted publications, on restructuring the employment relationship and on performance, equality and staff development are derived from analyses of the original survey.
Other contributors of publications under this theme include D Inns - HBS (metaphor in organisational analysis); V Anderson - WBS (organisational learning for international operations and developments in the managerial role); R Joshi - WBS (management in medical/care services).

Partially embraced by the Innovation and Organisational Change Group at HBS (see above) this theme is also represented in WBS by Dr W Hollins (contributor to relevant journals and author of two books, including the recent Over the Horizon). WBS has recently awarded a Ph D in this area (M Huda).
While not yet fully developed this theme is highlighted as a key area for future research.
Design management research is increasingly important, inasmuch as it underpins HBS’s international MBA in Design Management. Dr A Rieple is a member of the Design Management Institute's recently formed Research Policy Committee and is moving some of her research into this area which has also been strengthened by the appointment of H Griffiths, to HBS in 2000.

This theme is also not yet fully developed but is highlighted as a targeted area for future research. The main contributor is E Coakes - WBS (information technology strategy and knowledge management). Others include: C Vassell – HBS (financial forecasting programming); Dr N Lambrou (appointed to HBS in 2000, from Cavendish School of Computer Science); A David - WBS (scenario planning); Dr D Hitchcock - HBS (IT usage in countryside SMEs). This area is intended to be developed in future in both the Harrow and Marylebone Campuses, on the strength of evolving relationships of the two Business Schools with the Cavendish and Harrow Computing Schools.

Over 15 appointments of primary significance to research in the two business Schools have been made since the end of March 1996. These consist of 9 appointments at Professor level (8 in WBS of which 3 have been new posts and 1 in HBS) to enhance research and research leadership. There have also been 10 appointments at Researcher level in supporting roles. Professor J R Shackleton was appointed Head of the newly constituted WBS in 1997, following his appointment to a professorship in 1996. At the same time we must note some 10 departures from the University from among those who were submitted under this Unit in 1996. New/replacement appointments in the Business Schools, however, have increasingly been made with research criteria in mind.
Brian Wright, former Chief Executive of the London Enterprise Agency and former collaborator on training programmes for small business in the Management School now subsumed under WBS was made Visiting Professor of the University in 2000. David Henderson, former Head of Economics and Statistics at OECD, Director of Economics at the World Bank, Economic Adviser and Consultant to UK and overseas governments and Professor of Economics at University College London has now joined WBS as Visiting Professor (title conferred in 2000). Peter Gorb, former Associate Professor of Design Management at London Business School has been a Visiting Professor at HBS since 1998. Three other Visiting Professors at WBS, M Guirdham, W Dryden and M Hurlston have brought a considerable amount of research/industrial expertise in the period under review.
Since it joined the university, the PSI has benefited from a considerable strengthening of its staff, with 16 researchers joining the Institute since January, 1998. Only one researcher has left PSI in this period. Appointments have been made at both junior and senior levels.
Within the Business Schools, an average of three research sabbatical semesters have been granted to academic staff each year, starting in 1997/8, and other forms of support have continued, including timetabled relief for active researchers throughout the period. This has been made possible despite considerable and increasing pressure on funding. In addition staff development support is available to some twenty staff in the Business Schools pursuing p/t PhDs. Six staff gained PhD's over the review period, including one in the PSI.
QR and NFF funding over the period has been used predominantly to recruit research associates, or to fund full sabbaticals. Smaller scale support for materials has generally been met from recurrent funds in the two Schools.
We currently have over 40 research degree students contributing to the intellectual life of the schools. Completions are running at about two a year, the majority of the students still being relatively recent recruits. The creation of the Graduate School Board and Graduate Centre Structure in 1997 has delivered a University-wide framework with direct benefits for research students. Good practice in processes to support students include annual monitoring, interviews before transfer from Mphil to PhD, and the submission if research supervision logs to the Graduate Centre Director. The integration of PSI has added considerably to our supervisor capability and capacity, and it is intended that PSI staff will play an increasing role in supervising PhD students in the future. A number of research scholarships have continued on the strength of Quintin Hogg Trust funds, and PhD studentships were recently offered for the first time, to be met from QR funds. Full time research students are allocated office space with computer facilities and, where possible, opportunities for paid part-time teaching (with appropriate induction and training), or participation in funded research projects. Where funds permit, students may be assisted to attend relevant outside conferences and seminars. Where they work with supervisors on published work their contribution is fully acknowledged.
The acquisition of PSI has also facilitated the development of strong research links between relevant groups in PSI and WBS in particular (see above under Education, Training and Labour Market). The expectation is that such links will become stronger in the next few years and that collaboration will also extend to the provision of research training. PSI already benefits from the operation of a dedicated training budget the spending of which is related to outcomes from its annual staff appraisal exercise.
To enhance research development in this unit, A network of research directors in Business and Management of London new universities was set up in 1998 by the HBS and WBS Research Director. This initiative has promoted the exploration of possibilities for exchanging research training, as well as introducing opportunities for inter-institutional research.
The development of new key areas and newly active researchers means that their effort is not as yet reflected fully in the current submission of publications, as we have on the whole chosen not to submit conference papers or publications in less prestigious fora. But we also see it as part of our mission to reach the practitioner as well as academic constituencies and this is reflected in our publications in professional (alongside conventional academic) journals. See also RA6 below.
Progress is steady and we are optimistic about the future. We have generally succeeded in replacing departed researchers, indeed often improving the quality, although the 'organic' development of group research in the two Schools has suffered some disruption as new researchers go through the necessary assimilation period before joining existing groups or forming new ones. However, a good number of our researchers have been working for the University for some time now, and have developed their research potential to a considerable extent. Our policy is always to try to retain and relocate good researchers to new projects, as the one that they are working on is completed.
Almost all PSI activity is geared toward the production of research output, either policy-relevant reports produced for government departments or more academic papers funded by research councils or charitable foundations. The challenge for PSI has been to achieve recognition for the quality of its academic output, by securing publication in scholarly journals, while simultaneously maintaining the ability to meet demands for policy-relevant output made by government sponsors. Good progress has been made in this regard over the last three years, with a number of PSI staff members publishing journal articles, partly through assistance from Quintin Hogg Trust funds. The expectation is that this trend will continue during the next assessment period. When combined with further examples of collaboration between WBS, HBS and PSI researchers, this augurs well for UoW’s research profile in this unit.

Users of this website should note that the information is not intended to be a complete record of all research centres in the UK

Copyright 2002 - HEFCE, SHEFC, ELWa, DEL

Last updated 17 October 2003

[ Home | About the RAE2001 | Results | Submissions | Overview reports | Panels | Guidance for panel members
| Guidance for institutions | Publications  ]