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RA5a: Structure,environment and staffing policy

Research structure and environment

Manchester School of Management, (MSM) is firmly established as a leading international centre of excellence in management research and research training, and has been recognised as such in every research assessment exercise undertaken. The award of £5.7 million from the Joint Infrastructure Bid (JIF) initiative to the Manchester Federal School of Business and Management, of which MSM is the largest partner, provides further evidence of the School's national and international standing. The School has 79 academic staff, all but two of whom are research active. Over the current RAE period MSM staff have a combined research output of over 2000 items, a research expenditure of over £8.5m and have held over 120 research contracts, involving over two thirds of academic staff. Since RAE 1996 MSM has continued its twin track policy of valuing and maintaining the tradition of independent scholarship while also fostering the development of focused research centres. Staff are organised in subject disciplines (see RA2), with some staff having affiliations with more than one group (see RA1). This reflects the interdisciplinary nature of MSM research and its continued commitment to the six core research thrusts identified in the last RAE. The strong pluralistic commitment to research in MSM predates the very first RAE. It is embedded in every aspect of the School's activities and derives its support from the complementary research-based strategy of its parent institution UMIST; its involvement in the Manchester Federal School of Business and Management; and its own internal policies and priorities.

UMIST has a strategy of retaining its position as a world-class research-led institution. This strategy provides support for MSM's own research-based ethos. Teaching activity has been concentrated on developing programmes of excellence and attracting well-qualified students. A modest rise in MSM undergraduate student numbers has been accompanied by a rising average A-level point score, standing at 27.11 across all programmes in 2000/2001. Recruitment for new teaching programmes has in all cases been based on research active staff to ensure that teaching and research strategies have remained complementary and reinforcing. UMIST has demonstrated its support for MSM as an international research School through its £7 million investment in a new building, an essential part of the development of the Federal School.

The Manchester Federal School of Business and Management was established in 1994 in an ambitious plan to create new synergies in research and teaching in management in Manchester. This potential is now yielding very tangible benefits, including: the launch of a new £2m ESRC research centre (CRIC) in 1997; the move in 1998 of MSM to a new building and the investment in a new management library for students and researchers; and the Federal School JIF bid, the only successful bid under the auspices of the ESRC in the second JIF round. The benefits of the Federal School are feeding through into a large number of areas of research activity. One particularly notable cross-institutional development is the launching of a pilot Federal School Doctoral programme in 1999/2000. For RAE 2001 it was decided to make separate submissions from the Federal School partners. This decision will be revisited for future submissions.

MSM has continued to emphasise the central importance of a high quality publication strategy. The 79 academic staff have a combined total of over 2000 publications since 1996, a quarter of which were journal refereed articles, staff have authored over 70 books, edited over 100 books and contributed over 250 chapters to books. Since 1996 major strides have been made in developing the international dimension to MSM's research culture. Internationally orientated and comparative research now constitutes a high share of research activity. The research income base of MSM has also been strengthened and broadened, with two thirds of staff participating in externally funded projects. Research income continues to be regarded as a means of enabling the generation and dissemination of new knowledge and not as an end in itself. Some 22% of research expenditure was generated from Research Councils (ESRC and EPSRC). Notable grants include the CRIC research centre, the largest project award within the ESRC future of work programme, and the first research project awarded to the School within the EPSRC Mathematics programme. Support has also been received from charities (Leverhulme, Nuffield, Wellcome), from the British Academy, the British Council, the Royal Society and from learned societies and professional associations/bodies (CIB, CIMA, Design Council, ICAEW). Significant additional support has been received from government sources (DETR, DfEE, DTI, HSE, NHS), from European funds (EC, European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, ETUI), and from industry (Bayer Pharmaceuticals, BAe Systems, British Timken, BUPA, Cosalt, Hansons Industries, Kitagowa Europe, Marl International, Pilkington plc, RHP Bearings, SCA Packaging, Scottish Homes, Severn Trent Water, Silcoms, Tyco Corporation, United Utilities).

This breadth of research support underlines the further internationalisation of the School's research and the strength of MSM's reputation in the policy-making and business communities. Two particular features of the involvement in the corporate sector have been first the expanding number of the Teaching Company Scheme (TCS) Programmes and second the continued development of four research-oriented industrial forums on technology management, retailing, environmental supply chains and consumer behaviour. These user-based Forums draw support from leading corporate players in the relevant specialist field.

The research ethos of the School is reinforced and enlivened by its postgraduate and doctoral training programmes. MSM has more specialist postgraduate degrees recognised for research training by the ESRC than any other business or management school. Professionally the MSc in Organisational Psychology is accredited by the British Psychology Society, as is the MSc in Personnel Management by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. The School's Doctoral programme is recognised by the ESRC for Mode A as well as Mode B students. Almost all academic staff have supervised doctoral students. MSM's international reputation is also evident in other postgraduate training activities. The School is a member of the prestigious Programme Internationale de Management (PIM) international exchange network for postgraduate students in Business and Management and has recently been designated a European Marie Curie Research Training Site for international management and business.

Research centre infrastructure and development

Seven of the 11 research centres have been in operation throughout the RAE period, whilst four have recently been established. The current structure is the outcome of five years of innovation and refocusing, to address new challenges and to respond to changes in staff composition and interests. There has been an expansion and strengthening of the School's research centres activities, see the details on pages 3 to 4. Following personnel changes one centre - the Financial Services Research Centre - was closed and research on this has been taken over by others in the School.

The activities of the centres feed into the core research thrusts of the school. Two are in the area of technology management including the ESRC-funded Centre for Research on Innovation and Competition (CRIC), joint with the University of Manchester and launched in 1997; and the Centre for Research on Organisations, Management and Technological Change (CROMTEC) which has developed a strong environmental management theme to complement its established work in design, technology and globalisation of innovation. A new Operations Management Research Centre has been formed out of the Quality Management and Supply Chain Research Centres, to reflect the Operations Management group's broadening interests into healthcare management and industrial design in addition to quality and supply chain management. Research developments in employment and organisational analysis have led to the expansion of the European Work and Employment Research Centre (EWERC). A large UK-based programme on the future of work complements its strong European comparative research activities. Research into behavioural issues in organisations has been strengthened by the launch of the Saville Holdsworth Ltd (SHL)/UMIST Work and Occupational Psychology Research Centre, funded by an initial grant of £120K over 4 years from SHL and by the refocusing of the Centre for Business Psychology on research into equal opportunities issues in organisations. The establishment of the Manchester Retail Forum provides a strong platform for research by The International Centre for Retail Studies.

Five of these established research centres will contribute to the two specific research programmes that formed the basis for the successful £5.7m JIF bid. This bid was for the development of major new research space to house two new concentrations of research activity across the Federal School. The first programme will bring together the technology management research centres of the two universities (CRIC, CROMTEC and Policy Research in Engineering Science and Technology (PREST)) under a new programme on innovation and the knowledge economy the Centre for the Management of Technology and Innovation. The second will establish the Centre for Applied Management Research which will build upon the research activities of both individual scholars and research centres mainly in the psychology and marketing fields and provide new opportunities for synergies across disciplines within MSM as well as the Federal School as a whole.


Two further centres in the process of being developed will have a joint research and teaching orientation: the Centre for Corporate Communications, established with support from a consortium of major corporations, (e.g. Allied Zurich, BAe, British Gas, Reuters) has a newly appointed professorial Director; and a new Centre for International Business and Management, set up to bring together and build upon MSM's expertise in international management across the full spectrum of School activities. MSM is also a partner in the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, a national distributed research centre with UMIST hosting the Tyndall North Centre. A member of MSM staff is research programme manager of this centre.

Research Centres: Summary Overview

ESRC Centre for Research on Innovation and Competition (CRIC)
CRIC is a joint centre with the University of Manchester. Its research programme has three themes: understanding the `distributed’ nature of innovation processes; re-conceptualising the inter-relation of innovation and competition; and integrating the sociology of consumption with the theory of innovation. CRIC will form part of the new integrated Centre for Management of Technology and Innovation (CMTI).

Centre for Research on Organisations, Management and Technical Change (CROMTEC)
CROMTEC conducts social science and management research on the generation and use of technology in firms and other organisations. It has four main research themes: Environmental Technology Management; Globalisation of Technological Development; Management of the Design Process; and Technology and Strategy. It disseminates its work through two associated industry Forums - The Environmental Supply Chain Forum and the Technology Strategy Forum. CROMTEC will also form part of the new CMTI.

Centre for Operations Management Research
This new Centre, formed through the merger of the Quality Management and Supplier Development Centres, reflects the increasing synergy between these two areas and the broadening interests of the operations management group into healthcare management, industrial design, decision sciences and organisational change.

European Work and Employment Research Centre (EWERC)
EWERC has established a strong international reputation for inter-disciplinary and comparative research on changing patterns of work and employment. The Centre coordinates the European Commission gender and employment expert group and is also currently hosting major projects on the future of work funded inter alia by the ESRC, Leverhulme, the EU, the DTI and the DfEE.

SHL/UMIST Research Centre in Work and Organisational Psychology
The Centre's research objective is to create new knowledge about the psychological factors that influence people's work-related performance, satisfaction and well being. Central aspects of interest include personality and individual differences and personnel selection and assessment. The Centre is committed to sharing knowledge within the business and professional communities, as well as in the academic domain.

Centre for Business Psychology
The Centre aims to apply individual organisational psychology to business issues. The Centre has been involved in extensive collaboration with public and private sector businesses. Principal areas of investigation include: stress audits/risk assessments, change management, psychological contracting, small business start-up, female entrepreneurs, incubation unit development, teamworking, and stress awareness, and, latterly, equal opportunity research.

International Centre for Retail Studies (ICRS)
The ICRS conducts research in the areas of retail marketing, e-commerce, consumer behaviour and consumer protection. The Centre founded and administers the Manchester Retail Research Forum, consisting of senior executives/directors of 16 "blue chip" companies. The Forum assists with the development of research proposals, company access and with research funding.


Centre for Applied Management Research (CAMaR)
CAMaR - a component of the Federal School JIF bid - will generate multidisciplinary research into various facets of group and individual behaviour of people as consumers, users and employees, under controlled and semi controlled conditions. It has four major research programmes: human factors in the use of technology; situational stimuli and human behaviour; perceived risk; and the co-construction of meaning.

Centre for Corporate Communications
Research in this new Centre focuses on how companies manage their relationships with their internal and external stakeholders. Its principal themes include: team communication processes; communication in trust development; management change processes; communication and learning; social and ethical reporting; and reputation management.

Centre for International Business and Management
The new Centre has been established to act as a focus for the School's international activities. The Centre's research activities will include: facilitating internationally-focused research, in particular cross cultural studies; encouraging exchanges of staff with overseas partner universities; and the further development of such partnerships.

The Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
The Tyndall Centre is a distributed research centre located between 9 academic institutions in the UK and funded by the ESRC, NERC and EPSRC. UMIST hosts the Tyndall Centre North. MSM is currently managing a research programme on `decarbonisation'.


Staffing Policy

The staffing policy of MSM has been to promote and facilitate the research activity of all staff, reinforcing the strong research ethos in which individual and team based research are valued equally. The School has pursued an active policy of internal promotion for staff who have developed strong research international track records. There are now 20 professors, 3 readers and 12 senior lecturers among the 79 academic staff. The number of women in senior positions since RAE 1996 has risen from one to four Professors and from zero to two Readers. MSM is attractive to research-orientated staff and has been successful in replacing staff even in tight labour markets. Its policy has been to recruit in areas of key importance to the School's research priorities and to appoint staff principally on the basis of research reputation or potential. From Lecturer to Reader there are a considerable number of staff who are on track for future promotion. This form of upward momentum and ambition will sustain the international research reputation of the School well into the future. Staff recruitment and development are particularly important given that, because of School's research orientation and reputation, MSM staff are attractive to other universities.
The School has an active policy of investing in new staff to renew and refresh research activities. Among the 34 lecturers, some 60% are either currently or have been on probation during the past five years. Many of course have research and teaching experience gained prior to joining MSM. These new staff reflect the expansion of the School, retirements, and promotions to senior positions at other Universities. (Eleven of the staff leaving the School since RAE 1996 did so to take up chair appointments at other UK universities). A supportive research environment is provided for probationary staff to establish independent research reputations, through reduced teaching and administrative duties and additional research allowances. Where appropriate new staff are encouraged to participate in the activities of research centres or group-based projects and to jointly supervise research students. MSM also provides a supportive research environment for contract research staff. MSM has set up its own Code of Practice with respect to research staff to implement and enhance the provisions set down in the national level Concordat on research staff.


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

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