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.
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.
Copyright 2002 - HEFCE, SHEFC, ELWa, DEL
Last updated 17 October 2003