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UOA 36 - Business and Management Studies

Robert Gordon University

RA5a: Research environment and esteem

RESEARCH STRUCTURE

The researchers returned in UOA36 are all engaged in research, teaching and consultancy primarily within Aberdeen Business School (ABS). They operate across a number of its departments and are based in ‘Business and Management’, ‘Human Resource Management’ and ‘Marketing’. Members of staff working in the other departments have been submitted to other UOAs.

The majority of our research activities and outputs specifically within UOA36 can be subdivided into four areas
. These constitute informal rather than formal organisational groups: 1. entrepreneurship, 2. leadership, 3. tourism management and marketing, and 4. environmental issues. They are focal research groupings for business and management studies, are consistent with the University vision and integral to the implementation of the University’s research strategy.

The entrepreneurship group have a formal established centre known as The Charles P. Skene Centre for Entrepreneurship. It has over 10 doctoral research students and incorporates an enthusiastic research active group
, including a number of visiting scholars with a variety of expertise in the field of entrepreneurship.

THE UNIVERSITY CONTEXT

The development of a University wide long term strategy for research has involved a significant investment plan, known as the Research Development Initiative (RDI). The RDI aims to stimulate and grow research and has created a support unit to assist with the management and monitoring of research & enterprise, known as CREDO (Commercialisation & Research Development Office). It is an internal structure in the academic community for encouraging research and enterprise, and involves the Vice-Principal for Research.

The RDI represents a major investment by The Robert Gordon University (RGU), with an expenditure of approximately £1.5 million per annum over the period 2002-200
7. It comprises several strands designed to enhance research and to enable the significant culture change needed. The initial elements of the initiative were five-fold: the recruitment and selection of professors and researchers to lead research in our chosen areas for strategic development; the sponsorship of 20 new research students per annum over the period, from monies provided by external sponsors; the provision of sabbatical opportunities for staff to allow time to develop their research capability; a 50:50 fund to facilitate leverage of external research funding; and a networking fund to develop links with groups of researchers, elsewhere. Following a three year initial period, the last three elements of the initiative were replaced by the following competitive initiatives: a “building on success” fund, to sustain and grow teams delivering significant outcomes; an “emerging focus” fund to grow new research opportunities with a significant probability of success and commensurate with our strategic ambitions; and a “commercialisation fund” to assist in knowledge transfer.

Since the last RAE, a measurable growth in quality and capacity of our research is demonstrable. The University seeks to provide an ambitious and supportive research environment capable of developing new researchers and retaining and maintaining established researchers. There is a structured staff development programme for researchers and research supervisors, with mandatory elements of training and competence. Additionally, all research students now participate in research training and skills development through participation in a mandatory Postgraduate Certificate.


The University’s Vision is “To be internationally recognised for excellence in professional education and research.” We are endeavouring to concentrate on four key research themes: Health and Welfare, Energy and the Environment, Creative Industries and
the Knowledge Economy.

STAFFING POLICY

All of the returned individuals who have doctorates are engaged in research supervision and research methods teaching, spanning undergraduate honours, postgraduate masters and doctoral levels of higher education. The formal arrangements for staff development include expected attendance at annual school and separate departmental away-days addressing research topics. Bi-annual individual goal setting and review interviews are held between management and employee through the ‘Objective Setting and Career Review’ (OSCR) system. The OSCR system has contributed to the University’s ‘Investors in People (IiP) status. RGU was the first University in Scotland to achieve IiP accreditation and re-accreditation was obtained in December 2006. Much of the research activity is fostered within an informal culture that encourages people to participate in the annual programmes of departmental research seminars and staff development workshops on specific topics such as publishing in academic journals and understanding reviewing processes.

One category
C staff member has been funded during the period to support work in entrepreneurship (Dr Schaul Chorev) and return visits to Dr Chorev’s institution are planned. The departure of Dr Paul Robson (Durham) in 2005 affected research work in entrepreneurship and in leadership. The main way in which the school responded to offset the loss of a valuable researcher was to replace his contribution with early career researchers, notably Dr Robert Smith (entrepreneurship) and Dr Naheed Vatcha (leadership).

Our four early career researchers are integral to
the long-term development of our research. Dr Lefteris Kretsos, Dr Robert Smith, Ms. Yuliani Suseno and Dr Naheed Vatcha are located in two of the most established research groups (entrepreneurship and leadership) and work in three departments within the School.  It is envisaged that further early career researchers will be appointed in the near future in the environmental issues group based on the doctoral student supervision and successful PhD and ESRC grant awards by readers Dr Seonaidh McDonald, Dr Peter Strachan and Dr David Lal.

RESEARCH GROUPS

Professor Alistair Anderson is head of the Entrepreneurship group and leads initiatives in research and teaching. Academic staff and students undertake both qualitative and quantitative approaches to entrepreneurship and have research interests in two broad areas; the entrepreneurial process and small business. At present we have research students working in the areas of comparing criminality and entrepreneurship; the entrepreneurial narrative; the role of morality; the use of relationship marketing in SMEs and Chinese entrepreneurship. Dr Sarah Drakopoulou-Dodd supervises PhD students and works on research projects in collaboration with members of the centre.  Early career researcher Dr Smith is a new appointment and previously was a PhD student within the centre. Dr Chorev is a Category C staff member, based in Israel, investigating entrepreneurship issues in the contexts of knowledge work and training and development, publishing primarily with Professor Anderson.

RDI Fellowships at a total cost of £501,599.11 have been awarded to the other three research groups which operate without a formal Centre. Professor Tourish’s post has been funded at a cost of £178,676.49 and Professor Donaldson and Dr McDonald have costed respectively, £182,375.04 and £140,547.58.

The Leadership group is led by Professor Dennis Tourish who supervises PhD students and works on research projects on leadership set within communications research and related disciplines. He has published on the problems of leadership in contexts of corporate scandals working with early career researcher Dr Vatcha and on the complexities of communication in transformational and charismatic approaches to leadership. Professor Ashly Pinnington supervises research at all levels and teaches research methods and human resource management (HRM). He specialises in knowledge intensive organisations and collaborates with Professor Tourish on leadership development research integrating corporate communication studies and human resource management disciplinary theories and practices. In addition, Professor Pinnington works with two of our early career researchers, Ms Suseno who is concentrating on social network approaches to understanding the roles of social capital in professional occupations and Dr Kretsos whose research specialisation is in comparative employee relations, especially within the European Union.

The
Tourism management and marketing group is led by Professor Bill Donaldson whose expertise is in marketing research. Professor Donaldson supervises student research at all levels and teaches research methods. He collaborates with Dr Thyne on tourism management and Ms Senga Briggs on quality management, situated within education and tourism industry contexts. Dr Thyne supervises PhD students and specialises on tourism management, especially in Scotland and New Zealand. Dr Robert Nash has published with Dr Thyne and is engaged in several research and consultancy projects on tourism development in Scotland and Kazakhstan.

The
Environmental issues group is lead by Dr McDonald who teaches qualitative research methods and prior to taking maternity leave was research coordinator for business and management. Dr McDonald jointly supervises PhD students with colleagues in all four of the research groups and specialises in the area of environmental sustainability. One of the PhD research students (Mhairi Aitken) supervised by Dr McDonald receives a fully funded ESRC CASE PhD studentship award. Other key members of the group include Dr Strachan who researches and publishes with Dr Lal on environment policy and regulation. Dr Strachan has recently obtained funding for an ESRC Research Seminar Series (£21,344) which commenced in September 2007 investigating planning and policy in the context of wind-power generation and is collaborating with academic researchers based in four other universities. The centre benefited from the year long sabbatical visit of Category C researcher Professor McBoyle who specialises on the influences of climate change.

Some of the
key achievements for the research groups include, in entrepreneurship, the appointment of Professor Anderson as Editor Entrepreneurship and Regional Development and the publication of two articles (Anderson, Dodd) in the Journal of Business Venturing. Best paper conference awards for two of the early career researchers in entrepreneurship (Smith) and leadership (Suseno) which was achieved during their PhD research. Publication in high quality journals by our academic researchers in all of the research groups, for example, in leadership Tourish (Journal of Management Studies) and Pinnington (Organization Studies), and in environmental issues McDonald (Sociology) and Strachan (Regional Studies). Finally, the securing during the RAE period of high quality research grants particularly the CASE award (McDonald and Strachan) and ESRC funding (Strachan).

RESEARCH STUDENTS AND STUDENTSHIPS

The institution is engaged in a new culture of research and the period 2001-2007 has been one of substantial change. In 2007, there are 13 full-time and 18 part-time PhD students in Business and Management Studies. The total number of PhD students registered during this phase of controlled growth has been:  2001 (1); 2002 (1); 2003 (5); 2004 (10); 2005 (17); 2006 (17) and 2007 (32).

We have 7 full-time PhD students who are funded by the university through the Research Development Initiative (RDI) scheme. In addition, 2 full-time PhD students receive full external funding: Mhairi Aitken has an ESRC Case Award which commenced in 2005 and Stephen Ritchie an award from Bramshill Police Staff College who registered in 2004. Further sources of funding for our PhD students include Tempus EU, Napier University and Sun Microsystems.

A generous level of resources is provided for PhD students. On arrival and throughout their period of registration, all full-time PhD students are allocated a dedicated large desk, telephone (each with facilities to make outgoing calls as required), and personal computer. They study in rooms dedicated for the use of research students and research staff with controlled security access and located within the main building of ABS. Each receives an allowance of £600 per year, while it is not unusual for a PhD student in the Department to receive £1,000 of university funding in any one academic year to support training, conference attendance, and data collection. No conference attendance or data collection trip request by a PhD student has been refused, with the majority of data collection trips involving international travel, some for extended periods.

RDI Studentships Expenditure and Supervision:

The RDI PhD studentships include a stipend and fees worth approximately £40,000 each per annum awarded for three consecutive years. The RDI PhD student (Guthrie) supervised by Professor Anderson and Dr Thyne is a collaboration between Entrepreneurship and Tourism Management with an expenditure of £900 (year end 2006). In leadership, Professor Tourish and Professor Pinnington are first supervisors for two of the RDI PhD research studentships (Yaghfouri, Seow) with an expenditure of £450 (year end 2006). Dr McDonald and Dr Strachan are first supervisors for three out of four of the RDI PhD research studentships (Bee, Otitoju, Osseichuk, Allardyce) with an expenditure of £1,700.96 (year end 2007).


RESEARCH INCOME AND EXPENDITURE

All members of staff enrolled for doctoral research study have their tuition fees waived and paid for by ABS. External income for research has been attracted from a number of funding sources including the ESRC, European Union, British Academy of Management and corporate sponsorship and consultancy including Skene Investments and Aberdeen Harbour. The total income is substantial and totals £431,796.02.

Entrepreneurship - Professor Anderson has attracted to the Centre for Entrepreneurship over £208,663.83 of direct cost income and expenditure (year end 2007).

Leadership - During 2005-2007, Professor Tourish has attracted over £79,000 from the European Union, ESF Grant 4A.1/N/MA/4/103423 for a project titled, ‘Evaluating Leadership Development in Scotland’. In the same period, Professor Pinnington has obtained £80,826 from the European Union, ESF Grant 1/N/MA/5/105384 for a project titled, ‘Individual and Career Development’. These two projects require matched funding and the current expenditure is £57,717 and £42,300.38 respectively. Professor Tourish also obtained income for evaluating leadership with an expenditure of £1,034.28 and a project extension additional award in 2007 for £40,433.

Tourism Management and marketing - Professor Donaldson obtained income for a research consultancy project on Aberdeen Harbour. The total income and expenditure is £14,512. Dr Thyne has directed and supervised research projects on tourism with an expenditure of £11,823.73 (years 2002-2004).

Environmental issuesDr McDonald has obtained research income from three sources: ESRC Sustainable Technologies Programme Research Grant (RES-338-25-0001 – the funds are held at the University of Leeds), ESRC CASE Studentships and British Academy. The total amount of income (excluding the stipend and fees) and expenditure is £2,361.19. Dr Strachan was awarded research funds from the National Industrial Symbiosis Programme to investigate environment planning policy. The total income is £10,000 (including the £4,000 stipend) and the expenditure is £4,696.70

RESEARCH STRATEGY

The University strategy observes that: “With regard to research we will encourage all staff to engage in research but only be able to fund a small number of areas. These will be determined by our ability to achieve international levels of excellence and achieve sustainable high performance.” ABS has adopted a new formal school research strategy agreed with the research coordinators and through staff consultation during 2005-2006. It seeks to be internationally recognised in its research activities and outcomes. Growth during the RAE2008 assessment period in the number of quality academic publications, funded research awards and students enrolled on doctoral programmes have been major achievements.

ABS Key Research objectives, achievements and targets:

1. To provide the opportunity for all staff to engage actively in a research agenda and to encourage staff to undertake research

One of the two recent PhD completions supervised by our returned researchers is a member of the academic staff: Robert Smith (26.01.06). It is envisaged that the number of staff doctoral completions will increase to five people by 2010. Four of the research active staff are research coordinators for their departments within ABS and are involved in advising on research plans and appraisals. All staff members will continue to have access to research travel and conference funds for professional development purposes.

2. To identify, support, celebrate, and reward excellence and achievement in research and innovation

The RDI fellowships have been a significant form of support for attracting, retaining and promoting high quality academic staff. Dr Lal, Dr McDonald and Dr Strachan have been promoted from senior lecturer to reader level positions. It is planned that 6 out of 7 RDI students will have completed their PhD research by the end of 2010. Also, it is intended that an additional 14 PhD students will have successfully completed by this time.

3.To foster the development of research clusters which provide the locus for building a reputation for excellence in particular cognate subject areas within the Aberdeen Business School. This will include establishing direction and priorities for cross-disciplinary research

The four research groups have achieved significant recognition and esteem and have a base of 40 PhD students for developing the next generation of researchers. Consistent with the University mission, the focus is to concentrate on growing the four research groups consistent with the activities of the four University research themes of: Health and Welfare, Energy and the Environment, Creative Industries and Knowledge Economy. By 2010 it is envisaged that twice the number of staff will be capable of RAE-level return in UOA36, involving a change from 15FTE to 30FTE.

4. To maximise research income and ensure as far as possible that direct and indirect costs of research funded by external sponsors is fully recovered

A combination of small grants and EU research funding has been successful in encouraging more staff to become research active, present conference papers and publish their research work. It is envisaged that external funding for supporting these activities will have more than doubled by 2010 from approximately £431,796 to £900,000.

RA5a Indicators of Esteem and Impact

The Research Groups for Business and Management Studies have made significant achievements gaining recognition and esteem in entrepreneurship, leadership, tourism management and marketing, and environmental issues.

Highly prestigious accomplishments by our academic researchers include membership of 19 editorial boards of journals in their specialist areas of research, formal research appointments (e.g. Lancaster and Aarhus) and international visits (e.g. Oxford, Uppsala). Our peer esteem is evidenced through citation and listings in journals such as the Journal of Business Venturing and Journal of Management Studies, and publication of influential chapters in books and co-edited academic books by publishers including Oxford University Press.

Our returned researchers are well represented on a number of editoral boards of academic journals. Professor Anderson is Editor (appointed November 2007) of Entrepreneurship and Regional Development. He is an Associate Editor for three journals and a member of seven editorial boards including the Journal of Small Business Management. Dr Drakopoulou Dodd is a member of the editorial board of two journals including the International Small Business Journal. Professor Tourish is a member of Management Communication Quarterly and Leadership and Professor Pinnington is a member of Philosophy of Management. Professor Donaldson is a member of the Editorial Board of the European Journal of Marketing and Dr Thyne is a member of the International Journal of Business Science & Applied Management. Dr Strachan is joint editor of Progress in Industrial Ecology and Dr Lal is a member of the editorial board.

Our researchers in Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Tourism Management hold research appointments and formal visiting positions in a number of universities known for their international research work. Professor Anderson has been appointed Visiting Research Fellow, Lancaster University, Institute for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development (1st May 2007 – 31st May 2010). He is an Honorary professor at Aberdeen University and in 2007 is a Visiting Professor to Aarhus Business School. Professor Pinnington was Visiting Researcher to Said Business School (June 2003), Uppsala Universitet (Sept 2006) and Hong Kong City University (May 2007) and Professor Tourish was a visiting professor to the Graduate School of Management, Queensland University of Technology during July-August 2004. Dr Thyne was an invited visiting researcher to the Amsterdam Hotel School, Netherlands (September 2004 – December 2005).

We have been active in developing new academic researchers and have been external examiners for 21 completed PhD students.  Professor Anderson has been appointed external examiner for 10 PhD theses (Queens, 2007; Middlesex, 2007; Southampton, 2007; Open University, 2004; Lincoln, 2005, 2007; Manchester Metropolitan, 2005; Ballarat, Australia, 2006; Aarhus, Denmark, 2006; University College Dublin, Ireland, 2006). Professor Tourish has been external examiner for four PhD students (Queensland, 2004; NTNU Trondheim, 2005; Helsinki School of Economics, 2006 and Canberra, 2007) and Professor Pinnington has been external examiner for a PhD thesis (2004) in the University of New England. Professor Donaldson has been external examiner for 4 PhD theses (DeMontfort, 2003; Bournemouth, 2004; Swansea, 2007; South Australia, 2007) and Dr Strachan for two doctoral students (Linkoping, 2005; Cardiff, 2005).

Furthermore, major prizes have been awarded to our early career researchers, notably:
  • Early career researcher Dr Smith, along with Helle Neergaard from Aarhus University, was presented with the best paper award in the RENT XVII Conference (2004) and was presented with the Raymond Family Business Institute Award (June 2003) for his paper presented at the Babson Kaufmann Entrepreneurship Conference (June 2002) held in Boulder, Colorado.
  • Early career researcher Ms Suseno won the best doctoral paper at the 2004 Annual Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference and the best paper in the strategy stream.

One of our recently completed PhD students Dr Carter Crockett was winner of the 2004 University of Notre Dame "Excellence in Ethics: Dissertation Competition Proposal". His proposal submission, entitled "Entrepreneurial Virtue: New Business Creation as a Teleological Pursuit" was described as having the potential to make a significant leap in our understanding of ethical issues. Our doctoral research students are regularly publishing in good academic journals, for example, C. Crockett, 2004, Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, 6(1), 5-17; G. Zontanos, 2004, International Journal of Entrepreneurship Behaviour and Research, 10(4), 260-276 and Qualitative Market Research, 2004, 7(3), 228-236; and C. Guthrie, 2007, Journal of Research Practice, 3(1): article M.


Indicators of esteem and recognition for our four research groups (entrepreneurship, leadership, tourism management and marketing, and environmental issues) include:

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

In citations and peer esteem, Professor Anderson and Dr Jack’s (2002) Journal of Business Venturing article has achieved 17 citations in the Thomson ISI Web of Knowledge database and is the 29th most downloaded from JBV (August 2006). Two co-authored papers appear in the 2006 top 20 for the International Journal of Entrepreneurship Behaviour and Research.


Significant research outputs have been achieved in collaboration with Dr Chorev (category C) who has been a visitor to Business and Management Studies collaborating on research with Professor Anderson into entrepreneurship. They have published in several entrepreneurship journals, including Technovation:

  1. o Chorev, S., and Anderson, A.R. (2006) ‘Success in Israeli high-tech start-ups: Critical factors and process,’ Technovation, 26(2): 162-174.

Professor Anderson has been an influential keynote speaker at conferences and seminars in India, Portugal, Sweden and Finland. He has been requested to act as a rapporteur and reviewer for the ESRC, professorial fellowships, and reports and research grant applications for Nuffield, Leverhulme and the British Academy. Professor Anderson and colleagues organised a conference on ‘Entrepreneurial cultures and contexts’ held in Aberdeen on 13th - 15th September 2007, in collaboration with CERVEPAS at the Sorbonne. It was attended by international delegates and will result in the publication of in excess of 12 academic papers.


The Skene Centre researchers Smith and Dodd are establishing growing reputations in the field of entrepreneurship research. Early career researcher Dr Smith is Guest Editor with Helle Neergaard for a Special Edition of The International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation - "Listening to voices at the margins of entrepreneurship" Vol 8, No 4. September, 2007. Dr Drakopoulou Dodd, Dr Jack and Professor Anderson’s (2006) invited chapter on ‘The mechanisms and processes of entrepreneurial networks: Continuity and change’ was published in Johan Wiklund, Dimo Dimov, Jerome A. Katz and Dean Shepherd (eds) Advances in Entrepreneurship, Firm Emergence and Growth, Vol. 9, Entrepreneurship: Frameworks and empirical investigations from forthcoming leaders of European research, Ch.5, pp. 9-28, Elsevier, JAI Press.

LEADERSHIP

Citations and peer esteem are similarly evident in the area of leadership research. Professor Tourish and Dr Robson’s (2006) Journal of Management Studies article was listed in the Top Six academic papers for 2006 by the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Professor Pinningtons article in Organisation Studies is cited 10 times in the Thomson Social Science Citation Index and Professor Tourish and Dr Vatcha’s 2006 paper in Leadership is one of the ten most downloaded papers in the journal.


Our researchers have been active in conference organisation and major collaborative projects with academic institutions and industry partner organisations. Dr Malhotra and Professor Pinnington were Co-organisers of All-Academy Symposium (one of four accepted), accepted jointly by the Organization and Management Theory and Organization Development and Change Divisions, ‘Interaction between professional service organizations and governments’.  American Academy of Management Conference, Washington D.C., August 5th -8th 2001. Professor Pinnington was Chief Investigator for two Australian Research Council Grants C00107500 ‘Organisation of Knowledge-Intensive Business Services during Internationalisation’ $66,884 (2001-2005) and  C00107500 ‘Managing Change in the Knowledge-Intensive Business Services Sector’ $105,000 (2000-2004) –Participating organisations University of Queensland, University of Western Sydney, Minter Ellison, University of Alberta. Professor Tourish delivered a keynote address (July 2004) at the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference in Sydney, Australia. He is a co-applicant collaborating with Professors Joel Amernic (Toronto) and Russell Craig (ANU) on an Institute of Chartered Accounts of Scotland research project (funding based at Toronto £25,000) titled, ‘Assessing the tone at the top’ (1st January 2007 – 1st August 2008).


Professor Pinnington was visiting associate professor at the Thunderbird Global School of Management, Glendale, Arizona (2003). His article published in 2005 in the International Journal of Human Resource Management reports and analyses data collected from Thunderbird MBA students. Further evidence of impact is shown in recent edited books. Professor Tourish has co-edited a book with Professor Hargie (2004) Key Issues in Organizational Communication, London: Routledge. Professor Pinningtons co-edited academic book was published in January 2007 by Oxford University Press:

  1. oPinnington, A.H., Macklin, R.E., and Campbell, T. (Eds.) 2007. Human Resource Management: Ethics and Employment, Oxford: Oxford University Press ISBN-13: 978-0-19-920379-9; ISBN-10: 0-19-920379-2.

We are developing increasing expertise and recognition in the areas of tourism management and marketing. This is in an earlier phase of development than the other research groups.

TOURISM MANAGEMENT AND MARKETING

Professor Donaldson was joint author on the best paper award at the British Academy of Marketing Conference (2005). Dr Thyne co-edited special issues of Journal of Customer Behaviour (2007 with Ken Deans) and Journal of Quality Assurance in Hospitality and Tourism (2005 with Eric Laws). Dr Nash has worked with the Estonian Tourist Board on the development of strategic priorities for their rapidly developing tourism industry. He has been invited to collaborate with New Leaders Ltd in developing tourism in Kazakhstan. Dr Thyne was commissioned by Scottish Enterprise to undertake research evaluating the tourism initiatives, organisations and developments within New Zealand, to provide benchmarking information for Scottish Enterprise on developing the tourism industry within Scotland (November 2004 – May 2005).

ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

The Environmental issues researchers have an international reputation in the field. Visiting Professor McBoyle (Category C staff) from the University of Waterloo (London, Canada) was resident visiting professor for 12 months during 2004-2005. He has published articles in Climate Research in 2003 and 2005. This journal has an impact factor of 1.519 (2006) and focuses on the effects of climate change on tourism patterns and activities. Dr McDonald was chair of the Environmental Study Group of the Operational Research Society from 1996-2003. Dr Lal and Dr Strachan are members of the Scottish Parliament Environmental Research Group (SPREG). Dr Lal was a member of the conference organising committee for the American Society of Business and Behavioral Sciences International Conference, Aberdeen, August 11th -16th 2001. On the 13th September 2007 Dr Strachan was elected Secretary for the British Academy of Management (BAM) Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Special Interest Group (SIG) 1st October 2007 – 1st October 2008.
The high impact of these researchers is demonstrated in both their academic and practitioner presence and publications. Dr Strachan was ESRC Rapporteur in 2006 for the project ‘Accounting for the Outcomes of Wind Planning Applications’. Dr Strachan has been the chair of four large wind power conference tracks during 2005-7 and was a plenary speaker at the 11th Annual International Sustainable Development Research Conference (6th -8th June 2005) in Helsinki, Finland. Dr McDonald’s article with Blackler and Crump (2000) originally published in Organization 7(2) has been reprinted in Nicolini, Gherardi and Yanow (2003) ‘Knowing in organizations: A practice-based approach’, New York: M.E. Sharpe, pp. 126-150. Dr McDonalds research findings contributed to the Daily Telegraph’s (18th October 2007) environment supplement. Dr Strachan has edited a special issue of Business Strategy and the Environment. In addition, he has been co-editor of special issues in Progress in Industrial Ecology (1) and most recently, in European Environment (17).

Finally, a clear indication of achievement and long-term viability relates to the several ESRC awards which have been obtained. Most notably, Dr Strachan is Principal Organiser for an ESRC Research Seminar Series, ‘Where Next for Wind? Explaining National Variations in Wind Power Deployment’ £21,344. The ESRC funding is for five seminars to be held, in collaboration with Dr Warren, Dr Cowell, Dr Szarka and Dr Ellis, at RGU, St Andrews, Cardiff, Bath, and Queens University Belfast. The grant runs from 1st September 2007 until 31st July 2009. Dr McDonald is a co-applicant and ESRC grant holder with the University of Leeds and Sheffield University Management School in the collaborative ESRC funded projectTrade-offs in decision-making for sustainable technologies’ as part of the Sustainable Technologies Programme.