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UOA 36 - Business and Management Studies

Napier University

RA5a: Research environment and esteem

1. Introduction

Napier University Business School conducts theoretical and applied research across a range of inter-connected specialisms. Research is strongly policy and practice related, with a clear expectation of producing high quality academic outputs. The RAE 2001 document outlined the research strategy to ‘build upon and enhance the research reputation of the Business School and the Employment Research Institute in its specialist areas’. This has remained the objective throughout the period. More specific parts of the research strategy were to recruit more research students and encourage staff to undertake PhDs and/or research projects. The group has successfully achieved this through structured support and the development of a wider research culture across the Business School. A number of existing staff have become fully research active, while early career researchers have been appointed and developed. This approach supports the University Strategic Plan of selective research development, where research involves knowledge creation and dissemination, a key role in informing policy, improving knowledge transfer, building research capacity and enhancing teaching.

The current Faculty Strategic Plan sets the aim of achieving excellence in applied and collaborative research to support the mission to ‘develop leaders and management practitioners who make a positive difference to organisations and society’. This is to be achieved through support focused on:-

  • Continued development of our core existing strength in the Employment Research Institute (ERI);
  • Continued growth of strategically important areas (Consumer Research, Accountancy and Finance, Operations Management).

2. Research Activity 2000 - 2007

The successful growth in research activity within the Business School is illustrated by the current submission of 34 individuals (31 FTE), compared with 11 in 2001. Total submissable income for the RAE submission period is £1,278,439, giving a per capita income (FTE) of £41,239. The School provides a dynamic environment for integrated business and management research, with cross-disciplinary and cross-institution joint authorship of many cited publications. An important contribution to developing future researchers has been the strategic growth in MPhil/PhD students, currently 39, with 20 PhD completions since 2001.

A strength in the research record has been in knowledge co-production through commissioned research - dealing mainly with knowledge creation, but also with a clear contribution to policy development and knowledge transfer. This research has led directly and indirectly to improvements in policy through widely disseminated research reports. In addition there has been considerable dissemination of this research through publication in high quality, relevant academic journals.

Research within the Business School centres upon the Employment Research Institute (ERI), which directly oversees three broad inter-linking areas of work:-

  • Employability and Employment Creation;
  • Equality and the Changing Nature of Work;
  • Management and Skills within Organisations.

These are complemented by Business School research in the three rapidly growing contiguous areas of:-

  • Consumer Research;
  • Accountancy and Finance Research;
  • Operations Management.

Each of these six thematic areas is outlined in more detail in section 3 below.

The ERI was established in 1997 and takes an inter-disciplinary research approach around the unifying theme of ‘developing human potential’. As Director of the ERI, Professor Ronald McQuaid supplies general research leadership across the thematic areas. The ERI comprises academic staff from across the Business School, while also having a strong core of staff on permanent research contracts and providing a setting for capacity building in the development of new researchers (e.g. Colin Lindsay was a Research Assistant at the time of RAE 2001 and has since been promoted to Senior Research Fellow, taking responsibility for leading major projects and supporting new staff). A key strategy within the ERI has been to provide long-term employment security to research staff to enable this very successful development of new researchers. As a result it is necessary to maintain a level of income generation to support the working of the Institute and this is fully recognised within its business planning. The majority of Business School research income has been generated within the ERI and a key objective for the future is to achieve sustainability in its areas of expertise. In addition within the ERI, specialist groups such as Human Resource Management (HRM) have established research profiles in their own right since the 2001 RAE and will launch the Edinburgh Institute of Leadership and Management Practice in 2007 and the Edinburgh Human Resource Academy in 2008. These represent a major development for the Business School in terms of our interface with the public, private and voluntary sectors for research and knowledge transfer activities.

Consumer Research has been identified as a strategic area for development and has focused on tourism management strategies. Research on Accountancy and Finance has retained a strong public sector management theme, linking to established research priorities within the ERI. Finally, Operations Management has focused on issues around outsourcing, supply chain processes and social networks.

The Business and Management Studies submission encompasses the main research undertaken within the Business School. However, a separate submission is being made in Law (UoA 38) and individual members of Business School staff are included in submissions in Health (UoA 11), Civil Engineering (UoA 27) and Language and Literature (UoA 57).

3. Research Focus and Themes

The six research themes are now discussed in more detail, with reference to specific outputs included in the submission.

3.1 Employability and Employment Creation

Professor John Adams, Matthew Dutton (Early Career Researcher – ECR) Malcolm Greig, Dr Emma Hollywood, Colin Lindsay, Dr Suzi Macpherson, Professor Ronald McQuaid.

ERI researchers have established an excellent reputation for producing research and important publications covering both the supply-side and demand-side of labour market issues and employability. McQuaid has provided the main leadership for this group and on employment and employability issues particularly in terms of mentoring, publications, leading major contract research projects, workshop and conference organisation and related PhD supervisions. Areas that have provided a focus for research publications include: employability (McQuaid 1; Lindsay 4); the impact and appropriateness of labour market and training policies (Adams 4; Greig 1); barriers to work faced by the unemployed (Lindsay 3); industrial restructuring and the geography of labour markets (Adams 1; Hollywood 1); factors promoting economic development, regeneration and employment creation (Adams 3; McQuaid 3); the relationship between unemployment and social exclusion (Lindsay 2; Greig 2; Macpherson 3).

Major funding for research in this field has been obtained from a number of government bodies, charities and agencies resulting in significant reports and academic publications - the strategy is to seek to publish at least one academic article from all funded research projects. Indicative examples of project funders include:-

  • Sector Skills Development Agency (a £90,000 project Exploring Employers Skills Upgrading Needs and Local VET Provision with Leeds Metropolitan and Ulster Universities (2006-7);
  • European Commission (several projects e.g. Study on Employment in Rural Areas, 2005 with 5 EU universities; Economic Growth and Sustainable Mobility 5th Framework £60,000);
  • British Council/Department for International Development;
  • Northern Ireland’s Department of Employment and Learning (Dutton 1);
  • Countryside Agency (Employment in rural areas – 2005 report published on the web);
  • Scottish Enterprise (including ageing and local labour markets (Hollywood 2; Lindsay 1);
  • Communities Scotland (Approaches to Evaluation in Community Regeneration, 2006);
  • Scottish Economic Policy Network (Older Workers in the Scottish Labour Market, Research Report, 2003) leading to an ESF funded project for £60,000;
  • Joseph Rowntree Foundation (two separate grants awarded in 2003 (Wired For Work? ICT and Job Seeking in Rural Areas (Greig 3 and 4) and 2005 (Governance, Community and Location in Coalfields Regeneration with Sheffield Hallam and Cardiff Universities) (Hollywood 3).

Funding was also obtained for two seminar series on “Employability and labour market policy” (co-funded by the Regional Studies Association and the Regional Science Association International, 2003-4), run jointly with Warwick University and “Employability policies in Europe” (funded by the Regional Studies Association, 2007) (Lindsay 2). Building on these McQuaid co-edited Special Editions of Urban Studies on ‘Employability and Local Labour Market Policy’ and Annals of Regional Science on ‘Linking Supply and Demand in Local Labor Market Research’ (McQuaid 2).

Other on-going projects include:-

  •  Best Practice in Inter-Agency Co-Operation on Employability (£45,000), with academics in each of 15 countries worldwide led by the ERI (funded by the Department of Employment and Learning NI) (2005-7);
  • The ERI was funded £335,000 by the Scottish Executive (2004-8) for the national evaluation of the ‘Working for Families Fund’ programme (which seeks to promote the development of linked employability and childcare services to facilitate labour market participation, especially for disadvantaged parents). Findings have been disseminated through a series of reports published by the Scottish Executive, with academic outputs currently being developed (Bond, Lindsay, McQuaid).
    In addition, the Business School is a founder member of the Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE), which receives research pooling funding from the Scottish Funding Council to support and enhance the development of research expertise in economics across ten participating Scottish universities. The primary focus of participation by economists from Napier is within Work and Well Being – building on the existing strengths within the ERI.

3.2 Equality and the Changing Nature of Work

Sue Bond, Colin Lindsay, Professor Ronald McQuaid, Dr Suzi Macpherson, Dr Anne Munro, Emily Thomson, Sarah Wise (Category B), Professor Diana Woodward.

Research concerned with the recognition and value of diversity at the workplace in ways that maximise human potential has been another area of development since RAE 2001. Research under this theme has fallen into two main areas: work-life balance issues and aspects of occupational segregation (in career choice, in specific sectors of the labour market, and in trade unions). Initial research leadership came from McQuaid, Woodward and Munro. Dedicated ERI research staff have developed significant expertise in this area and have become research leaders in their own right (Bond, Lindsay, Macpherson, Thomson). On work-life balance issues. The ERI has received substantial funding has been received from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) (2000-01). This research led to additional funding from the JRF for research conducted in collaboration with Cambridge, City, Keele and Sheffield Hallam Universities (2002-03). Research drawn from these projects has also led to a range of publications (Bond 1, 2 and 3) and supported the development of staff – Bond is now a Senior Research Fellow; Wise, an early career researcher, worked within the ERI until 2006, when she left to join Sydney University’s Workplace Research Centre. She made a key contribution to building research in the skills development and equalities field. Wise continues to publish with staff at Napier and the appointment of Thomson with similar expertise has ensured continuity of activity.

This research theme has subsequently attracting funding from Fairplay/the Department for Trade and Industry (DTI) (Bond, Wise) resulting in a review of policy research on work-life balance and the development of a guide for employers. Both reports were published by the DTI. Other projects include:-

  • a major project funded by the European Social Fund Objective 3 programme (2003-04) addressed work-life issues in nursing;
  • Thomson has investigated labour market impacts of childcare provision (Thomson);
  • McQuaid gained funding (£104,000) from the European Social Fund Objective 3 Programme to research SMEs and Disadvantaged Parents.

Wise and Woodward have separately gained funding from the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation and Woodward from the Carnegie Trust to undertake research on work-life balance issues for women in Japan. Woodward’s work involved a comparative study of women employed in British and Japanese universities (Woodward 4). Both Woodward and Wise have worked in collaboration with Dr Takeko Iinuma of Senshu University, Tokyo and presented research findings at Senshu University. Woodward has a long-term research interest in issues of gender in management and has worked with Professor Mustafa Ozbilgin (University of East Anglia) on a comparison of gender in the financial services sector in the UK and Turkey (Woodward 1).

Members of the ERI team also have particular expertise in researching gender-based segregation within specific sectoral and occupational contexts. Thomson has published research commissioned by the Equal Opportunities Commission on gender segregation in Modern Apprenticeship training (Thomson 2). Other commissioned research has focused on gender diversity in the forestry sector (commissioned by the European Social Fund Objective 3 Programme) (Bond, Macpherson and Thomson - 2006-8).

A range of commissioned projects have focussed on aspects of gender segregation in the transition into employment:-

  • gender stereotyping in adult careers services in Scotland (commissioned by the EOC) (Wise);
  • gender stereotyping and career choice among young people, commissioned by Careers Scotland and others) (Bond, McQuaid).

Finally, Munro’s research experience on equalities within work organisation and trade union organisation (Munro 1) has been developed within the ERI in a series of research projects commissioned by the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) from 2004 to 2007 on trade unions and equal opportunities, with a number of journal articles forthcoming (Munro, Lindsay, Wise, Thomson).

3.3 Management and Skills within Organisations

Norma D’Annunzio-Green, Sue Bond, Vaughan Ellis (ECR), Dr Lois Farquharson (ECR), Dr Helen Francis, James Gallagher, Dr David McGuire (ECR), Dr Sonal Minocha (ECR), Dr Anne Munro, Professor George Stonehouse, Dr Sandra Watson.

Research within this theme encompasses Human Resource Development (HRD) and managing human resources. The theme of development and learning in the workplace has been an area of consolidation and growth since the last RAE, with staff publishing widely in the areas of managerial skills (Watson 2; McGuire 1), knowledge management (Stonehouse 2), organisational learning (Minocha 1 and 2) workplace learning (Munro 3) and the development of case study based learning (Gallagher 1). Gallagher links empirical research in the development of case studies with the process of learning through case study analysis (Gallagher 2 and 3). Significant work has also been pursued within the human resource (HR) field, including the evolution of HR practices and policies; the changing roles of HR professionals and line managers in the delivery of HR (Francis 1, 2 and 4; D’Annunzio-Green 4; Farquharson 2; Bond 4); and management in the call centre sector (Ellis 1 and 2).

Research capacity has grown in a number of ways: Munro provided research leadership in this area, while the group has also been enhanced by the appointment of Stonehouse; the research activities of existing staff have deepened (D’Annunzio-Green, Francis, Gallagher and Watson); and early career researchers have been appointed and developed (Ellis, Farquharson, McGuire, Minocha).

Munro has built on her work concerning lower grade workers in the public sector, producing outputs from the earlier ESRC Future of Work Programme (Munro 2) and taken part in a major research initiative on workplace learning. She was Director of Project 1 in a Research Network of five inter-related projects funded by the ESRC Teaching and Learning Programme (the network linked University College Northampton, Universities of Sheffield and Leeds, Institute of Education and Napier University), (2000-2002) (Munro 4). Funding was used in-part to employ Dr Martin McCracken, who completed his PhD on management learning and has since gone on to be a Senior Lecturer at the University of Ulster. Munro has completed an evaluation of the Workplace Learning Initiative in Northern Ireland for the Department of Employment and Learning and a strategic review of learning in Scotland for Unison. With Professor Helen Rainbird (Birmingham Business School), Munro has conducted an evaluation of a partnership in health and social care for Unison, and an evaluation of the Skills Escalator in NHS Professionals for the NHS University. A substantial joint project (2007-2009) has gained funding from the Department of Health on skill development in the social care sector.

Stonehouse adds his expertise in creativity in strategic management and competitive advantage (Stonehouse 1, 3 and 4) to the group’s research on knowledge management and learning. His work in this field has covered a range of industry sectors including the health service (in collaboration with the Sowerby Centre for Health Informatics at Newcastle University), the film industry in India, small and medium enterprises in the north east of England and the airline industry (Stonehouse 2). Francis has investigated structural transformation in HR (with Amsterdam University) with funding from the Carnegie Trust and Royal Society of Edinburgh. A publication from this research has been listed as one of the most accessed articles from Blackwell's range of Business and Management Journals for 2006-7 (Francis 3).

The nature of research across the theme is illustrated by the range of current projects:-

  • the changing role of line managers in the service sector (D’Annunzio-Green and Francis) (D’Annunzio-Green 1 and 3);
  • enhancing staff recruitment in the Scottish Executive (Francis, Farquharson, D’Annunzio-Green and Thompson);
  • change management in the Health Service (Farquharson);
  • Service Sector Training with European funding (Watson and McGuire);
  • critically reflective practice in HRD, with funding from the University Forum of HRD (Francis and Watson);
  • joint work with Queensland University on approaches to student learning and their personal and professional development (D’Annunzio-Green, McGuire and Watson).

McGuire edited special editions of the Journal of European Industrial Training, and, with Watson, Advances in Human Resource Development; they are active members of the UK University Forum for HRD and Academy of HRD USA. Francis leads the South East Scotland Knowledge into Practice initiative (a group covering Napier, Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt and Queen Margaret Universities), for the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) and Napier regularly hosts its seminars for the dissemination of current research to academic and practitioner audiences.

3.4 Consumer Research

Jane Ali-Knight, Dr Constantia Anastasiadou (ECR), Dr Paul Barron, Dr Donna Chambers, Dr John Ensor, Anna Leask, Dr Maktoba Omar.

The research strategy has identified consumer research and within it, tourism management strategies (Leask 4) as a key area with potential for development and this has been an area of expansion. The growth since RAE 2001 has been achieved by internal Faculty funding to support specific research projects, the use of Visiting Professors (such as Professor Ashok Ranchhod, Solent University, Southampton) for advice and support and the appointment of two research assistants. New research active staff have been appointed, while existing staff have become more engaged with research activities. The appointment of Barron as a Reader in this area will provide specific internal research leadership to the group.

The main stream of research has been in the field of consumer research – linking behaviour and the impact of marketing on image (Leask 2; Ali-Knight 1). A linked area which is new but growing is that of visitor attractions and visitor behaviour at visitor sites (Leask 3). There are increasing links here with economic development, employability and employment (Chambers 1; Anastasiadou 1; Barron 2). Some of this work has been based within SMEs (Leask 1; Ensor 4) and other in multinational corporations (Omar 2). Within the overall Consumer Research category, the student experience and student journey has been the focus of increasing research interest (Barron 1; Ali-Knight 3), alongside the role of technology in marketing (Omar 4).

The group has formed a specific Centre for Events and Festival Management (CFEM), supported through collaborative work with Professor Jack Carlsen, a Visiting Professor from Curtin University, Australia (Ali-Knight 2). CFEM also forms the basis of research in this emerging area with a new research studentship on festival image commencing 2007. Staff in the Centre (Leask, Ali-Knight, Ensor) have been involved in conference organisation and host and run the annual Executive Certificate in Event Management in conjunction with the University of Technology in Sydney via the CFEM. A further emerging area is that of creativity and innovation (Ensor 2), which offers new research perspectives on the marketing and festivals areas. Research funding has been gained with the ERI (illustrative of complementarity of research across the UoA) from Scottish Rugby Union (£37,000 in total) and the government’s EventsScotland (£10,000) to research the economic impacts of various events.

3.5 Accountancy and Finance

Professor Simon Gao, Dr Morrison Handley-Schachler, Dr Piotr Jaworski, Dr Jane Zhang.

The research profile of Accounting and Finance staff has been strengthened since RAE 2001 under the leadership of Gao. Journal publications have increased from about one per year in the 1990s to more than six per year since 2001 and publications have appeared in well-established journals (e.g. Gao 2 and 3; Handley-Schachler 1). The research student number has grown from two in 2001 to 11 in 2007. Three have successfully completed their PhDs over the last three years, and three more are expecting to complete within six months. The group has developed strong collaborative research with overseas institutions, leading to publications (Gao 2 and 3; Handley-Schachler 3). Staff (Gao; Handley-Schachler; Jaworski) have been involved in conference organisation, and invited to give guest lectures at leading universities overseas. Gao had edited two special issues of international journals Staff have regularly acted as referees for the ESRC, accounting bodies (ACCA, ICAS), and academic journals (e.g. British Accounting Review and European Accounting Review).

The published research involves close links with the ERI through work on social and cultural aspects of accounting (Gao 2 and 3; Handley-Schachler 3 and 4); corporate environmental reporting (Gao 1; Zhang 3 and 4); and social auditing (Zhang 2); as well as public sector risk management and the risk transfer in the PFI (Handley-Schachler 2) as well as other aspects of PFI in China (Adams and colleagues at Shandong and Paisley Universities) and the EU (McQuaid and Professor Walter Scherrer, Salzburg University).

3.6 Operations Management

Professor Ron Masson, Dr Michael Pearson, Dr Robert Raeside.

This group comprises three experienced researchers, who provide wider research leadership across the Business School. The focus of this group is on aspects of business processes which are of an analytical and quantitative nature. Masson’s main body of work focuses on the business improvement and supply chain management aspects of operations management (Masson 1 and 2). The work on business improvement encompasses both the commercial world and the public and health service sectors and the supply chain management work has a strong global sourcing focus. A Research Assistant was appointed in 2007 to work with Masson and Pearson is this area.  Masson is the academic director of a DTI-funded Knowledge Transfer Project on business improvement and he also publishes and supervises research students in the areas of technology management, service quality and innovation in SMEs.

Pearson and Raeside have developed research in social network analysis (together with the ERI) (Pearson 1, 2 and 3; Raeside 3). Pearson has strong links with organisations such as the Food Group and has been invited to contribute to workshops and give invited presentations at meetings of the International Social Network Analysis Conference. Raeside has expertise in applied statistics (Raeside 1, 2 and 4) and provides statistical advice to researchers across the Business School, as well as supervising a number of doctoral students (nine completions). A particular area of Raeside’s application is in road traffic casualty reduction and the effectiveness of policing (DfT £39,000). His reputation is enhanced by membership of editorial boards (Journal of Transportation and Statistics, and the Journal of Pricing and Revenue Management). He currently serves on the Royal Statistical Society's Six Sigma Committee and on the Transport Statistics User Group Scotland. He is consultant to the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and has performed consultancy and statistical training services for the Scottish Executive as well as for major companies, such as the Royal Bank of Scotland, Intercell Ltd, Seagate Electronics, the Erdington Group, and Scottish Courage Plc.

4. Research Environment

4.1 Research structures

The Business School is one of three Faculties within the University and comprises three Schools and the ERI. Prior to 2006, research structures were primarily school based. During 2006/2007 a Business and Management Research College was established with six research areas, largely mapped on to the themes above. The ERI continues to be the largest and central research area, but the new research structure also aims to provide an inclusive approach to research staff and to form a basis for building research capacity, as well as building on existing areas of excellence. Each research group is headed by an experienced researcher (McQuaid, Stonehouse, Barron, Gao, Leask) with a role of mentoring newer researchers and identifying staff development needs. The objective is to achieve sustainability in each of these areas and each group is required to present an annual plan which identifies its focus for research development, knowledge transfer and income generation.

A range of seminar programmes is operated within the UoA to support and enhance the research environment. For example the ERI has for a number of years run a seminar series which draws on eminent external speakers (from eleven countries since 2002, including Professors Gregor Gall, Irena Grugulis, Dan Finn and 14 overseas speakers). Complementing this, the School of Management and Law operates a seminar series with a specific remit for capacity building - seminars presented by staff and research students prior to conference presentations or around issues of research development (e.g. methodology or funding opportunities). The School of Accounting, Economics and Statistics holds seminars with both internal and external speakers, as well as producing a Research Working Paper series (over 20 papers in 3 years) and an Education Working Paper Series (5 papers in 1 year). In line with our objective of facilitating cross-disciplinary research, the ERI has led on the development of two cross-University employment research networks on the health sector and on equalities, which includes members of the Scottish Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology (convened by Woodward). While the various programmes are organised within particular Schools, they are all open to staff across the Business School and the wider university. The aim for the future is to continue these successful activities and build additional Research College-wide initiatives.

4.2 Staffing policy

Capacity building for research sustainability constitutes an important element of Napier’s research and knowledge transfer strategy. To this end the University has recently developed an institution-wide workload allocation model which is currently being brought into operation. This involves a more strategic approach to allocation of time for research and a minimum of guaranteed time for active researchers, which is supplemented where possible by additional ‘bought-out’ hours provided out of fully economically costed externally funded research projects. In addition, there is a new scheme for Personal Development Review, which sets clear outcomes to be revisited and revised regularly. It also incorporates clear recognition of research as a valued activity with an agreed time allowance for research activity.

The Business School has a relatively stable workforce, but when research active staff leave, maintenance of key research strengths is a central aspect of the recruiting and replacing staff. The success of the development of early career researchers inevitably leads in some cases to staff gaining promoted posts in other institutions, for example McCracken and Wise (replaced by McGuire and Thomson who are both included in this submission). Newly recruited staff are expected to have a track record in research and/or knowledge transfer activities, or in the case of early career staff to demonstrate a potential to become research active. New staff are given a lighter teaching load and all staff who do not already have a doctorate are encouraged to pursue one (the workload allocation model provides for dedicated time to support staff who are pursuing doctoral studies). In line with the school-based structure, the main route for the identification of research-related development needs since RAE 2001 has been through the Personal Development Review within the School, or, for designated research staff, within the ERI. Professors and Readers have substantially reduced teaching loads to enable them to pursue external esteem related activities or extended periods of fieldwork. It also allows them the time to take research leadership roles within the Business School in terms of mentoring and supporting early career researchers. A commitment to the development of early career researchers is built in to all areas of research activity. University funded studentships require the involvement of an early career researcher or less experienced supervisor alongside usually two experienced supervisors; all proposals for Faculty research funds to support research activity must demonstrate the inclusion of an early career researcher; allocation across the University of the Knowledge Transfer Grant is predicated on the inclusion of an early career researcher.

To promote sustainability of its research culture and to foster the development and integration of new researchers, the Business School operates a competitive process for bidding for internal University research funds, mostly derived from QR and RDFG monies. The Research Committee overseas a process of inviting bids for small research grants (up to £2,000) prioritised for early career researchers; and in 2007 limited larger bids (over £20,000) were introduced for areas identified as having a key strategic importance (e.g. tourism). There are clear criteria for the allocation of grants and recipients are required to provide reports on spending and outcomes as well as presenting their work at the annual research conference. Monies for small bids are typically used for ‘buy-out’ from teaching duties, for expenses related to fieldwork or for overseas conference presentation. The success of this strategy is illustrated by the internal development of staff. Those identified in RAE 2001 as becoming increasingly research active (Francis, Leask, Bond) have developed into key researchers and research leaders, and are included in this submission.

Where staff have previously been employed on a full-time basis within the Business School, but are now employed elsewhere, limited use has been made of proportional contracts to facilitate continuity of their research activity (Ali-Knight, Greig). These contracts have also been used to formalise existing research links (Minocha – has previously worked collaboratively with Stonehouse). In each case the research relationships are long-term and the staff are involved in the wider teaching and development activities of the Business School, as well as making an important research contribution.

4.3 Research students and studentships

In line with the strategy outlined in RAE 2001, there has been a significant growth in the body of research students. We currently have 39 MPhil/PhD students and since the 2001 RAE have had 20 completions. Of the successful doctoral candidates, 11 have embarked on or progressed in academic careers and four have senior policy or business roles. Alongside the MPhil/PhD programme, a new DBA Programme was launched in 2007. To date, Statistics, Economics and Finance have been particularly strong in achieving completions and the future strategy is to build supervisory capacity and student recruitment across the disciplines – particularly in the areas of HRM and Leadership, and tourism and events management.

In 2004 the Business School relocated to the Craiglockhart Campus, resulting in all research students and staff being co-located, with the opportunity to improve synergy among the research community. Scottish Research Infrastructure Funding (SRIF) has been used to equip dedicated facilities for the research students. The management of procedures for research students has been improved and unified across the University through the University Graduate School, established in 2006. Annual progress reviews are completed for all students and they take part in an Annual Research Student Conference. Students are encouraged to present seminar papers and to attend relevant conferences.  The development of research groups is aimed at enhancing the integration of research students into the Business School academic community. 

A dedicated team has been put in place to oversee research student issues, with a Programme Leader, plus co-ordinators in each School. This team has developed research training for research students, improving communication with students and working toward gaining ESRC recognition. Students attend induction when joining the Business School, followed by skills development over the three-year PhD period. Key skills areas addressed include research techniques and skills; research management; personal effectiveness; communication skills; networking and team working; and career management. This development programme facilitates student learning through: workshops led by research specialists from across the Business School; core training provision from the University Graduate School; and generic in-house training provision from the University Educational Development department and the IT service department. The Business School has led on a joint initiative with Heriot-Watt University School of Management and Languages to provide joint doctoral training facilitated by staff from both universities.

In addition, links continue to be developed with external programmes such as UKGrad and Researchers in Residence – these programmes provide valuable generic skills development opportunities for students and also allow the development of networks beyond Napier University. This holistic approach to research student training and development is supported by a Personal Development Planning system.

4.4 International collaboration

It has been an established part of the University’s International Strategy to develop research links and partnerships with academic institutions in China and a priority for the Business School has been to develop a wider and deeper association with academic colleagues overseas. To this end a new research centre focusing on research collaboration with Chinese academics and other interested parties has been established – the EU-China Development and Research Centre (EU-CDRC). The Centre was officially launched in October 2003 in Beijing and began work in 2004 under the supervision of Professors Adams and Gao. It is an important initiative focusing on research cooperation with Chinese universities, research institutes and Government agencies.

The EU-CDRC has developed research projects with 12 institutions in China, focusing on issues ranging from employment, public-private partnership development to local government reform. A total of 47 academic outputs have been achieved through these links, including submitted outputs by Adams (output 2), Handley-Schachler (4), Gao (3) and Omar (1 and 3). The Centre was highlighted in the recent Scottish Executive’s ‘Strategy for Stronger Engagement with China’ 2006, as the leader in Scotland actively collaborating in research with Chinese institutions. Professors Adams and Gao organised a visit by a senior delegation from Beijing City Government to the Business School in 2007 to discuss research collaboration in logistics and retail competition (supported by Menzies PLC). During 2002-5 there was considerable British Council DFID funding for a research project between the ERI and East China University of Science and Technology.

There is an ERI PhD and staff exchange (SOCRATES) with Germany (Munich). Visiting scholars are encouraged to undertake research work at Napier - the ERI has hosted research colleagues from Austria, Germany, South Africa, Spain and Japan; between 2004 and 2007, 16 Professors from China visited the Business School.

5. Impact / Esteem

Business and Management staff maintain participation in the professional activities of their disciplines through taking part in peer review, conference planning and contributions to relevant professional societies. In addition the reputation of individual members of the group has resulted in awards and invitations to present research or to contribute to the public policy-making process. Indicative achievements are presented below.

5.1 Policy Advice

With a portfolio of strongly applied research, members of the team influence policy and practice both through invitations to join advisory bodies and through the implementation of research findings. Indicative examples include:-

Handley-Schachler: Production of a guide to whole life costing for the Scottish Executive and Office of Government Commerce (2002).

Lindsay has been commissioned to conduct a wide range of policy oriented projects, including a review of approaches to evaluation in community regeneration for Communities Scotland (2006).

Masson: UK advisor and consultant to Hellenic Ministry of Health, Greece on the development of European Union funded benchmarking and staff development programmes in collaboration with UK NHS and the Scottish Executive (University Hospital of Patras, Greece, 2003, and Hippocratic Hospital of Athens, 2004).

McQuaid & Greig: An Assessment of the Economic Impact of the Skye Bridge Tolls, Research Report, (2002) Highland Council, Inverness – subsequently the tolls were removed from the Bridge.


  • Research co-ordinator for Transport Research Programme, Scottish Economic Policy Network, Universities of Strathclyde and Stirling (2001 to 2004);
  • Presented oral evidence to: Scottish Parliament Transport Committee;
  • Presented oral and written evidence to: Scottish Parliament European Committee, 3 December 2002, widely quoted in their final report:;
  • Published reports for bodies such as Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament (Adult Entertainment Working Group), Department for Transport, European Commission, Sector Skills Development Agency, Joseph Rowntree Foundation;
  • Coal Communities Campaign conference on Coalfield Regeneration 2004
    (presentation by Deputy Prime Minister on same platform);
  • Scottish Government (2007) Working for Families Evaluation and many other
    government reports;
  • Advisor to the Local Government and Communities Committee of the Scottish Parliament (2007);
  • Member of the Advisory Group for CRISIS (Centre for Research into Socially Inclusive Services, Heriot-Watt University) and of the Scottish Urban Regeneration Forum (SURF) academic panel.

Munro: Published reports for a range of bodies including Wolverhampton NHS Trust and UNISON (funded through the Department of Trade and Industry Partnership Fund); UNISON on partnerships in social and health care; the NHS University.

Pearson: Consultant to Social and Public Health Sciences Unit of the Medical Research Council; is frequently invited to speak at the Food Chain Centre of Industrial Collaboration at the University of Leeds.

Raeside: Member of Scottish Transport Statistics Users advisory group.

Zhang: 2004 advisor to Xi’an Heath Reform Forum formed under Shaanxi Provincial Government (China); 2006 advisor to Insurance Accounting and Finance Training Materials Development Project under China's Insurance Regulatory Committee.

5.2 Editorial Boards of Journals

Members of the group regularly edit special editions of journals, for example Urban Studies (McQuaid); Event Management (Ali-Knight) and belong to the following editorial boards:-

Adams: World Review of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development.

Ali-Knight: The International Journal of Event Management Research; Journal of Vacation Marketing; World Journal of Managing Events.

D’Annunzio-Green: International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management.

Gao: International Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Performance Evaluation; Journal of Finance and Management in Public Services.

Leask: Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management 2002-2005.

McGuire: Journal of European Industrial Training; Advances in Developing Human Resources.

McQuaid: World Review of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development; World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development; International Journal of Public-Private Partnerships (from Volume 3); International Journal of Business and Systems Research (new Journal 2007).

Munro: Work, Employment & Society Review Editor (from 2005); Equal Opportunities International (from 2006).

Raeside: Journal of Transportation and Statistics; Journal of Pricing and Revenue Management.

Stonehouse: Journal of Technology Management in China

Watson: Human Resource Development International; European Journal of Industrial Training; Advances in Human Resource Development.

5.3 Awards

D’Annunzio-Green: Recipient of MCB Highly Commended award for journal paper in 2002.

Jaworski: 2004 First Prize for the best Polish PhD dissertation in 2002/03 granted by BISE Bank Poland.

Lindsay and McQuaid: Emerald Management Reviews Citation of Excellence for ‘Top 50 Management Articles of 2004 out of over 20,000’ for Work, Employment and Society paper (McQuaid 4).

Gallagher: Best Paper: presented at the European Applied Business Research Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland, 2004, Best Paper: presented at the Applied Business Research Conference, Hawaii, USA, 2007

McGuire: Irish American Fulbright Scholarship (2003-4).

Munro: Professor Ian Beardwell Award for the best research paper - CIPD Professional Standards Conference, 2003.

Watson: Emerald Literati Club Awards for Excellence outstanding paper for 2005 for the journal International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management.

5.4 Indicative participation in official bodies and learned societies

Members of the group take a range of roles in professional and learned societies including:-

: Co-ordinator of The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Debate, 2006; Member of the advisory committee for Tourism Framework for Action, Scottish Executive; Member of the judging panel for the Thistle Awards, VisitScotland.

Ensor: Member of the Board of Trustees of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

McGuire: Member of Monica E Lee Excellence in Research Committee, Academy of Human Resource Development (2005 – 2007).

McQuaid: member of Institute of Directors (Scotland) ‘Director of the Year Award’ selection panel (2006 and 2007); Member of Business Leadership Group – set up by Scottish Business in the Community (SBC) to promote social inclusion and raise employability (since 2006). He is also an International board member of Regional Studies Association, Chair of Regional Studies Association (Scottish Branch) (2000-2004) and Council Member Scottish Economics Society (since 2004).

Munro (2003) and Raeside have both acted as rapporteur for end of award evaluations for ESRC; Munro has also been a Peer Reviewer for the Department of Health on an end of award report evaluation (2006).

Omar: Member of the Skillnet Board of Directors (Treasurer) Edinburgh (since 2006).

Watson: National judge for British Institute of Innkeepers Industrial Training awards; Chair HRM Special Interest Group for International Council of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Educators, USA.

Woodward: Executive member of the UK Council for Graduate Education, 1997-2005; Executive member of the Modern Universities Research Group, 2005 to date; invited member of the QAA Working Party which produced the Code on Postgraduate Research Programmes published Sept 2004.

5.5 Indicative keynote presentations

Chambers: Keynote address at Cutting Edge Research in Tourism Conference, University of Surrey, 2006.

Handley-Schachler: 14th International Conference on Industrial Engineering Management, Tianjin University, China.

Leask: Keynote speaker at Counting Culture? Practical Challenges for the Museum and Heritage Sector, conference hosted by University of Greenwich, 2003.

McQuaid: ‘Flexibility in the UK Labour Market’, plenary presentation at Pictures of Work Flexibility conference, University La Sapienza of Rome and European Network of Regional Labour Market Monitoring conference, 2007.

Masson: 21st International Manufacturing Conference, University of Limerick, Ireland, 2004.

Pearson: International conference on social networks in 2004; and Symposium on Sex, Drugs and Social Networks at Vancouver in 2006.

Stonehouse: Knowledge-Based Economy and Global Management, Tainan, Taiwan, 2005.

5.6 Indicative Conference Organisation

Adams: Co-track Chair for the International Academy of African Business and Development, 4th Annual International Conference, London, 2003.

Ali-Knight: Chair and Member of the Organising Committee for the Leisure Studies Association International Academic Conference; Festivals and Events: Beyond Economic Impacts (2005).

Gao: 2003 Organising and Chairing The First International Symposium on the Risk Services Industry in Emerging Economies.

Handley-Schachler and McQuaid: co-organisers World Association for Sustainable Development (WRSTSD) Conference (in Edinburgh 2004, United Arab Emirates 2005 and Naples 2006).

Leask: Member of Organising Committee for Leisure Studies Association 2005 Annual Conference Napier University July 2005.

Masson: Member of International Programme Committee, Fifth International Conference on Information and Management Sciences Conference: 2006, Chengdu, Sichuan, China; Member of International Programme Committee, 11th Annual Conference of Asia Pacific Decision Sciences Institute, 2006, Hong Kong.

McQuaid: Organising Committee of the International Seminar series Regional Innovation Policies, Universities of Porto, Cantabria and Salzburg, Oporto, February 2007 and again in Salzburg, September 2007.

Watson: Conference Organiser for Creativity & Innovation in Learning University Forum for Human Resource Development European conference in conjunction with the Academy of HRD 2002.

5.7 Visiting Appointments

Ali-Knight: Visiting Researcher at Curtin Sustainable Tourism Centre, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia.

Masson: Visiting Professor University of Aachen from 2002 to date.

Stonehouse: Honorary Professor of Strategic Management, State University of Management, Moscow, Russia - 2003 – present.

Woodward and Munro: Invited tutors at the 2005 ESRC-funded International Summer School in HR, Dalyan, Turkey (organised from Queen Mary College, London University).

Watson: Visiting Professor, Purdue University, USA, 2007.

In addition a number of staff have taken Visiting Professor or Visiting Research Scholar roles with a growing number of Chinese Universities (Adams, Gao, Omar, Stonehouse).

5.8 Selected specialist presentation invitations

Adams was invited, in 2007, to address the British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong on entrepreneurs and new business creation.

Gao was invited to address the Risk Management Forum on the High-tech Industry in Taiwan and the UK (2001).

Lindsay has made a large number of presentations in the area of employability to the European Trade Union Institute and other European groups (e.g. Changing European Employment and Welfare Regimes, Bamberg, 23rd February. Funded by European Commission); as well as contributing to ESRC seminar series (including: ESRC Urban and Regional Economics Seminar Group, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, 1st-3rd July.

McQuaid has been funded to present research findings at universities around the world (e.g. Cornell in 2004 and 2007; Tinbergen Institute, Netherlands 2005; University of Salzburg, Austria 2002; University of Illinois 2001; East China University, Shanghai; Rhodes University, South Africa (funded by Carnegie) plus EU funded presentations in several EU countries.

Munro has presented research on workplace learning to a range of ESRC and SKOPE events (e.g. ESRC Future of Work Programme – Skills, Innovation and Performance, Windsor, 2003) as well as to policy oriented audiences such as the TUC and CIPD (e.g. CIPD Public Sector Forum Networking Meeting – CIPD Manning House London, 2004) and European audiences such as L’Iresco Paris (2004).

has presented research at a range of international venues, including in USA (2004), Netherlands (2004), Canada (2005), Africa and China (2006).

Pearson has presented research findings to the Operational Research Group (Scotland); the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications in 2004; and the Sunbelt International Conference on Social Networks in Greece (2007).

Raeside has presented research findings in USA (2001), Canada (2003), Mexico (2003), Australia (2004, funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering), Slovenia (2005), France (2005), Spain (2006) and Greece (2007).

Watson has been invited annually since 2004 to present research on management skills at the Universitat de Girona, Spain.

6. Future Research Strategy

The Faculty has produced a Strategic Plan and the University planning process provides for an annual review of progress. The Business School is committed to the importance of research and knowledge transfer activities as part of knowledge creation, but also to inform teaching and management practice. In line with this commitment EQUIS and AACSB accreditation are being sought. The focus on applied, policy-oriented research presents the challenge of balancing this with high-quality journal publications. This endeavour has been successful and the aim is to continue and expand the number of high quality outputs across the Research College. The research strategy has remained consistent since 2001 and this submission is a demonstration of the success so far. With the growth of research activity, distinct areas of expertise have developed within the ERI, which are identified in the themes set out in this submission. The aim for the future is to consolidate the three thematic areas under the ERI umbrella, alongside the areas of strategic development, particularly Consumer Research.

The priority aims for the future are to:

  • achieve research sustainability through increasing the external research and knowledge transfer income;
  • continue to grow the quantity and quality of research outputs;
  • build research capacity across the Business School.

The planned route to achieve these aims is through:

  • the implementation of the Research College Structure;
  • the focused investment of research time allocations;
  • the strategic allocation of internal research funding.

Through these mechanisms it is planned to provide appropriate time, resources, mentorship and training to develop staff expertise. The Research College structure is central to the achievement of these aims; the intention is to focus resources on achieving excellence in key areas while achieving managed growth and building general research capacity across the Business School. The ERI has a strong record of income generation and publications and the aim is to spread this expertise and to achieve research sustainability through external funding in the other research areas. Key to achieving this are the specific initiatives described earlier, namely the Edinburgh Institute of Leadership and Management Practice, the Edinburgh Human Resource Academy and the Centre for Events and Festival Management.