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UOA 36 - Business and Management Studies
University of Salford
RA5a: Research environment and esteem
This is the Business and Management Studies (hereafter B&M) submission from Salford Business School. During the period returned here, research in B&M was driven by three strategic objectives. Two of the objectives were consistent with the approach adopted in the 1996-2001 period: namely, the pursuit of international excellence and industrial relevance. A third objective was to achieve a coherent re-positioning of research in the core areas of B&M, both generic and sector-specific, leading to a move away from economics towards organisation management, alongside the second theme of marketing and policy. This re-positioning has been achieved in parallel with a significant growth in the number of doctoral students (from 26 to 42), PhD completions (from 9 to 32) and research income (from some £800,000 to more than £2.5 million). For this RAE, 17 (16 FTE) Category A researchers are returned. There are also 14 Category B researchers.
The achievements over the 2001-2007 period provide a solid platform for the development of B&M research at Salford over the period 2008-2013. As discussed in more detail below, this is driven by ambitious objectives regarding the breadth and quality of research in this area. These relate to increased thematic diversity, expanding doctoral research and growing income to underpin sustainability.
RESEARCH STRATEGY 2001-2007
The post-2001 emphasis on the core areas of B&M was influenced by the need to use research to enhance the student experience at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, as well as engage increasingly with the growing regional and innovation agendas in higher education. The latter provided opportunities for further strengthening of industrial linkages (demonstrated by nearly £1m of research income through Teaching Company Schemes (TCSs) or Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs)).
This emphasis on core areas of B&M is both generic and sector specific, and augurs well for the continuous achievement of industrial relevance and international excellence. For example the adoption of a food sector focus by some researchers in organisation management, and the ensuing excellent links with enterprises and public sector organisations, resulted in Professor Taylor being invited to become a member of advisory committees of the United Nations and acting as consultant for the World Health Organisation and the Food and Agriculture Organisation. Similarly, the work of Professor Forrest on the leisure industry has led to him reporting to the European Commission and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. He has also been an expert witness to the Competition Commission. Similar strong sectoral foci exist in the case of the Marketing and Policy theme in relation to retailing, tourism and manufacturing.
Researchers in B&M have been successful in achieving most of the main objectives reported in the 2001 RAE. These achievements include: maintaining a presence in marketing (despite the loss of eight out of ten researchers returned in 2001); advancing organisation management as one of the main themes of the current submission; increasing doctoral students; and growing research income. One area of divergence, as a result of a strategic decision, is the gradual move away from economics and the development – currently in embryonic form – of policy to supplement marketing research.
The University of Salford manages its research through a series of multidisciplinary Research Institutes (RIs). RIs are designed to encourage cross-disciplinary approaches by providing a focus for collaborative research and a supportive environment for researchers at all levels of personal development. Each RI has its own funding and administrative support and is part of the University’s Research and Graduate College (RGC) which has responsibility for all research and postgraduate activity in the University. RIs develop their own strategies within the University. Mechanisms for collaboration include a regular programme of research meetings and seminars, internal review of research grant applications and research papers. New researchers are encouraged to join RIs and are reviewed annually against individual research targets as part of the staff appraisal process. All those entered here are members of the Management and Management Science (MaMS) RI, accounting for around a quarter of MaMS membership.
Within MaMS RI there is a University-approved scheme for appraisal and supporting individual researchers involving annual grading of staff research performance, using rigorous criteria (publications, income, PG research students, profile/esteem). Research support takes five main forms. The first comprises appropriate allocation of time for researchers at all levels of their personal development. This ranges from 30% for developing researchers to a maximum of 50% for established colleagues with international reputations. The second mechanism comprises developmental schemes such as the Vice-Chancellor’s Research Scholarship Scheme, the Academic Development Fund and the International Conference Fund. These are aimed primarily at the support needs of colleagues developing a research portfolio. Thirdly, there is a process of appointing experienced colleagues as “research mentors” for developing researchers. Fourthly, researchers are also supported by a scheme of research sabbaticals. Lastly, researchers benefit from partial return of research overheads and doctoral fees generated in order to facilitate research activities (such as appointment of research assistants, fieldwork expenditure, and purchase of material).
B&M researchers place considerable emphasis on PGRs and as a result have achieved significant improvements since the 2001 RAE. More specifically, there are currently 24 postgraduates registered on PhD research, and 18 writing-up, in comparison to 26 in total in 2001. Since 2001, 32 PhDs have been awarded, in comparison to just nine for the previous reporting period (1996-2001). In addition, there were three Masters (MPhil and MSc by research) awarded in 2001-2007.
The RGC has been the focus for new, supportive mechanisms founded on the concept of the ‘learner/researcher’. All new PGR students attend an induction course that introduces them to the University and highlights the support mechanisms available. A series of follow-up workshops, along with distance learning and multimedia packages, provides a flexible learning environment that is tailored to the needs of the individual student. A web page provides a communication network to inform students about events and news and also provides the interface to a postgraduate profile database. The Salford Postgraduate Annual Research Conference (SPARC) was initiated in 2000 and provides opportunities for students to both present their work to, and network with, contemporaries and tutors across the University. PGR students are reviewed annually, resulting in performance that exceeds the University’s PG service level agreement.
Further support is offered to PGR students by the MaMS RI. A number of research studentships are offered to encourage excellent students to undertake PGR and the PG Training Programme provides a course of lectures, seminars and workshops throughout the academic year on a range of topics from research paradigms and ethical considerations in research design through to qualitative research methods and to quantitative data analysis. PGR support is underpinned by effective supervision based on a Learning Agreement (developed by the RGC). Each student is supported by a supervisory team consisting of a main supervisor (domain specialist), a second supervisor (specialised in a related area with specific methodological expertise) and a personal tutor. There is also a planned process of assessment for PhD candidates which includes an interim assessment, at approximately the mid-point of a candidate’s studies, and an internal evaluation towards their completion to ensure that adequate advice is given to the student and to provide her/him with the best opportunity to complete on time.
PGR students in B&M are located in a dedicated research facility that accommodates around 40 PhD and MPhil students, with space for contract researchers nearby. This has given research students a clear location, enhancing the feeling of a research community and culture and eliminating what was a major constraint on growth in this area of activity. Appropriate communication is facilitated through an email list-server and web-site and a web-based clinic has been launched, providing methodological support for postgraduate researchers.
RESEARCH STRUCTURE AND INCOME
An overview of the main research themes, the individuals involved, and the indicators of performance are presented in the table below. As stated above, there are two main themes: Organisation Management and Marketing and Policy.
Marketing and Policy
Category A staff
Dr Conway (marketing)
Dr Dassler (policy)
Dr Fallon (marketing)
Professor Kalantaridis (policy)
Professor Lister (policy)
Professor Newman (marketing)
Dr Schofield (marketing)
Dr Swift (marketing)
Professor (J)Wilson (policy)
Category B staff
The Organisation Management theme was developed on the basis of a five year plan following the successful entry of Prof Sharp and Dr Sharifi in the 2001 RAE. Researchers in this area focus squarely on the area of systems and risk management within organisations.
Expansion in the area of organisation management was achieved through the recruitment of Professor Taylor and Dr Boulter, internal staff development of Dr. Taylor, Dr. Davies and Mr Polychronakis (PhD forthcoming), and the repositioning of the work of Professor Forrest (in the area of forecasting and risk management), and Dr Carmichael (prior to her departure in 2007).
Within this theme research takes place in the area of implementation and maintenance of management systems and models. This work examines the application of various modern management theories, systems and techniques (e.g. ISO 9001), Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) Excellence Model, Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), and Integrated Management Systems in a range of organisational, cultural and international contexts. More specifically, this includes work focusing on SMEs (Dr Davies and Professor Taylor), the UK (Dr Davies, Professor Sharp, Mr Polychronakis and Professor Taylor), post-socialist countries (Dr Sharifi) and Less Developed Countries (LDCs) (Professor Taylor and Dr Taylor), as well as research into the business side of excellence (Dr Boulter). An interesting strand in this research involves the implementation of management models in functional areas, such as design (Dr Sharifi). This work is underpinned by considerable research income (Professor Sharp and Dr Davies have been successful in relation to four TCS and KTPs). The research profile of staff resulted in the appointment of Dr Davies as Chief Examiner and Advisory Council member to the Chartered Quality Institute (CQI), and election to the Board of Directors of the Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and Professor Sharp’s involvement in producing guidelines for the British Standards Institute. Researchers in this theme co-hosted (Dr Davies and Professor Sharp) the 2nd International Conference on Systems Thinking in Management, April 2002, together with the Department of Information Systems and Computing, Brunel University.
Professor Taylor has developed a worldwide reputation as provider of evidence for formation, legislation and industry best practice in the emerging discipline of risk management (HACCP is a risk management system based on Failure Mode Effect Analysis (FMEA) that is used to control product safety in the food and pharmaceutical industries). Professor Taylor was seconded to the Food Standards Agency (2002-4) as national HACCP Advisor. This led to the development of a new product (Safer Food Better Business) which was deemed compliant with new EU risk-management legislation and rolled out into 400,000 businesses during 2006/7. Professor Taylor was awarded £1,040,000 of UK Government funding for this research project, involving the active collaboration of three Government departments and over 300 stakeholders. The new system has been recognised by the UN as a way forward for small food businesses in LDCs and Professor and Dr Taylor are now working with governments in Europe, UAE, Australia, Africa and China to develop culturally appropriate versions. Dr Taylor pioneered the use of in-depth psychological research techniques in the HACCP field and developed a tailored version of the ‘narrative interview’ method that has been widely disseminated and replicated. After two successful secondments to the Food Standards Agency (£50,000) she undertook a ‘Young Expert’ placement with the UN, and her bespoke research methodology was recommended by the UN to national governments undertaking the implementation of risk management policies and strategies. Professor Taylor has organised and delivered eight national and two international conferences with over 2,000 delegates and has secured Research Council Funding (BBSRC £150,000) to transfer research findings into teaching modules. New projects include: the feasibility of ISO 22000 in small businesses (with Dr. Davies and Professor Sharp); boosting the economies of developing countries through improvement in quality management in ‘destination hotels’ (World Tourism Organisation and Dr. Schofield from the Marketing and Policy theme); and an international comparison of risk management third party auditing standards (Thailand, S. Africa, Middle East).
Within this theme research also takes place in the area of maintenance systems (Professor Sharp). Professor Sharp was joint EPSRC grant holder on ‘Use of Virtual Reality in Maintenance Processes’ (GR/M/577798) with Professor Fernando (Science) and joint EPSRC grant holder on the ‘Future of Maintenance Research’ with Professor Christer (GR/S/80622) (income return in another unit of assessment). This work has been published in the International Journal of Operations and Production Management, and underpinned Professor Sharp’s appointment as Vice-President of the International Foundation for Research into Maintenance.
Lastly, an emerging research area in organisations management involves the use of econometric approaches into outcome uncertainty (in the football industry), the importance of market size to success in gambling, demand modelling of lotteries and risk preferences in betting. Professor Forrest has worked with Ladbrokes in order to model gambling behaviour. Forrest attracted a Leverhulme Fellowship for a project on the economics of lotteries and was successful (with Simmons) in the ESRC Study Group Competition securing funding for a series of eight workshops during 2000-2002 (funding returned in other unit of assessment). Forrest has advised various Governmental bodies (both in UK, EU and abroad) on gambling services and lotteries. Research conducted as a result, led to a publication in Economic Inquiry.
Marketing and Policy
The Marketing and Policy theme brings together nine researchers sharing an interest in the internal/external interface with both the consumer and the (business) environment influencing organisations (both public and private). Collectively researchers in the Marketing and Policy theme share a commonality of approach in viewing environments, organisations and consumers as multidimensional (both physical and social), interrelated and complex – defined in terms of behaviours, servicescapes, local contexts, and globally embedded regions. This research informed practice, as evidenced by some £600,000 of KTP funding secured by members of this theme between 2001 and 2007.
In recent years the Marketing and Policy theme has been through a major transition resulting from considerable change in the team from that entered in 2001 and considerable new investment. In marketing (sub-theme) Professors Whitelock and (D)Wilson, Drs Graham, Varey, Perks, McEachern and Warnaby have moved to other universities whilst Professor Mason has retired. They represent eight out of ten researchers entered in marketing in 2001. Professor Newman constitutes a significant addition to the group of colleagues working in marketing, which also includes developing researchers who, apart from Dr Fallon, do not have the necessary outputs for RAE2008. However, there was significant investment – through four new appointments – in developing the policy sub-theme. These include Professors Kalantaridis, Lister and (J)Wilson and Dr Dassler. Investment in this area is a means of engaging increasingly with the regional (North West Development Agency (NWDA)) and innovation (Lambert and Sainsbury Reports) agendas, in accordance with the industrial relevance objective of B&M research at Salford.
Within marketing, research has been influenced by the academic expertise of past professors in this area. This approach consistently acknowledged the field’s classical origins in economics and psychology in conjunction with themes emerging in high quality journals at the leading edge of scholarly activity. Recent work demonstrates contribution to the shape of marketing management themes: relationship marketing; consumer behaviour; international marketing; and tourism marketing. Evidenced by the various publications and grant activity in this submission, work has developed socially important areas and the business environment with a range of initiatives that will facilitate the future development of the group.
Destination marketing publications in international journals have underpinned successful bids (EPSRC, £47,000; NWDA, £20,000) to fund projects relating to the regeneration of urban areas (Dr. Schofield). Research in international marketing includes ESF projects on trade in Latin America, Europe and China (Dr. Swift). In consumer behaviour, outputs have emanated from EPSRC research grants (Professor Newman) which sought to explicate consumers’ experiences within the context of retail environments. The launch of a successful EPSRC funded network provided the important link with practitioners and created a special interest group at the British Academy of Management. These activities have produced relevant outputs in good journals (European Journal of Marketing, Service Industries Journal) with adjacent themes, such as the importance of servicescapes in prescribing behaviours, in place for the future development of this group. In services marketing, AHRB awards (Dr Conway) have funded the development of a design research centre and related work in cooperation with Cambridge University and Salford Built and Human Environment Research Institute (research income returned in other unit of assessment). Publications arising from this work feature in marketing journals and relate to this submission.
Strong ties with the US arising from the visiting professorial appointment (see Professor Newman, Missouri State University) will further strengthen areas of consumer behaviour (cross-cultural materialism) and marketing management (emotional intelligence and organisational behaviours). Adjacent work in service quality (funded PhD studentships) adds a new dimension and forges cognate links with the Organisation Management theme, and the journals in these areas. Our future intentions are to continue to develop the above themes with the addition of the B2C and B2B interface and relationships, which is part of a planned area of future activity for the marketing group.
The policy sub-theme was developed at Salford since 2006 as a result of staff recruitment. Research in this sub-theme covers both private and public sector organisations. The former includes the work examining policy issues around the interface between the organisation and its industrial and geographical context, primarily upon settings that are not resource munificent and/or undergoing (post-socialist) transformation (Professor Kalantaridis). The outputs from this research are both published in journals and reported to the EU Commission (based on a Framework 5 and a Framework 6 project, conducted prior to Professor Kalantaridis joining the University of Salford). Other research in this area includes the impact of a different context (that of the Judaic faith) on the moral conceptualisation of interest, in an increasingly globalised policy context (Professor Lister), as well as the impact of ethnicity on entrepreneurship policy (Dr Dassler). This research also links with Dr Sharifi’s recent work (co-applicant in an ESRC grant led by Professor Thorpe) on how SME owner/managers deal with critical incidents, and implication for policy.
The policy sub-theme at Salford also extends to public sector organisations. This includes research both into the impact and unintended consequences of the Government’s initiatives in respect of modernisation, upon local government (Professor (J)Wilson), and on the performance of European telecommunications during an era of dramatic change (privatisation) (Dr Dassler). Within this area there is also research on the exploration of policy initiatives that influence the interface between public and private sector (namely the introduction of compulsory competitive tendering) on local government (Professor (J)Wilson).
POSITION SUMMARY AND STRATEGY 2008-2013
The 2008 B&M submission for the University of Salford records:
- A significant increase in PhD students (from 26 to 42) and PhD completions (from 9 to 32) in comparison to 2001;
- A tripling of research income (from £800,000 to £2.5 million) in comparison to 2001;
- A maintaining of the number of Category A researchers at 17 academics (16 FTEs), despite the loss of 12 out of 17FTEs entered in 2001.
For the period 2008-2013, the defining objectives of the strategy for B&M (i.e. international excellence, industrial relevance, and emphasis on core of B&M) will remain. However, these will be supplemented by an additional objective: to strengthen the sustainability of research in B&M through reinforced emphasis on new research and PGR developments, and a step increase in research income.
In achieving strategic objectives, B&M researchers will strengthen the Organisation Management theme through the exploitation of synergies with Salford’s internationally recognised 6* rated Build and Human Environment Research Institute. There will also be strategic investment in marketing through continued new researcher development and selective recruitment of new staff. It is also envisaged that the policy sub-theme, following recent investment, will emerge as a future main theme (in the same manner that Organisation Management grew since 2001). In addition, researchers across B&M will increasingly adopt a sectoral focus, an approach that has been particularly successful in 2001-2007 and links strongly with the regional agenda defined by the North West Development Agency.
Key indicators of success for the period 2008-2013 are:
- Increase the volume of publications into internationally excellent journals.
- Continue the development of a new generation of researchers – bringing 12 new researchers into an RAE-equivalent standing by 2013.
- Increase the number of PhD students from 42 to 70, and completions from 7 to 10 per year.
- Increase research income within the School to (average) £600,000 per year (from around £400,000 per year for 2001-7).
Dr Louise Boulter
- Keynote speaker in three European conferences
Dr Tony Conway
- Director of Centre for Audience and Visitor Research (Vis A Vis)
- Chair of North West Institute for Services Management
- Joint Organiser for ‘Marketing in the New Europe and Beyond’ Marketing Education Group Annual Conference, Salford
- Editorial board member of International Journal of Non-Profit and Voluntary Sector Marketing and International Journal of Non-Profit and Public Sector Marketing
Dr John Davies
- Fellow and Chief Examiner of the Chartered Quality Institute (CQI)
- Co-Chair for the 2nd International Conference on ‘Systems Thinking in Management’, 2002
- Editorial Board member of the Journal of Quality, TQM Magazine and the Journal of Quality Assurance in Education
- Elected to the Board of Directors of the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Dr Paul Fallon
- Founding Member of International Society of Culture, Tourism, and Hospitality Research (ISCTHR)
- Member of Editorial Review Board for the International Journal of Culture, Tourism, and Hospitality Research (IJCTHR)
- Member of Editorial Review Board for International Journal of Consumer Studies (Leisure and Tourism fields)
Professor David Forrest
- Wrote two sections of a report (by the Centre for the Study of Gambling) for the European Commission on the creation of a single European market in gambling services (August, 2005)
- Wrote reports for the National Lottery Commission (6) and betting companies (3)
- Wrote economics section of report for the Department for Culture, Media and Sports on how to evaluate the evolving impact of a new generation of casinos
- Member of Board of Editors of the Journal of Sports Economics, International Gambling Studies, the International Journal of Sports Management and Marketing and the Journal of Gambling Business and Economics
- Media work on BBC, SKY & ITV (9), BBC Radio (18), newspapers (13), and international media (4)
- Expert witness to Competition Commission on merger between Littlewoods and Vernons
- Commissioned lecture to annual conference of 100 economists from DTI
- Keynote at symposium for representatives of over 20 finance ministries in the EU
Professor Christos Kalantaridis
- Visiting Professor in Rural Entrepreneurship and SME Development, Agricultural University of Athens, Greece (2004-to date)
- Member of the Third Stream Committee of the Association of Business Schools
- Member of the Editorial Review Board of the Journal of Business and Entrepreneurship
- Co-Chair of the ‘Regional and Rural Entrepreneurship’ Track in the 2007 ICSB Conference
Professor Andrew Newman
- Guest Editor for Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services
- Visiting Professor in marketing at Missouri State University, USA
- Chair of special interest group (SIG) in marketing and retailing - the British Academy of Management (2003-to date)
- Appearance and expert on consumer behaviour and retailing for numerous programmes: BBC TV; Granada TV; SKY News, Radio 4 ‘you and yours’; BBC Greater Manchester Radio; Radio 5 live; BBC Radio Leeds; BBC radio Newcastle and some broad sheet newspapers
- Expert and advisor to the freight transportation association, in association with the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, the CBI and BRC
- Associate Editor for Euromed Journal and International Journal of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport
- Member of Expert Guidance Group for North West City Councils
Dr Peter Schofield
- Founder member of the International Society of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research
- Editorial Board member of the International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, Advances in Culture, Tourism, and Hospitality Research and World Journal of Tourism, Leisure and Sports
- Invited to present papers at all five of the widely respected Consumer Psychology for Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure (CPTHL) Symposia - 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2007
Dr Sudi Sharifi
- Editorial Board member of the International Journal of Knowledge Management Studies
- ESRC review of EBK project was stated as outstanding
Professor John Sharp
- Vice President of the International Foundation for Research in Maintenance (IFRIM)
- Co-Chair for the 2nd International Conference on 'Systems Thinking in Management, 2002
- Editorial Advisory Board member of the journal Business Process and Management
- Visiting Professor at Kuitto University, Malaysia and Wuhan University, China
- International referee to Dutch Government, reviewing Beta, Eindhoven University
- Developed an implementation framework for Corporate Social Responsibility that is published by British Standards Institute (BSi)
Dr Jonathan Swift
- Editorial advisory board of the International Journal of Applied Management
- Regular reviewer for Journal of the Market Research Society
Professor Eunice Taylor
- Secondment as Advisor to UK Food Standards Agency (2002-2004)
- Led multidisciplinary team that produced a new method of HACCP for small businesses (Safer Food Better Business) adopted by EU and rolled out to 400 businesses
- Member of International Advisory Committees of the United Nations (Expert Committee on Microbiological Risk Analysis; Codex Alimentarious Commission Working Party on Validation; Expert Committee on HACCP in Small Businesses; and Codex Food Hygiene Committee)
- Food Safety Advisor to Department of Public Health, Queensland State Government, Australia
- International Panel of Experts, Crystal Risk Management Systems (UK/US partnership producing software solutions to manage food safety for tour companies to use in resort hotels/cruise lines
- Editor of new international journal in risk management in collaboration with the World Health Organisation and editor of African Journal of Food Science
- International Consultant for WHO/FAO and international governments (6)Member of national working groups on HACCP (7)
Dr Joanne Taylor
- One year secondment to the Food Standards Agency (FSA) as expert in HACCP psychology to work on a multi-disciplinary team developing an innovative new system of food safety management for catering businesses
- At the request of the FSA, developed a Postgraduate Certificate in SFBB: 100 students to date, including enforcement officers, academics and practitioners
- Invited by international governments to present the new system SFBB (2)
- Requested by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) to write the textbook, training package and CD for their latest Level 3 food safety qualification that incorporates the new method (SFBB)
- Member of a European expert group on food safety and risk communication: EU-RAIN. This involves conferences and collaboration with the output of recommendations for industry
- Own PhD has been recognized and recommended by the WHO/FAO of the UN
Professor John Wilson
- Invited by the Public Management and Policy Association (PMPA) to present a seminar paper (part of their annual seminar series) as one of three published annually and distributed nationally to all PMPA members
- Carried out consultancy with Siemens Financial Services, Munich, on a survey of financial decision-makers across Europe
- Appearances as expert on local radio (6) and on BBC Politics Show and BBC National Lunchtime News