Business and Management Studies

Business and Management Studies

Key statistics

In this submission to the Business and Management Studies unit of assessment in REF 2021, based on work undertaken in the seven year period 2014-2020:

  • Six research staff were submitted, of whom four were women.
  • Three further colleagues from Business were submitted to Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management.
  • 21 candidates were awarded PhDs.
  • By the end of the census period, there were 15 PhD students and three Professional Doctorate students registered.

Examples of our work

Through our Family and Smaller Enterprises research cluster, we foster ideas and intellectual capital in relation to family business and smaller enterprises, including start-up businesses.  Research in on entrepreneurship in developing economies underpins our participation in the British Council Creative Spark programme in Uzbekistan to develop and embed a curriculum for enterprise across university level education in the tourism and hospitality fields, and to develop a country-level set of National Standards for University enterprise education. A new extension of this work will focus on the participation of female staff and students at university level in Uzbekistan.

Our Centre for Consumer Dispute Resolution (CRDC) focuses upon consumer dispute resolution and consumer policy, developing research and includes organisational policies and approaches to complaints, and systems of dispute resolution, allied to consumer experiences of the complaints process and the impact on staff at whom complained are levied. CDRC published numerous reports to services that include legal ombudsman, the Care Inspectorate, and the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts. Recent work from CDRC includes that supporting staff who have been complained about, which identified the need for organisations to design complaint systems that support the needs of all actors within the system. To help ensure that consumers’ views are represented, individual members of the team have been appointed to several external bodies. During the census period for REF 2021, staff from CDRC chaired the newly established Consumer Panel at the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, acted as members of the Office of Rail and Road Consumer Expert Panel and the Civil Aviation Authority Consumer Panel, chaired the Chartered Trading Standards Institute Qualifications and Awards Board, convened the Regulatory Committee of the Law Society of Scotland Scottish Mediation and acted as consumer representation on the Scottish Civil Justice Council.

Our Gastronomy, Events, Tourism and Hospitality research cluster (GETH), brings together our established research expertise in hospitality, tourism and events and allies this to developing research in gastronomy.

Our staff are active in blogging about their activities, and also engage with traditional media outlets. For example, Prof Claire Seaman has contributed to interviews and articles on family businesses, their challenges and current research, for BBC Scotland, the Scotsman newspaper, and several local publications. Richard Bent has contributed to several radio discussion shows on BBC Scotland about retailing and the future of UK high streets.

As part of our professional and civic engagement agenda, our staff in this area engage with a variety of organisations and events to build profile and to encourage researcher engagement with our wider communities. Examples include:

  • An event on mental health at work, with former Labour Party Communication Director, Alastair Campbell as guest speaker, focusing on toxic work environments and appropriate responses.
  • A seminar series, ‘Public Leadership in Turbulent Times’, funded by the Joint University Council for Public Administration.
  • Development of Scottish Family Business Week with Family Business United Scotland (2016-present).
  • Regular workshops on behalf of the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
  • Five successful partnerships with local family businesses, drawing on funding from the Scottish Funding Council Innovation Voucher programme.
  • Evaluation of the Bank of Scotland’s philanthropic grants.
  • Doctoral candidates researching topics that include social enterprise and waste management in Nigeria.
  • Keynotes and scholarship at international institutions, including the University of Finance & Management, Warsaw, HTMI in Switzerland, Universidad di Extremadura, Spain, University of Vermont, and Concordia University in Montreal.
  • Our publications led to work with the British Council Creative Spark Programme and Silk Road International University in Samarkand and, indeed, to ongoing bids to conduct further work for the Government of Uzbekistan.
  • CDRC work with consumer and dispute resolution organisations, including ombudsmen organisations, carrying out consultancy and professional development training rooted in their academic research.
  • Active participation in the cross-parliamentary group on Women and Enterprise within the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood.

Read our full case study on our work on Family Business -  governance and succession planning 

Read our full case study on our work on Changing complaints handling culture in public services/ombudsman schemes