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Archive for the ‘Award’ Category

Researchers awarded major grant to study productivity and workplace wellbeing

Thursday, May 9th, 2019
  • The Sheffield team, led by Professor Paul Latreille, was one of only five projects selected for the major new grant from the ESRC
  • The UK lags behind other developed economies for productivity 
  • Improving workplace wellbeing is increasingly in focus as a priority to tackle the productivity challenge

Researchers at The University of Sheffield’s Management School have been awarded part of a £3.8m ESRC fund looking at workplace productivity and wellbeing.

Conflict, low staff engagement and poor line management are some of the workplace challenges that can lead to weak productivity.

Leading the project team, which includes Professor Richard Saundry at the University of Plymouth, Professor Peter Urwin at the University of Westminster and Gill Dix at Acas, Professor Latreille hopes to achieve two, related things. The project will provide ‘gold standard’ evidence of the impact of a new training intervention delivered by Acas aimed at enhancing line manager competencies, including how they deal with conflict.

Secondly, that in highlighting those critical competencies and how these can be developed, it will make an important, practical contribution to tackling the UK’s ‘productivity challenge’.

“We want to see if a short, training intervention focused on enhancing these skills can improve managers’ confidence and capability, and whether this results in enhanced employee and engagement and measurable gains in productivity.”
Professor Paul Latreille

The UK Government has set productivity at the heart of their Industrial Strategy to boost employment, deliver advanced infrastructure and support technological advances.

The project is a further demonstration of The University of Sheffield’s multidisciplinary approach to knowledge exchange with key partners tackling the grand challenges of the Industrial Strategy.

Professor Paul Latreille said: “Line managers play a vital role in developing (and maintaining) positive working relationships, employee engagement and performance. Yet when we talk to HR practitioners, they regularly tell us that while managers may have strong technical skills, their interpersonal skills are often less well developed. In particular, managers may struggle to deal with difficult situations such as conflict with or between team members.”

Acas Head of Workplace Policy, Gill Dix, said: “The UK workforce produces less per hour than our main competitors such as Germany, France and the US. We’re excited to be involved in this research project and to play our part in helping to improve the UK’s workplace productivity.
“We believe that the way workplaces are organised, the part played by managers and involving employees can deliver better outcomes for workers, organisations and the economy. One key aspect to this is ensuring managers are trained to deal with conflict in the workplace.
“Last year Acas trained over 40,000 people across nearly 1000 organisations and we look forward to incorporating any learning points off the back of this study to help improve productivity within the UK.”

Dr Annie Gibney, Portfolio lead at ESRC for Management & Business Studies and Transforming Working Lives said: “This is a very strong set of projects that address the key management practices and employee engagement challenges facing business owners, managers and workers. Not only are they examples of excellent academic research that work closely with firms, policy-makers and key stakeholders – but they also have a real opportunity to lead to meaningful change in business and policy practices.”

University of Sheffield to lead €4 million research project exploring a more sustainable future

Thursday, January 10th, 2019

ReTraCE: Realising the Transition towards the Circular Economy

ReTraCE: Realising the Transition towards the Circular Economy

The University of Sheffield will lead a €4 million research project and train a new cohort of thought leaders to drive the transition towards a more sustainable mode of production and consumption in Europe over the coming decades.

Realising the Transition to the Circular Economy (ReTraCE) is a research project funded by Horizon 2020 EU’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks and will support the implementation of the European Commission’s Circular Economy strategy.

A circular economy is an alternative to a traditional linear economy (make, use, dispose) in which we keep resources for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of their useful life.

The project will bring together world-leading experts from a wide set of beneficiaries and partners to achieve breakthroughs in understanding how the transition towards a circular economy can be realised – both within existing organisations and industries as well as through innovative and sustainable business models.

Professor Andrea Genovese, from the University of Sheffield’s Management School and Principal Investigator of the ReTraCE initiative, said:

“This project will directly facilitate the implementation of the recently adopted ambitious Circular Economy strategy of the European Commission, which is closely linked to Sustainable Development Goals – the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.

Looking beyond the current take-make-dispose extractive industrial model, a circular economy is an alternative to a traditional linear economy. It aims to redefine growth, focusing on positive society-wide benefits, where products are kept in use for as long as possible, with value recovery and regeneration at the end of their useful life.”

The consortium of ten beneficiaries is led by the University of Sheffield and includes seven academic and three non-academic groups: The University of Kassel (Germany), Parthenope University of Naples (Italy), Olympia Electronics S.A (Greece), Tata Steel (UK), University of Kent (UK), ABIS – Academy of Business in Society (Belgium), Dalarna University (Sweden), Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (Netherlands), and SEERC – The South-East European Research Centre (Greece).

The network will design and deliver world-class multidisciplinary training to 15 early stage researchers, offering them an extended and valuable program of international exchanges and secondments through a wide network of partner organisations – from public, private and third sector.

The multi-disciplinary project will draw upon research that will advance the current understanding of the circular economy from economic, environmental and social perspectives, providing policy insights and implications for practice.

It is envisaged that, by the end of the project, early stage researchers will be employable by research institutions, public sector bodies and within a wide range of manufacturing and service industries which will require new professional profiles for realising the transition towards the circular economy.

Call for applications

The project has a call for applications for 15 Early Stage Researcher positions funded by the EU H2020-MSCA-ITN-2018 scheme. Find out more about the project on their Twitter and Facebook pages.

 

Management School students shortlisted for CIM national marketing award

Friday, March 16th, 2018
  • The Chartered Institute of Marketing’s The Pitch competition shortlists top 12 teams
  • £2,500 cash prize available for winners of the competition supported by leading brands, Mintel and Wilkinson Sword

A team of students from the University of Sheffield has been shortlisted for a national marketing award. ‘The Market Ears’ is one of the top twelve teams from across the UK going through to the final round of The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)’s The Pitch competition.

Now in its seventh year, The Pitch sees students from leading universities compete to respond to a live client brief in a bid to win the title of ‘Marketer of the future’. This year, teams were asked to come up with ideas for how Wilkinson Sword’s shaving range can appeal to a younger audience.

Dr Julie Alevizou, Programme Director for International Business Management at the University of Sheffield said: “It is a fantastic achievement for the students to have reached the final shortlist for this national competition. The students have gained valuable experience by responding to a live client brief, and the quality of their work has been recognised by experts in the field.”

International Business Management students, Timothy Vine, Sophie Elton and Charlie Nock, impressed the judges with their response to their brief. The judging panel this year includes marketing experts from Wilkinson Sword, UNILAD, Mintel and CIM.

Gemma Butler, Associate Marketing Director at CIM said: “We’ve been inundated with high-calibre applications this year. It’s been fantastic to get a glimpse of the student talent across
the UK and we’re very much looking forward to seeing the finalists bring their ideas to life in the live final.”

Sarah Wood, Marketing Director at Wilkinson Sword said: “It’s brilliant to receive entries from across UK. The ideas are of such a high calibre and it’s clear a lot of time, effort and creative thinking has gone into responding to our brief. Originality is shining through in each one! We’re grateful to everyone who submitted and wish those shortlisted the best of luck in the final.”

Media contact: Mary Hickey, Media and Communications Officer, on 0114 2221034 or email m.o.hickey@sheffield.ac.uk

Building employability through learning and teaching: Laura Dean awarded

Thursday, July 6th, 2017

Laura Dean, a university teacher in work psychology at the Management School, has been awarded a university award for Outstanding Practice in Learning and Teaching.

As one of 13 winners at the Faculty of Social Sciences’ Teaching Excellence in Social Sciences (TESS) awards, Laura was commended specifically for building students’ employability through classroom learning.

Nominated by the Management School’s Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching, Dr Robert Wapshott, and Dr Carolyn Axtell, Laura’s work on devising mock assessment centres embedded in the curriculum of two modules.

Laura’s innovation sees MSc Occupational Psychology students design and deliver an assessment centre of the type final year undergraduate students may encounter as part of a job search – it has occupational relevance for the Masters students as many will begin their careers in such roles.

After organising activities, preparing paperwork and taking on administration for the day, they act as assessors for second-year undergraduates taking our module in Career Theory and Practice. The environment is made as realistic as possible so that both groups get to experience the pressure of an assessment centre and identify any things which may impede their performance in a real assessment situation.

Feedback has been very positive. MSc Occupational Psychology graduate (2016) Jack Cousins, currently working at Saville Consulting as a Consultant Analyst, said: “The opportunity to both design and run an assessment centre was crucial in deciding to pursue my current role.”

The undergraduates have the opportunity to practise being assessed and receive feedback on their performance which they find highly beneficial. 84 % said they agreed or strongly agreed this had helped them prepare for selection events, while 98 % agreed they were glad they had opportunity to take part.

As her prize for winning this award, Laura received a certificate and a £500 prize to support future learning and teaching.

An extraordinary achievement – Dr Angela Carter awarded Lifetime Achievement Award

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

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Angie Carter is not your average academic.

Her untraditional route to the top is a story of passion, tenacity and patience which has recently been acknowledged with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology (EAWOP).

As a long-standing member of the Institute of Work Psychology at the Management School, Angie’s career has been underpinned by a drive to develop learning in others. She said: “It’s a passion of mine to apply learning to practice. I’ve decided that the biggest success I’ve had isn’t just imparting learning to other people – it’s encouraging others to do so. Some of the people I have supervised (practitioners and PhD scholars) are supervising others now, and that’s extraordinarily nice to hear.”

Angie’s first foray into teaching was at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London – having trained in radiotherapy, she enjoyed developing people in a technical and a caring job. It was the 1980s and the hospital told her to ‘go out and get a degree’, which she embarked on part-time: “I really enjoyed the part of my work that was about communication with people – I’d been teaching ultrasonographers how to talk to their patients, so psychology appeared to be the most obvious thing for me to do.

“I caught the bug and knew I wanted to do more research after that.”

Her legacy in London continues, as she was one of the team who established a regional school of radiography which still exists in Charterhouse Square.

Redundancy from her job in the health service was a catalyst for change: “I started teaching leadership and management in the early 1990s. Twenty-plus years later, I’m still teaching leadership and management! So it’s interesting how things go around.

“Redundancy was a real schism in my career that took me into further study. I had an opportunity to do what I wanted to do – I met people from the Institute of Work Psychology and came up to Sheffield to apply for a research assistant role looking at the first big stress study in healthcare. Got that, and my PhD four years later. And here I still am!”

Volunteering for professional associations like EAWOP and the British Psychological Society (BPS) has shaped Angie’s career for decades. After time spent on the BPS’s international committee, she was invited to join EAWOP’s executive committee on which she spent six years, one of the driving factors behind this award: “I got to meet fantastic people but built an unhappy image of the continent. If you look at Europe from the Western side, we have strong educational pathways, well-formed practitioner-academic roles, and work psychology is buzzing. Go further East, and it’s much less so.  Not only is there more poverty, but there isn’t a defined academic core of study.

“They just don’t have the opportunities – academic salaries are so low that work psychologists have to practice, so they don’t have time to do much research. There’s a flattening of ability, and as I met people there through EAWOP, we formed a group called the Baltic Alliance. I brought them together, enabling better funding for educational and research projects. They all became EAWOP constituents and one of my roles in the executive committee was to expand these numbers – I started with about ten, and left with 34. I expanded the scope of EAWOP, and what it could achieve.”

Building constituents was just the beginning of Angie’s EAWOP journey. While developing these links across Europe, she was working with practitioner Ute Schmidt-Brasse to develop a practice-based journal for the association – they’re now into their ninth year of publishing In-Journal, and it goes from strength to strength. Angie also established the Worklab, an annual meeting for work psychology practitioners with a minimum of two years’ experience, which again aims to bridge the gap between research and practice.

Back in Sheffield, Angie contributes to the Management School’s Masters in Occupational Psychology and Work Psychology, running a module called Applying Psychology to Work and Organisations. The module is assessed by a portfolio based on ten elements of practice that make a good work psychologist. She said: “The portfolio makes the applied learning more real for students and prepares them for their future work roles.”

“There are a number of challenges facing graduates – my advice would be not to just chase ‘any job’ – pursue an area of work that you’re passionate about. Use every opportunity you can to network and make contacts – we offer extraordinary opportunities for students that may mean a little bit of work outside the general curriculum, but you’ll get noticed.”

Angie considers ‘getting real’ as a concern for work psychology as a whole, particular post-recession when organisations are still keeping a close eye on the bottom line: “What worries me is that a lot of areas of research are too narrow and don’t look at the big picture facing business now, which is how to get the best performance from employees so organisations can achieve their goals in tough times.

“I think there’s a reality check that needs to happen – we need to research the big important questions, rather than things companies don’t want to know about. They’re interested in engaging, but they need to see that engagement relate to performance.”

The study of organisations is shaping Angie’s research now. She’s looking at youth employment – why businesses choose not to employ young people, what they don’t understand about the 18 to 24-year old demographic, and what they’re missing out on: “There are two sides, and until we start researching the work side of employability, we won’t get an answer to the big questions of getting young people into good work roles.”

The Lifetime Achievement Award from EAWOP is a wonderful summary of Angie’s career – recognising her voluntary work and contribution to the lives of work psychologists around the world. The Management School is incredibly proud of her exceptional contribution.

Celebrated authors: Best paper awards for SUMS researchers

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

A number of papers from academics at the Management School have been acknowledged as outstanding across revered journals.

In the annual Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence, two papers from SUMS were deemed the best of the year. The International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research named a paper by Dr Ranis Cheng and Dr Mike Simpson from Sheffield University Management School, alongside lead author Dr Sheilagh Resnick (Nottingham Trent University) and Dr Fernando Lourenco (Institute for Tourism Studies, Macau) ‘Marketing in SMEs: a “4P” self-branding model’, as outstanding.

Meanwhile, the Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal crowned a paper by Dr Panayiota (Julie) Alevizou and Dr Caroline Oates with Dr Claudia Henninger (University of Manchester), called ‘What is sustainable fashion?’.

Both articles are freely available to all for one year and will be promoted as the journal sample article.

From the Institute of Work Psychology, Dr Carolyn Axtell’s paper alongside the University of Manchester’s David Holman, ‘Can job redesign interventions influence a broad range of employee outcomes by changing multiple job characteristics? A quasi-experimental study’ has been awarded Best Paper by the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.

Finally, a paper by Sheffield’s Prof Tim Vorley and Dr Nick Williams (University of Leeds) won the prize for Best Paper from the International Small Business Journal. Entitled ‘Between petty corruption and criminal extortion: How entrepreneurs in Bulgaria and Romania operate within a devil’s circle’, you can click here to read the paper.

Representing Sheffield: Jessica reaches finals of Undergraduate of the Year Awards

Friday, May 5th, 2017

JL-Contestants  JL-London  JL-AC

One of our first-year International Business Management students is a UK Management Undergraduate of the Year Award 2017 finalist.

Jessica Lane, the only finalist in the awards representing the University of Sheffield, applied in January and was shortlisted – after a rigorous assessment process she reached the finals, held recently in London.

Jessica said: “I submitted my application after receiving emails about the Undergraduate of the Year awards. After some online tests, I was chosen from 300 applicants for a telephone interview. Forty-five successful candidates then attended an Enterprise Rent-A-Car assessment centre in Surrey which was really tough.”

“I was delighted to be chosen as one of the top ten to attend the finals in Canary Wharf and feel so proud to have represented Sheffield in becoming a UK Management Undergraduate of the Year Award 2017 finalist! I never expected to get as far as I did, and coming away with two summer internships with Enterprise Rent-A-Car was a great conclusion to an incredible experience!”

Other finalists attended from all over the UK, including Aston University, the University of Exeter and Strathclyde.

Programme director for BA International Business Management, Dr Julie Alevizou, said: “I’m so proud of Jessica’s achievement, especially reaching this level of the competition in her first year at Sheffield. The assessment centre had a very practical focus, including tasks such as ‘leading a morning meeting’, and it’s testament to her commitment to studies and natural leadership skills that Jessica progressed to the final stage.”

Click here to read more about the Undergraduate of the Year competition.

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Dr Diane Burns to pilot innovative home care approaches

Monday, February 6th, 2017

Dr Diane Burns

Dr Diane Burns is leading a research project, working with Sheffield City Council to roll out a new pilot study aimed at improving innovation in the provision of home care in the city.

Policy makers recognise that home care is a better and more cost effective way of supporting people to live independently for longer in their own homes.

However, the home care sector is faced with a number of problems including financial cuts, care quality, workforce recruitment and retention, and the growing need to avoid preventable hospital admissions and delayed discharges.

The ‘Doing Care Differently’ study aims to encourage experiments in the design and implementation of new models of funding and providing care in the city. The project has secured £50,000 in funding from the Wellcome Trust.

Diane said: “This project brings together a team of interdisciplinary researchers who co-wrote two public interest reports (see below), which set out our distinct and critical perspectives on social care.

“With the Doing Care Differently study we want to carry out action research to support the design and implementation of new models of funding and operating at the local level.”

The pilot will create a network of care recipients, academics, council officers, commissioners and care providers to share knowledge, investigate health outcomes and the implications alternative care models may have for Sheffield.

It will also include a forum for stakeholders in the city to discuss choices, develop plans and identify what support is required to successfully develop new models of care. Researchers will visit cities in Holland, Spain and Norway to look at successful models of care that are currently in place.

If the pilot is successful, researchers hope to apply for further funding to extend the pilot across the UK.

The reports:

Where does the money go? Financialised chains and the crisis in residential care report

Why we need social innovation in home care for older people report

Engaging and innovative: Kamal Birdi wins teaching award

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

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The route from research paper to the classroom is rarely as clear cut as Kamal Birdi’s work on creativity and innovation, which has led to him receiving the Award for Outstanding Practice in Learning and Teaching from the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Using his CLEAR IDEAS innovation development model as a basis for learning, over 13 years Kamal (pictured above) has trained over 1,000 people from private, public and third sector organisations to fulfil their creative potential through research-led teaching in innovation and workplace training/development.

More recently, Kamal has brought CLEAR IDEAS into the classrooms at the Management School – imparting and applying the theory to his Creativity and Innovation module which has been well received by students. Another model developed by Kamal, the Taxonomy of Training and Development Outcomes (TOTADO), has been taught to Occupational Psychology and Human Resources Management students for many years and in 2012 helped a former student to win the Occupational Psychology Practitioner of the Year Award, having applied TOTADO to her training work.

The CLEAR IDEAS app and website portal has brought the problem solving model to the masses, and also allows students and trainees to carry on the practice beyond their taught hours.

On his win, Kamal said: “It is an honour to be given this award and I would like to thank all my Institute of Work Psychology and other Management School colleagues who have helped in the journey and without whom this would not have been possible.

“I am lucky to be teaching something I feel passionate about – you just need to look around at recent events to see that the need for innovative ways of dealing with challenges is something continually faces us. As academics, I do feel we therefore have a crucial role in helping learners to understand how research-based strategies can be used to make a positive difference to the lives of students, communities and organisations. Teaching creativity also forces you to be creative in your own teaching!”

Kamal’s nominator, Professor John Cullen, said: “Kamal works hard to ensure his teaching is engaging, stimulating and innovative. He provides links between research and real-life challenges and issues, and encouraging supportive and constructive collaboration between learners has always been a key focus of his teaching activities.”

Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor for Learning and Teaching and Chair at the Management School, Prof Paul Latreille, added: “Kamal is an exceptional educator. His research journey has always linked into teaching – ensuring an impact on students at all levels, as well as on organisations and policy.

The Teaching Excellence in Social Sciences (TESS) ceremony takes place on 18 October 2016 at ICOSS. Kamal will receive a certificate and £500 towards developing his learning and leaching at the Management School.

Click here to download Kamal’s CLEAR IDEAS app, or here to visit the online portal.

British Academy grant will strengthen links with Ukraine

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

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Dr Peter Rodgers, Lecturer in Strategy and International Business at the Management School (pictured), has been awarded a grant from the British Academy’s International Partnerships and Mobility Scheme which he will use to strengthen links with academic colleagues in Ukraine via a research project. Peter leading the grant will work with co-investigator Prof Tim Vorley and other members of the CREED research centre within the Management School. 

The project, which will explore the non-market strategies of export orientated Ukrainian firms, aims to explore this area from a research angle while also building dialogue with a variety of relevant stakeholders in Ukraine’s business and policy-making circles.

Peter said: “We’re delighted to receive this grant – it has fundamental benefits not only for the academics involved, but for CREED as a leading research centre examining the nature of economic transformations taking place across post-socialist spaces in Europe, the Management School and the partner institution Kyiv Molyla Business School too.

“The partners see this as an opportunity to build an extended collaboration, beyond this grant, which draws on capabilities at both institutions.”

Ukraine remains the second poorest country in Europe and its economic transformation has been stunted for a number of reasons, including ongoing conflict in the east of the country; ‘rent seeking’ activities and corrupt practices of economic and political elites and a burgeoning informal economy. Peter is an expert in business-state relations in emerging economies and has previously worked extensively in Ukraine and Russia. He has also provided policy advice to the British government on the business landscape in Ukraine, so is well positioned to work with Ukrainian colleagues on exploring the roles, restraints and current relations which hamper the country’s attempts to generate sustainable economic development.

Facilitated workshops and online webinars, as well as visits in person, will bring the research team from CREED and Kyiv together and enable them to build regional partnerships with organisations. This approach is unique in Ukraine – together we will be breaking new ground.