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Student Profile: Anahita’s story shines in Indian press

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Anahita Kumar

She’s studying for her MSc Management (International Business), but Anahita Kumar still has time to speak to The Times of India about her road to studying at Sheffield University Management School.

Anahita, who also works as a student ambassador for the Management School, received significant merit-based and automatic scholarships for her study – something which the article discusses in detail.

On her academic journey, Anahita said: “Choosing the right university to pursue my Masters was now a difficult task as the University of Sheffield enjoys a global reputation, a Triple Crown accredited Management School, the best of careers services, highly qualified professors, the best Students’ Union and an economical city life.

“I had heard that the people of Sheffield are friendly and I can now vouch for it, as I was warmly welcomed on arrival.”

Find out more about our extensive UK/EU and International scholarships for postgraduate study here:

European Parliament accepts SUMS-designed platform to challenge undeclared work

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

The European Commission has proposed the creation of a European Platform, designed by Professor Colin Williams (pictured above) at Sheffield University Management School, to improve cooperation at EU level in order to prevent and deter undeclared work more effectively.

The Platform will bring together various national enforcement bodies involved in the fight against undeclared work, a phenomenon that causes serious damage to working conditions, fair competition and public budgets.

EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, László Andor, said: “Undeclared work deprives workers of social protection, puts their health and safety at risk and lowers labour standards. It also undermines fair competition for businesses and endangers the sustainability of public finances and social security systems. In the end, everybody loses. This is why the Commission is fully committed to support Member States in tackling this scourge, so we can protect workers, level the playing field for companies and safeguard fiscal revenue”

The new Platform would bring together all enforcement bodies involved in tackling undeclared work, such as labour and social security inspectorates and tax and migration authorities, as well as other stakeholders, such as EU-level representatives of employers and employees. The proposal envisages that all Member States should be members of the Platform, as undeclared work affects all of them, and joint participation of all EU countries is crucial to address cross-border situations.

The Platform would fill a vacuum at the EU level, where until now undeclared work is discussed sporadically and in an uncoordinated way in different committees and working groups. It would allow for more effective cooperation between those who deal with undeclared work on the ground every day.

Read more about the Platform in the European Commission’s press release:

You can find some FAQs on the platform here:

#StandByMe comes to SUMS

Friday, March 14th, 2014


In February, the university launched the #StandByMe campaign.

Designed to celebrate of the value and contribution of international staff and students to all UK universities, the campaign was a big hit on social media (along with another selfie you might have heard about). Not one to miss out on all the fun, the Management School has put its entry into the ring… is this the most people (and nationalities) on a #StandByMe selfie so far?

As the brainchild of university teacher Andrea Ward, our MSc Management class, who were working with her on module MGT6122 Company Project, struck a pose on the School’s atrium steps.

The photo was sent in by Yu-Hsuan Chen, Henry from Taiwan. Thank you for being such good sports!

Leaders in their Field: Joint Sheffield City Region Leadership Programme celebrates its third cohort

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013
Delegates and the teaching team

Delegates and the teaching team

Firth Court was an appropriately grand setting for the third set of graduates from the Sheffield City Region Leadership Programme.A pianist enhanced the classical sense of occasion, while successful delegates from the programme, along with their tutors and representatives from the Universities, gathered and enjoyed the canapés ahead of an evening of inspiring speeches and individuals.

The innovative course, run collaboratively by the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University, is building a generation of highly trained, socially networked leaders in the city region. This year’s cohort included representatives from South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, many of the region’s councils, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, the NHS and South Yorkshire Police.

After introductions from Sheffield University Management School’s Associate Dean for Knowledge Exchange Professor John Cullen and Acting Dean Professor David Oglethorpe, as well as Deputy Dean of Sheffield Business School Professor Isobel Doole, graduates of the year-long programme watched a presentation filmed specially for them from Lord Michael Bichard. In it he discussed the significance of the programme in a national context and the importance of cross-agency working, as well as passing on his congratulations.

Delegates then crossed the stage to collect their certificate, becoming the programme’s third cohort.

Isobel David Nigel CRLP Event 20 Nov 2013

Prof David Oglethorpe, Nigel Brewster and Prof Isobel Doole

Following the ceremony, Nigel Brewster, partner at  bespoke recruitment company Brewster Pratap and a private-sector board-member for Sheffield City Region’s Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), took to the lectern to discuss the benefits of both universities working together, and how our cooperating and the potential of an academy is helping the work of the LEP. Mr Brewster’s knowledge of skills added an interesting focus to his talk.

Lord Bichard’s virtual presence at the ceremony was highly relevant, as he has long championed cross-agency working and skill-building excellence. After a long and illustrious career in Government, including a spell as Permanent Secretary of the Department for Education and Employment, he retired in 2001. However, he is still a very active in Chair and advisory positions, and throughout his career has overseen significant changes to the education policy landscape, such as the introduction of the Learning and Skills Council to fund further education and apprenticeships.

Speaking to the graduates gives you a real sense of the achievement they feel following completion of the PG certificate. From learning the rigorous academic theory behind Dr Kamal Birdi’s Clear Ideas, to simply finding the confidence to articulate their ideas in a meeting, each University brings its own specialisms and expertise to enhance the delegates’ existing professional expertise.

Photographs in Firth Court’s beautiful Tapestry Room and networking with the new graduates formed a fitting end to the evening.

Interested in a PhD in Leadership & Social Identity?

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Dr. David Rast, III, PhD is currently accepting applications for a doctoral student in the area of group processes, intergroup relations, and leadership.

Project description: Leadership is fundamentally a group process whereby leaders influence a collection of individuals, and vice versa. Past research demonstrates that leader emergence and preference within groups is impacted by feelings of uncertainty about oneself (Rast, Gaffney, Hogg, & Crisp, 2012; Rast, Hogg, & Giessner, 2013). Social identity is an important component in this situation, where considerations of followers’ self-conception are evoked and managed by the group’s leadership. Building on the social identity theory of leadership (Hogg, van Knippenberg, & Rast, 2012), this project will examine how/when leaders, particularly extremist, deviant, or non-prototypical leaders, can strategically use uncertainty to their advantage as a means to strengthen their support by providing ways to ease follower uncertainty and by emphasizing a shared identity.

Potential applicants with demonstrable research interests in the areas of the self-concept, social identity, social influence, collective action, and leadership are strongly preferred. Please email Dr. David Rast at with your CV and a 2-page statement of research interests.

Leadership ideas are clear with Dr Birdi

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Abirdi-90x75s a senior lecturer in Sheffield University Management School’s Institute of Work Psychology, Dr Kamal Birdi is used to communicating his highly regarded research to groups of students. However, recently his work has reached a professional audience.

After an excellent interview on BBC Radio 4’s programme ‘Bobbies on the Tweet’, which discussed how police are fighting crime using the popular social media platform Twitter, Dr Birdi has had much involvement with local organisations, as well as the ESRC Festival of Social Science.

Two events in November called on Dr Birdi’s expertise and were part of the national Festival, organised annually by the ESRC. The first, held at The Circle, Sheffield, was a one-day CLEAR IDEAS creativity training workshop. Attendees numbered 18 and came from third sector organisations including SCOPE, Sheffield Cubed and St Luke’s Hospice. Feedback from the event, which saw participants tackling challenges such as recruiting a more diverse board and creating fundraising events, was overwhelmingly positive, with comments including ‘some of the best training I’ve been to’, and ‘I hope to champion this within my organisation’.SYFR-workshop

The second ESRC event saw Dr Birdi invited to speak at Aston Business School. His talk was titled ‘But I’m not Creative…’, in which he evaluated the role of creativity training in promoting organisational innovation. Of the talk, Dr Birdi said: “I reviewed the research on creativity training in organisations and discussed the practical experience of running my CLEAR IDEAS workshops in organisations for the past eight years. Other speakers at the event, which had a theme of ‘Organisational Innovation, People Management and Sustained Performance’, came from as far afield as the USA, Denmark, Portugal and China.”

Dr Birdi also teaches on the Sheffield City Region Leadership Programme, which includes delegates from South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR). Having experienced the impact his CLEAR IDEAS framework has had on their staff who have graduated from the programme, they invited Dr Birdi to facilitate a creative ideas session for middle-managers, after they were given a task from senior managers to come up with new suggestions on reducing SYFR’s transport costs, ensuring firefighters are kept up-to-date with training and that key knowledge wasn’t lost when people left the organisation.

The session (pictured right) was a great success.

Double HEA seminar success for SUMS

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

HIG01S0002_Logo_Primary_Blue_RGB_MV1The Higher Education Academy (HEA) has awarded two seminars to Sheffield University Management School (SUMS); an accolade which reflects our focus on enhancing learning and teaching.

Both sessions will be led by a two engaging teams of academics and focus on ‘Effectual Leadership’ and ‘Teaching Research Methods’ in a management/business/entrepreneurial teaching context.

This seminar funding allows institutions such as the University of Sheffield the opportunity to promote research and evidence that has informed departmental and institutional policy or practice. It is a significant achievement to have two in such proximity, as Director of Teaching Quality and Enhancement, and acting Head of Management Division at SUMS, Professor Paul Latreille reiterated: “Our double HEA seminar success is a reflection on our high quality teaching and the commitment of Sheffield University Management School staff to improving quality, nationally and internationally.”

The first seminar, Effectual Leadership in Entrepreneurial Education, is to be held on 16 December 2013 at the Interdisciplinary Centre of Social Sciences (ICOSS, 219 Portobello S1 4DP). The aim of this workshop is to disseminate findings and the learning smartphone app for promoting effectual enterprise learning. Participants will learn about how to incorporate more effectual approaches into teaching entrepreneurship and enterprise.

Led by Dr Tim Vorley, Dr Nick Williams and Dr Robert Wapshott, a full schedule of the event and the opportunity to book your place is available on the HEA website (limited places available):

Prof Latreille’s seminar, discussing teaching research methods, is being led jointly with Professor Bill Lee of SUMS. However, invited academics from the University of Manchester, LSE and more, will complement the day-long programme with their expertise in the field of Teaching Research Methods in Business and Management. Drawing on a mixture of practice and evidence, it will provide an opportunity for those interested to share experiences, insights and good practice, and to discuss challenges and explore potential solutions.

You can find out more about the event, due to be held at Sheffield University Management School (Conduit Road, S10 1FL) on 10 January 2014, on the HEA website (only 40 places available):

Teaching and knowledge exchange at the heart of IWP

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Research from the Institute of Work Psychology is headline grabbing, but there’s more to the IWP than this.

Students on the MSc Occupational Psychology and doctoral researchers are at the heart of the IWP’s activities and, along with the established team of academics, spend time sharing their knowledge with the public and industry. Here we review some of the IWP’s recent engagement activities:


IWP-Tata2013Hats off to students’ steely determination

MSc Occupational Psychology students can say ‘ta-ta’ to lecturers and tutorials now and again…

On 20 November, our group of postgraduate students visited Tata Steel in Stockbridge, Sheffield. Tata Steel is one of the world most geographically diversified steel producers and students learnt a great deal from the visit.


North of the Boarder

Dr Carolyn Axtell, senior lecturer at Sheffield University Management School, was invited to speak at Holyrood Magazine’s Mobile and Flexible Working Conference.

Held in Edinburgh on 28 October, Dr Axtell spoke about the effect of mobile and remote work on the workforce. This is a subject in which she is well versed, as in recent years she has worked with a range of organisations within both the public and private sector. Research projects have broadly related to either evaluating the impact of new technologies and new ways of working or helping develop new work practices. Carolyn has been invited to contribute to chapters/papers and speak at conferences on the topic of virtual working.

Holyrood Magazine is Scotland’s political and current affairs publication read by key legislators, Scottish parliamentarians, civil servants, political parties, health boards and trusts. This conference was held by their technical magazine. Read more:


Staying in touch: Alumni Success

Following on from Kate Bonsall-Clarke’s accolade last year, IWP alumna Kate Firth won the prestigious Practitioner of the Year award from the British Psychological Society.

Kate’s prize-winning submission contained redesigning the selection process for a large development programme at Tesco. Her work improved the effectiveness of identifying the best candidates for the programme and improved applicants’ experience.

The school’s MSc Occupational Psychology is accredited by the British Psychological Society. Read more:


ESRC Festival of Social Science: Is anybody out there?

It seems there are a lot of people out there to want to learn about IWP’s PhD students’ research.

A packed meeting room attended to hear Peter Crellin and Sarah Brooks give a talk as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science. Titled ‘Is Anybody Out There? Why bosses Don’t Always Listen’, the event took place on 4 November at the Interdisciplinary Centre of Social Sciences (ICOSS), Portobello Road.

The pair discussed ways that senior management prevent their employees from talking openly to them. This can have subsequent effects on the employees and the wider organisation; Sarah and Peter drew on and combined their experience within the Institute of Work Psychology and wider research interests such as destructive leadership and workplace silence.

Expert discusses falling employment’s effect on mental health

Friday, November 15th, 2013

SpriggDr Christine Sprigg, lecturer and chartered psychologist from the Institute of Work Psychology (IWP) at Sheffield University Management School, was asked to comment on dropping unemployment and its effect on mental health by the British Psychological Society.

Commenting on recent news that unemployment figures are falling, Dr Sprigg (pictured left) said: “In general, the weight of research evidence suggests that in mental health terms at least, it is better to be employed than unemployed. Employment not only provides monetary benefits but vital social and relational experiences – as well as a structure and a meaning to a person’s day. This is not to say you need a ‘paid job’ to garner these health benefits.”

However, research suggests that there is a loophole whereby this is not necessarily the case. Dr Sprigg continued: “Some research has indicated that ‘poor quality’ jobs may not provide the same mental health buffers. So it always important to provide as rich a form of work as possible for people – given the basic constraints of the nature of any job.”

She referenced seminal work by current and previous colleagues at Sheffield, Professor Peter Warr and Professor Paul Jackson.

Read the full story on the British Psychological Society’s website:

IWP goes from strength to strength

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

The Institute of Work Psychology (IWP), part of Sheffield University Management School, continues to cement its unrivalled academic reputation.

Its international acclaim and world-leading research keep it in the news, but behind the doors of the school’s newly-refurbished building, significant steps are being taken to maintain the IWP’s sterling reputation and build on 30 years of success.

In 2012 the school was awarded with Triple Crown accreditation, placing it firmly in the top one per cent of business schools in the world – in addition to this, a number of our programmes are accredited by major professional bodies including the IWP’s MSc in Occupational Psychology, which has recently been awarded re-accreditation from the British Psychological Society (BPS).

The award was exemplary, with seven commendations of good practice. Highlights acknowledged by the BPS included: the strong research culture within the IWP that effectively translates cutting-edge work into practical learning experiences for the students; the passion and commitment to teaching whilst balancing research commitments; the ‘community feel’ and high level of support provided by the programme team; excellent links with industry ensuring that students learn from people who enthuse about their subject, and access to specialist career support, enhanced by Sheffield University Management School’s Employability Hub.

iwp-trioWe are also delighted to welcome three new staff members to the IWP – Mrs Rose Shepherd, Dr David E Rast III and Dr Eva Selenko. Each brings a unique field of expertise and research to the Institute and you can read more about them on their respective staff profiles (pictured left, links embedded).

Recent press coverage from the IWP includes Kamaljit Birdi’s appearance on BBC Radio 4’s special programme, Bobbies on the Tweet where he suggested that “greater transparency builds trust with communities”. Meanwhile, Dr Jeremy Dawson discussed improving employee engagement in the NHS with The Guardian newspaper (summarised here).

With an active community of doctoral researchers making waves, and the Institute of Work Psychology International Conference 2014 approaching, keep an eye on their news pages and this blog for up-to-date information.


IWP on Twitter: @IWP_Sheffield

Sheffield University Management School on Twitter: @UoS_Management

IWP International Conference 2014: