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ESRC Seminar Series Grant Awarded on New Imperatives of Higher Education Institutions

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Dr Tim Vorley, Lecture in Entrepreneurship in the Management School, and member of the  Centre for Regional Economic and Enterprise Development (CREED) has recently received ESRC funding to host five seminars looking at the changing higher education landscape. The seminars series led by Dr Vorley will be hosted in collaboration with the colleagues at the University of Bristol and University of Leicester.

 The seminar series is a timely engagement with debates concerned with the socio-economic role played by universities both in the UK and abroad. With leading academics, policymakers and practitioners speaking at the seminars, they aim to make a timely contribution to this highly topical debate and serve as a forum for sharing good practice.  

 The five seminars, to be hosted between February 2011 and August 2012, will serve as the basis for extending research on higher education. With a combined academic-practitioner focus it is also hoped that the seminars will inform academic and policy research associated with the new institutional imperatives of Higher Education Institutions


For more information see





Dr Kamal Birdi wins prestigious award

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Dr Kamal Birdi of the University of Sheffield’s Institute of Work Psychology has received top honours from the Division of Occupational Psychology (DOP).  The award, for Academic Contribution to Practice, recognises the excellence of Dr Birdi’s ‘TOTADO’ (Taxonomy of Training and Development Outcomes) a classification and evaluation system for the quality of training and provision within organisations. The award – made for the first time this year –  aims to recognise, promote and publicise individuals who have contributed substantially to the strong evidence base that Occupational Psychologists rely on to do their work in the field.

Dr Birdi has been based at the Institute of Work Psychology in Sheffield since 1991 and registered as a chartered occupational psychologist since 1999.  Over the last 19 years he has focused on conducting in-depth research into two key areas, workplace learning and creativity/innovation, and has striven to translate research findings into better practice for organisations, policy makers and the public.

Durng work on his PhD, focused on assessing and identifying the factors influencing training and development effectiveness, Dr Birdi developed his training evaluation framework, TOTADO.  Since 2000, Kamal has been using TOTADO as a means of helping practitioners develop their evaluation strategies.

On hearing he had received the award Dr Birdi said ‘ I am very honoured to receive this award from the Occupational Psychology community in the UK.  Of course, it would not have been possible without the collective efforts of my colleagues here at the Institute of Work Psychology so I must also thank them.  I have always believed in bridging the scientist-practitioner divide and I hope that recognition like this award will encourage my peers to engage with such worthwhile endeavours’.

The award will be made at the British Medical Association (BMA), Euston, London on the evening of 28 October 2010.

Myrdal Book Prize for Management School Professor

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

The Myrdal Prize for 2010 has been awarded to Professor Andrew Tylecote for his book with Francesca Visintin entitled Corporate Governance, Finance and the Technological Advantage of Nations

Andrew Tylecote comments:

Everyone knows now that for most firms and countries competitive advantage depends largely on technology. (That’s not new: it was true for Sheffield when it made most of the world’s steel, around 1850.) What even experts on technology tend to overlook is how much it depends on finance (to provide the funding that technological innovation requires) and corporate governance (= power – that decides what gets funded). Our book shows how countries’ differing systems of corporate governance and finance have shaped their technological advantage; so that for example Britain excels in pharmaceuticals, Germany in machinery, Japan in robotics. It also shows how the development of corporate governance and finance has lagged behind the revolution which has been sweeping through technology for the last twenty or so years. We argue that obsolete systems of corporate governance and finance have been, and remain, a drag on this revolution: not till they are reformed will innovation be properly funded and governed. The delay is dangerous indeed. Not only does innovation require investment, it engenders it. Investment generates demand in the economy. As we wrote in the Preface (in January 2007):

‘…the result [of too little innovation] is underinvestment. In the face of a cornucopia of opportunity, the rate of investment in developed countries is low by historical standards. This represents … a real macroeconomic danger. Demand … is being maintained by the consumers and government of the United States, and …the United Kingdom, spending more than they earn. Colour has been put back into the pallid cheeks of the German and Japanese economies by demand for equipment from China, which is spending to catch up. If …either of these locomotives falters – let alone both – deep recession must follow, unless…meantime we have hitched up the best locomotive of all.’

One of those locomotives has faltered; and deep recession has followed. The reforms proposed in our book will help to generate the innovations that alone can drive a durable recovery. In explaining their award of the Myrdal Prize for 2010, the Committee called this book ‘excellent and timely’.

Professor Colin Williams, Associate Dean for Research, comments, “It is pleasing to see further evidence and confirmation of our continuing ability in the School to produce truly world-class research. What is perhaps more important however, is that in these times of financial crisis, Professor Tylecote has produced a very timely reminder of the consequences of withdrawing investment and finance, and we would do well to take heed of the important lessons that are reported in this book”.

Energy2b Transforming energy innovations into new business start ups

Monday, June 29th, 2009

From Autumn 2009, students at the University of Sheffield will be exploring possible ways to ‘Make an Energy Difference’ by converting ‘eco energy’ innovations into new business start-ups.

The University of Sheffield Management School has been awarded a Euro 1.1 million grant from the European Commission Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (EACI) as part of the ‘Intelligent Energy -Europe’ programme of initiatives.  The project draws togethre academic and commercial partners with expertise in entrepreneurship and energy innovations from across ten European countries.  ‘Energy2b’ will stimulate innovation through targeting university students in five European countries (UK, Portugal, Poland, Slovenia and Bulgaria) and challenging them to create new energy-friendly business start-ups.  An internationally accessible web platform will be developed through which students can submit their entries into local competitions via a ‘plug and play’ facility.  the sustainable web platform will also be extended to experts and other relevant actors regarding energy innovations.

The project is being led by Dr Denise Fletcher from the Management School’s Centre for Regional Economis and Enterprise Development (CREED).  Denise comments that’ This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to think creatively and explore some really exciting possibilities.  The competition is multidisciplinary so any student can enter.  The best innovations are selected for boot camp and follow up services provided by a combined team of business planning, energy and investment experts from the five countries involved.

Ten of the best energy-innovations will be showcased at each university location and five of the best ideas will be selected for display at a high profile European Exhibition.  Students at the University of Sheffield will be able to display their entrepreneurial skills and win free business supprot and promotion for their ideas’.

For further information or ideas from students or organisations with an interest in energy innovations, please contact Dr Fletcher at

New Research Methods and Research Practice cluster announced

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

A new University of Sheffield Management School research cluster organised around the theme of ‘Research Methods and Research Practice’ is being launched formally on Monday 22 June.  The launch will include a discussion of the future contribution of the research cluster led by a number of internationally recognised speakers, including the Management School’s own Professor Phil Johnson.

The aim of the cluster is to further progress the work on research methods and practice generated by the University’s Management School, an area of expertise which contributed to the School’s improved ratings in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise.  Members of the cluster have a distinguished track record in terms of books, highly-rated journal articles and other published outputs;  in addition, some members hold associate editorships or have guest edited prominent journals in the field and have also received ESRC funding to investigate ‘Quality of Qualitative Research Methods’ and to run a seminar series on ‘Advancing Research in the Business and Management Field’.  Individual members chair the Research Methods and Research Prctice track at the European Academy of Management (EURAM) annual conference and are active in the Research Methodology special interest group of the British Academy of Management (BAM).  The aim of the cluster is to bring greater cohesion to the work of its individual members.  Find out more at

A series of seminars and research methods and research practice will be announced for 2010 and beyond. 


Management School Academic funded by Ofgem to tackle problem for CE-Electric

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

Dr Andrew Brint has recently been awarded £22,000 through Ofgem’s Innovative Funding Initiative to help CE-Electric solve a problem. Utility distribution network owners need to ensure that their networks (electricity, water, gas, roads) are maintained to a sufficient level to meet their service requirements. However asset condition information for items such as individual 11kV switchgear is collected infrequently over long periods of time. This means that a recently determined overall condition index is often only known for a proportion of the assets. Detailed knowledge of the conditions of the other assets stems from when they were last inspected which typically could be 10 years ago. However, it is important to be able to accurately estimate the number of assets currently in each overall condition index interval (e.g. between 0 and 1, between 1 and 2, etc.) for planning purposes. Hence information from the older inspections of items that have not recently been inspected, is still important but is just less reliable than information from items that have recently been observed. Combining these sources of information together is not a problem covered by standard statistical theory. Consequently the project developed a number of estimation procedures and compared their performance in a variety of circumstances with the aim of identifying a technique (or techniques) that was easy to implement in Excel and that provided accurate predictions.