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A Pioneering Academic: Remembering Tony Lowe

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

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We celebrated the life and contribution of the late Professor Tony Lowe at a series of events on 3 June.

Over 70 attendees came for a day of events at Sheffield University Management School organised by members of the Accounting and Financial Management (AFM) Division and the Centre for Research into Accounting and Finance in Context (CRAFiC).

Head of the AFM Division at Sheffield, Professor Bill Lee, said: “We were delighted to welcome guests from academic and practitioner backgrounds, as well as individuals who knew Tony personally. I was very honoured to welcome many of Tony’s family who helped us during the ceremony to rename the Lowe Lecture Theatre in the Management School.”

“Tony Lowe was the University of Sheffield’s first Professor of Accounting and Financial Management and led The Sheffield School of accounting research, so to see him honoured in the building was very important to us.”

The day began with the Early Career Researcher and PhD workshop and an introductory lecture from Professor Lisa Jack (Portsmouth) discussing social theory and accounting research. The workshop was co-organised with the BAFA Inter-Disciplinary Perspectives SIG and was supported by the Management Control Association. Attendees then split into groups of six to analyse how social theory can be applied to help understand current events. Bill Lee (Sheffield), Doris Merkl-Davies (Bangor), Robin Roslender (Dundee) and Lesley Catchpowle (Greenwich) led these groups.

Following lunch, there was a comprehensive feedback session and discussion on the morning’s events and the naming ceremony. Attendees then filled the Lowe Memorial Lecture Theatre ahead of a panel session discussing the relevance of The Sheffield School today.

Dean of the Management School, Professor David Oglethorpe, and Professor Bill Lee opened proceedings and introduced the panel which was facilitated by Professor John Cullen and comprised Emeritus Professor Richard Laughlin (Kings College, London), Professor Prem Sikka (Essex), Professor Christine Cooper (Strathclyde) and Professor Jane Broadbent (Royal Holloway).

The discussion was broad, but also introduced fascinating insights into Tony’s life and career. While Richard discussed The Sheffield School’s basic principles, Prem touched on how accounting academics can engage the political arena. Meanwhile, Christine profiled the effect of neoliberalism on society and higher education and Jane presented the history of the Management Control Association (MCA), which Tony had helped to found, and the need to revisit The Sheffield School’s original debates. A lively Q&A session followed.

As attendees retired for supper, Dr Stewart Smyth (co-director of CRAFiC) read tributes to Tony which we received from those who couldn’t attend. He concluded: “The day was a fitting tribute to a man who contributed so much to the School, and to the accounting and financial management as a whole. It was an honour to celebrate Tony’s legacy at Sheffield University Management School.”


Find out more about CRAFiC
Find out more about The Sheffield School and Prof Anthony Lowe

Professor Cullen takes on Presidency of BAFA

Thursday, May 1st, 2014


As of today (1 May), Professor John Cullen becomes President of the British Accounting and Finance Association (BAFA).

As the learned society for accounting and finance in the UK, the Association, which recently held its 50th annual conference at the London School of Economics, aims to advance knowledge and understanding of education and research in areas of accounting and finance, as well as promoting closer relations among academics, practitioners, policy makers and others who are interested in the development the sector. It plays an important role in representing the wider interests of accounting and finance in the Higher Education Sector and engages fully in consultations about policy issues and nomination of representatives for panels such as REF 2014.

Prof Cullen is excited about his two-year position as President, and he is determined to continue the excellent work undertaken by previous presidents in taking the learned society forward. He recognises that there are challenges ahead and realises that the role comes with a great deal of responsibility. He said: “We have a strong group of trustees, executive members, sub-committees and special interest groups and I am confident that we will be able to take BAFA further forward during the two years of my presidency and beyond.

“I am particularly keen to further embed the accounting and finance academic community, through BAFA, into the activities of the Academy of Social Sciences. I have been working on this relationship for the last couple of years and see the importance of accounting and finance as a discipline impacting on social science agendas. I see my time as President as the ideal time to engage further and build on this relationship.

“Accounting and Finance is the foundation for much business and management school education, and this highlights the importance of BAFA in a national and international context.”

BAFA is a very active organisation. Aside from the extremely popular annual conference, which this year welcomed 430 attendees from across the globe, and doctoral conference (120 attendees), it has a highly populated events calendar through the activities of the sub committees (Committee of Departments of Accounting and Finance [CDAF]; Conference of Professors of Accounting and Finance (CPAF) and the large number of special interest groups.

BAFA also publishes The British Accounting Review which is a top ranked academic journal in the field. Doctoral members are encouraged and subsidised, and BAFA is very well connected with a range of influential professional bodies such as CIMA, ICAEW, ACCA, CIPFA, CPA Australia, ICAS and CFA.

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.

Leading the discussion: Come to our Finance Panel Event

Friday, October 18th, 2013

CourtyardTo maintain its place as a world-leading department, Sheffield University Management School ensures that its courses are informed by the global financial markets and that links with industry are cemented in events such as this Expert Panel, ‘Financial Hindsight, Insight and Foresight’.

Guests are invited on Wednesday 23 October 2013 for an evening of networking and lively discussion, where the panel – assembled by Sheffield University Management School – focuses on a range of topics including economic outlooks, current company performances, the state of financial markets, the regulatory environment and corporate funding.

Our panel includes highly-regarded professionals from the investment, banking, higher-education and legal sectors (further details below). The scene is set for a fascinating evening of reflection and expert knowledge.

Students at the University of Sheffield are also welcome to attend this event.


Date: Wednesday 23rd October 2013

Venue: Sheffield University Management School, Conduit Road, Sheffield S10 1FL

Contact/Confirm attendance:

Times: 6-6:30pm (networking), 6:30-8pm (panel discussion)

Parking: Northumberland Road university car park, free

Confirmed Panel: James Lanchbery (Senior Investment Director, Investec); Jonathan Thompson (Head of Business Development (North), Santander), Dorrien Peters (Legal Director, DLA Piper), Dan Fell (Deputy CEO, Doncaster Chamber), Chair – Professor John Cullen (Professor of Management Accounting and Associate Dean for Knowledge Exchange, Sheffield University Management School)

Light refreshments will be served

Management School celebrates at the 2013 Winter Graduation Ceremony

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

A reception was held on 10th January for Management School staff, students and alumni in celebration of all those who successfully graduated at the 2013 Winter Graduation. The following prizes and special awards were also presented:

P&A Prize for Organisational Leadership  
The P&A prize was announced by Linda Lewis, Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching, and presented by Kate Robbins, Forum’s Manager. The recipients for best overall performance in Experiencing Enterprise, New Venture Planning and the final project on the MBA course were:

  • Peter Clayton
  • Zahra Alomani
  • Lyubomir Mishkov
  • Joel Logue
  • Xun Zhao

Chartered Institute of Marketing Prize for Marketing
The CIM prize was announced by Linda Lewis, Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching and presented by Professor John Cullen, Associate Dean for Knowledge Exchange. The prize for  the best MBA Project in the area of Marketing went to:

  • Peter Clayton

The CIM prizes awarded for performance on the MSc programmes  were again announced by Linda Lewis and presented by Daragh O’Reilly, programme director of MSc in Marketing.  The best overall performance across Marketing modules for the MSc in International Management and Marketing programme was awarded to:

  • Charalambos Charalambous

The best overall performance across Marketing modules on the MSc in Marketing Management Practice programme was awarded to:

  • Rodrigo Afonso

Geoff Sykes Memorial Prize
The Geoff Sykes Memorial prize for best overall performance on the MBA programme, announced by Linda Lewis and presented by John Cullen, went to:

  • Peter Clayton

Congratulations to all our prize winners and to all our Management School graduates.

See pictures below:

P&A Prize for Organisational Leadership 2011/2012 awarded to Peter Clayton
P&A Prize for Organisational Leadership 2011/2012 awarded to Zahra Alomani
P&A Prize for Organisational Leadership 2011/2012 awarded to Lyubomir Mishkov
P&A Prize for Organisational Leadership 2011/2012 awarded to Joel Logue
P&A Prize for Organisational Leadership 2011/2012 awarded to Xun Zhao
Geoff Sykes Memorial Prize awarded to Peter Clayton
Chartered Insitute of Marketing Prize awarded to Charalambos Charalambous
Chartered Insitute of Marketing Prize awarded to Rodrigo Afonso

Masters of the ice

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Sheffield Management School  Steelers StarsProfessor John Cullen and Business Development Manager Merryn McGregor caught up with Management students and Sheffield Steelers stars during a recent training session.

The partnership between the University of Sheffield and the Sheffield Steelers gives players of the team a chance to combine their high standards of sporting talent with academic excellence, by providing the opportunity to study for a post graduate qualification at the Management School, whilst playing ice hockey.

Left to right:  Matt Stephenson, MSc Management;  Drew Fata, MBA;  Steven Goertzen, MBA;  James Jorgensen, MSc Management and John DeCaro, MSc Management.

Further information

More details about the MSc programmes at the Management School can be found at:

Visit the Sheffield Steelers site at:

Management School contributes towards making the case for Social Sciences

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Two management School case studies were featured in the Academy of Social Sciences’ “Making the Case for Social Sciences” booklet which includes research that has impacted upon large corporations and small firms, policymakers at regional and national levels, cross-national and international organisations in the public, private and third sectors.

The sixth issue of the Academy’s highly successful series of booklets containing stories of social science research that has made a difference to policy or practice was launched in Westminster on 18th June 2012 to an invited audience of policy makers and practitioners.

A strong evidence base is vital for policy making and the social sciences provide that background, said Rt Hon Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, addressing the audience at the launch event. He went on to note the ‘massive contribution that the academic community makes to [his department’s] work.’

Dr Cable said that research summarised in the booklet showing that private equity buyouts performed more strongly than buyouts using other types of funding was useful. “This is quite an interesting conclusion that goes against the accepted wisdom but is quite relevant in terms of the work of this department in promoting non-bank finances.

He highlighted some of the other case studies set out in the booklet. These included work showing that foreign-owned firms which practised good employee participation did well, and research, led by the Management School’s Professor Colin Williams, looking at how to tackle the cash-in-hand economy in Europe.

“There are also a whole lot of studies [in the booklet] not directly related to government polices which are quite important in terms of insights about the way that business functions,” he said.

Also featured in the booklet was the Management School’s research based on reverse logistics led by the Management School’s Professor John Cullen in collaboration with Cranfield University.

The book is published by the Academy of Social Sciences and is the sixth in a series promoting the work of social scientists. The online version of the booklet, as well as further information about the Making the Case for Social Sciences event is available here under the “Management” heading.

Further information about the Academy of Social Science can be found on their website.

Related articles:

Helping Europe Tackle Undeclared Work

Reverse Logistics Tool Reduces Losses on Retail Returns

Reverse logistics tool reduces losses on retail returns.

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

The Chartered Institute of Management Accounting (CIMA) and The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) have just launched a Global Joint Venture called Chartered Global Management Accountants (CGMA), a new professional designation for Management Accountants. The CGMA is designed to elevate management accounting and further emphasise its importance for businesses worldwide.

The Management School’s Reverse Logistics Toolkit, developed in collaboration with Cranfield University, is one of only twelve toolkits selected to feature on the CGMA website.

As a significant percentage of products are returned by customers, reverse logistics has become an area that retailers and manufacturers cannot ignore. Reverse logistics is a broad area and the tool focuses on the management of retail returns. In particular the tool views the management of the reverse logistics process from a holistic supply chain approach rather than simply starting after the point of sale.

Despite the fact that managing returns incurs substantial costs through logistics, inventory and disposal, many companies have inadequate processes for dealing with them. The improved management of returns can have a significant impact on bottom line performance.

It can also have a significant impact on environmental concerns, since reverse logistics operations involve transportation and, therefore, CO2 emissions. The tool enables companies to audit their returns management activities and identify where opportunities exist to reduce costs and waste and improve customer service.

Chartered Global Management Accountants can play an important role in this area by using their analytical skills to highlight the financial benefits to be gained from making improvements to reverse logistics processes and by recognising the importance of supply chain accounting and inter-organisational accounting. Techniques such as quality costing and transparent performance measurement systems have a significant role to play. Many of the diagnostic and performance aspects of the tool are based on activities taking place across organisational boundaries with particular emphasis on relationships with suppliers and customers.

The tool covers cost and performance management, avoidance of product returns, process management, the physical network, inventory management, information and communication technology, material handling, containers, sustainable distribution and compliance with legislation.

For more information about the Management School’s Logistics and Supply Chain Management research, please see

For more information regarding the Reverse Logistics Tool, please contact Professor John Cullen at

City region celebrates unique leadership programme

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Business leaders and managers who completed the inaugural city-wide leadership programme celebrated their successes at a graduation event in November

The City Region Leadership Programme (CRLP) ceremony, held at Firth Hall, Firth Court, honoured more than 60 delegates from a range of organisations including the NHS, Sheffield City Council, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The programme, which was part of an initiative supported by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), was delivered jointly by business experts at the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University. It is the first time the universities have worked collaboratively on a programme in this way.

The scheme aimed at senior managers and potential future leaders throughout South Yorkshire builds The City Region Leadership Programme Graduatesthe collaborative leadership skills needed to develop entrepreneurial initiative in the region, as well as delivering better outcomes with fewer resources, delivering innovative solutions, coordinating services around users’ needs, and tackling challenges currently facing businesses.

The organisations benefit from the application of the tools and techniques learnt on the programme, allowing them to save resources, solve problems, and deliver measurable impact through collaborative partnership.  In this way the leaders can make a difference to communities and help transform the region.

The postgraduate certificate, which began in September 2010, includes formal study workshops, a series of masterclasses, coaching and mentoring and interactive group- based sessions. A second group of managers have commenced the programme this year.

The event was attended by Professor Keith Glaister, Dean of the Management School at the University of Sheffield, Professor Adrian Hopgood, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Sheffield Business School at Sheffield Hallam University, as well as dignitaries including the Lord Mayor, the Chairman of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership Board and both the Chief and Deputy Chief Executives of Sheffield City Council.

Guest speaker James Newman said: “Creating leaders, especially in the public services, is going to be vital if those industries are going to transform themselves in the current world we live in where there’s less money, more pressure and more demand for better services.

“From my perspective creating collaboration is key, between public services, amongst themselves and across the region. Also between the public sector, the private sector, higher education and schools and colleges where a lot of the knowledge comes from.”

Professor Hopgood added: “This programme has been a fantastic example of collaboration between the two universities in Sheffield. It has delivered a practical yet rigorous programme for developing leadership talent in the City Region. I am sure that the next group of delegates will be just as successful and look forward to future collaborations of this kind.

Professor John Cullen, Associate Dean for Knowledge Exchange at the Management School, said: “This is our first graduation from the programme and it’s a really proud moment. The programme is something the region has needed. It is an innovative collaborative initiative which is creating future leaders for the region, who will champion the necessity for cross-organisational working in order to take the region forward.”

For more information on the Sheffield City Region Leadership Programme visit:

Success at MADE festival

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

The Management School proudly contributed to this year’s MADE Festival, in helping the University of Sheffield to highlight its entrepreneurial flair

The MADE festival this year took place from the 21st to the 24th September and saw thousands of entrepreneurs descend upon the city including Peter Jones CBE and Doug Richard of Dragon’s Den fame, Mark Prisk MP, the Minister of State for Business and Enterprise, Mark Hayman, co-founder of Start-Up Britain and Seven Hills, and Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The event began with the unveiling of The Entrepreneur Express (an East Midlands Train locomotive named after the event) at London’s St Pancras which carried visitors to the city. During the festival entrepreneurs took part in panel events and Q&A sessions and there were seminars, presentations, and pitching competitions for young entrepreneurs and networking events hosted by influential business leaders across the city.

The innovative idea of getting entrepreneurs to contribute to the design of the Management School’s new MSc in Entrepreneurship, by Dr Tim Vorley of the Management School, was highlighted throughout the Festival; VIP guests travelling on the special Entrepreneur Express from St Pancras were asked for their ideas and other delegates were asked to ‘tweet’ any suggestions.

The School’s engagement with the International Masters in Practising Management (IMPM) delegates allowed for key note speakers to deliver sessions at the festival. Dr Ute Stephan, of IWP at the Management School, facilitated a key note session which included international speakers Rick Heinick, Vice President HR and Transformation, Bausch and Lomb; and Salem Samhoud, Entrepreneur and Owner of &Samoud, who were both speakers in the “Making Things Happen Session”. Captain Gopinath, India’s leading entrepreneur and founder of the first low cost airline in India, was the key note speaker at a session on “Spotting new opportunities”. Captain Gopinath spent some time after his presentation talking to some of the School’s Indian MBA students who worked at the MADE Festival.

The IMPM delegates engaged with the School and MADE festival not only through their participation in key note sessions but also via the Management School Advisory Board, they received a presentation around Leadership and Place from Professor Gordon Dabinett and another from  Brendan Moffett of Creative Sheffield, and a facilitated a reflective session with Professor John Cullen of the School.

The Management School, in collaboration with Engineering, the University and DLA Piper hosted a dinner at the city’s Cutlers Hall on the Saturday evening of the festival. Attendees included Directors and Senior Managers from leading Sheffield companies and legal firms plus representatives from Sheffield City Council and Senior representatives from the University. The whole evening was a great success with an IMPM delegate, Milly Katana Country Director, Uganda, International HIV/Aids Alliance, thanking the Management School and University for hosting their workshop. The opportunity to work with the IMPM delegates came through Peter Beeby who is one of the School’s Advisory Board Members.

The MADE Festival 2011 proved a great success hosting some of Britain’s best known business-minds and entrepreneurs and providing young entrepreneurs the chance to network and experience pitching their business ideas. A huge congratulations and a massive well done to all those involved.

For further information:

  • To find out more about MADE: The Entrepreneur Festival 2011, visit: Made 2011