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CREED summer school explores migrant entrepreneurship

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016


Dr Chay Brooks from the Centre for Regional Economic and Enterprise Development (CREED) has been leading the European Entrepreneurship Summer School held at the University of Sheffield’s International Faculty in Greece. The summer school, now in its seventh year, is held in conjunction with our international partners from University of Groningen (Netherlands), High School of Economics (Russia), and the University of Twente (Netherlands).

Dr Brooks said: “It has been amazing week with the students learning about entrepreneurship in the sun! We have had a great range of international speakers sharing insights from their research.”

Across the week students were involved in a series of lectures, workshops and debates in different areas of entrepreneurship. This year the central theme of summer school was the socio-economic impacts of migrant entrepreneurship, which is an important issue in Europe. During the week students had sessions by academics on research including informal entrepreneurship, technology entrepreneurship, corporate entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship and public policy.

Dr Robert Wapshott, who also taught at the summer school, explained: “The aim of the event is to bring together students from across Europe to learn about and debate cutting edge entrepreneurship research.”

During the week students worked in international teams to develop in-depth presentations on some of the big questions facing entrepreneurship research. As the teams explored their topic in depth they sought to unpack the complexities of creating more entrepreneurial individuals, organisations and societies. The team awarded the best presentation included Ann Lozovaia and Alexander Kalita from HSE, Tuong Nguyen from Leipzig and Zhuang Jing from Sheffield, who gave a critical account about the importance of informal entrepreneurship.

Reflecting on her participation in the summer school, Kelly Lawrence, a Sheffield student, said: “The summer school was a fantastic opportunity to meet other students interested in entrepreneurship research. The programme was excellent and we all had a brilliant week.”

The CREED team participating in the summer school this year led by Dr Chay Brooks. It also included Dr Robert Wapshott, Dr Peter Rodgers, Cristian Gherhes and Professor Tim Vorley. Next year the summer school will be held in Moscow and the topic will be on green and sustainable entrepreneurship. If you’re interested in applying to take part, watch this space.




British Academy grant will strengthen links with Ukraine

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016


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.


Comment: When in Moscow – how to do business in Putin’s Russia

Monday, May 11th, 2015


Quarter of a century on from the heady days of perestroika and the Russia Federation still presents an intriguing and tough-to-navigate world for businesses. The collapse of the command economy and the gradual opening up of large and potentially fruitful markets has led to a steady influx of foreign firms keen to operate in the post-Soviet world. The peculiarities of the business environment they face can be explained by examining the political environment for business in a Russia dominated by its president, Vladimir Putin.

Over the past 25 years we have seen two developments in parallel. Efforts have been made to create formal “market” institutions such as an independent judiciary which is capable of enforcing property rights. This is seen as crucial for Russia’s transformation from a command-based economy to one based on market forces. But this evolution has taken place simultaneously with the embedding of informal practices of power abuse, patronage and widespread corruption within such institutions.

As such, today’s business environment in Russia is one in which companies certainly do not operate in a political vacuum. Local Russian businesses and their international counterparts are, as a matter of course, forced to engage in a dynamic negotiation of different sets of “rules of the game”. There are some formal rules, of course – explicitly outlined in Russia’s tax and business laws – and then there are some rules which are decidedly more informal in their nature.

Within Putin’s Russia, there has grown a unique network-based system of informal governance – Putin’s “sistema” – involving the use of informal incentives, control and the flow of capital stocks, operated within specific power networks.

For international businesses, Russia remains challenging. International firms are increasingly being compelled to adhere to international standards of ethical business behaviour or subject to focused and stringent national regulations around corruption.

The UK’s Bribery Act is one such example. It explicitly states that, irrespective the jurisdiction in which a UK-based firm operates, it must act according to the rules set out in the legislation. But in Russia today, in order to successfully negotiate the bureaucratic machine and operate successfully, the ability to gain favour with local, regional or national elites often depends on the illicit payment of bribes.


Property rights

For evidence that the environment is still flawed, let’s look at that idea of the establishment of property rights again. The enforcement of this through a truly independent judiciary is paramount for the functioning of a fully-fledged market economy. This is the kind of environment which would encourage and crucially, protect, foreign direct investment.

Unfortunately, we are still waiting for the necessary protections – and that has meant Russia remains less attractive than it would otherwise be for foreign investors. It has also contributed to large levels of net outflow of private capital, “capital flight”, throughout the post-Soviet period. An easy example lies in the emergence of London as a venue for wealthy Russians to “park” their capital, rather than actually engage in business in the city. This demonstrates the desire of wealthy Russians to find an environment in which their private assets can be protected when this is not the case at home.

Another consequence of informal governance in Russia, involving the embedded and entwined nature of business and political elites, has been the widespread illegal acquisition of companies – reiderstvo or asset-grabbing. This is clearly a key risk for Russian and international businesses alike.

Asset-grabbing like this can only happen when a variety of state organisations – tax authorities, local judiciary and the police – are complicit in the misuse and abuse of power enabling private property to be transferred illegally. Within the Russian judicial system the selective abuse of power by police and security forces – typically making unfounded accusations against specific firms – remains a strategy to negotiate and ultimately control the nature of certain markets.

The singling out and imprisonment of Mikhail Khordokhovsky by the Putin regime and the systematic dismantling of his “Yukkos” empire, whose assets were transferred to state-controlled entities, is one such high-profile example. Similar cases, occur regularly at much smaller levels.


Dodging the diality

Ultimately, asset-grabbing, coupled with an extremely weak formalised rule of law environment and embedded corrupt practices across Russian political, bureaucratic and business spaces act as significant market-entry barriers for firms. It’s important to remember too, that this also acts as a key deterrent for existing business operations in Russia to seek to modernise. There is little incentive to strive towards efficient and transparent business solutions when, at any given juncture, either the state or other private firms – in cahoots often with state agencies – can either seek to extract bribes or shift the property rights of a given company.

As outlined above, the informal nature of Putin’s sistema certainly lacks the democratic principles of transparency within the business environment. Instead, it encourages the promotion of informal “rules of the game” such as rent-seeking, patronage, asset-grabbing and embedded corruption which often trump formal rules of the game. For international firms and investors, such a business environment may seem foreign, daunting and, without doubt, challenging.

In order to successfully do business in Russia then, company executives are obliged to acknowledge the duality of the formal and informal spheres of business and the importance attached to them by a variety of different state and non-state actors in Russia. Putin has designed the system – and that means there is little option but to engage or keep away.

“When in Rome, do as the Romans” – this, you have to presume, would be a popular adage echoing from the Kremlin.

Originally published on The Conversation.

SUMS lights up the ESRC Festival of Social Sciences with free events

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Events-CombinedSheffield University Management School’s academics and researchers are a hosting a number of engaging events at the ESRC Festival of Social Sciences 2013, three of which still have availability.

The unique festival, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), offers Sheffield’s general public, as well as academics and students, access to some of the world-leading research coming from the University of Sheffield’s Faculty of Social Sciences.

As the largest department in the faculty, Sheffield University Management School has an excellent crop of speakers appearing this year. Opportunities to attend begin on 4 November with an event titled ‘Is there anybody out there? Why bosses don’t always listen’. Doctoral researchers Sarah Brooks and Peter Crellin discuss 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 draw on and combine their experience within the Institute of Work Psychology and wider research interests such as destructive leadership and workplace silence.

This event will be useful for both private sector and public sector workers, academics and students – keen to understand more about leadership, workplace dynamics and how to improve them.

The second event, to be held on 5 November, is presented by Professor Lenny Koh, Associate Dean for Alumni at Sheffield University Management School. It is titled ‘Greening supply chains: The SCEnAT (Supply Chain Environmental Analysis) Tool’ ( The seminar, which is aimed at companies, will demonstrate SCEnAT and hopes to give attendees an understanding of how adopting the tool can benefit their business, drawing attention to GHG emissions within the supply chain and identifying tools to reduce their impact.

Attendees at the seminar will learn how this revolutionary  tool can greatly benefit their company, and understand more about green supply chains.

Other management school academics speaking at this year’s ESRC Festival of Social Sciences include Dr Tim Vorley, Dr Nick Williams, Dr Robert Wapshott and Dr Peter Rodgers, who will be hosting his event at Sheffield University Management School.

Places are also available at Peter’s event, which is being held in partnership with the South Yorkshire International Trade Centre (SYITC). Titled ‘Exploring Exports: Are You Ready?’, this workshop seeks to expose the misconceptions surrounding export and the internationalisation of SMEs. It will involve a number of interactive sessions with an academic research focus, enhanced by practitioner perspectives.

The event, on 7 November, is sure to engage and inspire, and is ideal for SMEs and entrepreneurs with international aspirations.


  • For further information, and to book onto ‘Is there anybody out there? Why bosses don’t always listen’ (4 November, 18:00-20:30), visit
  • For further information, and to book onto ‘Greening supply chains: The SCEnAT (Supply Chain Environmental Analysis) Tool’ (5 November, 09:30-12:30 plus lunch), contact Katherine Powell on 0114 222 8368 or email
  • For further information, and to book onto ‘Exploring Exports: Are You Ready?’ (7 November, 17:00-19:30), visit


Events on 4 and 5 November will be held at the Interdisciplinary Centre of Social Sciences (ICOSS), 219 Portobello, Sheffield S1 4DP (map). ‘Exploring Exports: Are You Ready’ will be held at Sheffield University Management School, Conduit Road, Sheffield S10 1FL

Management School success at ESRC Festival of Social Science 2012

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

The Festival of Social Science is run by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and took place between the 3rd and 10th of November this year. With events from some of the country’s leading social scientists across the UK the festival celebrated the very best of British social science research and how it influences our social, economic and political lives – both now and in the future. The Management School was pleased to  contribute the following events to the festival this year:

Punched from the screen: Workplace cyberbullying

Dr Christine Sprigg, Dr Carolyn Axtell and Sam Farley of  IWP and Dr Iain Coyne of Nottingham University

This event took place on the 7th of November and was concerned with the findings of the school’s recent study of workplace cyberbullying and its employee impact  in a number of university settings.  The study has consequently received international interest from Canada, India, France, and the US. The event was also the launch of the forthcoming research over the next three years with PhD student Sam Farley, who will be partly working on a work-based measure of cyberbullying. Dr Christine Sprigg said:  “Securing the ESRC funding enabled us to make an international media impact but also find high quality and relevant organizational local collaborators for our research going forwards. We are delighted to have been supported by ESRC in this way.”

ESRC Festival of Social Sciences 2012

Who wants to be an entrepreneur?

Dr Peter Rodgers, Dr Rob Wapshott of the Management School

This interactive workshop took place on the 9th of November at Longley Park Sixth Form College, Sheffield. The event was designed to raise awareness of issues relating to entrepreneurship and enterprise, giving students the opportunity to engage with and develop the skills required to set up and sustain business ventures.

Walking the tightrope: Elite performance in humans

Dr Ute Stephan of  IWP , Dr. Paul Thomas of DNAdefinitive and BBC Business Doctor, Andy McCann of Mental Skills Coach to Elite Athletes, Dr Mark Stacey NHS Anaesthetist, Andy Halliday Team GB Manager Men’s Hockey and Sam Brearey current World Sailing Champion and Steve Eaton, MBE, of the Special Forces

The aim of this event organised by the Management School in association with DNA definitive Wales, was to answer and discuss the following questions:

  • How can we get the best of out of ourselves and show peak performance when it really matters?
  • What is the role of leaders in encouraging high performance – are we perhaps best off getting rid of management altogether?
  • Which lessons can we learn from expert entrepreneurs on how to lead for high performance while creating truly innovative organisations?

The event brought together insights from business leaders, sports professionals, fire arms and medical specialists as well as academics and made for lively discussions with participants hailing from business, professional sports, public health, police and fire services and third sector.

ESRC Festival of Social Sciences 2012

Fuel Poverty related illnesses: a preventable plague

Prof. S.C. Lenny Koh – Director of Centre for Energy, Environment and Sustainability (CEES), University of Sheffield  Management School; Councillor Jack Scott – Cabinet Member, Sheffield City Council; Robert Marchand – Doctoral Researcher at CEES, University of Sheffield Management School; Kath McDaid – Project Development Co-ordinator, National Energy Action (NEA); Prof. Angela Tod – Professor of Health Services Research, Sheffield Hallam University; Kath Horner – Health Improvement Principle, NHS Sheffield; Jo Butcher – Health and Fuel Poverty Advisor, Friends of the Earth.

Attended by 50 delegates ranging from Cabinet Members,  Local Authority figures, Department of Health and  NHS representatives, third sector organisation and university associates, this event took place on the 6th of November in Firth Hall at the University of Sheffield. The event stimulated debate and discussion around the challenges of fuel poverty and how this impacts on health.  The event builds upon the BIG Energy Upgrade project (BEU), which The University of Sheffield is one of 14 partners including 6 Local Authorities, 4 ALMOs, 2 Social Housing Providers and Yorkshire Energy Services, which has received £14.9m funding of which £7m has been provided by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The BEU project targets deprived communities in Yorkshire & Humber and it aims to tackle fuel poverty and at the same time aims to stimulate business development and create job opportunities for those living in the targeted communities.

Coping with Austerity

Professor Jason Heyes University of Sheffield Management School, Dr Kevin Farnsworth from the University of Sheffield Department of Sociological Studies, Alan  Fraser Chief Executive of Birmingham YMCA

Taking place on the 9th of November at the Holy Trinity School in Barnsley, the primary aim of this event was to raise awareness of the consequences and potential consequences of the current government’s austerity measures, particularly in relation to their impact on the life chances and labour market experiences of young people. The event was also intended to demonstrate to the audience the value of social science research.  More than 40 young people between the ages of 16 and 18, including students from Holy Trinity, Sir Thomas Wharton Community College in Doncaster and Thomas Rotherham College in Rotherham attended the event. There were three presentations discussing potential alternative means of dealing with government debt,  the impact of spending and benefits cuts on homelessness,  and whether weaker employment protections are likely to lead to improvements in the employment opportunities available to young people and their ability to access good quality jobs.

ESRC Festival of Social Sciences 2012

Further information:

  • The ESRC Festival of Social Science offers a fascinating insight into some of the country’s leading social science research and how it influences our social, economic and political lives – both now and in the future. This celebration of the social sciences takes place across the UK – via public debates, conferences, workshops, interactive seminars, film screenings, virtual exhibitions and much more. This is the tenth year that ESRC has held the Festival of Social Science and each year the Festival grows from strength to strength.
  • The Big Energy Upgrade is a regional flagship project addressing the priority needs of both reduction in carbon emissions and the creation of jobs. To address the issues in an integrated approach the University of Sheffield has brought together a multidisciplinary team of academics working alongside Local Authorities, ALMOs, social housing providers and an energy services company. The Big Energy Upgrade, is delivered by a consortium of local authorities and social housing providers, led by Kirklees Council, is a very ambitious project as, for the first time in the UK, the Partners will work together in adopting a fully integrated, whole-house approach while installing energy efficiency measures and micro generation technologies in households. Through individual household assessments the project will identify a highly individual package of measures for each of the households and which will provide optimal insulation and energy control to the house.




ESRC event: Who wants to be an entrepreneur?

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

The Management School is delighted to announce further success in relation to the ESRC Festival of Social Sciences events.

Date:7 November
ICOSS, Sheffield

Dr Peter Rodgers along with Dr Nick Williams and Dr Tim Vorley under the auspices of the Centre for Regional Economic and Enterprise Development (CREED) have secured ESCR funding for an interactive event to engage participants in different entrepreneurial activities, entitled ‘Who wants to be an Entrepreneur?’

Further information:

The Festival of Social Science is run by the Economic and Social Research Council and takes place from 3-10 November 2012. With events from some of the country’s leading social scientists, the Festival celebrates the very best of British social science research and how it influences our social, economic and political lives – both now and in the future. This year’s Festival of Social Science has over 180 creative and exciting events across the UK to encourage businesses, charities, government agencies, schools and college students to discuss, discover and debate topical social science issues. Press releases detailing some of the varied events and a full list of the programme are available at the Festival website. You can now follow updates from the Festival on twitter using #esrcfestival

CREED awarded SURE grant

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012
CREED, via Dr. Tim Vorley, has secured a SURE award looking at the knowledge spillover effects of the AMRC on Sheffield. This is part of a wider funded project that CREED is undertaking on the economic impacts of the AMRC.
Tim Vorley, in addition, has won at least £40k to undertake a piece of behavioural economics research on student decision making funded by the Higher Education Academy. This work is being conducted with Professor Jenny Roberts from Economics and a consultancy called CFE.

Congratulations to Tim and his colleagues Dr. Nick Williams and Dr. Peter Rodgers on these significant achievements.

For more information about CREED please see:

ESRC Festival of Social Science Funding

Monday, July 25th, 2011

The Management School is delighted to announce that Peter Rodgers and Tim Vorley, under the auspices of the Centre for Regional Economic and Enterprise Development (CREED), have successfully gained funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for a proposed entrepreneurship education taster day in the ESRC’s Festival of Social Sciences week between 29th October and 5th November 2011.

The event, ‘Who wants to be an Entrepreneur?’ will bring together around 50 year 11 students from about 10 local Sheffield schools in a hands-on event aimed at raising awareness of entrepreneurship. The day aims to expose students to the opportunities and challenges of entrepreneurship in a supportive environment couched in terms of both academic and practitioner perspectives. Business Education South Yorkshire (BESY), whose remit is to foster links between schools and businesses and enhance the delivery of business education across South Yorkshire have happily agreed to work in collaboration on this event.

Congratulations to Tim and Peter on their success.

Further information:

Stakeholders discuss Sheffield’s economic resilience at the ‘Project Resilience’ open forum

Monday, June 13th, 2011

‘Project Resilience’ is a HEIF 4 funded project which is been carried out by The Centre for Regional Economic and Enterprise Development (CREED), in association with CFE and the Local Government Information Unit. The aim of this project is to engage national and regional stakeholders in a dialogue about entrepreneurialism, work and enterprise. Through such interactions and the facilitation of knowledge transfer, it is envisaged that the proposed plan of action will engender the creation of a new policy relevant research agenda on issues surrounding entrepreneurialism, work and enterprise.

On the 25th May 2011 ‘Project Resilience’ held a forum and networking event at the ICOSS centre at the University of Sheffield. The open forum brought together a range of stakeholders including academics and business people to discuss what makes a resilient economy. The event was introduced by the Rt Hon David Blunkett MP, and was followed by a series of speakers and panel discussions about what makes more resilient economies. Presentations on the day included Ekosgen and Yorkshire Cities 2011 ‘Index of Economic Resilience,’ presentations from the City Council, Chamber of Commerce and CFE.

The next phase of ‘Project Resilience’ is to embark on a programme of policy-relevant research building on the outcomes from the forum.

To view the full article of the event published in the SPA circular click the image on the left or download here.

For more information about ‘Project Resilience’ contact Dr peter Rodgers or Dr Tim Vorley or visit the project website

CREED Awarded European Funding to Analyse EU R&D Policy Framework

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Two members of the Centre for Regional Economic and Enterprise Development (CREED), Dr Tim Vorley and Dr Peter Rodgers, have been awarded 15,000 EUR through the European Spatial Planning Observation Network (ESPON). As part of the programme of work focusing on the Advanced Monitoring and Coordination of EU R&D Policies at Regional Level (AMCER), this research will examine the impact of EU programmes such as the FP6/FP7 and the CIP.

Dr Vorley and Dr Rodgers will be conducting a study of EU R&D policies in the East of England, examining the impact they have had on both R&D performance and territorial cohesion. This research will feed into an inter-regional comparison and serve as a monitoring tool with empirical evidence used to develop insights and understanding about the impacts of EU policies at the regional level. The intention is that the project will support robust and better informed policy making.