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Posts Tagged ‘Williams’

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

Helping Europe tackle undeclared work

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Undeclared work, or what is sometimes called the ‘cash-in-hand’, ‘informal’ or ‘off-the-books’ economy, is a growing problem and governments throughout the European Union have been looking at what can be done about it. Until now national governments have had few opportunities to systematically share information with each other on what works and what does not.

Professor Colin Williams was asked by the Eurofoundation based in Dublin to evaluate what could be done to facilitate a joined-up approach towards this issue and his research highlighted the need for a ‘knowledge bank’ to share good practice. As a first step an on-line ‘knowledge bank’ was created, which evaluated the effectiveness of policy measures in five countries and a synthesis report was produced calling for a more coordinated approach.

The European Parliament then took up this issue, citing his work in a 2008 Resolution to step up the fight to combat undeclared work. The Resolution recommended the development of a more extensive knowledge bank of best practice policy measures as well as investigating creating a European platform to join up the fight against undeclared work. An EU body called Eurofound – the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions – asked Professor Williams to expand the knowledge bank to 31 European countries and he was awarded the European Commission contract to evaluate the feasibility of establishing a European platform for tackling undeclared work.

As a result, national governments now have a ‘learning hub’ to identify a whole range of possible innovative policy measures from other countries for tackling undeclared work as well as access to evaluations of their effectiveness. The European Commission is now discussing a concrete proposal for a European-wide institution for tackling undeclared work.

For more information, please see: www.eurofound.europa.eu/areas/ labourmarket/tackling/search.php

Management School to develop a mobile app to encourage entrepreneurial skills

Friday, June 8th, 2012

The Management School has been awarded £24,659 by the Research Enterprise Innovation Fund for a project entitled Developing Entrepreneurial & Enterprising People [DEEP].

Dr. Tim Vorley is taking the lead on this project, working alongside Prof. Rachael Finn, Dr. Nick Williams, Dr. Rob Wapshott, Prof. Colin Williams and Prof. Gordon Dabinett.

The objective is to develop a mobile app which will encourage the user to reflect on his/her enterprising and entrepreneurial skills in order to understand his/her individual strengths and weaknesses and explore opportunities for personal development. The mobile app will facilitate independent learning and the user will be able to save progress through the material. The intention is that there will be a series of ‘pop quiz’ style questions associated with each section of the module that would unlock content and on completion of a section and/or the module an email would be sent detailing materials covered as well as the perceptions of the user prior to and upon completion of the content within the app.

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:  www.shef.ac.uk/creed

Creating Economic Resilience: harnessing entrepreneurialism, work and enterprise in Sheffield city region

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

The Centre for Regional Economic and Enterprise Development (CREED) is set to host an academic/practitioner forum and conduct an accompanying study examining economic resilience in the Sheffield City Region. Funding to do this has been awarded from HEFCE’s HEIF4 Knowledge Transfer Rapid Response Fund.  

By involving key regional stakeholders, the project aims to inform public policy debates relating to entrepreneurialism, work and enterprise. The two-day forum to be held at the University of Sheffield will bring together stakeholders from academia, industry and government to facilitate knowledge exchange and the sharing of good practice. The second day will specifically focus on the needs of the Sheffield City Region and the challenges it faces. Together the forum will explore how these challenges might be better addressed though collaboration between relevant local stakeholder groups (including the local universities, regional and city councils, enterprise agencies and other relevant private and public sector organisations). The second phase of this proposal will develop a programme of research building on the outcomes from the forum. The research will examine the challenges facing the Sheffield City Region, and specifically the role of entrepreneurialism, work and enterprise, and make recommendations regarding how to better harness economic growth. Ultimately the project aims to make an evidence-based impact on policy-making in the Sheffield City Region by establishing a deeper understanding about entrepreneurialism, work and enterprise that will also be relevant to other city regions across the UK.

 

For more information, contact:

tim.vorley@sheffield.ac.uk; peter.rodgers@sheffield.ac.uk

Establishing a European platform for tackling undeclared work

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

Across the 27 Member States of the European Union (EU-27) as well as EFTA countries, national governments have invested a great deal of effort in developing and testing various policy approaches and measures to tackle undeclared work Until now, however, the emphasis given to cross-national cooperation has been rather less than one might have expected.

Reflecting this, the role of international cooperation in the prevention and fight against undeclared work has gained increased priority as a policy matter in the EU and in Member States’ agendas. At present, most cooperation occurs on a piecemeal country-by-country basis. More concerted coordinated action between labour inspectorates, and other relevant monitoring and enforcement bodies to prevent and fight undeclared work, has been the exception rather than the rule.

In consequence, it is now widely recognised that there is a need to explore the feasibility of establishing a European platform to coordinate actions between labour inspectorates, and other relevant monitoring and enforcement bodies. The precise configuration of this platform for coordinated European action, however, will need to be fully debated and an evidence-base is required to enable that discussion and debate to take place in the clearest of terms.

Professor Colin Williams of the Management School has been selected by the European Commission to provide the evidence-base and a series of policy options so as to enable an informed discussion and debate.

A feasibility study will be conducted during 2010 on establishing a European platform for cooperation between labour inspectorates, and other relevant monitoring and enforcement bodies, to prevent and fight undeclared work, funded by the European Commission [No. VT/2009/049]. This will learn from the lessons of not only previous attempts to seek cooperation in other spheres of activity at a European level and/or cross-nationally but also gauge evidence and views from across the full range of interested parties across governments and social partners in EU member states and beyond.

This research will be conducted in collaboration with Dr Piet Renooy of Regioplan Policy Research in the Netherlands, Ruslan Stefanov of the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) in Bulgaria, Professor Charles Woolfson of Linköping University in Sweden and Roeland Hartman, international labour law expert at Holland Van Gijzen Attorneys.

The current project builds upon Professor Williams’ involvement in earlier European-wide research including the design of a 27-nation survey of undeclared work for the European Commission implemented by Eurobarometer in 2007, and the recent production for the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions of a good practice ‘knowledge bank’ evaluating the effectiveness and transferability of over 100 policy measures used in 27 EU member states.

Keynote speech at launch of innovative Futures Research Centre

Friday, October 16th, 2009

Professor Colin Williams, Associate Dean (Research) in the School of Management, was delighted to yesterday share with Professor Linda McDowell (St John’s College, Oxford University) the platform at the launch of an innovative new University-wide Research Centre at the University of Southampton. Both gave their keynote addresses at its launch on visions of the future of work in the 21st century.

The newly launched Work Futures Research Centre (http://www.soton.ac.uk/wfrc/) will draw on a range of diverse disciplines from social science, education, health sciences, geography, engineering and computer science to explore trans-disciplinary topics about the future of work.

Professor Colin Williams commented “It has been a pleasure to help launch such a truly multi-disciplinary research centre and to make a contribution to setting their research agenda so as to facilitate its future success”.

Brussels seminar to group of experts on undeclared work

Monday, April 6th, 2009

Colin C Williams, Professor of Public Policy, has delivered the findings of research commissioned by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions to a group of experts on undeclared work. This research evaluates the policy approaches and measures being used to tackle undeclared work in the 27 EU member states and Norway.

In March 2009, the preliminary findings were presented to a group of experts on undeclared work in Brussels, including European Commission officials responsible for tackling undeclared work, trade union officials, representatives from employer organisations, a range of academic experts and government officials responsible for undeclared work officials from the governments of Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands and Sweden.

This research is being conducted in cooperation with Dr Piet Renooy at Regioplan in the Netherlands. The current project extends an earlier initial study that provided an evaluation of the policy measures being used in five EU member states.

The feedback from this group of experts will now be fed into the final overview report. A  ‘knowledge bank’ which makes available to policy-makers throughout the world up-to-date evaluations of specific policy measures used in particular nations and whether these policy measures are transferable to other contexts, is available at:

http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/areas/labourmarket/tackling/search.php

Brussels seminar to group of experts on undeclared work

Monday, April 6th, 2009

Colin C Williams, Professor of Public Policy, has delivered the findings of research commissioned by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions to a group of experts on undeclared work.This research evaluates the policy approaches and measures being used to tackle undeclared work in the 27 EU member states and Norway

In March 2009, the preliminary findings were presented to a group of experts on undeclared work in Brussels, including European Commission officials responsible for tackling undeclared work, trade union officials, representatives from employer organisations, a range of academic experts and government officials responsible for undeclared work officials from the governments of Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands and Sweden

This research is being conducted in cooperation with Dr Piet Renooy at Regioplan in the Netherlands. The current project extends an earlier initial study that provided an evaluation of the policy measures being used in five EU member states.

The feedback from this group of experts will now be fed into the final overview report. A ‘knowledge bank’ which makes available to policy-makers throughout the world up-to-date evaluations of specific policy measures used in particular nations and whether these policy measures are transferable to other contexts, is available at:

http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/areas/labourmarket/tackling/search.php

LSCM Research Group is to start work on Transformational Logistics

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

Transformational Logistics is an umbrella term for logistics and the informal economy. It is of particular interest to development studies, welfare economics and logistics in the emerging world.

An estimated 4 billion people live in the ‘informal market’.  They are found all over the world from the favellas of Brazil to the slums of Mumbai.  All these places lack basic amenities but can be astonishing in terms of their innovative instincts.

These alternative societies represent a significant opportunity for all types of products but require a very different logistics expertise to serve their needs.  Traditional markets can learn a great deal from the way in which these societies exist; there are high levels of innovation on products, process and even recycling which could contribute much to more traditional westernised market models.  Some informal economies have experienced fractured or volatile market logistics which have been handled solely by military and/or humanitarian agencies.  In these cases, there is real scope to employ logistics techniques to help transform the economy from a state of survival to becoming a consumer-based member of the global marketplace.

Transformational Logistics aims to explore the issues embedded within the relationship between logistics and the informal economy.  It aims to stimulate debate, learning and practice both within the informal market and in its relationship with the wider global economy.  Three of the lead academics engaged in this project – Professor John Cullen, Professor Lenny Koh and Professor Colin Williams- are based at the University of Sheffield Management School.

Transformational Logistics can stimulate integration between formal and informal economies; promoting effective and efficient ways to deliver inclusive and sustainable growth.  It can also help to generate connections between physical, cash and information flows to support hybrid business models that embrace synergies between both formal and informal markets. 

Transformational Logistics can enable the transition of an economy from a natural disaster, the devastation of warfare or a soviet-style planned economy to a stable market economy capable of delivering sustainable and inclusive growth.

 

 

 

For more detail please go to the Transformational Logistics Blog.

See also Logistics and Supply Chain Management Research Group.