In this blog you can find links to all of our courses and social media pages
Kerry Edge, Administrative Assistant Recruitment
At Staffordshire Business School we offer a range of undergraduate, postgraduate and professional courses, delivered either full-time, part-time or via distance learning. More information on each individual subject and course can be found below:
Angela Lawrence, Associate Dean, Staffordshire Business School
As the summer draws to a close and we pack away our well-worn flip flops, it’s good to reflect on the long, warm days that we have enjoyed outdoors, before the shorter days of Autumn set in. I recently spent some time browsing through photographs taken this year, to remind myself of the best of 2020. I came across two pictures that led me to ponder on how each one of us approaches life so differently.
Both pictures taken on the same day, within the same 10 minutes. Both taken at the same location. Both my grandsons, yet both with such different approaches to life. One a risk-taker who throws himself headfirst into everything, giving 100% and constantly on the lookout for the next challenge. The other a thinker, a complicated little soul who weighs the options up very carefully before making any decision and even then, approaches life cautiously, sometimes with some anxiety and trepidation. Can you tell which is which?
What this means for me is that I have learned to speak to them differently, to explore different activities that each may enjoy, to play different games with them and read them different stories before tucking them up into bed at night. I accept that they are very different and embrace and enjoy their unique personalities. I celebrate their individuality, encouraging them to be true to themselves and to live their life the way that they, and only they want to.
Don’t be a sheep
We are all unique, all different – let’s face it we are all made up of different DNA! As I welcome new students to the university this week for the start of their journey as independent learners, I’m at pains to remind them of this. I have spent many years welcoming freshers, excited to be beginning a new chapter in their life. Amongst the information and advice that I share to prepare them for the student journey ahead, is the video of a social experiment that I call Don’t be a Sheep.
video never fails to make students smile and laugh. It depicts a young lady
behaving the way that others around her do, just because she feels that she must.
My advice to students is to be true to themselves and not to feel intimidated or
pressurised by anyone else’s behaviour. I’m acutely aware that in today’s
society there is a great deal of pressure from the media and social media, to
be someone or something that you are not. Many have written about the phenomenon
of social comparison and the ensuing mental health related issues
and lack of self-esteem.
Generation Z in particular seems to be challenged by continual obstacles in the path of individuality. This uber-connected cohort has spent a lifetime inundated with messages telling them how they should look, how they should behave and whom they should aspire to. The 2020 documentary film The Social Dilemma has gone further to heighten fears around the controlling influences of social media and the divide deepens between those who readily fall under the influence of social pressure and those who have the strength to follow their true self.
The first few weeks at university provide an opportunity for students to get to know their housemates, their lecturers, their surroundings and their studies. Whoever you are and however you like to approach life, there will be something for you. A full range of societies to join and different teaching methods to accommodate different learning preferences – diversity is recognised and embraced in a way that many have never before experienced.
one of the reasons why I love working in higher education so much. I love to
see confidence build, personalities develop, independence grow and life
your own life
Steve Jobs famously told us “your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life”. I fly the flag for being yourself but I appreciate that not everyone has the confidence to do so. The beauty of university life is that support is always available for those who struggle with mental health issues or anxiety. We know that some find this new environment harder to adjust to than others. Don’t be afraid to reach out and be reassured that you are absolutely not alone in feeling this way.
I hope that my grandsons will continue to follow their own individual, unique paths through life – that people will accept them for who they are and that they will be confident to do things their own unique way. My message to students beginning their university journey is live your own life and follow your own path – you don’t have to look that way, you don’t have to dress that way, you don’t have to behave that way, you are unique, you are yourself and that’s okay! Be kind to yourself and be kind to others.
At Staffordshire Business School, we understand that business evolves with time and technology, so we are constantly adapting our learning strategies and courses to give you the best chance to get ahead of the competition when you graduate.
For 2021, we have developed four brand-new courses that follow contemporary themes such as sustainability, entrepreneurship and digital marketing:
Tuesday 6th October 3.00 – 3.30 Onboarding for those registered for the course – we will send you a meeting invite
Weds 7th October 4.00 – 4.30 – this is a back up event for anyone unable to make the event on Tuesday
Tuesday 13th October 3.00 – 4.30 Start of the course – we will send you a meeting invite
About the programme
The Small Business Leadership Programme supports senior leaders to enhance their business’s resilience and recovery from the impact of COVID-19. It helps small and medium-sized businesses to develop their potential for future growth and productivity.
Participants will develop strategic leadership skills and the confidence to make informed decisions to boost business performance.
The fully-funded 10 week programme will be delivered online by small business and enterprise experts from world-leading business schools.
The Small Business Leadership Programme is being delivered by a consortium of business schools accredited by the Small Business Charter (SBC), and supported by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.
Dr Andrew Taylor, Senior Lecturer, staffordshire business school
During disruptive times small scale can
be a key advantage. The management
writer Mintzberg (1989) describes most small companies as either simple
structures or adhocracies. My research
(Taylor 2013, 2019) indicates that in both cases innovation is central to their
mission and survival. The strength and
the weakness of simple structures is that they are driven by one or two key
individuals. This both makes
decision-making fast and flexible.
Adhocracies are project based, mission driven places, with little
respect for traditional idea’s of good management practice, where
inefficiencies are the price of high growth.
There is often a tendency, in both cases, as they grow, to define
becoming professional as having more formal and robust processes. The trouble is that as they seek order and
stability, innovation and commitment often crashes as resent a perceived loss of purpose or human
During disruptive times it is often
better to leverage the flexibility and commitment of peoples in smaller scale
organisations to adapt, rather than seek to optimise. Small companies, like speedboats, are fast
and nimble compared to the large oil tankers of corporate business,. Asking what are the right things, rather than
how do I do things right Argyris (1991) is easier where best practices are less
Small companies can most effectively do
this through identifying their core competencies (Prahalad & Hamel 1990)
competencies are the source of how you create value – those things that you do
for your customers better than your competitors. They:
access to a wide variety of markets
Should make a significant contribution to
the perceived customer benefits of the end product
Should be difficult for competitors to
Knowing these allows
you to ask yourselves how they could, using what Gavetti (2011) calls
associative thinking, be transferred into new, more distant, marketplaces.
Managers are good at identifying opportunities that are cognitively close to
their business, but need to learn to recognise similar underlying patterns in
distant markets and make the cognitive leap.
we are familiar with, successfully doing this include Fuji-Film, Honda, Danone,
Dyson and Virgin.
Often leaders of small companies familiar
with doing this as anyway as a matter of survival. Learning to use such knowledge to leverage
the strength of organisation and its people, in a joined-up way, can, however,
both transform the effectiveness and legitimise existing practices, such that
small companies can harness their scale and people to flourish.
C. (1991), ‘Teaching Smart People to Learn’, Harvard
Business Review, May –
Gavetti, G. (2011), ‘The New Psychology of Strategic Leadership’, Harvard
Business Review, July -Aug.
Mintzberg, H. (1989), Mintzberg on Management:
Inside Our Strange World of Organizations, New York, The Free Press.
Prahalad, C. K. &
Hamel, G. (1990), ‘The Core Competence of the Corporation’, Harvard
Business Review, May-June.
Taylor, A. & Krouwel W. (2013), Taking
Care of Business: Innovation, Ethics & Sustainability, Cluj-Napoca (Romania), Risoprint.
Taylor A. & Bronstone A. (2019), People, Place & Global
Order: Foundations of a Networked Political Economy. London, Routledge.
The MSc in Digital Marketing Management was developed to deliver the technical, strategic and organisation skills for this industry. As such the course includes a substantial project with an external client and this work is credited as part of the award. Carrying out a project at the height of the pandemic was even more challenging than usual with everything needing to be done remotely and ongoing changes to adapt to the new situation – so Congratulations to the students below for these excellent projects.
Eerik Beeton carried out a project for The Waterfront Gallery, in Milford Haven, West Wales. This has involved developing the ecommerce offer on the website, creating social media channels Facebook, Instagram and helping to recruit volunteers for the gallery.
Carol Southall, Senior Lecturer, Staffordshire Business School
If current shopping trips offer any food for thought, beyond that is “not just any food”, it is that retail has much to learn from the leisure industry in terms of how to treat their customers. Beset with the accessibility issues raised by Covid-19, retailers with a physical high street or retail park/shopping mall presence are having to rethink how they do business. The ‘new normal’ is a commonly used phrase and yet, to date, the ‘new normal’ has, in so many ways, been anything but new, and anything but normal.
Two of the key areas in which there are clearly lessons to learn, are those involving queuing, so much a part of life in the UK even before Covid-19, and provision of toilet facilities. Recent news has highlighted scores of people rushing to shops on their reopening, and the ensuing lengthy queues to access those shops. Additionally, there has been negative press around the lack of available toilet facilities in public space, with councils being urged to reopen any closed public toilets. The Government’s drive to reopen the hospitality industry will further reinforce the need for public access to toilets.
Most of us know how to queue, we understand the need to do so, even if we don’t always like it. Queuing in fact is a stereotypical British institution, much like eating fish and chips and discussing the weather, it’s what people do. Given this high level of queue awareness, we might be forgiven in thinking that the organisation of a queue system is almost embedded within our psyche, and yet the variety of queue systems on any given retail park, at any given retail outlet, anywhere in the UK, is astonishing. On a recent visit to a well-known retail park, there were at least 20 different queues, all snaking in different directions, for different stores. Some made good use of barriers, some offered marked walkways to which they anticipated their shoppers would adhere. Some required people to queue past the store exit, meaning that shoppers had to walk straight past people, within a metre, as they left the store. Some had security, some didn’t. The variety was endless. What was quickly apparent however, was that queue etiquette was unilaterally present in them all. We accept whatever queue we’re placed in and wait, not always patiently, to progress along the line.
The British have taken shopping tourism to a whole new level. Days spent at retail outlets are considered as a leisure pursuit in their own right. Overnight stays near shopping malls often combine retail ‘therapy’ with dining out, a visit to a cinema, and opportunities for a range of additional leisure pursuits, including bowling, skiing, swimming, indoor mini-golf, and a host of other leisure activities aligned to family fun. Whilst lockdown has prevented such activity in recent months, anybody venturing out to a retail park or shopping mall could be forgiven in thinking that nothing has changed. Except it has, as the queues and lack of toilet facilities show.
The leisure industries have much acquired knowledge to pass on to retail. From queue management, through experience design, to provision of necessary facilities. When asked on a radio interview what people really needed when they attend theme parks, the suggestion “a loo, a view and a brew” was proposed as fundamental to enjoyment of the experience offered by attractions. Having toilet facilities, something entertaining and visually stimulating to look at, and somewhere to eat and drink were suggested as necessities to a day spent visiting an attraction of any sort.
When we go to a theme park, we understand that we will queue. The difference is that theme parks are designed with queuing systems in mind. Queue theory supports the argument that crowding and lengthy waiting times are major causes of visitor dissatisfaction. Enhancing the queue experience will encourage the customer to not only enjoy their shopping experience but will also increase the likelihood that they will revisit, which is particularly important if the high street is to stand any chance of a recovery, post Covid-19.
In the short-term putting more thought into the systems used to ensure shoppers are able to access retail outlets in more structured, better thought-out and even more entertaining way, will pay dividends, both in terms of visitor satisfaction and the ensuing profits. Added to this the installation of easily accessible, even temporary or portable public toilets, openly cleaned and sanitised at regular intervals, will help to ensure that the current economic recovery phase is facilitated and the transition to the ‘new normal’ made easier by this attention to detail, so integral to the leisure industry.
Simon Hughes, BA (Hons) Business Management student
The journey began back in 2017, I decided to start studying the business management degree at Staffordshire University. I knew that this journey was going to include unexpected learning strategies and unknown situations. One of the main challenges was when I got the diagnosis of having dyslexia, I knew that there was something not right regarding my reading, writing and spelling. With having dyslexia, I knew that I would need extra support. The university study skills had helped by supporting me in how I needed to process the information and to give me a better understanding of how I retained the information. When I came to start my first assignment, I felt like this was a setback as I was unsure of if I had completed it correctly. When the results came out, I saw that I had passed, and it reassured me that I could pass my first year. I feel like I was able to do this as I had the support of my university lecturers Hazel Squire and Vicky Roberts, as well as my friends and my family. There were many times within that year where I was very close to giving up, this was due to how challenging I was finding it to believe in myself. However, after I had spoken to the lecturers and my family about how I was feeling, they gave me the support and said that I can do this, this gave me the boost to keep moving forward which resulted in completing the first year without having to resit any of the module subjects, this gave me a great relief.
Going in to the second year, I was feeling very anxious and apprehensive as I did not know if the year was going to be too much for me and if I was going to be able to meet the deadlines on time. The subjects were different from the ones I took in my first year in both semester one and semester two, however I was able to meet the deadlines on time. During the end of semester two I was diagnosed with a condition called PPPD (Persistent Postural-Perceptual Dizziness), this made it more difficult to focus on my assignment as I was not able to look at a computer screen for days on end due to it giving me migraines and dizziness. This condition made me feel like I could not get my assignments in on time which resulted in me nearly giving up. However, as the year progressed, I managed to hand in my assignments even though I do not know how. I had a push of support from my wife and my supportive lecturers Paul Dobson and Bharati Singh, just to name a few. They told me that I had come too far to give up now, this took place just before I had received my results for the second semester of the second year however I found out my hard work had paid off and that I had passed.
When going into my third and final year, the first semester was a challenge due to my migraines and not being able to concentrate for a long period of time, however I still had the support of all the lecturers. During the second semester, the world was hit with Covid 19, this meant that everyone had to engage in social distance learning which made it more difficult for me as I was not able to spend a lot of time looking at the computer screen. This situation was difficult as the rest of the year was uncertain, I did not know whether I would be able to make it to the end of my final year. Even though I was not able to see my lecturers face to face I was able to have a video meeting with them if I needed their support on the lectures or the assignments. They encouraged me to get through my assignments and to get them handed in so that I could fully complete the last year of my three-year degree.
Click here for more information on Dyslexia and how we can support you at Staffordshire University
Silver workers (entrepreneurs over 50) represent between 26 – 34% of new start ups in developed countries. This chapter discusses the specific barriers they face when considering or setting up a new business venture. The chapter also identifies policy interventions that may help to reduce some of these barriers.
Chapter reference – Squire H (2020) Understanding the barriers faced by older entrepreneurs: A case study of a ‘Silver Workers’ project pp 123 – 144 in Entrepreneurship Education: A lifelong Learning Approach (ed Sawang). Springer
The Ostrava Declaration was signed by governments and commits them to a series of actions including:
“to consider equity, social inclusion and gender equality in our policies on the environment and health, also with respect to access to natural resources and to the benefits of ecosystems”;
“improving indoor and outdoor air quality for all, as one of the most important environmental risk factors in the Region, through actions to meet the values of the WHO air quality guidelines in a continuous process of improvement”;
“to actively support open, transparent and relevant research on established and emerging environment and health risks in order to strengthen the evidence-base to guide policy-making and preventative action.”
As such the WHO has co-ordinated a range of experts to meet and support the above commitments.
Teams of international experts were asked to carry out systematic reviews on a number of themes. Working with a team of colleagues in Germany we looked at air quality and social inequalities in the region.
Main findings of the systematic review into air quality
There is good evidence from ecological studies that higher deprivation indices and low economic position are usually linked with higher levels of pollutants such as particulate matter (particulate matter under 2.5 and 10 microns in diameter, PM2.5, PM10) and oxides of nitrogen (e.g., NO2, and NOx). There is also evidence that ethnic minorities experience a mixed exposure in comparison to the majority population being sometimes higher and sometimes lower depending on the ethnic minority under consideration. The studies using data at the individual level in this review are mainly focused on pregnant women or new mothers, in these studies deprivation and ethnicity are more likely to be linked to higher exposures of poor air quality. Therefore, there is evidence in this review that the burden of higher pollutants falls disproportionally on different social groups.
Here is a short film about the paper
References – open access and free
Fairburn, J.; Schüle, S.A.; Dreger, S.; Karla Hilz, L.; Bolte, G. Social Inequalities in Exposure to Ambient Air Pollution: A Systematic Review in the WHO European Region. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2019, 16, 3127. htt://mdpi.com/1660-4601/16/17/3127
Other systematic reviews in the series
The other four systematic reviews in the series are available open access:
The resource package explains key concepts and terms associated with the concept of environmental health inequalities and aims to support actions against disparities in exposure to environmental risk at the national and subnational level. The document presents methods for monitoring and assessment and suggests ways to use this evidence for action. It also provides information on a range of tools and guidance documents for those tackling environmental inequalities and striving to improve health and health equity.
Paul Dobson, Senior Lecturer, Staffordshire Business School
At Staffordshire Business School we support businesses as part of our courses and I’m aware that some takeaways are doing really well, especially as their customers do not want to go to the shops, queue up, be too close to other people, etc. But we’ve been told to expect a recession, possible depression, plus we have Brexit and there are concerned about the environment, so the way ahead is going to be tough. My last blog to help hotels and bed & breakfasts post lockdown received a lot of positive feedback but the restaurants and takeaways I support requested that I could do a blog for them so, I’ve written some top tips.
Look throughout your organisation where you can reduce running costs, for example I’ve helped takeaways reduce their online ordering costs by over 50% by looking around for better and cheaper systems, enabling ordering direct and not through other platforms, Facebook now has a free online ordering system, other e-commerce systems including a website has substantially reduce their cost and are now just a small one-off price. See if you can reduce your supply costs for example: a local restaurant and takeaway to me has reduced their electricity costs by 15%.
2. Watch and learn what’s happening abroad and in retail
Keep an eye on what is happening with restaurants in countries ahead of the curve and how they are adapting. Retail shops are opening but in a post-Covid-19 more spaced and structured way. There are some good learning points being shown but also what issues/blockages they have and how they’ve got over it. Look at how the best are using their social media such as YouTube to raise their profile and showing how they’re safe. Trust is becoming a key area of importance in many areas ahead of this pandemic curve, use your social media to help gain this trust.
3. Transition to online
If you haven’t already; go online properly. Don’t rely on third-party platforms who take a percentage of your money and don’t think that a PDF document showing your menu is enough. It’s going to get even more competitive. There are some I’ve already seen that are burying their head in the sand…don’t do this or you could be one of those closing.
4. Do not suddenly re-appear post lockdown
There are great examples out there how restaurants and takeaways are continuing to market their restaurant on social media in areas that are important to customers, for example takeaways showing disinfecting their insulated food delivery bags, extensive cleaning in their kitchens, personal protection equipment, how they’re developing their customer protection and so on. Social media videos are working really well at the moment so you need to enhance your marketing.
5. Mobile is king
One of the takeaways I support has over 70% of their orders via smartphones. It is no longer the case their customers look on their mobile and order via a laptop or computer, they do the whole lot on their mobile. If your website isn’t mobile friendly, you can lose at least 53% of your online clients and your website needs to load in less than 3 seconds because around an additional 27% drop off if it’s too slow. Your website speed can be easily tested at http://testmysite.withgoogle.com/
6. Try and develop your entrepreneurial spirit
develop other products and services. Some
restaurants I work with have:
setup subscription boxes where they include cooking instructions or paid membership sites with videos and food deliveries
some have developed frozen versions to be cooked at home
a pizza takeaway has developed a separate salad takeaway business
some have developed drop off points for their meals
I’m working with one restaurant to develop and sell aprons, baseball caps and t-shirts with their brand on. What can you do?
7. Learn from the best
Domino’s marketing is really good, they know my last order, they email me a prompt at the same day and time as my ordering time from the previous week offering me an easy click option to re-order plus they have what looks like great offers for my customer type (family with adult kids). They don’t make the best pizzas in my area, but they do a good prompt at the right time and make it very easy to order. Other local takeaways know my details and order preferences as I’ve signed into their website giving my contact details…and yet they don’t prompt me. I don’t even get emails or offers from most of them. Have a look around at what others are doing and learn from the best. As a minimum you should be capturing your customer contact details and keeping in touch.
In addition, look to develop and improve your marketing in all areas not just online, the graphics, the text, the menus, what your offering, and so on. Look for what the best organisations are doing, for example in the US and how can you adapt this to improve your marketing.
8. Go paper and contact free
Your customers are concerned about hygiene and avoiding contact, use technology to be better and cheaper. Your customers should not have to touch a pen or receipts or have their card taken away to be put in a card machine. Everything should be contact free. They should be able to go totally contactless using their mobile phone and their receipts should be emailed to them.
9. Look at the numbers
If you have
a website, you should be getting weekly statistics including what your
customers are doing and where the blockages are. This is important information, in just 10
minutes I enabled a 100% increase in takeaway orders just by pointing out where
the barriers are for customers and how to get over them.
Do a user
test, find someone who’s not seen your website before, give them a task, for
example buy a vegetarian or meat feast pizza for delivery, and watch how they
use your site. Do not prompt or guide
them and see if you can learn from this to improve the customer journey to
The websites analytics should also give you the keywords customers are using to find your website. Are they looking for meals or services that you don’t currently provide, and you could? – If customers are looking for these meals you know your onto a winner.
10. Create a Wow factor
As a family of four we take turns to order one takeaway per week so we like to try different meals. In our town the pizzerias all offer the same types of pizzas, there’s virtually no difference between them and none of them have tried to educate and sell Roman, Sicilian or Detroit style pizzas. None have talked about milling their own flour onsite or getting their flour from a local stone mill and therefore they have a low carbon footprint. I’m not aware of any of them demonstrating their special techniques or trying to raise their personal brand. Have a look around and see what you can use to develop a wow factor in your restaurant and takeaway.
Angela Lawrence, Associate Dean, Staffordshire Business School
are lots of things that make me happy, but not many of them are material
things. My “thing” is more profound, more enduring and gives me a far greater
sense of purpose and contentment. Over the years, my thing has changed, adapted
and moved in different directions, but it comes down to this – seeing things
grow and develop into beautiful entities that I appreciate and am proud of yields
more happiness than anything tactile you could gift to me.
So, watching my children grow into independent, hard-working adults that I am so proud of makes me happy. Seeing them enjoy the delights of parenthood themselves brings me great delight. Watching their children, my grandchildren, blossom and thrive in a world full of confusion and mixed messages, knowing that they love me unconditionally, is priceless.
Greeting students on their first day at university, nurturing them through the highs and lows of academic life, watching them mature and grow over years of study, applauding proudly at their graduation and then following the development of their careers on LinkedIn or Twitter gives me a huge sense of pride and hope for the future. Over my career, few jobs have ever made me as happy as I feel on graduation day.
I must make mention of the gift of nature and the delights of watching seedlings emerge from warm soil in the springtime, cultivating and raising those seedlings at my allotment to be strong independent plants that delight me and provide sustenance, both for my dinner table and to share with others – never forget the delights of sharing. The pleasures I gain from growing at the allotment are more profound and not only make me happy but provide head space for me to escape from the complications of modern life. I am in my absolute element when rummaging in the soil and watering my crops. Thinking time is so good and fresh air so invigorating.
I never would have thought 40 years ago that I would say studying makes me happy, but it does. Who would have known that I would still be studying? Yet here I am, halfway through my Doctorate in Education and thriving on it. Pondering why this should be so, I believe it is about being able to express myself, able to share with others what fascinates and challenges me, in the knowledge that I will bring something fresh and new to my field of study. At times I forget how much this matters to me, when deadlines are looming and time is precious, but it is always worth the effort and undoubtedly will be so when I cross that platform to receive the title of Doctor.
of this there is a theme of nurturing, be it people, plants, thoughts or words.
Incredibly we don’t need money or objects to nurture, we just need to be
ourselves and to learn to derive happiness from the small things that we can
control in our lives. It’s true what they say – all the money in the world
cannot buy you happiness. Find your “thing” and create your own – smile and be