Monday 18th Nov 2-4pm LT111/113 Julia Roberts
Professional skills for the self- employed Communications and Events Professional
Julia will start with a small talk on how her career developed and then will follow this with some workshop activity.
Tuesday 19th Nov 10.00 – 11.00 LT 02 Ashley Emily Whitehead
Building brand identity: the case study of Simply Great Britain
Tuesday 19th Nov 1.00-2.00 R101 Science Centre Emily Whitehead
Building brand identity: the case study of Simply Great Britain
Tuesday 19th Nov 1.30 – 1.50pm Flaxman Film Theatre Dr Tolu Olarewaju
“The Hult Prize is both the world’s largest student enterprise competition and the world’s largest movement for social impact. Students from universities around the globe compete to win $1,000,000 in start-up funding to start a business that solves a pressing social issue. This year’s business challenge concerns climate change and is our chance to show the world that our institution is dedicated to Impact. Come and find out how to compete this year and the benefits of engaging with students from every part of our planet.”
Friday 22nd Nov 10.00 – 12.00 S205 Mellor (IT lab) Jonathan Westlake
10.00 – 11.00 Good online tools for digital marketers
11.00 – 12.00 Good online tools for entrepreneurs and the self employed
These are practical workshops come early to ensure you get a seat.A
Julia Roberts is a communications consultant with over twenty two years of professional work experience within Creative Communications and Marketing including Digital Media, Public Relations and Event Management.
Julia is also the founder and creative director of the Ginger and Spice Festival The Ginger and Spice Festival was crowned champions of British Food Fortnight Competition 2017 and was selected as regional finalists at the Rural Business Awards in both 2018/2019 and 2019/2020.
Her business Rocket Communications and Events Ltd was shortlisted as a regional finalist in the Rural Business Awards 2019/2020.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.rocketcommunication.co.uk
- FB: https://www.facebook.com/rocketpr/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/rockettpr
- Insta: rocket_communications
Emily Whitehead Ltd provides highly experienced training, coaching, consultancy & speaking, delivering to a wide range of businesses and organisations. Specialising principally in marketing & communication strategy, leadership & management, business structure, environmental planning & management, this work is carried out for both private clients and within funded projects (most recently ERDF projects in Staffordshire & Leicestershire). Other projects have included work with Staffordshire CC, Stafford BC, Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce, Staffordshire University Business School , Keele Sustainability Hub, UKCPA, WiREUK & National Forest.
Operating under Emily Whitehead Ltd, Simply Great Britain has a mission to change how Britain views small, micro business one story at a time. Working within a membership community model, Simply Great Britain celebrates, supports & connects its members both online and in person.
- Email email@example.com
- Facebook facebook.com/simplygreatbritain/
- Instagram @simplygreatbritain
- Twitter @simplybritain
- Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/emilywhitehead/
Jonathan is an IT specialist. Exposure over the years to a wide variety of business contexts ranging from small firms to large organisations. He has extensive experience of business techniques and transformation technology used by business. He was also instrumental in setting up Wavemaker Stoke and also runs his own small business. He is also vice-chair and secretary of the British Computer Society North Staffs branch.
Prof. Jon Fairburn, Prof. Carola Boehm and Prof. Jess Power work togther on interdisciplinary issues including creative cultures, innovation and new business models. If you are interested in these issues the three professors are running an ERASMUS Staff international week 20-24th January 2020 to discuss linking creative cultures to business. Details on the link
They have recently submitted a large (several million euros) bid to examine the re-use of heritage buildings by creative and innovative industries in four second order cities across Europe.
Jess Power has a particular interest in the new materials and techniques that are being used in the textiles industry. Here she provides a report in what she found in one of our partner cities on the bid.
Prof Jess Power
Re-purposing space is something that Municipio de Guimaraes (District Council of Guimaraes, Portugal) does with sensitivity and grace. Guimaraes, the 13th largest city in Portugal, is a story of success – it has transformed into a modern contemporary city whilst retaining its cultural heritage and identity.
The area in the Northern region of Portugal remained largely untouched with only natural evolution occurring within the city’s architecture until the 1970s. This is clearly evident in the adaption and modification of buildings throughout the ages. This rich tapestry of period evolution is demonstrated beautifully in the building of Largo de Sao Francisco (once a convert/monastery) now used as a hospital. Some parts of this building date back to 1255 (Figure 1)
Historically Portugal had one of the strongest textile industries in Europe. The Guimaraes region was known specifically for its high-quality produce and craftmanship within Textiles and Leather. Whilst the leather trade has diminished in this region, the textile industry continues to be significant to Portuguese economy. It boasts to be the largest non-food manufacturing area in terms of export, accounting for about 9% of the country’s output.
The textile cluster (CITEVE) of the northern region of Guimaraes is known as the “cradle of the nation” providing a rich cultural heritage particularly in the trade of leather. Whilst the region moved on from leather production with the advent of industrialization, evidence of the importance of this trade and the value to its identity and “place” is evident throughout the city. Historic water baths (Figure 2) are woven into the landscape of the area and wooden tanning drums (originally used in leather processing) provide historical features and a sense of identity within modern repurposed spaces.
Guimaraes, like many other industrialised European regions, has witnessed a steady decline in manufacturing, primarily due to cheaper imports from elsewhere. Like other locations around the globe, this decline has resulted in the abandonment of buildings rich in cultural heritage. Often these sites historically provided a sense of place and culture and the loss has impacted on the region’s identity. These abandoned buildings, if left for significant periods, fall into disrepair and in the worst cases local councils have no alternative but to demolish them to enable new regeneration to occur, resulting in buildings of historical relevance being lost and the region losing strong threads of its cultural identity. Guimaraes has been ahead of the game in-terms-of capturing the cultural wealth of its textile heritage, to bring a new lease of life to the area. During the 1970s the district council began projects, which sensitively brought to life abandoned buildings and unused space around the city.
The repurposing began at the heart of the city with the re-design of the main square (Praca de Sao Tiago). Nowadays, specific areas are clearly defined for transport, domestic living and enterprises and community gatherings. This has brought a new lease of life to the heart of the city, with a vibrant café culture housing a strong sense of belonging to locals and visitors alike. Domestic accommodation is scattered around the square, fenced between small enterprises.
A key focus of the re-generation was to encapsulate local culture without stifling innovation. One incentive employed was to offer the domestic properties free cable connection to eliminate unsightly TV aerials and satellite dishes enabling the square to retain the historical features. Guimaraes was one of the first European cities to offer free Wi-Fi in a large central outdoor space. This resulted in the medieval square retaining its authentic identity, even today homes have laundry flapping on balconies.
Further to this the district council in partnership with the local community developed walkways which followed the natural flow of water throughout the city. Slabs of granite and stone cover the waterways making paths which flow into the river “Ave” which splits the area right in two.
Many of the repurposed sites are unused tanneries (linked to the historical leather trade), the features of each site have been lovingly restored to their original state. Below (Figure 5) is the local Science Innovation Building where young people can engage with the latest technology including: artificial intelligence, robotics and 3D printing. Inside innovation is brimming, the exterior in contrast, would not misplaced in a period Western movie.
The University has re-purposed other decarded buildings, the Design Innovation Centre takes the heritage of the building and transforms them into modern learning spaces.
This is what makes Guimaraes attractive to young and old alike and earned it the title of European City of Culture in 2012, following on from its earlier listing (2001) as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It is no wonder that the area remains so attractive to young people (who form over 30% of the local population). Many of these attend the University of Minho and our partners on the bid include several academics working at the Centre for Textile Science and Technology who early this year were involved with the 2nd International textile Design Conference “Textiles, Identity and Innovation”.
The youth hostel (Figure 7) provides an authentic example of re-purposing at its best and is a model that can and should be used across other towns and cities throughout Europe.
Working with international partners we aim to change historic sites of mass employment and mass production into new sites of co-created, co-managed production and consumption, it is the intension that the consortium will be leading on embedding new types of co-ownership, co-implementation and co-production via new technologies and business models and applying these to deep historic heritage-rich creative clusters and networks in order to innovate and increase productivity of specifically SMEs, bringing new economic activities to these historic areas and create economic resilience.
If you are interested in these issues the three professors are running an ERASMUS Staff international week 20-24th January 2020 to discuss linking creative cultures to business. Details on the link
There’s always lots going on in the region, music,opera, ballet, comedy, food and drink festivals. Here’s my personal pick for the next few months, Jon Fairburn.
25 to 29th Ginger and Spice Festival, Market Drayton
4th to 6th Stone Food and Drink Festival
14th to 20th Word and Music Festival, Nantwich
7th to 9th Stoke Beer Festival in the Spode Hall Stoke
Disadvantaged groups are amongst those most affected by environmental hazards contributing to health inequalities and deaths across Europe. This is according to a new international report published by the World Health Organization (WHO).
This report follows on from the Sixth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health and the signing of that agreement also known as the Ostrava Declaration (2017). This commits governments to work towards tackling inequalities and vulnerabilities.
Here’s a short film of the main points from the report
The report provides evidence for 19 different indicators covering the broad categories of urban areas, basic services, housing, working conditions and injuries.
Jon Fairburn was also involved with the creation of the first assessment report from 2012 which you can find here.
If you are interested in this subject you can also follow his twitter feed @ProfJonFairburn on twitter he also has a specific air quality list. You can find his other publications in this area on our eprints system and he also has a google scholar profile.
By Geoff Pugh, Professor of Applied Economics
The pro-Brexit Daily Telegraph has made a case, based on serious evidence, for a “No Deal” or WTO Brexit. Yet at least some of its articles acknowledge that this Brexit outcome will impose substantial costs on UK business, arising from “the initial trauma of an exit on WTO terms” (Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, 3rd Apr 2019). Below, I offer a “back of the envelope” indication of how large these costs are likely to be for typical individuals and families. I use the Daily Telegraph’s judgement on the likely costs, because these are least likely to be exaggerated. Most other sources suggest higher costs.
My point of departure is an article by Allister Heath: “It’s a complete myth that a no-deal Brexit would cripple the British economy” (the Telegraph, 6th March 2019). Mr Heath claims on the basis of serious, although somewhat selective, evidence that “a so-called no-deal … would probably cost just 1-2 per cent of GDP”. We can agree that this might not “cripple the British Economy”. However, two per cent of Britain’s GDP in 2018 amounts to somewhat more than £42 billion or a little over £1,200 for every member of the working age population.
This is calculated as follows (all the data is easily accessible from the Office of National Statistics website):
- UK Gross Domestic Product in 2018 (at market prices): £2,114,627 million (i.e. somewhat more than £2 trillion);
- Two percent of UK GDP in 2018: £42,292,540,000 (a little over £42 billion)
- UK working age population in 2018: 34,300,000 (somewhat more than 34 million)
- Cost per member of the UK’s working age population: £1,233
For a family with two wage earners then, a cost in each year of around £2,500. Even if we accept Mr Heath’s lower bound of one per cent of GDP, this still greatly exceeds even the highest estimates of Britain’s net contribution to the EU. It is getting on for half of total UK annual public expenditure on education.
This does not mean that the typical wage earner will suddenly lose more than a £1,000. What these calculations indicate is that over time – possibly over many years – the typical wage earner will be more than £1,000 a year worse off than he or she would otherwise be. If the economy is booming, growing at, say, 2.5% or 3% each year, then the cost of Brexit will hardly be noticeable as collective and individual prosperity continues to increase. Conversely, if the economy were to stagnate, or move into recession, then the costs imposed by Brexit will be burdensome, especially for the least well off.
Typically, the economic costs of administering large policy shocks take rapid effect whereas benefits (if any) accrue only after many years and are uncertain. Hence, even in the most favourable scenario, Mr Heath’s claimed reduction of “1-2 per cent of GDP” in our individual and collective prosperity will recur for many years. Over five to 10 years, these cumulatively enormous costs will translate into business failures, continued downward pressure on wages, lost jobs and homes, and additional stress on the public finances, prolonging austerity.
How might Brexit yield benefits in the long run? It is hard to be definite. On the one hand, administering a huge shock to an institution, firm or whole economy might prepare the way for radical reform and renewal. This is what Nigel Lawson hopes for: “Brexit gives us a chance to finish the Thatcher revolution” (Financial Times, September 2nd 2016). This perspective is shared by many of the more hard-line proponents of Brexit, for whom the EU is an obstacle to thoroughgoing deregulation liberalisation and globalisation. On the other hand, shocks imposed by poor policy choices can destabilise institutions, firms or whole economies. This can lead to stagnation and relative decline in the long run (even absolute decline in extreme cases).
Much of the debate has centred on trade. Few on either side would dispute that the UK’s future economic well-being is greatly dependent on the ability of its firms to export goods and services. Yet, there are few reasons to believe that the effects of a “No Deal” or WTO Brexit will yield trade benefits sufficiently substantial to offset the almost certain losses detailed above. These are some of the points to consider.
- Many of the most productive firms in the UK, and especially in the West Midlands, both export to the EU and form integral parts of supply chains based in different EU member countries rather than having a purely national base. Cross-border trade friction will thus not only restrict direct exports but also disrupt such supply chains. This will damage many of our most productive firms, which are those most capable of paying high wages and generating new jobs. Indirectly, the whole economy will be damaged.
- Membership of the EU and its Customs Union is not what stops us exporting more to emerging markets. Germany not only exports hugely more to China than does the UK but even exports more to India (in spite of our inherited advantages). The barriers to UK firms exporting are to be found at home rather than with the EU.
- The UK on its own is unlikely to be able to strike more favourable trade deals than those negotiated by the EU.
- The US, for the first time since 1945, has both Congress and a President sceptical of free trade. President Trump’s “America first” policy does not bode well. As for the “special relationship”, this is unlikely to survive the loss of our (considerable) influence as a leading member of the EU.
- A Sovereign but economically medium-size UK is unlikely to exercise the same bargaining strength as the economically (very) large EU.
- Potential trade partners either account for too small a proportion of our trade to make much difference (most Commonwealth countries) or are not well disposed towards the UK (Russia; China – the Chinese have long memories when it comes to national humiliation). Even if favourable trade deals could be struck with other countries, impossibly large proportionate increases in trade would be required to offset the loss of trade with the EU. (This is a matter of arithmetic rather than of economic analysis.)
Other long-term effects are foreseeably negative. (i) Adverse impact on the financial sector will reduce the tax base, reducing both the scope for ending austerity and government’s ability to finance much-needed public investment. (ii) An end to the free movement of labour will damage firms dependent on certain types of highly skilled labour as well as other firms dependent on the unskilled end of the labour market. And (iii) the exclusion of UK researchers from EU research funding will damage our national science base and, hence, reduce innovation and growth in science-based industries.
In conclusion, a “No Deal” or “WTO” Brexit will almost certainly impose substantial economic costs while the claimed benefits are either speculative or predictably small.
Professor Geoffrey Pugh, Professor of Applied Economics, Staffordshire Business School (personal capacity); 20-05-2019
Thursday February 7th 2019 – Location Ashley LT002, Leek Road Campus, Staffordshire University
Organisers: Hazel Squire and Prof Jon Fairburn
Free – all welcome
|9.30 Welcome and introductions||Hazel Squire and Prof Jon Fairburn|
|9.40 Key note speaker – Andrew Stephenson, Group People Director at Lookers plc
‘Building a customer centric organisation in the digital age’
‘The technological aspect of today’s business’
11.40 Tony Evans, Head of Leonardo and Analytics, SAP
“Digital transformation and the intelligent enterprise”
| 13.30 Jeanefer Jean-Charles, Creative Director www.jeanefer.com
‘Keeping your business moving’
|14.40 Vanessa Oakes, Staffordshire Business School
‘Digital technology and new employment experiences’
|15.30 Closing remarks|
Andrew Stephenson has been the Group People Director at Lookers, one of the UK’s largest automotive dealer groups since May 2016. Reporting to the CEO; Andrew is responsible for the HR function and people agenda for over 8,500 employees across areas in the UK and Ireland. Andrew also leads the IT function and is responsible for customer experience across the companies 31 franchised manufacturer brands.
Andrews’ team have driven an improved customer experience through instore insight and a new online proposition. This has been underpinned by the introduction of comprehensive monitoring of customer experience. This independent monitoring ensures much better outcomes for customers in all circumstances and provides statistically valid measurement of customer satisfaction. The performance on customer experience now directly links to remuneration within the group. Andrew’s team are also responsible for the delivery of the company’s new website to support omni-channel focus on customers. Lookers are one of the Sunday Times Top 25 Big Companies to work for in the UK and have twice featured in the Glassdoor and CMI list of the Most Inspirational workplaces.
Andrew is a Level 8 student currently completing his DBA at Staffordshire University with a study into customer loyalty. Andrew holds a MA in Strategic HRM also from Staffordshire University, is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD, a Chartered Manager and Fellow of the CMI and a Fellow of the Institute of the Motor Industry. Andrew is also a Trustee of the national body of Citizens Advice, chairing their remuneration committee and an independent advisor to the Customer Experience Committee of HMRC.
Salman Hamid is a Director of Development at GMP Drivercare Limited, where Salman develops and implement Digital Technologies including bespoke systems, online automotive portal with a capability of getting live prices (APIs) and AI Technologies. GMP Drivercare helps Public and Corporate Sector organisations in Fleet Management, Grey Fleet Compliance, Telematics, Lease Car Schemes, Salary Sacrifice Schemes and more (A One stop shop).
Salman is a Staffordshire University and University of Roehampton Alumni, BSc Hons in Business Information Technology from Staffordshire University, MSc Information Systems Management from University of Roehampton and MSc Digital Marketing from Staffordshire University.
As Head of Leonardo and Analytics, Tony Evans is responsible for enabling customers to leverage SAP’s innovation portfolio, to drive business transformation and operational improvement. As the executive sponsor for SAP Machine Learning and Cloud customer adoption, Tony partners with customer executive teams to promote SAP’s next generation computing platform.
Since joining SAP, Tony has led SAP’s billion dollar North American Database business and has managed the North American financial services business as the Chief Operating Officer.
Prior to SAP, Tony has a successful track record in driving Business Process Reengineering and change management for global organisations, including PepsiCo, Lucent Technologies and IXNet. Tony has also held senior leadership positions across Oracle, BlackBerry and SAP, where he has led organisation of sales, technical and marketing professionals, driving revenue growth through partnership with customers.
Tony is an alumni of Staffordshire University, where he graduated with BA (Hons) in Business Studies and a Diploma in Marketing from CIM. Tony has an MBA in Change Management from the University of Brighton and is a qualified Project Manager with the Project Management Institute, an organisation he sat on the board of in NYC, and represented in the Global Project Management Forum. Tony also sits on the board of a successful startup, CrowdFlik where he partners with, and advises the CEO around business strategy.
Jeanefer Jean-Charles career began working across theatre, dance, television and film, including Co-Artistic Director of her company Bullies Ballerinas Jazz Productions, touring nationally and internationally. Her work has taken her to over 20 countries.
Today she is the Creative Director of Jeanefer Jean-Charles and Associates, with over 20 years’ experience of devising, creating, facilitating and directing dance and movement for performance.
As a Mass Movement Director and Choreographer of large scale performances, opening ceremonies, stadium events, outdoor spectacles, carnivals and parades, the success of her work is in her unique process of empowering and skilling up teams of artists, whilst bringing together the talents, strengths and shared stories of communities in inspiring and unforgettable ways.
Career highlights include: Mass Movement Director for Roald Dahl’s City of the Unexpected 2016, Choreographer for the award winning The Return of Colmcille, Derry-Londonderry City of Culture 2013, Mass Movement Choreographer for the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace, Mass Movement Coordinator for all four of the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremonies, Movement Director for The FA Cup Final 2016 Opening Ceremony at Wembley, Artistic Director for The Rugby League World Cup Opening Ceremony in 2013.
Vanessa Oakes is a Human Resources and Leadership & Development professional with extensive industry experience including 10 years as Head of HR at an international Environmental and Engineering consultancy and 6 years as a lecturer on the CIPD’s professional HRM programmes.
Vanessa brings a wealth of experience in how digital technology will affect your experience as a candidate looking for a job, to how it will affect you in your future employment.
She has worked with Social Media tools to approach passive candidates for opportunities within her organisation, she has implemented Applicant Tracking Systems which monitor the status of applications, she has worked with online tools which recorded attendance and monitored productivity and performance and software which measures and records employee engagement. These digital tools provided essential data which allowed managers to better manage their teams, improving the overall performance of the organisation.
She will give you a clearer understanding of how digital technology will become a key part of your employment experience.
by Dr Samanthika Gallage
In my day to day life, I always hear people say that marketing is all about selling, it is about creating demand, it is about manipulating consumers by corporations to make profits. Do you think the same? Without a doubt marketing is powerful and it has a strong convincing power. Do you think marketing can use this powerful discipline for a greater good in the society?
In 1952, G. D. Wiebe raised the question “Why can’t you sell brotherhood like you sell soap?” What do you think? Do you think we can sell brotherhood like we sell soap? Decades ago a few marketers were inspired by this idea and started seeing marketing in a different light and they chose the term SOCIAL MARKETING to define this novel approach. In a nutshell, it is an approach of using marketing principles for a social transformation.
Kotler et al. (2002, p.394) defined social marketing as “the use of marketing principles and techniques to influence a target audience to voluntarily accept, reject, modify or abandon behaviour for the benefit of individuals, groups or society as a whole”. It has gained much attention from scholars and practitioners over the years. Most of the developed and developing countries have benefited from social marketing interventions in addressing problems such as excessive drinking, smoking, obesity, HIV and other diseases.
There have been various successful social marketing campaigns such as
- “Go sober” to promote alcohol abstinence while raising funds for McMillan cancer support.
- “know your limits campaign” to promote responsible drinking.
- “Headsup” campaign to promote health and well-being among men.
- Change for Life for health prevention
These campaigns have marketing tools and techniques to persuade consumers to make healthy choices and thereby to encourage a social transformation. This sub discipline and faces many challenges due to lack of funding, lack of understanding, contextual issues etc. Yet, there is more room for improvement, new knowledge to fight back with these challenges. It has made a good progress over the last 50 years and there are more social marketing researchers (like me) and practitioners out their trying to use this powerful technique for a greater good of the society.
If you are interested in any research collaborations or projects or even a chat about this concept please do not hesitate to contact me.
Dr Samanthika Gallage 01782 29 4352
By Ema Talam
From 2016 to the present day, Brexit vote has already led to the numerous consequences on the UK economy. Some of the consequences involve: fall of sterling; higher inflation; higher uncertainly which further had an impact on investment and productivity growth; and lower GDP level than projected had the Brexit vote never happened (Bank of England, 2018). Furthermore, the evidences suggest that the anticipated trade costs related to the Brexit vote have already had a significant negative impact on the business investment in the UK (Gornicka, 2018).
Reports published two years ago on the potential consequences of Brexit did not widely discuss, or sometimes did not even acknowledge, its potential impact on productivity and innovation (discussed in greater details in my previous blog. However, in the reports published this week, the impacts of the vote on productivity are widely acknowledged.
The Bank of England’s (2018) report, published this Wednesday, looks at different scenarios and short-run impacts of Brexit on the UK economy. In the scenarios where the Economic Partnership between the UK and the EU is implemented, it is estimated that output per hour will be lower by 1.25% to 3.5% by the end of 2023 compared to May 2016 trend, depending on the exact terms of the Economic Partnership. The negative impact on GDP will be between 1.25% to 3.75% over the similar time period. In case no deal is negotiated and there is no transition period, by the end of 2023 compared to May 2016 trend, the negative impact on the output per hour will be approximately 5%, while the impact on GDP will be between -7.75% to -10.5%.
The Centre for Economic Performance and the UK in a Changing Europe’s (2018) report looks at the long-run consequences of Brexit and the Withdrawal Agreement on the UK economy, compared to the UK staying in the EU. The estimated long-run impact on GDP per capita from changes in trade and migration, in the case where the deal is reached, ranges from -1.9% (without productivity assumption) and -5.5% (with productivity assumption).
The impact on GDP per capita will be larger in case of no deal being reached and ranges from -3.5% (without productivity assumption) and -8.7% (with productivity assumption). The estimated fiscal impacts, as a percentage of GDP, in case the deal is reached, range from -0.4% (without productivity assumption) and -1.8% (with productivity assumption). However, in case of no deal being reached, the estimated impacts range between -1.0% (without productivity assumption) and -3.1% (with productivity assumption).
The Brexit vote has led to the numerous consequences on the UK economy. However, from the reports published this week, it is clear that it will have a significant impact on the economy both in the short- and the long-run.
- Bank of England (2018) ‘EU withdrawal scenarios and monetary and financial stability: A response to the House of Commons Treasury Committee’. Available at: https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/report/2018/eu-withdrawal-scenarios-and-monetary-and-financial-stability (Accessed: 28th November 2018)
- Centre for Economic Performance and the UK in a Changing Europe (2018) ‘The economic consequences of the Brexit deal’. Available at: http://ukandeu.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/The-economic-consequences-of-Brexit.pdf (Accessed: 28th November 2018)
- Gornicka, L. (2018) ‘Brexit Referendum and Business Investment in the UK’, Working Paper No. 18/247. Available at: https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/WP/Issues/2018/11/21/Brexit-Referendum-and-Business-Investment-in-the-UK-46318?cid=em-COM-789-38014 (Accessed: 27th November 2018)
Dr Alyson Nicholds, Associate Professor (Business Management), Staffordshire Business School
I am delighted to be joining Staffordshire Business School as Associate Professor (Business Management). This is my 5th University, having previously worked at Leeds Beckett, Birmingham, Middlesex and Coventry in various teaching/ research roles.
I’m probably best described as an ‘interdisciplinary’ academic of all things Public Policy. What this means, is that I bring to bear all my past professional experience (as Nurse, Health Promoter and Development Officer) to analyse, empirically, ‘what works’ in health, social care, urban, science and technology policy.
I do this by exploring ‘why policy fails’, but this is not by evaluating the impact of policy is (i.e. rationally), but by analysing ‘why practitioners do what they do’ (i.e. the accounts that professionals provide of their practice). We call this more novel type of research ‘discourse analysis’ and it works by paying close attention to the language embedded in what practitioners say and do i.e.:-
- How professionals ‘describe’ how they do what they do (‘functionalist discourse’);
- How professionals ‘interpret/ frame’ why they do what they do (‘constructivist discourse’);
- How the context ‘shapes/ constrains’ what professionals say and do (‘dialogic discourse’);
- How society ‘influences’ what it’s possible to say and do (‘critical discourse’)
Discourse analysis is therefore important because it addresses some of the limitations of more rational/ scientific approaches to traditional policy analysis which typically ignores the human voice. Hence, much of my early work has involved applying the second type of discourse (constructivist discourse) to real-life cases, as with my PhD, which revealed regeneration professionals’ shared experiences of the barriers to effective regeneration in the East and West Midlands [1a]. Indeed, this was so compelling, that I’m now reanalysing this data using the third type of discourse (i.e. dialogic discourse) to understand ‘why actors don’t do what they say’!
Other work, using this more ‘constructivist discourse’ approach, involved a large scale NHS funded study (Post Doc) to ascertain the value of different joint commissioning arrangements in health and social care (i.e. in 6 NHS Trusts in England); and scientists’ preferences for sharing knowledge in a global network (i.e. the large-scale physics experiment known as the hadron collider at the CERN facility in Switzerland) .
More recently I’ve been working with colleagues from Birmingham and Middlesex to analyse how formal and informal leaders prefer to lead in sub-national urban development places (i.e. the Smart Cities policy initiative). My latest work explores the practical applications of all of this type of discourse work in transforming the social outcomes of public policy through greater reflexivity in management learning. In future blogs, I’ll be writing about this and the different ways we might better research these complex types of policy problems, to address widening social and economic inequality.
(2011) Making sense of urban policy failure in complex times, Regional Insights, 2:2, 18-20,
 (2014) Beyond the Berlin Wall?: Investigating joint commissioning and its various meanings using a Q methodology approach, Public Management Review, 16:6, 830-851,
 Mabey, C. & Nicholds, A. (2015) Discourses of knowledge across global networks: What can be learnt about knowledge leadership from the ATLAS collaboration? International Business Review, Volume 24, Issue 1, February 2015, Pages 43–54. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0969593114000754