PhD, research, academic, European and other specialist job sites

by Prof Jon Fairburn

This blog should be especially useful for PGT, PGR and early career researchers looking for jobs, fellowships or scholarships. I also cover some relevant placement opportunities below for UG. The second half of the blog covers jobs in sectors I know well, environmental, digital marketing, placements and the West Midlands public sector.

For funding for all postgraduate training (there’s several charities that fund for example) including PhDs try

If you’re looking for a PhD then try or

In the UK all public sector jobs (with very few exceptions) have to be publicly advertised. All British Universities will have a jobs/vacancies page and most will allow you to set alerts for when jobs are being released.

The main website for anyone wanting to work in British Universities is has a useful list of research jobs

A useful site for senior academic/management jobs (especially those that go through recruitment agencies) is

The Times Higher Education is the main publication for news on the HE sector in the UK and further afield – their jobs page is here


Two forces over the next 12-18 months are likely to create hundreds of new research and academic jobs. Firstly, hundreds of posts including PhDs, post doc fellowship positions, etc. will be funded in UK universities through the EU Horizon programme. Your starting point for these is this site which covers research jobs all over Europe

Secondly, Ireland is continuing to expand jobs in it’s academic sector – the main site for academic jobs in Ireland is

Brussels is a major centre for research think tanks, charities, regional agencies as well as being home to several Universities – is an excellent starting point for research and research related jobs in Brussels.

Other Euroscience jobs can be found here


If you want a job in a Business School anywhere in the world try

Perret Laver are recruitment specialists for senior academic and management positions used by many universities and other organisations, you can register with them as well as browsing their vacancies

Specialist Environment/ sustainability/ geography

The best site for environmental jobs in the UK (especially starter jobs for graduates) is they also have plenty of volunteering opportunities on the site

For largely technical and specialist environmental jobs including many which are global try

The Guardian environment jobs page is also worth checking

Digital marketing/PR and the media

Prolific North is a fantastic site for all the news in the North of England – the jobs page is here

Charity Comms for the charity sector – the jobs page is here

If you want to work in the Sports industry as a digital marketer/content creator/ brand manager etc

Student Placements and careers

Rate my placement is the best starting point

Public Sector Jobs in the West Midlands

Please note this is my final blog for a while, after 30+ years service at Staffordshire University I have been given the honorary position of Emeritus Professor from April. My email will remain the same but I won’t be checking the account so often. If you haven’t done it yet then connect with me on Linkedin I regularly post jobs and news there.

Careers, jobs, research, environment, digital marketing
Careers, jobs, research, environment, digital marketing

Business and Management Research News 2024

Staffordshire Business School was ranked No1 in the Million+ group of universities in REF2021 – you can see our submission on the national results website here and for Business Schools across the sector there is an analysis by the Chartered Association of Business Schools (we ranked 51st out of 107 overall and 16th for Impact).

You can read our previous research news for 2023 here , 2022 here.

Peer review papers

Abbas, A.F., Khwaja, M.G., Abbasi, A.Z. and Hameed, A. (2023), “Market mavenism, tourists’ co-creation experience, loyalty, vaxication intention: mediating role of travel incentives in the post-COVID-19 environment”, Consumer Behavior in Tourism and Hospitality, Vol. 18 No. 4, pp. 532-550.

Abbasi, A. Z., Rather, R. A., Hooi Ting, D., Nisar, S., Hussain, K., Khwaja, M. G., & Shamim, A. (2024). Exploring tourism-generated social media communication, brand equity, satisfaction, and loyalty: A PLS-SEM-based multi-sequential approach. Journal of Vacation Marketing, 30(1), 93-109.

Barnett, N. J., Giovannini, A., & Griggs, S. (2024). Serial adapters? Local government chief officers and the navigation of space and time. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, 0(0).

Dimungu-Hewage, D., & Poletti-Hughes, J. (2023). Does board diversity decrease corporate fraud? International evidence from family vs. non-family firms. Review of Corporate Finance, 3(1–2), 175-211 –

Etherington, D., Jones, M., & Telford, L. (2023). ‘COVID crisis, austerity and the ‘Left Behind’ city: Exploring poverty and destitution in Stoke-on-Trent’. Local Economy, 37, 692-707

Etherington D, Jeffery B, Thomas P, Jones M and Ledger-Jessop B (2023) ‘Trade union strategies to tackle labour market insecurity: Geography and the role of Sheffield TUC’ Industrial Relational Journal, 54, 261-277.

Hameed, A., Khwaja, M. G., & Zaman, U., (2023). Configuring optimal contextual performance and task performance in offshore business processing organizations. Business Process Management Journal.  29(1), 285-307

Hazzam J. & Wilkins S. (2023). The influences of lecturer charismatic leadership and technology use on student online engagement, learning performance, and satisfaction, Computers & Education,

Malik, M.F., Khwaja, M.G., Hanif, H. and Mahmood, S. (2023), “The missing link in knowledge sharing: the crucial role of supervisor support- moderated mediated model”, Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 44 No. 6, pp. 771-790.

Mami, D, Lami, E and Pugh G (in press) Fiscal Enforcement and Elections in the context of high corruption. Public Finance Review. ISSN 1091-1421

Poletti‐Hughes, J., & Dimungu‐Hewage, D. (2023). The effectiveness of gender diversity reforms and the impact of a familial culture: a spillover effect on board independence. British Journal of Management, 34(3), 1316-1339.– 4* Journal

Turi, J.A., Khwaja, M.G., Tariq, F. and Hameed, A. (2023), “The role of big data analytics and organizational agility in improving organizational performance of business processing organizations”, Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 29 No. 7, pp. 2081-2106.

Wilkins, S., Ireland, J.J., Hazzam, J. and Megicks, P. (2024). Service contract type and consumer choice behavior: the contributory roles of perceived value, brand reputation and consumer incentives, Marketing Intelligence & Planning,

Wilkins S., Hazzam J., Ireland J. & Kana R. (2023) International branch campuses: the influences of country of origin and campus environment on students’ institution choices and satisfaction, Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management,

Zaman, U., Aktan, M., & Khwaja, M. G. (2023). Linking Regenerative Travel and Residents’ Support for Tourism Development in Kaua’i (Hawaii): Moderating-Mediating effects of Travel-Shaming and Foreign Tourist Attractiveness. Journal of Travel Research, 62(4), 782-801. (ABS 4)

Zaman, U., Florez-Perez, L., Anjam, M., Ghani Khwaja, M. and Ul-Huda, N. (2023), “At the end of the world, turn left: examining toxic leadership, team silence and success in mega construction projects”, Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 30 No. 6, pp. 2436-2462.

Zaman, U., Naeni, L. M., Huda, N. ul, & Khwaja, M. G. (2023). Time Flies When You are Having Fun: The Mediating Effects of Project Opportunity Management in the Relationship Between Project Leaders’ Self-Efficacy and Multidimensional Project Success. Project Management Journal, 54(2), 132-148.

PhD Completions

Mayowa AKINBOTE (2023) The Impact of the ECB’s Unconventional Monetary Policy Announcements on Financial Markets and Investors’ Behaviour (Principal supervisor Prof. Nirmala Lee and secondary supervisor Dr Lan Jiang) from London Metropolitan University

Dilrukshi HEWAGE (2023) The Effectiveness of Board Diversity Reforms and Corporate Practices: The Moderating Role of a Familial Culture, Prevalence of Family Businesses and Family Ownership (Principal Supervisor: Dr. Jannine Poletti Hughes, seconday supervisor Dr Yang Zhao) from the University of Liverpool.

Spiro LAZAROSKI (08/23). Investigating the transmission channels by which exogenous shocks originating in the global economy are transmitted to the countries of the Western Balkans (2003-2015). (Prof Geoff Pugh Principal Supervisor) from Staffordshire University

Tiantian LIU (03/2023). Chinese entrepreneurial proclivity and the conjectured link with the experience of foreign sojourns: Evidence from a study involving undergraduate students based in Beijing. (Harper Adams University With Dr Keith Walley and Dr Paul Adkins and external supervisor Prof Geoff Pugh)

Khaoula OMHAND (02/24) The Race to the Top: The Experiences and Strategies of Women of Colour in UK Academia from Wolverhampton University

Vicky ROBERTS (12/23) Branding in Micro- Organisations – A Network Approach from the University of Bradford

Ema TALAM (09/23). Evaluating the potential of public policy to jointly promote firms’ exporting and innovation. (Prof Geoff Pugh Principal Supervisor with Emeritus Professor Nick Adnett and Dr Mehtap Hisarciklilar) from Staffordshire University

Ongoing Projects

Prof Geoff Pugh, Prof Jon Fairburn, Prof Mark Gregory and Christine Dover are working with the University of Manchester ESRC funded project entitled Digital Stoke

Prof Jon Fairburn and Craig Holdcroft are part of the cross Unversity team delivering an Advance HE grant for the use of AI in training researchers including free workshops sign up here

Prof Jon Fairburn and colleagues at OCSI have completed phase 1 of preparation for the next Index of Multiple Deprivation (due Spring 2025). As well as assessing the issues of updating the air quality compenent of the IMD Prof Fairburn was also asked to research and assess potential new environmental indicators.

Prof Steven Griggs is leading a project to evaluate the development of the Goods Yard in Stoke on Trent

Bids in the pipeline

ESRC responsive mode: new investigator grants round two –Digital Marketing Capabilities in SMEs – To be submitted in February Dr Joe Hazzam


New book by Kieron Chadwick – available here

Progress from last year’s small research awards

Drivers and outcomes of digital marketing activity – Dr Joe Hazzam, Paul Dobson, Vicky Roberts, Dr Bharati Singh

First paper has been submitted to the European Journal of Marketing (3*). The second paper is due to be submitted in April to the Journal of Small Business Management (3*)

Exploring factors leading to augment destination tourism in the northern areas of Pakistan using digital channels – Dr Muddasar Khwaja and Carol Southall

Khwaja, M.G., Southall, C., (2024). Exploring Factors Driving Destination Tourism Augmentation in Northern Pakistan through Digital Channels. 8th International Conference on Research in Business, Management and Economics, 8-10 March, 2024. Prague, Czech Republic.

Based on the suggestions and recommendations, it will be submitted to International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management (ABS 3*) by the end of March 2024.

Exploring the development of Islamic financial technology in South east Asia. A sentiment analysis – Dr Syed Zaidi and Dr Muddasar Khwaja

Title: “Does electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) increase financial appetite? Configuring through the lens of facilitating conditions, information usefulness, and argument quality.”

Authors: Khwaja, M.G., Zaidi, S.M.T., & Abbas, A.F. Journal: International Journal of Bank Marketing (under review)

Job rotation and the inclusive labour market – Prof David Etherintgon and Duncan Adam

Full details will be available in an upcoming blog shortly. The blog on the conference that was organised is already here

Small research awards for 2024

Inclusive Labour Market – Engaging Stakeholders and Delivering Impact in Islington – Prof David Etherington and Prof Steven Griggs

Navigating Financial Evolution: Holistic analysis of financial inclusion, neo-banks and challenger banks in Pakistan’s transformative landscape – Dr Syed Zaidi and Dr Muddasar Khwaja

Diversity and inclusion in the workforce: A case study of Alton Towers – Carol Southall, Amanda Payne and Dr Andy Hanks

The Impact of Entrepreneurial Education on Small and Medium-Size Enterprise (SMEs) performance.  – Dr Itoro Ekpo and Dr Fred Nyakudya

Gender and forced displacement: Investing in women refugee entrepreneurship to reduce GBV Vulnerability – Dr Khaoula Omhand, Dr Dilrukshi Dimungu Hewage, and Dr Susan Sisay

Role of firms’ governance in stimulating Corporate Carbon Productivity in the UK – Emission Trading Schemes vs. Government Policy Intervention – Dr Dilrukshi Dimungu Hewage and Dr Khaoula Omhand

Conferences and presentations

Carol Southall presented at the ‘UK Coach Tourism: Volume, Value, Perceptions & Professionalisation’ conference Jan 2024

Ibrahim, B., Hazzam, J., Aljarah, A., & Qalati, S. (2023). How Do artificial intelligence-driven Chatbots impact customer-brand relationship? Travel and Tourism context, The 5th Spring Conference on Futuristic Approaches, Istanbul, Turkey.

Ibrahim, B., Hazzam, J., Aljarah, A., & Elrehail, H. (2023). Social media marketing elements and online brand engagement: an investigation in the coffee shop industry, 2nd International Conference on Contemporary Issues in Commerce, Istanbul, Turkey.

Khwaja, M. G., (2023). Inspecting patients’ Experiential Value to build Patients Loyalty in private and public sector hospitals: An Empirical Investigation. 22nd International Marketing Trends Conference, ESCP Business School, Paris. France (19-21 January, 2023).

Khwaja, M.G., Southall, C., (2024). Exploring Factors Driving Destination Tourism Augmentation in Northern Pakistan through Digital Channels. 8th International Conference on Research in Business, Management and Economics, 8-10 March, 2024. Prague, Czech Republic

Upcoming Tourism conference organised by Carol Southall, NTAN & ATHE on the theme  the dynamic interplay of “People, Place, and Pride” in the realm of tourism – 27th June


Dr Ema Talam, Prof Geoff Pugh and Prof Jon Fairburn submitted evidence to the UK Parliament, Business and Trade Committee which is investigating industrial policy

Etherington D and Jones M (2023) ‘Political economy of the inclusive labour market: welfare through work revisited’ in J Ingold and P McGurk (eds) Employer Engagement: Making Active Labour Market Policies Work (Bristol University Press, Bristol) 34-51

Grattan N and Jones M (2023) ‘More-than-civc: higher education and civic society in post-industrial localities’ in J Dobson and E Ferrai (eds) Reframing the Civic University: An Agenda for Impact (Palgrave Macmillan, London) 121-141

Hussain, K., Abbasi, A.Z., Khwaja, M.G., Hussain, A., and Hooi, T.G. (2023). Perceived Value of Images Carrying Tourism Location Information on social media and Customer Brand Engagement. in Brand Co-creation tourism research: contemporary issues and challenges. CRC Press. Routledge Taylor and Francis Group. Book chapter

Havoli B, Fairburn J, Pugh G, Talam E, Efendic A, Stojcic N (2023) Promoting the creative sector in three deindustrialised economies: the United Kingdom; Bosnia and Herzegovina; and Croatia. Project Report. Staffordshire University.

Jones M (2023) ‘Dr Gordon MacLeod (1964-2022)’ Scottish Geographical Journal, 139, 242-246.

Jones M (2023) ‘Relationality’ in L Lees and D Demeritt (eds) Concise Encyclopedia of Human Geography (Elgar, Cheltenham) 333-337

Middleton, J, Southon, P and Fairburn, J (2023) The impact of environmental provisions in trade agreements on non-communicable disease: working paper. PETRA.

Staffing changes

Good luck to Dr Muddasar Khwaja who has a new job at Keele University and Dr David Cook who has a new job at Nottingham Trent University

Good luck to Vicky Roberts in retirement

Professors Geoff Pugh and Jon Fairburn will be Emeritus Professors from April 2024.

Digital Stoke – a research project

by Prof Geoff Pugh and Prof Jon Fairburn

About the project

This project is interested in the presence in Stoke-on-Trent of an IT or digital sector of substantial size, high productivity, and continued growth relative to the local economy. The purpose of this research is to conduct primary research:

(i) to map the IT sector in Stoke;

(ii) to analyse the IT sector origins, structure, performance, and current and potential role in the local economy; and

(iii) thereby to inform evidence-based policies to sustain and develop this emergent sector.

Some Initial Findings

In keeping with many other local authorities, Stoke-on-Trent City Council has placed the digital sector at the centre of its economic development strategy. Anecdotally at least, there does appear a strong base to build on. The emergence of a cluster of creative media businesses on the former Spode Pottery site, the success of privately owned, cyber security business Synectics Solutions, and the continuing growth of the e-gaming capabilities at Staffordshire University all suggest that, unlike some areas chasing the digital opportunity, “Silicon Stoke” has real potential.

The available data, notwithstanding the widely known limitations at the local area level, is entirely consistent with the anecdotal picture: digital is already a major component of the local economy. In 2019, according to the experimental local area ONS GVA data[1], the digital sector accounted for 10.6% of GVA in Stoke-on-Trent, significantly higher than both its 2.1% contribution to output across the rest of Staffordshire and its 6.2% share of UK GVA. And digital in Stoke -on-Trent is fast growing: the relatively high share of local economic output reflects growth of 500% in GVA in the city since 2010, compared to a rough doubling of the sector across the UK and in the rest of Staffordshire.

As a result of this rapid growth, Stoke-on-Trent had the 42nd largest digital sector in the country in 2019 among ITL3 regions in GVA terms, despite being only the 122nd largest local economy. By contrast, Staffordshire was the 23rd local economy in size terms, but only 65th when ranked on size of its digital sector.

Striking as these figures are, they don’t tell us the full story. The 2019 GVA data identifies Stoke-on-Trent as having the 11th largest Arts, Entertainment and Recreation (AER) sector in the UK among ITL3[2] areas. The AER sector in Stoke-on-Trent is almost 3 times the value of that in Staffordshire, despite the county’s local economy being three times that of Stoke-on-Trent in total. The explanation is not hard to find; gambling accounts for over 97% of the AER sector in Stoke-on-Trent, reflecting the presence of the HQ and core operations of Bet365, one of the world’s leading online betting companies.

On any measure Bet365 is a digital company. If we adjust the ONS data using employee numbers as a proxy for GVA share, the digital sector in Stoke-on-Trent would on a conservative basis have been worth around £1 billion in GVA terms in 2019. This level of GVA would make Stoke-on-Trent, the 25th largest digital ITL3 area in the UK. On productivity, the performance is even more impressive. Matching the available data on employment to the sector GVA data at the local authority level[3], Stoke-on-Trent’s digital sector productivity of £153k per job is the fourth highest in the UK. Adjust for Bet365’s presence and the city moves up to third place, just ahead of the City of Westminster and behind Hounslow, home to Heathrow Airport, and Portsmouth, home of IBM. Even allowing for the fact that by combining some ITL areas the local authority measure may dilute the digital strength of places such as Reading, this ranking is very different to that for productivity (GVA per job) across the local authority area, in which Stoke-on-Trent is in the bottom quartile nationally.

The structure of Stoke’s digital sector initially appears to comprise of one (very) large firm (bet365) together with a large number of micro, small, and medium  size firms. To what extent might bet365 be functioning as an “anchor” firm is to be investigated. However, it is clear that “digital Stoke” is not a one-firm phenomenon but is based on a wide range of firms in a range of sub-industries.

Next steps

We are currently processing and collecting primary and secondary datasets for mapping using Geographic Information Systems.

We will be looking to interview past and current workers in the digital sector starting in 2024.

If you can assist or are interested in further information about the project please contact Christine Dover below.

Research team

Prof Geoff Pugh email

Prof Jon Fairburn email

Visiting Prof Mark Gregory email

Christine Dover (Research Assistant) email

Research Fellow (University of Manchester) starts 1st Feb 2024

Funded through the ESRC in collaboration with the Productivity Institute at the University of Manchester.

[1] Regional gross value added balanced by industry and all ITL regions. May 2021, ONS.

[2] International Territorial Level, a recognised classification to allow comparison of places of similar sizes.

[3] Regional gross value added (balanced) by industry: local authorities by International Territorial Level (ITL) region. May 2022, ONS. Business Register and Employment Survey. 2021, Nomis.

Launch of the Centre for Business, Innovation and the Regions, 8th June

A new research centre is being launched at Staffordshire University that brings together internationally-recognised academics with a commitment to applied impactful research that engages with policy and practice. Its work analyses:

  • inequalities, employment and welfare;
  • innovation and leadership;
  • and regional economic development, regeneration and foundational economies.

Reflecting the civic mission of Staffordshire University, the Centre has collaborative partnerships with leading public and private organisations in the UK and abroad.

Please sign up to this free event (lunch included) full schedule 12.00-3.00 on 8th June


Arianna Giovannini is Associate Professor/Reader in Local Politics and Public Policy at De Montfort University. Arianna has published widely on devolution, levelling up and the changing landscape of local government. Between July 2019 and February 2020 , she was seconded to to the Directorship of IPPR North, the leading think-tank for the North of England.

Steven Griggs is Professor of Public Policy in the Business School at Staffordshire University. Steven has published widely on local government, collaboration and the new municipalism. He recently chaired the Executive of the Association for Public Service Excellence’s Local Government 2030 Commission whose Local by Default final report was published in 2021.

Key roles and staff in the new centre

Centre Director – Prof Stephen Griggs

REF lead and Deputy Director – Prof Jon Fairburn @profjonfairburn

Impact Lead and REF deputy – Dr Muddasar Khwaja

Partnerships – Ema Talam @ematalam

PhD lead – Dr Fred Nyakudya

ECR lead – Dr Itoro Ekpo

Recent research from staff in the centre are here February 2023 and February 2022

Staff were entered into the Business and Management UoA in REF2021 and we were ranked joint 16th out of 108 in the country for our research impact and joint 51st overall in the country on research.

Book onto the launch event 12.00-3.00 (lunch included) 8th June

Research News from Staffordshire Business School Feb 2023

Staffordshire Business School was ranked No1 in the Million+ group of universities in REF2021 – you can see our submission on the national results website here and for Business Schools across the sector there is an analysis by the Chartered Association of Business Schools (we ranked 51st out of 107 overall and 16th for Impact).

Our previous research blog for Feb 2022 is here

We are looking to grow capacity and increase collaboration both within the School and across the University. To aid this process we have made a series of small grants from the new Business Research Centre

Small Collaborative Research Grants

1. Drivers and outcomes of digital marketing activity

Dr Joe Hazzam, Paul Dobson, Vicky Roberts, Dr Bharati Singh

Lead: Dr Joe Hazzam – Value £1,800

2. Exploring factors leading to augment destination tourism in the northern areas of Pakistan using digital channels

Dr Muddasar Khwaja and Carol Southall

Lead: Dr Muddasar Khwaja – Value £2,400

3. Exploring the development of Islamic financial technology in South east Asia. A sentiment analysis

Dr Syed Zaidi and Dr Muddasar Khwaja

Lead: Dr Syed Zaidi Value – £2,400

4. Job rotation and the inclusive labour market

Prof David Etherintgon and Duncan Adam

Lead Prof David Etherington value £2,000

Early Career Research Grant

Exploration of the long-term links between innovation, exporting and productivity

Ema Talam Value – £500

Ema Talam passed her PhD viva in January with minor corrections. Congratulations!

Ema Talam - a new PhD student in the Business School
Ema Talam – recently passed her viva with minor corrections

Bids in the pipeline

Prof Geoff Pugh, Prof Jon Fairburn, Prof Mark Gregory – Digital Stoke – submitted to the Productivity Institute

BA Newton International Fellowship 2022, Harsh Mittal and Prof Steven Griggs, Movement In and Of Policy: The Spaces and Temporalities of the Sustainable City in India and UK, under assessment.

Goods Yard Longitudinal Evaluation, awaiting programme approval – Prof Steven Griggs and Prof Jon Fairburn

ESRC Local Innovation Partnerships – round 1 – submitted in January 2023, led by Birmingham University – Prof Stephen Griggs is part of the submission

Projects in progress

Project pump-priming: Promoting the creative sector in de-industrialised economies: a comparative study across three European countries (with colleagues from Balkan universities) Prof Geoff Pugh, Prof Jon Fairburn, Ema Talam

Association for Public Service Excellence – national survey of councillors – Prof Stephen Griggs

Local Skills and Improvement Plans – Prof Thomas Lange (for Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce and UK Govt)

Evaluation of Enterprise Education – Staffordshire Chambers – Ema Talam


Carol Southall (2023) “Decolonising the tourism curriculum – Experiences of faculty in Asian transnational education contexts.” Critical Tourism Studies Asia Pacific (CTS3). Venue: British University Vietnam (BUV), Hanoi, Vietnam

Nyakudya, F. W. (2022). The effect of gender and resources on entrepreneurial activity. Paper presented at the International Conference on Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 27-28 June 2022, London, UK.


Beel, D, Russell, B, Jones, I R, Morgan, K and Jones, M (2022) Research Report: North Wales Growth Deal. Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research and Data (WISERD).

Talam E, Pugh G and Fairburn J (2022) A review of the potential for R and D tax policy to support the Creative Industries. For West Yorkshire Combined Mayoral Authority.

Etherington, DJones, M, Telford L, Harris S and Hubbard, S (2023Families on the Brink in Stoke-on-Trent: How austerity and the cost-of-living is driving poverty and destitution. Project Report. Staffordshire University.

Peer review papers

Hazzam, J., Wilkins, S., & Strong, C. (2022). The impact of social media technologies on organization cultural intelligence and new product development in international markets. Cross Cultural & Strategic Management,

Wilkins, S., Hazzam, J., & Ireland, J. (2022). Servicescape in transnational higher education: the effects of campus design, physical environment and facilities on student experience and satisfaction. Journal of Marketing for Higher Education,

photo of Dr Joe Hazzam
Dr Joe Hazzam has published several papers

Wilkins, S., Butt, M., Hazzam, J., & Marder, B. (2023). Collaborative learning in online breakout rooms: Effects of learner attributes on purposeful interpersonal interaction and perceived learning. International Journal of Educational Management. In Press

Ibrahim, B., Hazzam, J. (2023). Investigating the Impact of Social Media Marketing on Intention to Follow Advice: The Mediating Role of Active Participation and Benevolence Trust. FIIB Business Review. In Press

Dr Muddasar Khwaja and colleagues have successful published in the 4* Journal of Travel Research “Linking Regenerative Travel and Residents’ Support for Tourism Development in Kaua’i Island (Hawaii): Moderating-Mediating Effects of Travel-Shaming and Foreign Tourist Attractiveness”

New member of staff - profile photo
Dr Muddasar Khwaja and collegaues with a paper in 4* journal

Dimos C, Pugh G, Hisarciklilar M, Talam E, Jackson I, (2022) “The relative effectiveness of R&D tax credits and R&D subsidies: A comparative meta-regression analysis,” Technovation, Volume 115,

Begovic S, Adnett N and Pugh G (2023) “The effect of a currency board arrangement on subjective assessments of a country’s economic performance” in International Journal of Economic Policy in Emerging Countries Vol 17 (1)

Etherington D, Jones M and Telford L (2022) Challenges to Levelling Up :
Post-COVID precarity in “left-behind” Stoke-on-Trent. Frontiers in Political Science. 10335.
ISSN 2673-3145

Dr Fred Nyakudya has a revise and resubmit for “The moderating role of individual and social resources in gender effect on entrepreneurial growth aspirations”, in Small Business Economics

Dr Fred Nyakudya has a paper submitted “Attracting entrepreneurial potential: A multilevel institutional approach” to the International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior and Research

Prof Thomas Lange has recently joined the School on a part time basis – his most recent publication is here Mehrajunnisa M, Jabeen F, Nishat Faisal M & Lange T (2022) The influence of green human resource management practices and employee green behavior on business performance in sustainability-focused organizations, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2022.2074824

New report – A review of the potential of R and D tax policy to support the Creative Industries

This review was commissioned to inform the work of the West Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority in their support of the Creative Industries.

The report was carried out by Ema Talam, Prof Geoff Pugh and Prof Jon Fairburn

Overview of the report

Creative industries represent a vital segment of the UK economy, contributing to the growth of local economies (Mateos-Garcia et al., 2018) and the country’s competitive advantage (HM Government, 2018). In 2018, the creative industries comprised 6.2% of the economy of the United Kingdom in terms of employment (DCMS, 2019) and 5.8% in terms of gross value added (GVA) (DCMS, 2020). Additionally, the creative industries are fast growing – employment in the creative industries grew by 30.6% over the period 2011 to 2018, while the GVA in real terms increased by 43.2% since 2010 (DCMS, 2020). Creative industries tend to be innovative (Bird et al., 2020) and can be highly productive, although they constitute a diverse sector of the economy embracing a wide range of productivity levels (see Section 2 below). Currently, the creative industries, and arts, humanities and social sciences more generally, are ineligible for R&D tax policy support in the United Kingdom (Bakhshi, Breckon and Puttick, 2021). This report explores the potential of R&D tax policy to support the creative industries.

The report is available on this page or as a direct pdf download here

New member of staff Khaoula Omhand

Khaoula Omhand has joined as a Lecturer in Business Management and Leadership in the Department of Business and Law, School of Justice, Security and Sustainability, Staffordshire University, United Kingdom.

Khaoula Omhand

She is currently undertaking her PhD in business and management at the University of Wolverhampton, focusing on the use of critical diversity management studies to understand inequalities in leadership positions.

Her research was recognized by the European Academy of Management (EURAM) Doctoral Colloquium 2022 in Switzerland as her PhD project was shortlisted for the responsible research award and for the best paper award. Similarly, her work on the power of business elites in UK biomedical firms was accepted at the European Group of Organisation Studies (EGOS) in Vienna in 2022. She is a published co-author on subjects associated with sustainability, leadership, and entrepreneurship in peer-reviewed journals such as Journal of Sustainability.

She holds an MBA with distinction and PGCert in academic practice from the University of Wolverhampton and she is a member of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI). She is recognised as Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and possesses three years of teaching experience in further and higher education in the UK. Prior to starting her career in academia, she was an environmental engineer with more than four years’ experience in leading environmental consultancy projects in the public and private sector.

Her specialist knowledge has enabled her to participate in a consultancy project to understand businesses in Walsall and their approach to Diversity and Inclusion practices in the workplace from employee and employer’s perspectives. Working as a research assistant, the project was commissioned by Walsall for All and DWP and is managed by the Black Country Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with its partner the University of Wolverhampton. Further to that, she has also helped in developing a grant proposal that was submitted to the Newton fund titled ‘Green Recovery of the Women Workforce in Tourism After Covid-19 Outbreak: The Case of Turkey’.

Khaoula teaches on a range of courses in the Business School including the MSc in International Business Management and the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship.

Email Khaoula at

New member of staff Dr. Itoro Ekpo

Dr. Itoro Ekpo has joined as a Lecturer in Business Management in the Department of Business and Law, School of Justice, Security and Sustainability, Staffordshire University, United Kingdom.

Dr Itoro Ekpo

She holds Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in International Business from the University of Bradford, United Kingdom. She possesses five years of corporate experience and extensive experience teaching Business and Management modules. She is working with the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Education, Nigeria to design Ibibio language teaching materials for Schools.

Before joining Staffordshire University, she has served in an academic position at Global Banking School, University of Law, Nottingham Trent University and University of Bradford. She is a member of British Academy of Management (BAM) and Academy of International Business (AIB).

She has presented her research in international and national conferences. She is a proficient user of NVIVO. Her interdisciplinary research interests are internalisation strategy, cross-cultural studies, knowledge transfer, alliances, and joint venture in the African context and emerging market.

Dr Itoro will be teaching on the MSc in International Business Management, BA in Digital and Social Media Marketing.

Email Dr Itoro Ekpo at

20 years’ smart city research marching on – what’s next?

Professor Fang Zhao, Associate Dean Research and Enterprise, Staffordshire Business School

By 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population will live in towns and cities, resulting in the consumption of over 70% of energy, and the emission of an equal amount of greenhouse gases (European Commission, 2019). The Covid-19 pandemic is exacerbating the challenges that cities have already been facing from multiple fronts such as rapid urbanisation, digital disruptions, demographic, climate and environmental changes, economic restructuring and reforms. Covid-19 is changing how urban residents live, work and commute and reshaping economic structures and business models. In the current global battle against Covid-19, smart cities have a pivotal role to play in responding to the crisis in terms of track-and-trace of coronavirus cases using smart technologies, enforcing social distancing rules, getting homeless people off the streets, and special emergency measures for care homes, to give just a few examples.

The concept of a smart city has been seen as a strategy to tackle the grand challenges facing urban planning and development. Smart city is a fuzzy word with various terms being used – intelligent city, digital city, green city, knowledge city, and smart sustainable city. Research on smart city can be traced back to the 1990s, taking on many perspectives, mostly in four aspects: the technological aspect including the technological infrastructure and support network for building smart cities, the socio-cultural aspect, or citizen engagement, the political-institutional aspect, such as government support and policies, and the economic-business aspect, namely business models and profitability.

A team of researchers (Prof Zhao, Dr Olushola Fashola, Dr Tolulope Olarewaju and Dr Ijeoma Onwumere) at Staffordshire Business School have been investigating what has been done in smart city research over the past 20 years. After a systematic and comprehensive literature review, the research team found that smart city research tends to revolve around six key areas: digital technology diffusion, smart city strategy and implementation, supply chains and logistics, urban planning and governance, smart city entrepreneurship and innovation, and Smart city evaluation and measurement. The team also identified four major challenges for small city research: (a) smart city research is often fragmented and technology-driven; (b) many studies are on perceived benefits of smart cities and fewer on the downsides of the effect of technologies and failure projects; (c) there is a need to build new theories for smart city research; and (d) there is a lack of empirical testing of the conceptual frameworks developed in smart city research. Furthermore, the team found that there was very limited research on crisis management in smart city before 2020. However, the research landscape is changing with emerging literature investigating how smart cities respond to crises and pandemics, and exploring strategies that can be used to tackle swiftly the crisis effectively at both strategic and operational levels.

Directions for future research and practice in smart cities are proposed.  If you want to know more and/or seeking for collaboration, please contact Prof Fang Zhao – Associate Dean Research and Enterprise at

Staffordshire Business School – Research update

Staffordshire Business School aspires to be a leader in making a real impact on business and society through research and innovation. Our team have successfully delivered many industry/business and government funded research projects and have extensive experience of leading large team projects including local, UK, EU and internationally funded projects. Many of our team members combine rich industry and practitioner experience with academic rigour in conducting world-leading research in the areas of entrepreneurship and innovation, digital transformation, environmental health etc. Here are some of the exciting research projects that researchers at Business School have been doing:

Austerity, Welfare and Work: Exploring Politics, Geographies and Inequalities

In his new book, Prof David Etherington provides bold and fresh perspectives on the link between welfare policy and employment relations as he assesses their fundamental impact on social inequalities. Drawing on international and national case studies, the book reviews developments, including rising job insecurity, low pay and geographical inequalities.

Environmental health inequalities resource package

Prof Jon Fairburn is the lead author of a recent World Health Organization publication. The publication is aimed at local, regional and national policy makers hoping to improve environmental health especially for deprived and other groups. Jon has been collaborating with WHO for over 10 years on this subject.

Covid-19 and Smart Cities – What’s Changed? Getting ahead of the Game

Prof Fang Zhao and her team have been conducting research and analysis of a range of changing scenarios of smart cities in post-Covid-19 and pinpoint the opportunities and challenges for businesses, city councils and universities. Their research focuses on strategies, tactics and digital transformation.

The Impact of COVID-19 on BAME Owned Businesses in the UK

The project led by Dr Tolulope Olarewaju is investigating the specific challenges that BAME business owners faced during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, the strategies that they used to keep their businesses afloat, and how they engaged with financial and regional support. The project is funded by the British Academy.

People, Place and Global Order: Foundations of a Networked Political Economy

This book co-authored by Dr Andrew Taylor explores how the convergence of technology and globalisation is shifting value creation out of products and processes and into digital networks and, in the process, leaving many people behind. He is looking into examples and models of how people and place may flourish within global networks. 

Leadership typology reveals how smart city leaders prefer to tackle inequality

The research of Associate Professor Alyson Nicholds sheds light on how leaders, operating in different organisations, roles and sectors prefer to tackle inequality differently. Her latest writing draws on organisational concepts of leadership and philosophy to show the benefits this type of understanding can reap for society.

Entrepreneurs in Residence

Business School has recently appointed Entrepreneurs in Residence providing students and staff with hands-on experience in conducting research to spot business opportunities, conduct market analysis and better understand consumer behaviour, leading to business venture creation.

For more information and collaboration and partnership, please contact Prof Fang Zhao – Associate Dean Research and Enterprise at