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.
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.
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!
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.
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, https://doi.org/10.1108/CCSM-03-2022-0046
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, https://doi.org/10.1080/08841241.2022.2139792
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
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” https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/00472875221098934
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 https://doi.org/10.3389/fpos.2022.1033525
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
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.
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’.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
For more information and collaboration
and partnership, please contact Prof Fang Zhao – Associate Dean Research and
Enterprise at email@example.com.
Fang Zhao, Professor of Innovation and Strategy & Associate Dean Research and Enterprise, Staffordshire Business School
Covid-19 outbreak is not only a global
health crisis but also an imminent economic shock. According to the Office for
Budget Responsibility (OBR), the UK economy could shrink by a record 35% by
June 2020 with over 2 million job losses. The International Monetary Fund
warned Covid-19 would push the UK into its deepest recession for a century.
For businesses, it is estimated that the
government’s lockdowns may cost 800,000 to 1 million business closures in the
UK. The sector that is affected the most and is also the most vulnerable is
small businesses which account for 96% of all businesses in the UK (Business
Statistics, 2019). To prevent the catastrophic structural economic damage and
mitigate the huge spike in unemployment, sound economic policy responses are
urgently needed, which goes far beyond government handouts.
Economic restructuring is already happening.
Cloud computing, e-commerce, online entertainment and delivery business are booming,
being inflated by a huge surge in demand while retail (e.g. shops, pubs and
restaurants) and entertainment industries (e.g. cinemas, theatres, and theme
parks) and many others are suffering from heavy losses. Policy makers are
confronting with the unprecedented daunting tasks to make strategic decisions
on how to deal with the pandemic economic restructuring and crisis.
The pandemic outbreak has fuelled disproportionately
the so-called ‘stay-at-home economy’. Working from home is becoming a new norm.
For many this is the beginning of a new life and a new way of work for years to
come. The implication for business is that it is time to rethink and reposition
existing business models, processes, and target markets because consumer
behaviours are changing fast and life will never be the same again.
Although small businesses are the hardest
hit, they are also the most agile ones. Some small businesses have already responded
and adapted quickly to market changes. For examples, some have moved their
businesses entirely online and some shifted their target market from
restaurants and hotels to individual consumers or new markets. New businesses
are also emerging surrounding the stay-at-home economy, such as virtual hair salons
and online gym classes. Over the longer term, Covid-19 has irrevocably changed
the way businesses will run and compete over the next decade.
Researchers at Staffordshire Business School are working hard to help better understand the impacts of Covid-19 on the economy and society and help policy makers develop strategies to tackle the economic fallout and revive the economy. Our staff are also conducting research on the changing behaviours of consumers due to Covid-19. For more information on our research and partnerships, please contact Professor Fang Zhao, Associate Dean – Research and Enterprise at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Staffordshire Business School aspires to be a
leader in making a real impact on business and society through collaborative
research and innovation. Our team of academics 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 and generating social and economic impacts in a wide range of areas
and fields. Our expertise includes but is not limited to the following research
streams and clusters:
Business and Management
Human Resources Management
Labour Market, Employment Relations and Migration
Organisational Change and Development
Public Sector Management
Leadership and Management Learning
Corporate Governance and Firm Performance
Corporate Social Responsibility
International Business and International Management
Place Marketing and Branding
Consumer Behaviour and Health Marketing
Merger and Acquisition
Strategic Management and Leadership
Entrepreneurship and Innovation
LGBT Tourism and Family Tourism
Digital business strategy
Digital marketing and social media
Esports business and management
Digital technology diffusion in the financial sector
Smart Cities/Communities/Urban and Regional Development
Smart cities strategy
Analysis and Evaluation of Public Policy on Urban Development (i.e. health; social care; urban education)
Community engagement and social inclusion
Environmental issues and sustainability
Our academics conduct empirical research and are
actively publishing across a range of disciplines. As such they have a long history and a
successful track record of research supervision at both MPhil and Doctoral
levels. We are excited to welcome you to join our postgraduate research student
For partnership and collaboration with us in industry-oriented
projects in both public and private sectors, please contact Professor Fang Zhao
– Associate Dean – Research and Enterprise at email@example.com.
For enquiries about our MPhil or PhD program,
Carol Southall jointly delivered a paper with Dr Maren Viol (British University Vietnam) ‘Western-centrism in Internationalised HE Tourism Curricula: Perspectives from Vietnam’. at International Conference of Critical Tourism Studies – Asia Pacific. Held 3-6 March at University Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
Upcoming events at the University
5th July Silver Workers – over 50s conference at Staffordshire University – save the date more details to follow, please register on the link. Organised by Hazel Squire and Prof Jon Fairburn