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MBACONNECT Lord Ashcroft International Business School Magazine | issue 13


Hello to you all from the Development & Alumni Relations team at Anglia Ruskin University. We have been working on lots of events over the last few months and are now also well on the way to the organisation of our graduation ceremonies in October, where several thousand new graduates will join our network – including quite a few MBA graduates! In the last welcome, I flagged up the events to celebrate our ‘coming of age’, 21 years on from receiving University status in 1992. Well, we’ve already held a successful event in Cambridge when over 250 people joined us to celebrate and hear a very entertaining talk from television presenter and alumnus Nick Crane. If this issue of MBA Connect has gone out on the planned date there is still time to book in for the Chelmsford celebration on Saturday 15th June. The day includes a free buffet lunch and a talk by our Chancellor, Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC, speaking about his passion for the Victoria Cross and the roots of his early interest in bravery. Lord Ashcroft has a large collection of VCs, many of which are on display at the Imperial War Museum. We’d be delighted to see you if you can make it – and bring friends and family! Unfortunately we had to cancel the annual dinner in London this year due to low numbers. We shall be looking at why this happened and whether a different time of year would be better – any views you have would be appreciated. Just email and put MBA in the header.

Contents 1

Corporate Work-Based Learning Degree Wins Best School Leaver Programme National Award with Barclays plc


Dragons breathe life into entrepreneurship


It’s the rise of the older entrepreneur…


Conference paper on the HRD Challenges when faced by a disengaged, disenchanted, overworked UK workforce


Ultimo founder Michelle Mone OBE at Anglia Ruskin University ‘Building Business Success’ event


LAIBS to host free taster days on ‘Developing Managers on the Frontline’


Views from the Field HR – Time for a name change?


Breaking News

We may not be holding a dinner in London, but we are holding one in Berlin on Saturday 6th July. Dave Abbott from our office will be flying over, so if you want to come along to hear what’s been going on at Anglia Ruskin over the last year – and meet up with other alumni – as before, email to receive full details and book your place. Can I remind you to check our Facebook page for details of lectures and events run by the Lord Ashcroft International Business School as there might be something you’d like to attend ( For instance, there is a write up on the lecture by Michelle Mone OBE later in this issue. And please don’t forget to sign up to your MBA LinkedIn page too. We’re trying to make sure all our MBA graduates get MBA Connect – and any other communications that might be of interest to them. So if you’re in touch with any MBA graduates who are not receiving communications from us please pass this e-newsletter on and ask them to contact us at with their contact details. Best wishes,

Sue Jacobs Head of Development & Alumni Relations

Michael Atkin, Lynne Atkin, Vanessa Knowles, Lee Crowley, Jane Nutall, Shaun Meakin, *Adam Wynne, Mel Donoghue *Adam Wynne is a current second year student who is one of the programme's ambassadors and has been actively promoting the programme in schools and colleges and supporting the Assessment Centres that Barclays use in their selection process for the programme.

Corporate Work-Based Learning Degree Wins Best School Leaver Programme National Award with Barclays plc Lord Ashcroft International Business School (LAIBS) celebrated another major achievement on 3 April when, in partnership with Barclays plc, they were announced the winners of one the prestigious National Target Jobs 2013 People Awards at the event finals held at the Grosvenor Hotel, Park Hotel, London.

was determined by a panel of apprentices and undergraduates facilitated by a team of mentors drawn from industry and agencies. The shortlisted competition for the award was extremely strong, namely; Accenture, Aviva, Bank of England, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, CGI, Siemens and Rolls-Royce.

Barclays and Anglia Ruskin University have, in partnership, successfully designed, developed and managed the Retail Development Programme (RDP), which has at its heart the BA (Hons) Management & Leadership Degree. The programme specifically targets new talent to the business with the aim of the trainees achieving the position of Branch Manager or equivalent within 3 years of joining the programme.

Vanessa Knowles and Rachael Hall were delighted with the award and the national recognition that it represents. They once again attributed the success to everyone who had been involved with the programme from the idea inception through to the on-going management and delivery of what has become one of the Business School’s flagship programmes. Vanessa Knowles said “winning a second award this academic year with this innovative, work-based degree programme continues to showcase how Lord Ashcroft International Business School is developing its practice based agenda and contributing to the University’s wider corporate goal in relation to successfully sustaining Employer Engagement activity. We are all so delighted that this second National Award will further strengthen the University’s reputation in the corporate arena”.

Now that the programme has seen thee cohorts successfully graduate and is nearing the completion of its recruitment for the sixth consecutive cohort of 40 students, the management information data was available to tell a significant “valued added” success story and also highlight significant achievements in relation to diversity, retention, academic success and simultaneous career progression.

Vanessa Knowles (MA-HRM (Dist.), BA (Hons) MCIPD) Principal Lecturer in Corporate Education & Workbased Learning

The Best School Leaver Programme is a new category for 2013 and winning is a particularly notable achievement, as this award


Dragons breathe life into entrepreneurship TV shows raise awareness but offer an unrealistic view, warns LAIBS Professor

However, because these programmes are made primarily to entertain and are highly selective in the type of business activity depicted, the authors believe they misrepresent entrepreneurial life. As a result, if “entre-tainment” is taken seriously as an educational tool, the risk is that a skewed and partial set of skills may be developed among viewers.

Popular TV shows depicting entrepreneurial activity such as Dragons’ Den and The Apprentice should be accompanied by a health warning, according to the authors of a new report published in the International Small Business Journal.

“What we see on television is a stripped-down, simplified version of the entrepreneur and what it’s like to run a business,” said Professor Down. “Some of those students that watch Dragons’ Den and then go out to start a business are going to be in for a shock when they realise that the hours are long and the rewards far from guaranteed.

Professor Simon Down and Professor Teemu Kautonen of LAIBS at Anglia Ruskin University and Dr Janine Swail of the University of Nottingham carried out research to discover whether these TV programmes are perceived as being harmless fun or whether viewers think they provide a true representation of what it is like to be an entrepreneur.

“Formulating and delivering a venture capital pitch is not an everyday entrepreneurial practice, but is the core activity in Dragons’ Den. In addition, these programmes promote a form of entrepreneurship that focuses on high growth and profit, as opposed to the more modest income-generating reality for the majority of businesses.

Based on the responses of 960 university students, it was discovered that those who watch ‘entre-tainment’ programmes tend to think that the values depicted are good and are generally encouraged to consider setting up their own business, but the authors sound a note of caution by questioning whether these programmes offer a realistic portrayal of entrepreneurial life.

“The viewer – or potential entrepreneur – is presented only a narrow window within which to view what it means to be successful. As a result, those who are equipped with both the ‘right’ personality and idea to succeed are considered winners, whereas those who do not fit the entrepreneurial ideal are portrayed as losers, often whose lack of mastery is ridiculed. “The reality of entrepreneurship is that individuals succeed to varying extents. Failure is often the result of a number of culminating factors, both internal and external, which may or may not include idea viability and personal ability.”

The research found that through observing the staged successes and failures of contestants, viewers believe they are learning effective ways of carrying out entrepreneurship, such as communicating business ideas, evaluating risk and how to negotiate effectively. Individuals who perceive these programmes to be ‘socially legitimate’ were more predisposed to launch their own business. The programmes have an even stronger effect on those who think that “entre-tainment” is both positive for entrepreneurship and the UK economy, and believe that celebrity entrepreneurs – like Lord Alan Sugar – encourage entrepreneurial action.

The survey found that there were individuals who showed such enthusiasm for both the values and subsequent learning gained through these programmes, that there is a risk of producing a group of enterprising novices who may suffer a nasty shock should they actually start their own business.

Professor Down, Director of the Institute for International Management Practice at Anglia Ruskin, said:

Dr Swail said: “If programme-makers are going to conflate entertaining with educating, then policymakers need to be aware of the implications of merging these activities and the messages that they transmit.

“The rise of entre-tainment reflects cultural changes in the public perception of entrepreneurship, which in the past, with dodgy characters like Del Boy in Only Fools and Horses, was generally less positive.”

“The risk is that with increased entrepreneurial intent these individuals may embark on entrepreneurship with a heightened sense of optimism and their own ability, which in the longer term could result in a negative effect on overall entrepreneurial activity.

“Today we live in a more enterprising culture where the popularity of these programmes suggests that students are more accepting of entrepreneurship as a form of work. Becoming an entrepreneur is both more achievable and desirable than it once was. Governments are keen to encourage people to start their own businesses, especially in difficult economic times, and programmes such as Dragons’ Den provide an insight in to the entrepreneurial world, so to speak.”

“Young individuals who start their businesses encouraged by positive perceptions of ‘entre-tainment’, only to fail, might be wary of starting businesses later on in their careers when they have accrued actual, as opposed to perceived, skills by virtue of increased human and social capital.”


It’s the rise of the older entrepreneur… Starting a business is no longer a young person’s game, say academics at Anglia Ruskin.

The opportunity for starting a business increases with age, because many entrepreneurial resources – such as the amount of disposable income, assets that can serve as collateral for bank loans, social capital, and professional and industry experience and knowledge – accumulate with age.

People’s desire to become self-employed actually increases with age, according to new research published by the Small Business Economics journal.

Teemu Kautonen, Professor of Enterprise and Innovation at Anglia Ruskin, said: “Our results show that the likelihood of taking the step from thinking about starting a business to actually acting upon the idea increases with age up until the early 60s – but only for individuals who aim to employ themselves. Individuals in their 50s and 60s don’t tend to start businesses that aim to generate employment and grow.” Although the authors of the report say it is unrealistic to expect older entrepreneurs to make substantial contributions to job creation, they believe that policies that make self-employment an attractive late-career option could lead to longer working careers, as self-employed people tend to retire later than employees.

Using data from 2,566 individuals from across 27 European countries, the paper “Ageing and entrepreneurial preferences” breaks down the motivation behind different forms of entrepreneurial behaviour. The conventional wisdom is that entrepreneurial activity is a “young person’s game”, but this is disproved by the research of Professor Teemu Kautonen and Professor Simon Down of the Institute of International Management Practice (IIMP) at Anglia Ruskin University and Professor Maria Minniti of Syracuse University in the US.

Professor Kautonen added: “Increasing awareness of entrepreneurship amongst older age groups might boost their participation in social and economic life, such as social enterprise and voluntary work, which may generate modest economic benefits and contribute towards a better quality of life. “Also, if traditional employment markets continue to decline, many older people may be forced to give self-employment a go.”

They found that entrepreneurial activity increases with age for individuals who prefer only to employ themselves (selfemployers), whereas it increases up to a critical threshold (late 40s) before decreasing for those who want to employ staff (owner-managers). Age is much less of a factor for those who do not necessarily prefer self-employment but are forced into it by the lack of an alternative (reluctant entrepreneurs).

Conference paper on the HRD Challenges when faced by a disengaged, disenchanted, overworked UK workforce Dr Diane Keeble-Ramsay, Senior Lecturer in LAIBS, is presenting a paper as part of the progression of a Future at Work project focussing on work post 2008 and is presented within Stream 6: Employee Engagement & HRD entitled HRD challenges when faced by a disengaged, disenchanted, overworked UK workforce. The stream is part of a special journal publication edition taken from conference contributions.

It furthers that an appreciative culture, achieved by way of authentic engagement is necessary to which, a positive feeling of being valued can be linked to positive employee views. UK employees working more than 48 hours a week doubled in the first decade of the new millennium and rather than increasing energy levels, much organisational change had led to work intensification and increased stress levels. As such, the research undertaken since the global credit crunch in 2008 provides substantial evidence of unpleasant and difficult working conditions emerging post 2000, which can be attributed to short-term thinking and further difficulties recognised through a lack of awareness of the value of engagement by employers or an underestimation of its potential contribution or how to address.

The paper will be presented at the University Forum for HRD Annual Conference, an international research network of university members, which this year is to be held in Brighton in June 2013. The presented paper looks at employee engagement, as a key component leading towards greater profitability, as perhaps one of the ‘holy grails’ of people management thinking. It relates to how ‘connected’ employees feel towards their employer.

Diane.Keeble-Ramsay, Senior Lecturer E: T: 0845 196 6844


Ultimo founder Michelle Mone OBE at Anglia Ruskin University ‘Building Business Success’ event Essex presenter Dave Monk, a successful businessman and an Alumnus of Anglia Ruskin University. The evening offered businesses the unique opportunity to find out how knowledge transfer, executive coaching and strategic management could help them take the faster route to business growth Michelle Mone OBE, the high-profile entrepreneur and founder of successful international lingerie brand, Ultimo delivered the keynote address at the event. Mone's speech provided an insight into how she developed one of the largest lingerie brands in the world from her humble beginnings in the East End of Glasgow. Lord Parry Mitchell, successful businessman and shadow spokesman for Business, Innovation and Skills, also shared with delegates the importance of small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to the UK economy and discussed the different support and funding opportunities available to small business owners. There were also presentations from Chelmsford-based business experts Team Results, Anglia Ruskin’s Knowledge Transfer Manager, Simon Daly, and Carole Randall, Programme Manager for the Low Carbon KEEP programme at Anglia Ruskin, which offers funding opportunities for SMEs. Finally, delegates heard from Gary Fuller, Managing Director at Calex Electronics, on the real positives to engaging with LAIBS and how a KTP has helped his business to have the competitive edge.

On the 24 April, more than 100 business people from around Essex attended a Building Business Success event at Lord Ashcroft International Business School Chelmsford campus. The event was hosted by the lively and engaging BBC Radio

Donations from those attending the event raised more than £800 for the Essex Air Ambulance.

LAIBS to host free taster days on ‘Developing Managers on the Frontline’ ‘Developing Managers on the Frontline’, is a new workforce development programme that has been created in-house at LAIBS. The programme is a fast and effective programme designed to introduce new managers to the tools they need to do their job, and to do it well. Designed specifically for those recently promoted out of an operational role, the six course programme introduces the suite of competences necessary for effective frontline management – above operations but not yet fully involved in strategic decision-making. While referencing discrete capabilities, the programme emphasises the holistic nature of good management, and shows how it contributes to the achievement of organisational goals.

To pilot the programme LAIBS are holding two free taster days in Cambridge and Chelmsford. The purpose of the taster days is twofold – so organisations can find out more about the new programme and walk away with two or three valuable ideas or tools that their managers can put into practice immediately, and to provide LAIBS with feedback on how helpful the sessions were and possible suggestions for improvement for future roll out. For more information on the programme, or the taster sessions, contact: Carol Tighe, Business Development Manager E: T: 0845 196 5685

The programme is also an excellent diagnostic tool, enabling new managers – and their employers – to understand their strengths while highlighting areas where capacity needs to be built. As a result, the programme is an ideal stepping-stone into more formal, or more focused, accredited management courses.


We introduce here, the first in what we hope will be a regular feature, called ‘Views from the Field’ and are looking for stories from Alumni to feature in future issues. This could be about your experiences in the world of work, the changing work place and its challenges and opportunities, what has been useful about what you learnt during your time in the Business School, your views on where our teaching needs to develop from your experience or maybe what issues we should be debating more about. In fact, anything you think might be of interest to our readers. We would love to hear from you!

Views from the Field HR – Time for a name change? As an HR professional I find the term ‘human resource management’ quite disturbing. Yes, day in and day out I use it to describe the related department, the qualification I studied, the professional body to which I am affiliated, the workforce, my profile on Linked in, etc., but somewhere deep down inside, each time I hear or use the term it makes me think that the essence of what it entails is being undermined. I am filled with an inexplicable sense of guilt for not challenging it. To call human beings in all their wonder simply a ‘resource’ is demeaning and makes me picture the movie ‘Ben Hur’ and the hundreds of slaves in uniforms straining every sinew to keep the ship asail. Maybe I am taking things to the other extreme but it gives me the feeling that human beings are being taken for a ‘resource’ that can simply be bought and sold at a price. Although this may to some extent be true in practical terms, and is to do with the laws of demand and supply and how the so called ‘Labour market’ (another term I am not too comfortable with) functions, the thought makes me very uncomfortable. I find in it, a real sense of emotional and spiritual deficit. True that every employee is paid a wage and benefits in exchange for the work they do, and yet there is so much more to humans who can never truly have all their effort, creativity, insights and passion finitely evaluated with numeric values imprinted against their profiles. The last I remember, human beings had spirits and emotions that deserve to be respected. Talking of them as resources irks me. best work of your lives. We are not here to cut your wages for no obvious reason, to be difficult, or discipline you without reason.

I know this debate has been running for many years but little has changed, and with finance increasingly driving the agenda with various austerity measures some would say we are even going backwards. So today I would like to propose something different, something fairer and perhaps ground-breaking for our profession. I would like to rename the term ‘Human Resource Management’ to a more sensitive ‘Employee Management’. Everyone working for a company, including people in the HR department itself are employees. To use the term ‘employee management’ gives me a feeling of having a sudden gush of fresh air in my suffocating lungs. It seems to encapsulate what I have been trying to communicate to staff for a long time now – that we are here to help and support you in doing the

I appreciate in one way it is only a change in words, but deeper it is much more than that and a signal for something far more significant about the power and significance of our humanity. So who knows, this may be the first tiny step in changing the hard, dry image of the Human Resource Department prevalent in most places. As they say, ‘Well begun is half done’. Mishanka Kaul MA Human Resource Management


Breaking News At the time of going to press, the Centre for Enterprise Development and Research received notification that it has been approved as an Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs (IOEE) Centre of Excellence. CEDAR is the first University Centre to gain IOEE status, a fantastic achievement for the team and our faculty. The full story will be published in the next issue of The Biz, but if you would like to know more in the meantime, please contact Professor Lester LloydReason, Director of CEDAR. Many congratulations to all the CEDAR team for this fantastic achievement! Professor Lester-Lloyd-Reason Director, CEDAR E: T: 0845 196 2479

Editor: Christine Durrant (Marketing, Communications and External Relations, LAIBS)

HAVE YOUR SAY! If you have any news or information you feel would be of interest to your fellow MBA Alumni and would like included in the next issue due out in September 2013, please send us your copy by 2 September 2013. An accompanying high quality image would be appreciated. Additionally, if you have any suggestions as to the type of content you would like to see in the newsletter then please let me know.



Design 12-13/131/DS


13th edition