LEADING BUSINESS THINKING Issue 2 â€¢ June 2017
Leading Business Thinking
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ISSUE TWO • June 2017
INTRODUCTION • 03
IMPACT ISSUE TWO Leading Business Thinking Leading Business Thinking. The new Durham University Business School strapline encompasses our vision and mission as a School, to lead business thought and enthuse leaders and entrepreneurs to create, share and use knowledge to develop sustainable futures around the world. This second edition has seen yet another swathe of developments and achievements showing the School’s strength in its core strategic domains: research, education, the wider student experience, as well as the cross cutting themes of internationalisation, connection to the world of practice, and ethics responsibility and sustainability to lead business thinking. At Durham University Business School, we provide a hub of global knowledge; we lead business thinking through our active and connected Research Centres. From social policy and growth to international development, the School’s research is renowned and relevant internationally. The School has also just been awarded a five-year extension to its accreditation from EQUIS, the leading international system of quality assessment, improvement and accreditation of higher education institutions in management and business administration. The School is at the forefront of current thinking – we are in touch with changing commercial landscapes and developing innovative business environments. In a world of rapidly developing technology and the threat from disruptors, companies strive to understand how and why external parties share ideas and expertise to support an organisation’s innovative ability. Our most recent research conducted in the School’s Innovation and Technology Management Research Group has attempted to address this research area. Equally, leadership is crucial to navigating and managing turbulence. Professor Susanne Braun considers if narcissistic leaders pose a threat to successful business thinking and Dr Julie Hodges looks at the challenges of leadership in the third sector. Professor Mark Learmonth and Professor Kevin Morrell talk about leaders and managers and the language of leadership. Research collaboration is at the top of our agenda, helping to shape the way businesses work. Since December 2016, one of our research teams has been working with five Brazilian SMEs in their efforts to enter new markets and sustain competitive advantages.
The project is led by Dr Jorge Lengler, Professor Carlos M.P. Sousa and Dr Roberta Aguzzoli and, as a result of the team’s intervention, the participating SMEs have managed to establish new partnerships and collaborative agreements in Latin America. The world of business is more connected than ever before and the School is at the heart of connecting our international networks. In April, the School welcomed the first students of its new ‘fast-track’ Durham Online MBA. The new programme further develops the School’s reputation for pioneering MBA distance learning and enhancing our international connections for an even richer and more dynamic global community. For our students, our international partnerships are a gateway to live projects and strengthening foreign connections. In April, over 200 of the School’s MBA and Masters students travelled overseas to gain vital international business knowledge and for practical experience. The students visited leading international companies, where they tested and examined academic business approaches in the companies and gained an appreciation of the complex nature of different dimensions of business. To ensure we stay at the sharp edge, we coordinate and manage numerous events and networking opportunities for faculty, students, businesses, alumni and all our stakeholders. Two of our alumni, Chris Kennelly and Alex Blakoe, are working together and making a difference in the digital healthcare community at the online physiotherapy platform, JimJam. As part of our mission, we develop and motivate leaders and entrepreneurs who create, share and use their knowledge to enhance their careers and make a difference together in the wider business community. It is wonderful to see our alumni working together to make a difference. The articles and reports of our research, activities and achievements across the School demonstrate the high calibre of our students, faculty and alumni community. We believe, that by doing the right things, we will continue to lead the business world with innovative business thinking. I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this second edition. The continued support from our staff and students demonstrates the tremendous involvement across the School. I look forward to contributing to and sharing our impact.
Professor Susan Hart Dean of Durham University Business School
ISSUE TWO â€˘ June 2017
PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES Leading Business Thinking
THE IMPACT TEAM
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Jacqueline Baker Marketing Communications Coordinator
Want to find out more or contribute to the next edition?
Professor Susan Hart Professor Carol Adams Professor Susanne Braun Professor Laurence Ferry Professor Richard Harris Dr Julie Hodges Professor Mark Learmonth Dr Jorge Lengler Professor Kevin Morrell Professor Michael Nicholson Dr Anamaria Nicolae Dr Dennis Philip Professor Carlos M.P. Sousa Professor Ian Stone Dr Christos Tsinopoulos Dr Sarah Xiao
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CONTENTS • 05
Pushing the Boundaries Leading Business Thinking
Back to Brexit The protracted Brexit debate
Narcissistic Leaders Does your leader’s dark side pose a threat to successful business thinking?
Take me to your Manager Out-of-fashion terminology doesn’t necessarily equal out-dated concepts
Challenges of Leadership in the Third Sector Leadership is at a crossroads, which way now?
To Strive for Greatness Better understanding innovation processes
Did you Forget Something? The rise of the online abandoned shopping cart
Impacting International Marketing Strategies for Brazilian SMEs
Integrated Thinking Informs Sustainable Development Conceptualising the contemporary corporate value creation process
Food for Thought Why is there a need for food and fuel banks in our society?
Unlocking the Value through a Consultancy Approach to Change Organisations must work with and through people to sustain change.
New Online MBA
Rolls-Royce Inspires Undergraduates Sara Sheard, Commercial Director Civil Aerospace visits
Find us on Facebook – Durham University Business School
Sharing Knowledge and Experience Welcoming global experts and guests
Durham – a Truly International Business School Students experience international business
Keeping it in the Family MBA entrepreneur hires MSc graduate
The Ocean that Steered Beth Towards Freedom Seeker
Next Stop Bangalore Aisha’s global society entrepreneurship journey
The Importance of Management, Statistics and Technology to Business and Career Success
Dragons’ Den Durham Celebrating 10 years
Petite Prosecco Vintage mobile bar driven by Durham MSc
Join us on LinkedIn – Durham University Business School
ISSUE TWO • June 2017
Leading Business Thinking
Durham University Business School leads business thinking through its active and connected Research Centres.
Professor Richard Harris, Deputy Dean of Research
Encompassing a wide range of subjects, geographical areas and industries, the Research Centres nurture fresh thinking and push the boundaries of how businesses operate and achieve success. From social policy and growth to international development, the School’s research is renowned and relevant across the globe. Each centre covers a broadbased thematic area and is led by a Durham academic who has a national or international reputation in their field. The School’s research is already internationally renowned, both for its academic rigour and the benefits it brings to society as a whole. Working with partners around the world, we push boundaries – not just keeping up with the latest developments, but setting the agenda and leading business thinking. Through collaboration in all sectors we also inform policy and develop innovative approaches to thinking and problem-solving.
PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES • Leading Business Thinking • 07
Professor Richard Harris, Deputy Dean of Research at the Business School said: “A key strategic aim related to research undertaken at the School is to further increase the extent to which our research is recognised, used and referenced by practitioners and policy makers regionally, nationally and internationally.”
Our Research Centres have a central role in achieving this aim, and there are many and varied examples of where their research outcomes lead business thinking. Practitioners include businesses as well as other institutions. A well-known example of research includes the work of the Centre for Leadership and Followership with its Policing Research Unit, and also work with Toni & Guy. Another leading example is the link between the Quantitative Research in Financial Economics (QRFE) and GFI Fenics. GFI is part of the BGC Partners/Cantor Fitzgerald group; they have a relationship which supports a cohort of doctoral students who obtain their PhDs at the School, involving extensive interactions with the development group from GFI in New York. QRFE also works with other firms such as SAP, Hewlett Packard, National Grid and Royal London on a variety of smaller, ad-hoc projects, and they are also part of the SESAR SJU, which is a large consortium in the aeronautical sector. The Centre for Work, Organisations, Ethics and Society is engaged in a number of projects which are leading the way, covering topics such as: employee participation in share plans (in collaboration with the University of Melbourne); employee ownership (in cooperation with the Employee Ownership Association); and sustainable development (involving a collaboration with the International Integrated Reporting Council, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, the Green Economy Coalition, UNCTAD and others). Of particular note is the Creative Fuse North East project. Academics work alongside industry, cultural organisations, charities and the public sector to explore how creative, digital and IT firms can have a sustainable future in the region, adding value to the region’s broader employment base. The Creativity Works part of the Creative Fuse North East project partnered with Newcastle, Sunderland, Teesside and Northumbria Universities; this project engages with the Creative Digital and Information Technology (CDIT) sector in the north east with the aim to ‘fuse’ research projects between industry innovations,
arts and heritage needs within Durham, and future-proof employment opportunities for graduates entering the CDIT sector. The Centre for Economic Growth and Policy (CEGAP) has strong links with the Bank of New York Mellon and the Bank of England. They are also currently liaising with Bank of Japan looking at launching a research project on the modelling of the Japanese bond market.
These are just a few examples from our Research Centres which demonstrate how Durham University Business School research leads business thinking. As part of our vibrant and welcoming research community, Durham PhD students work alongside a diverse faculty of research students and international academics to develop a critical command of their subject. Through this they develop high-level skills of analysis and appraisal, are able to use a range of research methodologies, and work independently. Not only do the School’s Research Centres provide support, they are also central to our PhD programmes and they attract exceptional students of the highest calibre. PhD students at the School are affiliated to a Research Centre as soon as they join us, and as an alumnus they continue as a member. Tao Exue (PhD in Marketing) said: “I chose Durham because of its world-class research, support for students and fantastic facilities. Very knowledgeable academics achieve a high quality research output and are always approachable and open for any kind of discussion.”
Whatever their goal, the Durham PhD gives students opportunities to combine rigorous academic theory with research to influence the world of business and make a unique contribution to their field of study.
LINK Find out more about the School’s Research Centres www.durham.ac.uk/business/centres
ISSUE TWO â€˘ June 2017
Back to Brexit The protracted Brexit debate
The 23rd June 2016 will long be remembered as the day the British population opted to leave the European Union and set in motion one of the most protracted political and trade negotiations in history.
Dr Anamaria Nicolae
Professor Laurence Ferry
Dr Christos Tsinopoulos
BACK TO BREXIT • The protracted Brexit debate • 09
A search on the Durham University Business School website highlights how important the issue is to business with nearly 400 Brexit related items concerning events, articles and research since that fateful day in June. Durham academics Professor Laurence Ferry, Dr Anamaria Nicolae and Dr Christos Tsinopoulos have been at the forefront of debate concerning Brexit, issuing media comments, research notes and attending seminars and government hearings on the fallout following the decision. Laurence Ferry, Professor in Accounting, was invited immediately following the Brexit decision to submit evidence to the UK Parliament’s European Scrutiny Committee and is cited in their subsequent report that local government is an area that must have specific attention. Professor Ferry’s research work and impact associated activities explicitly address the economic and social impact of Brexit, and importance of cities and regions in addressing the changes for place-based accountability moving forward. He also received a grant from the Economic Social Research Council (ESRC) regarding Brexit and has since hosted a national workshop on accountability arrangements for local government in a post-Brexit world with policy colleagues at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy in London, co-hosted with the Centre for Public Scrutiny and National Audit Office. Delegates included a selection of senior executives from government and local government bodies. He gave written evidence to the Communities and Local Government Select Committee on the future of local government accountability and scrutiny arrangements and has been asked to undertake some workshops and policy briefings with the Department of Communities and Local Government with their senior staff. Commenting on the Brexit decision, Professor Ferry said: “The price of freedom may fall on local government who has already had to shoulder much austerity. The Localism Act 2011 provided a general power of competence to local authorities effectively granting them more freedom, but this new found freedom after years of centralised Whitehall control was somewhat curtailed by capacity pressures from severe funding and service cuts.” “Now as a double blow local government are in danger of losing valuable funds from the EU, and while the UK central government will arguably make more savings it is unlikely this money will filter back down to local government but instead be prioritised elsewhere.”
Dr Christos Tsinopoulos, Associate Professor in Operations and Project Management, commented to the media the day after the Brexit decision: “The good news here is that there are some highly integrated and efficient supply chains and many of them are relatively difficult to change in the short term. The bad news however is that in the medium and longer term there would be a higher incentive to do so. There needs to be a degree of standardisation in legislation, systems, policies, and even engineering methods. Over the last few years this has largely been facilitated by several European bodies and so there is a degree of uncertainty for the UK going forward.” Dr Tsinopoulos was subsequently invited to give evidence to the House of Lords EU External Affairs and EU Internal Market Sub-Committees for their inquiry ‘Brexit: future trade between the UK and the EU.’
The House of Commons International Trade Committee also invited Dr Anamaria Nicolae, Lecturer in Economics, to give written evidence to its report on ‘UK Trade Options beyond 2019.’ Dr Nicolae, in her analysis of future trading options for the UK said: “Implicit, in any analysis of the costs and benefits of post-Brexit trading relations, is a trade-off between different government priorities. The various models of UK trading relations each have their advantages and disadvantages with respect to the government’s priorities of increasing productivity, employment, consumption and wages and decreasing prices.” “The decision as to which model of post-Brexit trading relations is preferred will depend upon the relative weightings that are placed on the government’s priorities. For example, higher weighting on increasing employment would make trading under WTO rules preferable. However, higher weighting on increasing productivity would make EEA membership preferable.” “Evaluating the trade-offs for each of the models for UK trade proposed in the International Trade Inquiry briefing, in light of the government’s priorities, provides a more accurate picture of the best course of action in terms of choosing the best UK post-Brexit trade agreements.” The Brexit story still has a long way to go and we can be certain it will continue to attract widespread debate on the likely outcomes.
ISSUE TWO • June 2017
Narcissistic Leaders Does your leader’s dark side pose a threat to successful business thinking? Have businesses turned into a “Me! Me! Me!” world of narcissism? Current developments in society have stimulated increasing public interest in this topic, especially in relation to leadership. According to statistics, narcissism is particularly prevalent in younger adults today, also described as the “Generation Me”. So, we really need to know more about how narcissism affects business thinking.
Susanne Braun, Professor in Leadership
NARCISSISTIC LEADERS • Does your leader’s dark side pose a threat to successful business thinking? • 11
Social scientists locate it in the so-called Dark Triad of Personality: Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and Psychopathy. Individuals with these traits lack care and concern for others. They are driven by thrill seeking, lack remorse and manipulate others. Narcissists, however, critically depend on external selfaffirmation. Their charming yet vulnerable egos require constant positive feedback. Narcissists may not intend to cause harm, but they are oblivious to others’ wellbeing as long as their own needs for self-affirmation and external validation are fulfilled. At the same time, the success of most businesses depends on people, their knowledge, skills, and cooperation. Do narcissistic leaders pose a threat to successful business thinking? In a recent article, I reviewed evidence to answer the question on how leader narcissism relates to business outcomes at three levels: in leader-follower relationships, in teams, and in the entire organisation. The evidence stemmed from 45 original research articles published in scholarly journals. To begin with, findings confirmed that narcissists often claim leadership. Others respond positively to their bold and daring visions, but narcissists are not necessarily effective leaders. Especially narcissistic female leaders are punished for egocentric actions and are seen as less effective than their male counterparts. Time and context also play a role in this regard. One study suggested narcissistic leaders appealed to others in initial interactions, but they failed to build positive relationships over the course of twelve weeks. Another study demonstrated narcissistic leaders do not fit ethical business contexts. In ethical organisations, narcissistic leaders were perceived as unethical and ineffective. And indeed, teams led by narcissists were less successful in problem solving. For example, team members failed to share relevant information with each other. Finally, evidence suggested that narcissists at the executive level can hamper overall business success. Narcissistic CEOs ensure their own profits; they earn well, drive high-risk strategies and entrepreneurial orientation. A study of the 31 largest German manufacturing firms found that CEO narcissism predicted growth in internationalisation strategies (ratio of foreign sales to total sales). Narcissists are focused on driving wins, but fail to pay attention to potential losses.
In another study, CEO narcissism was negatively related to returns at the start of a crisis period and positively related to returns in the post-crisis period. In Mergers & Acquisitions, narcissistic CEOs typically initiated takeover processes. However, when both acquirer and target businesses’ CEOs were highly narcissistic, the probability of actual deal completion decreased. Some of the research also suggested CEO narcissism resulted in “window dressing” activities rather than sustainable action. This concerned Corporate Social Responsibility practices, but also allegations of fraud and corporate tax sheltering. All in all, can you trust narcissistic leaders? The answer, unfortunately, is probably not. There are very specific areas, such as entrepreneurship or visionary boldness, where narcissistic leaders are likely to drive business performance. However, narcissists’ dependence on external views can vault them into vicious circles, which ultimately put businesses at risk. Narcissists strive for positive recognition from the public, the media, and their shareholders. If the warm glow of success carries them away, narcissists may do what it takes, ignoring the needs and interests of others as well as legal boundaries. If we cannot trust narcissistic leaders, what does this mean for future business thinking? Keep in mind the following when working with narcissistic leaders: firstly, narcissists can be “fit-for-purpose” in some areas of business thinking. Asking them to work on corporate visions and scenarios for future investments is one area of strength. Secondly, give narcissists their “stage to shine.” Narcissistic leaders whose contributions are publicly acknowledged are more likely to contribute to team and company performance. Thirdly, create boundaries for acceptable conduct and collaboration. Your corporate values need to be clear and transparent to guide narcissists’ interactions with others. The right ethical values and guidelines create a sense of humility in your business.
Susanne Braun was invited as guest speaker at the Research Day organised by NEOMA Business School in Reims, France, on 23 March 2017. She presented her work entitled ‘When a research topic goes global: Narcissistic leadership and its implications’ and participated in a panel discussion with Michael Page, Professor at Bentley University (US) and AACSB & EFMD Board Member, as well as Bertrand Rigal, Director of Economic Development, Higher Education and International Relations, Grand Reims. The talk took place as part of an international research collaboration with Birgit Schyns, Professor of Organisational Behaviour at NEOMA Business School, which is supported by Durham University’s International Engagement Travel Grants. Reference Braun, S. (2017). ‘Leader Narcissism and Outcomes in Organizations: A Review at Multiple Levels of Analysis and Implications for Future Research.’ Frontiers in Psychology. doi:10.3389/ fpsyg.2017.00773. http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/ fpsyg.2017.00773/abstract
ISSUE TWO â€˘ June 2017
Take me to your Leader Manager Out-of-fashion terminology doesnâ€™t necessarily equal out-dated concepts
Professor Mark Learmonth
Professor Kevin Morrell
TAKE ME TO YOUR MANAGER • Out-of-fashion terminology doesn’t necessarily equal out-dated concepts • 13
Over the last few years the terms ‘leader’ and ‘follower’ have increasingly replaced the more traditional ones of ‘manager’ and ‘worker.’ They have become the routine way we talk about hierarchy in business and organisations. The change has been a gradual one, but it’s still striking. For instance, ‘management development’ has become ‘leadership development’ and many ‘senior management teams’ are now ‘senior leadership teams.’ Corporate CEOs, University Vice Chancellors and Police Chief Constables typically present themselves, apparently unquestioningly, as their institution’s leader (and are generally described as such in the media). We came across the bizarre-sounding request for a ‘middle-leader’ in a job advert for a teacher recently, and last month one of us was at an end of year assembly where two children (nine – year olds) were praised for ‘showing leadership.’
Are there more leaders around nowadays? Are more people leading? Is the solution to all organisational, party-political and national problems as simple as ‘leadership?’ We would say: no, no, and no. One might think a rise in the language of leadership would be welcome for those of us teaching and researching in business schools. Yet, calling someone a leader just because they carry out a particular kind of work goes against the grain of many relevant studies. What does this mean for leading business thinking? Research in management and organisations suggests being a leader has little, if anything, to do with seniority (good news for the nine-year olds). If you aspire to be a ‘leader,’ it’s not enough for others simply to accept you as such, but they have to make an active choice to orientate towards you positively as their leader. The trouble is that workers are more likely to be indifferent to their bosses – or even actively hostile towards them – than being happy to be their ‘followers’. If we stuck with more traditional language of manager and worker, we might be more likely to give a realistic picture of life at work. But is there any harm in a rosy-tinted view of the world, one populated with leaders? Does it really matter if everyone occupying a certain role or above a minimum level of proficiency is called a leader? Should it bother us if people promote ‘leadership’ as the solution to all our corporate and political problems? Well: yes, yes, and yes. The old-fashioned terms, manager and worker, at least have the benefit of making power imbalances explicit, and
allowing that the interests of managers and workers can – and often do – diverge. But talk of leader and follower rests on the assumption that we all share a common goal. Indeed, such talk glosses fundamental questions about authority. Whereas a worker can question their manager’s decision, and go on to question their competence and authority, it does not make sense for people called followers to question their leaders in that way.
If we routinely talk about senior people as leaders and their workers as followers, we are deceiving ourselves about the nature of modern organisational life. Things like shared goals and common interests between people at the top and those on the shop floor – if they exist at all – may be the exception rather than the rule. This is even more the case, given the rise of temporary working, flexible-hours contracts, and so on. What’s worse, if we use leader and follower, we are in some senses providing a camouflage for these less wholesome aspects of corporate life. Routine use suggests the norm is (or should be) friendly relations, and that a person’s (i.e. a so-called follower’s) primary allegiance is (or should be) to her leader – not solidarity with other workers. So, how come so many of us prefer to use the language of leadership today? How come yesterday’s manager is so often today’s leader? We think that such an apparently mundane and trivial change may be suggestive of a much broader social shift. We don’t think it’s coincidental, for instance, that this trend towards using the language of leadership has occurred during a period which also witnessed the rise of neo-liberalism and the consequent widespread assault on trade union power. Uncritical use of leader and follower is as helpful to those at the top of big business – and as congruent with their interests – as other neo-liberal rhetoric; say, the redefinition of job insecurity as free agency, or the portrayal of billionaire tycoons as regular guys. It hollows out classical notions of organisational politics, swapping challenging debate about alienation and exploitation with tamer questions like problem-solving and team-building. So what is to be done? Our call is to start to notice – and to question the effects of – the language of leadership. There are plenty of alternatives available. We could talk about, say, peer relations or co-working. But to keep things simple, merely bringing back the language of manager and worker would be one step in the right direction.
ISSUE TWO â€¢ June 2017
CHALLENGES OF LEADERSHIP in the Third Sector
Leadership is at a crossroads, which way now?
Dr Julie Hodges Associate Professor and Director MBA Programmes
CHALLENGES OF LEADERSHIP IN THE THIRD SECTOR • Leadership is at a crossroads, which way now? • 15
Across Europe the third sector, which includes a vast array of charities, voluntary organisations, community groups, cooperatives, mutuals and social enterprises, has shifted towards an emphasis on survival and resilience, along with an intensified focus on collaboration and increasingly desperate attempts to demonstrate impact and value for money.
Leadership in the third sector is operating in an environment which is in a state of flux as its workforce and services respond to the drivers for change. This is placing significant pressure on traditional approaches to leadership which have to navigate the external environment, while attending to internal organisational issues including ensuring a consistent pipeline of funding, retaining independence, and the core mission of the sector. To explore the shape of leadership in the third sector, and the challenges it faces within a changing environment, Dr Julie Hodges, Associate Professor and Director MBA Programmes, conducted a study of leadership in and of the third sector, focusing on what leadership means within the sector and what the key challenges are for leadership. The findings have been published in the European Management Journal. The research provides a practical focus on the experience of individuals in positions of leadership. It does this by drawing on the written narratives of individuals who reflect on their experience and perceptions of leadership. The findings highlighted two main themes about the meaning of leadership which were: ‘leadership is an approach’; and ‘leadership is personal qualities’. The overall approach required by leadership was identified as maintaining the reputation of the organisation, ensuring ethical obligations are adhered to, motivating people, and creating a positive environment. The importance of the personal qualities of leadership was emphasised throughout the narratives. Numerous personal qualities were identified by the participants including: influencing, motivating, inspiring, being visible, listening, observing, empowering others, having conversations with people, being authentic, resilient, empathetic, courageous, gaining respect, trust and credibility, and having a strong
set of values. Findings from the research indicate that although leadership reflects the personal qualities which individuals bring to their role, these qualities need to be developed and continually improved upon across the third sector. Leadership faces multiple challenges across the sector. The main ones identified include: recovering from recession; building collaborative relationships; remaining innovative and distinctive; building and developing capability; and reinforcing the legitimacy of the sector.
Overall, there is a sense that leadership in the sector is at a crossroads. Evidence from the research suggests leaders appear to be confronted with challenges which they are not yet fully equipped for, either organisationally or individually. It is also clear that the third sector’s challenges will not be met by identifying a few innate leadership attributes, or by recruiting and developing more people into leadership roles.
It is not more leaders that are needed, but it is leadership at all levels which is required. It is about people working and collaborating across an organisation through being involved in leadership activities where core skills are required. Such skills, as is evident from the findings of the study, include acting ethically and collaborating not only across the third sector but also across the public and private sectors. To help achieve this, the third sector needs to build leadership capacity and the capability to deal with complex and messy issues as well as respond to opportunities. Yet spending on leadership development in the third sector still lags significantly behind that in other sectors. Without investment in leadership skills, there will continue to be too few appropriately skilled individuals.
ISSUE TWO â€˘ June 2017
Dr Christos Tsinopoulos
Professor Carlos M.P. Sousa
To Strive for Greatness Better understanding innovation processes
Dr Ji Yan
TO STRIVE FOR GREATNESS • Better understanding innovation processes • 17
In a world of rapidly developing technology and the threat from disruptors, companies need to improve the efficiency of their business operations to stay ahead or face the consequences. Substantial resources have been invested into developing theoretical frameworks for understanding process innovation (the implementation of a new or significantly improved production or delivery method) to meet this goal. But open innovation research in recent years, understanding why and how external parties share ideas and expertise to support an organisation’s innovative ability, has focused mainly on the development of new products (product innovation), largely ignoring the introduction of new processes (process innovation). Now there is a pressing need for more theoretical and practical work analysing the relationship between open and process innovation. Our most recent research conducted as Durham University Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Technology Management has attempted to address this gap. By drawing on the resource based view (RBV) and institutional theory, we have managed to provide a framework explaining how engaging with open innovation leads to process innovation and how this relationship is affected by the motivation to achieve legitimacy, with recommendations for managers embarking on innovation projects.
By analysing innovation literature, we were able to discern how engaging with open innovation can support an organisation’s process innovation. Cooperation with external parties, use of external information and the acquisition of external research and development, based on the concept that no company, no matter how capable or how big, could innovate effectively on its own, can improve an organisation’s ability to introduce a new process. Our research has gone one step further, extending this thinking to explain how the use of information and acquisition of research and development contribute to an environment of learning which benefits an intermediary outcome such as the development of a process.
The motivation to achieve legitimacy, to find a way of doing things which adheres to regulatory requirements and meets standards of best practice, on the relationship between open innovation and process innovation is more complex. When efforts to cooperate with external parties are combined with the motivation to achieve legitimacy, the impact on process innovation is positive. However, it is very much the opposite when the motivational focus is on the use of external information. This seemingly counter-intuitive result would suggest that external information will be used to justify the existing state of affairs rather than inspire real change. In light of such results, managers can benefit from advice tailored to their innovation needs. A rounded approach would work best for managers aiming to improve existing processes and introduce new ones. By looking externally and cooperating with customers and suppliers, they can achieve both product and process innovation. Based on current literature and our findings, our recommendation to managers utilising open innovation as a means of boosting their ability to introduce new processes, would be to focus more on developing partnerships with external parties rather than simply acquiring information.
Although comprehensive, our research has revealed there is scope for further analysis into this area. We would encourage further exploration into the role of external collaborators and the impact of the supply chain integration content on the theoretical framework and performance. We recommend studies explore how different types of process innovation and different types of motivation affect results. Open innovation may seem to be positive in all situations but runs the risk of creating some dangerous scenarios. An investigation into the U-shaped relationship between open innovation and process innovation where the effects become negative would serve to further our understanding of innovation, including situations where intellectual property is at risk and contractual relationships are breached.
ISSUE TWO â€˘ June 2017
Did you Forget Something? The rise of the online abandoned shopping cart
Professor Michael Nicholson
Did you Forget Something? • The rise of the online abandoned shopping cart • 19
Around two-thirds of consumers spend up to two hours a day shopping online, only to suddenly exit the website before making the actual purchase. For those of us who register by email with particular retailers, a friendly reminder, ‘did you forget something?’ might pop up in our inboxes shortly after exiting the screen.
It seems many of us are ‘abandoning our shopping carts.’ The issue is growing, and is faced by a growing number of retailers across all sectors. Professor Michael Nicholson, Professorial Fellow in Marketing at Durham University Business School, addresses this issue through his research on behavioural purchasing habits, understanding why customers so readily leave their online shopping carts before reaching the checkout stage. In March, Professor Nicholson took part in the ‘Proceed to Checkout’ event at the Covent Garden Hotel in London, sponsored by KHWS Ltd., the UK’s leading brand commerce agency, and the marketing research agency Mintel. The event was part of an ongoing two-year KHWSDurham University Business School research project led by Dr Sarah Xiao, Associate Professor in Marketing at the School and funded by Innovate UK. The aim of the project is to identify the ‘essential moments’ in the consumer purchase journey and develop new research methodologies for improving customer experiences in online retailing.
The event was aimed at sharing information about the project with major retailers and brand owners, and to refine research priorities with help from key players in the FMCG sector. There were around 40 attendees for the event from over 20 major retailers and FMCG brand owners, including Boots, Cadbury, Coca Cola, Disney, Mars, Pizza Hut and Tesco.
The event produced a lively discussion and concluded by identifying six research priorities for the industry: gaining a better understanding of fast and slow thinking across retail formats; the need to explore when more or less content is more likely to stimulate sales; developing greater awareness of how online shopping changes across different mobile devices; the role dedicated brand spaces might play within retailer branded online stores; issues surrounding time and shopping, with online shopping in the UK peaking between 10pm and midnight each day; and the urgent need for new research methods to track omnichannel consumer behaviour of the type the KHWS-Durham project is developing. So why are we abandoning our shopping carts? Professor Nicholson and Dr Xiao have reached tentative conclusions, due to two types of thinking consumers engage in during their shopping experiences. When comparing prices or looking for something specific, customers are often engaged in what psychologists define as ‘slow thinking’, when the brain is processing a lot of information. For the majority of customer’s shopping experiences, they rely on ‘fast thinking’, acting on instinct or what is otherwise known as ‘impulse buying’. At the online checkout, customers are pulled back into ‘slow thinking’ when the cost is displayed on the screen. In a busy supermarket, for example, it’s difficult to walk away and leave the trolley behind at this point of the customer journey. At best, the most customers will do is ask if they can put an item back; however many will not due to the embarrassment factor. When we are shopping online, it’s very easy to leave the website and leave our shopping carts behind! Really good online retailers, like Amazon, try to keep its customers mainly in ‘fast thinking’ mode by instilling a ‘one-click’ payment option to reduce the risk of cart abandonment. But the consumer purchasing journey does not stop there. Professor Nicholson and Dr Xiao are continuing their research, obtaining data from retailers on what shoppers take out of their online carts before making a payment and conducting neuromarketing research, measuring physiological factors (eye-movements, emotional responses, etc.) at different points in the purchasing journey to identify what marketing triggers make customers move between ‘slow’ and ‘fast thinking.’ Durham University Business School postgraduate students are currently working on business projects related to this research and one undergraduate student will join the team on a summer internship. A follow-up industry event in October will share the next research data results.
ISSUE TWO â€˘ June 2017
Impacting International Marketing Strategies for Brazilian SMEs Left to right: Professor Carlos M. P. Sousa, Dr Roberta Aguzzoli and Dr Jorge Lengler
IMPACTING INTERNATIONAL MARKETING STRATEGIES FOR BRAZILIAN SMES • 21
Since December 2016, one of our Durham University Business School research teams has been working with five Brazilian SMEs in their efforts to enter new markets and thereafter sustain competitive advantages. The project, Increasing the Impact of International Marketing Strategies of Brazilian Export SMEs, is led by Durham University Business School’s Dr Jorge Lengler, Professor Carlos M.P. Sousa and Dr Roberta Aguzzoli, and is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council Impact Acceleration Account and the Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service. This is the largest non-profit organisation of its kind in Latin America and seeks to transfer knowledge to Brazilian export SMEs to help them increase their competitive capability in foreign markets. The participating companies are from different industry sectors. High technology companies have been selected to take part in the project. All participating companies are micro or small start-ups with less than 20 employees.
As a result of the Durham University Business School team intervention, the participating SMEs have managed to establish new partnerships and collaborative agreements in Latin America. This has had a direct impact on the companies and also on their local communities as they have hired new staff and increased market participation. As the initial results reveal successful transfer of knowledge to the participating companies, the next step will be to work with Brazilian legislators and policy makers to institutionalise some of the measures undertaken by the research group to support the SMEs. It is expected that the results achieved by the companies
with the support of the Durham University Business School team will lead to changes in public policies regarding government support to export SMEs. The results of the project, which include societal, economic and political impact on SMEs and local communities, will be presented to Brazilian policy markets and legislators by the end of the year.
“I am very pleased with the way the project has developed so far. I think, here at the company, we have advanced significantly in terms of export planning. We now better understand the importance of planning the company’s exporting activities. With the support Durham University Business School’s team has been giving me and the company, we are able to clearly structure our international effort. After we started the project, all our actions take into consideration the internationalisation of the company. This has been a huge motivation to carry on. At the moment, we have a clear internationalisation strategy. We are establishing relationships with distributors, and clients in Columbia, and other Latin American countries have been screened using the knowledge that has been shared by the Business School’s team. By the end of the project, we aim to enter two other markets in Latin America, probably Mexico and Chile.” CEO, micro high tech company, Brazil
“Entering a new international market is time consuming and a very demanding task. It demands a great deal of market research and dedication. Being part of the project with the Durham University Business School team has helped us structure an internationalisation process into different markets. The Durham University Business School team has brought new frameworks that provide us support to analyse and understand new international market opportunities. We are currently planning our internationalisation strategy in the Mexican market. With their support, we are in a better position to successfully enter the Mexican market, as well as other international markets in the near future.” Director, Brazilian small export company, Brazil
ISSUE TWO â€¢ June 2017
INTEGRATED THINKING INFORMS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Conceptualising the contemporary corporate value creation process Organisations use Integrated Reporting (IR) to communicate a clear, concise, integrated story that explains how all of their resources are creating value.
Professor Carol Adams
INTEGRATED THINKING INFORMS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT • 23
It helps businesses to think holistically about their strategy and plans, make informed decisions and manage key risks to build investor and stakeholder confidence and improve future performance. IR is shaped by a diverse coalition including business leaders and investors to drive a global evolution in corporate reporting. 1
To investigate and explain integrated thinking – the complex interrelationships which influence the ability of firms to create value for their providers of finance and other stakeholders - Carol Adams, Professor of Accounting at Durham University Business School, undertook a study to explore the interrelationships between: Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risk; delivering on corporate strategy; non-financial corporate reporting; and board oversight. This study is ‘Conceptualising the contemporary corporate value creation process’ Adams, CA (2017), Accounting Auditing and Accountability Journal 30(4): 906-93. To gather the information, a number of interviews took place with Board Chairs and Non-Executive Directors of large listed companies on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange ( JSE - where Boards are required to have a Social and Ethics sub-committee and approve integrated reports which have been mandatory since 2010), and the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX - where Board Directors’ liability legislation results in Boards being reluctant to adopt integrated reporting which is voluntary). The study found integrated reporting processes, and in particular those set out in the King III Code 2 and the International Integrated Reporting Framework 3, influences how information should best be presented to the Board enhancing Board oversight and assisting organisations in managing complexity. This results in increased awareness of the impact of environmental and social issues and governance processes together with a broader view of value creation despite investor disinterest.
The practical implications are that this research can assist in the development of practice and policy by articulating and enhancing our understanding of linkages, which loosely fall under the vague practitioner term ‘integrated thinking’. The conceptualisation of these linkages can also inform national and global discussions on the appropriateness of corporate reporting and governance models to contribute to the sustainable development goals. As this study was conducted across two countries, the cross country comparison allows an assessment of the extent to which different national social contexts with differing governance and reporting frameworks lead to different perspectives on, and approaches to, value creation. Linked to this work, Carol is now working on a project with the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) highlighting how reporting on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be facilitated by Integrated Reporting. This in turn can lead to enhanced understanding of: a) the risks and opportunities presented by sustainable development issues; and b) how companies can contribute to the achievement of the SDGs.
References 1 Definition from https://integratedreporting.org 2 The King Report on Corporate Governance are guidelines for the governance structures and operation of companies in South Africa. 3 The International Integrated Reporting Framework are guiding principles and content elements that govern the overall content of an integrated report, and to explain the fundamental concepts that underpin them.
ISSUE TWO â€˘ June 2017
Why is there a need for food and fuel banks in our society?
Dr Dennis Philip, Associate Professor in Finance and Director of the Centre for Banking, Institutions and Development
The use of foodbanks in the UK has been on the rise since 2010, a trend which shows no signs of slowing down. According to recent reports, the largest foodbank network in the UK, The Trussell Trust, handed out just under 1.2 million food packs in 2016/17, a significant increase compared to 41,000 in 2009/10 (Trussell Trust 2017). The Trussell Trust foodbanks partner with a wide range of local care professionals such as doctors, health workers, job centres, money advice centres, and social workers to identify people in crisis. The crises can range from welfare cuts and delays to receiving an unexpected bill on a low income. The care professionals issue the individuals in crisis with a foodbank voucher, which can then be redeemed at a local foodbank for three daysâ€™ emergency food and support. All the food is donated by schools, churches, businesses, certain supermarkets and individuals in the local community.
Deprivation, like low income or restricted access to support services, increases the likelihood of being in need of receiving an emergency food parcel. But what are the main reasons for people to request these parcels? My research team at the Centre for Banking, Institutions and Development, in collaboration with Durham Christian Partnership (DCP), set out to explore just that, taking County Durham as the chosen research area. The analysis considered a sample of 9,581 registered clients who used the DCP County Durham Foodbank service in a period between 2015 and 2016. In turn, many of these clients had dependants, which means the overall reach that the foodbank had was 24,204 individuals (split between 15,734 adults and 8,470 children). This was the first time data from DCP County Durham Foodbank service was analysed, giving us unprecedented access to a wealth of information on how the service operates. However, constructing a client database was not a simple task. One of the biggest challenges was merging information from various sources. Foodbank clients provide the information on a completely voluntary basis, which is then recorded by volunteers who work in the foodbank centres. Thus the raw data comes with various entry irregularities and missing information. So, one of the first tasks involved transferring all the records into a structured clientele database, which could then be accurately analysed. Figure 1 Percentage of food only parcels issued (blue bars) and food and fuel vouchers issued (red bars) against crisis types. Please note there can be more than one crisis occurring simultaneously. Copyright ÂŠ Durham University Business School
Food for Thought • Why is there a need for food and fuel banks in our society? • 25
Early evidence shows that benefit delays, low income and benefit changes were the major influences affecting those needing emergency assistance from foodbanks in County Durham. These were followed by debt and homelessness. As expected, large proportions of clients needing help were unemployed (3,595 in total), with only a small number working at the time of receipt (336 clients). Food parcels are not the only service that foodbanks now provide to people in need. Other services address issues associated with debt, money management, social isolation and related mental health problems. Additionally, in 2015, DCP pioneered and piloted the fuel bank concept with NPower and National Energy Action (NEA), providing essential help to cover pre-paid gas and electricity for those in crisis, which has now been rolled out nationally. This new service addresses the reality that many poorer households in the North East struggle with the dilemma of whether to use their income to adequately feed themselves or heat their homes. According to data from DCP County Durham Foodbank service, in the period between 2015 and 2016 around 40% of clients receiving food help were also classed to be in ‘fuel crisis’. Of the total 9,531 clients, 3,778 received food and fuel vouchers (39.43%), while 5,803 were handed food parcels only (60.57%). As 2015 was the first year fuel vouchers were introduced, it is too early to make comparative analysis year-on-year. However, what our research showed and what we found the most shocking figure is that between 2015 and 2016, 35% of fuel voucher recipients were families with children and other dependants.
essential necessities such as food and fuel – have been opening organically in areas of the county where there is a need from local people to use their services. While the universal credit rollout has taken place in some UK locations, spurring a rise in foodbank referral rates in these places, universal credit has yet to be implemented in County Durham, which means we expect to see even higher numbers of food and fuel parcels being distributed to those in need in the future. Foodbanks in the county will be under even higher pressure than at present, and it will be essential for them to be prepared to deal with an increase in requests. Research on clients and analysis of their circumstances can help them forecast for such an eventuality, but, now more than ever, it is volunteers and donations that are vital for foodbanks to continue to operate and offer a much needed lifeline for those in need of basic necessities such as food and fuel.
Figure 2 Displays where foodbank clients are domiciled in County Durham that have also received a fuel bank voucher. Black dots indicate locations of foodbank distribution centres. Copyright © Durham University Business School.
Another aspect of our research focussed on the location of foodbank distribution centres related to regional deprivation. Our analysis took into consideration the Index of Multiple Deprivation - commonly known as the IMD – which is the official measure of relative deprivation for small areas in England. Preliminary results for County Durham suggest that the location of foodbanks and regional deprivation are correlated, yet these results are subject to analysis of a nationally representative data sample. This means foodbanks – which are volunteer-run organisations and rely on the goodwill of volunteers who dedicate their time and commitment free of charge to help those in need of
Figure 3 Displays areas of deprivation in County Durham. The lower the rank, the higher the deprivation. Black dots indicate locations of foodbank distribution centres. Copyright © Durham University Business School.
ISSUE TWO â€˘ June 2017
Unlocking the Value through a Consultancy Approach to Change Organisations must work with and through people to sustain change.
Dr Julie Hodges Associate Professor and Director MBA Programmes
UNLOCKING THE VALUE THROUGH A CONSULTANCY APPROACH TO CHANGE • 27
Dr Julie Hodges, Associate Professor and Director of MBA Programmes at Durham University Business School, talks about how change is an important part of everyday life in organisations and how organisations can release and maximise change through a consultancy approach. Building on the insights of her previous books, Julie’s latest book, is entitled Consultancy, Organizational Development and Change and was published in April 2017. The book is a practical guide for students as well as internal and external consultants needing to develop the necessary skills to consult in organisational settings where there is a great deal of complexity. Julie explains, “My book explores the theoretical and practical aspects of a consultancy approach to change and provides practical guidance for postgraduate students and professionals.”
“Consultancy for change is about working with and through people by building and maintaining relationships in order to sustain change in organisations.” Taking on board the need for consultancy skills within organisations in her capacity as Director of MBA Programmes at Durham University Business School, Julie launched the new Durham full-time MBA in 2016, followed by its new Online MBA in 2017. Both programmes offer a specialised pathway in consultancy. There are also pathways in entrepreneurship and technology, which enable students to personalise their programme to reach their career aspirations. Julie explains, “Our new MBA programmes are unique. They combine academic excellence with professional development, providing a world-class qualification. Students also benefit from the connections Durham University Business School has with organisations across the globe.” Applying not only her academic understanding of theories for change, but essentially, over twenty years of practical experience in organisations including PwC and the British Council, each chapter of Julie’s new book contains key theories, learning outcomes, discussion questions as well as practical considerations that point the way ahead for people leading and managing change now and in the future.
Complete with case studies from global consultancies, as well as boutique firms, it shows how to identify and implement change interventions in a variety of sectors in order to deliver value. The book also contains guidance on how to: develop a value proposition; define, write and present the business case for the proposed interventions; establish credibility and report on the results. Julie advises, “A consultancy approach to change must play a role in helping organisations to navigate change more effectively. This approach emphasises that consultancy is about people and therefore interactions between people. At the heart of this is an organisational development orientation where there has traditionally been a focus on the people This is especially relevant in consultancy for change, as working with and through people by forming relationships is an important aspect of sustaining change in organisations.”
“If implemented effectively, a consultancy approach to change can contribute, realise, and sustain the benefits of organisation transformation.” Julie goes on to say, “A consultancy approach to change supports focuses on the people in the organisation and not just the systems and process. The engagement and commitment of people must be at the heart or organisational change.”
Julie’s new book Consultancy, Organizational Development and Change – A practical guide to delivering value published by Kogan Page, is available now through Amazon and other good book sellers.
ISSUE TWO • June 2017
New Durham Online MBA • Realise your potential • 28
THE DURHAM MBA
NEW DURHAM ONLINE MBA Realise your potential In April, Durham University Business School welcomed the first students to its new ‘fast-track’ Online MBA. With focused subject choices and personalised learning routes, the new programme further develops the School’s reputation for pioneering MBA distance learning.
The new Durham Online MBA offers a number of enhancements to build on the success of the existing programme, which is already ranked 2nd in the UK and 9th globally by the Financial Times. A new feature is the minimum study time, reduced from three years to two, enabling students to benefit from an MBA earlier to advance their careers. Students can realise their potential as they have the opportunity to personalise their learning to suit career aspirations. In addition to core modules, students take two electives of their choice and undertake a strategic case analysis. Depending on their elective choices students can specialise in one of three structured pathways: Entrepreneurship, Consultancy or Technology. The elective modules have been enhanced and extended to include the latest subjects and thinking needed in global business, from Entrepreneurship,
New Venture Creation, Management Consultancy, Project Management, Business Analytics, Technology Innovation, and International Business in Context. Learners will have access to the School’s rich virtual learning environment via the School’s virtual campus ‘Durham University Online’ (DUO) and the option to study 100% online or through blended learning. DUO gives 24/7 access to videos, written resources, activities, self-assessment exercises and to thousands of articles via the online library service. Connecting with other students is a key part of the learning experience, along with live webinar sessions and tutor-facilitated discussions via the forum. Students also have the option of attending an annual residential school held in Durham, bringing a valuable classroom dimension to the Durham Online MBA study experience and shared face-to-face experience. Personal Career Advancement is integral to the programme and students will be offered a dedicated personal careers consultancy service, which will offer practical support through the programme and beyond. Julie Hodges, Director of MBA Programmes, says: “The Durham Online MBA offers a fantastic and dynamic 24/7 study experience for our growing global community of learners. We have been building a substantial track record in the delivery of online learning for MBAs since 1998 and these exciting new enhancements will create opportunities for more students and build on our position as a pioneer of online MBA learning. “Durham’s distance-learning MBA has proved increasingly popular as aspiring students realise they can gain a worldleading business education while working. We will continue to lead the way in online learning by ensuring the student experience grows even richer and more dynamic.”
EQUIS • Five-year accreditation awarded • 29
EQUIS Five-year accreditation awarded Durham University Business School has been awarded a five-year extension to its accreditation from EQUIS, the leading international system of quality assessment, improvement and accreditation of higher education institutions in management and business administration. There are fewer than 20 UK schools with the so-called ‘gold standard’ of five years’ accreditation status and fewer than 40 in the rest of Europe. This achievement was announced following a comprehensive assessment by EQUIS in March 2017. The EQUIS accreditation focuses on evaluating the balance between academic quality and professional relevance, with particular importance placed on the development of students’ managerial and entrepreneurial skills and the opportunities and connections to the business world. The peer review team took particular note of the quality of the School demonstrated in its significant, high-quality teaching and research, and the provision of a superior student experience, underpinned by the University’s collegiate system and the strong support of the Advisory Board. In addition to this, the team commented how successfully Ethics Responsibility and Sustainability (ERS) is deeply embedded in a wide range of the School’s activities, including Research Centres, PhDs and a number of outreach programmes.
Professor Susan Hart, Dean of Durham University Business School, said: “The Business School’s five-year EQUIS re-accreditation is testimony to our position as a leading international business school, with excellence across our key strategic areas of research, education and student experience. “The peer review team highlighted how the School provides its students, at all levels, with a research-led education in all areas of business and management that enables them to pursue meaningful international careers. Contributing to the strength of our 20,000 alumni network across 150 countries.”
Professor Stuart Corbridge, ViceChancellor and Warden at Durham University, said: “This is a wonderful achievement and a credit to all our colleagues in the Business School who have played their part in securing this continued accreditation. “This comes at an exciting time for Durham where we are looking ahead to the next ten years. Through our newly launched strategy, we will ensure that we continue to deliver world-class research, education and wider student experience across all of our academic Departments and Colleges. “Within this strategy, the Business School is earmarked for significant growth and investment as we help it become firmly established as a top ranked European Business School.”
ISSUE TWO • June 2017
Rolls-Royce Inspires Undergraduates • Sara Sheard • 30
ROLLS-ROYCE INSPIRES UNDERGRADUATES Sara Sheard, Commercial Director of Civil Aerospace visits
In March, Sara Sheard, Commercial Director of Civil Aerospace at Rolls-Royce, was welcomed to the School to speak to first-year undergraduates as part of their Changing World of Business module, led by Dr Philip Warwick, Senior Teaching Fellow in Management. As Rolls-Royce no longer makes cars, Sara revealed that the greater proportion of Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace profits comes from maintaining rather than selling jet engines. Sara explained the Derby-based FTSE-listed company currently directly employs approximately 50,000 people in 46 countries around the world, and that their main competitor is GE Aviation. Sara explained how Rolls-Royce monitors big-picture business issues, such as global GDP, oil prices, currency fluctuations and other threats to gauge likely demand for their civil aviation products. One example discussed looked at how the impact of reduced oil prices means fewer new engines are being sold, and instead older engines are being kept in service longer. Aligning her talk specifically to the module, she highlighted how important it is for Rolls-Royce to understand its global customers and competitors, how it must keep abreast of business trends, and how it had to keep up-to-date with the ever-changing technological environment. Rolls-Royce recruits high-calibre professional employees in areas including engineering and management. To reflect this, two Durham graduates who are employed by RollsRoyce came along with Sara to speak to students about their roles within the company.
Kim Wilson, a Business and Management graduate from the Business School, completed her business placement at Rolls-Royce, and explained how she transitioned from being an undergraduate business student at Durham to working for Rolls-Royce within the Project Management graduate scheme. Gavin Bell, a Durham University graduate in Engineering, talked about how he manages the annual recruitment of placement students and graduate training scheme recruits. This informative and inspirational event gained very positive feedback from all the students who attended, with some inspired to consider Rolls-Royce as a career option once they graduated. At Durham University Business School we know that to succeed in business, you need to get closer to the realities of business. Through this we connect our students and alumni with global companies, and link businesses with incisive and innovative thinking. Picture (left to right): Gavin Bell, Sara Sheard, Kim Wilson and Philip Warwick, outside the Ebsworth Building, Queen’s Campus.
LINK Find out more about connecting your business with us for recruitment, research, networking or to work with our students www.durham.ac.uk/business/connect
Sharing Knowledge and Experience • Welcoming global experts and guests • 31
SHARING KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE Welcoming global experts and guests We are always delighted to welcome academic and business experts from across the world to talk to staff, students, alumni and guests from across our communities about their research or practical business experience. In March, and for the second year running, the Business School was pleased to participate in International Women’s Day, an initiative highlighting social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women across the world. Professor Mark Learmonth delivered a lecture ‘Whistle While You Work’ - based on his research into the Disney portrayal of women at work.
• Staff and students were in the audience to hear Brendan Foster talk about his life as an ‘athlete, businessman and entrepreneur.’
May was a particularly busy month with several of our Research Centres hosting international conferences and workshops.
• James Timpson’s focus was on his work with prisoners following his recent appointment as Chair of the Prison Reform Trust.
• The Centre for Economic Growth and Policy (CEGAP) hosted its annual conference on the theme Frontier Issues in Macroeconomics. Plenary speaker Professor Roger Farmer (Warwick University and UCLA) delivered his paper ‘Let’s all be Keynesians now.
• Jorge Fernandes, Chief Technology Officer at Vodafone, covered technology and innovation in telecommunications.
• A two-day workshop - ‘Exploring the Interfaces of Open Innovation Research and Practice’ - was also held in May. This was organised by the Centre for Innovation and Technology Management (CITM), distinguished speakers at the event were from across the world and they included: Professor Abbie Griffin (University of Utah); Professor Gloria Barczak (Northeastern University), Marcel Bogers (Copenhagen Business School) and Roy Sandbach (North East Innovation). • The Centre for Banking, Institutions and Development (CBID) also held the Central Bankers’ Forum. The keynote address was delivered by Professor Turalay Kenc from the Central Bank of Turkey. Then in June the Centre welcomed experts for a workshop on Real Estate Finance. We have also enjoyed an excellent range of guest speakers who came to talk to our undergraduate and postgraduate students: • Chris Yiu from UBER was invited to speak to our MSc Management students. His topic was The Future of Urban Mobility.
• Robert Senior, Global Chief Executive at Saatchi & Saatchi and one of the industry’s most prominent figures, talked to students and alumni about careers in marketing, advertising and PR. Summer 2017 at the School promises to be equally busy. • Our annual Summer School for students studying online and part-time programmes will run between 3 and 15 July. We are looking forward to welcoming students from around the world. • We are hosting the Annual Islamic Finance Summer School which will take place between the 24-25 July. This extremely popular event is aimed at those working or looking to work in Islamic Finance. • The final event of this academic year is a miniconference co-sponsored by the Centre for Economic Growth and Policy and the University’s Institute of Advanced Studies: ‘Evolution and dynamics of industrial structures and ecosystems: Innovation and productivity in industries’.
LINK Find out more about our speakers and events www.durham.ac.uk/business/events
ISSUE TWO • June 2017
Durham – a Truly International Business School Students experience international business Students visit San Francisco (top), and Barcelona (below), for their MBA Global Business Experience. Barcelona image © Matthew Holmes, MBA Durham University.
In April over 210 of the School's MBA and Masters students travelled overseas as part of their programmes to gain vital international business knowledge and for practical experience.
For their Global Business Experience, 54 full-time MBA students travelled to Germany (Mannheim), Spain (Barcelona) or China (Beijing), while San Francisco was the destination for 22 EBS-Durham EMBA and Online MBA students. They visited leading international companies where they tested and examined academic business approaches in the companies and gained an appreciation of the complex nature of the different dimensions of business. This helps them to appreciate the challenges of global business and also gives them the opportunity to apply new skills into practice. The San Francisco trip was particularly busy with lectures, workshops, coaching sessions, company visits, tutorial sessions, interactive group work and a certificate awards ceremony. Live lectures were hosted with initial investors
of Google, PayPal, and OpenTable; one of the key developers of the Kindle; and the founder of The North Face. The week culminated in the students presenting a business pitch to leading academics and corporate experts.
STUDENT FEEDBACK “This experience truly consolidates the Durham MBA in the sense you are left with greater understanding of how it all fits together. An amazing experience, and one of the highlights of my Durham MBA.” Jonas Jorgensen, Full-time MBA. “The trip to Mannheim, its business school, companies and city was an enriching experience. In particular, I enjoyed very much the lectures that were provided on current challenges on EU economic and monetary integration and on international management with a German perspective. The visit to Frankfurt and the Stock Exchange was also very exciting- highly recommended experience!” Roberto Lopez, Full-time MBA. Our Masters students visited either Switzerland (Geneva and Zurich) or Germany (Frankfurt and Mannheim) for their international study experience, where they took part in cultural tours, company visits and lectures. Our strong international connections and activities provide an inside perspective of global business for our
Durham. A Truly International Business School • Students experience international business • 33
Masters students. This is an elective module and gives students the opportunity not only to visit a series of prestigious global businesses, but also to analyse them using a structured learning approach. The School’s expanding global network of University and business partners also gives students the opportunity to undertake part or all of their dissertation or business abroad. “The International Study Tour was by far the best module on my programme. It was highly engaging, leveraged different ways of learning and allowed us to interact with students, staff and companies that we are familiar with but barely know. We learnt about teamwork; intensive research; global perspectives; working under pressure; and trusting our colleagues. It was an invaluable life experience.” Ofentse Lekwane, MSc Management. “The Zurich Study Tour was fascinating and a great experience. At first, I thought it would be just company visits, but I was pleasantly surprised with rich interaction among people, valuable information from practitioners and acquired knowledge essential to pave my future career. I benefited from an internationally integrated approach of business reality. Overall, this was much appreciated by the students and became a significant basis for working, particularly to face global business.” Greget Buana, MSc Finance & Economics. “This trip is without doubt the highlight of my year in UK. At first I had doubts about the study tour because I thought it will be a typical educational trip, however I am glad to
Locations range from Europe to the Middle East to Asia. In the past year, we have attended fairs in the following places.
Athens and Thessaloniki (Greece)
Mexico City (Mexico)
Montreal and Toronto (Canada)
Beijing and Shanghai (China) Bogota (Colombia)
Moscow and St Petersburg (Russia)
Mumbai and New Delhi (India)
Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
Milan, Naples and Rome (Italy)
admit I was wrong. It was a unique experience that gave us the opportunity to meet and network with senior managers and officials of some of the world biggest firms and institutions. It also enabled us to immerse in the culture and beauty of Geneva and most importantly gave us the push needed to raise our standards and follow our dreams.” Khdeija Sidi-Boubacar, MSc Management.
ACROSS THE GLOBE Choosing a business school is a major decision, as well as a significant investment, so it is so important to make the correct decision. While many prospective applicants are able to visit their short-listed universities, for others, especially those living overseas, visiting is not an option.
DURHAM UNIVERSITY BUSINESS S C H O O L T R AV E L S T H E W O R L D In order to give those prospective applicants an opportunity to meet a representative from the School and ask those all-important questions face-to-face, we visit a number of international education fairs every year Education fairs are a key element of our recruitment strategy. The School prides itself on having a truly international cohort, with on average 120 countries represented each year by the student body, and we constantly strive to maintain that reputation.
ISSUE TWO • June 2017
Keeping it in the Family • MBA entrepreneur hires MSc graduate • 34
KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY MBA entrepreneur hires MSc graduate At Durham University Business School, our mission is to develop and motivate leaders and entrepreneurs who create, share and use their knowledge to enhance their careers and make a difference together in the wider business community. As part of this mission, we develop leaders who think outside the box and bring innovative change to their work practices. It’s therefore no surprise that two of our alumni, Chris Kennelly and Alex Blakoe, are now working together and making a difference in the digital healthcare community at the online physiotherapy platform, JimJam. Chris is the Chief Executive and Co-Founder of JimJam, and is a Durham University Business School Full-time MBA graduate (2009). JimJam headquarters are located in the Northeast, close to the Business School. Chris hired Alex, a School MSc Management graduate as Marketing Manager at JimJam as soon as he had completed his programme. Alex said: “Durham University Business School has produced many successful entrepreneurs, so it’s never a surprise to come across graduates like JimJam’s Chief Executive, Chris Kennelly. Chris decided to undertake the Durham MBA for two reasons: “Firstly, the programme always ranks very well in league tables nationally and internationally. Secondly, the programme actively encourages student collaboration, sharing of experiences and cross-learning,” said Chris. “The most important thing I learnt wasn’t the specifics, but collectively what the teachings led to - which was a broadened knowledge base and improved confidence. This was the key to starting JimJam,” said Chris. “The knowledge base provided me with the courage to start a business in a difficult area, such as digital health. The Durham MBA gave me the confidence to be far more comfortable with decision-making in times of uncertainty,” Chris said. Chris was looking for a Durham graduate to join his team as he knows the value such expertise can bring to a business. Alex said: “I decided to study MSc Management as I had a wonderful first three years at Durham University Business School, and I wanted stay at what had become my home in the Northeast whilst completing a high calibre Masters programme.” Before Alex met Chris, he worked on a Business Project at Weekend Box after meeting the company’s founder, Andy
Stephenson at an alumni dinner. “We started talking about his projects and how he could benefit from a Durham MSc Management student’s knowledge.”
“My Business Project was particularly helpful, as it gave me a chance to apply what I had learnt to the real world”, Alex said. “I appreciated the practical aspect of the Project and the fact I was contributing to an actual company whilst gaining valuable work experience. In the end, I produced a piece of work I was proud of and could discuss at an interview. This was all in addition to working with a fantastic team!” Alex said: “My MSc has given me the knowledge and skills I could apply in any business. So far, I have applied my solid foundation in topics such as accounting and business development whilst working at JimJam.” Favourite Memory at Durham University Business School Alex said: “Having spent four years at the University, my favourite moments included my extra-curricular activities - in particular representing my College in sport, helping organise the University Ski Trip, ‘Palatinalps’ and sitting on the St Chad’s College Bar Committee.” “Definitely the people,” Chris said. “It’s both fellow students and all the staff who make Durham University Business School special.” Photo above from left to right: Alex Blakoe (Marketing Manager); Jamie Hurst (CTO, co-founder); Paul Bryce (Clinical Director, co-founder); and Chris Kennelly (Chief Exec, co-founder).
The Ocean that Steered Beth Towards Freedom Seeker • 35
THE OCEAN THAT STEERED BETH Towards Freedom Seeker Durham University Business School Japanese and Management (BA) alumna, Beth Kempton, has a story which is inspiring thousands of people around the world. A wanderer, an adventurer and chaser of dreams, Beth has found the secret to finding the confidence to make a change in her own life, and she is sharing it through her newly released book Freedom Seeker. Beth’s story started when she was 17 in the middle of the ocean. “I had an ‘Ah-Ha’ moment. We had just been through a storm, and when it passed I went outside when everything was really calm. It was just me and the ocean - I felt free. My plan later that year was to undertake an economics undergraduate programme and become an accountant. But in that moment I realised becoming an accountant was not what I truly wanted to do,” Beth said.
Beth decided to make a change, and chose an undergraduate degree in Management and Japanese (BA) at Durham. Beth took on some excellent opportunities throughout her time at Durham. She received her first writing position with Palatinate, volunteered part-time at BBC Radio. In her third year at Durham, Beth took a month off to be an Interpreter with the British Bobsleigh team at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. “The University recognised the value in the experience, and because of this one opportunity I have ended up interpreting at many major sporting events,” Beth said. Beth’s career took off. At 23 Beth worked at the FIFA World Cup 2002, and was responsible for all the team accommodation. “It was insane. I was negotiating millions in hotel and accommodation contracts and costs during the World Cup. It was like a dream, and I know for a fact it happened because of the opportunities Durham gave me,” Beth said. “One day I received a phone call out of the blue from UNICEF headquarters in New York asking me to work at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens for them, so I did and it was amazing,” Beth said.
Beth wanted to continue helping people find their own paths. “The norm in our society is to choose what we think is right, not what we feel is right. That’s why I started my business ‘Do What You Love’. I wanted to help people find their potential and find their happiness in the things they loved doing,” Beth said. “I found myself at the point where I needed to make a change in my own life. Back on the boat I chose freedom. When you’re 17 you don’t know everything, but what I did know was in that moment I told myself I would make choices in my life which made me feel like that all the time. “I had used my freedom philosophy as a decision-making tool throughout my career and then for some reason I stopped. I felt trapped,” Beth said. “Somehow I had got sucked into society’s expectations, and as my business grew I found myself chasing a version of success that wasn’t right for me. I felt overwhelmed juggling the demands of work with raising a young family. I realised I needed to start making choices again based on what made me feel free.” That’s where Freedom Seeker came from. “My story isn’t a dramatic one,” Beth said. “While writing my book I talked to hundreds of people who’d had similar feelings and learnt we all have different challenges and different obligations. I wanted to learn to love the life I had built for myself. By the end of writing my book, I re-learnt how to enjoy life and become that girl on the boat in the middle of the ocean.”
LINK Freedom Seeker: Live more. Worry less. Do what you love. By Beth Kempton (£10.99, Hay House) is available from Amazon and all good bookshops. www.bethkempton.com www.dowhatyouloveforlife.com
ISSUE TWO • June 2017
Next Stop: Bangalore • Aisha’s global social entrepreneurship journey • 36
NEXT STOP: BANGALORE Aisha’s global social entrepreneurship journey
Aisha Parlindungan’s Birthday Donation project came from her desire to give back to the community. As a child, being raised by a single parent and coping with her economic challenges, Aisha did not have the luxury of having birthday parties. Aisha, MSc Management (Entrepreneurship) alumna, first held her social entrepreneurship project in New York, United States of America with the Children’s Aid Society, to give children hope around the world and inspire them to always continue learning despite their obstacles. On her journey, Aisha shared her personal story and the struggles she had when she was young, to motivate and encourage the children to never give up.
In the last edition of IMPACT, Aisha travelled to Jakarta, Indonesia for her annual Birthday Project with help from fellow friends and Professors from Durham University. In April, we followed Aisha to Bangalore, India for her 2017 Birthday Project. Fellow Durham University Business School alumni who helped with this year’s event include: Paul Samuel, MBA 2016; Ankita Mohanty, MBA 2016; Divya Hemanth, MBA 2016; and Vrinda Khandelwal, MSc Finance and Investment 2016.
Aisha said: “My family and friends from around the world participated at a crowdfunding campaign to help collect funds for the project in Bangalore, India. With their help and support, we were able to reach above our targeted goal.” Children from the orphanage, Makkala Ashraya Kendra (which means ‘children’s centre’) gathered for the event in Bangalore to celebrate life and receive their birthday gifts. Each child was given a toy and a backpack filled with books and school supplies.
“We also bought sports gear and board games for all the orphanage children to share. They were smiling from ear to ear!” Aisha said. Aisha spent the day having lunch with the children, who had prepared dancing and singing. Aisha also showed some of her own dance moves while spending time with the children. At the end of the event, all the children sang ‘Happy Birthday’ and helped Aisha blow out candles on the birthday cake. “I’m so grateful for everyone who helped me to make this project in India possible,” Aisha said. Aisha is already working on plans for next year’s project, hoping to make her next stop in Africa!
Yusuke Career Success • The importance of management, statistics and technology • 37
YUSUKE CAREER SUCCESS The importance of management, statistics and technology Yusuke Shinagawa 品川裕祐 graduated in 2014 from the Durham University Business School MSc Management (HRM) programme and now manages Nissan’s recruitment and human resource development in the HR division based in Yokohama. Yusuke was in London recently interviewing applicants from across Europe hoping to join the Nissan group. He made a special journey to Durham to visit the Business School and the Alumni team, who took the opportunity to ask him all about his time at Durham and the impact it has had on his career.
When Yusuke joined Durham to undertake his MSc, he already had several years of HR experience, but knew that having a recognised academic qualification was essential to his career progression. While the theory underpinning the programme was important, for Yusuke one of the most valuable aspects of the MSc Management was the international cohort. He remarked: “The number of nationalities studying across the School is phenomenal.” Working with such a diverse group enabled Yusuke to learn about and to experience at first hand cultural differences in the global business world. He was able to demonstrate this knowledge when he applied to Nissan, an international company employing people from across the world in its workforce. Another skill which Yusuke honed at Durham, and which he continues to use, is statistics. Whilst it may not be a subject traditionally associated with management or a requirement for a career in Human Resources, Yusuke considers it invaluable. As he reminded us: whenever you are presenting a new idea or proposal, it’s essential to support it with hard data. He acknowledges it is a challenging subject, but encourages all Masters students to acquire skills in statistical analysis.
Yusuke also experienced new learning techniques, including the use of role play. The traditional way of learning in Japan is lectures and note-taking, so role play was a new experience for Yusuke. He embraced the activity for the value it offered in putting theory into practice. He also remarked how role play seems to be employed more and more in Japan as a learning activity and featured in one of the behavioural assessments in the interview process that Yusuke was in the UK to conduct. Durham University Business School is continuously enhancing its programmes so they are relevant to the business world. One of our recent developments is the introduction of the Technology pathway to our MBA programme. Working in the automotive industry, a highly technological industry, Yusuke was interested to find out more and immediately appreciated the attraction of a Technology specialism. Yusuke commented “I believe in the current environment, business and technology are inseparable. At Nissan, the focus is no longer simply on automobiles; we also now focus on areas such renewable energy, artificial intelligence and also look at technological innovations and how they relate to the automotive industry.” Yusuke has continued to build his relationship with the Business School’s Alumni Network, and sees the greatest value in the networking opportunities as the relationships offered and the fact he is able to connect with other alumni, for example in the same sector or region as him. We wish Yusuke every success for the future and hope to see him in Durham again soon.
ISSUE TWO • June 2017
DRAGONS’ DEN DURHAM Celebrating 10 years In May, Durham University Business School, with the support of blue chip companies such as E-On, Bentley and Santander, celebrated the 10th anniversary of its very own version of Dragons’ Den. This competition drives entrepreneurial thinking and enables students at the School, individually or working as a team, to explore ideas for starting an enterprise and to gain experience of ‘pitching’ to expert business leaders. The competition is also a route for students to obtain funding to take forward their business ideas. Past students have found it an excellent learning experience, and also a bit of fun. Teams have frequently gone on to actually start up their own ventures. This year, three first place prizes were awarded in honour of the competition’s milestone, as all three team ideas and pitches were very strong. Each team received £1,000 in prize money, plus mentoring and support to take their business ideas forward. Professor Ian Stone, joint organiser said: “The 10th year of Durham University Business School’s Dragons’ Den competition produced many innovative venture ideas, with many promising projects not making it through to the last five. The final was keenly contested, and the high quality of the pitches and venture ideas is reflected in the Dragons’ decision to triple the prize money and make an award to three of the projects.”
DRAGONS’ DEN DURHAM • Celebrating 10 years • 38
“All teams are to be congratulated for developing business venture ideas which show great creativity and are also realistic in terms of the market. They are a credit to their respective course programmes, and we will be happy to support them in taking the ideas forward.”
THE 2017 WINNERS INCLUDE:
Alma Mater A business to create an alma mater giving community for the 638 universities in Indonesia. Team leaders: Dzulfian Syafrian and Fauziah Yuniarti.
Ideas An innovation company which combines different forms of technology to find solutions to old problems. Team leaders: Erika Gouveia, Fadel Mohaidly, Julia Barrantes and Huiqin Liu.
SJL Creating the world’s first comfortable high-heeled shoes. Team members: Sandra Jurago and Mykola (Nick) Liasovskyi.
Congratulations to all three teams! We wish you all the best on the future successes of your business ideas.
PETITE PROSECCO • 39
PETITE PROSECCO Vintage mobile bar driven by Durham MSc The Petite Prosecco Company started with a long chat over a glass of bubbly. A vintage three-wheeled mobile prosecco bar, The Petite Prosecco Company is based in a refurbished van imported from Italy that was converted into a fully-equipped bar, serving fresh, sparkling Frizzenti Prosecco on tap. Emily-Jane Smith, Durham MSc in Marketing alumna and her business partner, Jade Craggs, are leading the way in their endearing Italian van with their marketing and entrepreneurship knowledge, and love of all things prosecco, adding a ‘touch of sparkle’ to any event. After taking the leap to register their company with Companies House, Emily-Jane and Jade put their business experience into practice to achieve their goal: Build a brand up from the ground and turn the world into their office. Why did you choose to undertake a Durham MSc in Marketing? I graduated with an undergraduate degree in International Business Management and Spanish from Northumbria University. Following this, I wanted to learn more about Marketing Theory and the wider areas of marketing. After spending my school days at Durham School, returning to the city I grew up in and attending Durham University Business School was the right choice for me. The fantastic reputation of the Business School and the modules covered in the programme were a major part of my decision – one of the best decisions I have made to date, as well as starting my own business.
How has the Durham MSc Marketing programme supported you in your career and your business venture? This programme has everything you need and more to help you expand your knowledge of your chosen subject. After studying the Strategic Brand Management and Integrated Marketing Communications modules, as well as meeting fellow students and alumni who had a similar passion for marketing and their own businesses, I became more driven than ever before! The Durham MSc in Marketing enabled me to learn from the best and study in the amazing Ushaw College. I was also able to attend the Marketing MSc trip to London where we visited headquarters such as Unilever and Saachi and Saachi, gaining a full insight into corporate businesses and their operations. In my new business venture, I apply the knowledge from my MSc degree to all aspects of my day-to-day business activities. What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own business venture? Believe in your dreams, use your strengths and learn from your weaknesses. Think about every business decision from different angles. Don’t give up – it will be worth it in the end when you’re receiving fantastic comments about your product or service. In our business we get to meet new people every day. It’s great to hear such amazing feedback about The Petite Prosecco Company when we network at our various events. We love chatting with new customers and organising events with them – the prosecco quality control testing isn’t too bad either!
TURN OUR TALENT TO YOUR ADVANTAGE TACKLE YOUR BUSINESS CHALLENGES HEAD-ON Enhance your brand
From three-month business projects to mutually enriching placements and internships, we offer diverse opportunities for your organisation to work with our high-calibre students.
An MBA internship is a great way to reinvigorate your business, bringing a wealth of benefits adding fresh ideas, as well as energy and knowledge to your workplace. They can give you the extra capacity to pursue a new initiative or project away from your core business, and they are a cost effective way of recruiting tried and tested talent.
Business Projects Does your business have a challenging issue but not the time or resources to address it? Our MBA and Masters students complete a business project between June and September. They work across all sectors and functions, applying their skills and knowledge to deliver ideas and recommendations to take your business forward. Just submit your project idea online.
Placements Gain fresh thinking and acquire the latest knowledge for your business. An invaluable learning opportunity and experience for our undergraduates, a placement also brings huge benefits for you as a host â€“ from access to new business ideas and perspectives, to a rich source of talented future recruits.
Find out more at: www.durham.ac.uk/business/connect