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Sustainability and Ethics Issue 3 • January 2018


Back to Brexit Page 06

A Year in Review With Professor Susan Hart Page 14


Sustainability and Ethics

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ISSUE THREE • January 2018


IMPACT ISSUE THREE Sustainability and Ethics Welcome to the third edition of Impact, Durham University Business School’s thought leadership and news magazine. The theme of this edition is ethics and sustainability. These topics are embedded in our School’s ethos and form an important part of everything we do; from the development of programmes and curricula – which strive to create the globally-focused, ethically-minded and forward-thinking business leaders of the future – to the research efforts of our world-class faculty. As a leading business school, we have a responsibility to create, share and use our knowledge, in partnership with industry, to help build sustainable futures for communities both close to home and around the world. One such example is the work our faculty has conducted in exploring the unintended consequences of the pursuit of economic growth. Looking at this issue is essential for the future development of the North East, but also has a reaching relevance to the rest of the UK and the world. The first article of this edition explores how we can lead on sustainability in a time of substantial change, and Dr Christos Tsinopolous, Professor Laurence Ferry and Professor Kevin Dowd each provide their perspectives, based on their research and expertise. As a School, we are dedicated to examining how organisations can be developed to operate more effectively whilst embedding a greater social concern in their work, and how staff can be empowered to give the best they can, and be the best that they can be. In this edition, Professor Geoff Moore considers the role that ‘virtue ethics’ can play in exploring and determining how we live and work. The findings of Dr Les Graham’s study into the impact of leadership on ethical behaviour are also featured, which were conducted as part of a wider research project in conjunction with the UK police, involving 35 forces. As a follow up to her article in the previous edition of Impact, Professor Carol Adams provides companies with a simple five-step approach to help the world’s economies better meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. In the classroom, the School is committed to providing an education that produces graduates primed with the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to become architects of a more equitable and sustainable world. Our programmes are becoming increasingly collaborative, both with our colleagues working

across Durham University and with other schools internationally. Two exciting new programmes have been recently announced; a new Durham DBA in partnership with Fudan University in Shanghai which will launch in April 2018, and a new joint Executive MBA programme with the European Business School in Germany, to be launched in September 2018. You can read more about both of these programmes further on in the magazine. In September, the University also welcomed a visit from the Chinese Embassy Commercial Section Minister, Mr Xu Jin, to discuss the developing partnerships with some of China’s leading universities, research institutes and corporations. With around 6,000 of our alumni working across China, the School’s Asia network is expanding rapidly. To reflect this, we’ve also recently launched a new alumni chapter in Shenzhen. 2017 was a very positive year for the School, cemented by excellent results across business education’s most recognised rankings and a renewed 5-year accreditation from EQUIS. Among the many prestigious rankings for business schools are those run by the Financial Times, QS and The Economist, each of which produced favourable results for the School. My own interview in this magazine reflects on our School’s accomplishments over the past year, and looks ahead to the role the School – and business schools in general – must play in preparing future leaders to succeed in, and improve, the world around them. As well as providing academically rigorous, industryfocused, responsible education programmes, schools must enable greater access to education that better fits the demands of the modern world, in work and life. I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this third edition of Impact. The continued support from our staff and students demonstrates our tremendous collective commitment to leading sustainable and ethical thinking. I look forward to 2018, where we will continue the journey of building a leading Business School, with international research excellence and impact. Professor Susan Hart Dean of Durham University Business School

ISSUE THREE • January 2018









Thank you to our other key contributors

Jacqueline Baker Marketing Communications Officer

Professor Carol Adams Professor Kevin Dowd Professor Laurence Ferry Dr Les Graham Neil Graney Dr Mariann Hardey Professor Susan Hart Professor Mark Learmonth Professor Geoff Moore Professor Kevin Morrell Professor Mike Nicholson Dr Christos Tsinopoulos

Wendy Duery Web Marketing Officer Paula Lane Marketing Officer Liz Lawrence Marketing Communications Manager Natalie Taylor Communications Officer

CONTRIBUTE Want to find out more or contribute to the next edition? Just send us an email:

Jack Faunt Osman Karakus Tobias McBride David Pallash Simona Parajova Kiran Ramakrishna Shruti Satish Johannes Schmalisch Joanne Smith Laura Warburton

SOCIAL MEDIA Find us on Facebook – Durham University Business School @DUBusSchool Join us on LinkedIn – Durham University Business School








Back to Brexit How can we lead on sustainability in a time of change?


Mental Health, an Institute for Local Governance Report 08 More needs to be done to help prevent mental health problems in young people

DUEM Shine on the World Stage The solar car team signs world-leading efficiency alliance


Are Brexit ‘Lies’, Lies?


Innocent Entertainment or a Negative Introduction to Work? How much could Disney’s portrayals of work be impacting your children’s perspectives and future choices?


The Austerity Playbook New Musical Tunes Audience into Ground Breaking Research


Ten Years on from Northern Rock How resilient are UK banks?


Five Ways to Deal with a Narcissistic Boss


Wasn’t on Your Shopping List? How brands can maximise sales with a little ‘neuromarketing’ magic


Doing Business the ‘Insta’ Way


MOOCS Two Business School courses launched


A Trip to China International Alumni Chapter in Shenzhen, China


Visit from Chinese Embassy Commercial Section


New Durham DBA at Fudan New Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) launches


Connecting with Students Around the World International recruitment


The New Durham-EBS Executive MBA Inspiring international business leaders


Rankings The Economist, Financial Times and QS


Connecting Students with real Business World Issues Business projects and placements


Undergraduate Stories High achievers share their stories


World University Games MSc student wins silver


What Does the Future Hold? Five steps to help hit Sustainable Development Goals for 2018


Virtue at Work Ethics for Individuals, Managers and Organisations


Why Features Matter Categorisation in social interactions


A Year in Review An interview with Professor Susan Hart, Dean of Durham University Business School


Fighting All Cancers Together Celebrating 10 years

46 47

Ethics in Policing Linking leadership to the Code of Ethics and ethical behaviour


Kiran Ramakrishna The future UBER of content production LEGO® Group social impact through play


The ESRC Festival of Social Science Understanding how we define mental health in the workplace


Osman Karakus My journey towards a Durham MBA


Upcoming Events


ISSUE THREE • January 2018

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BACK TO BREXIT How can we lead on sustainability in a time of change?

A S PA N N E R I N T H E W O R K S OR A MASSIVE OPPORTUNITY? Dr Christos Tsinopoulos Modern supply chains have been benefiting from technology advances which enable manufacturers to share information quickly. In fact, the recent push for development of Industry 4.0, which encourages seamless connectivity and information sharing between supply chain partners, has been born out of the need to take such internal and external integration to the next level. Our research consistently supports the notion that increased levels of cooperation and information sharing improves an organisation’s performance and its ability to be flexible. Common legal frameworks and standards have been significant enablers of these. The EU, with its size and power, has been able to harmonise regulations between member states. Even more importantly, due to its economic power, it has also enabled a degree of harmonisation between manufacturers in other countries who want to link up with the supply chains within the EU.

BACK TO BREXIT • How can we lead on sustainability in a time of change? • 07

A key argument about Brexit, however, has been to bring such control to the local level. A ‘first’ read of this could mean that regulations and standards for doing business in the UK will be decided locally and thus, over time, they will diverge from those in the EU. This can be a concern, or a spanner in the works, as it would be very likely that such divergence will put UK manufacturers at a disadvantage.

Yet, at the same time, such technologies have also enabled significant flexibility, allowing manufacturers to respond to different types of demand and to deal with different requirements globally. In fact, even within the EU, harmonisation is not as seamless as one would think. German truck drivers, for instance, have very specific requirements for their trucks. Therefore, and despite the existence of a common framework for automotive suppliers, any manufacturer who wants to supply the German market would need to adapt its products accordingly, regardless of whether they are in the EU or not. Flexible technologies and innovative approaches to managing the supply chain are therefore likely to remain significant enablers of integration. As the UK is leaving the EU, the incentive to understand such variations and to respond to them could result in a significant capability, which can be directed towards any market, making it a massive global opportunity.

THE NEED FOR POLICY DIRECTION Professor Laurence Ferry After a decade of austerity, local authorities have significant challenges, but undoubtedly now following the Brexit referendum there is a need for a fundamental review of local government. Brexit means local government will face big policy, financial and service impact along with significant political implications, but may not have the capacity and adaptability to deal with such changes after having had to be resilient to cuts over many years. A review could be along the lines of something approaching the Layfield Committee in the 1970s, with local government having a seat at the decision-making table to voice concerns around power, capacity and local freedoms. This could determine what is desirable and feasible as a role for local government in the newly emerging context post-Brexit.

One of the more contentious areas is devolution that has largely stalled with Brexit. The Local Government Association has suggested leaders of local government in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are united for further devolution to local communities across the UK after Brexit. In particular they want ‘subsidiarity’ ensuring power is transferred to the level of government closest to the people; securing powers and responsibilities, setting out what local government should support at the local level so that public services can be designed around local need; and providing greater fiscal autonomy, especially with regard to encouraging economic growth.

The Government has not, as of yet, clearly signalled any intention to change policy direction regarding devolution to local areas, but this has to remain an active area of discussion if we are to have balanced sustainable development across the UK. FISHY BUSINESS Professor Kevin Dowd Wherever one stands on Brexit, it offers the opportunity to fix the dreadful economic and environmental mess produced by the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The CFP has led to the collapse of fishing stocks and even now still forces fishermen to throw large quantities of marketable fish overboard. The damage it does to other parts of the marine ecosystem is legendary. Brexit offers the opportunity to adopt a new UK fisheries policy that would put UK fisheries on a sustainable basis and greatly improve our marine environment. We know this can be done because Iceland has shown us how to do it. The key principles are a long-term perspective and low quotas to give fishing stocks time to recover, sensible rules to transfer those quotas and changes in the rules to discourage senseless waste. Sensibly managed, everyone benefits, fish and fishermen alike. In this area at least, sustainability is easy to achieve: it is just a case of getting the rules right.

ISSUE THREE • January 2018

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Mental Health, an Institute for Local Governance report

More needs to be done to help prevent mental health problems in young people

MENTAL HEALTH, AN INSTITUTE FOR LOCAL GOVERNANCE REPORT • More needs to be done to help prevent mental health problems in young people • 09

Mental wellbeing helps ground young people’s healthy behaviours, preventing social and emotional behavioural problems in the years to follow. An essential part of a young person’s overall health and mental wellbeing imposes a significant relationship between their physical health and ability to succeed in school, and in their social surroundings. The Institute for Local Governance (ILG), based at Durham University Business School, released a report looking at the mental health of young people across the North East of England which revealed that approximately 10% of children and young people suffer from mental health illness, but only three out of four children receive the help they need through appropriate intervention. The project is one of a number of regional impact studies developed at the ILG, acting at the request of all 12 local authority chief executives, designing and brokering the research from all five universities in the region. Phillip Edwards, Strategy and Implementation Director at the ILG, said:

“There has been increasing concern among local authority practitioners about mental health and young people and this research was commissioned with the specific remit of finding practical ways of preventing mental illness.” The report is written by researchers from FUSE (the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health) based at Durham and Newcastle Universities and is funded by the 12 local authorities in the region. This research suggests more guidance and support for teachers is needed to increase their confidence in speaking to students about mental health. Teachers are not responsible for treating mental health disorders but can support the management and referral of pupils to appropriate and available services. Many young people with complex lives (such as those living in social deprivation, with caring responsibilities or academic stress) experience urgent mental health problems but do not engage with these services. Young people find it difficult to understand and explain their feelings to health professionals and fear the stigma associated with these services.

School teachers are better placed to build trust and support with children and young people. The study reveals that evidence-based approaches, such as mindfulness training, could promote the mental health of young people and prevent the need for higher-level clinical care. The researchers also found promising results in the use of digital technologies, such as online courses and mobile apps. These were cheap to deliver, flexible and could be used by schools, voluntary and community organisations, and in primary care. However, services also need to be flexible in format, intensity and delivery to meet the needs of young people with the most complex lives. This includes better links between community resources and specialist services to enable better reintegration of young people after a period of mental disorder and to prevent future exacerbation of symptoms. Professor Raghu Lingam, Lead of the Early Life and Adolescence research programme within Fuse, and Clinical Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology and Child Health at Newcastle University, said:

“Our research highlights the scale of mental disorders among young people in our region: more than 10% of young people are affected and this figure is likely to be an underestimate. With stretched clinical services, preventative and evidence-based interventions, such as mindfulness training, could have a significant impact to promote the mental health of young people and reduce the burden on clinical services.” Ada Burns, Chief Executive of Darlington Borough Council, said: “Too many of our children are experiencing mental distress and too few receive the appropriate help. This report helps us to reflect on current approaches taken by local authorities within Local Transformation Plans and provides a platform for how to develop future approaches to make them more effective.”

ISSUE THREE • January 2018

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01 Understanding the sustainable development issues that are relevant to the organisation’s external environment.


Professor Carol Adams

Identifying the material sustainable development issues that can influence value creation.


What Does the Future Hold? Five steps to help hit Sustainable Development Goals for 2018 Following on from her article in June 2017’s edition of IMPACT, Professor Carol Adams’ research explores how companies can align their corporate strategies to better meet the United Nation’s (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and provides a simple five-step approach for companies to follow. In 2015 the United Nations introduced the Sustainable Development Goals to the world. The list of 17 targets, established to tackle pressing global challenges such as poverty, climate change, gender equality, healthcare, green energy and so on by the year 2030, set a benchmark for every country to meet in the effort to create a more sustainable future.

Developing a strategy to contribute to the SDGs through the organisation’s business model.

04 Developing integrated thinking, connectivity and governance.

05 Preparing the integrated report.

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD • Five steps to help hit Sustainable Development Goals for 2018 • 11

Whilst the overall responsibility for meeting such targets lies with national governments, these goals cannot be achieved without a significant combined effort by businesses and organisations to modernise their practices, innovate and embrace new market opportunities. The global issues which instigated the development of the SDGs will, in a few short years, pose limitations on the availability of multiple capitals on which businesses rely. However, despite the pressing need for companies to make such changes to their practices, many have been slow to do so. One reason is the difficulty organisations face in being able to clearly understand exactly how their corporate activities and resources are creating wider value, and being able to define this effectively for their shareholders. To help with this, organisations have been encouraged to use the Integrated Reporting (<IR>) process to think holistically about incorporating SDGs into their business strategies, make better informed decisions and manage any potential risk. <IR> aids companies by influencing how information on sustainability strategies is presented to their boards to help improve awareness of the company’s activities and the benefits of them. The use of such reporting has been proven to build investor and stakeholder confidence, as well as enhance future company performance. To help tackle this, Professor Adams has authored a report which provides a framework for companies to follow. It guides them in identifying the sustainable development issues in their external environment and identifying which of the 17 SDGs they can contribute to. This then influences their business strategies, decision making processes and business models. The report has been published by the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), in partnership with the Green Economy Coalition. “Sustainable Development Goals, integrated thinking and the integrated report” takes reporting organisations through a five-step process aligned with the value creation process of the <IR> framework to identify the SDGs they wish to contribute to through their value creation

process and guides them in effective implementation. The process helps organisations to consider the risks and opportunities involved in weaving sustainable development into their corporate strategies.

The report also aids organisations in identifying new opportunities for furthering their contributions – helping businesses to ensure long-term value creation from their efforts. Professor Adams believes that companies who follow this five-step approach will find themselves better able to contribute to the SDGs and report on their activities, helping to boost their reputations and secure the approval of existing and potential stakeholders – not to mention play an important role in helping their respective industries and countries meet the global 2030 targets.

The overriding message is that it can make good business sense to integrate SDGs into business strategy and practice, but only if organisations take a considered, holistic approach on how to do this to best effect. It is not enough for an organisation to simply engage in greenwashing. The effectiveness of any effort into promoting sustainability is reliant upon how well such initiatives are embedded in daily business practice, and the reporting of these efforts. Encouraging organisations to integrate sustainable development considerations is challenging and requires a concerted effort led from the top.

LINKS To read the full report, visit: /sdgs-integrated-thinking-and-the-integrated-report To discuss your approach to the SDGs, contact Professor Adams:

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Virtue at Work Ethics for Individuals, Managers and Organisations

Professor Geoff Moore

VIRTUE AT WORK • Ethics for Individuals, Managers and Organisations • 13

What’s the problem with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)? Conceived originally as ways in which businesses could help to resolve social problems, some of which they themselves might have caused, it has increasingly become strategic in nature. The question usually asked of any social or environmental investment programme is whether it supports the overall strategy of the business and whether it is likely to have a payback. This is an instrumental approach, which conceives of ethics as strategy, and has the effect that a business will be good only if it pays. Businesses will also be more concerned with being seen to be good than with actually being so – ‘greenwashing’ in relation to environmental issues, as it is often known. One even more critical argument is that CSR is merely a means of propping up the shareholder-centric model, apparently providing some legitimacy to businesses while actually leaving them largely free to extract value from other stakeholders and the natural environment for the sole benefit of their shareholders. In that sense, CSR has been ‘captured’ by business for its own ends.

It was because of these kinds of concerns that I began a journey to try to find an alternative way of ‘coming at’ what business is (or could, or perhaps should be) all about. I came to the conclusion that ‘virtue ethics’ might hold some helpful answers, and this led to a number of conceptual and empirical papers which explored this approach. Others were also working in this area, and it came to the point (about 20 years after starting) where the ideas were sufficiently well developed, and there were sufficient empirical examples, to write a book about it. Virtue at Work. Ethics for individuals, managers, and organizations is the result. I didn’t want to write a book for academics (they can read the original papers), so this is written specifically with a managerial / general audience in mind. It’s an attempt to make these ideas accessible. Virtue ethics is an answer to the perennial question ‘How, then, should we live (and work)?’ which focuses on the development of character, on who we have and might become as individuals, on the virtues and vices we have and might develop. It also focuses on purpose, on what ‘ends’ we think are worth pursuing. It makes a distinction between two different kinds of ‘goods’ – internal goods being those which are worth pursuing for their own

sake, and external goods, those we pursue for the sake of something else. In an organisational context, internal goods are to do with the excellence of the products or services the organisation provides and the flourishing of employees in the process of providing these. External goods, by contrast, are things like money or profit, reputation or, perhaps most generically, success. External goods are, therefore, not ends in themselves but means to the end of achieving internal goods. And, enabled by the virtues, the pursuit of internal goods from all the practices we are typically involved in (family life, leisure, political and community activities, as well as organisational life) is what constitutes our purpose(s) in life.

At the organisational level, this asks questions about the purpose of the organisation – why does it exist, how do its internal goods (excellent products or services, the flourishing of its employees) contribute to the common good of society? And one obvious outcome of this approach for business organisations is that the maximisation of profit can never be the purpose of the business – profit is only ever a means to the end of the further pursuit of its internal goods.

One effect of this approach is that it provides an integrated framework with implications at the individual, managerial, organisational and societal levels. In the book, I work out in detail what this means for individuals in their lives in general but particularly in their working lives; for managers; and for organisations across a broad spectrum and for occupations such as accounting, banking and HR.

LINK Virtue at Work is published by Oxford University Press:

ISSUE THREE • January 2018

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A Year in Review An interview with Professor Susan Hart, Dean of Durham University Business School

2017 was a year of wide scale change – from the ongoing Brexit negotiations, to the growing capabilities of modern technology – which will have farreaching consequences for the ways in which we live and work. With another year of substantial change ahead, Susan Hart, Dean of Durham University Business School, discusses her vision for the future of business education, industry and how the two can work together to create a more sustainable world in such a dynamic era. What have been the most important developments at the School since you joined? Since my arrival in 2016, just after the Brexit vote, we have been concentrating on building on our considerable strengths and reviewing where we can improve. I was initially busy familiarising myself with the work of colleagues, soon learning that we had a phenomenal breadth of expertise in economics and finance, management, marketing and accounting, well-recognised for its application and impact, and cited in world-class journals. Across these areas I discovered we have a wealth of relatively rare expertise in quantitative research and analytical skills and techniques, which allows us to take the lead with ideas and practices that will transform organisations and society. We’ve spent time understanding the contribution we can make and realigning our strategies, research and programmes to ensure we make a difference for all our stakeholders.

A YEAR IN REVIEW • An interview with the Dean • 15

Education focuses on building and transferring knowledge and developing students’ skills. At the School, we believe an additional element is increasingly valuable for students and industry alike – building an understanding of how our actions impact on the world and the type of change we can bring. Despite our well-established reputation, it is important to regularly review programme content, delivery methods and routes to student engagement to keep them as relevant as possible. What role do you feel business schools must play in enabling organisations to act more responsibly? The need to focus on ethical perspectives of business is vital. As a School we try to excel in providing deep, intellectual coverage of issues which impact both business and society, not just at a local level in the North East, but in economies around the world. Our faculty and Research Centres analyse economic growth and its unintended consequences; our leadership and management programmes focus on what makes good leadership, with diversity and inclusivity in mind. Our accounting and finance modules include ethics at their core, emphasising to students the importance of governance and how they can influence companies to develop responsible and sustainable operations. We ensure that the worth we create, both intellectually and financially, is shared with the world around us not just through our research, but through the continued development of culturally responsive and innovative business professionals. What do students want to gain from their business education? How has this changed in recent years? Students often want flexibility to learn and work simultaneously, building their knowledge and putting it to use instantly in their working lives. To satisfy this, our programmes create experiential learning opportunities by bringing in educators – who are practitioners in their own right – to conduct live case studies, project-based learning and internships on a global scale. We’ve also been actively developing our Online MBA and MOOCs, to provide blended learning options, giving students the opportunity to mix digital and traditional learning.

What do employers typically seek from today’s business school graduates? Alongside possessing a solid grounding in their given areas of expertise, employers often seek students who are agile enough to consider multiple cultural perspectives, can identify emerging market trends and also be responsive enough to act upon them swiftly, and creative enough to do so in a way that sets a company apart from its competitors. In 2018, what will be the biggest developments and opportunities for the School, and business education in general? We want to encourage more collaboration across our academic community, professional services and wider industry. To this end, we are creating new interdisciplinary programmes. The first will be an MSc in Data Analytics jointly delivered with Durham University’s Department of Computer Science, giving students from a technological background an opportunity to build their business expertise. We’re also building partnerships with other highlyesteemed business schools and universities to develop programmes which best meet modern global business needs. An International DBA with Fudan University, in China, starts in April 2018, and another with leading French business school emlyon is in the works, focusing on entrepreneurship and digital innovation. Shifting geopolitical landscapes have ongoing implications for how we work as a School, and a society. The changing nature of massive economic growth in China and India, and the development of sub-Saharan Africa, require organisations and leaders to develop a different geopolitical set of priorities and behaviours. Our Research Centres are looking into such fields and, as a result, will take the lead in defining how organisations can move forward in a prosperous, sustainable manner with a positive impact on their employees, the societies where they operate and ultimately, the world in which we live. By addressing the weighty, global challenges of our time, we intend to be at the forefront of developing the right knowledge, skills and attributes for industry, for leaders of tomorrow.

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Ethics in Policing Linking leadership to the Code of Ethics and ethical behaviour Dr Les Graham was invited to present the findings from a research study of the impact of leadership on ethical behaviour at the Policing Professional Standards and Ethics National Conference held on 27 November 2017. Approximately 200 people from police forces across the UK attended the conference. Dr Graham delivered the presentation jointly with Chief Constable Iain Spittal (Cleveland Police and National Lead for Ethics in Policing). Chief Constable Spittal discussed the importance and impact of the study for policy and practice. Dr Graham presented the findings and evidence, and explained the underpinning theory.

ETHICS IN POLICING • Linking leadership to the Code of Ethics and ethical behaviour • 17

The policing Code of Ethics was introduced by the College of Policing in 2014, and sets out the principles and values that every member of the policing profession in England and Wales is expected to uphold. It also describes expected standards of behaviour. The main aims of this research were to provide evidence of the importance of ethical leadership in policing and the importance of the policing Code of Ethics for ethical behaviour.

Ethical leaders are fair and principled decision makers who care about the people they work with and wider society. Ethical leadership can be considered as consisting of three components: the leader being an ethical example; them treating people fairly; and the active management of ethics. Dr Graham collaborated on this research study with Dr Yuyan Zheng, who also works in the Policing Research Unit at the Durham University Business School. The study design was inspired by the research of Professor Robert Lord, who leads the Centre for Leadership and Followership at Durham University Business School. A test of the Lord and Brown (2001) theoretical model, of the link between leadership and behaviour through followers’ self-regulatory structures of values and identity, was conducted.

Although there is prior research evidence that ethical leadership reduces followers’ unethical behaviour, there is limited empirical evidence for a positive relationship with ethical behaviour.

Using ethical leadership theory, we examined how leaders can act as role models to influence an individual’s values, identity and ethical behaviour.

Values and identities are important driving forces in people’s lives. Prior research has demonstrated that personal values are an important factor for the understanding of ethical behaviour. To measure police officer and staff values, values congruence theory was used to develop a measure for the level of alignment of individuals’ personal values to that of the value system promoted by the Code of Ethics. To measure identity, role identity theory was used and developed a measure of integrity role identity.

The findings provided support for the Lord and Brown (2001) theoretical model and their assertion that values directly affect behaviour, but have a more positive impact through identity. The findings also demonstrate the importance of ethical leadership for increasing the salience in police professionals of the values underpinning the Code of Ethics and of the importance of the Code of Ethics for ethical behaviour in policing. This research is part of a wider research project in policing. Dr Graham leads the Policing Research Unit, which is currently collaborating with 35 police forces across the UK to conduct longitudinal research on the impact of workplace factors, such as leadership and fairness, on individuals’ well-being, engagement and ethical behaviour. The research is underpinned by, and builds upon, the research from the Centre for Leadership and Followership (CLF). The project is part-funded by research awards from the College of Policing, Durham University Seed-Corn funding and the ESRC IAA research fund. It is supported by the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC).

Ethical leadership can be considered as consisting of three components: the leader being an ethical example; them treating people fairly; and the active management of ethics. Pictured left: Chief Constable Iain Spittal (National Lead for Ethics in Policing) and Dr Les Graham (Durham University Business School) at the National Policing Professional Standards and Ethics Conference.

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The ESRC Festival of Social Science Understanding how we define mental health in the workplace Neil Graney

THE ESRC FESTIVAL OF SOCIAL SCIENCE • Understanding how we define mental health in the workplace • 19

Neil Graney, Assistant Professor in Management and Marketing at Durham University Business School welcomed 30 football academy scholars and four of their coaches to the University on 9 November 2017, as he delivered a workshop as part of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) ‘Festival of Social Science’.

The ESRC Festival of Social Science is a celebration of the social sciences. Over the years, Social Science Week has grown to a much larger and more inclusive ‘festival’ of activities, aimed at policymakers, business, the public and young people alike. Neil’s event took place in November 2017 and was one of 316 events nationwide. The festival is designed to promote and increase awareness of social sciences and ESRC’s research, enable social scientists to engage with non-academics, and increase awareness of the contributions social sciences make to the wellbeing and economy of UK society. Neil’s research focuses upon the management of mental health and psychological wellbeing in elite level football academies. Previous research by Rice, Purcell, De Silva, Mawren, McGorry and Parker (2016) identifies the prevalence of mental health illness among elite athletes, covering a spectrum of conditions including low self-esteem/confidence, anger, substance misuse, stress, anxiety and depression. As a result, the need for more high quality intervention studies - to inform strategies to identify and manage athletes - are required. Neil’s early work considers the role of organisational culture and leadership in developing working environments to support young elite footballers in UK-based football academies.

Neil’s work also considers the importance of emotional intelligence and social intelligence in developing coping strategies to deal with the pressures of elite level football in the UK. The workshop provided the opportunity for Neil to share his early work with a group of football scholars from Sunderland AFC.

Neil’s event delivered a bespoke workshop, which started with understanding how we define mental health in the workplace. The group then challenged the stigma attached to mental health, considering suitable working environments to promote positive mental health and psychological wellbeing.

Participants took part in interactive tasks/discussions to highlight the importance of emotion regulation and developing and maintaining positive social relationships inside and outside of their chosen sport.

The workshop, aimed at 16-18 year olds, also focused on the importance of emotional and social intelligence, to develop strategies to manage and aid mental health and psychological wellbeing, whilst (potentially) working in elite sport environments. In addition, the workshop also considered the role of organisational culture and leadership, in creating suitable working environments for coaches and athletes to recognise, report and manage issues associated with mental health and wellbeing. The Football Scholarship provides 16-18 year-olds with the opportunity to represent Sunderland AFC and gain nationally recognised qualifications through an intensive football and education programme. Players have the opportunity to be recruited by (semi) professional football clubs, attend higher education at home or abroad, as well as pursue careers in football coaching. The workshop will supplement current education provided by the Foundation of Light.

The workshop was very well received. Neil is looking to develop the workshop further, to deliver to future cohorts of scholars, as well as delivering workshops for university level sport scholars and elite level athletes in other sports.

LINK Neil can be contacted via email:

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/ Sustainability and Ethics

DUEM Shine on the World Stage The solar car team signs world-leading efficiency alliance Tobias McBride, MSc Management

At Durham University Business School, our mission is to develop and motivate business leaders and entrepreneurs to use their new-found knowledge and skills to make a difference to the world. At a time where innovation is vital for all major industries, the Business School is developing socially conscious alumni, who hope to better the world, using their influence to create sustainable innovations. A student who embodies this perfectly is Tobias McBride. Originally a BA Economics student, Tobias is now completing his Masters in Management. Throughout his time at the School he has held a lead role with the Durham University Electric Motorsport team (DUEM). Tobias is head of the DUEM business team, responsible for raising necessary funds through external partners and donors, which is what the DUEM is strictly funded by. Below, Tobias tells us about the DUEM team, its recent activities and how its sustainable innovations are hoping to change the world.

Founded in 2002, the DUEM is the longest running UK solar car team. Yes, you read that right - in one of the coldest, wettest and least sunny places in the world, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve successfully built a car which runs off the power of the sun. Our 50 strong, student-run team have designed, engineered and raced a car that can reach 70mph, weighs only 250kg and needs less than half the power of a kettle to run when cruising. We have promoted the DUEM team, the University and the solar car on the world stage at events such as the London Motor Show, Formula E-Prix in Marrakech and, most recently, the UN Climate Summit. These exhibitions have promoted our innovative and world-changing technology internationally to a vast number of world leaders and potential partners. However, it is the challenging race events where we have really showcased the capabilities of the DUEM solar car. Our latest, and undoubtedly most challenging, race was the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, a 3,000km endurance event from Darwin to Adelaide, across the heart of the Australian outback. Around 40 teams, from over 30 countries, competed in this gruelling event last September, when we took our most innovative car to

DUEM SHINE ON THE WORLD STAGE • The solar car team signs world-leading efficiency alliance • 21

Above: DUEM’s entry into the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2017. Below: The DUEM team at work, and celebrating completing 1,000km of the journey.

date. However, this car was still created with a considerably low budget compared to some of the other teams who competed, many of whom operate in the millions. This is because DUEM has one of the only cars which is designed, engineered and manufactured solely by students. The Australian Outback, which is famed for its unpredictable wildlife and harsh road and weather conditions, pushed the car and the team to its limits. The 3,000km trip is the equivalent of driving from the top of Norway to the bottom of Greece, except there was a lot more desert and a lot less conveniences on our journey. The DUEM team completed 1,000km of the journey, which was far ahead of many teams, on a course which was marred by poor weather conditions. The race was a challenging and exhilarating experience, and proved to be the perfect event to showcase the DUEM solar car and its innovative construction. DUEM’s most recent development since then, is the one I am personally most excited about. Building upon the promotion of the DUEM solar car at the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, we have recently exhibited the solar car in front of world leaders, CEOs and global media, at the United Nations Climate Summit, COP23. It was both a thrill and an honour to exhibit the solar car at such a prestigious event, displaying DUEM on the world stage for the second time.

At the summit, which was held in Bonn, Germany, the DUEM team also signed the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions - a global agreement promoting sustainable innovation to the masses. The DUEM team are founding members of this agreement, which has sought to bring together the major organisations involved in developing technologies which protect the environment, but are also profitable.

This is the start of the next chapter for DUEM. Bertrand Piccard, who recently flew around the world in a solar plane and is also the founder of this alliance, said to me at the event “History is in front of us.” We couldn’t agree more and hope more companies and individuals join DUEM on this exciting journey we have embarked on.

LINK Find out more about the DUEM, visit: or contact @DUEM_Electric on Twitter.

ISSUE THREE • January 2018

/ Research and Impact

Are Brexit ‘Lies’, Lies?

Professor Kevin Morrell


Deception carries a huge premium in political campaigns. The stakes are very high and afterwards it is often too late to do anything. This is nothing new. The Art of Political Lying (1712) describes uncovering political deception as being like, “a physician who has found out an infallible medicine after the patient is dead”. The referendum multiplied the premium for deception, as the Express shouted, it was a “ONCE in a LIFETIME” event. It is perhaps unsurprising there was so much deception surrounding Brexit, but when Leave or Remain supporters specifically call something a ‘lie’ are they just signalling disagreement? Does ‘lie’ even work in post-truth politics? Conventionally (in philosophy and social psychology), a lie must satisfy four conditions.

It needs to be a: (i) knowingly (ii) false (iii) statement (iv) intended to deceive. One problem classifying Brexit ‘lies’ relates to (i): it is hard establishing intent. Someone could make a false statement but believe it were true. Complex, moving topics give more scope because liars can more plausibly claim to have been mistaken. On condition (ii) many Brexit ‘lies’ are not ‘false’. Some are ‘truth apt’ - potentially true or false at a later date. An example is David Davis’ claim shortly after the referendum, “within two years... we can negotiate a free trade area massively larger than the EU”. The Treasury’s figure of British households each being £4,300 worse off was truth apt, but projected forward 15 years, so far removed from present reality as to be dubious. Also on (ii) many Brexit ‘lies’ are not ‘false’ because they include terms that are vague or have no meaning, or can mean different things. We do not have agreed definitions of ‘control’, ‘sovereignty’ or ‘reformed EU’ for instance. Statements with these terms are not meaningless exactly, but they are also not truth apt. Rather like the centre of a word cloud they refer loosely to a bundle of related ideas. Some of these ideas themselves are incoherent so we may first need to unpack them and pin them down: an example is the claim we can take back control soon, when doing so means having to copy existing agreements (so we do not have control). Brexit ‘lies’ are often not attributable (iii) statements.

Leave and Remain were cross-party movements combining elected representatives and less accountable figures (in ‘business’ or ‘personalities’). Both camps could promise things without committing themselves in the way a manifesto would. Finally, condition (iv) - lies require a liar and someone lied to. People do not like to admit to having been deceived. It is hard to pin down Brexit ‘lies’ but this approach also suggests six ways to sharpen the label.

C O N N E C T P E O P L E A N D S T AT E M E N T S Campaign statements rarely have one author. This means people can associate themselves with a false claim at the same time as distance themselves from it. They can say, essentially, “those were not my words”.

A N C H O R S T AT E M E N T S TO THE PRESENT However unlikely a statement about the future seems, it is not ‘false’. If we are in search of ‘truth’ and ‘lies’ we need to secure claims to the present.

U P D AT E P A S T C L A I M S A statement made in the past can be disproved but it need not be a lie, providing the person believed what they said at the time. Politicians often acknowledge they would say things differently “knowing what I know now”. Asking people to update their claims is useful because it closes down the gap between past and present.

AT T R I B U T E C O M P E T E N C E Ridiculing someone as incompetent makes it harder to use the label ‘lie’. It could be more helpful to attribute competence to someone and then be able to claim they made a ‘knowingly’ false statement.

P U R S U E T R U E S T AT E M E N T S Interviewers enjoy trying to catch politicians out but if we are interested in true statements there is no need to keep questions secret. Why not announce questions in advance, explain why they are answerable and identify what kinds of responses could reasonably be taken as deceptive?

PRAISE THE DECEIVED It takes courage and integrity to admit to having been deceived. The more people who admit they feel lied to, the better picture we have of liars.

ISSUE THREE • January 2018

/ Research and Impact

Innocent Entertainment or a Negative Introduction to Work? How much could Disney’s portrayals of work be impacting your children’s perspectives and future choices?

Professor Mark Learmonth


From Pinocchio and Cinderella to today’s Frozen and Moana, Disney films are familiar to us all. Children welcome characters into their minds and lives from a very young age, soaking up the characters’ experiences.

Disney animations, like other similar material, are not simply passively absorbed by children. They are strong and visual representations of thought and connect with children’s understanding of the world, forming a building block in their early perceptions.

With working life often appearing in a large proportion of scenes in Disney films, Professor of Organisation Studies at Durham University Business School, Mark Learmonth, suggests that the animations significantly influence and shape many children’s early ideas of working life.

Take Cinderella, where the protagonist is forced into hard labour, and Dumbo, in which at a young age, the baby elephant is plunged into a working life that he is not ready for. Another theme is that it is quite rare to encounter a manager or member of authority who is not in some way ‘domineering and devious.’ A more recent example is Judy in Zootopia (2016), a young, female bunny rabbit police officer, who is regularly abused and manipulated by her chief.

In a recent study, Professor Learmonth, and fellow researchers Dr Martyn Griffin and Dr Nick Piper at the University of Leeds, explored depictions of work within Disney’s 56 ‘classic’ films (from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937 to Moana in 2016). Whilst they explained that they cannot make any claims for any direct cause and effect, Disney’s regular and consistent portrayals of working life are likely to embed into young minds to some degree and influence how they make sense of what working life means for them. Professor Learmonth’s analysis finds five broad portrayals of working life in Disney: dangerous, dirty or unfulfilling work; manipulation and deception by managers; accentuating the positives in working life; being rescued to return to a nonworking life, and leaving work to have a renewed identity. Summarising the findings, Professor Learmonth and his colleagues said:

“One of the most striking things about Disney’s portrayal of managers, employment relations and the everyday experience is how very dark and pessimistic the overall picture generally is.” Research referenced in the study shows how television and film play a central role in shaping children’s attitudes and behaviours. Children are also being exposed to film at ever younger ages and screen time has become even easier to access with the rise of tablets and phones. But Professor Learmonth and his colleagues are not suggesting that Disney animations are the sole, or even main, influence on children, though.

In a lot of the earlier Disney films, there is a pattern of domination and misery associated with work.

There is a category outlined by Professor Learmonth and his colleagues that could be, at first glance, seen as a positive portrayal of work. This is ‘Accentuating the positive in the working role’, which Pinocchio did very clearly. Throughout his dire working circumstances, he remains positive all the way through the animation. This presents the idea that ‘the best way through is faith that everything will resolve itself in time’. A less pleasant side to this is the suggestion commonly made by Disney animations, that rather than actively resisting oppressors, joining a union or otherwise standing up for oneself, ‘we should smile and get on with things because they will work out in the end’. With these insights in mind, it is important to consider how they can help us in the future. Professor Learmonth and his colleagues hope their findings will enable us to understand more thoroughly the forces shaping children’s early perceptions of work and the impact of these forces on their beliefs about how they should act in their future jobs. Professor Learmonth hopes the paper provides stimulation for thought, so that when we settle down for our next dose of animation, we “see it as family entertainment, of course, but [we] also consider the assumptions around work, and around organisational life that the animations are making”.

LINK To explore Professor Learmonth’s research, visit: or see: @MarkLearmonth on Twitter.

ISSUE THREE â&#x20AC;˘ January 2018

/ Research and Impact

The Austerity Playbook New musical tunes audience into ground breaking research With an aim of stimulating further debate around austerity and prosperity, and responsibilities for encouraging civic engagement, Professors Laurence Ferry (Durham University Business School) and Ileana Steccolini (Newcastle University) brought their research to life in the form of a jazz musical play, The Austerity Playbook, on 1 November 2017.

Professor Laurence Ferry

THE AUSTERITY PLAYBOOK • New musical tunes into groundbreaking research • 27

Professor Laurence Ferry is a recognised international expert in public financial management. His research, teaching and consulting covers accounts and accountability with a specific focus on the public sector. The Austerity Playbook, a work-in-progress performance, took place at Northern Stage, Newcastle. A collaboration between director André Pink, writer Mark O’Thomas and jazz composer Andrea Vicari, it was an excellent demonstration of how the arts can present groundbreaking research. This performance was part of Freedom City, which marks 50 years since Martin Luther King was awarded a doctorate and gave a speech that highlighted the problems of racism, poverty and war. The initiative brings together international artists, musicians, filmmakers, academics and community groups to inspire a new generation to contribute towards tackling the issues that Dr King spoke of in his acceptance speech. Professor Ferry said: “For many years I have toyed with the idea of a gritty play and in some ways this reflects my roots. I grew up in the North East, which has a rich history of using the arts to reflect and influence the social agenda: When the Boat Comes In; Auf Wiedersehen, Pet; Our Friends in the North; and more recently, I, Daniel Blake.” The play provided a powerful and unique insight into how austerity affects people’s lives in a variety of ways. With a particular focus on the issue of poverty in the context of austerity in North East England, the play was located in the mythical city of Burnside. Professor Ferry said: “From 2010, the Conservativeled coalition government not only adopted a policy of ‘austerity localism’ but also announced the abolition of the Audit Commission and scrapped the centralised performance management arrangements. The National Audit Office (NAO) was given responsibility for reporting on the financial sustainability of local authorities and there was an expectation that performance would be largely policed by citizens acting as an army of armchair auditors through raw data made publicly available as part of a transparency agenda. Unfortunately, armchair auditors have not materialised in significant numbers and the accountability landscape remains fractured and fragmented.”

“I think the Playbook performance portrayed the research quite well, and highlighted the fact maybe austerity is not the only solution and that maybe what we really need is some kind of prosperity playbook, especially that which embeds communities in embracing not just economic growth but social cohesion - even more so in a post-Brexit world.” The play featured a broad range of characters, each with an emotive and compelling story to tell. One example, a local librarian, was at risk of losing her job following Government cuts threatening to close her branch. The performance exemplified how it would not only be her life affected, but those such as her ill mother who relies on support, and for people in the local community who find solace and belonging in their local library. The performance also looked at the ways in which austerity is defined and presented by those in power. Despite the issues being explored, humour was interwoven throughout the play alongside powerful music and impactful lyrics, as well as romance. Audience participation happened at various points, including musical instruments and cake being given out to involve audience members in the characters’ on stage activities. This combination was an exemplary, entertaining and impressive way of presenting such important and groundbreaking research. Professor Ferry said: “Newcastle City Council (NCC) provides an example of a local authority that embraced citizenship and civic engagement.” “At NCC, the Fairness Commission was launched in 2011 to provide guidance on fairness and equality as a vision for change at a time of facing challenges of making hard decisions with shrinking resources. Various institutional representatives sat on the Commission with the approach being to define some principles to improve decisionmaking and provide guidance.” Professor Ferry concluded: “It can be seen that much work is ongoing, concerning citizenship and civic engagement in the arena of local and central government relations around the politics of the budgeting process and accountability practices. An issue of some importance is that a more holistic framework should be in place to strengthen accountability arrangements.”

LINK To view The Austerity Playbook in full, please visit:

ISSUE THREE • January 2018

TEN YEARS ON FROM NORTHERN ROCK • How resilient are UK banks? • 28

/ Research and Impact

Professor Kevin Dowd

Ten Years on from Northern Rock How resilient are UK banks?

Last September marked the tenth anniversary of the run on Northern Rock, the first run on an English bank since Overend Gurney in 1866. The global financial crisis that followed saw losses on a scale of trillions and vast amounts of public money thrown at the banks to fix them. So we might have hoped that we would be in the clear by now.

UK banks need maybe five times the capital they have to be considered resilient, and there are abundant signs a new crisis is brewing.

But we aren’t. Whilst the Bank of England constantly reassures us there is nothing to worry about, the basic facts and many experts outside the Bank paint a different picture.

Debt levels are at an all-time high and the European banking system is mirrored with non-performing loans and inadequate capital. The International Monetary Fund, the Bank for International Settlements and even the Governor of the People’s Bank of China have issued warning after warning that financial conditions are unsustainable.

Banks’ leverage (or asset to capital) ratios are down by a third in book-value terms, but up by nearly a half in market-value terms, and it was high leverage that left the system so exposed in 2007.

Banks are unprepared and the Bank of England is in denial. And even its former governor Lord King agrees with this pessimistic assessment. To quote his recent memoirs, “Without reform of the financial system, another crisis is certain, and… it will come sooner rather than later.”


/ Research and Impact

FIVE WAYS TO DEAL WITH A NARCISSISTIC BOSS Professor Susanne Braun With statistics indicating that narcissism may be particularly prominent in young adults today, it’s certainly more important than ever for businesses to understand how to work with narcissists to best effect. But how does one manage a narcissistic boss? Building on my research into leadership, narcissism and their effects on productivity, I’ve outlined five steps to help organisations, and the professionals within them, to rein in their narcissistic leaders:

Professor Susanne Braun




PLAY TO NARCISSISTS’ STRENGTHS Studies suggest narcissist leaders appealed to others in initial interactions, but struggled to build long-term positive relationships due to overconfidence and bullish ways. Therefore, narcissists are best utilised in new business opportunities, attracting new parties and starting negotiations on the right path.

GIVE NARCISSISTS THEIR STAGE TO SHINE Though narcissists are typically seen as charismatic and confident, they are often insecure in themselves and their abilities, and depend on external recognition for their efforts to feel valued. Positions such as leading new marketing projects or business strategies, enable them to take ownership of an initiative, giving them a stage to share their efforts with the wider team, and receive positive feedback that bolsters their fragile selves.

CREATE CLEAR ETHICAL GUIDELINES Narcissists tend to lack empathy, remorse and concern for others, which can make it difficult for them to work in collaboration. In an age where a business’ reputation means as much as the service it provides, to counter this organisations need to create and enforce rules and boundaries for professional conduct. Such rules outline how they expect employees to work with each other, as well as external partners.




LEARNING THE POWER OF HUMILITY In an ideal world, organisations should not let success overshadow their leader’s responsibilities. It is important to create more responsible, accountable leaders with solid values. The training for this must start early, at business schools, universities and through internships, so that this becomes ingrained as common business behaviour.

Performance-related reward systems which only recognise leaders who strive for profits above everything else and do not take into account other aspects of a leaders’ practice do little to encourage better behaviour. Narcissists can often charm others with their charismatic attributes. Effective performance and promotion systems account for longterm performance as well as positive relationships with subordinates, coworkers, and clients.

Ultimately, businesses that manage their narcissistic leaders by playing to their strengths, holding them accountable, fulfilling their egos and creating ethical boundaries, can minimise their drawbacks, and maximise their positives.

ISSUE THREE • January 2018

/ Research and Impact

Wasn’t on Your Shopping List? How brands can maximise sales with a little ‘neuromarketing’ magic

Ever stopped off on the way home for a loaf of bread only to find you’ve spent over £50 in the supermarket without even thinking about it? You’re not alone. Unintended purchases such as these account for anything up to two thirds of the average weekly shopping basket and are music to the ears of major retailers, whether online or offline.

Professor Mike Nicholson

WASN’T ON YOUR SHOPPING LIST • How brands can maximise sales with a little ‘neuromarketing’ magic • 31

In November 2017, Professor Nicholson participated in ‘Proceed to Checkout 2.0’ at the Hospital Club in Covent Garden, the latest event designed to share the project’s findings with the marketing research industry. Over 50 Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) brand owners were in attendance, from Coca Cola and Sainsbury’s to Muller Yoghurts and Pernod Ricard.

The focus of the event was the distinction between what the project team term our Pilot and Autopilot, two distinct modes of thinking that account for much of our behaviour. When working in Pilot mode, the brain’s neocortex processes around 40 bits of information every second, making slow deliberate decisions in a logical and sequential way. By contrast, when our Autopilot kicks in, the limbic system deep within the brain takes over, handling some eleven million bits of information in the same timeframe. It is this rapid, emotional and largely unconscious form of consumer decision making that accounts for much of our impulse buying. With the help of willing volunteer Kate Vliestra, Dairy Crest’s Shopper Marketing Manager, Professor Nicholson began the event with a live experiment demonstrating Kate’s own Pilot and Autopilot in operation during an apparently simple reading task that proved startlingly difficult. The audience were then presented with data from an innovative series of experiments in which 450 consumers were exposed to three specially-created new FMCG brands; Pure Joy chocolate, British Village cheddar cheese, and Traders’ Original premium tea. The three fictitious brands were given the full creative treatment by the KHWS team, complete with online brand sites, Facebook pages and even space on a supermarket e-commerce site.

The purpose? To uncover the main decision making shortcuts, or ‘heuristics’, that can be used by brand owners as powerful sales triggers.

The results were an eye-opener for the audience. Brands have long had to fight for space on the supermarket shelves,

offering huge discounts to retailers to secure the best position for their products. In an online store, the problem is even greater, retailer control over space and positioning being almost absolute. In order to attract attention, FMCG manufacturers often have to invest heavily in their own online presence. The results of these latest experiments, however, suggest many have been going about it in completely the wrong way.

Most leading manufacturers invest heavily in their own brand sites, the assumption being that consumers are searching for product information to help Pilot-mode decision making. While we do indeed visit brand sites to learn more about products, over 40% of consumers in this study bought the product only when exposed to marketing messages such as ‘8 out of 10 people gave our chocolate five stars for scrumminess’.

This suggests their Autopilots were heavily influenced by one key thing about the product, along with the opinions of others. Similarly, while a brand’s sales can be boosted not by traditional, carefully displayed price cuts on a supermarket website, a more subtle message such as ‘less than 3p a cup for our richer more balanced taste’ can produce a much bigger increase in sales. It was the results of the social media channel experiment that attracted greatest attention at the event, however, leading to a very lively Q&A session afterwards. We tend to think that channels such as Facebook and Twitter are best used as a means of attracting brand attention, fun content being shared by visitors raising online brand presence in the process. Only one-in-five consumers in this experiment actually responded to shareable content, over half being nudged into buying by more subtle value-laden messages such as “Over seven delicious cheesy meals for less than £4.50”. Entertainment matters to the Autopilot, it seems, but not nearly as much as value-for-money!

ISSUE THREE • January 2018

/ Research and Impact

Doing Business the ‘Insta’ Way

Dr Mariann Hardey


Eight years ago, the once upon a time humdrum photo sharing application Instagram paved the way for a future generation of commercial potential in what is now called the ‘Insta-economy’. The Instagram economy is defined by the earning potential of brands and users who have ‘influence’, as both individuals and brands are realising the earning potential can be significantly increased when promoting commercial content. Dr Mariann Hardey, Assistant Professor in Marketing and Acting Director of the University’s Advanced Research in Computing (ARC) Institute, is the School’s social media professional and is actively engaged in research concerned with a rich comprehension around digital communications. Dr Hardey has led research projects on the emergence of social media and how particular social networking sites have created new opportunities for businesses and individual users alike.

Instagram currently has 500 million daily active users, spending an average of 21 minutes per day using the application on their mobile devices. The commercial potential for the UK is continuously growing, with the UK share of the Instagram population quickly rising, and users and brands have learnt how to exploit the influential competences of the popular platform.

The social media platform – Instagram is at the forefront of some of Dr Hardey’s research. In a recent article for the BBC, Dr Hardey talks about branded content and whether or not the Instagram community minds a little ‘sponsored influence’. The changing nature of promotion and sponsorship have made brands target high-profile users as ‘Influencers’, linked to the growing fluid commercial choices and also the demands of a highly digital society. Both individuals and brands have learnt how to exploit an influential profile on Instagram. Some users are now earning six-figure incomes and are able to sell their influence for, sometimes, thousands of pounds. Furthermore, the social platform’s monetisation strategy is focused on selling advertisements and cross-referencing this with consumer data from Facebook. The potential to leverage responsive and new methods of effective and innovated endorsement is one of the benefits of the Instagram Influencer.

The result of the Instagram economy is that there is now more support for Influencers at the top half of the UK user distribution, compared to other countries, tilting the balance towards business strategies that are based on high personal involvement and high levels of potential revenue from a single post. Commercial brands and agencies are beginning to sponsor and endorse these pioneers, and recognise that new methods of interactive advertising offer immersive experiences and significantly add to the UK economy. Currently the use of Instagram is a complement rather than a substitute for other methods of business, but is nevertheless tied to substantial revenue changes, such as new and emerging economy in promoting the use as a ‘brand’ and other perceived benefits of product endorsement.

Brand influence is starting to plateau and the Instagram Influencers are turning what has been good growth into even stronger growth. Without Influencer endorsement, even with a good crossplatform brand presence, brand reputation and profiles will stagnate.

Instagram users will have to keep up with the competition for ‘real’ income potential and will have to survive platform modifications and stiff competition from brands and emerging digital agencies pushing out paid posts.

However, this landscape is incredibly competitive, which makes it difficult to transition posts across different formats and retain similar audience capture. Very few UK Instagram users sustain profit and commercial versatility through a one-channel promotion such as Instagram.

ISSUE THREE • January 2018

MOOCS • Two Business School courses launched • 34

/ Research and Impact

MOOCS Two Business School courses launched Last September, Durham University Business School launched its second MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), ‘Leading and Managing People-Centred Change’. The School launched its first MOOC, ‘Open Innovation for Competitive Advantage’ in November 2016.

Offered in association with FutureLearn, these free, internet-based short courses are open to learners across the world, and aim to widen access to our research and teaching. Through these online learning courses, learners are able to expand their knowledge and join in conversations with course mentors and other participants across the globe.

O P E N I N N O V AT I O N The ‘Open Innovation’ course looks at how you can find ideas for innovation from the outside world and offers insight and research into how an organisation can harness the latest thinking in applying open innovation to achieve competitive advantage.

The course offers insight and research into the latest thinking for people new to leadership roles and practitioners in human resources, organisational development and internal communications. We will keep you informed via our website and social media with the next start date for this MOOC.

LEADING AND MANAGING PEOPLE-CENTRED CHANGE The ‘Leading and Managing People-Centred Change’ course looks at learning how to bring people with you as you lead or manage organisational change and navigate challenges along the way. In today’s world, many leaders and managers struggle when it comes to managing change, especially if it affects people. The course is all about how to ensure people-centred change in your organisation stays on track. Change does not need to be overwhelming if it is managed well, those with leadership or management responsibilities can find out how to keep things on track. The course is delivered by Dr Julie Hodges, MBA Programme Director and Associate Professor in Management at Durham University Business School. Julie’s research interests are in change and the impact of change and transformation on people in organisations. This MOOC is planned to run again from 15 January – 4 February 2018 and you can register now using the link below.

LINK Find out more about the programme, visit: leading-and-managing-change

LINKS Find out more about the programme, visit: To register your interest, visit:

A TRIP TO CHINA • International Alumni Chapter in Shenzhen, China • 35

/ Internationalisation

A TRIP TO CHINA International Alumni Chapter in Shenzhen, China In September, Durham University Business School visited China to support returning students and strengthen relationships with recruiters, alumni as well as corporate and academic partners.

“Durham’s growing global reputation is shaped by the future success of our graduates, so it is very important that we support their transition into work through strong relationships with employers.”

With around 6,000 alumni working in China, the School is expanding its network beyond Beijing and Shanghai. Following the launch of the Chengdu chapter in July 2017, a new Shenzhen chapter was launched on Sunday 17 September. Professor Susan Hart, Dr Michael Guo and Alumni Relations Manager, Penny Hawley met 50 alumni in a futuristic 3D cafe.

In the evening, over 80 alumni heard Professor Hart share highlights from the University and School strategy, and shared their own experience with current students on what it takes to establish a successful career in the city. Daisy Sheng, Beijing Chapter Coordinator, spoke about the Chapter’s activities to encourage involvement. Antheny Sun, a Beijing chapter volunteer, noted a further 120 Durham alumni joined their WeChat Group that evening.

Professor Susan Hart said: “Shenzhen is a rapidly expanding city with exciting opportunities for our graduates, and I am delighted that our new International Chapter will help them to network and develop their careers.” Professor Hart thanked local alumna Olivia Yan, who organised the event. While in Shenzhen, the Dean also met senior executives from China Resources Group, one of the world’s largest 100 companies, to explore potential corporate links. In Beijing, Professor Hart met with the new dean of the Business School at Renmin University and had an initial meeting with the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. On 19 September in Beijing, 79 business school students met companies seeking international business talent in China including Reckitt Benckiser, Amazon and Abercrombie & Fitch. Charlotte Howell, Skills Development Co-Ordinator in the Business School, was on hand to make sure the complex schedule of interviews for the 22 companies was on track. Students had been invited to submit a bilingual CV and recruiters used these to help select candidates for interview. Marcia Hoynes, Career Development Manager, said,

A banking and finance alumni panel drew out lessons from their own careers in Beijing and then took questions. The networking continued over drinks and snacks as friends caught up and new connections were made. Two days later, a similar exclusive Durham recruitment fair in Shanghai welcomed 135 students and 25 companies. Returning students met with alumni from the School’s Shanghai Chapter. Around 80 alumni were updated by Professor Susan Hart on developments since she met them in 2016. She introduced Dr Jun Jie Wu, from Durham University’s Faculty of Science, who is building their alumni network in China. Ocean Wang, Chairman of the Durham University Business School International Committee in China, described the expansion of the School’s alumni network as well as the many activities alumni share in China, including the active running group led by Tony Lim. Following the fairs, six students have been offered jobs, while others are continuing through the recruitment process. Anyone wanting to join the alumni activities in China should contact the Business School on WeChat using the ID DUBSAssistant.

ISSUE THREE • January 2018


/ Internationalisation

VISIT FROM CHINESE EMBASSY COMMERCIAL SECTION MINISTER COUNSELLOR On Thursday 28 September, Mr Xu Jin, Minister Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in the UK, visited Durham University to further develop relationships and to discuss partnerships for Durham. Mr Jin represents all Chinese investments in the UK. Mr Jin met with Professor Stuart Corbridge, Vice-Chancellor of Durham University, and Professor Susan Hart, Dean of Durham University Business School. Mr YuanHong Zeng, Mr Zheng Wang, Dr Jie Guo and Mr Yang Song also attended the meeting. The visit was organised by Mr Yang Song, an MSc Management graduate from Durham University Business School who currently sits on the Advisory Board at the School. Mr Song is the Vice Chairman of the UK Chinese Business Association.

Mr Jin discussed various topics with Professors Corbridge and Hart, including the developing partnerships with some of China’s leading universities, research institutes and corporations. The School’s development in China is being directed by former Dean, Professor Rob Dixon, alongside other colleagues with research and education interests and links in China.

After the meeting, Professors Corbridge and Hart attended a private dinner at the Chinese Embassy in London and met the Minister Counsellor of Education, Mr Wang Yongli. The meetings furthered university and business links. Pictured left to right: Mr YuanHong Zeng, Mr Zheng Wan, Dr Jie Guo, Professor Stuart Corbridge, Professor Susan Hart, Mr Xu Jin and Mr Yang Song.

NEW DURHAM DBA AT FUDAN • New Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) launches • 37

/ Student Experience


New Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) launches The Durham DBA at Fudan is a new part-time executive doctoral programme delivered by Durham University Business School at three leading business locations across the world. This exciting new programme is built on a partnership of over 10 years between Durham and Fudan University and will start in April 2018. It will be delivered at the School of Economics, Fudan University in Shanghai, China; Durham University Business School in Durham, UK and the Silicon Valley in San Francisco, USA, with Fudan being the main location. Dr Sarah Xiao, Programme Director at Durham University Business School said;

Valley (USA), gives students the opportunity to observe, research and participate in product and service development processes first-hand. If the finance route is chosen, institutional economic theories and their impact, enhanced technical skills and the tools needed to model, analyse and predict financial markets will be covered. Whilst the management route enhances skills to identify and develop a professional and ethical behavioural intervention plan and develop specific advanced technical capabilities needed to analyse business issues. Professor Zhang, Dean of School of Economics, Fudan University said;

“The new Durham DBA at Fudan is for motivated high achievers. It enables students to focus on the areas of either finance or management, and encourages them to bring an unparalleled combination of independent thinking and business knowledge to their organisation and their future career.”

“As one of the top three universities in Mainland China, Fudan is very honoured and happy to work with Durham on this DBA programme. I believe that we, as two globally prominent research communities, will ensure students are at the centre of lively debate and have access to experienced diverse academics and managers from around the world.”

Core modules cover key issues of leadership and key topics relating to organisational change, as well as how globalisation and the global environment of business shape corporate strategy and performance. The module Design Thinking for Innovation, delivered in the Silicon

Throughout the DBA, students will be encouraged to contribute to research activities and culture, presenting findings at conferences. As research projects develop, there will also be opportunities to submit work for publication. The DBA is a professional doctorate with the same status and challenge as a PhD, where students continue to work within their field, whilst applying and developing their theories and knowledge to enable them to make a significant contribution to their profession or their area of business.

LINK Find out more about the programme, visit:

ISSUE THREE • January 2018

CONNECTING WITH STUDENTS AROUND THE WORLD • International recruitment • 38

/ Internationalisation


Choosing a university is a major decision as well as a significant investment so it’s important for potential students to make the decision that is right for them. While many are able to visit their shortlisted universities, for others, especially those living overseas, visiting is not an option.

Our destination countries are informed by the University’s International Strategy, and locations range from Europe to the Middle East to Asia. In the past year we have attended fairs in:

If you decide to come to Durham you will be joining a World Top 100 University. In order to give prospective students an opportunity to meet a representative from Durham University Business School and ask those all-important questions, we visit a number of international recruitment fairs every year.

• Berlin and Frankfurt (Germany)

• Athens and Thessaloniki (Greece) • Bangkok (Thailand) • Beijing and Shanghai (China) • Bogota (Colombia) • Cologne (Germany) • Dubai (UAE) • Hanoi (Vietnam) • Jakarta (Indonesia) • Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) • Mexico City (Mexico) • Milan, Naples and Rome (Italy) • Montreal and Toronto (Canada) • Moscow and St Petersburg (Russia)

The Fairs are a key element of our student recruitment strategy. The Business School prides itself on having a truly international cohort, with on average 120 countries represented by the student body, and we constantly strive to maintain this international reputation.

• Mumbai and New Delhi (India) • Taipei (Taiwan) • Vienna (Austria) • Zurich (Switzerland).

LINK Find out more about upcoming events, visit:

NEW DURHAM-EBS EXECUTIVE • 38 THE NEW DURHAM-EBS EXECUTIVE MBA THE • Inspiring international businessMBA leaders • 39

/ Internationalisation

THE NEW DURHAM-EBS EXECUTIVE MBA Inspiring international business leaders The new part-time Durham-EBS Executive MBA programme, starting in September 2018, has been designed to inspire career professionals to become truly successful international business leaders. Durham University Business School in the UK and the European Business School in Germany have been delivering a joint EMBA programme for over ten years. They are two of the world’s most respected higher education organisations. Durham is a top 50 European Business School, and EBS University was ranked 12th globally for their Masters in Management programme* and both Schools are located at UNESCO World Heritage sites. The new dual-degree Executive MBA programme, delivered jointly by Durham and EBS, draws upon both UK-specific and European experience and provides deep insights into leadership in today’s international business world. It explores the operation of global markets, focuses on leading transnational business relations and supports students to further enhance their international network of contacts. Whist studying, students continue to work full-time as teaching (in English) is delivered once monthly in three-day blocks at either Durham or EBS. This enables new knowledge and expertise to be applied immediately into the workplace, benefiting both the student and their employer.

Diversity and internationality is a key element of the programme, with students and faculty from around the world. Experienced professionals with a wide-range of previous academic backgrounds and from a number of industry sectors will study together on this new 18-month programme accredited by AMBA (Association of MBAs). Dr Julie Hodges, Associate Dean of MBA programmes at Durham University Business School said, “The new Durham-EBS Executive MBA is shaped by today’s connected international business world, by not only delivering modules in the UK and Germany, but by offering the opportunity to students to immerse themselves in another country’s business culture. This unique programme gives students the learning and experiences needed to enhance their careers as business leaders.” Brian Gibbs, Associate Dean at EBS remarked that, “The Durham-EBS Executive MBA has been enhanced to meet the needs of professionals in today’s changing global environment. Students value the diversity represented by each cohort, as well as the faculty members from both universities who teach on the programme. Class instruction on both business theory and practice, rounded out by group activities and guest speakers, provides students with a compelling, internationally-focused EMBA experience.” *Durham University Business School is ranked 47th in Europe in the FT European Business Schools ranking 2017 and EBS University is ranked 12th globally in the 2016 Financial Times Masters in Management ranking.

LINK Find out more about the new programme, visit:

ISSUE THREE • January 2018

/ Student Experience

RANKINGS The Economist, Financial Times and QS FULL TIME MBA


10th in the UK 24th in Europe 75th in the world

2nd in the UK 9th in the world 3rd in the world (value for money)

4th in the UK (value for money) 7th in the world (value for money)

FT Online MBA Ranking 2017

Financial Times Top 100 Full-time Global MBA Ranking 2017

3rd in the UK 7th in the world QS Distance Online MBA Rankings 2017

4th in the UK 14th in Europe 57th in the world The Economist Which MBA? Ranking 2017

8th in the UK 67th in the world

BUSINESS SCHOOL 47th in Europe FT European Business Schools Ranking 2017

QS Global MBA Rankings 2018

The year started when the School was ranked 10th in the UK in the FT Top 100 Full-time Global MBA Ranking 2017. This influential ranking positioned the Full-time MBA 24th in Europe and 75th in the world. The alumni’s excellent return on investment was recognised, with value for money being ranked 4th in the UK and 7th globally. The result also demonstrated the diversity of our faculty, with the proportion of female faculty members being placed at 2nd in the UK.

Among the many prestigious rankings for Business Schools are those run by the Financial Times (FT), QS and The Economist. Durham University Business School has performed well in all of these throughout the year.

In March, the FT published its Online MBA Ranking 2017, placing the Business School 2nd in the UK for a consecutive year and 9th in the world. This ranking also positioned the School’s Online MBA programme as 3rd in the world for value for money, again reflecting the excellent return on investment for our alumni. Also in March, the QS Distance Online MBA Ranking 2017 was announced, placing Durham’s Online MBA as 3rd in the UK, rising three positions, and 7th in the world.

RANKINGS • The Economist, Financial Times and QS • 41



4th in the UK 19th in Europe 27th in the world

11th in the UK 36th in Europe 51st in the world

The Economist Masters in Management Ranking 2017

FT Masters in Finance Ranking 2017

5th in the UK 39th in Europe 47th in the world 2nd in the UK (value for money) 8th in the world (increased percentage of salary)

10th in the UK 33rd in Europe 50th in the world QS Masters in Finance Rankings 2018

FT Masters in Management

9th in the UK 42nd in Europe 55th in the world QS Masters in Management Rankings 2018

The Economist released their Masters in Management Rankings 2017 in May, which placed the School’s programme as 4th in the UK, 19th in Europe and 27th in the world. In June, the FT Masters in Finance Ranking 2017 placed us 11th in the UK, 36th in Europe and 51st globally. In September, the FT published its Masters in Management ranking. The programme was ranked 5th in the UK, 39th in Europe and 47th in the world, climbing nine places. This important ranking also placed the Masters in Management programme as 2nd in the UK for value for money and 8th globally for increased percentage of salary from graduation. The Economist Which MBA? Ranking 2017 was published in October, ranking the School’s Full-time MBA programme as 4th in the UK, rising five places, 14th in Europe, rising four places and 57th globally, rising ten places – a further encouraging result. This demonstrates how the Durham Full-time MBA is world class. The programme was also placed in the top 10 globally for student quality, personal development and education experience, and diversity of recruiters.

At the end of November came the QS World University Rankings 2018. The Full-time MBA was ranked 8th in the UK, 23rd in Europe and 67th globally, whilst the School’s MSc Finance programme ranked 10th in the UK, 33rd in Europe and 50th globally. MSc Management was positioned 9th in the UK, 42nd in Europe and 55th globally. Finally, in December, the School retained its top 50 place in the FT European Business Schools Rankings for the third year running. The school is positioned at 47th in this year’s ranking, up two places on 2016.

Professor Susan Hart, Dean of Durham University Business School, said: “The 2017 ranking results are excellent news for the School and our students. Our strong position in international rankings demonstrates the School’s dedication and commitment to providing outstanding business education and transformative research. We will continue to evolve and develop to meet the future needs of prospective students and their eventual employers. Our graduates will continue to enrich and shape society and business across the world.”

ISSUE THREE • January 2018


/ Student Experience

CONNECTING STUDENTS WITH REAL BUSINESS WORLD ISSUES Business projects and placements Durham University Business School is highly connected to the business world and our high-calibre students are keen to put their top business knowledge into practice. Strategic Business Projects provide an excellent way for them to do so. The School’s Full-time MBA programme culminates in a Strategic Business Project and Masters students also have the option to undertake a project. A Strategic Business Project is a three-way collaborative partnership between the student, the School and an organisation. Projects tackle important business issues, identify areas for strategic development, and conclude with a comprehensive strategic report with recommendations for the business. This provides students with an excellent learning opportunity and practical experience whilst allowing businesses to address an issue specific to their organisation. An example of a project is the work done by Andrew Price, Strategic Partnerships Section Manager of Nissan Europe. Andrew is an alumnus of the School’s Full-time MBA programme and chose to undertake a Strategic Business Project with Jeppesen GmbH, part of Boeing Commercial Aviation Services. His brief was to explore the digital maturation of the airline industry to identify the benefits and barriers associated with digital transformation. With access to high-level executives and individuals across Boeing Digital Aviation, Andrew gained a unique understanding of his subject and the airline industry as a whole. This gave Andrew the opportunity to apply his core MBA knowledge and develop commercially valuable business insights for the organisation. Andrew now works for Nissan Europe and has been able to demonstrate his expertise regarding the future of transportation when dealing with government officials. He said: “Organisations can’t escape the necessity of digital transformation, which is why my project was particularly relevant and beneficial. The entrepreneurial focus of the Durham MBA has left me itching to develop a product or service which can benefit all.” Dr Jens Schiefele, Director, Boeing Global Services, DA&A Research & Rapid Development, said:

“Andrew’s project focused on one of the key challenges all airlines are facing. Andrew produced great work and demonstrated real dedication to our company’s growth and his own personal career advancement.” To ensure all parties involved benefit from the experience, there is a process in place to help the project run smoothly.

Host companies are asked to: • Define the specification of the project (the scope). • Agree with the student, the scope, requirements, outputs etc. • Nominate a main contact responsible for sponsoring the project. • Ensure the student has access to relevant company information and key stakeholders. • Provide reasonable out of pocket expenses (to be agreed with the student at the outset of the project).

Strategic Business Projects cover various topics, including sustainability, entering international markets, e-commerce in Asia, tech/digitalisation, demographics affecting the workplace, Generation X, Y, Z and new and emerging trends, and more. It is understood that projects may touch on confidential information, so the School works with complete integrity, discretion and professionalism, underpinned by a nondisclosure agreement provided by the University. Durham University Business School is keen to connect students with organisations that wish to participate in the Strategic Business Project programme.

LINK For further information, or to submit an idea for a business project, please contact Tracey Wallis Million, Corporate Relations Manager

UNDERGRADUATE AWARDS • High achievers share their stories • 43

/ Student Experience


High achievers share their stories Each year, Durham University Business School undergraduate students are selected for Academic Achievement awards in recognition of their outstanding examination results or performance throughout their time with us. The prizes are presented at the end of each academic year, with the winners being recommended by the Board of Examiners and senior School staff. Shruti Satish, Jack Faunt and Laura Warburton, who won prizes at our June 2017 Congregation Ceremony, shared their Durham University Business School experiences with us:


I joined Durham on the KPMG Durham University Business School Leaver Programme due to the reputation of the University, and I believed the programme would provide me with an excellent grounding for future employment. The KPMG School Leaver Programme demonstrated to me that the Business School is forwardthinking by offering alternatives to the BSc and BA undergraduate courses.


Durham is a great place to learn, with excellent facilities and is filled with students who are willing to help and motivate you to succeed. My programme has provided me with experience in a professional environment early on, whilst also being supported throughout my studies.

I chose to study at Durham University Business School as Durham is consistently ranked as a top university in both national and international league tables.


Business and Marketing (BA)

A Durham degree is an impressive feature on any CV or job application. Additional services, such as the Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre, provides excellent support for students to develop their employability skills and access to numerous networking opportunities. It’s no wonder that Durham University Business School delivers employers high calibre and extremely employable alumni. Durham also has an endless variety of extra-curricular activities and is one of the best universities in the UK for getting involved in sport, societies and student groups. I myself have had the opportunity to take part in a range of activities from cheerleading and dancing to volunteering for six weeks at a school in Cambodia! I highly recommend Durham University Business School, not only for a world class degree but also for an overall amazing student experience.

Business Management with a Business Placement (BA) I chose Durham University Business School due to its excellent reputation and high graduate prospects. In my first and second year of study I was awarded the Academic Award. At the end of my second year I also received a Departmental Prize sponsored by BP for excellent academic achievement. Durham University Business School has improved my skillset immensely; and the University has brought the best out in me. I am more confident and have improved my business skills. Studying at Durham has also surrounded me with people from all over the world, which I would have never met at most other universities. After two years at the Business School, I have secured my dream placement year with an Industrial Placement at Aldi. I will work and manage in various stores. Following this, I shall work in the head office to learn all aspects of the business. I look forward to applying what I have learnt at the Business School to this experience.

THANK YOU Shruti, Jack and Laura for sharing, we wish you the best on your future successes.

ISSUE THREE • January 2018

WORLD UNIVERSITY GAMES • MSc student wins silver • 44

/ Student Experience

WORLD UNIVERSITY GAMES MSc student wins silver In August 2017, Durham University Business School MSc Management (International Business) student Simona Parajova won a silver medal at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei, a town in Asia. The games, organised under the FISU (International University Sports Federation), were held on 19-30 August for students from all around the world. The event is the Olympic Games for students, and approximately 12,000 student-athletes attended. Simona won a silver medal in the mixed doubles tennis tournament with her partner Ivan Kosec.

Simona said: “It was an amazing experience to be part of such an enormous event. I was happy to represent my country (Slovakia) as well as Durham University. Words can’t describe this amazing event. It felt like I was playing a real Olympic Games.”

The Universiade is seen as the ‘ultimate dream’ for university athletes worldwide. For the variety of competitions and the number of participating countries and athletes, it is one of the highest-profile international sporting events and comes second only to the Olympic Games. The name is derived from the words University and Olympiade.

Simona continued: “The organisation was amazing. For student athletes from all around the world, organisers prepared not only amazing sports venues, but there were multiple educational seminars or travel trips available.” The Universiade includes fourteen compulsory sports, seven optional sports and one demonstration sport. These range from athletics to basketball to weightlifting. Unfortunately, Simona became ill whilst in Taipei, so she couldn’t fully participate in singles tennis as planned, but thoroughly enjoyed her time at the games.

Simona said: “The emotions after each match were so strong and Universiade is one of my favourite moments of my tennis career. The two most memorable experiences this year were to win silver medal from Universiade, and winning in the team and individual British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) championship for Durham.”

WHY FEATURES MATTER • Categorisation in social interactions • 45

/ Student Experience


Categorisation in social interactions Categorisation has been of interest to organisation theory scholars for some time, and research in that area has unveiled how organisations are penalised for violating category norms or can reshape the boundaries of a product category. For example, one research project found that wine makers and their wines were valued less by critics if they produced a wide-range of wines rather than focusing on a certain type. In other words, spanning categories, in this case wine varieties, was viewed less favourable and led to a lower evaluation. A group of critics can deter winemakers from experimenting with other varieties which can indirectly lead to a sustainable category system.

Whilst this research has been successful in expanding the understanding of organisational dynamics, a shift in focus from entire objects or organisations to the features that define them has brought new scope and attention to this approach.

Johannes Schmalisch, PhD candidate By introducing a new level of complexity, in which features can be shared between categories, the focus is now on the feature perception for objects and organisations by the audience. Coming back to the wine example, relevant features of wine could be the colour, grape variety, growing region, tasting and smelling notes, in short, the aspects that make up the wine. Membership of a wine in the category ‘Chardonnay’ depends on the possession of the expected feature values. However, as stated above, those features may be shared between wines, making a clear distinction between styles at the feature level impossible. In this context, I explore the role of communication and social roles and thereby emphasise the sociocultural aspect of it. I argue, that by assigning a label or signalling the possession of certain features, organisations and their agents try to convey information regarding the products or the firm to their audience. For a consumer, a competitor, or an analyst to understand and correctly categorise an object or organisation is likely to depend on how the category system and the corresponding features are understood. Therefore, it not only matters how you chose to describe your products or organisation, but you also need to understand who you are communicating with.

ISSUE THREE • January 2018


/ Alumni

FIGHTING ALL CANCERS TOGETHER Celebrating 10 years At the age of 34, Joanne Smith was diagnosed with breast cancer. Joanne received her diagnosis on the day of her daughter’s second birthday, and her son was only seven years old at the time – a difficult time for Joanne and her family. Joanne said: “No matter who the patient is, all family members are affected.” During this time Joanne was also studying the Durham University Business School Full-time MBA. Joanne said, “I was introduced to the Business School by my colleague at the time, Richard Whitaker,” Joanne said. “When I looked into the course I was impressed by the reputation of the Business School. I was 34 and working full-time. I had a young child and another on the way, so studying locally was important to me.”

As a result of Joanne’s experiences following her diagnosis, she founded Fighting All Cancers... Together (FACT) and holds the position of Chief Executive. Joanne has made a significant impact; speaking with other patients, their families and friends.

Joanne Smith

available in the area. FACT has built strong partnerships with health professionals, statutory bodies, support groups and services, charities and voluntary organisations. FACT offers direct and regular help, support and social opportunities for people going through the cancer journey and aims to make it easier to access support at a time when people need courage to look for help. Joanne said: “To be able to meet and share common issues and to help each other find support is an essential part of the treatment process.” FACT has now gone on to develop Education and Awareness programmes and events delivered in schools, colleges and workplaces. FACT has established primary school programmes called ‘SAFE IN THE SUN’ and ‘LOVE YOUR LUNGS’. Two additional programmes are being developed and the FACT team are working on converting these themes into suitable secondary school programmes. The FACT team also go into public buildings and places of work, either with bespoke presentations or with a range of health and wellbeing materials. Joanne said: “I am a great believer in keeping a positive attitude, and in this I am not alone. I have come across so many marvellous people offering fantastic support and services to cancer patients and their families, often as a result of their own experiences.”

This makes a considerable difference where there is a need for more opportunities for support, awareness and social interaction, in a happy friendly atmosphere with those in similar situations. Now about to celebrate its 10 Year Anniversary in 2018, FACT continues to support people going through the cancer journey, as well as their families and friends. This helps strengthen the networks of support currently

LINK Find out more about FACT, visit:

KIRAN RAMAKRISHNA • The future UBER of content production


/ Alumni

Kiran Ramakrishna

KIRAN RAMAKRISHNA The future UBER of content production Full-time Durham MBA alumnus Kiran Ramakrishna, (2011/12) has lived in Paris, London and Durham since 2011, before deciding to move back to India in 2015 to start the content-writing company, Text Mercato. Kiran has worked in the content industry for about ten years and has managed the delivery of twenty three languages for global brands such as Expedia, Groupon, L’Oréal and more. Prior to Text Mercato, Kiran helped start the two companies, (Bangalore, India) and Edit-place (London, UK). The Durham MBA was on Kiran’s radar due to the Business School’s standing in the global rankings. Kiran also spoke with some of the School’s alumni, which influenced his decision to undertake the programme. Kiran has benefited from the Durham MBA through the skills enhancement and tangible work-related opportunities the programme provides. Kiran said: “The benefits are multi-fold. You undertake activities such as the Boardroom Exercise, group presentations and videos. It is not just about the study, but also the exposure to new information, people and situations.”

Kiran launched Text Mercato as he had identified the content market around the world is under-served and is also technologically challenged. Kiran said: “The goal is to make Text Mercato the ‘Uber’ of content production. Our aim is to make content creation faster, better in quality, scalable and competitive in costing. This can be achieved by leveraging technology and sound processes. Having experience in the content industry helped me to understand there was a large underserved market and technology use was limited.” Now, Text Mercato is working on algorithms and machine learning tools, which will take the company from being a platform into an automated artificial intelligence company. The tools will have the ability to pick data and write content, and analyse content quality without human intervention. The company aims to enter Middle East, APAC and then EU markets in a phased manner as part of their geographical expansion plans.

Kiran concludes: “If someone gives you a torch and asks you to find your way in business, you will have a higher rate of success by completing a Durham MBA.”

ISSUE THREE • January 2018

/ Alumni

The LEGO logo is a trademark of The LEGO Group, used here by permission. David Pallash image © Charity Slam.

LEGO® • Group social impact through play • 49

LEGO® Group social impact through play At the LEGO® Group, we are committed to creating a positive social and environmental impact in the communities we have a presence in and beyond. I’m very fortunate to work within the social responsibility team at the LEGO® Group and am now in my third year with the brick. Before you ask, yes, I do get to play and build with bricks most days ...and I love it!

My role is more specifically looking at developing new and strengthening existing learning through play activities and experiences within our social responsibility portfolio, working with the broader responsibility team to engage children, families, partners and colleagues with play and help inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow. When we talk about learning through play, it refers to our fundamental belief that play is our brain’s favourite way to learn. When we play, our brain is more active. We experiment, explore, fail and succeed. We nurture and develop 21st Century skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and innovation, and in doing so become lifelong learners. Within my role, I work with a global team of local community engagement colleagues to bring learning through play to as many children as possible. We believe every child has the right to play, and through reaching children from more difficult socio-economic backgrounds, states of health and other challenging situations, we know we can make a difference. So, how did I get here? After studying environmental science at Sheffield University, I went out to study Japanese in, you guessed it, Japan. I then moved into a role in early years education, working as teacher at an international and very progressive preschool. After eight years there, including four years as Head Teacher, I decided to undertake the Durham Full-time MBA to move into corporate responsibility and chose Durham University Business School as our next destination. I use ‘our’ as, by this point, I had managed to get married and have two children. University with a family ...a challenge we were ready for.

David Pallash, Full-time MBA alumnus

Durham University was one of the best years of our collective life. The programme helped formalise my business knowledge and prepared me for a jump into the corporate world. It helped me develop effective project management skills, understand how businesses unlock innovation and manage change, and a general understanding of how businesses operate. Amazing friends, amazing university, amazing year. Fast forward a couple years and I’m at the LEGO® Group, a company I have loved for a very long time, working from their London Hub office, and working with people that are in the company for much of the same reason – it’s a company committed to purpose-driven business.

One of my latest projects has been a collaboration with the Mayor of London’s education team, including another Durham alumni, Josie Todd, and with a non-profit organisation called the Institute of Imagination (they are as cool as their name would suggest). RE:CODE London gives school children the chance to problem solve and collaborate through coding and robotics using the LEGO® Education WeDo 2.0. At our launch event, we asked children to design a robot that would help clean the River Thames, picking up litter as it zooms through the water. Firstly, they had to design a scoop that would pick up the rubbish and then they had to code the robot to move across a grid and pick everything up. Engaging with children on environmental topics through play, and building on those STEM skills key for their futures is a privilege and a must. Children need to be prepared for the life ahead and we hope to play a part. Play matters.

ISSUE THREE • January 2018

OSMAN KARAKUS • My journey towards a Durham MBA • 50

/ Alumni

OSMAN KARAKUS My journey towards a Durham MBA Before Full-time MBA alumnus Osman Karakus (2016/17) studied at Durham University Business School, he worked in banking, and although he enjoyed the industry, Osman was quite keen to experience companies’ processes and participate in real business cases. Osman said: “So, I joined a start-up team for a new business initiative in Istanbul, Turkey. Through a five-year period, the business achieved substantial success.” When the company started to expand in the region and enter the international market, Osman was one of two employees assigned to help operate the business in Baku, Azerbaijan. Osman hired and trained employees, controlled financial processes and managed the Accounting and Collection Department during four years. “It was a very challenging, but fascinating experience.”

At the end of Osman’s four years in Baku, he decided to embark on a new career journey. He opted to undertake the Durham Full-time MBA in order to broaden his business horizons, by enhancing his managerial abilities and international business knowledge before undertaking the role of Tax and Treasury Manager at PepsiCo Turkey. Osman said: “Durham University Business School is highly ranked, and has a long history with a strong tradition and extensive academic background. The Business School’s triple accreditation (AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS), the vision and the professionalism of the staff made it easy for me to choose the Durham Full-time MBA.”

Osman Karakus

Osman said: “The Durham MBA programme advances your knowledge and skillsets in areas such as finance, accounting, marketing, strategic management, economics, leading and managing people, operations and technology, and international business with core modules. It also enables you to specialise in a specific area such as consultancy or entrepreneurship with selective modules.” Osman said: “You are also provided the opportunity to study an additional language and practise it during the international business trip. This is an amazing experience, and provides you with the opportunity to observe international companies, their internationalisation processes, different cultures and way of doing business first-hand.” Osman said: “After completing my MBA at Durham University Business School, I have obtained more broad cross-functional business knowledge, managerial abilities and leadership skills with a holistic approach. The skills and knowledge I have learnt throughout this programme will be beneficial to perform my role, manage my team and create additional value for my company. I believe each of these experiences and what I’ve learnt will continue to help me throughout my new career journey, enable me to take additional roles and perform more challenging tasks efficiently, and thus generate value for my company and its customers.”

THANK YOU ...Thank you to each of our alumni for sharing their stories. We wish you the best on your future successes.


UPCOMING EVENTS 7 February 2018 Postgraduate Open Day If you’re thinking about postgraduate study at Durham, you will have the opportunity to meet current staff and students and discuss your study options, discover some of the ways to fund your studies and learn more about employability options with postgraduate study. If you have any questions about the Postgraduate Open Day, please email with your questions

17 February 2018 MBA Open Event Meet the MBA Programme Directors and network with current students at an MBA Open Event. Open events are a great way to see the School and to find out first-hand about the course, the careers support we provide, and the application process. You can learn so much more by visiting in person. We’d be delighted to meet you and tell you more about our programmes.

7 March 2018 Online Information Session for Prospective Masters Students Want to find out more about Durham University Business School, but can’t visit in person? Visit us from the comfort of your own armchair at an online information session.

15 May 2018 Online Information Session for Prospective MBA Students Thinking about applying for an MBA? Visit us from the comfort of your own armchair at an online information session.

LINKS View the full events programme at: WARM/01/18/385

Ranked 9th in the world and 2nd in the UK Financial Times Online MBA Ranking 2017

At a glance

• 2 year part-time programme • Personalise your programme to support your career goals • Flexibility — study fully online or complete some learning at Durham • Mentoring — by an alumnus, corporate volunteer or business professional

Find out more at

IMPACT Magazine Issue 3  

Durham University Business School's thought leadership and news magazine.

IMPACT Magazine Issue 3  

Durham University Business School's thought leadership and news magazine.