IMPACT magazine - Issue 6

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Issue 6

International Business Connectivity


Remembering The Forgotten Workers Dr Jo McBride


Urban Decay: Beauty with a (neuroscience) edge Professor Mike Nicholson and Phoebe Huzar


All business great and small: Why CSR strategy is essential for all Professor Geoff Moore Issue 6 • July 2019

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Durham University Business School • IMPACT • 03


Welcome to IMPACT, Issue 6: International Business Connectivity Welcome to the sixth issue of IMPACT magazine, finalist in the CIPR Excellence Awards 2019 ‘Best Publication’ category. Our magazine showcases the distinctive features of our research and education programmes – particularly highlighting the close engagement of our work with practice and our connection to a wide variety of organisations from commercial, non-profit and policy sectors. This international connectivity to practice is intrinsic to our School’s ethos and weaves throughout our three core strategic areas: research and impact, education and student experience. Peter Allen, Associate Dean for External Engagement, opens this issue with a piece discussing the benefits of forging such strong ties with industry. Engaging in this way enables global businesses to gain access to the bright innovative minds enrolled on our programmes, benefit from our researchers and their expertise, and provide a means of keeping up–to–date with modern practice and skills. Such partnerships allow businesses, whether local industry or international organisations, to make a positive and progressive impact on wider society. Another recent example of our School’s engagement on an international level is a recent international seminar held on our campus. ‘Exporting in Challenging Times’ was part of our partnership with the Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (SEBRAE) and gathered organisations and institutes from across Brazil and the UK to better understand how public policy can support SMEs’ international activities. During the event, our guests, faculty and industry expert spokespeople explored the main drivers of international success and looked at ways to achieve sustainable results in foreign markets. Dr Jorge Lengler explains further in his article (page 12). Looking at the impact we can make closer to home, we also feature an article on the UK’s Forgotten Workers, by Dr Jo McBride. Her work explores the reasons why levels of poverty are at their highest in recent memory despite the number of people in employment increasing in the UK. Dr McBride’s report, which has been presented to government, provides the first step towards change. This issue is replete with examples of where our research and impact excels. For example, Dr Anna Tilba’s article shares her latest experience of engaging with practitioners to enhance the performance of the financial sector, and Neil Graney’s article explores his work on mental health and wellbeing in sports leadership, which he has previously delivered an ERSC workshop on with Sunderland AFC’s Foundation of Light.

Professor Susan Hart

With our aspiration to be a world-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. We remain dedicated to examining how organisations can operate more effectively whilst embedding a greater social concern in their work, and how staff can be empowered to support such movements. Professor Moore discusses why Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategies are essential for all companies. Although initial investment for such schemes can feel like a cost to a business, Professor Moore shows why it’s worth looking beyond this to consider what the long-term benefits may be.

Our strength in international business connectivity is further reflected throughout our Student Experience section, where you can read about our successful international study experiences across our Masters and MBA programmes. Back in the classroom, we continue to attract business leaders to our School to share their expertise and guidance with our future leaders. We are also delighted to share the exceptional news that the Durham MBA (Full-time) ranked 43rd in the world in the Financial Times Global MBA Ranking 2019, entering into the global top 50 for the first time, which is an important milestone in our journey. The School’s continuing connection to the leaders of today’s business world is also reflected in the high-level events we host and collaborate on. These include the recent Global Debate at emlyon business school concerning the Roles of Cities in the Smart Mobility Economy. This is our second event in a series, which will allow us to raise our profile with international partners, showcase world leading research and engage with global business on the important topics of the day. As always, I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this issue of IMPACT magazine. The support from all of those featured, from staff and students to alumni and our business connections, has been exceptional. This demonstrates our excellent and collective commitment to further building our international business connectivity and growing contribution to the global business world. Professor Susan Hart Dean of Durham University Business School

Issue 6 • July 2019

04 • IMPACT • Issue 6, July 2019 Contents

Credits The Impact Team Liz Lawrence Marketing Communications Manager Martin Thomas Senior Marketing Communications Officer Dave Eason Senior Marketing Relations Officer

Natalie Taylor Communications Officer Charlotte Wareing Marketing Officer



















Paula Lane Marketing Officer Stephen Close Web and Digital Officer Deanne Dutton Conversion Relations Co-ordinator

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

Thank you Thank you to all who have worked on this issue, including academics, staff, students, alumni and business connections.

Key contributors

Francis Lloyd

Peter Allen

Dr Jo McBride

Dr Roberta Aguzzoli

Alex McNinch

Margaret Auslander

Professor Geoff Moore

Dr Joanna Berry

Professor Kevin Morrell

Jannies Burlingame

Professor Mike Nicholson

Travis Callaway Professor Nick Ellis Professor Jackie Ford Daryl Gaddi Dr Les Graham Neil Graney Shraddha Gohel Dr Mariann Hardey Jon Harding

Wendy Pearson Paulina Petriskova Professor Dennis Philip Professor Carlos Sousa David Gomez Tanamachi Dr Anna Tilba Aarron Toal

Professor Susan Hart

Professor Christos Tsinopoulos

Madison Hayden

Sergio Vallesi

Mareike Helmts

Zhenzhen Wang

Phoebe Huzar

Philip Warwick

Nathan Indrakumar

Dr Sarah Xiao

Mitch Kingsley

Dr Karena Yan

Professor Mark Learmonth

Toshitaka Zenimoto

Dr Jorge Lengler

Social media @dubusschool Durham University Business School @DUBusSchool Durham University Business School Durham University Business School


Durham University Business School • IMPACT • 05

Contents Preview Articles

Student Experience and Alumni

06 Why should business schools engage with business? The role of connectivity


08 Corporate connectivity Is social media a plague we can’t escape?

44 MBA Pathways begin in Dublin and Amsterdam

10 A hub of ideas and learning The Institute of Directors (IoD) and the Business School

45 Preparing the managers of the future

Research and Impact 12 Exporting in challenging times An international seminar 15 Divided Britain? Brands after Brexit 16 Remembering The Forgotten Workers Research update

PhD vs DBA Which is the right doctorate for me?

46 Flexible learning How can it work for you? 48 The new Durham MBA Career Advancement and Leadership Skills module 49

The MBA Boardroom Exercise 2019


MBA Strategic Business Projects networking event Supporting business

52 Shaping marketing strategy in China Strategic Business Project: Diageo

18 Service excellence at TONI&GUY Achieved through research and education

54 From Madrid to San Francisco Connecting our students with international business

20 Urban Decay Beauty with a (neuroscience) edge

58 Top 50 for the Durham MBA 5th globally for CSR

22 Relational leadership Challenging traditional approaches

60 The business of sport Combining sporting and academic excellence for strong foundations

24 Open innovation vs learning from failure What we can learn from Google 26 FA ‘Heads Up’ campaign How we can tackle mental health in football 28 Connecting research with policy for stronger stewardship Building a better regulatory framework 30 Mapping of financial literacy in India Identifying knowledge gaps for targeted intervention 32 Something old, something new An interdisciplinary approach to climate change: The Anthropocene Review 34 The impact of artificial barriers in rivers Citizen science informs ATLAS across Europe

62 From Tokyo to Durham Toshitaka Zenimoto 63 Accuracy Business Cup success for MSc Management Students 64 12th annual Dragons’ Den competition The final 66 Engaging business through undergraduate placements 70 talented Business School students, every year 68 Durham University Business School’s Advisory Board 69 Travis Callaway My career, my Durham and my Durham MBA

Sustainability and Ethics 36 Fighting All Cancers Together (FACT) £2k challenge achieved 38 All business great and small Why CSR strategy is essential for all 40 Embedding the Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability agenda

Events 70 The Durham-emylon Global Debate: The Role of Cities in the Smart Mobility Economy 71 Making global connections with prospective business students

Durham University and Durham University logo are registered Trade Marks of the University of Durham. Unless otherwise stated, all material in this publication is copyright of the University of Durham. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained here is accurate. This publication is intended as a general guide to University of Durham’s facilities and form no part of any contract between you and the University. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the permission of the University. Please note that the University’s website is the most up to date source of information and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.

Issue 6 • July 2019

06 • IMPACT • Why should business schools engage with business? Preview Articles

Why should business schools engage with business? Peter Allen Associate Dean

The role of connectivity

Durham University Business School • IMPACT • 07

An international business school such as Durham will have a range of collaborations with multinational and overseas companies, as well as other organisations like governments and multinational agencies. Such activity is, of course, vital for any reputable business school if they wish to continue to attract the best candidates, keep programmes relevant and enable academic expertise to make an impact outside in the wider world. As a result, this focus is embedded in the School’s 2017-2027 strategy, requiring academics to produce research which positively impacts global, national and regional challenges, and which benefits culture, society, health and the economy, as well as equipping our students to transition successfully to the next stage of their lives. And we’re succeeding. In preparing for a recent re-accreditation, we identified over 350 active relationships between academic staff and external organisations around the globe. Some are individual relationships with managers and others, but frequently these relationships extend widely across the organisations concerned, during both the research period and later when results are disseminated. A good example of this is Dr Les Graham’s work with TONI&GUY (outlined in more detail later in this issue of IMPACT). His study on the importance of Human Resource (HR) management and leadership styles within the company for employee engagement, performance, discretionary effort and customer satisfaction led to a series of knowledge sharing workshops for over 280 TONI&GUY’s senior managers, franchisees, salon mangers and other key staff. Similarly, Dr Sarah Xiao’s research into consumer behaviour has attracted multiple industrial partners, including KHWS, The Brand Commerce Agency, who approached Durham to develop their proprietary planning model and insight tools. Dr Xiao’s work on impulse buying also provided the opportunity to lead an interdisciplinary project, funded by Innovate UK, in collaboration with two other Durham University departments, as well as industrial partners IBM, P&G and TNS, on the human factors which affect consumers’ conversions to different forms of products. This industry focus has extended beyond our academic’s capabilities to also influence the content of our programmes. Connections to business are very important for our students as they either aspire to work in the business world upon graduation or have already established careers within business, either before or during their studies. Our strategic aim is to ensure all student learning benefits from connection to, and perspectives from, the worlds of practice commensurate with expectations of impactful and transformational business graduates. As such the design of our programmes deliberately engages students with business, both to enrich the educational experience and to build employability skills for the future. From our undergraduate programmes to the Durham MBA, our classrooms frequently play host to senior executives from

major global corporations, whether through guest lectures or, more recently, through the appointment of several Professors in Practice – individuals who work alongside academics to deliver modules, providing an additional opportunity for students to develop relationships with industry leaders. Those who have contributed to or advised on our curriculums include the likes of Rolls Royce, L’Oreal, Airbus, EY and Google, in addition to entrepreneurs both local and international. Outside of traditional learning, students also get the opportunity to work with companies on real-life business projects, as well as experience specific business contexts through simulations like the MBA Boardroom Exercise, where students work alongside boardlevel executives from a wide range of organisations. Company experiences have long been a key feature of our programmes – whether taking students to visit the new Hitachi train factory in County Durham, or Accenture, Deloitte and Barclays in the City of London. Further afield, international experiences include visits to companies such as the Founders Space, Tech Crunch and Oracle in California, John Deere & BASF in Germany and Credit Suisse & UBS in Switzerland. In addition, 67 companies attended the careers fair events we ran in China during 2018, allowing well over 200 students to engage with potential employers, including international recruiters such as Diageo, Unilever, Tesla, SAP, PwC and Apple, alongside Chinese companies.

Our long-term partnerships with businesses have enabled us to include a range of engagements in our programmes, from research and knowledge transfer through guest lectures, student projects and recruitment, to executive education and development. This is not only of benefit to our students, but to the companies looking to gain from the expertise of our faculty and the forward thinking of our graduates. For example, the School has worked with Jeppesen, a subsidiary of Boeing, since 2013 on a range of projects which have supported the company’s transformation from a global leader in aviation navigation to becoming an integral part of Boeing’s digital aviation business. Most recently, this has included executive education, with the first cohort of a tailored programme for the company’s executives from across Europe completing their studies at the end of June. The programme, delivered over six months by Durham academics alongside company executives, took place at Boeing’s Digital Solutions and Analytics Lab near Frankfurt, Germany – located in the former print works for their navigation charts. And the result of these efforts? Our education programmes remain in step with the world around us, our students are prepared to not just become industry leaders, but industry innovators, and our academic expertise can continue to positively impact industry, society and the wider world. For more information on our services for business please visit

Issue 6 • July 2019

08 • IMPACT • Corporate connectivity - is social media a plague we can’t escape? Preview Articles

Corporate connectivity Dr Mariann Hardey

Is social media a plague we can’t escape? More than ever before, we’re seeing a disconnection between the corporations we create and their detrimental effect on customer experience.

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The in/visible corporation I work with a range of corporate clients, NGOs and charities, along with cultural sites, museums and art galleries all of whom recognise strategic benefits of social media for engagement and audience and consumer tracking metrics. Many consumers are comfortable with the change in formal methods of engagement to serendipitous social media posts and messages. Consumers are already ‘social’ in these spaces, so the natural extension of corporate reach seems to fit with the innovation of smartphone technology and opportunities for new types of interactions. Yet these new types of interactions are hugely problematic: if a consumer wanted to know, for example, how to raise a complaint there isn’t a linear pathway here. Anyone who has tried to ‘contact’ Amazon will quickly realise after five clicks through different webpages that it is easy for corporations to appear engaged and friendly, when really they are hiding in plain sight.

There used to be a level of transparency in the close relationship required between corporations and consumers, much in the same way people like to put a face to know who they are dealing with. If you were starting a new company tomorrow, you’d be uniquely different if you did not initiate some form of social media profile. You don’t need to worry about a long-lead time to establishing a visible presence, however, the amount of time and financial investment corporations put into initiating and managing a social media profile varies from none, or a little to a substantial share of the corporation’s value. Do corporations invest properly in social media? Often, no. And here is how the plague becomes an epidemic. The infected world of Social Network Sites (SNS), Facebook, Twitter, 微信; Wēixìn, 微博; Wēibó, LINE, YouTube, Reddit and their siblings is such that if I want to start an account, I just click a few buttons. I now have a new profile, and the provider looks after the user database for me. Wonderful.

All of this ‘user-friendly’ technology is designed with sticky features to keep users online for longer, giving away their data ‘freely’ and putting data power into the hands of the few. Some responsible action is being taken in the UK: the latest policy reform and new legal code means that social media firms are barred from using ‘addictive features’ such as notifications, continuous scrolling, auto-play or reward loops.

Cambridge Analytica is a story of the digital age where the main players fail to resolve complex privacy issues and destroy users’ faith in social platforms. Exacerbate existing inequalities and perpetuate new ones I’ve been doing some research into home biometric DNA kits asking fundamental questions about data integrity and how individual’s data is protected. Though in the initial stages of the research, the lack of transparency and inaccuracy in how the tests are managed draws a sharp intake of breath. Equally, some of the positive experiences have fundamentally changed lives: one participant found out she had a predisposition for a rare type of diabetes; she booked to see her GP and has been able to reform her lifestyle before the disease became a chronic condition. We are far from the elixir of ‘cyber’ life, though it would be wrong to state social media is entirely a malevolent condition. What is needed are specialists to create open and fair terms of use. For every commercial opportunity to create more content and leverage more information by social media, there exist in equal measure opportunities to disturb the user experience to exacerbate existing inequalities and perpetuate new ones.

Today’s digital social platforms and networked information have been optimised to ensure users remain engaged and tethered to their affective appeal. This is technology designed to hold attention - constant scrolling, autoplay, image integration, push notifications - all with the capacity for addictive interactions and to immerse the user in ways they likely did not intend or expect. What, then, is the role of government regulation to protect us from such infrastructure? We once may have speculated about ‘technologies of freedom’, however, things have significantly shifted and the celebration for a utopia of self-governance is woefully inadequate to protect user data. Today, the operation of many digital platform-based media have begun to mimic the operation of collective circle of power and questions remain for how big players and their CEOs might be held accountable.

There is not an easy answer to the above, so as users continue to be used, so too we must prepare ourselves for further disturbances as platforms dip deeper for longer into our data.

Part of this rhetoric forms a pre-emptive set of protective reform changes designed to assure the user they are ‘safe’ in social media spaces. What these reforms fail to acknowledge is the role of third parties and the responsibility of corporations in managing their sponsored content to protect user data. To find out more about Dr Hardey’s research, please visit

Issue 6 • July 2019

10 • IMPACT • A hub of ideas and learning Preview Articles

A hub of ideas and learning The Institute of Directors (IoD) and the Business School Dr Joanna Berry

As Regional Chair for the Institute of Directors (IoD) in the North-East since 2017, I know there are many ways the IoD supports and enhances business. The IoD was founded in 1903 and within three years was awarded a Royal Charter: it supports, represents and sets standards for business leaders in the United Kingdom (UK).

However, its integration with and for students is a particular focal point for me during my tenure. It has been great to see how much students have enjoyed the various experiences of looking into the real world of business provided by this relationship, and how much these opportunities have helped them to see how the theory they learn translates into daily practice.

The IoD holds regular ‘behind the scenes’ events at regional organisations of importance. Students have joined me and senior management from regional IoD business members to see how complex organisations like Barbour, Hitachi,

Durham University Business School • IMPACT • 11

Below: Dr Joanna Berry (far right) with IoD committee members.

intu Eldon Square and Greggs really operate on a daily basis. These events have enabled students to network with regional leaders in an informal environment, whilst also bringing to life a very wide variety of academic subjects.

This gives students at the School the opportunity to see how academics really contribute to the business infrastructure of the North East of England and beyond. Examples of this include IoD Committee meetings and events such

Live examples of the international transport supply chain process

as the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and IoD debate on

were evidenced at a visit to Hitachi’s rail vehicle manufacturing

‘The Place of Marketing in the Boardroom’. They provide windows

facility in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

into the world of the real business environment, bringing IoD Fellows and alumni together with current students to interrogate

Students heard the story of a sixth generation family business,

business issues of topical and critical importance.

Barbour, based in Jarrow, South Shields. Barbour is a regional and international marketing superstar, where over 100 employees still

They can also add stunning realism to practical learning situations.

hand-make their world famous waxed jackets.

The IoD Regional Director, Natalie Sykes, has participated in our MBA Boardroom Exercise, bringing her exceptional experience of

Greggs is the UK’s leading bakery food-on-the-go retailer and one

boardroom governance to the table.

of the region’s most famous and successful brands. A day was spent being shown through the storage facilities (at -25 degrees) and through some of their recent new product development production processes, including that of the successful vegan sausage roll. Students also had the opportunity to have a day witnessing the international operational excellence at the Port of Tyne.

Durham University Business School is a hub for the Institute, and it makes the perfect venue to host strategic sessions for regional business organisations, as well as away days and the occasional team meeting.

This collaborative hub also provides Business School students with an opportunity to do some serious networking. For example, the IoD Annual Business Leaders’ Dinner invited students so they could hear from international keynote speakers and have the opportunity to connect with hundreds of senior business leaders, sourcing contacts, strategic business projects, dissertation interviews and other input into their academic studies.

Learn more about The Institute of Directors and their regional hubs visit

Issue 6 • July 2019

12 • IMPACT • Exporting in challenging times Research and Impact

Dr Jorge Lengler

Dr Roberta Aguzzoli

Exporting in challenging times An international seminar In March, the School hosted the ‘Exporting in Challenging Times’ international seminar. This event took place to discuss how public policies can support SMEs’ international activities, explore the main drivers of international success in small and mid-sized companies, and to look at ways to achieve sustainable results in foreign markets.

Durham University Business School • IMPACT • 13

Left: Mr Gilberto Porcello Petry, Chairman of the Federation of Industries of the State of Rio Grande do Sul and Deputy Chairman of the Confederation of Brazilian Industries. Right: Mr Ubiratã Rezler.

During the week-long event, organisations and institutes from across Brazil and the UK were in attendance. These included the Confederation of British Industries, Department of International Trade UK, Business Durham, Federation of Small Business UK, the Federation of Brazilian Industries, SEBRAE and British and Brazilian export companies. The metallurgical, mechanical, automotive, gaming and software industries were represented, including fourteen delegates from Brazil, nine of whom were directors of export companies based in the Latin American country.

There was a focus on UK small businesses at the seminar, including a specialist panel which was held to discuss public policies to support export opportunities for UK SMEs. Encouraging more small businesses to export to new markets is one of the biggest aims for the ‘Federation of Small Businesses’, according to Martin McTague, Policy and Advocacy Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses UK, who spoke on the panel. Throughout the seminar, there were contributions from SME exporters on what they need to do to succeed in this aim, and it was clear that many of the opportunities available can be fulfilled by small businesses based in the UK. To drive this forward, the FSB and SEBRAE have agreed to work together at a national level to help members in both the UK and Brazil to increase trade with each other. Gilberto Porcello Petry, Chairman of the Federation of Industries of the State of Rio Grande do Sul and Deputy Chairman of the Confederation of Brazilian Industries said:

“I have participated in several international events representing the Federation of Industries in many countries. This one with Durham University Business School as a partner, however, had special characteristics that put it among the best. The specialist panel on ‘Public Policies and Support for the Internationalisation of Small and Medium Enterprises’, with the participation of business and institutional leaderships, the technical visits, and presentations that took place during the event were all very well organized by Dr Lengler’s team. In addition, the partnership opportunities we had the chance to identify are very significant since there are converging points which will revert to tangible results in the near future. I hope the partnership between the state of Rio Grande do Sul/Brazil and the North East England region, especially with Durham University Business School, will grow and play an important role in the development of both regions.”

Ubiratã Rezler, CEO of Rezler Machine Keys and President of the Local Productive Arrangement of Caxias do Sul, Brazil, said: “Our participation in the international seminar was extremely enlightening for Rezler Machine Keys. Being able to be in contact with Durham University professors and researchers, public authorities, companies and entrepreneurs has enriched the way of thinking and approaching international markets.

The event presentations have made us rethink some of our procedures. The testimonials of the British entrepreneurs about foreign markets were striking and made us look very deep inside. The presentations of the Business School researchers brought simplicity to some previously difficult variables. As export markets are highly competitive, we have to reassess the possibilities by adding value and innovation to our products which will bring us new horizons and opportunities. We also had the opportunity to visit local companies in North East England which was equally gratifying, mainly for showing us there is a long road ahead when it comes to international markets. Every moment we experienced in the seminar has contributed to a reassessment and construction of a new reality for us. It has become clear that we can reach new markets by applying the expertise we received in Durham.” Diogo Tomazzoni, CEO of Serralog, a mid-sized company from Brazil, who has been part of the Impact Acceleration Account ESRC projects developed by the Business School, said:

“The event was very inspiring. I really enjoyed Dr Saadat Saeed’s presentation on ‘Building Entrepreneurial Culture’. From this presentation, I would highlight how the balance between innovation and discipline can contribute to the company’s growth. One of the tools presented

Issue 6 • July 2019

14 • IMPACT • Exporting in challenging times Research and Impact

by Dr Saeed made me reflect on the types of innovation and the necessary balance between them in order to reduce risks. The presentation on ‘Innovation Strategy and Export Performance’ delivered by Professor Xinming He instilled a reflection on launching new products, following competitors or improving existing ideas. I would also like to mention the inspiring example of British companies who presented their cases during the seminar. Those companies (GreCon and The Lakes Distillery) achieved success based on differentiation, solid international focus and close work with foreign distributors.

Also, having contact with new technologies and trends changed my perception of the world. The experiences at NETPark and Proto, an emerging technology centre based in Gateshead, were motivating and impressive by the level of automation and virtual reality applied to their processes.

Those experiences have revealed a series of opportunities that I had never thought about. Today, those ideas are a dream that could come true in the future. After taking part in the international seminar, my ultimate goal is to incorporate part of this learning in the culture of Serralog. I perceive a certain alignment of the company with the concepts learned during the seminar but we have much to improve in terms of innovation and international marketing.”

Given the evolutionary nature of policy-making, the international seminar has kick-started a series of influences at the political and policymaking levels, and within society at large, which will focus on supporting SMEs’ export activities. The international seminar also provided the environment to discuss future joint projects with the Federation of Brazilian Industries and SEBRAE. As a result, a new project between Durham, SEBRAE and the Federation of Brazilian Industries of Rio Grande do Sul has been discussed. As more business authorities join the partnership with the Business School, it is expected that a larger contingent of export companies from Brazil will benefit from the managerial frameworks developed by the School’s researchers.

Above: International seminar delegates with the Business School team.

To find out more about Dr Lengler’s research please visit

To find out more about Dr Aguzzoli’s research please visit

Divided Britain? Brands after Brexit • IMPACT • 15

Divided Britain? Brands after Brexit

Research and Impact Aarron Toal

Divided Britain? Brands after Brexit How can commonalities be identified amongst the British people so products can be advertised and appeal to the majority, when the people are so divided? Cracking the code of an entire culture’s collective unconscious reveals we’re not so different. Brexit has exposed deep societal divisions within Great Britain. You never get a second chance at a first impression Culture is not in our DNA, but learned. In research made famous by Clotaire Rapaille, it is known that we learn through a combination of first experiences and accompanying emotions. Each emotional memory, or imprint, is unique to each culture, creating a reference system that conditions our decision-making process and defines who we are. Think of your brain in three parts: The cortex processes reasoning and abstract thought, whereas the limbic system processes emotion. Dig a little deeper and you’ll reach the part of the brain that subconsciously processes your survival and reproductive instincts. In a battle between head versus heart, both lose to the survival instinct and it’s here where imprints reside. By understanding how this part of the brain interprets a product or brand, you will gain insight into consumers’ powerful unconscious associations.

The culture code is simply a representation of one culture’s collective imprints. It’s more than just a stereotype: it’s a deep rooted instinct and driver of behaviour.

Cracking the code for Britain

Marketing on code

Uncovering imprints for Britain through focus groups, participants told stories of: annual summer family holidays, recurring sporting events like the football World Cup, routines such as afternoon tea or watching soap operas, a hereditary society structure or class system, the Royal Family and celebrating their key milestones, or ingrained institutions like the BBC and National Health Service (NHS). The code for Britain is tradition.

Marketing examples already exist that incorporate tradition and the appealing double nature of ‘but…’ in their messages. The slow and sexy television advertisements for Marks and Spencer, a company with strong heritage and tradition spanning 135 years, advertise extravagant produce but affordable.

When uncovering the code for the British, contradicting stories abound telling of a north-south divide yet a feeling of coming together in times of crisis; learning of the powerful British Empire but being a small island nation, complaining about institutions like the NHS but speaking with pride to others whose country does not have free healthcare, unemotional in adversity but letting your hair down after hours, or articulating a contentious contradiction like ‘I’m not racist, but…’ or ‘I get where they’re coming from, but…’ The code for the British is ‘but…’ Tradition is very much a routine which provides comfort, security, familiarity or reliability; a physical reference point of nostalgia, something to look forward to, but also something which provides conflict if challenged or taken away. ‘But…’ is a state of mind, a contradictory story to increase the power of a message, seeing both sides of the coin or living on an axis between ‘stiff upper lip’ and ‘flamboyancy’.

Carling’s recent #MadeLocal campaign showcases their tradition of brewing British beer, but highlights new ways they support local jobs and the economy.

Appealing to the majority from a mysterious familiarity that touches the very fundamental, almost primitive unconscious of a culture currently divided, that’s the impact of marketing on code.

Aarron Toal is a PhD Candidate in Marketing with Durham University Business School. For more information on our PhD programmes visit

Issue 6 • July 2019

16 • IMPACT • Remembering The Forgotten Workers Research and Impact

Remembering The Forgotten Workers Research update Dr Jo McBride

We’re experiencing an employment boom in the UK, according to the latest report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The ONS records show employment figures reached 32.7 million – the highest since records began nearly 50 years ago – with unemployment falling by 27,000 to 1.3 million in the past year. However, though numbers of people in employment have increased, levels of poverty including in-work poverty are at their highest in recent memory.

Durham University Business School • IMPACT • 17

In the same month the ONS employment report was released, the Trussell Trust published data revealing the use of foodbanks had also soared to record levels, up 19% in March 2019 compared to the same month last year. Users are not necessarily the stereotypical homeless or those living on social benefit payments but, increasingly, people in near full-time employment.

Currently in the UK, there are more people in poverty who live in a working household than those living in workless environments. According to reports from KPMG, more than 5.5 million UK workers are paid below the rate of the Real Living Wage. How has this occurred? A stark rise in the popularity of gig economy working structures and precarious employment contracts including zero-hour contracts could be a key factor. Such schemes have been heralded by employers and government as an innovative, modern way to work. In theory they allow workers to take on multiple roles, dictate their work-life balance and fit jobs around other commitments. In reality, being neither a full employee or self-employed, such workers are overlooked in terms of the securities and benefits typically afforded to UK workers. With insecure, zero-hours work comes low levels of pay, little control over hours, limited access to unions and HR departments, no pension or promotion opportunities and no paid sick leave or holidays.

And the number of people tied to such insecure working conditions has increased rapidly over the past decade, currently at 900,000 and rising, according to the TUC. Many of these rely on more than one low paid job to make ends meet as they have no other choice. Yet they are absent in policy coverage, hence our reference to ‘The Forgotten Workers’. Together with a colleague from the University of Bradford, I conducted a report into the real lived experiences of the UK’s Forgotten Workers. Supported by several trade unions, poverty organisations, foodbanks and some employers, we carried out in-depth interviews with 50 workers across the North East and Yorkshire, nine trade union representatives, six employers, one foodbank organiser and one volunteer. In doing so, we uncovered some worrying trends; All of the workers faced significant challenges regarding income. Indeed many were experiencing in-work poverty, reliant upon food banks to feed their families as their wages did not stretch far enough. Even increases to the National Living Wage had made little improvement as, without regulation in place to support these workers’ rights, employers simply reduced their working hours to curb the increases.

Zero-hour or precarious contracts trapped workers. Despite promising anywhere between zero and sixty hours of work a week, staff were routinely uncertain of whether enough hours would be made available to them each week to pay their bills. Whilst employees had to present themselves as available for work each day, employers had no legal responsibility to provide any hours to them. As a result, employees were limited from taking on other roles, but never guaranteed any work or wage. Conversely, some were faced with taking on undesirable, elongated shifts during unsociable hours, fearing that refusal would result in employers not offering work again in future. A lack of access to union or HR support meant little could be done to change their circumstances. Those who could take on two or three roles found the hours offered little respite from working life. To secure enough hours to make ends meet workers typically took on early morning roles such as office cleaning before filling short afternoon shifts in positions such as retail, and going on to a third evening position later on. Apart from each position being low paid, such schedules were difficult to reconcile with family life. Austerity, too, had a deep-reaching impact, with workplace cuts putting employees under pressure to deliver more with less time and resources to maintain their positions, with little opportunity for complaint or protection.

Our report illustrates a clear need for change. Key to this is collaboration across industry, trade unions, professional bodies and government. Our work provides recommendations to improve such working conditions in the future, combining; • Employers: by providing evidence and steps to improve employee recognition, reward and wellbeing • Public Sector: by giving examples of health and wellbeing at work initiatives and suggestions for wider policy changes and learning opportunities for local authorities • Trade Unions: detailing ways to overcome challenges in representing Forgotten Workers • Community and Third Sector Groups: suggesting ways to increase public awareness and understanding of economic and societal issues, as well as providing the grounding for new sustainable and socially inclusive policies.

And, for the future, there must now be a strategy for looking at new rights at work to reflect how the labour market and working lives have changed in recent years.

To learn more about the project visit

Issue 6 • July 2019

18 • IMPACT • Service excellence at TONI&GUY Research and Impact

Dr Les Graham

Service excellence at TONI&GUY Achieved through research and education

Left: Toni Mascolo OBE KCSG (6 May 1942 – 10 December 2017)

Durham University Business School • IMPACT • 19

Toni Mascolo OBE KCSG contributed more than 55 years of expertise to the hairdressing industry and is recognised for changing the face of modern hairdressing. He opened his first hairdressing salon in 1963 and then led the expansion of TONI&GUY to become an international hairdressing conglomerate. TONI&GUY currently has 475 salons in 48 countries with an annual turnover in excess of £175 million. TONI&GUY not only provides hair services to clients, but also has 24 TONI&GUY Creative Academies where it trains hairdressing professionals across the industry.

Since 2014, TONI&GUY and Durham University Business School have worked in partnership to conduct research investigating how to achieve exceptional service performance. Education has always been a central value of TONI&GUY. In order to retain the business’s edge and to enhance its capability to stay ahead of competition, Toni Mascolo met Dr Les Graham to discuss how research-led education could be used effectively to achieve this.

The agreed aim of the collaborative research project was to provide evidence, insights, and knowledge to develop and advance the skills of people at all levels throughout the organisation, and franchise partners, to achieve even higher levels of service delivery excellence and customer delight. The TONI&GUY-Durham collaborative research was initially based on the research programme of the Principal Investigator, Dr Les Graham, working with Professors Tom Redman and Ed Snape. This early research looked at features in the salons across the business, the customer journey and employee-client encounters that contributed to the customer perceptions of service delivery. From discussion of the evidence and insights achieved from this initial research, a number of policy changes and training initiatives have been implemented by TONI&GUY. These include the ‘Hospitalian Training’ programme for all staff, the ‘Clean and Beautiful Place’ philosophy across the organisation and the ‘Front of House Team Training’ programme.

of leadership on employee well being, motivation, proactive service delivery behaviours and customer outcomes. Large-scale research studies have been conducted using data from different sources collected from salon managers, employees and clients to investigate the impacts of different styles of leadership including servant leadership and service leadership. Servant leadership theory stresses the importance of the leader’s competence and their conscious, genuine concern for serving and helping others. Servant leaders care about their people and focus on their well being, empowerment and development to their fullest potential. Service leadership is a leadership style specific to the culture and context being worked in and focuses on the setting of service standards and recognising high-quality service.

The findings and results of the research confirmed the beneficial impacts of a servant leadership style for employee creativity and proactive service behaviour. Service leadership behaviour was found to affect employee service performance and client outcomes through creation of a more positive service climate in each salon. Leader passion and positive mood were found to be important predictors of leadership effectiveness. The improvement of leadership capability was recognised as a strategic priority by the TONI&GUY executive and in April 2018, the ‘TONI&GUY Leadership Programme’ was launched. Sara Gracey, supported by Dr Les Graham and other team members have delivered a programme of leadership knowledge sharing workshops to people from across the TONI&GUY organisation. In a series of four different workshops, each focused on a different topic, the evidence and underpinning theory from the research have been presented and discussed. Moreover, the way in which suitable interventions and policy changes can be realised has been explored. In total, 29 workshops have been delivered to 178 attendees. The results of the research have also been presented at leading academic conferences and a number of high quality academic publications have been produced.

More recently, the project has been based on research from the International Centre for Leadership and Followership (ICLF) within Durham University Business School, which is recognised for its international reach and academic impact. Dr Les Graham, working with Professor Olga Epitropaki, Dr Yuyan Zheng, Marisa Plater, Sara Gracey and Natalie Brown, has studied the effects

Find out more about the research of the International Centre for Leadership and Followership, visit Issue 6 • July 2019

20 • IMPACT • Urban Decay Research and Impact

Urban Decay Professor Mike Nicholson

Phoebe Huzar Undergraduate student

Beauty with a (neuroscience) edge

Picture the scene: a swish newly-opened cosmetics store in an upmarket London mall. Student and supervisor sit huddled over a small flickering laptop display, baffled by the readings of the electroencephalograph (EEG) output.

The state-of-the art equipment has been recording the brain activity of customers as they explore the store, its merchandise, and then indulge themselves with a complimentary makeover from skilled Beauty Advisors. The readings throughout have been varied and interesting, but what the researchers are witnessing now is quite astonishing.

Relaxation measures have increased by over 800% in response to a single event during the course of the shopping experience. This is due to contouring: the skilful application of cosmetics products to define, enhance and sculpt the structure of the face. More specifically, it is the stage of contouring performed with a single large make-up brush! The power of the ‘fluffy brush effect’ in positively affecting the mood of consumers, along with subsequent spending, is just the latest discovery to emerge from an exciting collaboration between Durham University Business School and the cosmetics

brand Urban Decay, part of the L’Oréal global empire. For the past two years, with guidance from supervisor Professor Mike Nicholson, undergraduate student Phoebe Huzar has been making an increasingly important contribution to Urban Decay’s retail experience design. It all began with a one-year internship, during which, Phoebe set out to investigate ways in which the brand’s retail outlets could gain a competitive advantage through the careful crafting of a more engaging and emotionally rewarding in-store experience. Early in this process, attention quickly focused on the delivery of in-store makeovers, a common practice in cosmetics retailing, but one fraught with contradictions when seen through the consumer’s lens. On the one hand, customers relish the opportunity to have their make-up professionally applied by a trained Beauty Advisor, an experience that is both relaxing and an opportunity for learning. At the same time, however, most brands conduct their makeovers in the middle of the shop floor, a very public display that can easily dissuade more self-conscious customers – customers who often belong to potentially highspending market segments.

Durham University Business School • IMPACT • 21

Phoebe’s early focus groups shed new light on just how intimidating such a makeover can be, along with the untapped potential were a retailer to finally get this right. These insights informed the development of the innovative ‘in-store salon’ concept, which came to fruition with the opening of the flagship new-look store in the Westfield shopping mall. Dubbed the ‘store of the future’ by Urban Decay, this exciting new outlet offers a complete salon experience, a separate area behind a retractable wall to afford privacy for a makeover that not only includes the ultimate in pampering, but also the ability to view the finished product under different lighting conditions, from natural daylight to the full nightclub effect. And it doesn’t stop there. When she returned to Durham at the end of her internship, Phoebe set to work with Mike in developing a final-year dissertation project that would enjoy unprecedented levels of access and participant incentivisation from Urban Decay.

Through a series of focus groups and repertory grid interviews, Phoebe’s research began to reveal insight after insight of potentially significant commercial impact for the company, from the optimisation of store atmospherics to the ways in which careful shaping of consumer involvement levels can change brand perceptions and loyalty. But it is the strong neuroscience dimension that really makes this piece of marketing research stand out. ‘Neuromarketers’ study how the consumer’s brain responds to marketing stimuli and the way those brain responses vary in different situations.

Below, The research site.

Armed with portable EEG headsets, a laptop and a large quantity of good-old-fashioned saline solution, Phoebe and Mike spent a fascinating two days in Urban Decay’s flagship store early in 2019. With amazing support from an intrigued in-store retail team, Phoebe set about capturing EEG data under Mike’s supervision from an enthusiastic group of cosmetics consumers. Over 3.9 million data points were captured over the two-day period, charting brain activity as consumers explored the store environment and its colourful displays, experimented with sample products on the ‘play table’ and interacted with in-store tablet technology, and even sought to ‘Burst the Cherries’ and win prizes during a videowall game on the outside of the store. And of course, data captured during the makeovers themselves revealed the power of the ‘fluffy brush effect’, arguably the most unusual output of consumer cosmetics research, much to the amusement and delight of senior Urban Decay executives from L’Oréal Head Office, who dropped by to witness neuromarketing in action. In many ways, however, the real innovation of the Urban Decay project lies in its value as an exemplar of what can be achieved when a little creativity is applied to the student-supervisorindustry relationship. For Phoebe, this was an incredible retail research experience that has enhanced her employability skills immeasurably and already attracted the attentions of a major brand agency. For Urban Decay, this was a unique opportunity to gain new consumer insights and marketing advice from a senior Durham academic. And for Mike? Well, his knowledge of cosmetics products and contouring has become encyclopaedic from witnessing so many makeovers first-hand; a not trivial knowledge gain for an evolutionary psychologist researching appearanceenhancing products! In short, the store of the future inspired the dissertation of the future, paving the way for a taste of things to come on Durham’s undergraduate programmes.

Below, A makeover with a difference, complete with EEG measurements.

To find out more about our BA Marketing and Management programmes, visit

Issue 6 • July 2019

22 • IMPACT • Relational leadership Research and Impact

Professor Jackie Ford

Relational leadership Challenging traditional approaches The growing fascination with leadership research and its practice in organisations has been one of the most enduring aspects of work in recent decades.

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There has been a noticeable change in the language used and the terms ‘leadership’ and ‘leaders’ have become much more pervasive in studies of organisations as well as in politics and in the media more generally. Yet so much of this study remains focused on hierarchical forms of leadership which privileges the leader and reinforces a onedimensional view of what it is to be this leader. What is worrying in this enduring enchantment is the undue focus on the senior leader as organisational hero that romanticises the influence of the individual leader and neglects other parties and contexts that are at the heart of leadership. This has meant that the perspective of those being led has been marginalised and furthermore, that the social, specific and cultural context within which the leadership relationship occurs has been overlooked.

The various ways in which writers have sought to classify leaders and followers also have a normalising tendency, to make assumptions associated with the homogeneity (‘the one size fits all’) of the leaders or the followers into one or other category. This is problematic, not only on the grounds that followers (and leaders) themselves have many unique characteristics and identities, but also that many of these individuals (at different times) could be depicted as both leaders and followers, which adds complexity not only to theorising followers and leaders but also to practicing these roles. My research within organisations over the last three decades speaks more to relational leadership approaches. Such approaches recognise the significance of interpersonal relationships and the powerful effect that interactions between leaders and those being led can have on our lives at work.

Our daily experiences and interactions with colleagues in the workplace tell us of the unique and multiple ways in which we bring our sense of who we are to the workplace – in all its myriad forms – as parents, siblings, friends, work colleagues, as well as other social identities such as our gender, age and ethnicity. All of these factors can influence our relations with those around us. Thus, rather than focusing on styles of leadership and the heroic qualities of leaders, leadership is the collective and relational work of many people in an organisation. The focus thus shifts from leaders towards followers with leaders in a relational dynamic, in terms of giving voice to all people in an organisation, and harnessing the combined intelligence of the workforce as part of a process of building new relationships within, across and indeed outside the organisation.

Each individual, whether a leader or a follower, will experience leadership differently and in recognising power asymmetries in organisations, we know that this relationship will not always be one of equal partnership and communion. It requires that those in leadership roles recognise and empathise with the needs, feelings, circumstances and history of those individuals they lead. But it also behoves on followers to claim their voice and value the shared contribution that they make to the leader-led relationship. All too often, we hear of followers feeling unable to speak out and be recognised and thereby denying their own sense of who they are and what they can contribute. This dynamic, relational and contextually specific approach means not being bound by rigid theories, models and thinking on leadership so that we can address approaches that are more politically aware, socially concerned, morally-informed and able to tackle the problems caused by too much attention paid to individualistic agendas.

We need understandings of leadership that are more inclusive, ethical, eclectic (rather than prescriptive) and contextually meaningful and that give us the language to challenge stereotypes, norms and assumptions that continue to privilege those in more powerful roles. As fundamentally social beings, humans crave social stimulation, warmth, and emotional interchanges from the beginning of life. This can be translated through to organisational life. In our workplaces, we continue to have needs associated with emotional exchange, mutual acknowledgement, recognition and social contact. Rather than being constrained by leadership notions and practices, we should be seeking approaches that improve interactions between people at work and recognise the locallysituated and unique relationships that people build together. We have been stuck in the rut of traditional ways of theorising, researching and practicing leadership and we now need to break away from such mediocrity and challenge both macro and micro approaches. At the macro level, we need to confront some of the bigger social, economic and political leadership questions and at the micro, organisational level, we need to have sight of the micro-revolutions that we can seek to achieve through reframing our leadership practices. We thus need to build more inclusive, participatory, relational and social platforms for leadership.

To find out more about our research into leadership visit our International Centre for Leadership and Followership pages at Issue 6 • July 2019

24 • IMPACT • Open innovation vs learning from failure Research and Impact

Open innovation vs learning from failure What we can learn from Google

Professor Christos Tsinopoulos

Dr Karena Yan

Professor Carlos Sousa

Durham University Business School • IMPACT • 25

In April 2019, when Google announced the closure of Google+, a social networking platform aiming to compete with the likes of Twitter and Facebook, most commentators focused more on the reasons that led to the failure and the fact that this vast organisation has not been able to compete in this space. Yet, Google has been there several times in the past. According to, a crowd-based website devoted to documenting Google’s past failures, there have been at least 163 botched projects abandoned by the company since 2002 - and these are only the ones that have made it to the public domain.

However, far from indicating a company’s limitations, having the ability and confidence to abandon such projects and to then learn from these failures can become a major factor for future success. As a result, innovation researchers have long been trying to explore how organisations can effectively deal with failure, and benefit from it. The general consensus is that new product development processes are more likely to be successful when they operate in an environment where failure is not penalised but accepted, and lessons are learned – advocating company heads to take greater risks and embrace new ideas for the possibility of a greater reward further down the line. Yet failure does not only affect single organisations. Modern industries operate through complex networks, meaning innovation processes are linked with many stakeholders: suppliers, customers, universities and even governments. Given the benefits often reported by those who engage in such open innovation initiatives, organisations are often encouraged to proactively involve external parties when developing new products. Google, for instance, has been known for having a distributed and relatively more open approach to developing new products. The success of its Android operating system, for example, is often attributed to the openness of its software.

However, as documents, not all of these open innovation initiatives end in success or profit. This therefore leaves open a very critical question: Is engaging with open innovation good or bad for learning from failure?

On the plus side, open innovation can help organisations to bounce ideas off others and increase their propensity to learn about new sectors, markets and services from those who have previous knowledge and experience. By combining such skillsets, companies stand a greater chance of designing a successful new product or service than they do by going it alone. On the downside, abandoning a lessthan-successful innovation project may mean that suppliers and customers, whose future business may well depend on maintaining a future relationship with that organisation, would be less likely to share openly what they think went wrong, in case they face blame or risk opportunities for future collaborations. Our research set to answer this question by exploring a large database of abandoned initiatives. We first found that, as expected, the experience of failure can positively affect an organisation’s innovation performance. Failure reveals information about how an organisation interacts with its environment, providing a wealth of learning opportunities for all involved. To take our Google example a bit further, despite abandoning the Google Glass, the company was able to reinvent it as a mechanism for guiding operators in manufacturing contexts.

They were able to do so because, on reflection and through collaboration, they were able to better understand how the product most effectively interacted with its environment. Secondly, and potentially counterintuitively, we found that a strategy of openness at the time of failure is more likely to have a negative effect on how organisations learn. This is most likely due to managers selectively deciding which external members are going to learn from the experience. This creates an ‘undersampling’ of failure, potentially limiting the opportunity for all to effectively learn from previous events and develop their ideas more effectively in future. As with Google, our research emphasises the need for organisations to start working on creating an open environment, where failure is accepted rather than shamed or hidden and is used as an opportunity to learn. Unlike Google though, they should be very careful about who they decide to learn from. Using the usual suspects or, for instance, a supplier that is looking for future work may only lead to learning the wrong lessons and repeating old mistakes.

To learn more about the research of the Centre of Innovation and Technology Management, visit Issue 6 • July 2019

26 • IMPACT • FA ‘Heads Up’ campaign Research and Impact

FA ‘Heads Up’ campaign Neil Graney Assistant Professor

How we can tackle mental health in football

Durham University Business School • IMPACT • 27

At the beginning of May this year, the Football Association (FA), alongside mental health charity Heads Together, launched its ‘Heads Up’ campaign. The idea is to use the influence and popularity of football to show the world that mental fitness is just as important as physical fitness. It aims to generate the biggest ever conversation around mental health to drive awareness and change with regards to the alarming number of men that are affected by difficult mental health. The campaign will be officially launched at the FA Community Shield in August 2019, but it has already begun to involve footballers and celebrities in this discussion, such as England manager Gareth Southgate, England international footballer Danny Rose and the Duke of Cambridge. In fact, a feature documentary featuring these, plus numerous other famous faces, aired on the BBC which looked to spark conversations around the issue of mental health in relation to football. This is only the beginning of the campaign, and it will continue into the 2019/20 season.

This campaign is something not too dissimilar at all from not only my research area, but also my personal life. In fact, I have used my own personal narrative to shape my research areas. I was a young footballer, growing up in the late 1980s/early 1990s, in the North East of England, and experienced the highs and lows of a footballer that didn’t quite ‘make it’. Since then, much of my research has reflected upon how the effects of isolation, rejection and failure contributed to, and escalated to, more than a decade of undiagnosed mental health illness. My latest research paper in this area, entitled My Child, the Athlete, won the ‘best paper’ award at the Annual Open University Sport and Fitness Conference.

The focus of the research is mental health and wellbeing management in professional football academies in the UK. It aims to contribute to the expansion of understanding mental health in elite athletes through a high-quality, systematic study. It takes into account six key areas: the importance of culture, defining mental health in an elite sport context, developing specific sport metrics to monitor mental health, considering mental health as an important resource, further understanding the elite sport environment

and developing organisational structures to break stigma around mental health disclosure. Then from a management perspective, the research challenges the role and influence of organisational culture and strategic leadership in the development of young ‘elite’ players. I have already completed an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) workshop with Sunderland AFC’s Foundation of Light (the charity arm of the football club) and will be working with other clubs in the future. My personal experiences, and my research activities, have led me to also develop a study module for students at Durham University Business School focused entirely on sport business management – the Global Sport Business module. In this, students develop a better understanding of the main contemporary issues affecting sport organisations and athletes across the globe. There is a heavy focus on the duty of care of athletes within the module, which has gone on to inspire a number of students to conduct their own research into mental health and wellbeing issues in a number of different sports across the globe, including national organisations in the UK, the United States and New Zealand.

As well as continuing my research into football and mental health, I am also currently writing a chapter for an upcoming book, entitled Person First, Athlete Second. The chapter will consider how professional football clubs manage the mental health and wellbeing of their young, elite players. It will specifically explore how club management and coaching staff create working environments for full-time professional athletes, in which young athletes are also expected to perform. It will also look at how young elite performers manage the expectations placed on them in high-performance settings and consider the impact of associated pressures on their general mental health and wellbeing. It is vitally important that we understand the role stigma plays in how readily young elite performers are willing to disclose their mental health concerns and openly access relevant support. It is essential that we learn more about mental health and wellbeing of men and athletes, both in and out of football. Mental fitness should be treated the same as physical fitness, and there certainly needs to be greater emphasise on this in young elite athletes. The FA’s ‘Heads Up’ campaign is a welcomed start to sparking the discussion around this issue, and encouraging young men to disclose their mental health concerns and access the support that is available to them.

To find out more about Neil Graney’s research, please visit

Issue 6 • July 2019

28 • IMPACT • Connecting research with policy for stronger stewardship Research and Impact

Connecting research with policy for stronger stewardship Building a better regulatory framework Dr Anna Tilba

I have recently submitted my formal response to the Financial Reporting Council and Financial Conduct Authority’s Consultation on the UK Stewardship Code (2019). My response was based on over a decade of my academic research into institutional investors’ investment management practices in relation to stewardship, as well as my advisory roles at the UK Law Commission, Financial Conduct Authority and the Pensions Regulator. It also brought together relevant empirical evidence and policy ‘thinking points’ from three of my theoretical academic papers, published over the years.

Engagement with policymakers via responding to their consultations, conducting research or being on their advisory boards, has always been an important and rewarding part of my academic career. In this article, I will share my latest experience of connecting research with the world of practice.

Institutional investors such as insurance companies, mutual funds and pension funds ‘own’ shares of public corporations and provide financial security for millions of savers who invest through them. Regulators count on these institutions to help police the financial market against the risks of corporate misconduct and fraud.

Yet, even after the Financial Crisis of 2007/08 and the heightened policy expectations on them to be more responsible owners, many financial institutions remained passive and disinterested in exercising proper oversight of their investee companies. Therefore, it is not surprising that the regulators opened another discussion on how best to encourage the institutional investment community to engage more actively in stewardship of the assets in which they invest.

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Incidentally, this call came at a time when I had just published my research in the Modern Law Review (2019) which explored some of these issues. The paper explored fiduciary duty of pension fund trustees and stewardship and highlighted the practical challenges on the way to effective stewardship in the context of UK pension funds.

In the aftermath of the Financial Crisis and the governance reviews that followed, the concept of a ‘Fiduciary Duty’ was hastily (and perhaps inappropriately) put forward as a legal and practical foundation that could lead the development of institutional investor practices, particularly those relating to extending the stewardship role in relation to investee firms. However, a host of barriers seem to prevent all but a handful of funds from meeting policy expectations about stewardship. Alongside the more obvious barriers (such as dispersed share ownership) and the associated problems (co-ordination, management and control, free-rider problems and information asymmetries), I found that trustees’ interpretations of their core duty to act in the best interest of pension fund members also seems to prevent many pension funds to act more as ‘stewards of shares’.

More specifically, I reveal a distinct tension between trustees’ stewardship responsibilities and the exclusive focus on financial performance. This is when stewardship appears to pull trustees in a different direction from what they consider to be the purpose of a pension fund (i.e. focusing on generating financial returns and securing retirement income, not fixing corporate governance problems).

The majority of trustees do not relate their duties and the purposes of pension funds to stewardship, which suggests that there are still misconceptions around the nature of trustee obligations. In the context of the FRC and FCA’s review of the stewardship Code, these findings provide an important glimpse into everyday pressures of trustees and highlight that the commitment to general principles of Stewardship seems to be much easier to achieve at a theoretical level than in practice. Whilst a healthy financial sector depends on retaining customers and building trustworthy business, it also requires collaborative thinking between academics and practitioners. How else can we generate sustainable wealth creation other than by combining the strengths of the world of practice and academic research?

Above, Baroness Altmann, Anna Tilba and Andy Agathangelou FRSA, Founding Chair, Transparency Task Force.

Transparency Trophy Award

On 16 May 2019, Anna was awarded with the Transparency Trophy during the Financial Transparency Symposium in London. The award acknowledges Anna's years of commitment to improving governance, transparency and accountability standards within UK's financial services sector through her Transparency Ambassador work and her policy impact. The award was presented by UK Parliament Member, Former Pensions Minister, Baroness Ross Altmann and Anna was the first female academic to receive it.

UK Transparency Taskforce is the collaborative, campaigning community, dedicated to driving up the levels of transparency in financial services, right around the world. Its mission is ‘To drive positive, progressive and purposeful finance reform by harnessing the transformational power of transparency’. Transparency Taskforce reaches thousands of financial services professionals, it has over 650 members contributing to government and industry consultations, producing thought leadership white papers, having meetings with government officials and regulators. It is supported by a global network of Ambassadors, many of whom have extensive subject matter expertise.

For more information on Dr Tilba’s research, please visit

Issue 6 • July 2019

30 • IMPACT • Mapping of financial literacy in India Research and Impact

Professor Dennis Philip

Financial literacy – what is it? An important element for economic development, as has recently been recognised and advocated by policy makers around the world.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) provides the following working definition for financial literacy:

“Financial literacy is knowledge and understanding of financial concepts and risks, and the skills, motivation and confidence to apply such knowledge and understanding in order to make effective decisions across a range of financial contexts, to improve the financial wellbeing of individuals and society, and to enable participation in economic life.” Financial literacy policy impact in India The Centre for Banking, Institutions and Development (CBID) at the Business School partners with the National Centre for Financial Education (NCFE) in India to investigate the levels of financial literacy there. The project is led by Professor Dennis Philip, Dr Anurag Banerjee and doctoral researcher Kamlesh Kumar. The research analyses the national benchmark survey database of financial knowledge and inclusion fielded

by NCFE across India. The survey spanned over 150 districts to ensure adequate representation of all the 28 states and 7 union territories and gathered granular information on 76,762 respondents. From the NCFE-Durham collaborative research, two overarching policy contributions have emerged: 1. It enabled policy-makers in India to benchmark the financial literacy levels for the first time against other OECD countries. The project findings, summarised in a high-level white paper, were presented to ministers at two policy forums and inform the national strategy for financial education in India. 2. It highlighted important gaps in financial knowledge and identified vulnerable socio-economic groupings, such as ‘Backward Class’ and ‘Jawans’ (soldiers), for targeted educational interventions. One of the outputs produced through the School’s research is the Mapping of Financial Literacy, which displays the levels of financial literacy across the states. The average response scores

Durham University Business School • IMPACT • 31

for the survey questions are presented in the form of dynamic maps that display several dimensions covering financial knowledge, behaviour and attitude. The mapping results provide important information to policy-makers, grassroots microfinance organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and educational bodies across the states in India on their financial literacy performance and inform their priorities for the region. How financially literate is India? Financial knowledge is measured with survey questions related to seven important topics: purchasing power (time value of money), interest paid on loans, simple interest calculation, the benefits of compound interest on savings, the risk-return relationship, the benefits of diversification, and the understanding of inflation.

Table 1: Results for financial knowledge across zones Zones Financial knowledge questions








Time value of money (in %)





Interest paid on loans (in %)










Simple interest calculation (in %)







75.30 55.21

Benefits of compound interest (in %)








Risk-return relationship (in %)








Benefits of diversification (in %)








Understanding of inflation (in %)








All seven responses correct (in %)








Zero responses correct (in %)








Average financial knowledge score








Figure 1: Maps of India with state-level financial literacy scores

Table 1 shows the zone-level summary of the percentage of correct responses to the seven financial knowledge questions. Across the financial knowledge dimensions, the highest number of incorrect responses were for questions on the understanding of compound interest and purchasing power of money. The results across zones show considerable variation in the response accuracies in financial knowledge, which indicates that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to interventions. The North and West Zones perform best overall, with 12.7% and 11.11% of respondents, respectively, answering all seven questions correctly. This is driven by the fact that two of the major cities of India, Delhi and Mumbai, belong to the North and West Zones. The lowest financial knowledge scores are observed in the East Zone. The state-level results for financial knowledge, financial behaviour and financial attitude show considerable diversity among states. Figure 1 visually summarises this information. It can be seen that financial attitude scored the lowest, as compared to financial behaviour and financial knowledge. Comparing the financial knowledge and financial behaviour average scores across states, we observe greater variation in financial knowledge than behaviour.

Table 2: Results for financial knowledge in comparison with OECD average

Several states show particularly low average financial knowledge scores, indicating limited effective financial decision-making among the population. The research recommended taking into account cultural aspects of respondents in order to gauge the factors driving these state-level results. So how does India compare with the other OECD countries in terms of financial knowledge? The average correct responses to the financial knowledge questions are compared with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) results in Table 2. It can be seen that the average scores in India are lower than the OECD averages for all the financial knowledge dimensions, with the highest difference observed for understanding of time value of money and the risk-return relationship. The lowest difference in average scores are seen for simple interest calculation and benefits of diversification. Issue 6 • July 2019

32 • IMPACT • Something old, something new Research and Impact

Something old, something new Professor Kevin Morrell

An interdisciplinary approach to climate change: The Anthropocene Review

Durham University Business School • IMPACT • 33

Whatever we think of the tactics of the protest movement Extinction Rebellion, it is hard to overstate the potential threat from climate change.

To address this kind of global problem means working together across established boundaries. In a paper recently accepted for publication in the new trans-disciplinary journal The Anthropocene Review, Professor of Strategy and PhD Programme Director, Kevin Morrell does just this. This Q&A with Professor Morrell looks at what some of the implications of this work are. What is meant by ‘The Anthropocene’? ‘The Anthropocene’ is a very simple but also compelling idea. Scholars from different disciplines now use this term to describe how we have moved to a new geological era. The defining feature of this era is that humans (ánthrōpoi) are the dominant impact on our climate and environment. Two connected ideas help explain further. First, the concept of ‘planetary boundaries’: these set out the safest upper levels of things such as levels of CO2, ocean acidification, biodiversity loss and so on. Planetary boundaries essentially mark out a safe operating space for humanity and we are reaching or (some believe) have even crossed some of these limits. Second, the concept of the ‘Great Acceleration’: this describes a period of intense growth since the end of the Second World War. Since then there has been intensive socioeconomic growth, rising population levels, increasing urbanisation and huge increases in transportation and tourism.

Essentially we argue the need for new ways of thinking about corporate responsibility and corporate governance. To extend our understanding of corporate governance, we develop suggestions for future research into corporations and ‘Earth systems governance’. This goes much further than thinking about corporations in isolation and considers instead how they are interconnected. Along with other work from the project, this also means we are tying closely to Durham University Business School’s strategy and our focus on Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability. What else is new? Our paper looks at corporate governance in business systems. In ongoing work, which will be presented at the Academy of Management conference in Boston later this year, we are developing implications of corporate responsibility.

In terms of what else is new, one thing that is exciting is that as scholars working in academic disciplines, we’ve found some common ground from a very old source. We found ourselves turning to an ancient way of understanding ethics based on the Greek philosopher Aristotle. He wrote about virtue and there are a number of things from a virtue perspective that help open up a different way of thinking about responsibility.

So The Anthropocene Review publishes work on this topic?

What is virtue?

Yes, it’s a really exciting, new interdisciplinary journal featuring work by scholars working in different disciplines: geologists, physicists, biologists, climate scientists, geographers and social scientists, as well as people from the United Nations and civil society. Our article is similarly interdisciplinary. It’s co-authored with a sustainability scholar at Warwick Business School, Professor Frederick Dahlmann; a Geographer at Monash University (Australia), Professor Wendy Stubbs; and a worldrenowned climate scientist, Professor David Griggs, who founded the Sustainable Development Institute at Monash.

Most accounts of corporate responsibility rest on one of two ethical traditions, based on consideration of duty or consequences. Duties are things like laws and codes of conduct, and consequences are expressed in terms of profit or cost, or benefits and harms (e.g. to corporate reputation).

What is your paper about? We know the Anthropocene means humanity needs to change; our paper looks at how we can encourage corporations to change and how we can encourage change across business systems.

Virtue is a completely different tradition: rather than looking at acts, you look at agents – firms and individuals. You ask whether they are building up a good character and behaving in a way that is living the ‘good life’. This simple shift in perspective is helpful because we concentrate more on behaviour over time and behaviour as part of a moral community, rather than focusing on one-off decisions or choices. One last thing – are you flying to Boston, and if so, what about the environmental impact of that? Yes, good question! A round trip to Boston uses almost two tonnes of CO2. I used a site called ‘myclimate’ to offset this, which cost £47.

Left: Protesters from Extinction Rebellion occupy the streets of London, April 2019.

For more information on Professor Morrell’s research please visit

Issue 6 • July 2019

34 • IMPACT • The impact of artificial barriers in rivers Research and Impact

The impact of artificial barriers in rivers Sergio Vallesi Research Associate

Citizen science informs ATLAS across Europe Did you know only 3% of our rivers in the UK are free flowing? Artificial barriers have severely changed rivers, nature and local cultures in the past centuries.

AMBER (Adaptive Management of Barriers in European Rivers), an EU-funded project is diving into this subject as human development has caused massive changes to rivers in Europe over hundreds of years, and with the impact of climate change we need to move forward to find ways to enable rivers to function more naturally, while continuing to use their key resources. Durham University is one of 20 European partners involved in the €6.2 million AMBER research project. This project is also connected with a number of other projects, including Fit-Hydro, Dam Removal Europe and Reconnect.

The University is looking at the impact on: 1. River geomorphology, which is the study of the physical features of the surface of the earth and their relation to its geological structures. (Department of Geography) 2. Fish habitats and their migration behaviour (Department of Biosciences), and 3. W atershed performance and socioeconomics (Business School). This article focuses on the work being undertaken by Durham University Business School. The environmental and socio-economic impacts of large dams on European rivers has been widely researched. What is less studied is the collective impact of the thousands of artificial barriers, including large and small dams, weirs, fords, sluices and culverts, resulting in systematic river

fragmentation and loss of ecological connectivity.

To determine the scale of the impact, the project estimated the number of barriers currently existing in European rivers, a task led by AMBER’s partner Politecnico of Milan. Combining information from existing databases and observing barriers through field surveys, the first European ATLAS of river barriers was produced. The images on the right hand page provide the first set of results from the ATLAS, with focus on the UK (Jones J. et al, 2019. A Comprehensive Assessment of Stream

Durham University Business School • IMPACT • 35

Fragmentation in Great Britain. April 2019, Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier). Findings supports AMBER’s hypothesis that existing barrier databases considerably underestimate barrier density, and suggests the majority of rivers and streams in Europe are fragmented and only a small portion are free of artificial barriers. Figure 1. A) Existing records of barrier density (barriers/km) in Great Britain at CCM 2.1 catchment scale (ca. 9 km2) derived from Environment Agency, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, GRanD and Ecrins barrier databases and OS Open Rivers river network. B) Estimated barrier density corrected by data from field barrier surveys across 19 catchments (303 km). C) Barrier-free length shown as a proportion of total network length in Great Britain based on records of dams and weirs.

Adding artificial barriers often results in degrading the performance potential of several watershed communities, including human, especially downstream of the barrier. The benefits provided by natural systems to humans (e.g. provisioning of clean drinking water, decomposition of organic wastes, etc. known as ecosystem services), are divided into four categories: supporting services, provisioning services, regulating services, and cultural services. Artificial barriers often alter ecosystem services, benefiting some and reducing others. River fragmentation does not always represent threats to ecosystems, and often different communities can temporarily take advantage of it, certainly human. Cost-benefit analysis and socio-economic survey tools are used to compare market values (e.g. energy generation) with non-market values (e.g. loss of fish habitat). In partnership with the ecosystem services research team from European’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) based in Italy, the project team has been looking at using geographic information system tools in conjunction with the AMBER map and data from the JRC. This innovative approach would enable communities to undertake the first screening to determine if a barrier, or a set of barriers, is possibly having an impact (or going to have an impact), positive and negative, on a selected number of ecosystem services for that area.

Southampton University, in co-operation with other AMBER partners, are currently developing tools, to be used in conjunction with the atlas, to assess the impact of stream fragmentation. In particular, this information will be used to estimate the loss of potential habitat for fish population, mainly endangered species and salmonids.

There are many old barriers, built more than 50 years ago, which are obsolete, and the maintenance costs are increasing. Removing such old dams is becoming a new trend and sounds like a good idea, but is often a very complex issue, not so much from a technical and environmental point of view, but rather socio-economic. The aim of the work at Durham University Business School is to develop methods and tools to assess cost and benefits of river infrastructures, and to help determine the potential gains and losses from restoring connectivity in European rivers and streams. Extensive fragmentation of rivers through artificial barriers has a profound impact on watershed habitats, mainly negative for those communities thriving in flood plains and ecotones. An Ecotone is a transition zone between different ecosystems i.e. a field and a forest.

To test this approach, the following three ecosystem services have been chosen: flood regulation, outdoor recreation and water purification, with a focus on the UK. If this proposed approach is successful it will assist decision makers with developing barrier adaptation strategies and implementing mitigation measures, and to monitor the extent of gains and losses produced by river restoration projects i.e. the removal of artificial barriers. Preliminary findings will be included in an AMBER report in August, while further collaboration between Durham and JRC is envisaged to expand on this pilot scheme. If you are interested, you can participate in this project through citizen science. Just download the app ‘AMBER Barrier Tracker’ (iOS and Android), alternatively you can find the app here. It will enable you to upload river barriers you spot as you go out and about. The data will be used to complete the first Atlas showing all barriers in European rivers.

For more information about this project, please visit

Issue 6 • July 2019

36 • IMPACT • Fighting All Cancers Together (FACT) Sustainability and Ethics

Fighting All Cancers Together (FACT) £2k challenge achieved

Durham University Business School • IMPACT • 37

In July 2018, the School held a Staff Development and Celebration Day with the focus being ‘Building a Community’, and included a guest presentation from Joanne Smith, a Durham MBA alumna. In 2005, at the age of 34, Joanne 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.” Joanne was also in the middle of studying the Durham MBA (Full-time). As a result of Joanne’s experiences following her diagnosis, she founded Fighting All Cancers Together (FACT) and holds the position of Chair of Trustees. Joanne has made a significant impact, speaking with other patients, their families and friends. This makes a considerable difference when there is a need for support, awareness and social interaction, in a happy friendly atmosphere with those in similar situations.

When Joanne spoke at the School staff event last summer, she set a ‘£2K challenge’, asking for Business School staff to raise at least £2,000 for the charity which would contribute towards the building of a new community centre. Joanne said: “Everyone at the Business School was very supportive at the time of my diagnosis, and have gone on to support FACT too. This means so much to me both personally and professionally. Personally, building relationships with these people over the years means so much to me, and to have their professional support for FACT for the last 10 years is amazing.” Since the launch, everyone across the School has helped raise funds towards the £2,000 target. Fundraising groups were created who began to develop fundraising ideas and put them into action throughout the following year. Events have included: • Halloween cake sale and tombola • Christmas present wrapping service • 12 days of Christmas advent raffle • Love is in the air event with flowers, homemade cakes and doggie treats • Staff calendar • Wear a wig to work Wednesday • Guess the number of eggs in the jar • Sponsored silence • Windermere marathon • Summer fair

In 2018, FACT celebrated its 10 year anniversary, and still continues to support people going through the cancer journey, as well as their families and friends. 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 built strong partnerships with health professionals, statutory bodies, support groups and services, charities and voluntary organisations. The organisation 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.

Judith Lines, who is a member of the School’s Staff Development Day Committee, commented: “The support from staff at the Business School has been overwhelming. Everyone has contributed their time and money and participated in the events with great enthusiasm. Many people have been affected by cancer, and this has been a great opportunity to support a charity close to the Business School.” The current fundraising total so far is £2,485. There are still a few fundraising ideas planned, so the School is set to further exceed the target set.

FACT have also developed education and awareness programmes and deliver events in schools, colleges and workplaces. The team go into public buildings and places of work, either with bespoke presentations or with a range of health and wellbeing materials.

Left: Durham University Business School staff with FACT mascot, Wiggy. Above: Some photographs from the summer fair. Issue 6 • July 2019

38 • IMPACT • All business great and small Sustainability and Ethics

All business great and small Why Corporate Social Responsibility strategy is essential for all

Professor Geoff Moore

Durham University Business School • IMPACT • 39

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), in some form or another, is nothing new to businesses. In fact, the concept has been around for a long time. Whether it is localised; such as businesses investing money to help their local community, personalised; such as an organisation committing to using only sustainable and fair trade products, or on a global scale; such as a firm investing large sums of money into initiatives to tackle pressing environmental issues, there are a vast number of ways companies are contributing to CSR.

Over time, CSR has evolved and become more prominent in business, with the majority of companies investing large sums of money into CSR initiatives – or facing a backlash for not doing so. Nowadays, it is not just huge multi-national companies that have developed CSR initiatives in their organisations – many SMEs have too, and so they should. However, many of these have not embedded specific CSR policies into their strategy. CSR must be looked at from a strategic perspective and consider how the organisation’s CSR strategy or initiatives link to its commercial strategy. Of course, this may be hard to do so for a lot of small businesses. Many don’t like the term Corporate Social Responsibility – the ‘Corporate’ smacks of big business and the ‘Social’ seems very vague, making no mention of the ecological environment which nowadays has to be fundamental to any strategy in this area. Whilst the term ‘CSR’ may not suit the organisation, this does not mean that the firm should not be investing in this area as strategically as possible. In fact, for small businesses the term ‘responsible business’ may chime better, and if so, they should think of it in those terms and simply drop ‘CSR’. Responsible business and stakeholders When developing a specific strategy centred around responsible business, it is important to think about the organisation’s stakeholders. First, an organisation must identify who the key stakeholders for the business are, and then understand what being responsible to each of them will amount to. This helps eliminate vagueness in the strategy. Usually, the key stakeholders of an organisation include customers/ clients, employees, suppliers, the local community and the ecological environment. That’s not forgetting the investors/ owners, as of course, it helps if they are on board with this agenda. It is important that the strategy meets the needs of all these stakeholders and relates to what being responsible means to them. Also, in many cases the strategy and initiatives around responsible business are likely to have commercial benefits too, so why wouldn’t an organisation invest in this?

Responsible business and business benefits

Sometimes, initially investing to become more responsible can only feel like a cost to a business. For instance, if you are currently not paying all your employees at least the Living Wage (and ensuring your suppliers are paying their employees likewise), then this is likely to only seem like an immediate cost to the organisation, both in terms of raising the wages of those below that level, and in preserving differentials, to do so. However, firms must look beyond just the initial costs. In fact, they must ask themselves what the long-term benefits of doing this might be. There is evidence that, not only in the area of employee wages, but more generally with other stakeholders, there are huge benefits in implementing responsible business practices. Being responsible towards employees can lead to attracting better prospective employees, improve employees’ engagement, commitment and in-role performance, and lead to better employee retention. Therefore, long-term it is extremely beneficial for firms to commit to this and attempt to quantify at least some of the ‘return’ on an investment in this area.

Responsible business has also been found to have huge benefits in terms of operational efficiencies and product quality too. It can lead to greater customer loyalty and a better evaluation by customers of your products. There are also usually some ‘low-hanging fruit’ in relation to the greening of business – saving energy saves money, for example. And all of this can add up to an enhanced reputation and attractiveness to investors. It is important that the future leaders of not only large organisations, but SMEs and small, local businesses too, understand the importance of CSR and investing strategically in such initiatives. That is why on the Durham MBA (Full-time) we have a module solely focused on ethical and sustainable business practices, corporate social responsibility and pressing environmental dangers that are drastically affecting our world – and have been recognised for this in the Financial Times’ latest Full-time MBA rankings, finishing in the top five globally for CSR. Managers and leaders must have a committed focus on this for the future and truly believe in the importance of investing in CSR, not only to benefit their organisation, but more importantly wider society and the world. So, no matter what its size, if an organisation doesn’t have one already, its senior team should really be putting together a responsible business strategy.

For more information on Professor Moore’s research, please visit

Issue 6 • July 2019

40 • IMPACT • Embedding the Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability agenda Sustainability and Ethics

Embedding the Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability agenda Professor Geoff Moore

Durham University Business School is at the heart of this far-reaching network. Our connections with business bring countless benefits, with our students, faculty and contacts in the business world being able to take advantage of the numerous events, guest speaker programmes and networking opportunities available to them. As a School we are committed to the ‘Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability’ (ERS) agenda, with ERS being core to our three main strategic areas of Research and Impact, Education and the Student Experience. It is therefore essential that the businesses we work with and the future leaders of these organisations understand the importance of ERS. Three very different events have been held as part of the business connectivity agenda recently, each associated with the ERS theme.

focuses on Disney films and the role they play in influencing how work and managers are portrayed (often negatively), with a particular focus on female characters in the workplace. The presentation introduced the concept of ‘organisational readiness’: socio-cultural expectations about working selves that prepare young people for their future life in organisations. The concept itself emerged from an analysis of Disney and Studio Ghibli animations, and how they constitute expectations about working life that may influence young people through their representations of work and gendered workplace roles. The presentation offered new insights into the puzzle of women being encouraged to participate more directly in organisational life whilst continuing to be relegated to the side-lines in organisations. More optimistically, it also pointed to ways in which future generations of employees may forge ways of constituting forms of gendered selves as yet hardly imaginable. Feedback on the event was very positive. Gavin Clarke, Head of Economics at Emmanuel College (Gateshead), who came to the event alongside economics students from the college said:

North East Initiative on Business Ethics – The effect of Disney animations on young people: being (un)prepared for organisational life In association with the North East Initiative on Business Ethics (NIBE). This event focused on preparing young people for the world of work. With 50+ attendees, presentations were given by Professor Mark Learmonth and Dr Martyn Griffin, whose research

“Another tremendous evening seminar at Durham University Business School, where Emmanuel College economists discussed the Disney effect on gender expectation and diversity in the workplace. Thank you Dr Martyn Griffin and Professor Mark Learmonth. Great to see our friends from NIBE and Newcastle Business School (Northumbria University). Tremendous to have the support of our local universities as we seek to improve the life chances of the young people in our care and facilitate social mobility.”

Durham University Business School • IMPACT • 41

The Sustainable Development Goals and organisational responses: a roundtable discussion

Julian Richer, Founder and Managing Director of Richer Sounds - guest talk

This event and roundtable discussion brought together leading global corporates and academics. The event focused on organisational responses to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals a topic of vital interest to the business community.

In the third event, guest speaker Julian Richer, the Founder and Managing Director of Richer Sounds, gave a dynamic presentation and answered questions based around his books, The Ethical Capitalist and The Richer Way – How to Get the Best Out of People.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership. They recognise that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all the while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.

With over 50 students, staff and guests attending the talk, including students from Emmanuel College, the event was introduced by Professor Geoff Moore, followed by Dr Philip Warwick welcoming Julian, suggesting that his way of doing business could inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.

While the focus is on states, it is clear that organisations (business, public sector, NGOs and including universities) are crucial to the realisation of this agenda. The purpose of the roundtable was to open up space for consideration of organisational responses to the SDGs. The event was hosted by Professor Geoff Moore with the discussion chaired by Dean Sanders, Founder and Chairman of the London-based GoodBrand consultancy. Daniel Weston, General Counsel and Global Head of Corporate Communications and Creating Shared Value at Nespresso, Harriet Lamb, CEO of International Alert, and Professor Carol Adams of the School each made brief presentations before a discussion was opened up. Professor Moore said: “Through the inputs from the speakers and the subsequent discussion, there was general recognition that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide an agenda through to 2030 that challenge business and other organisations. While it is relatively easy to map what an organisation is already doing that contributes to the SDGs, it was recognised that also analysing what an organisation is currently doing that might frustrate the achievement of the SDGs is important and should lead to change. And then there is the exciting potential for organisations to adapt their strategy to the new business opportunities that arise from the SDGs agenda.” Far left: Students and Head of Economics Gavin Clarke from Emmanuel College, attending the NIBE event. Above left: The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Above right: (left to right), Professor Geoff Moore, Julian Richer, Dr Philip Warwick.

Julian started the evening by telling the audience about his various activities which included: his business Richer Sounds (explaining how it has been able to withstand competition from Amazon and the decline in the traditional retail model); his philanthropic acts; his writing; his business coaching activities (with M&S among others); his political campaigning (especially around social housing and aggressive tax avoidance); and his music (his band played the Albert Hall in London in November). There was also a Q&A, with question topics ranging from the personnel management policies at Richer Sounds, through to what will happen to Facebook now that they seem to have lost the trust of their users, and included several questions centred on the issue of why successful companies should pay their share of tax in the countries where they do business. Julian made the point that all businesses take advantage of the government-funded infrastructure: for example, schools to educate their future employees, healthcare provision for their existing employees, and roads on which to get their staff to work and transport their supplies and deliver their products; so they really should see it as their responsibility to contribute more to society. The talk was warmly received and ended with Julian selling signed copies of his books to the audience and donating copies to the Business School library.

For further information on the School’s commitment to ERS and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals please view our PRME (Principles for Responsible Management Education) Report Issue 6 • July 2019

42 • IMPACT • PhD vs DBA Student Experience and Alumni

PhD vs DBA

Which is the right doctorate for me? Professor Mark Learmonth

Dr Sarah Xiao

There is often confusion between DBA and PhD programmes at business schools. Once gained, both will give you the title of ‘Doctor’, but which one is the right option for you?

Durham University Business School • IMPACT • 43

Here Professor Mark Learmonth, Programme Director of the Durham DBA and Dr Sarah Xiao, Programme Director of the Fudan DBA, discuss the differences between the two programmes, the type of applicant who suits each programme, the career paths they can expect after graduating and the experience they can gain.

PhD Dr Sarah Xiao The PhD degree is the highest qualification a business school can award, and a PhD from Durham means our graduates obtain their doctorate from one of the highest-ranked schools in Europe. Candidates undertake a doctoral programme for a whole variety of reasons, but underpinning all of them is a deep-rooted intellectual curiosity that only a research degree such as this can satisfy. Individuals may have a burning ‘what if’ question that has always fascinated them for instance, or a real-world business problem to solve that just isn’t covered in existing literature. For some candidates, the PhD is building on recent research work undertaken for a Masters degree, while for others there is an opportunity to construct a project that is aligned to a broader programme of research being conducted by a senior academic in the School.

By far the most common reason for going down the PhD route, however, is a desire to better understand the world of business and to uncover unique new insights, as yet undiscovered. Whatever the underlying motivation, the Durham programme is the route to individual success. It offers candidates comprehensive training in research methodologies, a world-class research environment and culture and an opportunity to conduct original research under the guidance of supervisors who work at the frontiers of management knowledge creation. Graduates mainly go on to become academic faculty in their own right, the PhD programme still very much representing the traditional scholarly ‘apprenticeship’ for would-be professors, working in leading institutions across the globe. But not all - around half of our graduates pursue a range of exciting alternative careers, from innovation-oriented research and development posts in major commercial research organisations through to senior leadership positions in premium business consultancies.

For more information on PhD programmes please visit

DBA Professor Mark Learmonth The DBA is a professional doctorate with the same status and level of challenge as a PhD. For practicing experienced business managers and executives, the DBA offers them the opportunity enhance their business, professional career and knowledge to a higher level. Candidates continue to work within their profession, whilst applying and developing their theories and expertise to enable them to make a significant contribution to the business world.

The primary goal of the DBA is to advance professional practice, preparing candidates to carry out research and to make a direct contribution to their profession, policy in a workplace or in a wider industry and business context. The focus is very much on researching in a practical context, as opposed to the more abstract, theory-driven research development that is provided by a PhD degree. DBA candidates will learn high level skills in conceptual and reflexive thinking, analyse complex situations, and design, implement and monitor research and interventions in their own organisations.

Both the DBA and PhD support career progression, allowing for knowledge to be learnt and applied directly into a workplace. Career aspirations is where they differ. PhD candidates usually undertake their PhD following their Masters degree, and once they attain their qualification look for a career in academia. In an academic role they will guide new PhD students and undertake further research for policy makers and companies. Some top organisations look for new PhD graduates from top universities and recruit them on the successful completion of their research to undertake research roles for them. DBA candidates are experienced professionals, and this qualification offers them the opportunity to enhance their business, professional career and knowledge by contributing to the world’s understanding of business theory. With this doctoral qualification, they realise an improvement in their professional profile and it demonstrates they’re an expert in organising, planning, forecasting and researching. Many DBA candidates pursue a DBA to distinguish themselves from other MBAs in the business world or simply for personal satisfaction and achievement.

For more information on DBA programmes please visit

Issue 6 • July 2019

44 • IMPACT • MBA Pathways begin in Dublin and Amsterdam Student Experience and Alumni

MBA Pathways begin in Dublin and Amsterdam

Top and below left, Entrepreneurship Pathway visit to Dublin. Below right, Consultancy Pathway visit to Amsterdam.

Earlier this year, students on the Full-time MBA programme visited Dublin and Amsterdam for international experiences as part of their chosen Pathways. During the visits, students attended an introductory lecture for their Pathway, visited relevant businesses and attended talks by academics of the two hosting business schools, Dublin Business School (DBS) and Amsterdam Business School (AMS). The visits were led by Dr Chris Williams, Consultancy Pathway Leader and Dr Joanna Berry, Entrepreneurship Pathway Leader.

Consultancy Pathway - Amsterdam Grace Hanratty, Full-time MBA student on the Consultancy Pathway, said: “Those of us who selected the Consultancy Pathway benefited from a highly organised trip to Amsterdam Business School in January. It was a great way to kick-start the new year and a fantastic setting for our first case study, providing valuable perspectives on management consultancy in practice: local, international, internal and external.” Another Full-time MBA student on the Consultancy Pathway, Sandra Alege, said:

Entrepreneurship Pathway - Dublin Dr Joanna Berry said: “The trip to Dublin was jam-packed with visits, lectures, talks and presentations from entrepreneurs and academics alike. Students got a little time to relax in the centre of Dublin on the evenings too.

Our time with Professor Thomas Cooney, Dublin Institute of Technology, on entrepreneurship in minorities and disadvantaged communities was inspiring. We also met with Trinity College Dublin and spent half a day at the Guinness Enterprise Centre, where we were lucky enough to meet the founders of companies such as GirlCrew and Volograms. Policy advice from Knowledge Transfer, Ireland; Shirley McCay, the Director of Trade and Investment in British Embassy, Ireland; and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Ireland rounded off a busy visit, and we will be back!”

“The Consultancy Pathway trip this year was an added bonus to the course. We had an insightful day introducing us to what was to come throughout the remainder of the module. If you want to experience an action-packed day filled with real life insights from leading industry experts such as RWE and Tata, this pathway is for you!” At the time of IMPACT going to print, students on the Technology Pathway were visiting London to attend London Tech Week events. Tech Week connects international communities from across the spectrum, addressing how access to tech for all can have a profoundly positive impact in society and business.

For further information, please visit

Preparing the managers of the future • IMPACT • 45

Student Experience and Alumni

Preparing the managers of the future When new students join one of our MSc Management programmes, they will have an excellent academic record (our entry requirements are some of the most stringent in the UK), but often have limited or no exposure to the world of business. Yet, our ambition is to prepare them to become the managers of the future. Delivering on this ambition requires the acquisition of hard skills on one hand, such as the ability to analyse the economic environment and produce a marketing plan, and the development of some softer ones on the other, such as the ability to work in teams and to communicate across cultures. To achieve this and to close the inevitable gap between theory and practice. We systematically connect with the world of practice and have developed an integrated learning experience that both explains how cutting-edge scholarship can help improve decision making and illustrates the pressures of operating in modern business contexts.

At one level, we integrate visits to companies and talks with managers, practitioners and entrepreneurs across most of our modules to share their experiences on developing successful careers and on managing complex problems. For instance, benefiting from the recent Business School initiative to become an Institute of Directors (IoD) hub, a group of students visited the recently constructed train factory of Hitachi. During one of our marketing modules, we partner with IBM to explain how they work with their customers to develop social media strategies and identify trends by using their technology.

Above, Gillian McCleod meets students during her most recent visit to the school.

Professor Christos Tsinopoulos

Professor Nick Ellis

Similarly, Daniel Griffiths, HR Executive for the MOD (and previously Global HR Director for Nissan Europe), worked with Dr Jo McBride to explain some of the complex aspects of developing HR systems during the ‘Employee Relations’ module. Dr Joanna Berry and Dr Julie Hodges have integrated a programme of speakers, into their ‘New Venture Creation’ and ‘Consulting’ modules, aiming to explain the complexities, challenges and opportunities of developing new businesses and contracts with clients. Examples of these speakers include Jonathon Gold on funding sources, Andrew Haddon on social entrepreneurship and Gillian McLeod on starting new businesses and developing patents.

Value is also added by special events centred on high-profile guests, including Alex Aiken, Executive Director for Government Communications, who addressed students from across the MSc cohort on the fascinating nuances of managing government-media relations. At another level, we connect with national and international organisations to identify their current challenges and ask our MSc Management students, either in teams or individually, to consider how they can apply theory to address them. During our international study tours, students have worked with multinational enterprises in Geneva, e.g. Hewlett Packard, World Trade Organisation and Medicines for Malaria, Mittelstand companies in Mannheim, e.g. Lebasol and Stoccard, and startups in Athens, e.g. Pobuca and Agile Actors, to explore the trials and messiness of solving real life problems.

For further information, please visit

Issue 6 • July 2019

46 • IMPACT • Flexible learning Student Experience and Alumni

Flexible learning How can it work for you? Flexible learning means different things to different people, and there are many types of flexible learning opportunities available. Online learning, such as the Durham MBA (online), gives you access to world-class teaching and support online, which allows you to plan your own learning at a time and place that suits you. Students on this programme can also benefit from a ‘blended approach’ and choose to complete some modules face-to-face in Durham. Learning fully online means there are no accommodation or transport costs, and you don‘t require a student visa. Other part-time programmes, such as our EMBA, DBA and PhD programmes, are taught over focused weeks or on weekends faceto-face in Durham or at different locations across the globe, again giving you options. School programmes have modules taught in countries including France, Germany, China and the USA. Professionals looking to improve their career prospects through a flexible learning route are those who: • Need flexible options due to family or work commitments • Need to continue to work whilst studying • Live in geographically remote areas.

As well as looking for flexibility in terms of how they study, there are many other important factors students are looking for. These include the ability to make meaningful connections with other students, the reassurance of a tried-andtested qualification, and a qualification from an institution with a reputation for delivering highquality programmes. There are also many benefits for employers when their employees study a flexible programme including: • Students will develop new skills and techniques which can be applied directly to their roles • Networking opportunities will enable businesses to broaden their professional networks which could bring new insight and ideas • Enabling employees to pursue their passions will ensure they’re more motivated and fulfilled.

Right, A previous cohort’s visit to San Francisco, USA.

Four students from some of our flexible learning programmes take us through how flexible learning has benefited them and their careers: Mareike Helmts, DurhamEBS Executive MBA Why did you choose to study the Durham-EBS EMBA? I have always wanted to do an international degree with a focus on application rather than theory. I was interested in meeting people from all over the world and the opportunity to be back in Durham, as I had previously attended the Business School for the MSc Finance programme. I love the Business School and decided the combination of EBS and Durham was the choice for me. Is your employer supporting your studies? My employer offers me a massive amount of support. They are funding my studies and I don’t need to take time off to attend any modules. I am very lucky and I appreciate it. How have you been able to apply your learning to your role? As I work in consulting, I need multiple skills as every project is different. So learning about every part of business helps me. Some topics such as accounting have been a struggle for me in the past, but I have gained knowledge and confidence in this area during the programme. What has been the best part of your programme so far? The Induction Week in Durham, as our cohort got to know each other very fast and we were connected to each other. So after a week I had 24 good new friends. It was exhausting but amazing. San Francisco was also awesome. I still remember experiencing the innovation driven culture there, where people are not afraid of failure.

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Jannies Burlingame, Global DBA Why did you choose to study the Global DBA? Being a business executive, I needed a programme which would give me flexibility with work, as well as optimised learning with worldclass educators. I also wanted to learn from a talented and global cohort. The GDBA programme has all of those positive attributes. How have you been able to apply your learning to your role? Currently, the module we have covered is Leadership and Followership. I have already been able to apply the charismatic communication skills to my public speaking and daily communications. What has been the best part of the programme so far? The quality of the faculty and the shared passion of the cohort. We all bonded from day one, and I cherish the team atmosphere as we all learn from each other’s valuable worldly experiences. It is a collaborative and supportive learning environment. What do you hope to do next after the programme? After the programme, I hope to continue to pursue Board of Director positions with Fortune 1000 companies both in the US and globally. I am also interested in teaching at a prestigious business school to help shape the next generation of future thought leaders.

How is your employer supporting your studies? My employer contributes to my fees. However, I feel that the support I receive from management in terms of giving me their time to discuss ideas is just as valuable if not more. The opportunity to try the theory learnt in practice, with management’s support, has been key to my overall learning experience. The exchange of ideas is a good way of making sense of the theory in a real-life context. How have you been able to apply your learning to your role? The programme has given me a better appreciation and access to departments such as marketing and accounting. I’ve even been given a strategic project to help deliver on the back of one of the modules. For someone who has a technology and operations orientation the expansion of my knowledge in this way is a big positive. What has been the best part of your programme so far? It’s really hard to pick a single part as the best. If there is one thing that perhaps puts it all together, it is being able to both learn on campus and online. I have done four of my modules taught, and the rest online. Having this mix of learning platforms made for, in my opinion, a rich experience. Jon Harding, Durham DBA Why did you choose to study the Durham DBA? Obviously Durham has a very strong reputation, and I was really impressed with its breadth and the content of the individual modules on the programme. The mode of study works very well and fits with other commitments in my life. There is a lot of independent work, but given that most people are at a point in their career where they are able to convert personal motivation into a focused approach, it’s a perfect approach.

Daryl Gaddi, Online MBA Why did you choose to study the Online MBA? I got to a stage in my career where I felt I needed to learn more. I wanted to do something different to what seemed to be the norm in the finance industry. The general option was either to be a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). For someone who was a technologist at heart, I didn’t feel it was for me, as I was seeking to learn a wide range of skills. A conversation with the Group Chairman, who has an MBA, made the decision for me. It also helped that he did his MBA via distance learning at the time, which provided useful context prior to attending the Durham MBA Open Day. The mode of study was definitely a factor. As an expectant father at the time, a balance had to be reached between pursuing a challenging programme such as the Durham MBA (Online) and still having family time, alongside work duties. Flexible learning was the option that enabled that.

How have you been able to apply your learning to your role? All the modules have been relevant, and it has developed my perspective in my work enormously. Given that you choose and shape your final research project, you can fit it right around your work interests. What has been the best part of your programme so far? I’ve enjoyed all of it. I love catching up with my classmates and the teaching has been very stimulating. Most of all though I think the chance to dig really deeply into research and reach new levels of understanding. So often in business we are just skimming over the surface and so often fashions in business thinking come and go. The programme really allows you to take a cool critical eye to what is around you... and I think takes your business contribution (in whatever context) to another level.

Learn more about our flexible learning programmes by visiting

Issue 6 • July 2019

48 • IMPACT • The new Durham MBA Career Advancement and Leadership Skills module Student Experience and Alumni

The new Durham MBA Career Advancement and Leadership Skills module

Career advancement, career change and leadership development are consistently amongst the top reasons given by students for choosing an MBA programme. From September 2019, the Durham MBA (Full-time) will include a new Careers and skills module which will be embedded across the programme. The new module will specifically address the development of skills and capabilities needed by students to support them in their careers after graduation. Career advancement has always been integral to the Durham MBA, and the skills development activities begin very early in the programme with a residential visit during the induction week. This is where students begin to learn how to work effectively with their cohort. This new module will bring this and all other elements together so students can clearly see how each activity they undertake is not only valuable in its own right, but also how it contributes to the realisation of their career goals. The Career Advancement and Leadership Skills module will contribute to the overall aims of the MBA programme by offering students the opportunities to develop capabilities in leadership which will support their studies, their employability directly after the programme and their long-term career development.

Wendy Pearson Career Consultant

The module will be delivered through workshops, group work and feedback. Employers and other external providers will also play a key role in the module delivery.

There will also be targeted individual coaching and career consultations to help focus students throughout their studies. Students can personalise their development by assessing their skill levels, setting challenging goals and creating an individual action plan. With support from the Business School’s Global Career and Talent Team, students will reflect on and assess their progress each term and review targets and actions. Students will also have access to an electronic journal throughout their MBA and graduation, which they can use to provide evidence of learning and development throughout their programme and their career. Students will develop key capabilities in professional and intercultural skills and will also further develop their career management skills.

Learn more about our Durham MBA programmes by visiting

The MBA Boardroom Exercise 2019 • IMPACT • 49

Student Experience and Alumni

The MBA Boardroom Exercise 2019 Below: Jing Shen’s Boardroom Exercise team.

The Durham MBA is designed to challenge, inspire and provide students with global business knowledge and expertise for success in the international business world.

One of the final modules of the Full-time MBA is the Boardroom Exercise - a five-week long project which ends in a real-life boardroom simulation where all the skills, concepts and frameworks explored during the programme are put into practice. Peter Allen, Associate Dean (External Engagement and Impact), said:

“For many students, the Boardroom Exercise makes the learning they have undertaken over the last nine months real – they see how both hard and soft competencies come together to help lead a major company.” The Exercise commenced with a networking lunch between students and external executives. This was preceded by a masterclass on Whitbread PLC, led by Chris Rogers, one of our visiting fellows, former CFO for Whitbread and Managing Director of Costa Coffee. Anthony Carey, Head of Board Practice at Mazars LLP, also provided a masterclass on the latest developments in Board Governance. Students were divided into teams of five or six to begin working together to plan and create the necessary documentation to run a successful ninety-minute board meeting for the senior staff of Whitbread PLC. One of the first steps was for teams to compile their boards by assigning themselves different roles (CFO, CEO, COO, Marketing Director and Business Development Director) drawing on the strengths and skills within their team.

During the exercise, students learned how to be an effective board member as they faced the pressures of preparing for the boardroom simulation. A key feature of the module is working as a team and setting realistic objectives. Equally invaluable are the insights from regular meetings between teams and their advisors where they can discuss and receive feedback on their ideas. Dr Joanna Berry said: “One of the key features of the exercise is the opportunity for the students to work closely with experienced boardlevel executives. The experience gained and the networks built during this time are invaluable for their future careers.” As part of the process, Alan Ross, an executive coach, gave guidance to students on how to evaluate their individual performances, identify opportunities to improve, and overcome any issues. He also introduced students to mindfulness, and stressed the importance of setting aside time for personal reflection and relaxation in their professional lives.

The culmination was a 90-minute boardroom meeting, where each group member had the chance to present their report or proposal to the Chair and Non-Executive Directors. True to any real-life board meeting, students’ ideas and key points were challenged throughout, encouraging them to think on their feet. Students are assessed through their board papers and the final boardroom simulation. Part of the assessment also includes an individual piece in which students reflect on their own experiences. Jing Shen, an MBA student, said: “The Durham MBA has improved my competencies from four dimensions: view, attitude, capability and knowledge. Through the Boardroom Exercise my skills and experiences were brought together and utilised in a real business scenario.” To find out more about the MBA Boardroom Exercise read about graduate Natalie Chapman’s experience at Issue 6 • July 2019

50 • IMPACT • MBA Strategic Business Projects networking event Student Experience and Alumni

MBA Strategic Business Projects networking event Supporting business

The Business School has a long history of working with and supporting businesses. There are a number of activities which allow businesses to collaborate with our students and academic faculty from the School and wider University. The Corporate Engagement team develop these relationships and provide support to facilitate engagement with organisations which can take the form of guest speakers, company visits, placements, collaborative research, consultancy, recruitment and networking.

One of the current key activities, which forms part of the Durham MBA (Full-time) programme, is the Strategic Business Project. The Business School offers students the opportunity to work in partnership with companies on a real business issue. The business project, which takes place from June to September, enables the students to apply in practice the knowledge and skills they have learnt during the programme and also adds value to companies by providing objective recommendations to address a specific issue.

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An integral part of the MBA Strategic Business Project process is the Networking Event. This activity allows the organisations that have submitted projects to the School to meet with our international cohort of talented MBA students. MBA student Sasha Zare, who attended the event, said:

“I’m hoping the Strategic Business Project will serve as the link between theoretical learning and practical application. I’m excited to apply what I’ve learned throughout the MBA to a real life business problem. The range of projects was good as there were more projects than students, which allowed for more choice and variety. There were several projects that interested me before I attended the event and after attending my shortlist grew.” The event is hosted at the Business School, exhibition style, and allows the students to meet with companies and exchange dialogue regarding the projects, ask questions and share insights. This year’s event took place on Tuesday 4 April and included 35 organisations from across the region, the wider UK, Europe and around the world, representing various sectors and functions. They included Beamish Museum, NEL Fund Managers, Sunderland Software City, JDR Cables, Trendon and Vodafone. Following the event, the organisations and students indicate which potential partners they would like to work with, and the programme team then match relevant students to projects based on applications, experience and suitability. Stephen Meek, Durham University Business School alumnus, and Director at Plus Group Property Ltd commented that the School had hosted a proactive and professionally organised event and said:

Above, MBA students network with representatives from organisations who have submitted business projects to the school.

“Having completed a Masters in Management at Durham University Business School myself, I was excited to see the School promoting business partnerships through the MBA Strategic Business Project scheme in one of the newsletters that I’d subscribed to. I jumped at the chance to take part with my own company, having already witnessed the potential benefits. Although my business is still in its infancy, and some of the benefits that an MBA Strategic Business Project partnership can bring are not as relevant just yet (e.g. increasing employee retention), there are plenty of challenges that can be tackled by such a scheme when trying to grow a business.” Jeni Banks, Business Support Specialist at Sunderland Software City, also attended the event after finding that last year’s MBA Strategic Business Project was a fantastic experience. Jeni put forward an idea for a second business project saying:

“I was really excited to put forward another project on the back of last year’s research findings. Having high quality academic research conducted into our project gives us information that allows us to make the most strategic, informed decisions so we can create new business operations and opportunities. Being able to work with such a well-respected international university on current business issues is just invaluable, and I’d urge any company looking for fresh insight and ideas to get involved.”

For more information on MBA Strategic Business Projects, visit:

Issue 6 • July 2019

52 • IMPACT • Shaping marketing strategy in China Student Experience and Alumni

Shaping marketing strategy in China Strategic Business Project: Diageo

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A key part of the Durham MBA (Full-time) is the Strategic Business Project where students have the opportunity to work with a company on a strategic business issue. It’s not only a beneficial experience for the students who gain experience relevant to their career aspirations, but it also enables companies to receive fresh insight and recommendations into a current business issue. MBA graduate Zhenzhen Wang worked with international drinks brand Diageo for her business project. Diageo are a global leader in alcohol beverages. They produce over 200 brands of spirits and beers which are sold in over 180 countries around the world. Zhenzhen tells us about her experience below: What was the project about? Traditionally, local Chinese spirits largely dominate the market. They account for 99% of the market share, leaving very limited space for western merchants. My Strategic Business Project was focused on the consumption habits of the Chinese population, identifying the most significant factors that influence Chinese whisky consumption. The results of my research would be used to help shape Diageo’s marketing strategy for China. How did you find the Business Project process?

It was very exciting for me to be chosen by Diageo, as the wine and spirits industry has always been a big passion of mine. The project started with a productive kick-off meeting, where I learnt about the company’s holistic marketing strategy in terms of brand portfolio, consumer segmentation and their expansion plans for China. We also discussed various research techniques and methodology. Every two weeks, I gave Diageo progress updates and gained their approval for the next steps. In terms of resource, Diageo provided me with industry and company reports, and provided support when I needed to expand the sample for my quantitative survey.

Top, MBA graduate Zhenzhen Wang. Right, William Wong, Strategy Director, Diageo Greater China.

What were the project outcomes?

I used a psychology-based framework (Theory of Planned Behaviour) as the core premise to explore unique insights into Chinese whisky consumption. A quantitative survey from 515 Chinese mainland consumers was conducted, through which the psychological factors as well as the role of situational factors and demographic factors were analysed. Did you find it beneficial to undertake the project, and if so how? This project has been a great experience. First of all, it gave me the opportunity to work with a world-class company, where I learnt so much about advanced marketing strategy and retail procedure. Secondly, it enabled me to apply what I have learnt from my Durham MBA to a real business situation, including marketing insights as well as research and strategic skills. Completing the MBA has opened many doors for me. As part of a research-based university, Durham University Business School has provided me with a solid knowledge framework through its rich academic resource, which will be very beneficial to my career. The Strategic Business Project in particular has expanded my network and as such, I have been invited to a number of interviews with companies in the beverage industry who were very interested in my experience on this project.

“We were delighted to have Zhenzhen to help us with topics related to consumption behaviours of young consumers in China. Her systematic approach to breaking these hot topics into multiple research areas and analytical abilities to gather and leverage data were very impressive. Her work brought us some new and highly interesting perspectives to shaping our future strategy in China.” William Wong Strategy Director of Diageo Greater China

For further information on Strategic Business Projects see pages 50-51 and visit

Issue 6 • July 2019

54 • IMPACT • From Madrid to San Francisco Student Experience and Alumni

From Madrid to San Francisco Connecting our students with international business

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During spring 2019, 230 of our Masters and MBA students took part in international study experiences. These practical experiences provide the opportunity to visit international organisations overseas, where students immerse themselves in local business culture and gain a critical awareness of the complexities involved in operating in the global marketplace.

Thank you to our host university partners, to our alumni who welcomed us so generously, and to all those who helped us to offer students such impactful experiential learning weeks.

The visits are central to the programmes we offer and form a crucial aspect of our strategy, particularly in terms of Internationalisation and Student Experience. This year students travelled to: Madrid, Mannheim, Beijing, San Francisco, Geneva, Athens, Frankfurt, Zurich and London. MBA students’ Global Business Experience included visits to companies such as Bloomberg, Real Madrid CF, UBER and TESLA alongside lectures at ESADE Business School, Mannheim Business School and Tsinghua University. Students on our MSc International Study Tours also visited a wide range of companies including European Central Bank, Medicines for Malaria Venture, Credit Suisse, UBS and Lombard Odier.

MSc Management students visit Athens, Greece.

MSc Management students visit Geneva, Switzerland.

“Geneva was an amazing experience! Not only did I get a chance to explore more of Europe, I presented to some of the biggest companies in Geneva while networking with Durham alumni and employees from the Global Fund, Credit Suisse, Lombard Odier and MMV. I would highly recommend the tour to anyone serious about expanding their network.’’ Alexander Lane, MSc Management

“The module International Study Tour was one of the aspects that drew me to the MSc Management course at Durham University. There are not many universities that offer such global experiences and I was excited to gain real work experience with international companies. The trip really enlightened me and gave me insight into multiple industries which previously I wouldn’t have considered working for, but now I’ll be applying to. For me, one of the best aspects was working with my group on the project. I didn’t know them before but they’ve since become close friends. I’d definitely recommend taking this module if you want to gain a global perspective and develop your skills as an allrounder, as well as have a good time in a new country.” Matilda Medley, MSc Management (International Business)

Issue 6 • July 2019

56 • IMPACT • From Madrid to San Francisco Student Experience and Alumni

MSc Economics and MSc Finance students visit Zurich, Switzerland.

“It was a wonderful experience and I feel like I’ve learned a lot. In addition, what it would ‘be like’ to work in a marketing and public relations firm. The tour was both different but very enjoyable and informative.” Amanda Seekamp, MSc Marketing

“Spain was an amazing blend of culture, gastronomic experiences and classroom learnings which pushed boundaries and convention. What we learnt at ESADE was a great add-on to what we have learnt throughout the year – we discussed current international issues, highly relevant to today’s volatile and fastpaced business environment and this was complemented with visits to dynamic businesses such as Uber, Tesla and everis. ESADE was truly hospitable in ensuring that we had a taste of the vibrant city life in Madrid, Spanish traditions in Segovia and even a tour of the Real Madrid stadium. This was perhaps the most memorable week of the MBA programme.” Kimberly Tey, Full-time MBA student

MBA students visit Madrid, Spain.

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MSc Management students in Germany.

“The visit to Mannheim was one of the highlights of the Durham MBA. Our cohort had the opportunity to be immersed into the German culture and learn German business practice, while practicing the language. The lecturers, staff and facilities exceeded expectations. The opportunity to visit the business world’s ‘hidden champions’ provided the cohort managerial and leadership insights that we otherwise would not have had exposure to. This was the feather in the cap to the International Business in Context Module at the School.” Richard M Small, Full-time MBA student

MSc Management students in Germany.

“The San Francisco immersion programme is a fantastic experience; it opens your eyes to the truly unique ecosystem of the Bay area. You are placed right in the heart of one of the most innovative areas in the world and get to meet some amazing people such as Hap Klopp (founder of The North Face) and Duncan Logan (Founder & CEO of RocketSpace). I selected the Durham-EBS EMBA programme to give me a broad cultural experience. In a group of just 23, we have 11 nationalities. The diverse cultural background enables fantastic classroom debates. The programme also allows me to travel to the beautiful Rheingau area of Germany each month and sample the local speciality, Riesling!” Chris Cowling, Executive MBA student Online and Executive MBA students visit San Francisco, USA. To find out more about our international study experiences as part of our MBA and MSc programmes, please visit Issue 6 • July 2019

58 • IMPACT • Top 50 for the Durham MBA Student Experience and Alumni

Top 50 for the Durham MBA 5th globally for CSR

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The Durham MBA (full-time) entered the world’s top 50 for the first time this year in the Financial Times Global MBA Ranking, climbing more than 30 places, from 75th in 2017, to 43rd in 2019. The programme was also placed 6th in the UK and 13th in Europe. For the first time the Financial Times assessed business schools on their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities and the Durham MBA ranked 5th in the world, 3rd in Europe and 1st in the UK. This new section measured the proportion of teaching hours on the MBA programme dedicated to CSR, ethics, social and environmental issues. Professor Susan Hart, Dean of Durham University Business School, said:

“It’s rewarding to see the high quality of the Durham MBA reflected in a top 50 global ranking. At Durham University Business School, we pride ourselves in a first-class education based on research-led content. But we do so much more. Our classes and projects are infused with speakers and contributors from industry, assignments feature live and topical cases, our simulations involve executives from our business connections and our college system ensures students are part of the wider community of learners at Durham University.”

Dr Julie Hodges, Associate Dean for MBA Programmes, said:

“This fantastic achievement demonstrates how the Durham MBA continues to grow and improve, in line with students’ expectations. Durham University Business School strives to continually improve its MBA programmes – we seek to challenge our students by providing a stimulating, sometimes difficult and transformative learning environment, because this is what builds the capabilities MBA graduates need to lead in a world of accelerating change and complexity. The significant increase in the School’s position in the rankings this year demonstrates not only the ‘value for money’ of studying for an MBA at Durham, but also the School’s strong focus on the key themes of internationalisation and social responsibility and ethics, which run throughout the programme.” This ranking follows on from the Corporate Knights Better World MBA Ranking, released in November 2018, in which the Durham MBA was also recognised as one of the top 30 business schools in the world for its sustainability efforts.

Looking at the value for money students realise, the Durham MBA was placed 1st in Europe and 2nd globally. Alumni from the programme secured an average salary of $120,556 three years after graduating and see an average salary increase of 110% which is the second-highest of all UK business schools.

Top, 2018-19 Durham MBA (Full-time) cohort. Left, Professor Susan Hart, Dean of Durham University Business School. Above, Dr Julie Hodges, Associate Dean for MBA Programmes.

Read more about the School’s ranking at

Issue 6 • July 2019

60 • IMPACT • The business of sport Student Experience and Alumni

The business of sport Combining sporting and academic excellence for strong foundations Below, student sport at Durham University.

We are extremely proud of our reputation for enabling students to combine sporting and academic excellence. For almost ten years, the Business School has played an important part in Durham University’s Team Durham Postgraduate Scholarship Programme. The programme presents a unique opportunity to students who have recently completed their undergraduate studies, with a particular focus on students in North America. Our strong partnership with Team Durham supports the programme, as most of these students are looking for business-related opportunities in Management, Marketing and Finance to further their education. To date, we remain the only university in Britain to offer such a vast programme for overseas students. Growing from 18 overseas scholars in 2009/10 across the sports of men’s basketball and men and women’s lacrosse, to over 100 scholars in the current To find out more about sport at Durham University, please visit

academic year across a variety of sports; with over 50 of these students studying postgraduate programmes at the Business School. With many athletes’ sporting careers lasting only a short number of years, postgraduate study is an extremely important consideration to ensure they have viable options once this stage of their career is over, or if the worst should happen, they sustain a serious injury. The partnership between the Business School and Team Durham goes beyond recruiting students, ensuring that they have a meaningful experience. Dave Coldwell, Deputy Director of Sport & Head Lacrosse Coach at Durham University commented:

“The support the Business School provides our students to reach their potential in achieving a world-class degree, whilst also preparing them for their next career is something that adds incredible value. This is clearly demonstrated by the career progression of many of our athletes. We can only see the partnership with the Business School grow from strength to strength through our innovative plans to continue to support our student-athletes.”

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Margaret Auslander MSc Management (Human Resource Management) 2018/19

David Gomez Tanamachi MSc Finance (Economics and Finance) 2018/19

“I graduated from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA, in 2017 with a degree in Psychology, after winning the lacrosse national championship in 2016 and two ACC championships in 2016 and 2017. I wanted to pursue a Masters degree in either business or psychology, and the Team Durham scholarships have allowed me to continue to play lacrosse and receive an MSc in just one year.

“Born in Mexico City, from age nine I knew I wanted to become a studentathlete; I have been a fencer for over 15 years. As a member of the Mexican National Team, I have competed internationally in over 50 different cities and won the team national collegiate championships in the United States (NCAA) and the United Kingdom (BUCS).

It was one of the best decisions I have made. I came to the Business School with little to no business knowledge, but now over half way through my programme, I have gained the insight to understand how a business runs but also how I could run my own business. At the end of my four years undergrad, I was burnt out, losing sight of my love for the game, even losing sight of what career I would like to pursue. Team Durham and Durham University Business School has changed that view for me. I would recommend Durham to every single student-athlete, it has allowed me to do a year abroad, continue to play my sport and gain a Masters degree – who could say no to that?”

After obtaining my Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Penn State University (2011/15), I went on to work at a wealth management firm in New York City for a year, then moved back to Mexico City to join a fintech start-up. A friend told me about Durham - I did not think twice. Being part of both the Business School and Team Durham meant I could balance my studies with fencing, I could excel in sports, whilst learning transferable skills. I would recommend Durham to anyone looking to push his or her limits and learn not just in the classroom, but as a leader of extracurricular activities— that is the best preparation for life after graduation.”

Madison Hayden MSc Management 2018/19 “I graduated from Stanford University in 2016 where I studied finance and played for the varsity volleyball team. After my undergrad, I played volleyball professionally in Sweden followed by employment in the financial sector in Los Angeles, before finally coming overseas again to pursue my Masters degree. Durham’s excellent reputation as a business school and the chance to compete again in volleyball made my decision easy. Durham has provided everything that I hoped it would. Emerged in a diverse international environment, the courses have greatly increased my knowledge and capabilities as a business person. I’ve also made lifelong friends through volleyball, and even won a national championship in the process. I would highly recommend Durham to prospective students in a similar situation to myself. Durham has been top notch, and I know I will look back fondly on my years here.”

Below: top, Margaret Auslander. Second row, David Gomez Tanamachi. Third row, left, Madison Hayden. Right, Mitch Kingsley. Bottom, Paulina Petriskova.

Mitch Kingsley MSc Financial Management 2018/19 “During my BBA Finance degree at Hofstra University in New York, I was Team Captain of the Men’s Division I Lacrosse Team, CAA Scholar Athlete 2015-2018 and CAA Commissioners Award Recipient 2016-2018. Durham has pushed my abilities in the right direction for future employment. I have learned a new level of academic theory, studying alongside a diverse international cohort, whilst leveraging outstanding resources. Being part of Team Durham’s Lacrosse team, we won the BUCS Premier Championship. I would recommend Durham to anyone looking to experience incredible academics, and competitive athletics.”

Paulina Petriskova MSc Management (International Business) 2018/2019 “I left Slovakia at 18 upon receiving an athletic scholarship for tennis to pursue my undergraduate degree at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. I got my Bachelor of Business Administration in two majors, marketing and international business from Shidler College of Business while competing for the university tennis team. I wanted to get my business Masters in Europe and Durham has a very good reputation and quality of education. The Team Durham scholarship allowed me to continue playing tennis on a higher level while gaining an MSc from one of the best universities in England.” Issue 6 • July 2019

62 • IMPACT • From Tokyo to Durham Student Experience and Alumni

From Tokyo to Durham Toshitaka Zenimoto Toshitaka Zenimoto from Tokyo, Japan, first came to Durham University five years ago to study undergraduate physics. Following his enjoyable experience, he then wanted to combine science with business. After speaking to graduates of the MSc Management programme, he was so enthused with how positively they spoke about it, that he applied and began the course in September 2018. Toshitaka talks us through his studying journey: When I arrived in Durham, I immediately felt comfortable, particularly because of how kind and supportive the people are. I also felt nostalgic and at home by the similarities between here and Japan: the people are polite, both countries are islands, have tea culture and are famous for their fish dishes (battered fish and chips and sushi, respectively). The college system is a particular highlight of studying here. Considering Durham was a Harry Potter filming location, I will liken it to the houses of Hogwarts. While students from across the University have lectures and seminars together, formal dinners and balls are held mainly at the colleges. We have midweek meals together, brunch at the weekend and a variety of seasonal events; all of which contribute to your college feeling like a family.

While studying MSc Management, the people I met have been an important benefit; they are from all over the world, and it’s enjoyable and interesting to learn about their culture and native languages. Their diversified backgrounds of varied degree disciplines and unique life experiences make teamwork even more stimulating.

Above, Before and after matriculation, a ceremony held annually to welcome new students to the University, held at Durham Castle.

Toshitaka Zenimoto

The lectures and seminars are enjoyable and informative, and I’m always excited to attend. I was a little worried about studying business because I didn’t have much experience or know the terminology and jargon associated, but the staff are incredibly supportive and accommodating so I didn’t have any problems understanding. I also found the extracurricular activities outside of the modules extremely useful, such as workshops on presentation skills and leadership. I have also loved studying in Durham because of the environment. Durham World Heritage Site is surrounded by beautiful nature and has a historical atmosphere. Every time I see the magnificent Castle and Cathedral, they give me strength – anything I’m struggling with seems relatively insignificant in comparison. I write blogs and articles about my experience in Durham and present at Japanese companies for people who want to study abroad. The audience tell me Durham seems like a place in a movie!

Towards the end of my degree, I began applying to multinational companies in the consulting and pharmaceutical industries. I used my freshly learned knowledge and skills for many interviews and assessment centres with an example being that for case interviews, I used a variety of learned frameworks to conduct business analyses. Other skills I put into practice were presenting, group work and the ability to clearly communicate my thoughts. Fortunately, I received offers from both industries, and my plan is now to work in the pharmaceutical industry on a global graduate programme. I am passionate about the industry as I can extensively use both my science and business knowledge. I’ve always wanted to work globally so I am very excited.

For further information please visit

Accuracy Business Cup success for MSc Management students • IMPACT • 63

Student Experience and Alumni

Accuracy Business Cup success for MSc Management students Three of the Business School’s MSc Management students recently won the UK finals of the Accuracy Business Cup 2019. What The Challenge Involved The Accuracy Business Cup invites students to work on a financial and strategic challenge in teams of three. The challenges develop participants’ analytical and communication skills whilst also offering the opportunity to benefit from the mentorship of Accuracy’s consultants. Our students submitted the first take home assignment on 5 February alongside ten other teams from business schools across the UK. The four best entries were then selected and invited to the UK final in London two days later. The first assignment that Therese, Lydia and Alex completed was an analysis of one of Accuracy’s clients’ asset portfolio. While

they cannot share which company this

The international final took place in Paris,

was, feedback from the judges included

where the students competed against

how impressed they were by the quality

business school teams from Canada,

of their analyses. The assignment they

Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

then had to tackle during the final was to give recommendations on how the client/

Professor Nick Ellis, Director of Masters in

company could better target millennials.

Management Programmes at the School said:

Experience Of Winning The Cup Therese, Lydia and Alex said:

“The challenge was incredible – winning the UK final against the likes of London School of Economics and Imperial College London (as well as those from schools who didn’t make the final) was very exciting! We were so happy and thrilled to represent the UK and Durham for the international final and were accompanied by a consultant from Accuracy who supported us.”

Left to right, Therese Seiringer, Alex Lane and Lydia Edwards.

“Therese, Lydia and Alex’s achievement is fantastic. They are great ambassadors for the quality of our MSc Management programme. We were also grateful for the support of Accuracy throughout this process. Thanks to this competition, our students have gained a superb insight into some of the challenges of a high-level consulting assignment.”

For further information please visit

Issue 6 • July 2019

64 • IMPACT • 12th annual Dragons’ Den competition Student Experience and Alumni

12th annual Dragons’ Den competition The final

The Business School’s 12th Dragons’ Den competition culminated in an exciting final between four student teams. Each team pitched their business idea and had to demonstrate to the Dragons their project was viable and worth taking forward. The prize was £1,000 to put into their businesses, plus invaluable advice, support and contacts via the Dragons. The Sponsors Sponsors of the competition are Business Durham; Pharma entrepreneur and Visiting Professor Bryan Morton; and alumnus and social entrepreneur, Graham Smith. The competition was organised and compered by Karen Langdon, Vice Principal, Josephine Butler College, and Ian Stone, Business School Professor Emeritus, with support from Dr Jill Tidmarsh, Senior Teaching Fellow in Management, and new business support specialist, Sandy Ogilvie.

The Dragons Kate Gorman – owns her own business designing and making contemporary jewellery, Kate Gorman Design. Kate also runs The Auckland Project’s enterprise support programme. Kate said: “I was delighted to be invited to judge such an exciting programme. It was great to see the students actively applying the things they’re learning in their studies into real life. I was impressed by the energy and creativity the students applied to their ventures, and I look forward to hearing about their future successes.” Elizabeth Scott – a Durham MBA alumna, and Honorary Entrepreneurial Fellow at the School, as well as Founder/Director of Rainbows End Coaching Limited. In keeping with the learning emphasis of the competition, two undergraduates were selected from the New Venture Creation module to be ‘Apprentice Dragons’ - Ben Sutton, BA Economics, and Will Fildes, BA Economics with Management.

Durham University Business School

The Results Overall winner: Almas Skin (Prize £500) Grace Cook BSc Psychology (eligible to enter the competition having taken the School’s New Venture Creation module). Josephine Butler College

• IMPACT • 65

Runner-up (a) BEDO (Prize £250) Arif Muhammad and Akbar Annahl MSc Islamic Finance and Management. Ustinov College

Almas Skin is a retail business which is a range of innovative organic skin products. Grace was passionate about setting up the business following her own skin issues and her struggle to find natural products.

BEDO seeks to provide a solution to the challenge faced by street food stall-holders in Indonesia in sourcing fresh food supplies. Their innovation is in using a different business model that provides a ‘bridge’ between suppliers (especially small-scale farmers) and culinary businesses, which incorporates both transport and credit services.

The Dragons appreciated how Grace had developed the products herself, the eco-friendly nature of them and her personal motivations and involvement.

The Dragons liked the idea, but considered that BEDO needs further experimentation and development and to help with this, awarded £250.

The Dragons considered that Grace herself, closely associated with the product and its use, was her unique selling point. Grace said:

“I’m extremely excited to have been successful in this competition. I plan to spend the money on regulatory testing in order to obtain the necessary certification of my products. I will then be creating the first batch of products to market on my website. I am really keen to test some of my ideas around how the product should develop and what really excites my target market of under 30s women in the UK.” Dragon Elizabeth Scott commented:

“I was delighted with the standard of finalists. Grace showed real passion for her product and inspired confidence in the Dragons that she could take her product to market. By sharing out the prize money with other runners up we hope that they can also get their businesses closer to fruition.” Opposite page, Overall Winner Grace Cook. This page, Entrants with Dragons Kate Gorman and Elizabeth Scott.

Runner-up (b) (Prize: £250) Ubaidillah and Nadia Rachma Pratiwi MSc in Islamic Finance and Management. Ustinov College This is a software platform for rural banks and credit organisations in Indonesia which looks to allow rural banks to interact with potential customers seeking small scale credit. The Dragons liked the concept of the hub, but advised the team to use the prize money to research the cost of security for managing sensitive information.

Ian Stone 2019 Award for Innovation K-Booth Li Chi Hsiao, Orraboot Lasomboon, Akeporn Pornrojnangkool MSc Marketing. Ustinov College and Van Mildert College K-Booth is a modification of an idea developed in Japan, involving establishing private karaoke booths in targeted locations in the UK. The students provided a model of their idea at the end of their presentation in the form of an interactive singing booth. The prize, a plaque, was awarded by Professor Ian Stone to the team for the level of ambition incorporated in the project, the range of innovative ideas surrounding the basic idea, and the quality, enthusiasm and imagination of the pitch.

To find out more about the School’s Dragons’ Den competition, please visit

Issue 6 • July 2019

66 • IMPACT • Engaging business through undergraduate placements Student Experience SECTION HEADING and Alumni

Engaging business through undergraduate placements 70 talented Business School students, every year

Alex McNinch Placement Manager

As part of their undergraduate degree programme, each year around 70 Business School students spend a year away from Durham working in an organisation on a business placement. This is an optional component of all the School’s undergraduate degree programmes and takes place after second year, prior to the final year of study. Preparation for a placement year starts in the students’ first year and continues through to the end of second year with a series of briefing sessions, panels with students returning from placements, workshops and mock interviews conducted by recruiting organisations such as IBM, L’Oréal and PricewaterhouseCoopers, who coach our students to perform at their best in challenging assessment centre and interview situations. In this process, they are supported by the School’s Placement Team: Placement Manager Alex McNinch and Associate Professor in Accounting and Employability Co-ordinator Jan Loughran. Early in the

Philip Warwick Associate Professor

autumn, Jan organises a ‘boot camp’ to help placement applicants develop their CV, interpersonal and interview skills etc. and to start the process of making placement applications. Nearly all students who actively engage with the support provided are successful in obtaining a placement. These can be in a wide range of organisations from manufacturers like Nissan, retailers such as Aldi and TJX (TK Maxx), large service organisations like Hilton and Enterprise Rent-A-Car, online businesses such as ASOS, investment banks such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley; other financial services companies like GE Capital, high street banks and big four accountants, software developers, pharmaceutical companies such as GSK, consultancy organisations such as SAP and other large global business including Warner Brothers and HP Enterprise. There are also some public sector opportunities in the civil service, government agencies and the Bank of England, plus some students have been able to arrange placements in other countries around the globe. International students can undertake a placement as part of a four-year study visa. Placement students are generally paid and in the region of £15,000 to £25,000.

Durham University Business School • IMPACT • 67

For employers, placement-year students offer a great opportunity to get young, talented and enthusiastic people into their organisation. It enables them to set-up a recruitment pipeline to monitor and assess young people working in their organisation over several months to see if they have the capabilities needed for a permanent recruit. If they do well, many students get an offer of a permanent role, subject to successful degree completion, at the end of the placement. Typical placements run a year from June/July although they must be at least forty weeks to qualify. Occasionally, after good performance, a student’s contract is extended with them continuing to work through the summer before returning to their final year. Some students are allocated to a specific role for the period, while others may find themselves in a scheme that rotates them through three or four roles during the year. The Placement Team keep up-to-date records of where everyone is placed and how they are progressing during the year. They are the main link with the School during the year out. All students are also assigned a Placement Tutor, a member of academic staff who visits the organisation, meets the student and their line manager and discusses student progress. Academics taking on this role value the opportunity to visit students in situ and keep up-to-date with the business world.

Dr Philip Warwick, Associate Professor in the Business School, is one of the Placement Tutors. He was responsible for visiting seven students in 2018/19. He made visits to students at ASOS and Danone in the autumn and others at Lidl, Hilton and IBM in early April. Philip commented:

“I really enjoyed my organisational visits in October and April. Seeing students I have taught as first year undergraduates, thriving in a work setting and meeting their line managers is a very rewarding part of my role as an educator.” Most of Philip’s students were based in and around London in 2018/19, with one in South Wales and one in Denmark. Students are also expected to complete two pieces of assessed work for their Placement Tutor during the period of their placement. Both of these assignments require students to reflect on their activities in their role and to think about how it is contributing to their development.

Once back in Durham, placement students generally perform very well in their final year of studies with 49% of placement students achieving a First-class honours degree in 2018. Equipped with the skills developed in their placement year, they tend to be highly motivated and good at time management and planning their work schedule.

Shraddha Gohel, Hilton Hotels Group

Francis Lloyd, Lidl

Nathan Indrakumar, IBM

Shraddha is based at the Europe, Middle East and Africa HQ in Watford. She is part of the Leadership and Talent Development Team acting as office manager, organising a range of development programmes such as the graduate recruitment programme, and maintaining the management and accounting arrangements which ensure that the Talent Development Team work is charged to the appropriate hotel cost centres within the Group.

Francis is in a small team of interns on a rotational development programme. He has worked as a supervisor in a huge regional distribution centre as Shift Manager in a Lidl store in Cardiff and spent some time at Lidl’s UK HQ in South London. He has had to manage a team of staff, been responsible for a just-in-time logistics network and presented his work to a group of senior managers.

Nathan has spent most of his year working at the HQ of Three, the mobile phone network, in Maidenhead, Berkshire. His organisation, IBM, have been undertaking a major consultancy contract for Three. Nathan has acted as the Project Manager, working between the client and IBM, and coordinating the activities of the IBM team. He has monitored key performance targets, developed and updated a project risk register and ensured that the project remains on target.

To find out more about our undergraduate placements and read more from our students, please visit

Issue 6 • July 2019

68 • IMPACT • Durham University Business School’s Advisory Board Student Experience and Alumni

Durham University Business School’s Advisory Board

The Advisory Board is a distinguished group of experts who help us to raise our profile, shape our programmes and maintain our excellence. Made up of senior executives and academics from a corporate background, the Advisory Board play a vital role in shaping our strategic direction, offering independent guidance on the key issues that affect our School, its relationships and its development. The Board members’ particular areas of expertise means the School benefits from having spokespeople in a variety of fields – from business and academia to government and the voluntary sector. By both challenging and supporting us, the members ensure that we remain confident that our leading-edge programmes remain internationally relevant and that we can continue to grow as a prestigious and respected institution.

We recently welcomed the following new members: Stephen Withnell Stephen is a Managing Director of Goldman Sachs International, where he is a senior advisor responsible for Metals and Mining Investment Banking in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Stephen joined Goldman Sachs from Citigroup Global Markets in 2006 and was named Managing Director in 2013. Stephen has advised on over US$150 billion of strategic reviews, board assignments, mergers and acquisitions, equity and debt capital markets transactions. Smiti Kumar Currently Chairman of the Durham University North American Development Board, Smiti’s career in marketing has been on the corporate, agency and media sides of the business. Having previously worked at Merrill Lynch, the U.S. Trust/ Bank of America, The Coca-Cola Company and America Online, Smiti has also spent several years in the advertising agency managing automotive, fast food and other retail accounts. Ocean Wang Ocean is Senior Principal in Korn Ferry, managing Leadership & Talent Total Solution in China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan who serve a diverse range of clients across a range of industries including life science, FMCG, insurance, industrial, telecommunications and high tech.

Ocean is the Chair of International Committee of the School and in 2016, became our first alumnus to be presented with a Dunelmensis award. Only five awards have ever been made by the University’s Senate since 1832 to Durham alumni for meritorious and exceptional service in support of the University, particularly for institutional advancement and for enhancing the University’s reputation nationally and internationally. Birthe Mester Managing Director and the Global Head for Performance, Engagement & Culture at Deutsche Bank, Birthe is an awardwinning Organisational Effectiveness expert with 25 years of global crosssector experience as senior leader and former consultant for world-leading brands. An accredited executive coach, with a background as a diplomat, she is fluent in English and German. Fabienne Viala Fabienne Viala, a civil engineer with dual British-French nationality, has enjoyed a successful career in the construction industry working with both the private and public sector. Fabienne is currently Chairman of Bouygues UK and the UK County Manager of Bouygues Construction. Left to right, Stephen Withnell, Smiti Kumar, Ocean Wang, Birthe Mester and Fabienne Viala.

To find out more, please visit

Travis Callaway • IMPACT • 69

Student Experience and Alumni

Travis Callaway My career, my Durham and my Durham MBA

Travis graduated at the top of his class with a Durham MBA in Finance awarded with distinction in 2014. He also has a bachelor’s degree in Law and Society from the University of Calgary, Canada. Travis studied the Durham MBA, both online as well as attending some modules in Durham, and found the programme exceeded all of his expectations. He found the online modules challenging and wellsupported by video, podcasts, discussion boards and relevant reading materials. He also found the intensive residential modules offered him terrific networking opportunities in addition to an invaluable learning experience in a beautiful and historic setting.

Since graduating and returning to Calgary, Travis, due to his love for the School, University and Durham City, has become a Durham Alumni Ambassador and in particular a great advocate for the School and its programmes. Through his advocacy, Richard Small from Calgary is currently studying the Durham MBA, and he chose Durham University Business School after meeting Travis and hearing what he had to say about his Durham experience and about his successful career after attaining the Durham MBA.

Travis said:

“The Durham MBA helped me break into a highly competitive industry shortly after graduation. I attribute my career success largely to the knowledge, skills and work ethic I gained while an MBA student. The Durham MBA was a transformative experience for me and studying at Durham University Business School is undoubtedly among the best decisions I’ve ever made.” Travis, a private capital markets investment professional, now has extensive experience in the real estate, portfolio management and marketing industries. It’s no surprise then that when Travis spoke to Richard he drew upon his programme and work experience. Richard says:

“Travis sold me on the importance of ROI. When working in an investment context there’s no other metric more important than ROI at the end of the day. An MBA is an investment in yourself and requires one’s time.”

The investment that Travis has made continues to pay off as he has recently been promoted to Managing Director, Private Equity at Strategic Group, who own, manage and develop office, retail and apartment properties across Canada. Their values are around People, Community and Business, with a focus on impact, growth and sustainability. Travis now has managerial responsibility for several business portfolios, oversees the assessment of new investment opportunities and provides analytical, supervisory, and strategic support for investee companies. Through his MBA and professional learning, Travis has also founded an angel investment network based in Calgary, Canada and London, UK. The network specialises in early stage real estate technology and financial technology companies. Travis continues his close association with the School in a number of ways. In addition to being an Alumni Ambassador for Calgary, Travis gave a talk in Durham for the Online MBA induction week in October 2018 and more recently he set a Strategic Business Project for one of the Full-time MBA students. The project is to look at creating a full business plan for Canadian drill bit manufacturer Trendon.

For more information on the Durham MBA visit Issue 6 • July 2019

70 • IMPACT • The Durham-emlyon Global Debate Events

The Durham-emlyon Global Debate: The Role of Cities in the Smart Mobility Economy

On Friday 14 June 2019, Durham and emlyon business schools hosted a Global Debate on the Role of Cities in the Smart Mobility Economy. The Global Debate took place at emlyon’s Paris Campus and looked at the need for co-creation among technology companies, cities and policy makers for shaping a sustainable future for integrated mobility systems. The Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Initiative, part of the wider European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC) provided a focus for the discussions with attendees. The ambition of the initiative is to put urban mobility into the third dimension – the airspace (flying vehicles).

The event brought together experts from companies and organisations including: Airbus, City of Amsterdam, Durham County Council, ENGIE, Maas Alliance and PwC to discuss the role of cities in the urban mobility challenge. The event was supported by French electric utility company ENGIE and ERTICO – ITS (Intelligent Transport and Systems) Europe, a European Commission and industry supported partnership. Delegates were welcomed to the debate by Professor Fabio Bertoni, Dean of Research at emlyon business school and Professor Kiran Fernandes, Associate Dean of Internationalisation at Durham University Business School before the keynote presentations given by Professor Dimitris Assimakopoulos, emlyon business school, and Professor Tyrone Pitsis, Durham University Business School. Professor Assimakopoulos’ presentation looked at collaborative innovation and the acceptance of emerging technology across society, whilst Professor Pitsis challenged the delegates with his look at disruptive ideas and the city of the future.

Following the keynote presentations, city and industrial viewpoints were explored with contributions from, among others, Toulouse Metropole, Michelin and Rolls Royce. Professor Fernandes, drew the day to a close chairing an expert panel for a question and answer session. Professor Fernandes commented: “This has been an excellent event examining an important global issue which needs to be discussed and actioned. Together with our partners emlyon and supported by the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities, this debate has put a spotlight on this crucial issue and begun to examine the possible alternatives.”

Professor Dimitris Assimakopoulos added: “emlyon and Durham University Business School have been delighted with the level of engagement from contributors and attendees at this debate. The UAM Initiative is due to report in early 2020 and I hope the information shared and our discussions here today go some way to supporting the project’s aims.” This event follows on from the success of the first Global Debate, held with Fudan University in Shanghai, October 2018 and supported by Cocoon Networks Shanghai, which focused on blockchain technologies (featured in IMPACT issue 5). Plans are now underway for the third Global Debate, scheduled to be held in the USA in December 2019 and co-hosted with Dartmouth University. The provisional theme of the DurhamDartmouth Global Debate is Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity. For further information on other School events, please visit

Making global connections with prospective business students • IMPACT • 71


Making global connections with prospective business students

One of the elements that makes Durham University Business School a great international school is the diversity of the staff and student body. Both allow students from around the world to enjoy a truly international experience while studying here in Durham and help prepare our students to operate on an international level after graduation. To support this diversity and spread the word about our excellence in business education the School attends a number of international student recruitment fairs each year. By providing ‘Durham near you’ opportunities, we can meet with students and representatives and tell them about the fantastic suite of programmes we offer. The visits also allow us to meet with and update the agent and alumni networks on the latest developments from the University and the School. In the last 12 months, academic staff and members of the marketing and communications team (sometimes supported by University agents and School alumni), have attended 64 events in the following 19 countries:

Top, left to right, Bangalore alumni reunion. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Delhi alumni event. Centre, top left, Paddington Bear in Peru. Top right, Lisbon, Portugal. Mumbai alumni event. Tokyo, Japan.

Brazil (Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro) Canada (Montreal, Toronto) Columbia (Cali, Bogota) Germany (Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf) Greece (Athens, Thessaloniki) India (Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore) Indonesia (Jakarta) Italy (Naples, Rome, Florence, Torino, Milan, Bologna, Venice) Japan (Tokyo) Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur) Mexico (Mexico City) Peru (Lima) Philippines (Manilla) Portugal (Lisbon) Russia (Moscow, St Petersburg) Spain (Barcelona) Thailand (Bangkok) UK (London) Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi) For those unable to meet us in person, we also offer online information sessions throughout the year, where staff and current students are on hand to answer questions about the programmes, admissions processes, student life in Durham and careers support.

For more information about upcoming international recruitment events or online information sessions, please visit Issue 6 • July 2019

Turn our talent to your advantage Tackle your business challenges head-on Enhance your brand


From three-month business projects to mutually enriching placements and internships, we offer diverse opportunities for your organisation to work with our high-calibre students.

An MBA internship is a great way to reinvigorate your business, bringing a wealth of benefits, adding fresh ideas, as well as energy and knowledge to your workplace. They can give you the extra capacity to pursue a new initiative or project away from your core business, and they are a cost effective way of recruiting tried and tested talent.

Does your business have a challenging issue but not the time or resources to address it? Our MBA and Masters students complete a business project between June and September. They work across all sectors and functions, applying their skills and knowledge to deliver ideas and recommendations to take your business forward. Just submit your project idea online.

Placements Gain fresh thinking and acquire the latest knowledge for your business. An invaluable learning opportunity and experience for our undergraduates, a placement also brings huge benefits for you as a host – from access to new business ideas and perspectives, to a rich source of talented future recruits.

Find out more at


Business projects

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