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Digest #3

Liverpool Business School

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s we close semester one, the School is reflecting on a successful 2015/16 with excellent league table results, a tremendous outgoing cohort of undergraduate students and excellent international recruitment. We also have an exciting future ahead of us as we embark on our establishment as a standalone faculty. From 1 January 2017, The Liverpool Business School will be separated from the Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies, and with it comes lots of opportunities for the School to build its reputation as a leading provider of clinical business excellence. The School will also be building on this year’s excellent league table results, which saw us climb the Guardian University League Tables in Business, Management and Marketing – incorporating Marketing, Business Management, Business Studies, Human Resource Management, Business and PR - from 58th in 2016 to 38th. Accounting and Finance demonstrated excellence in teaching and topped the University for overall student satisfaction in the Times Complete University Guide, with 91.6%. This improvement is a testament to our staff’s dedication and hard work, a demonstration that our investment in teaching is appreciated by our students and that their experiences are continuing to improve yearon-year. This league table position also places us higher than any other university in Merseyside, a trend i’d like us to continue over the coming years.

Business graduates scoop awards Liverpool Business School’s masters students received a warm welcome when they returned to Redmonds Building for a graduation party following the Autumn ceremony which recently took place in the Anglican Cathedral. Read more about Autumn graduation on pages 5 and 6.

What’s in this issue? Autumn Graduation School news Forthcoming events Research success The digital skills gap Get in touch Do you have news to share with the rest of the School? If so, email it to lbscomms@ljmu.ac.uk or Tweet using @LJMUBusiness #Digest


School news in brief New paper analyses the future of marketing and education Dr Matthew Analogbei, senior lecturer in Marketing has just had his paper, “Troubled Waters: The Transformation of Marketing in a Digital World” accepted by the 3* European Journal of Marketing, in its special issue, Strategic Marketing: New Horizons in Theory and Research. The paper takes forward the widely held view that marketing is an eclectic business tool that uses technology to change business and marketing strategies. With the breaking down of legacy systems in organisations, the paper asks how the marketing function needs to be integrated with other key functions in the organisation to help achieve organisational objectives. It looks at the new skills marketing graduates need to meet the demands of modern business. From a pedagogical perspective, the paper examines how these new and emerging demands affect the design of modules and delivery of marketing modules to prepare students for the challenges in the industry. Commenting on his news, Dr Analogbei said: “This paper looks at how businesses operate in the technological age; the changes to core functions of marketing and especially the deliverables of the marketing function. At no time have we been forced to critically review and justify the contributions and huge marketing budgets for marketing in organisations like it’s been done now.”

Placement Fair attracts big employers The annual Business School placement fair took place on 31 November and attracted employers from a broad range of sectors. Two representatives from building contractors, Laing O’Rourke came to the Adelphi Hotel to talk about a variety of roles available to students looking for a placement. One graduate from 2016, Theo Hough will be starting his graduate role in September at the firm’s head office in Dartford. He will be joined by current final year Business Studies student, Adelle Latham, who secured a role for when she graduates in 2017. Liane Holmes, procurement manager for the firm said she encouraged people with enthusiasm who can think independently to apply for one of the 130 placement roles available annually. She added: “by the end of the placement a student with the right attitude will be able to do the job with confidence and it will really help them in their final year. If you haven’t had your CV looked at and you are thinking of applying for a placement, contact the Employability Support Unit for a CV appointment - esu@ljmu.acuk

PR tutor appointed CIPR examiner Mike Swain, senior lecturer in Business and PR, has been appointed as one of three Chief Examiners to oversee and develop a new postgraduate qualification from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), the professional body which oversees the UK profession. The Professional PR Diploma aims to provide senior PR professionals with a formal qualification which provides strategic direction to enable them to lead at board level. Chief Examiners ensure that students on the course are assessed fairly and at an appropriate level. The role will be developmental, advising on appropriate learning outcomes and assessments. Mike said: “On a personal level I’m delighted to be involved with the CIPR developing its postgraduate professional qualifications. From the perspective of the PR degree and the business school it can only have positive benefits to be closely associated with PR’s professional body in the UK.”


Closing the Digital Skills gap Digital skills in the UK are falling behind the growing demand for specialists in a variety of fields, and the problem is compounded by graduates’ unease around applying for roles with unusual or non-traditional job titles. In a joint project to develop skills and break down the barriers for graduates when applying for roles, the British Interactive Media Association (BIMA) and The Liverpool Business School have conducted research into ‘personas’; a way of making some of the technically sounding job roles more easily identifiable. Ultimately, the project aims to match graduate skills with vacancies in the local digital sector. Behind the property sector, the digital industry is the second largest economic contributor according to new research by the Boston Consulting Group. It has increased from £120bn to £180bn in 2015. This represents the highest proportion of GDP of any of the G-20 countries. Liverpool’s reputation as a creative culture stands it good stead to surf these trends. However, the research shows that many stakeholders are puzzled as to how they fit in. An event which recently took place in the Redmonds Building brought in some of the city’s best-known employers in the sector to explain to students how they might be able to launch their careers in this burgeoning sector. Companies such as ph.Creative, Village Software, Mando and BMicro have been consulted in the development of the personas. The six personas which have been identified are Content Producers, Digital Marketers, User Experience Designers, Web Developers, Programmers and Commercial Managers. These are effectively groupings which help students and graduates identify a possible role for themselves. Commenting on the project, Johnny Read of LJMU and Village Software said: “This event was a great opportunity for all students and graduates, whatever their level, to talk to current employers and find out what they are looking for. Many of the skills required are taught in both the Business School and Screen School. It’s a case of finding out how their developing skill sets could fit nicely into the roles for which there is a shortage.”

What’s coming up? Wednesday 7 December RB - ground floor and various rooms - 16:00 Postgraduate Study Fair University wide fair dedicated to postgraduate study options for January and September 2017 starts. Register: ljmu.ac.uk/study/postgraduatestudents/postgraduate-events/ postgraduate-study-fair

India comes to Liverpool A recent event hosted by Liverpool Business School welcomed the Indian High Commissioner to the UK. Make in India, aims to engage UK manufacturers especially in the high tech and pharma sectors, to work more closely with the Indian government and trade bodies. Attendees included postgraduate students, Tim Nichol, the Indian High Commissioner and his office., lawyers and reperentatives from a range of UK businesses. The event was opened by Professor Nigel Weatherill, Vice Chancellor who welcomed visitors to Liverpool and LJMU’s Business School.


Autumn graduation Following the LBS graduation ceremony on a cold and sunny Autumn morning, graduands and their guests were invited back over to Redmonds Building for the Liverpool Business School’s Toast your Success event.

The MA International Human Resource Management student of the year was awarded to Sebastian Scharf and collected on his behalf by HRM lecturer, Helen Collins. Both awards were presented by CIPD’s regional chair, Lynn Delaney.

When they arrived, guests were welcomed by the Dean, Tim Nichol who congratulated the graduands on their achievements and wished them the best of luck with their careers. Following Tim’s address, a number of programme specific prizes were awarded to graduands. Pengyu Zhang, a Chinese student who graduated from the MSc Management was presented with the CMI Award for Excellence by the CMI’s Roger McCartney.

The MSc Financial Management Academic Prize was presented by Karl Roberts to Alexander Brandt, for gaining the highest overall grade. The MSc Entrepreneurship Business Plan prize was presented to part-time student Emma Hibbs by Dr Seng Kok.

MA Human Resource Management student Susan Barry was awarded the CIPD full-time masters student of the year – the award was collected on Susan’s behalf by her daughter (pictured below.

One of the MSc Entrepreneurship graduates, Daniel Roberts, graduated in 2012 with a BA (Hons) Business Management and came back to LJMU to undertake his masters. Daniel works for a large fast food franchise in Liverpool and originally undertook the masters to improve his commercial awareness, something which Daniel says the course achieved during his studies.


Andrew Wilson, who graduated with Daniel and Emma, undertook the MSc as a full-time student. He has since decided to go into academia and is now a lecturer in Business Management at the Liverpool College. Commenting on his main ambitions, Andrew said: “I’d like to go into business on my own and this course has definitely given me the tools and confidence to do this.”

Certificates awarded for Italian Job A number of individual certificates of achievement were presented to a group of students on the MSc degrees in Management and International Business and Management, who undertook a practical business consultancy project in Varese, Italy. Four groups of students went out to undertake the project and certficates of achievement were issued awarded to: Ali Ali, Patricia Amartey, Hen Chen, Pengyu Zheng, Mark Fitzpatrick, Mark Edwards, Chayra De Alwis, Kaije Yang, Tien Ngyen, Matteo Valente, Danielle Macmahon, Claire Parmentier, Liuming Li, Sam Mather, Rumsha Nadeen and Firdaous Ghourrabou. Duncan Heaney, a head chef of a restaurant in the Isle of Arran, took part in the two-week project which saw the students working with academics from the University of Insubria and local SMEs to investigate the potential for entry into the UK market with either a product, a range of products or a service. The certificates were presented by the guests from the University, Professor Patrizia Gazzola, Professor Roberta Pezzetti and Luca Gallo. The project was co-organised by Sue Hill and Brigitte Hordern.


School news in brief Sweet treat for induction

Learning beyond the classroom For a broader understanding of aspects of business and commerce, Business Studies students have been visiting different settings to develop their learning.

Fresher students studying on the BA (Hons) Marketing degree were treated to a chocolate making session by the boutique chacolatier, ‘Chocolate Craft’.

In the level 5 CSR module, Hilary Bishop took a group to a private screening of Bluewater Horizon at the Odeon Cinema in Liverpool ONE.

The day involved learning how to make chocolate, creating luxury chocolate truffles, choosing a brand name, analysing their chosen target market. With guidance from the teaching team, students have to then create an idea story board, design packaging, and then pitching their idea to the rest of the group.

“It was great to be able to offer the students a different learning experience. The film offered an opportunity for students to appreciate the scale of the disaster and to see the human side of the story. We were then able to follow this up in our seminars looking at both the social and environmental costs of the disaster,” commented Hilary

Commenting on the day, Natalie Counsel, lecturer in marketing said: “Everyone loved the experience and this is the second time that the company has come to LJMU.”

Nina Lynch, a student who attended the screening said: “We really enjoyed the film. It was great to visualise the disaster and it helped us to put events into perspective.” A group of level 4 students visited Jaguar Land Rover in Halewood to observe the plant’s complex business operations. The tour of the facility, which produces the Range Rover Evoque and Discovery Sport, gave students an opportunity to see every stage of the assembly process from the sheet metal processing and robotic body construction through to the finished product. The factory tour formed part of a case study needed for the Business Process Management module which is aimed at providing students with an introduction into the area of operations management.

International conference keynote Dr Mina Beigi, Senior Lecturer in HRM has been invited to deliver a keynote lecture to senior managers at the 14th International Management Conference taking place in December in the Milad Tower, Tehran, Iran. Mina will also be delivering a PhD workshop to business doctorate students from Iran and elsewhere in the middle east. Commenting on her invitation, Mina said: “This is the most important management events in Iran and many scholars from round the world are invited to deliver keynotes - I am happy about it.”

Tarik Abdullah, a student who took part in the visit said: “It was the first time that I have seen a robot working. I was able to see Just In Time (JIT) happening right in front of me and understand how lean production really works.”


Last but not least Top Tweeter Liverpool Business School has some prolific staff and student social media users. This edition’s top tweeter award goes to Dr Sion Owen, senior lecturer in Accounting and Finance with this tweet about happy MBA students following some intensive accounting studies. Don’t forget, if you do tweet tag @LJMUBusiness and broadcast your interesting activities.

HRM Facebook community Over the last few years the Human Resource Management team, run by Maureen Royce has engaged students and alumni by different means, from professional networking evenings with the CIPD to social events. Maureen and her team have found engaging people using Facebook as an effective way of maintaining a professional network. Alumni utilise the closed group page to advertise jobs and events, while students will often ask for contributions to dissertation surveys and advice on getting their first job or work experience.

Sound City needs creative writers LJMU continues to support Liverpool’s biggest music festival as the Cultural Education Partner, and this year the organisers of Sound City are looking for culture vultures to get involved in developing content for its website liverpoolsoundcity.co.uk/2017 Writers who love music, arts and culture are being sought to bring a vibrancy and colour to the Sound City website in anticipation of next year’s festival, due to take place on 27-28 May 2017. Contributors will have their pieces fully credited, shared on social media and acknowledged by Sound City in their promotional materials. If you are interested in participating, contact johnny@liverpoolsoundcity.co.uk remembering to include a sample of two of your work and some details about you.

Tickets for Sound City 2017 go on sale soon, with an early bird offer being made available to people who attended this year’s festival. LJMU students and staff will be able to buy the cheapest available tickets for weekend, single day and the three day conference throughout 2017 leading up to the festival. Keep an eye for announcements on the LJMU website and social media for ticket details and exclusive competitions.


Digest is published by Liverpool Business School for its staff and students December 2016 DG3


Liverpool Business School Digest #3