Research themes and groups in the School of Business

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Our engaged research and public value ambitions are furthered by interdisciplinary collaboration across the School and University. Strongly aligned with the University’s interdisciplinary themes we created three cross-disciplinary research clusters in 2019-20:

  • Health, Wellbeing & Education
  • Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Creativity
  • Markets & Governance

The clusters bring together the University of Dundee Business School (UDSB) staff with policy makers, practitioners and academics outside of business and management. As can be seen in Figure 1, they also interface with two larger research support networks. The first of these is the Institute of Social Sciences Research (ISSR), established to foster greater synergies across the Schools of Social Sciences, Business, Education & Social Work and Health Sciences. UDSB is also prominently aligned with the University’s interdisciplinary themes of Health and Wellbeing, Social Justice, Innovating Technology and Creativity and Design.  Clusters are open to academic and research staff beyond UDSB and staff can join more than one cluster.

Health, Welfare and Education

Led by Graeme Martin,this research cluster integrates the work of  economists, management and marketing staff with interests in healthcare management, well-being and education, and in working with practitioners and policy makers. The following examples illustrate their past and current work:  

  • Paul Allanson has played a lead role in the Scottish Health Economics network, which brings together health economists from Scotland’s Universities, the NHS and Scottish Government to explore the development and application of health economics at the national scale.  
  • British Medical Association funded research into changing leadership roles for hospital consultants led by Graeme Martin led to his  appointment by the Cabinet Secretary for Health to the Board of NHS Tayside and, latterly, to the position of Vice-Chair of the Board.  He has undertaken research with the Medical Directorate and consultants on the clinically-led, managerially-enabled strategy and has recently been awarded funding to research in HR innovation and performance in healthcare systems in the UK, Sweden and the Netherlands by NHS Tayside. 
  • Yu Zhu's research on the graduate premium was extensively cited in the 2019 Augur review of Post-18 education, followed by invitations to participate in expert panels for the Department of Education, Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and the Resolution Foundation.
  • Carlo Morelli's research on funeral poverty led to his appointment to an expert panel of the Scottish Government on Social Security and membership of the Dundee Commission on Poverty.

This research cluster reflects and amplifies the themes of Health and Wellbeing and Social Justice of ISSR and their wider University interdisciplinary equivalents and Innovating Technology.

Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Creativity

Led by Norin Arshed, this research theme unites a number of UDSB staff and their PGR community in RKEI activity to enable entrepreneurship and innovation in start-ups, scale-ups and large-scale organisations. Excellent examples of the achievements of this cluster include the following:  

  • Renzo Cordina has explored early-stage venture capital investment in SMEs in collaboration with the University’s Centre for Entrepreneurship to develop its research priorities. 
  • Norin Arshed and published extensively on  entrepreneurship policy, especially in women's entrepreneurship.  As a result, she was appointed as independent advisor on women’s enterprise policy to the Scottish Government Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills. Her research with female entrepreneurs and enterprise agencies informed new structures of support being introduced nationally in 2020-21 and her award of a prestigious nine-month Scottish Parliamentary Fellowship in September 2020. She is also working with Stephen Knox on new research in this field.  Stephen also leads UDSB’s links with the newly formed Michelin Scotland Technology Parc.  
  • Expertise in place-based marketing led to Keith Dinnie’s advisory role with ‘Brand Scotland’, a joint initiative between the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and VisitScotland, on innovative practices in service development and construction of new national narratives.  He is now leading regional marketing within the £300 million Tay Cities Deal, in which UoD features prominently with £40 million of investment in biomedical and forensic science innovation. 
  • Abhishek Pathak has gained an international profile showing how psychology and experimental design produces significant practical value for food marketing and packaging companies.

Collectively, the cluster aligns to the University’s themes of Social Justice and Innovating Technology and to the ISSR themes (co-Director Stephanie Schreven) of Social Justice and Social Change, Governance, Policy and Regulation and Innovation in Methods.

Markets and Governance

Led by Bruce Burton, this research cluster integrates the largest cluster of UDSB researchers in accounting and finance, economics and management and marketing) in the pursuit of knowledge and impact on how firms operate in markets, their governance arrangements and effectiveness. For example:

  • Bruce Burton, Suzanne Fifield, Andrzej Kwiatkowski, Murat Mazibas, David Power and Dooruj Rambaccusing have all examined the efficiency of financial markets and the pricing of securities individually and as part of a portfolio. The cluster has also adopted a sector focus analysing performance in tourism, efficiency in the banking  and promoting optimisation techniques in agriculture and energy markets.
  • Funding through the EU Horizon 2020 programme enabled Bruce Burton to examine the potential of alternative-finance (or crowd-funding) on renewable energy markets while Bruce Burton, Theresa Dunne and Vicky Lambert examined governance in business, the third and public sectors. Impact has been achieved on EU policy on the role of crowd-funding in financing renewable energy investment and on the corporate governance and sustainability reporting of the finance industry.
  • Bruce Burton and David Power are also exploring linkages between markets and social media, and through Dooruj Rambaccussing’s work predicting gambling outcomes drawing on social media has featured extensively in the UK press and radio.  
  • Kristina Auxtova is examining the impact of advertising governance on marketing ethics and is organising the PRME network, while Morris Altman’s work on behavioural economics and ethics in market economies and the role of cooperatives has been highly cited.    

This cluster has strong links to the University themes of Social Justice and Innovative Technologies and to the ISSR themes of Social Justice, and Governance, Policy and Regulation, Innovative Methods and Environment.