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Introduction to Research and Thematic Groups


The School of Management is research intensive and underpinned by a strong grounding in the social sciences. We pursue a strategy of focusing our research activities and identity around the concept of responsible enterprise. This entails an ethical approach to managing within organisations, the impact of human enterprise on the environment, the interaction between forms of investment and social and organisational impact and the need to foster creativity and development.
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The School of Management operates thematic groups which include academics, teaching fellows, researchers, visiting staff and PhD candidates. The thematic groups are:

The thematic groups are the main organising focus for research and its links into teaching, and it is here that scholarly activity and mentoring for early career and established staff takes place. Each thematic group is engaged in the development of activities which speak to wider audiences. Consequently, praxis and engagement infuse and invigorate our research activities. The School contributes to a number of research centres and institutes and these continue to be vehicles for research collaborations within and beyond the School, outwards facing activities and engagement. Members of the five thematic groups contribute to the following Institutes and Centres:

  • Centre of Social and Environmental Accounting Research, CSEAR
  • Institute for Capitalizing on Creativity, ICC
  • Centre for Responsible Banking and Finance, CRBF
  • Research Unit for Research Utilisation, RURU
  • Centre for Research into Information, Surveillance and Privacy, CRISP
  • Centre for the Study of Philanthropy and Public Good, CSPPG

The theoretical and empirical research undertaken by the subject groups strikes a balance between discipline-specific contributions, and the development of multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary work. This balance is reflected in our PhD programme. The School's emphasis is on sharing expertise and producing research of the highest quality. This is complemented by a first class Research Seminar Series (organised by the thematic groups). Previous presenters have included Mats Alvesson, Seth Armitage, Michael Barnett, Stewart Clegg, David Cooper, Keith Hoskin, Phil Molyneux, Lee Parker, Mike Reed, Richard Taffler and Richard Thorpe. The sections below introduce the activities of each thematic group.

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Creative and Cultural Industries

Creative and Cultural Industries research thematic group wordcloudThe (CCI) thematic group researches management topics within cultural and creative settings. We take an inclusive approach to the organisations we research with and current projects are in advertising, architecture, art, craft, film, music, publishing, theatre and TV. Our interests include the functioning of labour markets in terms of skills acquisition, career entry and career transitions; career development, labour market exit and the experience of working lives in the creative industries; festival and event organisation; the role of networking, social media and the identification of taste, value and legitimacy; organising practices and their role in creative outcomes; knowledge, knowing and communities of practice in creative work and organising; the role of intellectual, social and cultural capital in the economy for symbolic goods and strategic change.
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Members of the CCI are also members of the Institute for Capitalising on Creativity (ICC) which is a collaborative research institute with four Scottish partners. The ICC is led by Professor Barbara Townley at St Andrews and currently has one of the most significant ESRC projects in creative industries in the UK.

The group would be happy to hear from students who are interested in pursuing a PhD who have an interest/experience in one of the following: music, craft, art, design, film and media, advertising. We adopt constructionist or critical realist approaches and generally conduct qualitative research. We support PhD topics in the range listed in the first paragraph above and if you are interested in applying for a place we would welcome an informal contact.

The CCI group includes staff members: Bill Barlow, Shiona Chillas (coordinator), Gail Greig, Mindy Grewar, Mahmoud Khalik (coordinator), Charles Lovatt and Barbara Townley.

Please see Thematic Groups: Cultural and Creative Industries for additional information.

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Ethics, Sustainability and Accountability

Ethics, Sustainability and Accountability research thematic group wordcloudEthics, Sustainability and Accountability is an interdisciplinary group at the School of Management committed to the research and teaching of ethical and environmental issues in accounting, finance and management.
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The group's research covers practical and theoretical issues around the financing and management of sustainable development, the accountability of organisations for the social and environmental consequences of their activities and the governance mechanisms this entails, and the link between finance and social responsibility. Within this broad research agenda the group's specific areas of expertise include social and environmental accounting; employee voice and industrial democracy; socially responsible investment; consumer payment behaviour and security issues (e.g., identity theft); marketing ethics and relations between morality, psychoanalysis and consumption; accountability and human rights; the ethics of economic incentives in online dating and organ markets; environmental governance, particular concerning climate change and the water industry; the translation of sustainable development principles into policy and practice; stakeholder theory and the application of moral and political philosophy to business ethics.

This research informs the teaching of the group at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Our teaching follows the Principles for Responsible Education (PRiME) of which the School of Management is a signatory. We supervise a number of research students in the fields of Sustainable Development, Social and Environmental Accounting, and Socially Responsible Investing. Many of the group's activities are organised through the Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research which is based in the School and includes the Social and Environmental Accountability Journal. The membership of the group comprises Rod Bain, Jan Bebbington, Kais Bouslah, Julie Brooks, Lynn Christie, Lori Davis, John Desmond, John Ferguson (coordinator), Robert Gray, Kirsty Holstead, Tobias Jung, Britta Kronbach, Kelly Macatangay, Alison MacNeill-Weir, Chris Makwero, Rhona McLaren, Sam Mansell, Andreea Oniga, Francois-Regis Puyou (coordinator), Clemence Rannou, Philip Roscoe, Shona Russell, Lorna Stevenson, Lucy Wishart.

Please see Thematic Groups: Ethics, Sustainability and Accountability for group news and events.

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Financial Institutions and Markets

Financial Institutions and Markets research thematic group wordcloudThe Financial Institutions and Markets Group has developed its research around two themes: first, competition, risk and performance of financial institutions (especially banks, credit unions and microfinance institutions) following the de-regulation of the financial services industry and subsequent global financial crisis; second, the information and efficiency of financial markets (captured in research carried out on volatility forecasting, momentum, analyst forecasts, carbon markets investment performance evaluation and responsible and Islamic investments). At the responsible investment and carbon markets end of the efficiency of financial markets research theme, the group collaborates with the Ethics, Sustainability and Accountability group of the School. Members of the group have advised a number of policy institutions including the Scottish Government (on credit unions) and the United Nations' Principles for Responsible Investment.
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Members of the FIM group are also members of the Centre for Responsible Banking and Finance (CRBF) which is a research centre based at the School of Management.

The membership of the group comprises: Pejman Abedifar, Kais Bouslah, Ross Brown, Jimmy Chen, Dimitris Chronopoulos, Laurence Lasselle, José Manuel Liñares-Zegarra, Duncan Maclennan, Linh H Nguyen, Louis Nguyen, Daniel Oto-Peralias, Bert Scholtens, Manouchehr Tavakoli and John Wilson (coordinator). A number of PhD candidates are members of this group, including: Hampus Adamsson, Edie Che Johari, Sotirios Kampanelis, Anna Lucia Sobiech, Michael Rezec and Moritz Wiesel.

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Knowledge and Practice

Knowledge and Practice research thematic group wordcloudThe Knowledge and Practice Group at the School of Management, University of St Andrews, is an interdisciplinary research grouping that focuses on the relationship between knowledge and practice in various areas of work, including technical, creative, professional and policy settings.
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Within our group, researchers working in diverse areas are linked by common interests in understanding knowledge and practice, informed by a range of theoretical approaches to knowledge in organisational settings. We avoid hierarchical orderings of theory and practice, instrumental approaches to decision making, and the traditional dichotomy between rigour and relevance. Instead, we think knowledge plays a constitutive role in society and society in knowledge. We therefore seek to examine the interrelationship between knowledge and practice in a variety of empirical and theoretical ways.

Our research interests span micro- and macro-level analyses of knowledge and its mobilisation. We are currently conducting work that looks at the role of technical devices in the creation and organisation of social structures; the development of professional expertise and attendant power relations; the role of knowledge in creative settings; and the use of research-informed knowledge in political and policy arenas. Particular areas of focus include public policy and the sustainability agenda, education, the third sector, healthcare, the music industry, careers and the professions. Members of the group also engage actively with practitioners, policy makers and the media. Membership of the group comprises the following staff and research students: Cinla Akinci, Rod Bain, Alina Baluch (coordinator), Jan Bebbington, ‎ Anna Brown, Ross Brown, Shiona Chillas (coordinator), Anne-Marie Craig, Huw Davies, Martin Dowling, Siobhan Dumbreck, ‎ John Ferguson, Lisi Gordon, Gail Greig, ‎ Bonnie Hacking, Paul Hibbert, Kirsty Holstead, Judith Hughes, Jeffrey Hyman, Tobias JungLaurence Lasselle, Charles Lovatt, Duncan Maclennan, Aly MacNeill-Weir, Theresa Majeed, Rhona McLaren, Christopher Mueller, Sandra Nutley, Kevin Orr‎, Alison Powell, Louisa Preston, Toma Pustelnikovaite, Sandra Romenska, Shona Russell, ‎ Mirko Semler, Lorna Stevenson‎, Juliette Summers, Tricia Tooman and Lucy Wishart.

Please see Seminars and News - Archive for details of research seminars organised by the group from April 2011.

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Organisations and Society

Organisations and Society research thematic group wordcloud‌Organisations and Society is an interdisciplinary research group coordinated by Ruth Woodfield. It is concerned with the relations between organisations and society in the broadest possible sense.
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The group researches the role of organisations in shaping society and the role of society in shaping organisations. We examine this inter-relation from a range of theoretical perspectives (mainstream and critical), in a variety of empirical locations (from the micro-level of behaviour and inter-personal relations to the macro-level of institutions and societies) and adopting a range of qualitative and quantitative analytical approaches. We interrogate taken-for-granted ideas about organisation and challenge orthodoxies of managerial practice. At the heart of our group is a concern with the sociological and psychological nature of organisational behaviour, and with the ethical and political context and consequences of organisations.

Our research engages with a wide range of issues across the social sciences. A sample of topics, with links to publications, includes:

The membership of the group comprises: Cinla Akinci, Rod Bain, Kirstie Ball, Alina Baluch, Bill Barlow, Boyka BratanovaJulie Brooks, Ross Brown, Eleanor Burt, Shiona Chillas, Huw Davies, Martin Dowling, Siobhan Dumbreck, Tony Dundon, David Erdal, John Ferguson, Lisi Gordon, Robert Gray, Gail Greig, Paul Hibbert, Jeff Hyman, Tobias Jung, Brad MacKay, Theresa Majeed, Sam Mansell, Diane McGoldrick, Rhona Mc Laren, Sandra Nutley, Matthew Pauley, Toma Pustelnikovaite, Mirko Semler, Juliette Summers, Tricia Tooman and Ruth Woodfield (coordinator).

Please see Seminars and News - Archive for details of research seminars organised by the group from November 2010.

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If cannot find what you are looking for or need to know more about research in the School please contact Professor John Wilson, Director of Research.