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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 four 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 thematic groups contribute to the following Institutes and Centres:

  • Institute for Capitalising on Creativity, ICC
  • Centre of Social and Environmental Accounting Research, CSEAR
  • 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. Until summer 2017, a fifth thematic group, Cultural and Creative Industries, worked closely with the ICC, and hosted dynamic speakers including Bridget Fowler (British New Wave drama), Nick Prior (music in Reykjavik), Anna Upchurch (cultural policy), Alex Stanley (entrepreneurial ambition) and Nicola Searle (business models in digital media).

The sections below introduce the activities of each of the current thematic groups.

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Accounting, Governance and Organisations Group

Accounting, Governance and Organisations Group word cloudThe Accounting, Governance and Organistions Group [AGOG] focuses on the mechanisms of governance in organisations. Our research follows the circulation of numbers and discourses through accounting practices, regulatory assemblages, markets and other such organisational arrangements. It studies the construction of value in the post-modern world, and the processes of valuation and classification at work; we examine the construction of fact, of expertise, and of managerial agency. Within our shared intellectual framework, individual group members' research covers a wide range of interests: sustainability, the ethics and governance of management and organisations, markets, marketing and market exchange; it spans empirical sites such as water, waste, incentive systems, corporate accounting and accountability, and financial markets. We embrace largely qualitative methodological perspectives to construct our anthropology of governance. The group is underpinned by a commitment to understanding the ethics of governance and organisation, to responsible and sustainable enterprise. Our work has much to offer in understanding contemporary crises, whether of truth or politics.
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Individual group members are Jan Bebbington, Julie Brooks, John Ferguson, Lori Davis, Kirsty Holstead, Kelly Macatangay, Alison MacNeill-Weir, Rhona McLaren, Sam Mansell, Andreea Oniga, Francois-Regis Puyou (coordinator), Philip Roscoe (coordinator), Shona Russell, Lorna Stevenson, Lucy Wishart.

We welcome applications from potential PhD students interested in pursuing research in areas related to the group theme. Interested individuals are advised to contact staff members directly. The group maintains close links with the Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research (CSEAR).

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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 (coordinator), 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, Jan Bebbington, Anna Brown, Ross Brown, Shiona Chillas, Anne-Marie Craig, Huw Davies, Martin Dowling, Siobhan Dumbreck, ‎ John Ferguson, Lisi Gordon (coordinator), Gail Greig (coordinator), 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, David Dowell (coordinator), 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.

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.