Business and Management

Operations and Technology Management research seminars

Operations and Technology Management research seminars take place on the following Thursdays. The time and location of the seminar may change over the course of the term so please check this site for updates. Click on the seminar title for more information about each seminar and the speaker(s).

Upcoming seminars

Seminar title to be confirmed

Thursday 7 December from 12:00 until 14:00
Jubilee G30
Operations and Technology Management Research Seminars
Panos Constantinides (Warwick Business School)

Abstract pending; bio available. Click on the seminar title for more information.


Past seminars

Autumn term 2017
5 October
Identifying the Microfoundations of an R&D Collaboration Capability
Dr Sam Roscoe (University of Sussex)

Abstract

Increasingly, organisations are collaborating with external partners such as Universities, suppliers, customers and competitors on Research and Development (R&D) efforts. Scholarly interest in the topic has increased accordingly, providing insights on the benefits of R&D collaborations in the upstream and downstream knowledge chain. The majority of these studies adopt the firm as the unit of analysis or the knowledge exchange dyad between the focal firm and its external partners. By synthesising Resource Based Theory and the literature on organisational routines, this paper descends below the firm-level to develop a theoretical framework of the individual-level actions and routines that support R&D collaborations – the microfoundations of an R&D collaboration capability.

The validity of the framework is examined empirically using an in-depth case study of a high technology aerospace firm co-developing 3D printing technology with University Technology Centres, suppliers, competitors and customers. The findings indicate that an individual’s joint production motivation supports co-operative routines, which in turn support an R&D collaboration capability. The paper’s contribution rests on its identification of the individual as the motivating force of R&D collaborations and the requisite microfoundations and routines that support external R&D engagements.

Bio

Samuel Roscoe is a Lecturer in Operations Management at the School of Business, Management and Economics (BMEc), University of Sussex,. Samuel completed his PhD in 2017 at the University of Manchester on the topic of incremental and radical eco-innovation development in supply networks. Before joining academia, Samuel worked in industry for 15 years in a variety of supply chain management roles with organisations including Adidas, Kimberly-Clark, Eagle Global Logistics and Medicins Sans Frontieres. His research interests are in the areas of digital manufacturing (3D Printing), Humanitarian Operations Management, and Sustainable Supply Chain Management.

Spring term 2017
9 February
Rethinking Business Model Innovation: The Case of Emerging Technologies
Prof. Thierry Rayna - Novancia Business School, Paris

Abstract

Business Model Innovation (BMI) has been acknowledged as one of the most effective and sustainable sources of competitive advantage. Yet, firms often fail to see the rationale for such innovation, as its outcome is particularly difficult to predict, and BMI often requires forgoing what makes the company successful in the first place. Yet, technological innovation and BMI go hand in hand, and failing to rethink one’s business model is a frequent cause of failure for businesses. During this talk, two frameworks enabling to better reflect upon and carry out BMI will be introduced. They will then be used to discuss the impact on business models of emerging digital technologies, such as 3D printing.

Bio

Thierry Rayna is Professor of Economics at Novancia Business School Paris. Beforehand, he spent 10 years in the UK, where he held positions at the University of Cambridge, the LSE, UCL and Imperial College. He is a Digital Economy specialist and his research investigates the radical changes that digitisation brings about to businesses, industries, and the economy as a whole. Prof. Rayna has served as an advisor for companies in the cultural and creative industries, telecom companies, as well as for policymakers. He also mentors start-ups. Thierry Rayna is Associate Editor of the International Journal of Manufacturing Technology & Management.

23 March
Contract Research Today: Challenges and Opportunities
Stefanos Mouzas - Lancaster University Management School

Abstract

Contracts play a significant role in the way that businesses operate. The 2016 Nobel Prize in economic science was awarded to Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmstrom for their contribution to our understanding of how contracts work and how contracts can be improved to provide incentives and enhance performance. Much of the research into the nature and the form of contracts has been of a theoretical nature and it is often referred in management and business studies as relational contract or in economics as incomplete contract theory. In comparison, a limited number of empirical studies have been undertaken to address the problems that actors face in an inter-connected business landscape. This seminar will set out the findings of these two major streams of theoretical analysis of contracts, will contrast them with recent empirical research, and will discuss current challenges and opportunities in contract scholarship.

Bio

Stefanos Mouzas is Professor of Marketing and Strategy at Lancaster University Management School. He received the B.Sc. (Economics) from the University of Athens, the LL.M. (Law) from the University of Bristol, and the Ph.D. (Marketing) from Lancaster University. In 2013 2014 he was Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School at the Program on Negotiation. His research examines how companies negotiate with each other in networks of business relationships. This work is policy-relevant and cuts across the fields of Management (Business to-Business Marketing), Economics (Behavioral Economics) and Law (Contract Law); and includes environmental negotiations, manufacturer-retailer relationships, service providers and corporate deal-making between financial institutions. His work highlights significant discrepancies between the way that contracts are conceptualised and the way that contracts are actually made; and reveals a range of inter-firm arrangements manifested by ‘umbrella agreements’ (framework contracts) that optimize performance in business networks, see papers published in Harvard Business Review, Cambridge Law Journal, Journal of Contract Law, Journal of Business Research, Industrial Marketing Management.

27 April
The Impact of Types of Strategy Processes on Operations Performance
Steve Brown - Southampton Business School

Abstract

This paper presents insights into how some plants achieve excellence via strategic resonance (Brown 2000). This builds upon Skinner (1969, 1985) and other important contributions by providing evidence that links the role and content of strategy to subsequent operations performance.  

The links between strategy and performance remain an elusive “holy grail” for researchers and practitioners alike. We do not seek to provide a prescriptive panacea in this paper but we find links between particular types of strategic formulation – identified as strategic resonance and strategic dissonance - and operations performance in a range of key parameters. Our research focuses on high volume industries where there are numerous demands placed on the capabilities of the operations function including mass customisation, agility, and lean. Such capabilities do not happen “by chance” but are developed by firm-specific strategies whereby in-house operations and business mainstream strategies become closely linked. The problem is that there are inherent tensions in the way firms are organised and where strategic power resides. This paper discusses why operations’ strategic voice is often quiet at most senior levels of organizations and the range of problems this then causes.

Bio

Professor Steve Brown is the Head of Operations and Project Management Department in the Business School at the University of Southampton. Previously he worked for 12 years as a professor at the Business School, University of Exeter. His role included: Member of Senate and Council; Academic Lead for EQUIS accreditation (successfully gained); Head of Management Department; and MBA Director; Subject Leader of the Operations Management Group.

Before that he was a professor, (promoted from Senior Lecturer), at the School of Management, University of Bath. (6 years) – his role included: Head of the Operations Management Subject Group; Director of the MSc in Management; Director of the Centre for Technology and Innovation Management.

View Steve Brown's profile on the Southampton Business School site

4 May
Community Consumed
Olivier Sibai - Birkbeck, University of London

Abstract

Communities of Consumption continue to thrive, bringing together consumers with a shared interest for a product category, a brand or a consumption ideology. While communities are typically assumed to attract participants oriented toward creating value for the group, in effect, participants are often more interested in exploiting the community to create value for themselves. We call this common phenomenon community consumed. This research conceptualizes community consumed, using role theory to distinguish community members from community consumers. Based on a netnography of a clubbing forum, we characterize the two roles of community member and community consumer, identify three constellations in which the roles can interact (conflict, alliance, symbiosis), with different implications for the community (demoralization, protection, augmentation), and explain how conversations shift from one role constellation to the other. This research questions our understanding of communities, indicating that community members are only one type of participants among others. It also indicates that consumerist expansion is not always a negative process of colonialization but can also happen in synergy, further developing communities.

Bio

Dr. Olivier Sibai is a Lecturer in Marketing at Birkbeck, University of London. Olivier’s general research interests hover between Social Media Marketing and Consumer Culture Theory research. He is particularly interested in communities of consumption, conflict in the market place and embodied consumption. Methodologically, Olivier enjoys using ethnography, netnography, text mining and social network analysis. His research was published in Psychology and Marketing, Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, and Advances in Consumer Research. Olivier was a visiting scholar at HEC Paris, France and Cass Business School, UK. Prior to academia, Olivier was a market analyst conducting user-oriented prospective market research on digital markets.

25 May
Organizational Capabilities and Export Plans: The Contingent Role of SMEs’ External Financing Intention
Gordon Liu - University of Bath

Abstract

We investigate the differential effects of new market entry capability and new product development capability on small- and medium-sized firms’ (SMEs’) export plans. Furthermore, we offer a contingent view of SMEs’ external financing intention on the relationship between organizational capabilities and SMEs’ export plan. The findings from analyzing samples derived from the 2012 (N = 4742) UK Annual Small Business Survey indicates that new product development capability has a positive effect on export plans, and its influence depends on SMEs’ intention to pursue external finance. We also find that new market entry capability has an inverted U-shaped effect on export plans. Moreover, this inverted U-shaped relationship between new market entry capability and export plan will flip to a U-shaped curvilinear relationship when SMEs have external finance intention.

Bio

Dr. Gordon Liu is an Associate Professor of Strategic Marketing at the School of Management at the University of Bath. He received his PhD from the Royal Holloway, University London. His current research interests include strategic marketing, entrepreneurship, SME strategy, and networks. He has published in Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Journal of Small Business Management, European Journal of Marketing, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Group and Organization Management, International Journal of Human Resource Management, Journal of Business Ethics, Business Strategy and The Environment, and others.

Autumn term 2016
13 October
Meaningful Work: What do we know about it and how do we find it?
Prof. Katie Bailey - Professor of Management, University of Sussex

Abstract

Meaningful work has become a topic of growing interest in recent years, in part due to a post-crash emphasis on ‘conscious capitalism’, yet surprisingly little empirical research has taken place. In this seminar, we explore the historical roots of meaningful work and consider what makes the difference between meaningful and meaningless work. The findings of both a narrative evidence synthesis and a qualitative study on the topic are shared, and the role that employers can or should play in managing meaningfulness is considered.

Bio

Katie Bailey is Professor of Management in the Department of Business and Management at the University of Sussex. Her research focuses on meaningful work, employee engagement and strategic human resource management. She is Associate Editor of Human Resource Management Journal and is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.

10 November
Who’s Behind the Lens? A Reflexive Analysis of Roles in Participatory Video Research
Dr Rebecca Whiting - Lecturer in Organizational Psychology at Birkbeck, University of London

Abstract

This presentation explores roles within a participatory video study that examined how digital technology affects our ability to manage switches across work-life boundaries. Using paradox as a metatheoretical framework for a reflexive analysis, this approach offers insights into the inter-relationship between participant, researcher, and video technology. The presentation will focus on how Participation-Observation and Intimacy-Distance “hyphen spaces” are enacted, illustrated with study data. It will explore how video technology mediates the relationship between participant and researcher, providing opportunities for participant empowerment but simultaneously introducing aspects of surveillance and detachment. It will also consider methodological features that make video particularly effective in studying the management of these tensions.

Bio

Rebecca Whiting is a lecturer in the Department of Organizational Psychology at Birkbeck, University of London. Her research interests are in taken-for-granted aspects of the contemporary workplace, including the discursive construction of work identities (e.g. the older worker), concepts (e.g. work-life balance, age and gender), and new ways in which work is organized (e.g. digital labour). She is also interested in research ethics, particularly in relation to visual and internet methodologies. Her research is grounded in qualitative methods, usually social constructionist approaches. Her work has been published in Organization Studies, Gender Work & Organization and Organizational Research Methods.

1 December
The Role of Structural Embeddedness in Responding to Supply Chain Disruptions
Dr Canan Kocabasoglu-Hillmer and Dr Byung-Gak Son - Cass Business School

Abstract

While the concept of embeddedness is increasingly recognized in supply chain risk management literature, more weight has been given to understanding relational embeddedness rather than structural embeddedness. Even when structural embeddedness is the focus, the practice has been to measure structural embeddedness by use of surveys. Our goal is to understand the role of structural embeddedness in responding to disruption and the organizational factors that enable better use of the network structure. To that end, we map out the actual supply chain structure and discuss its role in recovering from disruptions.

Bio

Dr Canan Kocabasoglu-Hillmer joined the Operations and Supply Chain Management group at Cass Business School in 2008. Her research focuses on the drivers of effective collaboration between supply chain partners, particularly in buyer-supplier relationships. Her work also encompasses developing measures for assessing supply chain partnerships and closed-loop (reverse) supply chains. Funded by Institute of Supply Management (ISM), her Ph.D. thesis at University at Buffalo investigated strategic sourcing and e-procurement practices in companies and their effect on supply chain performance. She was a board member for the Heartland Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) during her tenure at University of Kansas. More recently she wrote a blog on the role of procurement in creating supply chain agility for Procurement Leaders and led a session on ‘Managing More with Less’ for the Bitesize MBA program designed by Cass for parliamentary staff. Dr Kocabasoglu-Hillmer regularly runs the operations management courses for the Full-time and Executive MBA programs. She is currently the course director for the MSc Global Supply Chain Management. 

Her publications include articles in Journal of Operations Management, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, Industrial Marketing Management, International Journal of Production Economics, International Journal of Production Research and Quality Management. 

Dr Byung-Gak Son is a senior lecturer in supply chain management at Cass Business School, City University London. His research interests are supply chain partnership, supply chain risk management, and offshoring and outsourcing.

Spring term 2016
3 February
Managerial cognition: Managing tensions and trade-offs through paradoxical thinking
Prof. Lutz Preuss - Professor of Strategic Management, Norwich Business School, University of East Anglia

Please note: This seminar will take place in Jubilee 118

Abstract

Paradox as theoretical lens has been gaining traction with management scholars, since the success of a company increasingly depends on its ability to address competing demands simultaneously, whether this concerns the tension between exploration and exploitation or between global integration and local adaptation. Applying the sense-making process as developed by Daft and Weick, this seminar will show that paradoxical thinking can lead to fundamentally different outcomes compared to conventional commercial thinking. These differences will be illustrated through corporate sustainability, the requirement of managers to simultaneously address conflicting but nonetheless interconnected concerns for the natural environment, social welfare and economic prosperity. However, the main arguments of the seminar have wider implications for strategising in organisations generally.

Bio

Lutz Preuss is a Professor of Strategic Management at Norwich Business School, University of East Anglia and has held prior appointments at Royal Holloway University of London, Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh and the University of Reading. He gained his PhD from King’s College London, in addition to qualifications from the University of Reading and Humboldt University Berlin, Germany. His research addresses a range of topics around strategic decision-making and international business, such as managerial sense-making in the face of trade-offs and tensions as exemplified by the challenges of sustainable development. He has also investigated international differences in conceptualisations of socially responsible behaviour. Another of his research strands concerns social and environmental issues in supply chains, including in procurement by the public sector.

17 February
Combined effects of relational mechanisms on supply chain capabilities.
Antony Paulraj - Chair in Operations & Supply Chain Management, Alliance Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester

Please note: This semibnar will take place in Chichester 3, Room 3R143

Abstract

The presentation will start with a brief overview of my current research. The presentation will focus predominantly on two of my current manuscripts. These manuscripts hypothesize and study the combined effects of fundamental relational mechanisms such as trust and opportunism as well as trust and interdependence on supply chain capabilities such as sustainability and innovativeness. The manuscripts are theoretically driven and are based on polynomial regression analysis along with the response surface methodology. The manuscripts also incorporate the effects of some key contingencies on the hypothesized relationships. The presentation will finish with a brief overview of my future research endeavours.

Bio

Antony Paulraj holds a chaired professorship in Operations and Supply Chain Management at the Alliance Manchester Business School. His current research interests are in the areas of sustainability, supply chain management, strategic supply management, supply chain innovation, and inter-organizational systems. His research articles have appeared in many leading international journals including the International Journal of Operations and Production Management, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Business Logistics, Journal of Operations Management, Journal of Supply Chain Management, among others. Antony has won many best paper awards from international journals as well as conferences. His publications have also had significant impact on research within supply chain management.

14 March
Understanding Social Media Use: How Far Will College Student Sampling Take Us? - (with Xinru Page, Bentley University, and Jerry Kane, Boston College)
Marco Marabelli - Bentley University

Please note: This seminar will take place in Fulton 202.

Abstract

Research across disciplines examines the dynamics underpinning social behaviors that occur on social media. Sociologists and psychologists analyze social media impact on social life and human relationships. Marketing research focuses on user profiling in order to improve and predict sales. These studies make great strides towards understanding networked social behavior Moreover, like research in many fields, there is a heavy reliance on college student samples. However, this sampling strategy is valid to the extent that it represents a broader population, and in this paper we argue that it does not. Our claim is supported by established psychological literature. Our study seeks to explore in what ways college students are representative of general social media users and to what extent they are unique. Our findings draw on a wide qualitative study on social media users, contribute to social media research and have implications for research using student samples.

Bio

Marco is an Assistant Professor at Bentley University. His research philosophy involves a critical and practice-based approach to social dynamics associated with knowledge management and innovation, mostly at the network level. His primary focus is on the adoption, use and exploitation of information technology (IT) in a variety of settings including Enterprise Systems, Electronic Medical Record systems, social media networks, and sensor- based devices. At Bentley Marco teaches undergraduate courses on business processes and systems and the “IT, Communication and Networks” module in the Bentley MBA. Marco’s research is published in such outlets as Organization Studies, the Journal of Strategic Information Systems, and the International Journal of Management Reviews, among others. He holds a joint appoint at Warwick Business School, UK (Information Systems Management group). Marco’s updated list of publications is available here

14 April
The role of Founders in influencing Online communities and their Members.
Niki Panteli - Professor of Information Systems, Royal Holloway, University of London

Abstract

The aim of this study is to examine the behaviour and role of online community founders in promoting members' participation. The study is driven by an understanding that though governance and leadership are recognised as being important in the success of online communities, the role of founders in this process has not been explored. Using a longitudinal study of an online community that was founded by a well known (offline) individual and which covered a period of five years, it is shown that though members are attracted to the community through their initial identification with the founder, over time they also develop identification with other members. The study explains how the founder’s behaviour online has contributed to this transition. With these findings, the study makes a theoretical contribution in the field of online leadership and growth of online communities.

Bio

Niki Panteli is a Professor of Information Systems at Royal Holloway University of London, School Management. Her main research interests lie in the area of IT-enabled transformation, virtual teams, virtual collaborations and online community interactions. In this area, she led and participated in several research projects. Her research has been funded by EPSRC, Dstl, the European Social Fund, Teenage Cancer Trust, Youth Cancer Trust and corporate funds.

Her work has appeared in numerous top-ranked academic journals including Human Relations, Information Systems Journal, European Journal of Information Systems, New Technology, Work and Employment, Communications of the ACM, Decision Support Systems, Information Technology & People and Information & Organization.

She is a Senior Editor of Information Technology & People and is on the editorial board of New Technology, Work and Employment. Previously she served as an Associate Editor for the European Journal of Information Systems and was the Chair of the IFIP W.G. 9.5 on ‘Virtuality & Society’. She is currently a Program Co-Chair for the 10th Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems (MCIS 2016).

28 April
The Logistics of Conducting Literature Reviews
Dr Mohammad Moeini - Lecturer in Information Systems, BMEc, University of Sussex

Abstract

Researchers increasingly conduct literature reviews for various purposes such as theory building. To facilitate conducting such reviews, diverse technologies are available. While some of these technologies focus on managing articles and bibliography, other technologies are increasingly being recommended for managing the information generated during reviews. In this study, I argue that there is no universally appropriate technology for conducting reviews. Further, after identifying four categories of review technologies, I link them to different purposes for conducting literature reviews; thus, I contribute to research methods by proposing a technology selection heuristic. To illustrate the viability of the proposed heuristic, I critically reflect on my two recent experiences. I discuss the implications of this study for the way we conduct reviews and teach research methods and also for future technology design.

Bio

Mohammad (Mo) joined the University of Sussex as a Lecturer in Information Systems in 2015. He holds a PhD in Business Administration (Information Technologies) from HEC Montreal (2015). He also holds an MBA and a BSc in Electrical Engineering. His research interests include project risk management in the context of information technology projects and also research methods. Mo’s research has been published in a number of international conference proceedings including ICIS, pre-ICIS JAIS TDW, and AMCIS. Mo was a finalist for the best PhD thesis at HEC Montreal and has a received a number of awards including a Teaching Excellence Award from HEC Montreal, two Best Reviewer Awards from AIS SIGITProjMgmt, and the Prix La Relève (a recognition prize for upcoming professionals in project management) from PMI-Montréal. Mo is a SAP (ERP 6 EHP5) Certified Application Associate, SAP TERP10 instructor, and SAP ERPSim Certified Trainer (Level 2).

Autumn term 2015
5 November
In Search of Lean, Green and Profitable Green Supply Chain Management Practices
Chee Yew Wong

Abstract

This seminar presents some results of a recently completed research project funded by ESRC/RGC on green supply chain management practices and its performance implications (ES/J016799/1). The project aimed to identify effective practices of green supply chain integration (GSCI) that can simultaneously make a firm lean, green and profitable. The seminar explains how new GSCI constructs are being developed based on information processing, relational-view and resource orchestration theories, and how the measurement scales of GSCI are being verified by Q-sort method and CFA of cross-sectional surveys of manufacturing firms from Thailand, UK and Hong Kong (China). The seminar also discusses results of structural equation models (SEM) for testing hypotheses that green internal, supplier and customer integration are capable of collectively improve environmental, cost and financial performance.

Bio

Chee Wong is a professor of supply chain management at Leeds University Business School. He teaches logistics, supply chain and operations management at undergraduate, MSc, MBA, PhD and executive levels. He has also more than nine years of industrial working and consultancy experience in operations, purchasing, production, inventory and distribution management and supply chain design with SMEs and multinational companies specialised in beverage, retail, consumer goods, toys, engineering, metal production, and polymer distribution. His research interests lie in the areas of supply chain integration, sustainable supply chain, third-party logistics, global/ethical sourcing, and operations strategy. He has published more than 70 academic and practitioner articles, such as Journal of Operations Management (JOM), Journal of Supply Chain Management (JSCM), International Journal of Production Economics (IJPE), Supply Chain Management: an International Journal (SCMIJ). Research areas: Green supply chain management; Supply chain Integration; Sustainability; Empirical studies; Construct development.

19 November
Can flexible work arrangements boost engagement and performance?
Dr Luke Fletcher - Brighton Business School

Abstract

Flexible work arrangements, such as flexitime and working from home, are offered by over 95% of UK employers, with around 75% of employees making use of such arrangements (CIPD, 2012). They are considered a specific HR practice within a broader strategic HRM system (Boselie et al., 2005) and availability of such arrangements have been found to lead to job satisfaction, work engagement, lower intentions to leave the organisation, and subjective job performance (McNall et al., 2010; Bal & De Lange, 2015). However, little is known about how employees generally perceive flexible work arrangements, and whether these perceptions lead to specific forms of behaviour. Given that employee perceptions of HR practices are powerful determinants of employee attitudes and behaviour (Guest, 2002), this is a valuable area to explore. This study aimed to shed light into how perceptions of flexible work arrangements may lead to desired employee behaviours, in the form of citizenship behaviour towards other individuals (OCBI) as well as towards upholding the organisation's reputation (OCBO). More specifically, the study examined whether such perceptions enhance these behaviours because they increase employees' engagement with their job (i.e. job engagement) as well as with their organisation (i.e. organisation engagement), and whether perceived employment security strengthened the relationships. The results from a time-lagged online survey of 152 UK workers found that perceptions of flexible work arrangements positively predicted levels of OCBI as well as OCBO one month later, and that job engagement fully mediated the former relationship whereas organisation engagement fully mediated the latter relationship. In other words, positive perceptions of flexible work arrangements facilitates citizenship behaviour because they boost employee engagement. Lastly, perceived employment security strengthened the relationship between perceptions of flexible work arrangements and organisation (but not job) engagement, such that people were most highly engaged with the organisation (and as such behaved in more desirable ways) if they held positive perceptions of flexible work arrangements and felt secure in their employment.

Bio

Dr Luke Fletcher is a Lecturer in Human Resource Management at Brighton Business School, University of Brighton; and is a Chartered Psychologist. He previously worked as a Research Officer at the Institute for Employment Studies. Luke researches topics within human resource management and organisational psychology; particularly on employee engagement, wellbeing, and performance, as well as on diversity and inclusion. He has been published in journals such as the International Journal of Management Reviews, and Human Resource Development International. Luke is currently working on funded projects focusing on HR practices and their link to employee wellbeing/performance (funded by University of Brighton’s Rising Stars Grant), as well as on meaningfulness and engagement interventions within the workplace (funded by the Richard Benjamin Trust).

Summer term 2015
09 April 
The Rise of Mega-FTAs in the Pacific & the Atlantic
Vinod Aggarwal (Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkley)  

Abstract

In the wake of problems in the conclusion of the Doha Round of the World Trade Organization (WTO), we have seen the negotiation of a host of bilateral trade agreements. Recently, in parallel with this bilateral approach, we have seen the rise of so-called mega-FTAs. These include the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Based on my own research and two major conferences that I have organized over the last few months, this talk explores the driving forces for mega-FTAs as well as their likely prospects for a successful conclusion.

Bio

Vinod K. Aggarwal is Professor of Political Science, Affiliated Professor at the Haas School of Business, and Director of the Berkeley APEC Study Center at the University of California at Berkeley. He is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Business and Politics and a Global Scholar at Chung-Ang University in Seoul. His most recent book is Responding to the Rise of China (2014).

16 June
Environmental Sustainability and Supplier Collaboration: Developing a Strategic Framework
Paul Cousins (Manchester Business School, University of Manchester) 
Please note: There has been a change of room to Jubilee 116

Abstract

The focus of the seminar is a current working paper that explores the development of a sustainable topology (see abstract below). The aim of the work is to enable academics and practitioners to explore some of the fundamental motivators and barriers to implementing and maintaining a sustainable approach to business. This is a qualitative study based on a series of interviews and incorporating a large case study of a leading aerospace manufacturer.
Purpose – We explore the relationships among sustainable collaboration, performance success, and firm performance within UK manufacturing and service firms. Applying the natural resource-based view of the firm, our study informs the current state of practice with regards to supplier collaboration for environmental sustainability. Design/methodology/approach – A series of interviews with twenty-one Chief Purchasing Officers and Purchasing Directors across manufacturing and service industries were undertaken to develop a framework that allows organisations to benchmark the risk and rewards of different sustainability strategies. To ensure the validity of the framework it was then applied to an aerospace company using an in-depth case study including 46 semi-structured interviews, 8 focus groups and secondary objective data. Thematic analysis was conducted using NVivo 9.0.
Findings – We provide evidence on how the natural resource-based view can help explain organisational decisions with regards to sustainability collaboration. The majority of organisations interviewed were seen to pursue sustainability initiatives for compliance or cost reduction purposes. Relatively few organisations saw sustainability as an order wining criteria, but those who did reported rare and unique sources of advantage in the market and through their supply chain processes.
Limitations - Our cases capture a range of industries and levels of organisational performance with respect to sustainability, nonetheless, our results may not apply to all firms.
Practical implications – We develop a framework for organisations to benchmark and understand the relevant risk and reward trade-offs of pursuing different sustainability strategies.
Originality/value – A four stage evolutionary model is presented which illustrates the development of firm-specific sustainability capabilities.

Bio

Paul is professor of operations management at the Manchester Business School. He has recently completed several large administration roles, where he was Deputy Director of the School and Director of Research and Engagement for MBS (responsible for the REF submission). He is now on sabbatical leave focusing on his research.
During his career he as worked in industry (Westland Helicopters, Sikorsky Aircraft –USA), Consultancy (A.T.Kearney) and for several universities (Bath, Melbourne, Queens and Manchester). He is an associate editor for the Journal of Operations Management and also the Journal of Supply Chain Management and is on the editorial boards of several other journals such as International Journal of Operations and Production Management, Decision Sciences and the European Journal of Supply Chain Management.
Paul’s main research areas are supplier collaborations, sustainability and network theory. He is currently working on several projects and grant applications based across these areas

17 June 
Public sector reform and Information Systems adoption in Greece
Professor Dimosthenis Anagnostopoulos (Harokopion University of Athens, Greece)
Please note: There has been a change of room to Jubilee G31, and time to 2-3.30pm 

Abstract

TBC

Bio

Dimosthenis Anagnostopoulos is a Professor at the Department of Informatics and Telematics, Harokopio University of Athens, Greece. He is the Rector of Harokopio University since 2011. He is the current Chair of the Greek Rectors' Conference. He served as Secretary General of Information Systems of the Greek Ministry of Finance and Economics from 2004 to 2009. In 2008-2009 he was a member of the Board of Directors of EYDAP SA. He has a PhD from National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in Computer Science. His research interests include eGovernment, Information Systems, Semantic Web and Web Services, Modelling and Simulation Methodologies and Applications (networks, transportation systems) and Business Process Modelling. He has published more than 100 papers in leading journals and international conference proceedings. He has organized international conference special sessions and has been key speaker in conferences. He is an Associate Editor of the Requirements Engineering Journal (Springer) and a member of ΙΕΕΕ and SCS.

Spring term 2015
29 January
Developing, communicating and enriching organizational (information systems) strategies utilising social media
Prof Rober Galliers (Bentley University) 

Abstract

While intranets have become a central information hub for employees in different parts of anorganization, they have also played a key role as a rhetorical tool for senior managers. With the advent of social media, this is increasingly so. How such technologies as these are incorporated into organisations’ ‘rhetorical practices’ is an important, yet under-researched topic. To explore this research agenda, Professor Galliers will examine the effects of social media on established and emerging flows of rhetorical practices in organisations, focusing in particular on the expanding, and in some cases switching, roles played by senior management and other organisational actors. Organisational rhetorical practices are conceptualised as the combination of strategic intent, message and media. The paper considers the interplay between rhetors and their audience, and – adopting an interpretive, multiple case study approach – also discusses the use of social media in three multi–national organisations in the telecommunications industry. The findings reveal that social media can enable and facilitate the shaping of organisational rhetorical practices by (i) adding multivocality; (ii) increasing reach and richness in communication, and (iii) enabling simultaneous consumption and co-production of rhetorical content, but this – crucially – depends on managerial attitudes and actions, and the willingness of organisational actors to contribute to on-going strategy-making.

19 February 
Compromising Conventions: Attitudes to Families and Maternal Employment in Denmark, Poland, Spain and the UK’ Work, Employment and Society vol 28: 2 pp.168-188’
Prof Jackie O'Reilly (University of Brighton)

Abstract

The article examines cross-national variations in attitudes towards gender roles and the extent to which they map onto regime types. It explores intra-national variation in attitudes to non-traditional gendered behaviour drawing on the theoretical approach of the ‘economy of conventions’, informed by feminist perspectives from comparative research. Data from the European Social Survey are used to map where there is a strong degree of resonance or dissonance between societal and individual attitudes and how these are attenuated by sex and employment status. The results expose unexpected national and intra-national similarities and differences. Societies characterized by a traditional male breadwinner model, such as Spain, indicate a higher degree of permissive values than expected; more liberal countries like the UK show high degrees of indifference, as well as a strong element of traditionalism. Dissonance and indifference compromise traditional gendered conventions and illustrate underlying tensions at the individual and societal level in resolving gender conflicts.

Bio

Jacqueline O’Reilly is Professor for Comparative Employment Relations and Human Resource Management at the University of Brighton Business School in the UK, where she is also Director of the Centre for Research on Management and Employment. She is currently coordinator of a large-scale EU FP7 Project STYLE: Strategic Transitions for Youth Labour in Europe. Her research focuses on labour market transitions and gender. She was recently awarded a Leverhulme Major Research Project Fellowship for a new book ‘Challenging the Gender Contract’ (OUP). She previously worked at the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin and was a Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute, Florence. She completed her doctorate at Nuffield College, Oxford including a period of time at L’Observatoire Sociologique du Changement, Science Po, Paris. She is co-editor of ‘Part-time Prospects’ with Colette Fagan and the ‘International Handbook on Labour Market Policy and Evaluation’ with Guenther Schmid and Klaus Schomann. She has been an advisor to the German Excellence Initiative of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation), Swiss Research Council, Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research, the Italian National Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Institutes (ANVUR), the Irish Research Council and the Greek Ministry of Education.

12 March
Firm size and sustainable performance in food supply chains: Insights from Greek SMEs
Prof Michael Bourlakis (Cranfield University) 

Abstract

The presentation will analyse sustainable performance differences within the Greek food supply chain by focusing on a cross-examination of its key members with respect to firm size. Aiming to fill a gap in the relevant literature, we cross-examined micro, small and medium-sized firms against a set of sustainable performance measures and we employed survey research using a sample of 997 firms operating in the Greek food supply chain. Key informants evaluated their firms based on sustainable performance measures. The key results illustrate the specific chain members which perform or underperform in relation to size and detailed reasons are provided for these performance differentials. Findings of this paper will prove useful for food SMEs and policy makers planning to introduce specific sustainability incentives related to firm size and to the food chain.

Bio

Professor Michael Bourlakis is the Director of the Demand Chain Management Community and the Head of the Supply Chain Research Centre at Cranfield School of Management. Michael is a logistics and supply chain management expert with particular interest in food and retail supply chains. Michael has been a member of the Academic Committee of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (Logistics Research Network). He is also the joint Editor-in-Chief of a leading logistics journal (International Journal of Logistics: Research and Applications) and he is on the Editorial Board of six other journals. Michael is a member of the European Technology Platform (Food for Life, European Commission) and he has been a Member of an Expert Panel for the European Commission (DG Research and Innovation) working with leading retailers and other academics on "Retail Innovation". His recent research interests lie in e-business and supply chain management, sustainability and supply chain management and the marketing and supply chain management interface. He has produced more than 200 publications (including 50 journal papers) and he has secured (as a PI or Co-I) more than 20 research grants funded by various leading bodies including the European Union (FPVI, FPVII), EPSRC, Food Standards Agency (UK), Technology Strategy Board (UK) and Regional Development Agencies (UK)

9 April 
The team unbound: rethinking teams in today's global work environment 
Prof Mark Mortensen (INSEAD)

Abstract

There is little question that the large multi-disciplinary body of scholarship on organizational teams has helped us to understand, predict, and improve upon team dynamics. At the same time, the increased dynamism, competitiveness, and scope of today’s global work environment is exerting pressures on organizational teams that may be fundamentally changing not only the dynamics of those teams but even how they are defined. In this work I explore some of the critical differences between our understanding (both scholarly and in practice) of teams and the types of teams we frequently find in the field. With a focus on team boundaries and sense of “boundedness” I consider boundary fluidity, overlap, ambiguity, and disagreement as four critical departures from the characterization of teams found in much of our existing theory. I suggest that to address the issues that arise when theories based on well-bounded teams are applied to unbounded- or weakly-bounded teams, we would benefit from considering boundedness not as a definitional element of the team, but as a dimension along which teams can and often do vary. Importantly, this implies three core shifts in our thinking: from approaching and differentiating teams on the basis of their membership to doing so on the basis of their task, from viewing teams as stable entities to viewing them as states in an ongoing process, and from viewing them as self-contained to viewing them as inextricably linked to the broader social system in which they are situated. I discuss the benefits and costs of changing how we think about teams, compare this proposed shift with other approaches to rethinking the construct of “team,” and provide guidelines for making this transition.

Bio

Mark Mortensen is an Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour at INSEAD. His research focuses on the changing nature of collaboration, with a particular emphasis on global/virtual work and dynamic teams. He publishes this work in a range of academic, professional, and popular outlets and his contributions have been recognized through academic awards as well as leadership and editorial board positions. He teaches the MBA core as well as in many executive programs, and consults widely on team dynamics, global work, and related topics. Prior to joining INSEAD, Professor Mortensen was on the faculty at MIT and McGill University. He holds a PhD from Stanford University, as well as an M.S. from Stanford University and a B.A. from Colby College.

Autumn term 2015
2 October
The role of leader support in facilitating proactive work behaviour: A perspective from attachment theory
Dr Chia-Huei Wu (LSE)

Abstract

Researchers have proposed that leader support helps employees behave proactively at work. Leader support can facilitate the opportunities for employees to bring about change, as well as their motivation to do so. Nevertheless, empirical studies have shown mixed effects of leader support on employees’ proactive behaviour. In this study, to reconcile the inconsistent findings on the impact of leader support on employees’ proactive behaviour, the authors consider the content, mediating mechanisms, and boundary conditions of leader support in shaping employees’ proactive behaviour. On the basis of attachment theory, the authors propose that secure-base support from leaders (support in the form of leader availability, encouragement, and non-interference) positively predicts employees’ proactive work behaviour by increasing their role breadth self-efficacy and autonomous motivation. These hypotheses are supported in an online-survey sample from U.S. participants (N = 138) and a sample from a large gas and oil company in China (N = 212). The authors further propose that the beneficial effects of secure-base support from leaders are more prominent for individuals with lower attachment security. This hypothesis was also supported: Individuals high in attachment anxiety especially benefited from leader secure-base support in terms of its effect on role breadth self-efficacy; whereas those who are high in attachment avoidance especially benefited from leader secure-base support in terms of its effect on autonomous motivation. Our study helps explain how leaders’ support motivates employees’ proactive behaviour, particularly for those individuals who have lower attachment
security.

Bio

Dr Chia-Huei Wu is Assistant Professor of organizational behaviour in the Department of Management, London School of Economics and Political Science. His research in organizational behaviour focuses on employee proactive behaviour, personality/self-concept development at work and work design. He has published 58 journal articles covering research on quality of life and other topics in social psychology. His work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Management, Human Relations, and Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, etc. He has also contributed chapters to books, including The Oxford Handbook of Leadership and Organizations, The Oxford Handbook of Positive Organizational Scholarship, Advances in Positive Organizational Psychology and Advances in Global Leadership.

23 October
The new public value of social science and the future of the business school
Prof Rick Delbridge (Cardiff Business School)

Abstract

The last decade has seen considerable debate about the role of Business Schools and this debate was sharpened considerably with reflection on their role (or otherwise) in the global financial crisis of 2008 . The debate has generated considerable heat, maybe some light, but apparently very little fundamental change in how business schools organize and conduct themselves . This paper returns to these debates but takes its inspiration from recent work in sociology rather than from within the business and management research community. The foundational framework is provided by the typological analysis of sociology provided by Michael Burawoy (2004) and the animation for the current discussion stems from a recent book written by John Brewer (2013) who advances a new public social science. These scholars provide the theoretical conceptualization to allow us to rethink the nature of a business school, putting forward social science sensibilities and a commitment to a new public value that goes beyond economic value and value-in-use. The potential for these ideas to positively influence the development of management studies as a critical, engaged and impactful contributor to post-disciplinary research focused on societal problems was recently advanced (Delbridge, 2014). The paper sets such aspirations in context. First we review the wider institutional context of debate on the value and purpose of business schools and then we proceed to consider recent policy developments that are specifically relevant to the UK. We identify what we term a ‘reductionist turn’ in these debates, as policy makers advance a model founded on economic value and growth to the detriment of wider social science goals and objectives. In the final sections of the paper we rehearse a current example of how one UK university is seeking to develop its business school and wider social science research agenda in these less than promising contexts.

Bio

Rick Delbridge is Cardiff University's Dean of Research, Innovation and Enterprise and Professor of Organizational Analysis at Cardiff Business School. His research interests include the management and organisation of innovation, work and workplace relations and theories of organization. He has published widely in leading international journals and had served as an editor of Academy of Management Review and Organization. He is an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences, a Fellow of the British Academy of Management and a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales.

13 November
The ontological choreography of the impressionable subject in online display advertising
Prof Lucas Introna (Lancaster University)

Paper

•  Seminar paper [DOCX 971.57KB]

Abstract

We are not subjects from the start, we become the subjects we are assumed to be in and through a complex and subtle ontological choreography which is both discursive and material. Of course, we have already known this since Butlers’ (1990; 1988) work on gender and Foucault’s work on madness (2006) and birth of the prison (1991). However, with others, such as Latour, Barad and Pickering, we have also become increasingly aware that this complex choreography also include a whole host of heterogeneous actors, human and non-human alike. Furthermore, in this ontological choreography the flow of agency is diffused and distributed. It seems to be everywhere and nowhere, and it seems not to be at the behest of any one actor as such (be that human or non-human). We see and feel its effects yet it seems impossible to establish its origin, and account for all its flows. It is constituted by the whole yet enacted by the particular and very specific acts of the assumed parts. In this paper I want to attempt to trace the ontological choreography of the constitutive enactment of the impressionable subject by considering the case of online display advertising. The object of advertising is this very subject. Namely, the subject that will convert. I will trace the outlines of the performative production of this impressionable subject by focusing on a number of so-called ‘technical’ actors (or more specifically algorithmic actors). However, I will claim that they are never purely ‘technical’, rather, that they already embody or impart the whole, from the start, as it were. The sociomaterial (discursive and material) whole in this case is a particular logic (or business model) which enacts the so-called ‘free’ internet but which is in fact based on advertising revenue. This logic requires of advertising (and by implications the whole) to enact convertible subjects, what I called impressionable subjects. I want to attempt to show how exactly these actors are imparted to enact this logic, and by implication the impressionable subject. I will trace this ontological choreographed as the enactment of a variety of necessary subject positions, specifically: the gazing subject; the animated subject; the individuated subject; and finally, the branded subject. I will conclude by considering some of the issues of becoming constituted as such a subject and why we need to attend to it, perhaps more carefully than we normally do.

Bio

Lucas D. Introna is professor of technology, organisation and ethics at the Centre for the Study of Technology and Organisation, Lancaster.

4 December
The long tail and its operational implications
Prof Bart McCarthy (University of Nottingham)

Bio

Bart is Professor of Operations Management at Nottingham University Business School. His research spans the analysis, modelling and management of operational systems in a wide range of sectors. He has led major research projects on effective decision support in planning and scheduling, Mass Customization, supply chain management and order fulfilment. He was recently awarded major research funding to examine new perspectives for the analysis of robustness and resilience in international supply networks with a consortium of UK universities and companies. He has researched and consulted with companies in different sectors including automotive, aerospace, engineering, textiles and clothing, consumer products, food and logistics. He has published widely in the Operations Management and Management Science literature. He is European Editor for the International Journal of Production Economics (IJPE) and serves on the editorial board of a number of other academic journals including the International Journal of Operations and Production Management. He was President of the European Chapter of the Decision Sciences Institute (EDSI) from July 2011 until June 2012. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its applications (FIMA), the Institute of Operations Management (FIOM) and the Institution of Engineering and Technology (FIET).