Research impact

Groundbreaking Business School research provides innovative solutions to challenges facing industry, government and society worldwide.

Shaping policy and practice

Our expertise places us at the forefront of research that shapes both business practice and public policymaking. Members of faculty collaborate across disciplines and with external organisations to provide expert knowledge and rigorous analysis.

We have helped to shape agile working policies, developments in artificial intelligence, and risk management in the energy sector around the world. Our work has also influenced the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy, the National Minimum Wage, government investment in the creative industries, and post-Brexit trade policy.

The Research Excellence Framework assessment recognised the real-world impact of our research, highlighting our strengths as a pioneering, interdisciplinary school with a distinctive portfolio.

97% of Economics and Econometrics research and 86% of Business and Management Studies research was graded either world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*), while the impact of our Economics and Econometrics research was rated joint sixth in the UK. 

Case Studies

Research Mobilisation Groups

  • Accounting & Society

    Mobiliser: Dr Sumohon Matilal 

    The Accounting and Society Research Mobilisation Group at the University of Sussex Business School views accounting as a social and institutional practice that defines and constitutes social relations (Miller, 1994). Members of the group draw upon a mix of quantitative and qualitative methodologies to undertake impactful interdisciplinary research in the areas of accountability, governance, inequality, performance management, accounting profession and accounting education, to meet the emerging agendas of business, government, higher education, and the wider society

  • Artificial Intelligence

    Mobilisers: Frederique Bone 

    The Artificial Intelligence Research Mobiliser Group brings together 45 members of the University of Sussex Business School around topics such as AI policy, management, economics, or the use of Machine Learning in research. The aim of the RMG is to understand how the development of AI affects society through exploring a wide range of interconnected topics and establishing a bridge between academics active in diverse domains. The group’s research is interdisciplinary in nature, and spans interests of how AI will affect industrial dynamics through innovation, together with the role that science plays in this development; how AI-related policies are designed and implemented building on balancing economic, ethical and societal considerations; and finally how AI impacts on employment and the workforce.  

    In the year 2019/20, group members have presented their research both internally and externally. Maria Savona presented AI research to the European Commission Joint Research Center and the OECD workshop, while Frederique Bone and Simone Vannuccini discussed the implication of AI for society at Shoreham Wordfest and Barclays Eagle Lab.  

  • Business Finance 

    Mobiliser: Ranko Jelic 

    The Business Finance research mobilisation group combines traditional corporate finance with entrepreneurship perspectives to provide a unique understanding of Business Finance in post-crisis Europe. The group focuses on company finance in both public and private companies as well as the evolution of start-ups to different types of public and private companies, examining the roles of venture capital and other intermediaries such as accounting firms and investment banks in facilitating this transition. The group brings together a wealth of expertise from across the Business School and is in conversation with a wider network of over 30 practitioners and academics from a range of global institutions. 

    Since 2020, the group has had research published in leading academic journals, including Journal of Corporate Finance, Journal of Money Credit and Banking, Journal of Economic Perspective, Journal of Banking, and British Journal of Management. Group members have been involved in large research projects, such as ESRC: Understanding how constraints on access to finance and under-investment impact on productivity growth in smaller firms and the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre. The research of group members has been widely covered by media outlets such as: Financial Times, BBC, Guardian, The Washington Post, and Times Higher Education.

  • Circular Economy 

    Mobiliser: Odul Bozkurt

    The Circular Economy Research Mobilisation Group takes a fresh approach to long-established topics in sustainable development, materials management and value retention. The term Circular Economy concerns the status quo of industrial economy as an extractive process generating waste and pollution as an externality, and has been adopted by numerous businesses as a driver for innovation. The group is inherently interdisciplinary and brings together scholars from a wide range of fields, including marketing, supply chains, design, engineering, law, politics, and development studies.  

    Over the past year, the group has established interdisciplinary links with researchers at the University of Brighton School of Architecture and Design, School of Computing, Engineering and Maths, and School of Environment and Technology, to research circular economy practices in the built environment. In partnership with the national Clean Growth UK platform, letters of support from more than 50 industry and policy partners have been received, creating a foundation for future research projects.  

  • Consumer Wellbeing 

    Mobilisers: Dominik Piehlmaier and Emanuela Stagno 

    The Consumer Wellbeing Research Mobiliser provides a forum for research, debate and knowledge exchange on consumption-related issues that facilitate or threaten wellbeing. Focusing on different dimensions of wellbeing (i.e., emotional, economic, social, physical, spiritual, environmental and political), the mobiliser brings together mostly early-career researchers to meet, discuss and collaborate on research projects that benefit consumer wellbeing. The mobiliser covers current issues impacting wellbeing and supports research endeavours of its members by providing an outlet to discuss (re)submissions of current and future research projects in a supportive and collegial environment. 

  • Economic Theory & Behaviour of Agents 

    Mobiliser: Tom Potoms and Pawel Dziewulski

    Agents are the key decision-makers in theories of economic and social behaviour, whether that be consumers, households, firms or governments, or some other individual or organisation. The Economic Theory and Behaviour of Agents research group combines the tools and techniques from microeconomics, game theory, behavioural and experimental economics, and microeconometrics to better understand the behaviour of agents, how such behaviour should be modelled, and the implications for policy. 

    Current research themes include: a) bounded rationality in choice; b) family economics (intra-household inequality, intertemporal consumption decisions, household formation); and c) strategic behaviour, bargaining and cooperation. 

    As well as providing a forum to connect researchers working on these themes, and to discuss ideas and research proposals, the research mobiliser runs a number of regular reading groups. These include the Experimental Lab Group, the Theory Reading Group and the Family Economics Reading Group. The research mobiliser also looks to coordinate researcher visits where leading academics can present their research, meet with PhD students and faculty from the school to discuss research projects and ideas, and attended workshops and seminars

  • Economics of Innovation 

    Mobiliser: Ed Steinmueller 

    The Economics of Innovation Research Mobilisation Group is a platform for advancing the economic theory of innovation, whilst also resetting the foundations of orthodox economics and advancing the fields of evolutionary and institutional economics. The group seeks to understand the structure and dynamics of innovating firms and industrial systems, how to enhance innovation capabilities of firms and other stakeholders in developed and developing countries, as well as how to steer structural changes towards sustainable growth. In an era of financial crisis and austerity coupled with serious global issues such as rising unemployment, climate change, poverty, the group believes it is critical to address the pressing challenge of reigniting and redirecting economic growth and driving the innovation needed for sustainable, inclusive growth. 

  • Energy 

    Mobiliser: Benjamin K. Sovacool 

    The Sussex Energy Group aims to understand and foster transitions towards sustainable, low carbon energy systems. The group’s research is clustered under six broad themes: energy innovation and transitions; economics and finance; energy justice; energy demand and behaviour; smart infrastructure; and energy supply technologies. They work with policymakers, industry and civil society across the globe in order to open up routes to an inclusive and sustainable energy future. 

    Sussex Energy Group members are currently involved in 23 research projects worth a total of £7.7m. Projects include the UK Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions (CREDS)Fuel and Transport Poverty in the UK’s Energy Transition (FAIR), and Fracking, Framing and Effective Participation. Recent Sussex Energy Group research has been published in Environmental Research LettersEnergy Journaland Energy Research and Social Science. 

  • Future of Work Hub 

    Mobiliser: Divya Sharma

    The Future of Work Hub is a platform for research, discovery, debate and collaboration on the topic of work and employment. It brings together Sussex researchers that draw from different disciplinary areas, such as human resources, employment relations, sociology of work and the professions, organisations studies, economics and science and policy studies. Key research areas include Decent Work; Emotions; Identity and Values at Work; Well-Being and Mental Health at the Workplace; Connected Leadership and Followership; Sustainable Futures and Green Work; Technolog(ies) and Work. The Hub seeks to provide the Business School with a vantage point (and an external reference) on the complex tide of transformations that Work is experiencing. 

    In 2019/20, The Future of Work Hub won an ESRC Festival of Social Science award and hosted the Sussex Future of Work Hub CoLab in Brighthelm Centre, with over 20 participants, including stakeholders from the world of practice. The event was also publicized on radio with Ödül Bozkurt as a guest on Sussex BBC. Three Roffey Park - Future of Work scholarship holders started study at the School.  

  • Innovation & Project Management 

    Mobiliser: Kat Lovell 

    Innovation and project management are key engines for change and for supporting improved economic, social and environmental outcomes. The Innovation and Project Management Mobilisation Group supports a unique set of research activities focused on management of innovation, technology and projects connecting with societal and policy concerns. Key research themes include infrastructure and project delivery, innovation in creative industries, healthcare and social innovation and projects in practice.

    In 2021/22 the group is hosting internal and external seminar speakers, has launched a series of paper development workshops and will be holding a mixture of structured and social meetings.

  • International Business & Development 

    Mobiliser: Vasiliki Bamiatzi 

    As the world economy is experiencing constant crisis and challenges, the struggle to identify ways to stimulate business activity is intensified globally. With a cross-disciplinary view of the critical phenomena and key questions in global business and management, the International Business and Development Hub promotes novel research focusing on the interactions between large MNEs, small and medium-sized enterprises, their partners in global value chains, and the institutional environments within which they operate. They also focus on broader issues related to corporate social responsibility and sustainability. With initiatives that improve collaborations with alumni, corporations, and policy makers, the centre prioritises on both quantitative and qualitative research projects that are able to address cutting-edge research questions, as well as complex policy and practice challenges. 

    In 2021-22, the group successfully collaborated with our School’s Responsible Business RMG, as well as the International Business Group at Surrey Business School, in hosting guest speakers from industry and academia to share their knowledge and experience on current topics in International Business research and practice. For example, academics from the universities of Texas, Amsterdam and Urbino, King’s College London, as well as the Villanova Business School, joined experienced practitioners from Hewlett Packard Enterprise, KFC and Yum! to discuss current research advances in Global Strategy and International Business, including climate change, energy transition, digitalisation, corporate social responsibility, global market entry and leadership. Furthermore, editors of International Business Review, Journal International Management, Multinational Business Review, and the Journal of World Business have been invited to share their views on how to succeed in publishing in IB journals and with ever evolving global academic expectations.

  • International Trade & Foreign Direct Investment 

    Mobiliser: Ingo Borchert  

    The Research Mobilisation Group on International Trade & Foreign Direct Investment consolidates expertise from a wide range of perspectives and fields, including strategic motives and impact of investment, the political economy of trade and investment, and FDI as part of free trade agreements.  The group’s interdisciplinary approach to trade and investment reflects the trend for goods, services and capital flows to become ever more closely intertwined in value chain activities. Members collaborate with other Research Mobilisation Groups in areas of mutual interest, e.g. on the international dimension of additive manufacturing. 

    In 2019/20, a team led by Alan Winters and Palitha Konara won a project on disinvestments commissioned by the Department for International Trade (DIT).  This project attempts to understand causes of foreign direct disinvestment and the impact of foreign direct disinvestment on the UK economy. Another cross-departmental group of academics, brought together by the RMG, secured Sussex involvement in a larger project on the ASEAN Digital Trade Connectivity, commissioned by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO).  The aim is to create a research study that will provide information on the impact, feasibility and support needed to develop a roadmap for business-led ASEAN Digital Trade Connectivity. 

  • Labour Economics, Education & Health 

    Mobiliser: Amalavoyal Chari

    The Labour Economics, Education & Health Research Mobilisation Group is interested in a diverse set of policy-relevant topics within labour, education, and health economics. Examples of current research interests include the impact of minimum wage on unemployment and poverty; decision making and resource allocation within families; determinants of educational outcomes; and evaluating NHS initiatives to improve access to primary care. In particular, the group seeks to apply state of the art econometrics to the analyses of large data sets to answer questions of academic and policy value, and establish credible causal chains.   

  • Research Pedagogy

    Mobiliser: C. Rashaad Shabab 

    The Research Pedagogy Group is a platform to disseminate best practice and discuss issues such as attainment gaps, and BAME and gender inequalities. Current research areas include gender attainment gaps in economics; BAME attainment gaps in economics; and value for money in Ethiopian education. Research interests include understanding attainment among different groups,  creating a ‘community of practice’ that would enable better teaching, and generating qualitative data from our students. 

  • Quantitative Fintech (QFIN)

    Mobiliser: Carol Alexander 

    QFIN aims to provide excellent research on issues currently faced by financial markets, including digital assets and their derivatives; bitcoin swaps; futures and options; climate change finance and risk management. The group brings together expertise in quantitative finance, climate change, crypto asset market microstructure, big data analysis, machine learning and computer science. QFIN aims to promote stronger links between academic institutions and business and industries, and collaborates with business and industry on research initiatives and projects. 

    In 2019/20, the group has met regularly for Finance and Stochastic (FAST) seminars. The group leader Carol Alexander has spoken on many industry and academic conference and panels, and her work on crypto currencies has been frequently quoted in the mediaQFIN research has also appeared in European Journal of Operational ResearchInternational Review of Financial AnalysisJournal of Futures Markets and Energy Economics. 

  • Responsible Business 

    Mobiliser: Stephan Manning 

    The Responsible Business Research Mobilizer Group stimulates inter- and transdisciplinary collaboration and exchange around responsible business practices. Businesses increasingly engage in providing public goods, in economic and social development, and in sustainability initiatives. Specifically, we seek to better understand when, how and why businesses get involved in tackling so-called ‘grand challenges’, such as poverty, inequality, climate change, migration, and healthcare. In that, we focus on the drivers and impact of corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship, business model innovation, business-society partnerships, philanthropy and business ethics. We aim to contribute to academic and public discourse, and provide insights for policy and practice. 

  • Science, Politics & Decision-Making 

    Populist politics have caused many individuals and organisations to rethink how best to construct the relationship between science, research and policy. At the same time, a range of pressures (including environmental challenges, an increasing health burden, failing urban infrastructure and the need for sustainable economic growth) make evident the necessity of developing science policy that delivers high-quality science and scientific advice. The Science, Politics and Decision Making research mobilisation group provides a platform for discussion on the current and future relationship between science, politics, and decision making using a very loose interpretation of those terms. The group is developing a variety of working groups examining new opportunities, including a ‘Research on Research’ group that looks at how the University of Sussex can contribute to new developments in the science policy landscape. 

  • Supply Chain 4.0 Hub

    The Supply Chain 4.0 Hub aims to advance cutting-edge research on how emerging technologies are transforming global supply chains. The Hub explores key research themes such as how 3D printing is shortening global supply chains and bringing manufacturing closer to the consumer, and how BlockChain technology is enhancing the traceability of end-to-end supply chains; providing firms with visibility of unethical supply chain practices such as the use of modern slavery and conflict minerals. Other research streams include the use of data analytics and Big Data to enhance forecast accuracy and reduce inventory holding. The Hub works closely with industry partners including companies in pharmaceuticals, automotive and aerospace to develop robust supply chain solutions that capitalise on Industry 4.0 technologies. 

    The Supply Chain 4.0 Hub was launched at the Production and Operations Management Conference in Brighton in September 2019. Since then, group members have had research published in a number of journals, including Production Planning and ControlJournal of Operations Management, and Business Strategy and the Environment, and presented a paper at the Academy of International Business (AIB) conference. Current projects include Exploring the role of digital health platforms in improving healthcare practice and delivery in developing countries: The case of MedicineAfrica, and a new project funded by the European Space Agency to investigate links between global commodity supply chains and deforestation. 

  • Sustainability

    Mobilisers Adrian Ely and Adrian Smith

    As recognised in the international Sustainable Development Goals, no policy imperatives are more compelling or expansive than the need for global actions to end poverty and inequality. At the same time, these transformations must also build peace, meet growing needs for water, food and energy, and reverse devastating human impacts on the environment. The Sustainability Research Mobilisation Group aims to challenge and inform established practices in government, business and civil society, and promote the deep changes that are necessary to help the world realise diverse pathways to sustainability. 

  • Sustainability in Accounting, Finance & Economics (SAFE)

    Mobilisers Gonul ColakSarada Krishnan and Massimo Contrafatto

    Sustainability in Accounting, Finance and Economics research mobilisation group is a platform that generates, facilitates and supports interdisciplinary research on sustainability in the area of accounting, finance and economics. The group aims to foster and promote inter-departmental, inter-school, as well as external collaborations to undertake research projects on a wide range of themes including sustainable finance, climate finance, sustainable development, sustainability economics, social and environmental disclosure, sustainability accounting and accountability, ESG reporting, reporting and evaluation of the implementation of social development initiatives by international financial institutions and MNCs. The group aims to achieve such collaborations by initiating and facilitating dialogue and engagement between academia, business, practitioners and other societal stakeholders. SAFE also collaborates with Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research (CSEAR) in projects and hosting events.

Find out more

Contact the Research Impact, Communications and Engagement team at We work across the Business School to generate and maximise impact opportunities.

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