British Library visits BBS to encourage better use of resources

Brunel Business School had a visit from the British Library last Thursday. Around 40 BBS staff and PhD students attended the talk, which focused on the business resources held at the British Library.

Sue Ashpitel, Head of the  ‘Business & Intellectual Property Collections’ at the British Library, encouraged BBS staff and students to make better use of their resources. She said that British Library staff love discussing their collections and that “there’s no use us collecting this stuff if you can’t use it!” Sue Ashpitel pointed out that the library holds collections of companies’ annual reports, market research reports from companies such as Mintel, and audio interviews with business leaders. She said the library even collect Argos catalogues!

Sue Ashpitel was accompanied by her colleagues Michelangelo Staffolani, Andrew Dixon and Abiola Olanipekun. Mr Staffolani introduced BBS staff to the library’s “Management & Business Studies Portal”, a user-friendly search facility that enables members of the public to search the library’s business-related collections. The portal can be used by anyone and it only takes minutes to register.

British library visit

Photo L-R: Michelangelo Staffolani, Andrew Dixon, Sue Ashpitel and Abiola Olanipekun from the British Library with Brunel’s Professor Keith Dickson.

CIPD accredits Brunel Business School’s HRM programmes

Brunel Business School is proud to announce the accreditation of MSc Human Resources Management and MSc Human Resources and Employment Relations by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

CIPD is the world’s largest Chartered HR and development professional body working together with over 100 institutions around the world to set global standards for HR and support development of HR professionals.

CIPD accreditation enables students and graduates of the MSc Human Resource Management and MSc Human Resource Management and Employment Relations to gain access to the wealth of resources provided by the Institute. These include a bi-monthly magazine, People Management, which provides key insight into contemporary HR issues in practice. The CIPD also commission major research studies into key areas of HR and HR-ER practice, providing information to students and informing decisions of practicing managers. Through their nationwide branch network, the CIPD provide a forum for practitioners and students to meet on a regular basis, engage with high profile speakers and network in respect of areas of common interest.

Dr Savita Kumra, the Course Director for HRM programmes, said:

“These are exciting times to be embarking upon a career in Human Resource Management and Employment Relations; CIPD accreditation ensures that as a School we build on the undoubted academic rigour of our programmes through the linkage with practice and access to cutting edge practice-based reports and studies.”


“With the CIPD accreditation our MSc programmes provide the perfect opportunity to achieve a Masters degree and the knowledge required towards a professional qualification (CIPD)” said Dr Ana-Cristina Costa, Director of Postgraduate Studies in Brunel Business School.

Find out more:


MBA pilgrimage to birthplace of Spitfire and Lancaster bomber

As part of The Brunel MBA programme of company visits, students visited the Jaguar plant earlier this year at its base in Coventry with MBA lecturers Professor Michael Bourlakis and Dr Emel Aktas.

MBA student ambassador, Anmol Dalal, gave his account of the Jaguar trip:

“For me it was a pilgrimage to the place which gave birth to the legendary Spitfire and the dependable Lancaster bomber. This was the place which gave Inspector Morse his car and the E-type which is still one of the most beautiful cars in the world.

On reaching our destination we were greeted by one of the Jaguar representatives and invited to sit through a company presentation which took us through the birth of the company, its former association with giants in the automotive industry and its current ownership under Tata who are giving it functional autonomy to do what the company does best: dependable, exciting and state of the art cars.

Jaguar XC220

After tea most of us jumped into the display cars to get the feel of the cars. I remember most of my colleagues reverting back to their childhood while playing with the cars and getting their pictures taken with the beautiful machines!

Once we had finished tinkering with the cars we were taken on a tour of the manufacturing facility.  In the past I had the pleasure of seeing the manufacturing facilities of Suzuki and Honda, two Japanese automotive giants, hence I was not expecting to be surprised but I have to confess the efficient inventory management and built on order concept of manufacture at Jaguar blew me away. At Jaguar the manufacture process is poetry in motion.  It is man and machine working in tandem to produce a product of the finest quality.

The company has tied up with DHL and its people, processes, and services are geared to finding ways to reduce cost and inefficiency, clarify processes, improve delivery accuracy, as well as simplify the most complex and extended supply chains. DHL maintains the supply chain and Jaguar assemble the cars.  The engines are built on order near Wolverhampton, England and transported to the Coventry plant we visited.

image_update_8e46ca2f4cd6af31_1365180693_9j-4aaqskAt the Coventry facility automated robots are used to manufacture the cars from press moulded aluminium steel alloy sheets. These are glued and riveted together to construct the body and the chassis. The suspension and power-train of the car are put together in another cell of the assembly process which is divided into various functional cells.  Each cell had specific protocols to follow and if anything did not go accordingly there were warning sounds individualised to every cell. We saw the whole car being fabricated from sheet moulding, painting, coach building and drive train marriage.

On coming back to the seminar room the whole process was related to theory by an enlightening lecture given by our MBA Professor, Michael Bourlakis. It was a real industry application of the theory we were taught in class. Then came the time to leave the wonderful world of Jaguar behind. “

To find out more about the MBA company visits, please see our website.

PhD programme was self-actualisation, said 62-year-old Nigerian Exec

As we near the end of the academic year 2012/13 we look back at some of the best achievements of Brunel Business School and our Students. One of the successes we look back on with special fondness certainly belongs to 62-year-old Chris Ogbechie who successfully defended his PhD thesis on “Key Determinants of Effective Board of Directors – Evidence from Nigeria”.

PhD at 62! Congratulations!Chris said of his success:

“My main inspiration for pursuing a PhD program on corporate governance was my experiences on the various boards that I have served in the last 15 years. I have had the privilege of serving on boards of quoted companies and private companies and also companies in various industries. I wanted to put some theoretical framework around these experiences and use that to help other boards in the future. I still serve on 5 boards and chair one of them. The PhD programme was more of self-actualization as I do not need it to further my career or enhance my marketability. I also wanted to encourage the younger ones that I mentor that they can also aspire to such heights.”

Dr Dimitrios N. Koufopoulos who supervised Chris’ research was very pleased to see him complete the doctoral studies:

 “I feel extremely happy that Chris has seen his effort been recognized.  I note that Chris is a 62 year-old grandfather with a first class honours degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Manchester (1974) and MBA from Manchester Business (1976). He has over 30 years work experience in Marketing and Strategy from various multinational companies, such as Xerox and Nestle. He worked in Nestle Malaysia, Switzerland and Nigeria and was the Marketing/Sales Director of Nestle Nigeria from 1984 to 1990. He has founded three marketing service companies in Nigeria which are still operational. He currently sits on five boards of publicly quoted and private companies. He also teaches strategy and corporate governance on the Executive Programmes at Lagos Business School in Nigeria and Strathmore Business School in Nairobi, Kenya.”

We wish Chris all the best and are happy for his family who got their grandfather back!

Remarkable Women of Brunel Business School

Prof Ruth Simpson,  Dr Savita Kumra and Kay Haig from Brunel Business School received a Remarkable Women award from Brunel University. They, and other nominated women, are ideal role models and their achievement is an inspiration to all at the University. Congratulations!

Brunel’s Remarkable Women’s award was established by the Equality Office in order to acknowledge the contributions of Brunel women who have had a positive impact on the lives of other people at the University. The awards were presented on April 23rd by Equality Champion Professor Lorraine de Souza.

Kay HaigKay Haig is a BBS Programmes Administrator (Student Liaison Co-ordinator) working in the Academic Programmes Office. Kay was nominated by students and one of them said of her:

“She is an amazing woman with a heart of gold. She’s so supporting and encouraging. She’s always been this way since I got to know her in the Business School. She is someone that I know I can count on in the Business School to find a solution to any query without minding how many times I come to her, she remains patient with you with a soft spoken voice and smile. Words like ” I believe in you, you can make it, I’m praying for you, you will be fine” and many more… she showed concern with how I was getting on with my studies and health.  I never said this to her, but deep down in my heart I appreciated every word of encouragement that she gave me, those words where what kept me going.” Nkiruka Mary Okoye

Ruth Simpson Prof Ruth Simpson is Professor of Management at Brunel Business School. She has a background in Economics and Organization Studies and for several years specialised in teaching economics to Brunel MBA students. She is currently teaching Management and Gender and Organization. She has published widely in her research area of Management Education and Gender and Organizations, including the Academy of Management (Learning and Education) Journal, Human Relations and Work Employment and Society. She is a member of the Centre for Research in Emotion Work and Employment Studies (CREWES) and is co-founder and co-editor of the International Journal of Work Organization and Emotion.

Dr Savita Kumra 1Dr Savita Kumra is a Senior Lecturer at Brunel Business School. Savita completed her doctorate at Cranfield School of Management where she is a Visiting Fellow in the School of Management. Savita is a committee member of the BAM Special Interest Group on Gender in Management, and on the Editorial Board of Gender in Management: An International Journal.  Savita’s key research interests focus on diversity, the gendered nature of the career development process in the professional services and the importance of developing and deploying key career enhancement strategies, e.g. impression management, and building and leveraging social capital. Savita teaches Human Resource Management and Organisational Behaviour on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, and has contributed to a number of executive programmes specialising in Women’s Leadership Development for clients such as the Asian Development Bank, International Power and CERN.

Lifetime Achievement Award for Brunel Business School Professor

Prof Jarvis

In recognition of his contribution to accounting and research, Professor Robin Jarvis received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Accounting and Finance Association (BAFA) at the annual conference in April 2013.

The British Accounting and Finance Association (BAFA) is the working name of the British Accounting Association which was established in 1947.  It is a UK learned society which brings together those interested in teaching and research in accounting and finance.

Robin is a Professor in Accounting at Brunel Business School and brings specialist professional and academic expertise. After many years as Head of SME Affairs at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, he is now their special advisor. He also plays a key role on a large number of international advisory panels and working groups. Robin is the third member of the Accounting and Auditing Research Centre (AARC) to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award and joins Professor Len Skerratt and Professor Mike Page in the Brunel hall of fame.

Prof Jarvis holds membership of a number of Advisory Panels and Working Groups:

  • International Accounting Standards Board (IASB): Advisory Panel on financial reporting by small and medium-sized entities and in emerging and transition economies 2003 -2009
  • UK Treasury Working Group : access to finance for SMEs
  • European Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) – Supervisory Board, Member; Nominating Committee, and SME Working Group
  • International Federations of Accountants (IFAC) – Small Medium Size Practices Committee. Chair SME Financial Reporting Task Force.
  • UEAPME – Economic and Fiscal Committee
  • Federation Des Experts Comptables Europeens -SME Working Party
  • Council Member of the Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship

He also sits on editorial boards of the following Research Journals:

  • International Small Business Journal, Sage Publications
  • Strategic Change: Briefings in Entrepreneurial Finance, Wiley
  • Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development
  • International Journal of Business Excellence

Prof Jarvis has contributed to the development of the MSc in Accounting and Business Management led by Dr Jill Collins. The programme will be commencing in September 2014. It offers students an opportunity to:

  • Develop an appreciation of the role of accounting within the overall function of management
  • Acquire technical accounting skills and integrate theoretical and conceptual considerations with practice
  • Evaluate the principles and theories that underpin accounting and management
  • Critically reflect on the role of the main stakeholders and the influence of regulatory frameworks on accounting and management
  • Develop analytical and problem solving abilities and apply them in making management decisions
  • Review research on current issues in accounting and management and apply accepted research methods to investigate a specific research question independently
  • Develop transferable skills that will enhance employability.

To find our more about this programme please visit our Postgraduate Study pages.

10 Reasons for choosing Brunel MBA

  • Times Higher has shortlisted Brunel Business School for the Business School of the year. It was an excellent result and a sign of recognition for the School to be nominated next to 5 other top Business/Management Schools
  • Brunel Business School is in the top 7 best Business Schools in London in many major league tables


  • The Brunel MBA programme offers an integrated Leadership Masterclass Series, Career Development Programme and 1-2-1 Career Coaching, as part of the “Brunel Business Life” employability programme, which was highly commended by Association of MBAs in a recent accreditation visit
  • Fully-funded overseas (5-day) study tours are available to MBA students on a competitive basis
  • Some 35 faculty members teach on the MBA programme.  The faculty members are research-active and they often contribute with practitioner experience and expertise. The Brunel MBA curriculum is strongly influenced by the international level research undertaken by our faculty

BBS Francesco Moscone 1A

  • Students enjoy an intensive programme of informative company visits and inspirational corporate guest speakers throughout the year
  • All MBA students at Brunel Business School can attend one of the many foreign language courses on offer. Best of all – they are completely FREE!

If you have any queries please contact Brunel Business School on +44 (0)1895 265910, or email us on

Think carefully before you tweet: it could be bad for your career.

Once again social media precipitates a clash of cultures as demonstrated by this week’s BBC news of the resignation of UK’s first youth police and crime commissioner following the discovery of her controversial twitter activity. Dr Chris Evans, Senior Lecturer in Brunel Business School specialising in Web 2.0, comments:

“Our research in Brunel Business School helps understand how Paris Brown is victim to the effects of social media as a disruptive innovation. Previous generations have been accustomed to a clear boundary between their public and private lives. Articulating prejudices could be confined to the privacy of a teenager’s bedroom. But social media now require us to rethink both what we say and how quickly we judge what others have said.”

Dr Chris Evans is a member of the Information Systems Evaluation and Integration (ISEing) research group in Brunel Business School and a lecturer on the MSc Business Intelligence and Social Media programme commencing in September 2013.


BBS investigates Occupational Health for Small Firms

Dr Raffaella Valsecchi (Principal Investigator) and Professor Neil Anderson from Brunel Business School received a British Academy research grant to investigate new developments in the delivery of Occupational Health Services to Small Firms. Their proposed research will create a different understanding of occupational health (OH) by investigating the new multi-channel “Health for Work Adviceline” (telephone help-line/advice on-line) set up to support small medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The need to provide alternative ways of delivery of OH services across small businesses is important for two main reasons. First, the most common barrier to employers investing in the health and well-being of their employees is the lack of appropriate information advice. Second, managers in small business do not invest in occupational health service because they cannot see a convincing business case.

This research will examine the effectiveness of the “Health for Work Adviceline” in meeting the needs of SMEs, so that improvements to this service can be made. This is vital, since a better OH delivery could improve sickness absence management and other aspects of health at work.

Neil Anderson is Professor of Human Resource Management and Director of Research of WORC at Brunel University. Having obtained his PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Aston University in 1989, Professor Anderson has previously held chairs at the University of London (Goldsmiths College) and the University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands). He has published in several areas spanning HRM and organizational psychology over a number of years, and is now one of the top-five most cited Industrial-Organizational psychologists in Europe. Professor Anderson is Fellow of the British Psychological Society, a Chartered Occupational Psychologist, and Fellow of both the American Psychological Association and Division 14 of the APA (the Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology). His teaching spans Undergraduate, Masters, and MBA levels and he has particular expertise in the areas of staff selection, appraisal, and innovation and creativity in the workplace.

Dr. Raffaella Valsecchi is Lecturer of Critical Management at Brunel Business School. Prior to this she worked as a Senior Lecturer at Greenwich Business School and as a Research Fellow for an ESRC funded project at Royal Holloway-University of London. She is a member of European Group for Organisational Studies (EGOS) and the British Academy of Management (BAM). Raffaella is also an associate member of the Centre for Research into Emotion Work and Employment Studies (CREWES). Her research interests cover the sociology of work with a particular focus on home-teleworking, tele-nursing, call-centres work, control in workplaces and the new developments of the health sector.