2018 Doctoral Conference at Brunel Business School

Brunel Business School hosted the 4th Doctoral conference, on May 14thand 15th. This annual event provides an opportunity for doctoral students, at any stage of their programme, to present their work to their peers and to the Business School faculty.

 

This year’s event received 38 paper submissions and saw presentations across 12 panels. Dr Jane Hendy, head of the Business School, opened the event and welcomed students, alumni and academic staff. On Monday, May 14th, Dr Sankar Sivarajah delivered a keynote speech where he talked about the importance of Research Impact. The second keynote speech took place on Tuesday, May 15th, and was delivered by Professor T C Melewar who shared his passion for research.

Reflecting on this event, Dr Dorothy Yen, Director of the Doctoral Programme at the Business School said:

This event has been a great success. It provided Brunel Business School PhD students an interactive platform for them to present their works and exchange ideas with each other and to receive constructive feedback from academic colleagues and PhD alumni in a friendly and supportive atmosphere.

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The following students received a best paper award for their submissions, including a certificate and an Amazon voucher:

  • Callen Clegg
  • Fadiah Alraies
  • Ismaeel Ibrahim
  • Jaskaran Kaur
  • Jin Wang
  • May Al Dubayan
  • Parsim Kaushik
  • Sarah Binsaied
  • Shi Ha
  • Syed Mohammad

Remembering and Celebrating the life and research achievements of Dr. Christina Scandelius (1968-2016)

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Dr Christina Scandelius

On 17th January (2018) the colleagues and friends of the late Dr. Christina Scandelius met in the University’s Chaplaincy Centre for a service of remembrance for her life and academic accomplishments.

 

Dr. Scandelius was a lecturer in marketing at Brunel Business School, and was a member of the Marketing and Corporate Brand research group. She was also a former PhD scholarship holder within the Business School.  She died on 6th May 2016 after a long-fight with cancer.  Dr. Scandelius was a popular and widely-respected colleague and teacher, and had many friends in the Marketing and Corporate Brand research group, the Business School, and beyond.

 

The service of remembrance was organised by Dr. Geraldine Cohen (who had been Dr Scandelius’s erstwhile PhD supervisor), and led by The Reverend Sally Hitchner (Anglican Chaplain to the University). It was attended by the Dean (Professor Tom Betteridge), Associate Deans, faculty members and students.

 

In addition to prayers for Dr Scandelius’s family and friends, the liturgy drew on several traditions and included a reading of a Psalm from the Hebrew Bible (by Dr. Cohen), music from the Latin Requiem Mass (“In Paradisum” by Faure), and the Santa Lucia Neapolitan carol so beloved by Christina and by Swedes the world-over (In both Sweden and in Naples, St. Lucy’s day is a major festival).

 

Reflections on Dr. Scandelius’s life and academic achievements were given by Professor Tom Betteridge and Dr Sharifah Alwi, while Dr Dorothy Yen read from the acknowledgements page of Dr. Scandelius’s PhD thesis.

 

In his Panegyric, Professor John M.T. Balmer (Director of the Marketing and Corporate Brand Group) reflected:

Dr. Christina Scandelius through her vocation as a teacher and scholar illumed the lives of faculty and students at Brunel. Furthermore, through her published output, Christina provided light to the world-wide community of marketing scholars and to the practice of marketing. In all that she did, she was an embodiment of our University’s corporate brand covenant, a brand promise which is informed by the precept of useful learning. Finally, I know that her candle will burn brightly in our hearts for many years to come.

Dr Grigorios Theodosopoulos investigates the management challenges faced by hospices in England

Approximately 70% of the available palliative care beds in England – that is, places offering end of life care for terminally ill patients – are managed by voluntary sector organisations. The great majority of these organisations, known as hospices, are independent local charities, which are subject to an increasing number of regulatory demands covering areas as diverse as health and safety, patient treatment, and value for money. There are also a number of key stakeholders, and associated relations, that impact on what hospices do, and how. Figure 1 illustrates these stakeholder relations.

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Image source

Dr Grigorios Theodosopoulos has researched the management challenges faced by hospices in England, and has recently published a paper on this topic. The paper reveals that hospices are called upon to provide an ever-increasing range of clinical and other services, for which they need to secure funding via innovative income generating initiatives. Drawing on interviews and financial data, the research conducted by Dr Theodosopoulos and his co-authors sheds light on:

  • The complexity of the funding model used by these organisations
  • The scarcity of appropriately skilled staff for clinical, nursing and fundraising work
  • The extended demand for hospice care driven by population demographics

 

Dr Grigorios Theodosopoulos is a Senior Lecturer in accounting, and a member of the Accounting and Auditing Research Centre, at Brunel Business School. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, member of the British Accounting and Finance Association, member of the Voluntary Sector Studies Network and has broad working experience in accounting, commercial auditing, and management. His research focuses on the development and application of an accounting business models’ framework within voluntary sector organisations. His teaching interests include: contemporary issues in accounting research, financial reporting and analysis, and introductory accounting.

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The research paper is entitled ‘Accounting for voluntary hospices in England: A business model perspective’, and was published by the journal Critical Perspectives on Accounting. For further information about this work, or for a copy of the paper, please contact Dr Theodosopoulos here.

ANZMAC Best paper award for Dr Marcia Christina Ferreira

Dr Marcia Christina Ferreira, a lecturer in marketing at Brunel Business School, and researcher in the Marketing and Corporate Brand Management Research Group, won the best paper award in the Consumer Culture Theory track, at the prestigious marketing conference ANZMAC, organized by Australia and New Zealand Marketing Academy.

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The paper, titled “The Enmeshed Paths of Consumers as Collectors”, explores the publicisation of once-private collections on social media. This research investigates how the design, materials, and marketing efforts objectified in the branded products interweave consumers and objects through different levels of sociality, leading consumers to develop enmeshed individual and collective paths as collectors.

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Co-authored with Dr Daiane Scaraboto from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and Dr Emily Chung from RMIT University, this paper brings new insights into understanding collectors and their pathways towards becoming (or ceasing to be) devoted collectors. Their approach uses a more dynamic and integrative perspective that is different to the simplistic, linear manner adopted by prior research. The insights revealed by this study can also in turn help brand managers develop tools to better relate to its most loyal consumers.

Dr Andreas Georgiadis contributes to key resource for policy makers

Dr Andreas Georgiadis, Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Economics at Brunel Business School, has contributed to the “Disease Control Priorities” (DCP) book series, which has been described by former prime minister of the UK, Gordon Brown, as a key resource for Ministers of Health and Finance.

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Dr Andreas Georgiadis

Dr Andreas Georgiadis’s contribution to this series draws on empirical evidence regarding the impact of interventions on Health and Development during middle childhood and school age, and shows that:

“the effects of early deprivation do not necessarily persist throughout life, especially if environmental circumstances change, and the trajectories of child growth and cognitive development respond rather strongly to growth-promoting interventions after age two years.”

 

The central message of this contribution is, thus, that it is possible to reverse the effects of deprivation in early childhood, through coordinated growth promoting interventions. Given the readership of this book series, it is expected that this work will influence government policy and interventions around education and child health.

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Image source: @DCPThree

 

The latest volume in this important series was presented at an event which included representatives from the World Health Organisation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and various other dignitaries and policy makers.

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Image source: @DCPThree

More information about the book series is available here.

 

 

Another successful PhD conference for Brunel Business School

BrunelBBS PhD Symposium Group photo BBS (2) 20 per centBusiness School held its annual PhD conference on the 4th and 5th May with over 20 of its PhD students presenting papers to an audience of peers and experienced researchers.

The annual conference invites Business School doctoral students, at any stage in their programme, to put forward a paper for the conference and to present it over the two-day event.

62 doctoral student papers were received for assessment by the conference panel and 10 top paper accolades were awarded at the event.

The annual doctoral conference was created by the Business School to allow PhD students to get valuable engagement with the research community as well as to hear from experienced researchers. Key note speakers for the event were Professor Bradley Barnes from Sheffield Hallam University, and Professor Jǒskos Brakus from Leeds University Business School

Head of School, Professor Christos Pitelis opened the event and Professor Bill Leahy, Deputy Vice Chancellor for academic affairs and civic engagement presented awards to the 10 PhD students whose papers received the highest scores from reviewers.

Look before you leap to the cloud, councils warned

cloud-2104829-1280Local authorities and public sector organisations should do their homework before switching to the cloud.

That’s the lesson from a new study that tracked what happens when local councils transferred services to cloud computing.

Local authorities across Europe are urged to move in-house IT services – such as servers, email and telephones – to internet-based providers amid pressure to cut costs. Warwickshire County Council and the London Borough of Hillingdon were among the UK’s first to announce plans to switch around 2012.

A study of three local councils found the cloud brought several pluses, but authorities tend to make the shift too hastily, with one council instantly hit by hackers.

“These findings have messages for both local government and central government,” said Dr Uthayasankar Sivarajah at Brunel University London, part of the research team.

“One of the authorities faced an immediate security breach that caused chaos,” said the lecturer in operations and information systems management. “Data was accessed illegally by an unauthorised third party and the private sector cloud provider blamed human error.”

Government strategists predicted in 2011 that switching to the G-Cloud or Government cloud could save £3.2bn because as a shared service, costs are spread among organisations. But despite cost-cutting pressure, many public sector managers see the cloud as more a liability than labour saver, with data security and downtime the biggest fears.

Making it easier to work from home and better information management are key advantages to councils switching to cloud-based technologies, the team found. Major cons meanwhile are a lack of data ownership and loss of control and governance, because of a grey area around who has access to information.

The study also revealed a general feeling among workers that their authority’s move was a purely rushed attempt to meet the political agenda. “There are huge black holes between what the councils are trying to do and what they are achieving,” said Dr Sivarajah. The biggest lesson to councils, he underlined, is that “the right person needs to drive and lead the implementation and sell it to the workers.

“At operational level they could all see real benefits in cost savings. But it is still early days and we don’t know what the long-term impact will be. That may take 10 years to find out. It might reduce the headcount in IT departments, but I can’t see it cutting out the need for them altogether.”

Find out more about Brunel Business School

This story by Hayley Javis, Media Relations, first appeared on the Brunel University London website on 24th April 2017 and also features in the following trade publications: Computer Weekly,  Government Technology, Public Sector Executive, LocalGov, PublicFinance, Digital By Default News , Cloudpro and Diginomica.