Meet our new colleagues: Professor Shireen Kanji

Professor Shireen Kanji joined us as Professor in Work and Organisation.

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Professor Kanji’s research focus is inequalities in workplaces and in the home. She is particularly interested in gender inequality, working hours of men and women, the work-family interface, career choices, and wellbeing. Her research is situated where gender, work and social inequality intersect.

 

Professor Kanji’s research topics include the differential positioning of men and women in self-employment, occupations and science careers, and parents’ experiences at work. She has previously held positions at the University of Cambridge, University of Basel, University of Leicester and University of Birmingham.

 

Meet our new colleagues: Dr. Ace Simpson

Dr. Ace Simpson joined us as Reader in Human Resource Management and Organizational Behaviour from the University of Technology Sydney, Australia.

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Dr. Simpson’s research is concerned with positive organizational practices promoting well-being, psychological safety, paradox transcendence, and love. Most of his research has been on cultivating organizational compassion. Recently, he has been studying compassion as a critical missing factor in programs aiming to address the persistent problem of workplace bullying demonstrating negative correlations between organizational compassion and workplace bullying.

Dr Simpson  is the co-author of Positive Organizational Behaviour, published by Routledge in September 2019. His research has been published in journals such as the Journal of Management, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Management Inquiry and Management Learning.

 

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Yousra Asaad and Pavel Laczko deliver inaugural presentations to the Marketing and Corporate Brand research group

A well-established tradition of the Marketing and Corporate Brand Research Group is for new faculty to deliver research presentations to their faculty colleagues on their research interests. Continuing this tradition, Dr. Yousra Asaad and Dr. Pavel Laczko made their presentations to the Marketing and Corporate Research Group, on Wednesday 20th November in Board Room 1 at the Lancaster Hotel.

 

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Dr Yousra Asaad presenting her published paper

 

In her presentation, Dr. Asaad focussed on her recently published article in the 4* journal “Journal of Travel Research” which focussed on the antecedents of Hosts’ Trust toward Airbnb and Its Impact on Continuance Intention.  Dr. Pavel Laczko, for his part, gave an overview of his various research interests which included design and optimisation of multisided platforms, circular economy and critical realist methodologies.

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Dr Pavel Laczko presenting his research interests

 

Both presentations were very well received by marketing faculty, and generated a good deal of lively and enthusiastic comment. On behalf of the entire research group, Professor John MT Balmer thanked them for their splendid presentations and remarked how these presentations were a wonderful way of celebrating their membership of the group.

 

These presentations were one  of two research events organised by the Marketing and Corporate Brand Research Group for the first term: the other event being a workshop on the Philosophy of Science for marketing faculty and PhD students given by Dr Thomas Robinson of Cass Business School, London University, on 26th November.

 

Philosophy of Science Workshop for @brunelbusiness Marketing Faculty and PhD students

The second of the Marketing and Corporate Brand Research Group’s activities this term was an expert workshop on the importance of philosophy for a PhD. Delivered by Dr Thomas Robinson of Cass Business School, London University along with our own Dr Jessica Chelekis (Lecturer in Sustainability Global Value Chains, Brunel Business School), the workshop comprised a formal overview of the philosophical underpinnings of a PhD along with a bespoke, hands-on session focussing on individual PhD students.

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Professor Balmer (Director of the Marketing and Corporate Brand Group) and Dr Chelekis provided introductions to the session and discussed the importance of philosophy to marketing and to PhDs generally.

 

Held at Brunel University’s Lancaster Hotel, the event was well supported, with 14 faculty and PhD students from marketing and from other research groups attending the event.

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Commenting on the workshop, Dr Chelekis reflected:

“It was fun to have a morning to just discuss philosophy and research. All of the students had really interesting topics, and they came away with resources to further develop their ideas and dissertations.”

Dr Ainurul Rosli hosts panel on the gap between entrepreneurship research and practice

Dr. Ainurul Rosli is a Reader in Enterprise and Enterpreneurship and Director of Business Engagement at Brunel Business School. Her current research interests include: university-industry collaboration, engaged scholarship, social impact, community entrepreneurship , and team entrepreneuership. She has recently co-hosted a panel, alongside Dr Isla Kapasi, who is a Lecturer in Management at Leeds University Business School, and a member of the Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Studies, to examine the gap between entrepreneurship research and practice.

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Dr. Ainurul Rosli (Left) and Dr. Isla Kapasi (right)

 

The panel, entitled “A gap between research and practice – Is it simply a question of means and methods?“, was organised as part of the activities of the Practice & Impact Special Interest Group, of the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE).

 

In the UK, academics are certainly being encouraged to consider (and prioritise) the (positive!) impact of their research. This is as true for members of the Practice & Impact Special Interest Group, as it is for other UK academics. And in the case of entrepreneurship research, where significant discussion is occurring around the ‘practical’ outcomes that can arise as a result of our research, there is perhaps an inherent requirement and urgency to consider the value and impact of entrepreneurship research.

 

To that end then, where are the academic and practitioner entrepreneurship community on this journey? To better understand this question, the Practice & Impact SIG of the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE)  hosted a day of events examining these issues at the most recent conference held in Newcastle on 14-15 November. Specifically, Drs. Rosli and Kapasi hosted a panel event with members invited from policy, practice and research to examine the statement: “Scholars don’t know about entrepreneurship; entrepreneurs do”. Panel presentations and subsequent discussions led to many useful insights and ‘top tips’ as summarised below.

 

First and foremost, the panel identified that the core distinction between different communities, (research, practice and policy), is a question of means and methods. This is neatly summarised in the following idea that individual practitioners know how they do what they do, but the value that an academic brings is a meta-level perspective giving insights into how many entrepreneurs have approached a particular aspect of entrepreneurial activity.

 

Further, panel members identified dichotomies in language, roles and purpose, and across several areas of interest which are summarised below:

Entrepreneurs

Scholars

Know their business Know the process
Understand their markets Understand markets
Solve problems Suggest solutions
Know specific details Make ‘higher level’ observations
Do Explain

 

So how might we engage different parties? Here are six key considerations based on the contributions of panel and audience members:

  1. It’s not all about research. Relationship building is required and there is much complexity in the journey. A first meeting requires clarity that can create a foundation that balances the needs of both parties.
  2. Be motivated and passionate – and communicate this to practitioners! Have a hook that gets the ball rolling and builds a trusted relationship. Further, be clear on selling the (potential) benefits versus selling the research. (Warning: do not oversell as this leads to disappointment for both sides. It’s always better to undersell and over-)
  3. Build credibility as an academic who knows how to work with practitioners. Start small, be consistent and care about the actions taken and outcomes achieved. The more people hear about you, the easier it will be to convince others to collaborate.
  4. Be clear on roles and requirements – negotiate these roles early in the relationship. This will help to address concerns and the differences between academic research and practice.
  5. Translation and selectivity is required. As an academic it is tempting to try to consider all the information we have at our disposal; it is better to be selective and consider what is really relevant to the practitioners you are working with.
  6. Finally, when negotiating initial (or on-going) access try to focus on in-kind contributions, such as hosting meetings or being willing to share your research at events . Everybody is short of cash, and building a relationship is about what you are willing to put on the table beyond cash.

 

Drs Rosli and Kapasi conclude that there is significant good-will and energy regarding engagement between and across different communities that create and use research. For the academic community, it seems it’s a question of “GoDo” – go out and engage with new audiences for your research and build strong relationships so that your valuable research can have (positive) impact and reach its fullest potential. And in the case of practitioners and policymakers, whilst academics may tend towards the esoteric, there is value in engaging with their research, and the potential to make a positive impact in business and policy.

 

Dr. Ainurul Rosli can also be found on Twitter: @AinurulRosli.

Professor John Balmer to co-organise the 22nd ICIG (International Corporate Identity Group) Symposium in association with the University of Rome in June 2020

In partnership with Dr. Michela Mingione of the University of Rome (Tor Vergata), Professor Balmer is jointly organising the next ICIG symposium in Italy. Taking place on 8-10th June 2020, the next symposium will take place at the historic Villa Mondragone, in the wine-growing area of Frascati, which is situated in the charming countryside on the outskirts of Rome.

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The broad theme for the 22nd ICIG Symposium is “FIAT LUX! Advances in Corporate Marketing, Branding, Identity, Image, and Communications.” As befits Rome’s Latin inheritance, the well-known phrase Fiat Lux! (Let there be light) seems an appropriate theme for scholars to take up in furthering our understanding of the broad corporate marketing territory. For further information, and links to the call for papers see: https://www.icig.org.uk/call-for-papers-2020

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This year’s symposium follows on from a particularly successful conference which was hosted by Durham University Business School and was co organised by Professor Xinming He and Professor John Balmer.

 

Established by Professor John M.T. Balmer in 1994, and formally launched at the House of Lords in 1995, the ICIG has been held in in most years since then. Originally, the symposium had its base at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow (Scotland) and he went on to organise/co-organise the event at  leading UK Universities (Oxford University, Durham University, Brunel University London, Essex University, Herriot Watt University) as well as prominent Universities in Europe (St. Gallen University, Switzerland; Aarhus University, Denmark; Ljubljana University, Slovenia: Instituto Empressa, Madrid, Span;  and further afield at the University of Cape Town South African and University , University Putra Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It has also been held at the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, Westminster; the 5* Brown’s Hotel Mayfair, London, Malmaison Hotel, Brighton.

 

Arguably, the ICIG symposium was the first of its kind in the corporate identity, corporate brand, and corporate marketing fields. In addition to its enviable provenance, is distinctive owing to its collegial nature and its international reach. The special editions of academic journals, which are often lined to symposia, have been the first of their kind apropos corporate branding, corporate identity and corporate marketing.

 

Currently, Professor Balmer is Professor of Corporate Marketing at Brunel University. He is quondam Professor of Corporate Brand/Identity Management at Bradford University School of Management where he originally held a personal chair as Professor of Corporate Identity. All three of his personal chairs are understood to be the first of their kind anywhere in the world.

 

Delegation from Brunel Business School develops partnerships with institutions in India

Drs. Monomita Nandy, David Sarpong and Claire Donovan were invited to visit higher education institutions in India, to explore opportunities for collaboration between Brunel Business School and those institutions.

 

First, they visited the Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode, where they held several meetings with the institute’s director, the research director, deans, various programme leaders and other members of staff, to discuss future research collaborations.

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In the future, the two institutions plan to hold joint events, conferences, summer schools, staff and student exchange programmes, and guest edit joint special issues in esteemed journals. Furthermore, Drs David Sarpong and Claire Donovan delivered a research seminar, which was attended by local PhD and MBA students, as well as staff.

The Brunel team also ran an impact building workshop with a local magistrate and collector, and his team members.

Impact workshop with Magistrate and team

Furthermore, the Brunel team visited the local market to gather insight, and worked on various business ideas.

 

The Brunel delegation also visited Kolkata, where they held meetings with our existing partner, the University of Engineering and Management, in Kolkata, to discuss future events. Furthermore, they held meetings with Xavier institute, and they met with a non-governmental organisation to work on a large grant for the National Agricultural and Development Bank of India (NABARD).

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For further information regarding Brunel Business School’s International partnerships, please contact the Business School’s Director of Internationalisation, Dr Nandy.