Meet our new colleagues: Ms Dani Saghafi

Ms Dani Saghafi joined us as Lecturer in Accounting (Education).


She is a corporate finance professional, with 15 years of experience in corporate finance and M&A, including in leadership roles; as well as 3 years of experience in teaching and management training.


She has now transitioned to a full-time academic role, at Brunel Business School. Her main goal is to motivate students to develop the practical skills that are expected of them in the workplace, and shape their careers.


She has worked and lived in a number of countries in Europe, Middle East and Africa.


Meet our new colleagues: Dr Ahmed Elamer

Dr Ahmed Elamer joined us as Senior Lecturer in Accounting.


Dr Elamer holds a PhD in Accounting from the University of Huddersfield with a particular focus on Risk Disclosures, Multi-Level Governance, Credit Ratings, and Bank Performance. He has published extensively in a number of internationally recognised journals, such as the Accounting Forum, Business & Society, Business Strategy and the Environment, Expert Systems with Applications, Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, amongst others.


Dr Elamer has presented his works at a number of national and international academic conferences, workshops, and seminars. Ahmed’s research interests are in the areas of Narrative Disclosure, Risk Governance, International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), Social and Environmental Accounting, Earnings Management, and Corporate Governance Mechanisms.

Meet our new colleagues: Dr Weimu You

Dr Weimu You joined us as Lecturer in Sustainability and Global Value Chains.


Dr You holds a PhD in Economics and Business Administration with a specialisation in International Business and Supply Chain Management from Aalto University School of Business, Finland, where he also received a Master’s degree in Information and Service Management. Prior to joining Brunel, Weimu worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher and Teaching Assistant at Aalto University in Finland.


Dr You’s research interests include sustainability, global value chains, and technology and innovation management.

Meet our new colleagues: Professor Shireen Kanji

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



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.


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.



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:



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.


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:


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.


Call for papers Special issue “MIGRATION ‘MANAGEMENT’: Tensions, Challenges, and Opportunities for Inclusion”. Deadline 1 June 2020.

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Tensions, Challenges, and Opportunities for Inclusion

Submission deadline: 1-June 2020

Guest Editors: Dimitria Groutsis (The University of Sydney); Joana Vassilopoulou (Brunel University & Rotterdam School of Management); Mustafa Ozbilgin (Brunel University & Dauphine University); Yuka Fujimoto (Sunway University Business School); Michàlle E. Mor Barak (University of Southern California); Royston Greenwood (University of Alberta), Junqi Shi (Sun Yat-Sen University).

The term ‘migration management’ (Ghosh, 1993; 2012) has grown from and been used at the macro policy level: drawing attention to the need to rationally adjust migration flows while evoking images of a controlled,linear and coordinated process and system of international mobility. This special issue focusses on acknowledging, critiquing and investigating the global challenges and opportunities surrounding (international) migration management, providing fertile ground for empirical and theoretical exploration and discovery at multiple levels of analysis and within multiple contexts and therefore taking a broader and critical view of the coupling of migration and management.

The terms ‘migrant’, ‘refugee’ and more recently ‘self-initiated expatriate’ are loaded with multifaceted and multilayered imagery which has an ambiguous reality around the individual desire for economic and social opportunity, freedom and safety; the organizational drivers for capitalizing on skills, exploiting vulnerabilities and managing multicultural teams and ethnic minority differences; and the national and supranational drivers for regulating the number and quality of flows or mobilities of workers (migrants or refugees), while driving either social/organizational exclusion or social/organizational inclusion (de la Chaux et. al., 2018; Mor Barak, 2018; Villadsen & Wulff, 2018). These considerations capture aspects of questions raised by business and management scholars examining various dimensions of migration and inclusion from sociological, oraganizational and managerial perspectives (Al Ariss & Ozbilgin., 2010; Al Ariss et al., 2013; Mor Barak, 2017). However, the management of the opportunities and the barriers experienced by migrant women and men, remain poorly understood (Kofman et. al., 2015; Pio & Essers, 2014), particularly the agency and voice of migrants at work, the role of organizations and various institutional stakeholders in the process of migration management, and the role of stakeholders in the process of workplace inclusion. Each of these focal points remains largely limited to a single level of analysis (Mor Barak, 2018).

Notably, our scoping of extant scholarship highlights that migration and management are rarely studied together, particularly in terms of business and management scholarship. In rare instances when this is done, the examination often remains at a single level of analysis (see for instance O’Connor & Crowley- Henry, 2019), neglecting the deeper and broader complexities, interconnections, challenges and paradoxical dualities that are involved in examining multiple levels of analysis. Given that migration remains poorly understood from the perspective of management and organizations, and that extant theory may be limited as a basis for guiding further understanding, this special issue aims to use empirical exploration and abductive approaches to provide a basis for down-the-road theorizing on this important topic. Additionally, this special issue aims to transcend a single level treatment of migration management and to empirically capture the complexity and rational irrationality of the phenomenon from multiple perspectives. Accordingly, in the spirit of AMD we welcome contributions which engage in ‘exploratory research at the pre-theory stage of knowledge development’ as a way of surfacing and understanding critical migration-related phenomenon, and/or developing insights that might contribute to an enhanced understanding of the implications of migration and migration management for organizations and their members.

Furthermore, as we see it, the process of, and approach to, migration management also involves investigation of the opportunities and challenges surrounding inclusion. This includes paying attention to: individual/experiential aspects of migration; organizational/management issues associated with the migration process, migrant absorption/integration, socialization and adjustment; and policy-level issues associated with the management of migration including labor-market issues and questions relating to business policy and strategy.

Accordingly, we invite manuscripts which approach the topic of migration management and the prospects for inclusion from multiple levels of analysis (micro, meso and macro level) and perspectives with a broad and innovative range of methodological and theoretical choices. Within these multiple and intersecting levels of analysis lie the cross-cutting tensions between inclusionary and exclusionary approaches to migration management (Mor Barak, 2018). For example, whose interests do management interventions serve? How is migrant voice and agency considered and empowered? What are the implications of cultural differences, ethnic-minority status, identity and belonging? Partly due to the obvious and urgent crises and contradictions of globalization, inequalities have resurfaced as key concerns of organizational enquiries over the past few years. Most recently, the question of how the interplay between differences and inequalities is structured by political agency and discourses has risen on the agenda. For example, studies have examined migration regimes, focusing on the impact migrants have on the multicultural and multiracial dimensions of the receiving country labor market (Vassilopoulou et. al., 2014; Groutsis et al, 2015; van den Broek et al, 2016). Politics plays a crucial dual role here where, on the one hand, countries voice the humanitarian and cosmopolitan politics of inclusion of migrants, demonstrated by a plethora of integration and social inclusion policies, while on the other hand, these same societies and workplaces practice exclusion. Within such a context, managing migration in its broadest sense potentially incorporates activities that reinforce and maintain the current social and economic order, with profound visible and invisible implications at the workplace level.

The following questions are indicative (but not exhaustive) of the areas of focus for this call for papers.

a) Micro level:

  • How do individuals from diverse backgrounds experience migration? How do the diversity categories intersect with each other and the management of migration?
  • How do migrants manage their aspirations, challenges and struggles as individuals and in collectives as part of trade unions, teams and solidarity networks?
  • How do migrants manage the process of migration and labor market inclusion given the different migration pathways available to them including for instance: skilled stream migration, temporary visa arrangements and family reunion?
  • How does migration affect individuals in terms of their choices and chances of career, work-life interface; well-being; and identity formation for instance; and how does migration link to stigmatized work and workforces? How are these forces managed?
  • How does the agency of migrants manifest at work and in the management of migration?
  • Whose responsibility is it to manage migration? Who are the change agents and how do they affect change in the process of managing migration at the organizational level?

b)  Meso level:

  • How do organisations manage the absorption, integration and socialization of migrants and their workplace adjustment?
  • How is migration managed at the work/human capital interface? What are the implications of migration on enterprises’ human capital and talent management strategies?
  • How do organizations manage the inclusion of migrants at the workplace? What HR policies and practices are more effective at boosting migrant inclusion and facilitating migrant absorption and adjustment?
  • What are the complexities, challenges and dualities that stakeholders at the meso level of analysis must address in the process of migration management at the organizational level?
  • Are the processes of inclusion/exclusion and stigmatization in the study of the work trajectories of migrant women and men different in different institutional and organizational contexts? How do these processes converge and diverge in different contexts?
  • What is the nature of migrant entrepreneurship and how are migrant’s entrepreneurial experiences unique?


c)  Macro level:

  • What are the differences in the nature and implications of macro level frames such as legal vs. illegal/documented vs. undocumented migration; internal vs. international migration on the management of migration at the organizational level?
  • What is the role of global recruitment agencies? How do they operate in perpetuating inclusionary or exclusionary forms of controlled and managed migration?
  • What is the role of governments and international organizations in the management of migration at the organizational level?
  • How can we formulate global migration management policies in organizations, such as for example in MNCs?
  • How do national policies surrounding social integration impact on and shape workplace integration, inclusion and interactions between organizational members?

Prior to submitting your manuscript, please ensure that it is consistent with the mission of the journal by reviewing AMD’s guidelines for authors ( Contributors.aspx). To submit a manuscript, please make sure that visit When submitting, please remember to select Manuscript Type as Special Issue: Migration from the drop down menu. Manuscripts should be formatted according to the AMD Style Guide.

For a list of the sources cited in this Call for Papers, please contact Dimitria Groutsis <>