#HEFCECatalyst: PlacementPAL Research Project

Dr Suzanne Nolan is working with colleagues across the University of Suffolk on this exciting research project, designed to help students transition from university into work-based learning:

UoS PAL A1 poster 12.6.17

If you are interested in finding our more, please email Suzanne at s.nolan@uos.ac.uk.

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Suffolk BME Business Awards 2017

The University of Suffolk and the Bangladeshi Support Centre (BSC), an award-winning community organisation, are partnering with the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star for the second Suffolk BME Business Awards.

Launch of the BME Business Awards 2017
Launch of the Suffolk BME Business Awards 2017. Photo by University of Suffolk.

The awards will be held on the evening of Wednesday 25 October at the University of Suffolk Waterfront Building, as part of the Suffolk Business School’s annual Suffolk Business Festival.

Boshor Ali, Chair of BSC, said, “BSC is delighted to be working with our partners to highlight the contribution of Suffolk’s BME businesses, which is much-needed in the current climate. Last year’s event was a great success and I am looking forward to celebrating again this year.”

Dr Will Thomas, Associate Professor at the Suffolk Business School at the University of Suffolk, said “We are pleased to be working with BSC again to recognise BME businesses and to acknowledge the contribution that they make to the local economy and to our local communities.”

Terry Hunt, Editor of the East Anglian Daily Times, one of the sponsors of the Awards said “It’s a brilliant idea celebrating the often hidden contribution of the BME community in the county. Last year’s awards were a great start and now we can build on that. I am very much looking forward to it in October.”

Cllr Sarah Barber, Mayor of Ipswich, said “I think the awards are a great idea, small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and we need to encourage them from every community. I am particularly pleased there is a Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award so I am looking forward to seeing who wins that but I think there will be worthy winners in all the categories.”

Award categories

Business of the Year
Businessperson of the Year
Startup/New Business of the Year
Community Business of the Year
Woman Entrepreneur of the Year
Charity of the Year

The final category will be a Judges Special Award.

Nominations

To nominate a business or person for any of these categories please complete the online nomination form HERE.

Paper copies of the nomination form can be obtained from the Bangladeshi Support Centre or the University of Suffolk. Completed forms should be submitted to:

Bangladeshi Support Centre, 19 Tower Street, Ipswich, IP1 3BE
Email: talkbusiness@uos.ac.uk

Nomination closing date: Saturday 30 September 2017.

The Fad Motif in Management Scholarship

By David Collins, Suffolk Business School

This has been a rather special week. I have, you see, been able to place a tick against an item on my rather lengthy and ever expanding ‘to do list’. I completed a draft chapter that I had been invited to author and within the agreed deadline (although only just!). It might be worth expanding upon this…

Some time ago I was invited by Oxford University Press to prepare a chapter on Management Gurus for an edited volume concerned with Management Practice. I was pleased and rather flattered to receive this offer (in truth, I would probably have asked my colleague Dr Huczynski, of the University of Glasgow, to write this chapter since he produced perhaps the first sustained academic commentary in this arena back in the early 1990s), and so I agreed to produce a chapter on Management’s Gurus. Look closely. The addition of the ‘apostrophe s’ is for me a crucial addition to the title. It is in fact my rather unsubtle way of placing a social distance between my analysis and the position of those who might be inclined to accept what their gurus tell them to think and do, without, in my opinion, sufficient critical reflection.

When I mention a research interest in the gurus of management I am regularly met by two questions:

  1. Who are the gurus?
  2. Do the gurus really produce empty fads?

The answer to these questions is far from straightforward. Well you wouldn’t really expect a clear answer from a Professor, would you?

It is rather difficult to produce a definitive listing of management’s gurus. Priorities change and ideas tend to fall out of fashion. There is probably ‘a famous five’ (including Peter Drucker and Tom Peters) but beyond this elite there is generally no agreement as to who we might place in that category of commentators which has been awarded (sometimes seriously and sometimes more ironically) the title of ‘guru’. In truth the debate about management’s gurus is not so much a discussion about whether or not this category exists; it is instead a sustained competition about who has the best gurus. Indeed it is worth observing that those academics who have attacked management’s gurus have called upon the services of their sociological gurus when launching this broadside!

As to what the gurus do? Well there is no doubt that these commentators produce and trade in fashionable ideas. That fact however should not be taken as confirmation that what the gurus say and do is simply empty and faddish. Nor does it suggest that those who would implement guru theory are engaged in a form of activity that is mindless and imitative. In truth it takes a lot of effort and imagination to implement TQM, ABC or BPR (you can look these up J). Some years ago I produced a paper that develops this line of analysis. You might find this entertaining:

Collins, D. (2001) “The fad motif in management scholarship“, Employee Relations 23(1), pp. 26-37