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Research Seminars

These seminars will be held from 1pm - 2pm in room L1.38 in Trinity Business School, 152-160, Pearse Street. All are welcome.

8th February, 2018

Mitchell J Larsen, University of Central Lancashire

Title: Strategic Responses to Global Stimuli: The "Big Four" UK Banks, 1973 - 2010

Abstract: After the financial crisis of 2007-8, large UK retail banks continued to receive extensive critical coverage in the press.  This attention results from on-going revelations brought about through difficulties attendant upon implementing major cultural shifts in the industry.  The industry clearly is not as monolithic as the press encourages us to believe, and our paper takes a close look backward to examine their performance in light of banking strategies pursued by the four biggest retail banks in the UK: Barclays, Lloyds, Midland/HSBC, and NatWest.  Our analysis weaves together an examination of the financial performance of these banks at regular intervals during the period of study with a scrutiny of bank strategies.  We find various strategic decisions across banks that appear to be ‘sympathetic’ with one another, and the outcomes they experienced were shaped by the same basic factors.  We argue for a nuanced view of the UK retail banking sector over the course of the study supported by qualitative as well as quantitative empirical data.

Bio: Mitchell J. Larson (Mitch) completed his B.S., M.A. and PhD (History) degrees at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA), and submitted his PhD in 2003. Since then he has published articles in the areas of the history of English and international banking, the history of UK management education and training, and the history of Olympic sport. He joined Lancashire Business School in September 2008 and became a founding member of two of its research institutes, the Lancashire Institute for Economic and Business Research (LIEBR) and the Institute for Global Finance and Development (IGFD).

Dr. Larson brings contextual knowledge and qualitative research methods experience to complement the quantitative competences of both institutes. In 2010 he became Associate Editor for Emerald’s multi-disciplinary journal the International Journal of Organizational Analysis. In September 2011 he became Research Degree Tutor for Lancashire School of Business and Enterprise, became part of UCLan’s Research Degrees Board in 2014, and in May 2015 he joined the editorial team of Essays in Economic and Business History. He organises the Tony Slaven Doctoral Workshop in Business History for PhD students which is held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Association of Business Historians.


15th February, 2018

Rajit Panwar, Appalachia State University

Title: Stock Market Reaction to a Flexible CSR Regulation

Abstract: Corporate social responsibility (CSR) - and its correlate, corporate sustainability - are important concepts not only because they can contribute to address society’s many grand challenges, but also because they can enhance individual firms’ competitiveness and value creating potential. Although businesses have always- and everywhere- had social responsibilities (, the contemporary form of CSR, defined as businesses’ voluntary and explicit commitment to actions aimed at promoting societal and environmental well-being, is an essentially American idea. As is typical with a new management practice, many firms resist CSR, especially in contexts where its prescriptions can be considered incompatible with institutionally embedded norms about the role of business in a society. In order to institutionalize CSR in such contexts, several national governments have enacted regulatory measures that vary from mandatory CSR reporting to mandatory allocation of resources for CSR. Previous research acknowledges the role of regulatory interventions in institutionalizing CSR, their growing global popularity, and how they can affect firm’s CSR adoption and implementation. Yet, the extant research has not considered the effects of a regulatory edict to institutionalize CSR on a firm’s value. This paper aims to bridge this gap.

Bio: Dr. Rajat Panwar is an Associate Professor of Sustainable Business Management. Dr. Panwar has a versatile academic background that includes researching and teaching in Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. He has earned two doctoral degrees- one in the forest sector business sustainability (Oregon State University, USA), and the other in strategic managment (Grenoble École de Management, France). A native of India, Dr. Panwar found his way to Appalachian mountains after having lived in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon and British Columbia) and US Mid-West (Northern Wisconsin). 

Dr. Panwar publishes his research in Business, Forestry, and inter-disciplinary journals. His previous work has appeared in Business and Society, Business Ethics: A European Review, Business Strategy and the Environment, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Cleaner Production, Organization and Environment, Journal of Public Affairs, Forest Policy and Economics, among others. He has co-edited two books: The Global Forest Sector: Changes, Practices, and Prospects (CRC Press) and Forests, Business, and Sustainability (Routledge). Dr. Panwar is also an Affiliate Faculty at the College of Forestry, Oregon State University, and a Faculty Associate with the Governance, Markets, and Environment (GEM) Initiative at Yale University. Dr. Panwar is the Editor of the journal Bioproducts Business.


8th March, 2018

Na Fu, Trinity Business School

Title: Line Manager's Implementation of HRM



22nd March, 2018

Maggie van den Heuvel, University of Amsterdam

Title: Interventions to boost Employee Health & Well-being in Turbulent Times. Recent Findings and Future Plans. 

Abstract: Employees are exposed to ongoing changes and challenges due work intensification, digitalization and new ways of organizing. Therefore, the need for interventions to keep organizations and employees healthy and resilient is as relevant as ever. New ways of working bring new challenges. For example, (self-)managing work load, healthy work-life boundaries and maintaining focus while exposed to an ongoing stream of information via technology. Besides organizational level, top-down interventions such as job re-design, individual level, bottom-up interventions such as job crafting and mindfulness, are promising in supporting employee health and well being during change. In this interactive presentation, I will discuss recent findings on individual level interventions at work, specifically job crafting and mindfulness at work. Also, I will share theoretical and practical insights from 7 years of running job crafting training and research in the workplace. Finally, we will discuss some key questions as well as future plans for interventions to support employees and organizations as we move towards the fourth industrial revolution.       

Bio: Maggie is currently working as an Assistant Professor in Work & Organisational Psychology at the University of Amsterdam. Her background is in occupational health psychology. Besides her academic career, she has over 13 years experience as a consultant, trainer and coach working with a range of clients in both the private and public sectors across Europe.
Her research interests are in the development of interventions to build work engagement, purpose, health, well-being and resilience. Mindfulness and job crafting are examples of such interventions. In 2010, Maggie and colleagues developed the job crafting training. Currently, she is focusing on the workrelated effects of smartphone addiction and interventions to build digital wellness at work. She is a member of the European Association of Work & Organisational Psychologists (EAWOP) and publishes her work in a number of international, peer-reviewed journals.

5th April, 2018

Stephanie Decker, Aston Business School

Title: Institutional Work at the World Bank in Ghana, 1970 - 1985

Abstract: This paper offers a historical case study of institutional entrepreneurship and institutional work in Africa. Our empirical interest is in analyzing the evolution of western economic development strategies in Ghana from 1950 to 1980. Our theoretical interest is in understanding the role of agency in processes of institutional change. Our historical analysis of development practices in Ghana reveals a distinct shift in its repertoire of agency, beginning with a highly functionalist notion of direct control (i.e. hyper-muscular agency) and ending with a much more distributed and negotiated form of agency. We describe this process as a shift from an early focus on institutional entrepreneurship to a later adoption of the ethos and character of institutional work. Our core theoretical contribution is to elaborate the differences and similarities between these two conceptions of institutional change and offer a conciliatory explanation of how they might fit together.

Bio: Stephanie Decker is a Professor in Organization Studies and History at Aston Business School, where she has been working since 2010. After completing her undergraduate studies in Cologne and a  PhD in history at the University of Liverpool in 2006, she held postdoctoral appointments at the LSE and Harvard Business School, before joining the University of Liverpool Management School in 2007/8. She is currently the Associate Director for Research at Aston Business School. She is Co-editor of the leading ABS journal Business History.


19th April, 2018

Prof Kerstin Alfes, ESCP Berlin

Title: HRM and Attributions








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