PGSM news and events

June 2016: 11th Plymouth Doctoral Colloquium success

Organised by PhD students and supported by the Faculty of Business, this year's Plymouth Doctoral Colloquium (UKPDC 2016), was a huge success. There was an active and enthusiastic participation of academics and PhD students from both UK and abroad universities. 

The Plymouth Doctoral Colloquium is an annual conference organised by the PhD students and supported by the Faculty of Business’ to showcase the diversity of social science research, currently being undertaken by postgraduate students from Plymouth University and other universities. The main aim of the Colloquium is to enable researchers to realise their ambitions and develop their potential by presenting, attending and networking with colleagues in different fields.

This year's event marked the Colloquium's 11th event. 

June 2016: Stephen Childe reports on the European Operations Management Association conference (EurOMA)

Dr Childe has reported that EurOMA, taking place in Norway in June 2016, will hold a special session on 'Supply Chain Operations for a Circular Economy'. The circular economy involves the re-use of products or their components and materials to increase business' environmental sustainability while reducing energy, waste and cost. Sustainability is important to the Business School and the University with the recent launch of the Sustainable Earth Institute

The papers with the most potential will be invited for further development leading to publication in the three-star international Operations Management journal 'Product Planning & Control'.

May 2016: PGSM to host 2016 International conference on Decision Support System Technology (ICDSST 2016)

ICDSST 2016 will be hosted by PGSM. This conference is the major event of the Euro Working Group on Decision Support Systems (EWG-DSS) in 2016. EWG-DSS is the professional society leading Euro’s research in decision making, of which Professor Shaofeng Liu has been a Management Board member over the past four years. The key theme of the conference is “Decision Support Systems Addressing Societal Challenges” and will consider submissions addressing various challenges our society and businesses currently face. The conference will be held between 23 and 25 May 2016 in Plymouth, UK. Local organisation of the conference will be co-ordinated by Dr Festus Oderanti.

October 2015: Professor Donna Ladkin's book, shortlisted for the Chartered Management Institute's (CMI) book of the year!

Professor Ladkin's highly acclaimed textbook 'Mastering the Ethical Dimension of Organizations' has been shortlisted for the CMI Book of the Year 2015-16!

“Donna Ladkin gives us an entirely novel and creative approach to thinking about, and importantly, doing and teaching ethics. This book will enhance the ethics and the lives of people who read it and practice its approaches.” Sandra Waddock, Boston College Carroll School of Management, US

October 2015: Beryl Badger receives a lifetime achievement award from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)

On 14 October 2015 the CIPD presented Beryl Badger, a long serving and valued colleague of Plymouth University, received a lifetime achievement award at the South West regional conference in Exeter. Beryl had a long and distinguished career with Plymouth University, during which time she was instrumental in establishing the CIPD South West regional brand. She made an outstanding contribution to the HR profession and this has been rightly recognised by the CIPD.

Beryl retired in 2014 after 30 years' service as an Associate Professor in the HR and Leadership Group.

October 2015: Dr Jonathan Lean - Fellow of Enterprise Educators UK

Dr Jonathan Lean has recently been made a Fellow of Enterprise Educators UK (EEUK), the UK’s national membership organisation for enterprise and entrepreneurship educators. Jonathan is a former Director of EEUK and has been granted a Fellowship in recognition of his contribution to the organisation as a member of its Executive Committee.

Read more about Enterprise Educators UK.

October 2015: Professor Duncan Lewis - Keynote Speaker at the University of Winnipeg, Canada

Professor Lewis was keynote speaker at the University of Winnipeg in October 2015. The event was organised to launch a three year study titled 'Partnering to Prevent Workplace Bullying Using International and Integrative Perspectives' funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The presentation drew upon the findings from two Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded studies Duncan was involved with.

Whilst in Winnipeg, Professor Lewis met with representatives of the Manitoba government to look at best practice in disability discrimination at work. 

September 2015: World Maritime Day event

Capt Jonathan Challacombe attended the World Maritime Event on 23 September 2015 to give a presentation about Maritime Business. Professor Jason Hall-Spencer also attended and gave a talk on Marine Biology. 

Opportunities in the maritime sector, from officer cadet training, maritime law and marine biology, through to transport logistics, were outlined to students. The pupils from local and international schools based in London, heard speakers from several academic institutions and enjoyed trying out ship simulators, loaned by ARI World and were able to quiz people working in the maritime field, including current students and cadets. 

August 2015: EU Erasmus Plus project being undertaken within PGSM

The Erasmus Plus project 'Developing online tool to foster entrepreneurship in the retail sector’ has successfully passed stage one review. The project started on Monday 1 September 2014 and will end on Wednesday 31 August 2016. It is funded by European Commission under the Erasmus Plus Programme. Plymouth University is one of the five EU partners on the consortium co-ordinated by PYMEV, Spain. The aim of the project is to explore appropriate online tools to enable young people to improve their generic and specialist skills according to the European Framework of Vocational Qualifications (EQF). Please contact Professor Shaofeng Liu or Dr Festus Oderanti for further details.

August 2015: Journal of Research Studies in Business and Management

The inaugural volume of the ‘Journal of Research Studies in Business and Management’ has been published online at This is a brand new, open access journal which is devoted to publishing the very best undergraduate business projects produced by students from Plymouth University’s Faculty of Business. The journal is currently published in August, once a year.

All papers were written / first authored by undergraduate Business Studies students from Plymouth Business School. Students were asked to write up their final year projects as research papers and those which achieved the best marks were thoroughly reviewed by the editors before being selected for publication. 

July 2015: Shrinkflation is not the way!

Shrinking pack sizes, unless the selling price is also proportionally reduced, has become one of the most popular ways for manufacturers of fast-moving consumer goods to deal with cost increases. For example, in the UK, in 2013/14, Alpen muesli pack content fell from 1.5kg to 1.3kg (Which?, 2015). Consumers tend to not notice this at the time of purchase.

An international research team led by Dr Stephen Wilkins set out to investigate how consumers might react after realising they have been deceived. It was concluded that although firms may initially achieve increased sales, these practices risk damaging a brand's reputation and consumer loyalty to the brand, thus firms need to strike a balance between packaging size and content. 

The research will be presented as a paper in the 'European Journal of Marketing', later in 2015.

July 2015: The power of identification in higher education

As evidenced by considerable previous published research, organisational identification can influence employee and consumer behaviour. In the first study of its kind, an international research team led by Dr Stephen Wilkins set out to investigate the effects of social and organisational identification among students in higher education. A strong relationship was found between organisational identification and student commitment and satisfaction and to a lesser extent also student achievement. The findings highlight the importance of universities building relationships with students that will create and strengthen student organisational identification with their institution. The research is presented as a paper published in 'Studies in Higher Education'.

June 2015: Dawn Aunger (Head of People Management, Development and Wellbeing) presents live case study to BMG202SU students

The summer school for students on the fast-track BSc in Business Management course started on 8 June 2015 with BMG202. Dawn Aunger is an alumnus of PBS, she graduated with an MA in Human Resource Management nine years ago. For the last three years, one of the key features of the module has been engaging students in a live case study which presents them with an opportunity to have an appreciation of the real world of people management.

 “Dawn brought life to the case study. Her presentation allowed me to ask questions which were not apparent in the case study from my reading. Dawn’s passion for her job made me feel better able to answer the questions and consider a career in HR.”


May 2015: MBM student presents a paper at the prestigious Bi-annual Global IHRM conference in Pennsylvania

Ann-Christine Ehret presented a paper at the IHRM conference held at Penn State University from 13-15 May 2015. The conference brings together mainly worldwide academics and doctoral researchers. Ann-Christine presented a paper co-authored by Dr Chitalu Kabwe which was developed out of her MBM dissertation entitled ‘Exploring the link between organisational performance and talent management in German SMEs’. 

"I’m very lucky to have been given Dr Kabwe as my dissertation supervisor, she has made me realise my potential and helped me to believe in my ability. Without her, I’d never have known anything about such a prestigious opportunity to take my MBM project forward." Ann-Christine

May 2015: NHS Leadership South West collaborate with PGSM

With an exciting collaboration between PGSM and Christina Quinn, Director of the SW Leadership Academy, NHS specialists, leaders and managers are developing their knowledge of organisational leadership.

“Professor Michael West sees the role of organisational development as making sure an organisation has, and will have, the leadership needed to deliver the vision, provide supportive people management, promote staff engagement, build effective team working and ensure the organisation fulfils its vision of delivering consistently high quality, compassionate and safe patient care." C Quinn

Dr Karen Jones is programme leader. To find out more, email


April 2015: Congratulations to Margaret Prior

Margaret Prior was recently awarded the Work, Employment and Society prize for the best PhD paper at the 33rd International Labour Process Conference in Athens, which was held between 13-15 April 2015. The title of Margaret's paper is 'Life without limits? Control, consent and resistance in the British Armed Forces' employment relationship.' 

March 2015: Chris Paton, Managing Director at Quirk Solutions Ltd - Lecture

On Wednesday 11 March as part of a partnership with the Strategic Planning Society, Chris Paton, Managing Director at Quirk Solutions Ltd, gave a lecture on Wargaming to MSc Business and Management students. Wargaming is a technique which can be used to aid the planning of strategy execution. The lecture was very well received and the students have requested that Chris be asked to return next year. 

March 2015: 20M EU INTERREG end of project conference in Le Havre, France

The end of project conference for the 20M EU INTERREG project was held in Le Havre, France, 24-26 March 2015. Professor Kerry E. Howell and Dr Paul Igwe represented Plymouth University.

20M is an €1.8 million collaborative project between the universities of Plymouth, Portsmouth, Le Havre and the Centre Regional d’ Innovation et de Transfer de (CRITT) and Dossier Ecole National Supérieure Maritime (ENSM) that aims to find ways of configuring the logistics and supply chains of offshore wind farms operation and maintenance. The main objective of the research project was to design a Decision Support System to assist in cost reduction and efficiency in the operations and maintenance of the offshore wind renewable energy.

March 2015: BSc (Hons) Management Practice

In September 2015 the Faculty of Business will launch an online top-up degree – BSc (Hons) Management Practice. The two year course will be part time. If you have level five qualifications or professional experience and want to boost qualifications this course is for you.

"This programme will give students direct access to a dedicated website with great resources and Plymouth University’s extensive e-library and student services. The course offers practical and work-based activity and learning, live projects and work based- action research.” Dr Karen Jones, Programme Leader

For further details, email

March 2015: Women in Business Symposium Programme

The Women in Business Symposium involved talks from women from a range of work contexts about their experiences in the work place and academics from a range of scholarly backgrounds with an interest in gender.

March 2015: Michael Spiers Business Project

Students from Plymouth University will have another great opportunity to hone their skills once chosen to work with one of the South West’s most highly regarded companies. 

March 2015: Briefing document for ISO

Dr Victoria Hurth recently wrote a briefing document for ISO, linking ISO26000 (the global standard in Corporate Social Responsibility) and Integrated Reporting (the global approach to improve sustainability of business through replacing annual reporting with a new integrated report). The purpose of this is to make sure that those organisations who are implementing ISO26000 understand why IR is complementary and in what ways. This also should help increase the uptake of IR.

“This is extremely valuable... I have to say the style is also very good indeed.”  Paul Druckman, Integrated Reporting CEO, reporting on the document.

March 2015: Guest lecture

Dr Charles Thornton had a guest lecture from Babcock on BSO304 and is creating a link with the Strategic Planning Society (SPS). The latter involves a guest lecture and access to the Society’s webinars and current and past copies of its Strategy Magazine for MBM students for a year. The students were given an introduction by NialI Campbell (SPS executive officer) in a lecture during January 2015.

February 2015: The Range business competition in partnership with the Beta Enterprise programme and the Futures Entrepreneurship Centre

In February, The Range opened its 100th store in Peverell, Plymouth.  To mark this significant event, owner and local billionaire Chris Dawson has invited students on Plymouth University’s Beta Enterprise Programme (organised by the Futures Entrepreneurship) to pitch their business ideas to him and a panel of experts. The pitches took place on 13 February 2015, with the winner receiving a prize of £250 at the new store, opening on the 20 February 2015.

The Beta Enterprise Programme, run by the Plymouth Business Schools’ Futures Entrepreneurship Centre at Plymouth University, provides mentoring, funding and more to students with innovative business ideas. It is the latest in Plymouth University’s range of initiatives to promote student enterprise.

January 2015: First ever Norwegian Certificate in Fundraising

The Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy successfully delivered the first ever Norwegian Certificate in Fundraising in January 2015. The team at the Centre have been working with the Norwegian Fundraising Association to design their new professional qualification framework and Norway becomes the fourth country around the world to follow the syllabi recommended by our team. The others are the UK, USA and Ireland. 14 professional fundraisers from a variety of different Norwegian charities took the plunge this month, studying donor behaviour, planning the fundraising mix and fundraising ethics. A new Diploma is planned for 2016 and the Certificate is set to become a regular annual feature. Professor Adrian Sargeant and our visiting professor Stephen Pidgeon delivered the first course in Oslo at the offices of Deloittes consulting.

January 2015: Two new EU projects started in consolidating ICT support for business model innovation

Professor Shaofeng Liu and the team have been recently awarded two EU projects, one Horizon 2020 project (QoE-NET) under the Marie Curie scheme and one Erasmus KA2 project (RE-ENTRE). The QoE-NET is a four-year project investigating innovative quality of experience management in emerging multi-media services which started in January 2015. The project is worth €3.1 million with €547,000 to Plymouth University between the School of Computing and PGSM. The RE-ENTRE is a two-year project exploring online tools to foster entrepreneurship in retailing market. The kick-off meeting took place on 5 February 2015 in Valencia. Both projects will help enhance our research strength in integrating ICT technologies with business management.