Research at Alliance Manchester Business School
Alliance Manchester Business School is a research-led school within a research-led university. Given our scale and breadth we aim to tackle big, contemporary problems that require long-term research commitment, while encouraging teamwork across multiple academic disciplines.
We draw on and contribute to Manchester’s rich historical heritage and the University’s world-leading research profile and international reputation for excellent higher education. Our core strengths are not just centred on the quality of our research, but also around our individual and collaborative work, our teaching and executive education, our collaboration with international partners, and around our advisory, policy and public speaking roles. This is encapsulated in our motto Original Thinking Applied.
We are also aligned to the University of Manchester’s wider research beacons which are tackling some of the biggest questions facing the planet.
An historical context for our research
Alliance MBS founded as Manchester Business School in 1965 as one of the first two business schools in the UK.
The city has always been a hub for radical thought and the School reflects this sense of constant activity and innovation in its research, combining the old and the new, the orthodox and the radical in the breadth of its approach.
The School employs more than 280 academic staff from diverse backgrounds working in a variety of theoretical traditions. These narratives go right across the political spectrum, as well as covering more recent frameworks of thought.
Looking ahead the School builds on this heritage as it looks towards the future, something that is physically represented in its campus investment plan and its new state-of-the-art building.
Breadth and quality of research
The fields of business and management are comprised of many different concepts and approaches which need to be studied in their wider social, economic and political contexts.
We combine traditional business and management with broader science, social science and humanities approaches, including decision theory, statistical modelling and ethnography. The number, diversity and quality of academic researchers at the School put us in a unique position of expertise across all these areas so that we can ask questions of both local and global relevance.
Some of the key questions we ask:
- How are businesses engaged in the protection of human rights?
- What are the determinants of corporate risk?
- How can we move towards more sustainable modes of production and consumption?
- What are the challenges presented by emerging technologies?
- How can data-driven modelling of decision making support policy development?
- What influences consumer perceptions?
- How can minority groups be better represented in the job market?
- What is the impact of devolution on the Manchester city region?
However our research also cuts across divisions, especially via a number of high-profile institutes and research centres. Through these centres and other groups we collaborate not only across the School, but with many other departments in the University, including researchers in medicine, the social sciences, global development studies and others.
The high quality of our research was evidenced in our performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework where 100% of our research environment was classified as world-leading or internationally excellent.
It is also seen in our research funding. For instance we have recently received major funding awards from Innovate UK, the European Commission, the National Institute of Health Research, the Norwegian Research Council, and the Newton Fund.
Research-led and innovative teaching
We are committed to training individuals that think beyond the immediate demands of their professions, who take an interest in and are well-equipped to consider broad social, political and economic issues. We do this by bringing our research into lectures, seminars and supervision.
For instance we run courses on:
- Sustainable business, innovation for a sustainable society, innovation management and entrepreneurship and responsible management.
- Introduction to management and organisation studies, and management and managing in an age of transitions and business project management.
- International human resource management, comparative industrial relations, employment relations, globalisation and national employment systems
- Philosophy for accountancy, which introduces students to critical thinking skills and is informed by more critical approaches to accountancy.
This commitment is carried across the full range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses. We also offer a variety of executive programmes, including the Advanced Management Achievement Course, which has run for over 20 years, the new Leading Complex Projects Programme, and two leadership programmes for the National Health Services Leadership Academy run in collaboration with KPMG and the University of Birmingham.
Our students typically go on to take up academic posts at other world-leading institutions as well as professional posts within major organisations.
International and diverse research
We provide a truly international and diverse research environment. Our researchers come from all over the world, with many senior positions occupied by women, while there is a balance between early career and more senior staff.
Alliance MBS also has centres in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai and Sao Paulo, and an impressive network of more than 50,000 alumni across 169 countries. Our funded research also links us to many other institutions across the UK and to a host of national and international organisations.
Our academics provide expert advice and speak publicly on the whole range of issues we research. They regularly appear in the media, serve on government committees and present at industrial events to comment on topical issues. They also contribute towards Alliance MBS’ own programme of events such as our ever popular Vital Topics lecture series.
Some of the recent issues our academics have commented on include: Brexit; the rise of smart cities; the emissions scandal; health at work; work-life balance; the NHS reforms; and devolution to the Manchester city region.
We also ensure that our research transfers value to society whether by affecting policy, regulatory or legislative changes, or by informing the public. More than 80% of our case studies were considered to have outstanding or very considerable impact in the latest Research Excellence Framework and we are continuing to build on this both in terms of the quantity and quality of our impactful research.
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Marcin Michalski, PhD student
After completing his BSc in Management (International Business Economics) and MSc in Finance at Manchester University, Marcin is now in the second year of his PhD studying financial stability and central bank policy in the wake of the global economic crisis. He is a University of Manchester President’s Doctoral Scholar for 2014.