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About the Programme
The Sustainable Business Research Institute at Leeds Beckett University is seeking applications for up to four fully funded PhD studies from exceptional UK and potentially overseas students with an excellent academic record and an interest in responsible business engagement and sustainable regional development. The positions will start in May 2021.
Growth, responsibility and productivity theme
The value that smaller enterprises realise through the utilisation of resources in the production of goods and services. This includes interactions with, and roles played by, the market, technology, institutional and cultural settings:
- How does responsible leadership and management impact on the growth, productivity and sustainability of smaller enterprises?
- What institutional factors (including national and regional policy) influence the sustainability of smaller enterprises between different places and sectors, and why?
- What role does data driven decision making and big data and analytics play in the formation of new firms?
- What is the role of business support networks (including publicly funded and commercial) in fostering the growth, productivity and sustainability of smaller enterprises and/or regional ecosystems?
Digital health communication
This PhD studentship is focussed on the role of technology in the health arena. Studies could explore digital health communication during issues and crises as well as the use of digital marketing and communication to support health programmes, initiatives and campaigns.
- Health communication and technology: Communication’s impact on regional, national and international health agendas and understanding. Proposals tackling health communication are welcome, including studies tackling public health communication and messages, government health communication and communication management, health messages to diverse groups, crisis and health communication, health and social media engagement, etc.
- Digital marketing, communication and technology and digital connectivity. This theme explores the technologies/channels of communication and the impact of digital change communication theory and practice, as well as the behaviour of communicators, both professional and as ‘citizens’. This could involve consideration of the behaviour changes required by all parties in the creation and dissemination of digital communication content, at individual, local, national and global levels, exploring the impact of impending technological/digital changes (positive and negative) on society.
Capacity building in SMEs: the role and influence of women as leaders
Small businesses have well known problems building long term futures with persistent challenges relating to them often being personality-driven businesses which lack formalised, informed succession planning.
This position runs alongside a new £1.7m project (2021) within Leeds Business School. The three-year Women Empowered through Coaching and Networking (#WECAN) project aims to boost the leadership and management skills of women who are self-employed, or working for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). #WECAN has been funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the DWP. Questions could include:
- The efficacy of a social constructionist/action learning approach to SME capacity building
- The barriers/enablers faced by women (and older women) in SMEs moving into / progressing in managerial roles
- How effective coaching is as a pathway to leadership and supporting/identifying talent
The impact of entrepreneurial resilience, leadership and innovation on the success of small and medium enterprises
The impact different factors have on the success of SMEs within regional ecosystems and could include.
- Sustainable Business Development - exploring the sustainability of SMEs, and the economic growth of regional economies. We welcome proposals that look at how different ecosystems could enable or foster their sustainable development.
- Resilience and SMEs - the relationship between entrepreneurial resilience, organisational resilience, and the success of SMEs, and developing a new warning system for SMEs to explore resilience and measure economic recovery. Projects will investigate the dynamic relationship between resilience (entrepreneurial, employee, organisational or even societal) and SME success. Focussing on how SMEs could become more resilient and investigate the link between resilience and success.
- Technovation and SMEs - the impact that technology and innovation have on SMEs’ sustainable development. This theme could either be linked to themes 1 and/or 2 or focus exclusively on how the emerging wave of innovation could lead to the competitive advantage of SMEs.
Stipend of £15,285 monthly (amount conditional as offered) and exempt from UK Income Tax and National Insurance.
Apply - online application form
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