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About Prof Kurt Allman, MEng, MPhil, PhD, FRSA, FCMI.

Kurt has been working with businesses, large and small, for two decades. Strategy, business models and organisational change to support innovation are areas within his research and teaching. He has successfully worked on prestigious initiatives funded by the EU, World Bank, BIS and NESTA amongst others. SMEs and entrepreneurs are the primary focus of his research, and he has also effectively engaged over 2,000 SMEs on leadership, business transformation and student projects.  These have delivered organisational impact and helped to transform communities - creating jobs and Gross Value Add. Kurt has secured as principal investigator, or as part of a wider institutional team, over £22 million in grants for research, enterprise and capital projects. These have been supported from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the European Social Fund and the European Regional Development Fund to name but a few. Prior to his current role he was Director of Keele Business School for 5 years, overseeing its transformation, development and co-location within a Smart Innovation Hub – forming a gateway to the University’s Enterprise Zone. Prior to this he was Associate Dean at the University of Salford, where notably he helped to support a step change in industrial collaborations, underpinning its Enterprise Zone initiative. Previously, Kurt was at the University of Manchester where he contributed to the development of its internationally respected Enterprise Centre. At the start of his career he worked in Italy on two very large EU projects, supported by the Director General Enterprise projects as part of the Information Society initiative.

Kurt is committed to widening and continuing access to education. He has been a governor of Trafford College Group since 2015, overseeing its significant growth and development. He was involved in the development of the UK’s A-level standards for Business, ensuring the qualification provides both an appropriate advanced qualification for students wishing to enter university, or for those whom go on to apprenticeships or straight in to work. Coming from a family of engineers, and being unapologetically Mancunian, Kurt is passionate about supporting the creative ingenuity of British manufacturers – from local artisans, to craft producers and those pioneering World leading science.  Until recently, he also had a long-standing commitment with Rolls Royce PLC, helping their new engineers appreciate broader project management perspectives as part of their initial project training programme (PDP) – supporting some 1,700 graduates over 7 years.  

He holds a degree in electronic engineering from the University of Hull, an MPhil from Cranfield University and a PhD from the University of Manchester. He was awarded a North American Foundation scholarship, enabling him to study at Yonsei University in South Korea. He is therefore very keen for students to study abroad as part of education if they are able. Kurt is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Advancement of the Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce (FRSA), and a Fellow of the Charted Management Institute (FCMI).    



PhD supervision

  • 7 PhD students to successful completion in areas of enterprise, entrepreneurship and technological change. More recent PhDs have focussed on entrepreneurship in Africa – notably Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

Current PhDs

  • Elliot Lancaster, with a thesis entitled: A multinational study of social enterprise: identification, systems and support.

MRes, MPhil and MEnt research degrees

Kurt has supervised over 30 students to successful completion of their research degrees.

Research degree have been in the area of entrepreneurship, innovation, and organisational change in regulated settings.

Teaching Areas

More recently teaching has been predominately at post-graduate, including the Senior Leader’s MBA

  • Contemporary challenges in Business Strategy
  • Creating and implementing strategy
  • Business model use and application
  • Enterprising cultures and organisations. 
  • Leading complexity and change

Current external examination and assessment

  • External Examiner for enterprise and management programmes at Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester.
  • Faculty Advisor for Apprenticeship Degrees at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Published Work

Recent Research

Salmon, U. and Allman, K. (2019), "Innovation in family firms: an empirical taxonomy of owners using a mixed methods approach", Journal of Family Business Management, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 20-39.

Rmu Susantha Udagedara & Kurt Allman (2019) Organizational Dynamics and Adoption of Innovations: A Study within the Context of Software Firms in Sri Lanka, Journal of Small Business Management, 57:2, 450-475,


MEng, MPhil, PhD, FRSA, FCMI