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Research in Business and Management Studies is undertaken by staff from the Faculty of Science, Business and Enterprise at the University of Chester.  The unit first participated in the REF in 2014, and has since significantly invested in the vibrancy and sustainability of its research and impact in relation to responsible enterprise and work-based learning for ‘decent work’

The University’s targeted research funding has been bolstered by external funders including: the British Academy, ESRC, the Medical Research Council and local authorities. 

21 staff were identified as having significant responsibility for research in REF2021, leading to a requirement for 46 outputs to be submitted.

Research outputs submitted to REF2021 are included in the Business and Management Collection of ChesterRep, the University of Chester’s online research repository.

The impact of research in this unit was exemplified through the following case studies:

Designing and delivering effective regional support at scale for small and medium sized enterprises: The unit’s research into SME networks, decision making, inclusion and wellbeing underpinned the refocusing of large-scale SME intervention and support programmes to better engage and cultivate relationships with a diverse range of hard-to-reach entrepreneurs and SME owner-managers.  By working closely with key economic stakeholders (Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), Local Authorities, and Chambers of Commerce) this unit deployed the largest portfolio of publicly funded SME support programmes of any UK Business School to drive the economic potential of SMEs. Pathways to the impact were secured through £34.7m in grants that enabled tailored support to 1,632 SMEs over 6 years, resulting in 312 new and 114 safeguarded jobs, 100 innovations, improvements for women and ethnic minority entrepreneurs receiving support, improved sustainability, and a net GVA improvement of £44.5m for the region.

Embedding the micro-dynamics of ethics across professional fields: Research undertaken within this unit explored how ethical behaviours are deeply embedded in the everyday micro-dynamics of practice, an issue negatively impacting the 828,000 workers suffering from anxiety and stress in the UK. The unit’s closeness-to-practice, especially through its board memberships, consultancy and its Researcher Development Hub events, connected current issues with researchers. As a result, researchers were invited to use the findings to design applied research interventions with a wide range of practice communities: three councils in the North West and one council in the South East of England, in addition to two international professional membership organisations. These interventions then led to changes in workplace environments for, and behaviour of, >8,800 employees, improvements in the services for 1.1m residents, and the creation or refinement of industry-wide professional body frameworks and development programmes. Such changes represent deep changes in practice reaching >130,000 practice-based learners in the UK, and practitioners in >20 countries.

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