Cutting edge research into wellbeing and sustainability celebrated at conference.

Posted on 24th September 2018

Cutting edge business research was celebrated at the University of Chester’s Business School when staff and students were awarded for their ground-breaking analysis of the rapidly changing world of work.

Left to right:  Debbie Rowlett; Jayne Russell; Matt Parkyn; Professor Tony Wall; Langton Mburayi; Vicky Evans (award winners,) with Professor Chris Jones in between.
Left to right: Debbie Rowlett; Jayne Russell; Matt Parkyn; Professor Tony Wall; Langton Mburayi; Vicky Evans (award winners,) with Professor Chris Jones in between.

With the title of ‘Be Brave! Inspiring Individual Impact in the Workplace,’ the research conference reflected the importance of operating at the forefront of knowledge creation, dissemination and communication about the work environment.

The Business School undertakes leading research into workplace wellbeing and sustainability with its International Centre for Thriving at Work, directed by Professor Tony Wall.  Professor Wall, who was awarded the prestigious National Teaching Fellowship in 2016 and this year won Emerald Literati Awards for outstanding and highly commended papers, was recognised and awarded at the conference for his outstanding contribution to the Faculty.

Professor Wall said: “This year, we wanted to learn from the personal stories and strategies of bravery and impact from our international network.

“Dr Anne Pässilä, Lappeenranta University of Technology Finland, shared her innovative practice of collective voicing in complex business environments to create new business models; Dr Paula Nottingham from Middlesex University explored the potential for the professional artefact to create longer lasting impact at work; and Canon Professor Peter Shaw, Durham University, shared influence and impact strategies commonly used with toddlers and teenagers!. 

“Our thanks to all our keynote speakers, who brought our theme of inspiring Individual Impact in the Workplace to life.”

The award winning research celebrated at the conference spanned all areas of business from Entrepreneurship and Management to Marketing, Education, and Finance.

Entrepreneurial resilience was the focus of research by Vicky Evans, a Senior Lecturer in Business and Entrepreneurship. Her research into the experiences of resilient solo entrepreneurs surviving beyond the five-year mark, won her the Research Award for Health and Well-Being in Organisations at the conference.

The same award was jointly presented to doctoral student Matt Parkyn, Director of Caldiston Ltd (specialising in occupational health, safety and Human Resources Management) for his research on the management of workplace stress among workers in the social housing sector.

As well as the workplace, the experience of students at University has also been considered with some enlightening research by Debbie Rowlett, Senior Lecturer in International Business Management. She looked at how their transition to higher education can be helped by embedding independent learning.

Winning the Research Award for Promoting Quality Education for All Debbie said: “"I am so pleased that my research has been well received, I strongly believe this is an area where we can improve outcomes for students' wellbeing and raise attainment levels delivering benefits for everyone."

Three other awards were presented at the conference. The Research Award for Sustainability in the Curriculum went to Langton Mburayi, the Programme Leader for Business Finance, for his study into the extent to which sustainability is integrated into accounting and finance curricula in business schools.

The Research Award for Responsible Consumption went to Teresa Smith Doctor of Business Administration student and Senior Consultant for Pure Energi, specialising in marketing strategy. Exploring a ‘green model’ of marketing, her research looked at strategies for bringing sustainable products to market.

The Research Award for Championing Work and Working Lives went to Jayne Russell (RNutr,) who studied for a Master of Science with the Centre for Work Related Studies and who runs ‘The Russell Effect’, a consultancy specialising in workplace health.

Professor Chris Jones, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Business and Management, said: “It is excellent to see our staff and students being awarded for their outstanding contributions and that we are collectively leading the way forward in the important area of workplace research. Congratulations to all our award winners.”