Dean of Birmingham Business School chairs ABS Annual Research Conference 2014

Dean of Birmingham Business School, Professor Simon Collinson recently chaired the Association of Business Schools (ABS) Annual Research Conference 2014, held at the University of Warwick on 12th March 2014.

The central theme was of the conference was 'Impact Post the First REF'; view the full set of conference themes and presentations (PDF).

In his opening presentation on ‘The Post-REF Research Context for Business Schools’ Professor Collinson made the following 5 key points:

  1. If ESRC funding patterns are any indicator of general trends, research funding for the social sciences is becoming more concentrated in fewer Universities and remains highly variable by discipline in terms of applications and success rates.
  2. Current and future changes in funding patterns are linked strongly to the impact agenda. There is an explicit drive for economies of scale and scope to improve engagement and relevance, alongside a drive for more inter-disciplinary and more international research (these are the three-I’s).
  3. Government agencies and policies beyond the usual funding sources are also promoting this agenda, as demonstrated by the Witty Review, Lord Young’s Royal Charter for small firms and the wider focus on STEM investment and the national skills and capabilities challenge. The ABS is playing a lead role in many of these initiatives
  4. UK sources and particularly UK Government sources of funding for business and management (B&M) research is declining, particularly in proportion to the growth of faculty employed in Business Schools and the number of students taught by Business Schools.
  5. Funding for B&M research from all sources is also increasingly concentrated in fewer institutions.