Birmingham Business School PhD scholarship topics

Stock market disclosure requirements as a source of corporate normativity

University of Birmingham Business School, Department of Accounting

Professor Jan Bebbington ( and Dr Nick Rowbottom (

Stock exchanges are influential shapers of company disclosure expectations with respect to environmental risks but little is known about how stock exchanges view this role nor what risks might be inherent in the distribution of industry listings on particular stock exchanges. This PhD will address this subject area by: (1) identifying which sectors dominate what stock exchanges; (2) understanding the environmental risks arising from the distribution of industries across different stock markets; and (3) exploring how these findings might influence environmental risk disclosure requirements in the future (drawing from experiences of existing disclosure requirements).

How tax policy is shaping environmental goals

University of Birmingham Business School, Department of Accounting

Professor Penelope Tuck ( and Dr Rodrigo Ormeño- Pérez (

This qualitative project will look at the growth in environmental taxation and analyse the way in which different forms of environmental tax policy can shape the environmental space. It will also consider how the differing approaches in the UK devolved nations are affecting the environmental debates. For instance landfill taxes have different systems, rules and approaches in both Scotland and Wales compared to England and Northern Ireland. The project will specifically look at understanding the practice of regulating environmental taxation.

Accounting as constitutive: a historical and contemporary perspective

University of Birmingham Business School, Department of Accounting

Dr Ann-Christine Frandsen ( and Dr Wafa Ben-Khalid (

This project will investigate accounting and accountability as a primary driver of both managing and governing, as exemplified by managing via accounting, in both contemporary and historical settings. The project aims to conceptualise accounting in new ways that will pay special attention to accounting as naming and counting from its invention to Mesopotamian 3,000 BC before writing. It will also analyse more contemporary settings where accounting’s naming and counting is constitutive as sustainable development/management. This will include managing by targets, cost/benefit decisions and dilemmas, and will consider the extent and the forms in which managing via accounting may systematically transform ways of thinking, acting and how we live our lives.

Relationships between wearable technology, self-efficacy and well-being

University of Birmingham Business School, Department of Marketing

Professor Lloyd Harris ( and Dr Raphaël Akamavi (

Wearable technology (WT)’s ownership (e.g. smartwatch, fitness band/sport watch has increased from 3% (2015) to 17% (2018) in UK. The awareness of health literacy makes people self-efficacious in engaging in sport-fitness using WT trackers. Indeed, healthcare and wellbeing are key drivers of buying WT products. However, little is known about WT’s impact on self-efficacy and wellness. Therefore, this study examines WT’s effect on wellness through the mediating variable self-efficacy. Using a mixed method methodology, this study will elucidate WT’s relationships with the improvement of self-efficacy and wellness of UK people. Potential results can assist policymakers in the health care sector.

Communicating Difficult Health Messages

University of Birmingham Business School, Department of Marketing

Professor Isabelle Szmigin ( and Dr Sheena Leek (

Social media has changed marketing from the simple dissemination of information by organisations to the creation, sharing and exchange of ideas between various stakeholders. This can, as a result lead to certain stakeholder groups taking an unintended perspective of the original message; for example Cancer Research UK’s campaign linking obesity to cancer was perceived as fat shaming and received substantial negative publicity. This research aims to identify themes and discourse of debate around health messages on social media, determine how organisations can engage effectively and encourage healthy, civilised discourse.