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PhD Scholarships Business Management 2019-2020
£15,009 (the annual stipend) plus a research support allowance of £2,250
Up to 2 Scholarships
Social Sciences
Entry date
16 September 2019


The Department of Business Management is offering up to two PhD scholarships to start in the academic year 2019-2020.  The term of the scholarship is three years. The scholarship covers fees and successful candidates will receive an annual maintenance allowance (set at £15,009 for 2019/20) and a research support allowance of £2,250 over the registered period of study.  In addition, full-time scholarship holders are normally offered an opportunity to undertake at least 20 hours of paid teaching support each academic year.

We would welcome applications in any of the project areas which are listed below (please note that applicants should submit an application for only one project):  

Marketing Group:

MA1. Consumers’ online gaming addiction in the leisure consumption industry

There is growing concern that online game gambling causes significant potential harm for some individuals and for society. Online game gambling purchase is a momentum-oriented accomplishment which nourishes interactive sociality and high immersion. This study will explore consumers’ online gaming addiction and the influence of potential mediating factors by employing marketing and psychological theories (e.g., attributional and guilt) in the leisure consumption industry. (Potential supervisors: Babak Taheri and Nigel Caldwell)

MA2. Gamification in tourism services and innovation

Tourists increasingly seek physical, emotional and intellectual stimulation with experience industry, which provide them a memorable experience. Games are capable of creating such powerful experiences in constructed alternative worlds though emotional involvement, anticipation, challenge, accomplishment and playfulness, all the aspects that can make an experience memorable in real life. Gamification has a potential to bring experience innovation to tourism. Thus, this study aims to explore gamification in tourism services and innovation. (Potential supervisors: Babak Taheri and Agnessa Shpakova)

MA3. Sharing economy, innovative business and smart cities

In recent years, the sharing economy has attracted growing interest from scholars of tourism and hospitality marketing management, who have investigated different sharing economy models (e.g. chaperones, franchisers, gardeners, principals, etc.); strategic frameworks (e.g. B2B and B2C) and overarching theories (e.g. complexity theory, social exchange theory, value co-creation, social cognitive theory, to name but a few) in order to evaluate a profitable service performance.  There are still, however, enormous opportunities for research to further explore these phenomena. Thus, this research will develop and assess new, innovative business models to enable smart cities and business-government relations to drive more innovative platforms within hospitality and tourism businesses. (Potential supervisors: Babak Taheri and Chris Dodd)

HRM Group:

HRM1. The intersection of gender and disability in highly skilled careers

There is a strong body of evidence that women continue to face a number of barriers to full career participation, including discrimination. In addition, a small body of work has shown that disabled people experience considerable difficulties in securing and maintaining employment including in highly skilled careers. However, there is very little work which explores how gender and disability intersect to inform workplace experiences and career progression.  Building on current work undertaken by Kate Sang and James Richards on disability and science careers, this PhD will adopt a qualitative approach (specifically interviews, focus groups or ethnography) to advance intersectionality theory to understand how gender and disability interact in the context of highly skilled careers.  (Potential supervisors: Kate Sang, James Richards and Lakshman Wimalasena)

Logistic & Supply Chain Group:

LSC1. Gamification intervention for organising smallholder farming cooperatives

Limited supply chain management capability is one of the issues that prevent small farmers in developing countries from rising above subsistence level farming. The best solution is often to form a cooperative, however smallholders lack organising, managerial, and accounting skills, as well as knowledge of basic supply chain management and trust building.  The study will combine theories from collaboration and gamification to build capacity and capability among small holder farming communities, through the design of gamified intervention tools to trigger effective behavioural change and promote cooperative organisation. (Potential supervisors: Nigel Caldwell and Agnessa Shpakova)

LSC2. Transition design for radical accelerated technology changes to business systems

Many new technology innovations such as Blockchain and IoT will radically change the organisation of business systems. These new systems embrace distributed architectures which are radically different from the widely adopted centralised enterprise systems currently used by businesses. The transition from the existing to new radically different systems is poorly understood. The disruptive nature of radical change creates opportunities for organisations to develop new sources of competitive advantage. This process will need to address the challenge of transition and specifically the need to integrate distributed systems into the existing centralised enterprise business systems.The extant literature and therefore knowledge of transitions and the effect of business inertia created by the incumbent systems is poorly understood, and the associated theories need to be developed if effective business strategies for technology transitions are to be identified. The aim of this PhD will be to understand the strategies, mechanisms, and processes that will need to be implemented in order to secure successful strategies and the associated development of competitive advantage.  (Potential supervisors: Phil Greening and Christine Rutherford)

LSC3. Developing sustainable supply chains using disruptive technology

Increased connectivity, combined with the development of distributed artificial intelligence will shift the locus of control from centralised business units to fragmented asset and product structures. This change could offer new opportunities to develop resilient efficiency.  The whole system mechanisms and impact of these changes is poorly described by extant theories. The aim of this PhD will be to understand the potential beneficial sustainability impacts of increased connected distributed intelligence in a supply chain context. (Potential supervisors: Phil Greening and Christine Rutherford)

Strategy, Operations and Performance Group:

SPP1. Impact of perceived leadership behaviour and behavioural integrity on organisational commitment and performance

The purpose of this PhD scholarship study is to explore the impact of perceived leadership behaviour and behavioural integrity on employee organisational commitment and performance. Previous research has demonstrated that leadership influences organisational commitment, which in turn is an important ingredient in determining the behaviour of employees at work. Leadership integrity is also suggested as another important variable that influences employees’ behaviour and perceptions. It is proposed that leaders with high integrity elicit greater levels of cooperative work behaviour from employees, because of fair treatment. Leaderships link with organisational commitment is well established, but not with integrity. (Potential supervisors: Colin Turner and John Sanders)


All applications must be submitted by Tuesday 23 April 2019

Entry requirements

All applications will be reviewed within the relevant department with a shortlisting decision made based on qualifications, the research proposal and the availability of a supervisory team.  Short listed applicants must have the equivalent of a 1st class honours undergraduate degree, or a Masters degree with an average mark of 65% or higher and a dissertation mark of 65% or higher.  Applicants who are unsure if their qualifications meet the minimum criteria should contact  Please note that possession of the minimum qualifications does not guarantee shortlisting for interview.

How to apply

Please submit your application via online application form.

Please select the option “PhD Management” and state clearly on your application that you are applying for a PhD scholarship and quote the relevant project Reference Number on your proposal.

In order that your application can be processed, please ensure that all the supporting documents listed below are submitted with your application:

1. Research proposal (approximately 5 – 8 pages)  

On the front page of your research proposal, please ensure that you state the relevant project Reference.

The research proposal should contain as much as possible of the following: an introduction or outline of the proposed topic; a statement of objectives and/or specific research questions; a summary of some of the relevant literature which supports the research objective(s); an indication of the intended research methodology; an indication of the theoretical structure and/or conceptual outline; a provisional timetable of the major phases of the research process; results expected from the research e.g. practical value of the research or possible contributions to knowledge or policy or methodology.  At this stage we are not looking for a definitive document but merely an indication that you have thought through most of the above issues.

Please note that work submitted may be subject to screening via plagiarism software.

2. Academic Transcripts and Degree Certificates

Copies of full academic transcripts from all previous academic degree courses and copies of degree certificates for degrees already awarded.  If you are currently pursuing a degree course please provide all available marks to date.

3. Curriculum Vitae

A CV should be submitted.

4. References

If you have references available these should be submitted with your application.

English language requirements

If you have not already studied a degree programme that was taught and examined in the medium of English we require evidence of language proficiency.   For IELTS: the minimum overall IELTS score is 6.5 with no score lower than 6.0 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.  

Further information can be found on the UK Government's Knowledge of English page.

Queries may be directed to