Doctoral Research

Please note, this page is no longer being updated. For all the latest information about PhD research in the Lord Ashcroft International Business School, please visit our Research courses page.

As part of our vibrant research culture we continue to develop the next generation of academic talent. Our PhD researchers make an important contribution to the work of the institute and we are delighted to have them introduce themselves and their research.

Our current PhD Researchers :

Michael Duignan

Managing interests in mega-event projects: London 2012's local business communities

I am an Associate Lecturer and Doctoral Researcher at the Institute of International Management Practice (IIMP) with professional experience both leading national UK government funded projects and lecturing on undergraduate/postgraduate (MBA) university programmes in both UK (Cambridge) and European Universities (Berlin).

My research interests include:

  • Impacts of events (economic/social), specifically on local business communities around core event zones
  • Project management of mega-events and local festival projects, specifically how competing interests are managed
  • Entrepreneurship - specifically how local entrepreneurs innovate and respond to uncertainty - and opportunities ('strategic event leveraging')
  • Case study research on the London 2012 Olympic Games and local Cambridge-based festival projects

You can follow my research and teaching on my blog: 'Olympic Researcher', via Twitter @michaelbduignan and read my full biography here.

Contact Michael Duignan:

Ricardo Carolas

User Innovation in healthcare provision

I joined the PhD programme in January 2013. The focus of my study is on user-innovation.

I will be looking at the role that users play within the innovation process in the healthcare sector and how collaboration between the different stakeholders in the industry contributes to the development of healthcare as something that is available, accessible, affordable and appropriate.

Ultimately, the findings aim to provide a framework that organisations within the healthcare sector could adopt in order to explore new and effective ways to implement user-innovation strategies.

Contact Ricardo Carolas:

Imko Meyenburg

Eclecticism and methodological pluralism in economics, a critical review (working title)

I am a PhD student in the 'pluralism in economics' research group. I started my course in March 2013 and the specific aim of my research is an investigation into eclecticism and its relationship with methodology, ontology and eventually research ethics.

The motivation behind this research is twofold: first, there is an ongoing critical debate amongst orthodox and heterodox economists about the meaning and necessity of pluralism as a form of opposition to theoretical dogmatism. Amongst its defenders, eclecticism is described as the best way to fight against such dogmatism. Second, the systematic openness of forms of eclecticism, both praised by its defenders and demonised by its opponents, raises the provocative question whether eclecticism could be an essential condition for pluralist economists. This provocative nature also has the potential for deep intellectual discussions as found in other disciplines.

I hold a Master of Business degree (first class honours) in economics from the Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand. My background is in institutional and evolutionary economics and my thesis focuses on a theoretical synthesis in order to explain the advent and distribution of consumption preferences through complex communicational acts on socially constructed institutions.

Contact Imko Meyenburg:

Irina Popova

Mindfulness for social innovation and sustainability in enterprise

I am researching the role of mindfulness for social innovation and sustainability in enterprises.

As the world today is characterised by predominantly hierarchical managerial practices, high levels of stress, uncontrolled growth and constantly increasing environmental problems it is important to step back and explore a practice that is gaining more and more recognition in the workplace today, which is mindfulness. Potentially it can be linked to the other two concepts and its influence on them will be analysed in this study.

Contact Irina Popova:

Alireza Rohani

Carbon management accounting and the role of management accountants

My study will concentrate on carbon management accounting and especially the role of management accountants to respond to climate change and carbon footprints. Carbon management accounting as a part of sustainability management accounting has been designed to provide information and mechanisms on collecting, analysing, managing, and communicating internally to assist managers to encounter short/long term decisions relating to carbon management.

Management accountants can play a prominent role in order to support organizations to respond to climate change more effectively (based on the skills and tools they have). Although several studies have investigated the benefits achieved from adapting sustainability management accounting, limited numbers of studies have concentrated on carbon management accounting and especially the role of management accountants.

Contact Alireza Rohani:

Smitha Sebastian

The history of organizational and workplace ethnography.

My study attempts to contextualise history and understand the processes involved in the emergence of meaning and knowledge in organisational and workplace ethnographic studies.

Although researchers in the past have engaged in chronological narratives of individual organizations and meta-analysis of past ethnographic studies, very few researchers have raised the epistemological and ontological questions concerning the context and process of the past.

The current research locates itself in the discourse that historical analysis will provide informed perspective on organising and research practices and will help in theorizing the past.

Contact Smitha Sebastian:

IIMP Scrum

Michael Duignan
Associate Lecturer / Ph.D. Researcher (Olympic Studies)

"The 'Scrum' started with its first get together on the 11 Feb, and it has provided a great environment and excuse to get all of the IIMP (and some LAIBS) PhD researchers together in one space.

For me personally, the beauty of the whole concept is that the agenda is driven by the needs of those within it - be it reading and debating cross-disciplinary scholarly texts, right through to brainstorming ideas around the creation of a TEDx conference! Thanks to Dr Will Turner, the group has also implemented its first project of getting our personal IIMP research profiles online too - a great step forward for getting our research out there and a space where we can continue to add to and update as our research changes! The group also compliments a lot of the other activities going on across the faculty e.g. the new LAIBS 'Seasonal Researcher Exchange' programme (Launched on 5 June), internal workshops hosted by the IIMP and the LAIBS research skills workshops run by Dr Andy Armitage. Collectively all these activities are a useful way of getting us together, facilitate discussion and learn and develop the skills required to complete the PhD at the end of the three years.

The group also serves as a regular milestone in the PhD; an opportunity to reflect against where I was one month ago, and just update my IIMP peers on any progress made (and sometimes show off any particular findings!). These things always seem so obvious, but just a bit of peer to peer support can work wonders; particularly as the PhD can be quite solitary at times. The main thing is that we have a space where we can all keep in touch, share personal experience and most importantly - enjoy the PhD!

As an IIMP and LAIBS PhD I look forward to see how all the stuff we do continues to evolve and support our own, unique and individual researcher journey?"