Victoria Williams is appealing for volunteers over the next year to study the experiences of those working with endometriosis and the influence of menstrual policy.
This is a subject close to her own heart as someone who suffers with endometriosis, a chronic condition affecting one and a half million women in the UK, predominantly of working age. Last year, her work was referenced in a Parliamentary debate and she was also one of the speakers at TEDxOpenUniversity as well as a Business Network Breakfast Briefing.
Victoria said: “As part of this longitudinal study, I am looking for 15-20 people aged 18-49 with medically diagnosed endometriosis. I want the sample to be as diverse as possible to reflect the community and different working sectors across the UK.”
A first interview will take place in the coming months, followed by a diary study over the winter, and then a second interview in spring 2021. Please contact Victoria if you want more information and to note your interest. See the full details here.
Prof Jo Brewis, one of Vickie’s PhD supervisors, was due to chair a panel of experts and fellow endometriosis sufferers at an awareness event on campus in Milton Keynes in March. Unfortunately the ‘Managing Endometriosis at Work’ (#EndoWorkTaboo) work was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, with a new date yet to be set.
Carlos Azevedo was invited to write a blog post for Private School Policy Reform (PSPR) – available here. This is a volunteer-run organisation whose purpose is to further the public debate around private schools in the UK, as a platform for research, opinion and panel debates.
PSPR is pro-reform of the private school sector, on the grounds that poor and disadvantaged pupils should be able to access the same quality of education and level of resources as their wealthiest peers. Francis Green (Professor of Work and Education Economics at UCL Institute of Education), co-author of ‘Engines of Privilege: Britain’s Private School Problem’, is one of the founders of PSPR and its research lead.
Gauri Misra passed her PhD viva on 1 April with her thesis, ‘Exploring the Role of Private Sector in Development – Multi-national Corporations and Product Innovations for the Bottom of the Pyramid Consumers’.
Her supervisors are Dr Morteza Abolhasani and OU colleagues Dr Dinar Kale, Prof Theo Papaioannou and Dr Andrew Lindridge. The panel was chaired by Dr Peter Robbins, external examiner was Prof Mark Tadajewski (Royal Holloway, University of London, and University of York) and the internal examiner was Prof Hazel Johnson. Gauri is actively looking for opportunities to engage with research and teaching in academia as well as planning on disseminating her research through publications.
Gemma Bend passed her PhD viva on 31 March with her thesis, ‘Under Pressure to Be ‘Normal’: An Exploration of the Material-Discursive Practices that Affect the Experience of ‘Gender’ and ‘Disability’ in Employment’.
Her supervisors are Dr Cinzia Priola, Dr Charles Barthold and Dr Peter Bloom. The panel was chaired by Prof Richard Holti, external examiner was Prof Kate Sang (Heriot-Watt University) and the internal examiner was Prof Emma Bell. Gemma will be working with some OU colleagues on a small research project before looking for a job while completing her corrections.
Congratulations to Gidraph Michuki who passed his PhD viva on Wednesday 18 March for his thesis, ‘Consumer Tribes Versus Traditional Tribes that Consume: An Investigation into Tribesmen-constituted Collectives in Kenya’.
His supervisors were Dr Bjorn Claes and Dr Morteza Abolhasani, with external supervision from Dr Tim Butcher and Dr Andrew Lindridge. The external examiner was Prof Mark Tadajeweski (University of York) and the internal examiner was Dr Fiona Harris.
Six new PhD students (shown with some of our current students) have been welcomed into the Faculty, having started their studies on 1 February 2020.
This includes three students who have joined as part of the ‘Organizational and legal responses to climate change’ research initiative:
Fulvio Scognamiglio – ‘Sustainable cities through the New Public Governance. Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in a wicked world’. Supervisors are Alessandro Sancino and Les Budd.
Princess Anifowose – ‘The Agency of Social Intrapreneurs within emergent sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems: A study of firms in Lagos, Nigeria’. Supervisors are Wenjin Dai and Richard Blundel.
Zaineb Bouharda – ‘Investigating how governments use social marketing to reduce carbon footprint’. Supervisors are Fiona Harris and Gordon Liu.
These projects will bring a fresh perspective on the challenge of addressing the climate change and related environmental crises by exploring innovative organisational and socio-legal responses. They will also support interdisciplinary collaboration with other faculties and provide a focus for research, teaching and engagement activities in this area.
Other PhD research projects are:
Simona Radu – ‘E-health services: the intervention of digital technology on consumers’ health experience and wellbeing’. Supervisors are Xia Zhu and Liz Daniel.
Olga Solovyeva – ‘Populist leadership in organisational context; the case of Crimea annexation and its influence on Russian business culture’. Supervisors are Alex Bristow, Owain Smolovic Jones and Emma Bell.
Also welcome to Scott Steele, an FBL student on the AstrobiologyOU research group project, Are we alone in the Universe? This is part of the recent £6.7 million grant from Research England which aims to help address fundamental questions about life beyond the Earth. Based in STEM’s School of Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences, Scott’s project is ‘The future of the COSPAR Planetary Protection Guidelines: Space Governance and Astrobiology’. His supervisors are Suzanne Schwenzer from STEM and Simon Lee.
Congratulations to Linna Sai who passed her viva with minor corrections in November 2019 and has now been awarded her PhD. Her thesis title was ‘Understanding ambivalence as an emotional response to organisation change under New Public Management: A study of English housing associations’ and her supervisors were Emma Bell and Cristina Quinones. The external examiner was Professor John McCauley from Sheffield Hallam University, the internal examiner was Mark Fenton-O’Creevy and the viva was chaired by Jo Brewis. Linna has been appointed as a lecturer at Huddersfield Business School.
Congratulations to Ketty Grishikashvili who, following her viva in the spring, was awarded her PhD in November 2019. Her thesis title was ‘Capabilities for Big Data: An Empirical Study in the Global Pharmaceutical Company’, with supervisors Professor Liz Daniel and Dr Giacomo Carli. The panel chair was Professor Richard Holti, the external examiner was Professor Ashley Braganza from Brunel University and the internal examiner was Professor Gordon Liu. Since May, Ketty has been working as a Senior Lecturer in Strategic Management at the University of Hertfordshire Business School.
Congratulations to Ariane Hillig who passed her PhD viva on 3 September 2019 with her thesis titled ‘Everyday Financialization: The case of UK Households’. The supervisors were Dr Dimitris Sotiropoulos and OU colleague Andrew Trigg, the external examiner was Professor Gary Dymski from Leeds University Business School, chair was Dr Les Budd and the internal examiner was Dr Matthew Haigh. Ariane now works at Goldsmiths, University of London, as a Lecturer in Economics.
And congratulations to Richmond Lamptey who has been recommended for the award of a PhD following his successful viva on 15 October 2019. His thesis was titled ‘The Influences of Bank-Based and Capital Market-Based Impact Investments on SME Financing in Ghana: Governance, Strategy Change and Impacts’. His lead supervisor is Dr Michael Ngoasong and second supervisor is Professor Richard Blundel who took over from Dr Silvia Sachetti in 2017. The external examiner was Professor Paul Robson (Professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategy, Royal Holloway, University of London). Dr Carolin Decker-Lange was internal examiner and the viva was chaired by Professor Mark Fenton-O’Creevy.
PhD student Victoria ‘Vickie’ Williams is one of the speakers for the prestigious TEDxOpenUniversity event on campus in Milton Keynes on Friday 8 November 2019. You can watch the talks remotely, or catch the recordings afterwards, if you were not successful in the ballot to secure a ticket. The full list of speakers is available here. Vickie is researching the experience of endometriosis in the workplace and the influence of menstrual policy, organising workshops and retreats to support people living with the condition. She previously spent seven years working in the digital industry while living with this invisible condition after completing a BSc at King’s College London.
Nine new doctoral students – seven in the Business School and two in the Law School – joined in October 2019. This includes two students who are being funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), respectively.
In DPO, Chaka Bachman is investigating global LGBT equality in multinational companies, supervised by Professor Jo Brewis and Dr Cinzia Priola. Serena Cavalera’s PhD project is on ‘Gender Performativity within Underground Heavy Metal’, supervised by Dr Caroline Clarke, Professor Jo Brewis and Dr Nela Smolovic Jones. Audrey Joseph’s PhD will be based on a qualitative analysis of black female entrepreneurs in the British childcare sector, supervised by Dr Cinzia Priola and Dr Charles Barthold.
Katy Woodger, funded by the ESRC, will be supervised by Dr Charles Barthold and OU colleague Dr David Jones in FASS, together with Professor Steve Brown (Nottingham Trent) as external supervisor, on a project to explore the ‘Experiences of mental health service users’.
Based in PuLSE, Stephen Reid will be studying ‘Strategic Management in Government Agencies’, supervised by Professor George Frynas, Professor Edoardo Ongaro and Dr Alessandro Sancino.
In DAF, Demetrios Pachnis is studying ‘The rise of ‘platform’ companies and their role in value creation, business concentration and investment’, supervised by Dr Dimitris Sotiropoulos and Dr Daniele Tori. And Pradeep Debata will be studying the financing of infrastructure projects in the UK, supervised by Professor Ali Ataullah and Professor Dev Kodwani.
In the Law School, our student funded by the AHRC, Edward Rees, will be studying ‘The 1836 Prisoners’ Counsel Act’, supervised by Dr Caroline Derry and Hugh McFaul. Student Experience Manager Allison Wolfreys is investigating ‘The Child’s Voice in Mediated Child Abduction (Private Family Law)’, supervised by Professors Simon Lee and Eddie Abbott-Halpin, together with Professor Helen Stalford (Liverpool) as external supervisor.
Congratulations to Olga Andrianova who passed her PhD viva with a thesis entitled ‘Employee Engagement in Corporate Greening: A Study of Front-Line Managers in Belarusian Companies’ on 22 August. Olga’s supervisors were Dr Diane Preston, Dr Owain Smolovic Jones and Dr Anja Schaefer. The internal examiner was Dr Jacqueline Baxter and the external examiner was Dr Simon Brooks. Olga has joined the University of Exeter as an Industrial Impact Fellow.
Jo Vincett and Akash Puranik won two of the four awards to doctoral students for best paper presentations at the 14th Annual Ethnography Symposium. Our doctoral students received £200 each, sponsored by Palgrave Macmillan and Routledge, at this year’s conference which had the theme of ‘Seeing, Sensing and Following’. In keeping with this theme, Jo (from the Department for People and Organisations, DPO), presented her research project, which uses novel means of dissemination of ethnographic data: capturing the emotive, tactile and often intangible aspects of immigration detainees’ lived experiences with the use of origami art and illustrative non-fiction comics.
Akash (from the Department for Public Leadership and Social Enterprise, PuLSE) also presented a paper that speaks of the disorder, mess and chaos within the ethnographic fieldwork, challenging the ‘a priori’ assumptions regarding the importance of order in research methods. The 2019 conference at the University of Portsmouth aimed to bring together ethnographers from different disciplines who engage in wide forms of ethnographic research, particularly focusing on the richness and diversity of methods used in research.
Welcome to Ida Okkonen, a Visiting PhD student from Jyväskylä University School of Business and Economics in Finland, who will be spending the next six months in the Faculty. Ida, who will be based in the Department for People and Organisations (DPO) from September 2019 until the end of February 2020, looks forward to meeting everyone in the Faculty during her visit.
She graduated with a BSc in Kinesiology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 2011, and went on to Masters study (Kinesiology, and Business and Economics) at the University of Jyväskylä. Her PhD project is a qualitative study of the refugee crisis which focuses on the ethical dilemmas experienced by managers in reception centres for asylum seekers, and how they cope with them. Ida, who is doing a PhD by publication with her first article published in the journal Ethics and Social Welfare, is currently interested in moral emotions and agency.
Jo Vincett has won the Outstanding Paper in the 2019 Emerald Literati Awards for her article which was published in the Journal of Organizational Ethnography. These prestigious awards have celebrated and rewarded the outstanding contributions of authors and reviewers to scholarly research for more than 25 years. Her award-winning article, ‘Researcher self-care in organizational ethnography: lessons from overcoming compassion fatigue’, has now been made freely available for the next 12 months by Emerald Publishing.
Dr Alexandra Bristow is leading on a new teaching scheme which will allow the Faculty’s PhD students to develop their teaching skills and experience and so improve their future employability. This exciting initiative starting in October 2019 aims to provide a structured approach to training PhD students in distance learning provision, giving them a distinct set of skills in the academic job market.
Dr Bristow has been appointed as Deputy Director of the Research Degrees Programme, as of 1 October. Professor Emma Bell is Director of the Research Degrees Programme.
Vickie Williams won the Best Poster and the People’s Choice of Poster at the OU Graduate School's Poster Competition on 11 June 2019.
This was for her poster and research work on – ‘RED AGENDA. The Invisible & Invasive Nature of Endometriosis at Work’.
Vickie is being supervised by Professor Jo Brewis and Dr Cinzia Priola as well as Professor Kate Sang from Heriot-Watt University.
Congratulations to Andres Morales-Pachon who passed his PhD viva on ‘Indigenous-Hybrid organisations in Columbia – a multi-level analysis within the ‘Buen Vivir’ model’. His supervisors are Dr Michael Ngoasong and OU colleague Roger Spear (Professor of Social Entrepreneurship). The external examiner was Professor Lars Halgard from Roskilde University in Denmark and the internal examiner was Professor Richard Blundel.
Also congratulations to Graeme Smith who passed his PhD viva on ‘Godley’s Macroeconomic Ratios: An Empirical Investigation into Stock-Flow Norms’. His supervisors are Dr Dimitris Sotiropoulos and OU colleague Andrew Trigg (Senior Lecturer in Economics, FASS). The external examiner was Professor Malcolm Sawyer from the University of Leeds and the internal examiner was OU colleague Roberto Simonetti (Senior Lecturer in Economics, FASS).
The Faculty’s PhD Colloquium on 10 April 2019 saw an entertaining keynote from Professor Chris Grey of Royal Holloway University of London on his work on Brexit, plus 14 full paper presentations, 15 roundtable presentations and three posters!
Richmond Lamptey won the Best Full Paper Award; Jose Fevereiro won the Best Roundtable Presentation Award; and Vickie Williams won the Best Poster Award.
The organising committee (pictured) of Laura Reeves, Kweku Arthur-Annobil and Elena Tudosie put the event together, as well as presenting papers of their own, with fantastic support from Research and Enterprise Coordinator Lin Nilsen.
The Faculty will be welcoming two PhD students in October 2019 who have been awarded UK Research and Innovation studentships.
Edward Rees won his studentship from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Open-Oxford-Cambridge Doctoral Training Partnership, which is accepting students for the first time this year. His PhD project is entitled ‘The 1836 Prisoners’ Counsel Act: the pursuit of truth?’ and he is due to be supervised by the Law School’s Dr Caroline Derry and Dr Anne Wesemann, as well as a colleague from History.
Katy Woodger, who won her studentship from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Grand Union Doctoral Training Partnership, will be working on a project entitled ‘Experiences of mental health service users: from self-management and self-governance to user-led services’. The pathway that Katy applied for is also new this year, and her supervisors are due to be Professor Steve Brown and Dr Charles Barthold from the Department for People and Organisations (DPO).
Congratulations to Nela Smolović Jones who has been recommended for the award of a PhD without errors, corrections or amendments following her viva in March 2019. The title of Nela’s thesis is ‘Performative democratic practice: an ethnographic study of the Women’s Rights Centre in Montenegro’. She was supervised by Dr Nik Winchester and Dr Caroline Clarke and her examiners were Professor Jo Brewis (internal) and Professor Torkild Thanem from Stockholm University, Sweden. Nela now holds a lectureship in organisation studies in the Faculty.
Seven new PhD students have been encouraged to play an active role in the Faculty, such as attending departmental seminars and meetings, after beginning their studies on Friday 1 February 2019.
The Department for People and Organisations (DPO) has three new students. Seth Hunter will be focusing on service user engagement with grassroots spaces of recovery (supervisors Professor Steve Brown and Dr Tim Butcher, and Professor Paula Reavey from London South Bank University). Rachel Waddingham, better known as Rai, will be focusing on leadership and strategy in alternative organising for mental health (supervisors Professor Steve Brown and Dr Charles Barthold, and Professor Paula Reavey). Vickie Williams will be focusing on the influence of organisational menstrual policies on women with endometriosis (supervisors Professor Jo Brewis and Dr Cinzia Priola, and Professor Kate Sang from Heriot-Watt University).
PuLSE’s Gizem Kutlu (supervised by Dr Aqueel Wahga and Professor Michael Ngoasong) will be studying the influence of gender on environmental entrepreneurship. Sally Vivyan (supervised by Dr Carol Jacklin-Jarvis, Dr Nik Winchester and Dr James Rees) will be exploring voluntary sector leadership in small and medium-sized UK charities.
In the Law School, Simon Pratt will be supervised by Dr Robert Herian and Dr Caroline Derry and his focus will be on legal history. Leona Samuda is exploring women and ethnic minorities in modern law (supervisors are Dr Emma Jones and Dr Caroline Derry).
Tam Nguyen (pictured, centre) won the Best Student Paper award at the 2018 European Social Marketing Conference in Antwerp, Belgium. Her paper, ‘One Financial Education Intervention, Two Performances, What Happened?’, discussed True Potential PUFin’s short course, ‘Managing My Money’ to explain why one financial education intervention does not always offer repeated performance through the lens of social marketing.
Eight new PhD students have been encouraged to play an active role in the Faculty, such as attending departmental seminars and meetings, after beginning their studies on Monday 1 October 2018.
In the Business School, Awele Achi is investigating the construct and antecedents of social innovation with his research supervised by Professor Gordon Liu and Dr Fiona Harris (Strategy and Marketing). Located in the Department for People and Organisations, Kay Logan will be focusing on authentic leadership coaching for NHS leaders (supervisors Professor Richard Holti and Dr Owain Smolovic Jones). PuLSE’s Sampierre Mendy (supervised by Professor Edoardo Ongaro and Dr Alessandro Sancino) will be studying context in the strategic management of public organisations.
The Centre for Policing Research and Learning (CPRL) has recruited two part-time doctoral students. David Penney’s PhD title is ‘Tackling serious and organised crime: Processes, Challenges and Consequences of Prioritisation’ (supervised by Mark Roycroft, Lara Frumkin and Paul Mulholland). Nicole Woodhall’s area of interest is in ‘Incidence rate of indecent images of children in the UK and policing’s capacity to respond to the increasing threat’ (supervisors Heather Montgomery and Paul Walley).
In the Law School, Adedamola Gbolahan will be supervised by Dr Marjan Ajevski, Professor Simon Lee and Dr Olga Jurasz; her focus will be on measuring the quality of the international judiciary. Michael Lewis is exploring consent as a legitimising factor in processing personal data and ‘big data’ (supervisors are Professor Simon Lee and Dr Caroline Derry). Finally, Alex Murray’s PhD research builds on the themes of belonging and community and focuses on legal frameworks for dealing with chronic illness; this study will be supervised by Dr Caroline Derry and Dr Matthew Howard.
Seven of the eight (Michael Lewis was unable to attend) are shown with Emma Bell, Director of Research Degrees.
Carlos Azevedo in the Department for People and Organisations (DPO) was awarded a full scholarship by the Australasian Caucus (ACSCOS) and Standing Conference on Organizational Symbolism (SCOS) to present a paper based on his research. This was at the SCOS/ACSCOS Conference at Meiji University in Tokyo, Japan, from 17-20 August 2018. The award was based on the abstract quality and alignment with the ‘Wabi-sabi (侘寂): Imperfection, incompleteness and impermanence in organizational life’ theme. Carlos is supervised by Dr Caroline Clarke and Dr Peter Bloom (DPO) and Dr Jacqueline Baxter (PuLSE).
Carlos and Marco Distinto also presented papers based on their respective ongoing doctoral research at the 34th EGOS Colloquium in Estonia’s capital Tallinn from 5-7 July 2018. Marco’s paper was entitled ‘Where do you go from here: Exploring meanings and practices of integration within an Italian refugee reception centre’, and Carlos’ paper was ‘Students as consumers: A surprisingly mundane metaphor for understanding complex realities?’ Both papers were well received by the academic community attending, Carlos’ paper nominated by the three convenors of his sub-theme for consideration for the ‘Best Student Paper EGOS 2018’ award.