News 2015


BISC Research Seminar "Understanding the Role of Word-of-Mouth in Agricultural Technology Adoption Using Computer Simulation"

Prof Duan with Dr Zheng

Dr Xiaoping Zheng, who is a visiting scholar from China Agricultural University (CAU), presented his research on "Understanding the Role of Word-of-Mouth in Agricultural Technology Adoption Using Computer Simulation" on 29th July 2015.

Dr Zheng first introduced the concept of computer simulation and its applications in understanding innovation adoption behaviour and diffusion patterns. He conducted a number of demonstrations using NetLogo that is free simulation software.

He then presented his work on using simulation approaches to model the effect of word of mouth on the adoption behaviour among grape farmers in China when adopting a new planting technology.

The seminar generated great interests and discussions among the audience. If you are interested in obtaining a copy of Dr Zheng's presentation or would like to know more about the software he used, please contact Professor Yanqing Duan or Dr Xiaoping Zheng

Two-day workshop on using structural equation modelling: 30 June and 1 July

BMRI structural equation modelling

Professor Mark Shevlin from University of Ulster delivered a two day workshop on using Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) for BMRI staff and research students. This hands-on and interactive workshop aimed to equip participants with necessary understanding and skills in conducting SEM analysis using SPSS AMOS.

About 25 staff and students participated in the workshop and felt that the training was very successful and beneficial.


BMRI organised a workshop on "Big Data and Business Analytics: The future of analytics in UK Logistics"

BMRI Big Data and Business Analytics workshop

BMRI organised a workshop on the theme of Big Data in Logistics in Milton Keynes on Wednesday 10 June 2015. The workshop was funded by the British Academy. Findings of a recent research project on this theme have been presented at the workshop.

The workshop was attended by 35 participants that included a majority (60%) of participants from Industry, from Milton Keynes and beyond. There were also representatives from UKTI and Invest Essex. The remaining participants (37%) were academics and students from the University of Bedfordshire.

Feedback from participants showed that the workshop was well received by the participants. 100% of business participants agreed that the event met its stated objectives. 86% agreed that the outcome of the research project helped them to think about the use of Big Data in their business. 64% wanted to be involved in research in the area. 50% wanted to learn more about how University Campus Milton Keynes/University of Bedfordshire could support their business. 86% said they would recommend this type of event to other businesses.

Further information on the workshop is available by contacting Professor Ram Ramanathan at

Progression Point (PP2) transfer seminars

Claudette Kika & Gbemi Oyedepo

On 10 June 2015, two second year PhD students from the BMRI institute, Claudette Kika and Gbemi Oyedepo had their Progression Point 2 (PP2) transfer seminars. Claudette presented her research on 'Supporting student management with Business Analytics in the UK higher education sector' and Gbemi presented her research on 'Investigating the Sustainability Practices of UK Small and Medium Enterprises.'

Both of them successfully passed their transfer seminars being the first two students in the BMRI to partake in the PP2 process.


BMRI workshop on publishing research articles

John Edwards

On 14 May 2015, BMRI was pleased to have Professor John Edwards from Aston Business School to deliver a half day workshop on publishing research in academic journals. Professor John Edwards' experience spans a 40-year period as an author, reviewer, mentor and journal editor in business and management, information systems and operational research/management science.

The workshop was intended for anyone seeking to publish in a way that furthers their academic careers and/or to increase their chances of publishing articles in good journals. It was especially catered for those who are at or near the start of their research careers. The workshop covered all aspects from publication strategy through choice and targeting of journals, writing the article itself and the review process, and intended to get the audience thinking about their next paper(s).

The workshop was very well received by the audience of over forty staff and research students.


Dr Candan Ertubey's presentation on the "Role of Culture on Perceived Control"

Dr Candan Ertubey

On 27 April 2015, Business and Information Systems Research Centre (BISC) was delighted to invite Dr Candan Ertubey in the Department of Psychology to present her research on the "Role of Culture on Perceived Control." 

Dr Ertubey introduced the concept of perceived control and its growing use to predict human behaviour in a number of fields. Dr Ertubey's study was on how a person's social environment affects the development of his/her perceived control about events around them. The cultures investigated were British (Individualistic) and Turkish (Collectivist), and within each cultural group people that are varied in their religious beliefs.

It was expected that in individual cultures people would be more likely to believe that they have more control of their actions whereas in collectivist culture - more believe in external control. It was also expected that people who believed in religion would be more external in their control. But the results were mixed. It was found that Turkish people were more religious but also internal in their control, as well as believing in luck more than British counterparts. Today the concept of the role of culture is still highly influential in business studies and the prediction of health behaviour. It is still considered to be highly effective economic way of predicting people behaviour in broader sense in a variety of contexts.  But Dr Ertubey argued that caution is needed when we make presumption about influence of social environment on development of people's perception of control.

The research seminar provided a very interesting perspective for business researchers and attracted over 40 students and staff in the Business School.


BISC Research Seminar: 25 February 2015

On Wednesday 25 February 2015, Professor Yanqing Duan and Dr Guangming Cao shared their joint research on the Impact of business analytics on strategic decision-making and innovation with staff and PhD students. Their presentations were based on a research project financed by BMRI and conducted from December 2013 to July 2014.

Dr Cao and Professor Duan were motivated to conduct this project because many businesses are currently struggling to figure out how, where and when to use business analytics to effectively support strategic decision-making and enhance product/service innovation. In order to understand the impact of business analytics, Dr Cao and Professor Duan have developed two research models, which are tested using Smart PLS based on a sample of 296 responses collected from an online survey of UK companies.

Dr Guangming Cao

Dr Cao presented on "Actualising the Affordances of Business Analytics for Strategic Decision-Making". Their research findings suggest that business analytics has a positive effect on strategic decision-making directly and indirectly through the intervening effect of a data-driven culture. Dr Cao highlighted that organisations should have incentives to invest in business analytics because this investment ultimately improves their strategic decision-making, and that organisations should develop a data-driven culture to actualise the benefits of business analytics.

Prof Yanqing Duan

Professor Duan presented on "Understanding the Impact of Business Analytics on Innovation". The research findings indicate that business analytics directly improves environmental scanning which in turn helps to enhance a company's innovation in terms of new product newness and meaningfulness. However, the effect of business analytics may be increased through the mediating role of a data-driven culture, which directly impacts on new product newness, but indirectly on new product meaningfulness through environmental scanning. Their findings also confirm that environmental scanning directly contributes to new product newness and meaningfulness which in turn enhance competitive advantage.

Their presentations stimulated interesting debates and discussions. The seminar had attracted attention within the business school. About 20 staff and PhD students attended the seminar.


BISC Research Seminar: 21 January 2015 

2015 BISC research seminar series kicked off on 21st January with a research student focused event. Three PhD researchers presented their work:

  • Abdulrahman Alsurmi: The impact of triadic strategic alignment of business strategy, IT strategy, and marketing strategy on organisational performance.
  • Hakim Ali Mahesar: Impact of Skills and Motivation Enhancing Practices on Talented Employees' Turnover Intentions: The Mediating Role of Organisational Commitment
  • Nasserkhan Jamalkhan: The role of knowledge management on environmental performance

Each presentation was followed by challenging questions from the audience and lively discussions and suggestions. Both presenting and participating students felt that the seminar was a very useful forum for them to share ideas and experience and received constructive feedback.

The next BISC research seminar is scheduled on 25th February 2015. Dr Guangming Cao and Prof Yanqing Duan will be presenting their research on the impact of Business Analytics on decision making effectiveness and innovation.

BMRI Day: 12 January 2015

The Business and Management Research Institute (BMRI) held a series of brief talks on 12th January 2015 to increase awareness of BMRI initiatives and policies to staff and encourage them to be more research active. About 30 participants (academic staff and PGR students) attended the event.

Prof Ram Ramanathan, Director, BMRI started the event by providing an overview of BMRI, its objectives and strategies, especially the post-REF strategy. Prof Yanqing Duan then presented details of BMRI's performance in REF 2014. As per the REF-2014 results, all of Business Management research has impact that is internationally recognised and over half of the publications are world-leading or internationally excellent. This represents a significant improvement over the performance in RAE 2008. Two impact case studies submitted in REF 2014 reflected our commitment to improving the performance of Small and Medium Enterprises, and have been rated as internationally recognised.

The discussion on REF 2014 was followed by brief talks by leaders of all the five research centres.

Prof Yanqing Duan discussed the achievements and activities of the Business and Information Systems Research Centre (BISC). Prof Michal Kennedy discussed the activities of the Centre for Research in Contemporary Accounting and Finance (ResCAF). Dr Silvia Borelli presented the activities of the Centre for Research in Law (CRiL) and also presented highlights of Law School's performance in REF 2014. Dr Robin Croft then presented details of the activities of the Centre for Advances in Marketing (CAM). Dr Christina Schwabenland briefly discussed the history of Centre for Leadership Innovation (CLI) and its activities.

There was a question on whether research seminars organised by a research centre are restricted only to the members of that research centre. It was noted that all BMRI research seminars are open to all students and staff.


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