Bradford “Management Thinking” Digest – the latest on business strategy, leadership, finance, innovation and sustainability

bradford-new_logo_blackThis edition of Bradford University School of Management’s digest of the latest business thinking features

  • HR’s role in brand value
  • 10 ways managers can improve trust in the workplace
  • A regime switching approach to pension plan solvency
  • Creating the sustainable business leaders of tomorrow

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STRATEGY

Blog: If the HR role is to survive, it has to link up with marketing

Simon Kingsnorth, managing director of Optimal HR and alumnus of the Executive MBA programme at Bradford University School of Management, challenges HR teams to understand their role in brand value in his guest blog.

He warns: “I fear for the future of HR – the days of personnel, tea and sympathy, and the days of rules and compliance are over – it’s just that some have not moved into the value add arena yet. The true role of HR is in leading change and articulating and delivering the capabilities that will deliver the business strategy.”

“Beware, change is coming – there are a number of organisations putting non HR people into leadership roles in the HR function – Shell have done it, Sainsbury’s have done it too and there are others. Will it be marketing that ultimately drives people experience? HR people – make friends with your marketing colleagues – discuss culture and branding with them, talk attraction strategy and retention strategy – you have lots in common!”

LEADERSHIP

Blog: 10 ways managers can improve trust in the workplace

Nearly a quarter of employees have lost faith in their manager, according to recent research by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI). Adi Gaskell offers advice on the top 10 ways to improve trust in the workplace in his guest blog.

He says: “High levels of trust are widely regarded as essential when motivating your team and improving job satisfaction. Once your staff lose faith, productivity goes down. Alas during the recession levels of trust have fallen.” His 10 tips include empathising with staff, treating all ideas as equal, being open and honest, admitting your mistakes and being accountable for your team’s mistakes.

FINANCE & INNOVATION

Research: A regime switching approach to pension plan solvency

Our Professor of Finance Mark Freeman is leading a collaborative research project to help pension fund managers, trustees and regulators better understand potential future pension fund solvency risk.

He says: “The concern for every pension fund manager and trustee has to be ensuring that their fund will remain solvent into the future. This research project is looking at a new way of modelling better accounts for the real world of financial market peaks and troughs. It will ensure that investment decisions are based on more accurate probability assessments of future pension fund surpluses and deficits.”

An executive summary of the project to date and what it hopes to achieve will appear in the next issue of the Rotman International Journal of Pension Management. Also see Mark’s blog on pension fund solvency.

SUSTAINABILITY

Comment: Business Schools responsible for the sustainable business leaders of tomorrow

Business Schools have a responsibility to create graduates that can make a “valuable contribution to the economy, society and the environment”, according to Dr. Sarah Dixon, Dean of Bradford University School of Management. Sarah shares her sustainable strategy for the School in the Association of Business Schools’ soon to be published ‘Pillars of the Economy 2011’ report.

She says: “Traditionally management education has been seen as a means to a higher paid job and career progression. However, we believe that our graduates should be able to offer more than just economic value that justifies their pay cheque. We have made significant progress with embedding sustainable and ethical values throughout the student experience – not just the environment we have created on campus but also the content of our programmes and approaches to learning.”

The School has launched a new MSc in Sustainable Operations Management and is playing a key role in the University of Bradford’s new Sustainable Enterprise Centre. Its innovative new building is shortlisted in the sustainability category in the RICS Awards.