Top 10 blog topics for business and academics – from our own Bradford Thinking blog (part one)

By | January 22, 2014
Jon Reast

Jon Reast

Our Management Thinking blog now attracts a considerable number of visitors – our thanks to all those reading, contributing and sharing.

I thought it might be interesting to look at the most popular 2013 posts and see why we think these topics are appealing and to which audiences.

1. 10 factors creating job satisfaction:  what motivates now?

Written by Dr David Spicer in 2010, this continues to be our star performing blog!  We could put this down to Dave’s popularity as an academic, with both students and alumni.  But it is perhaps also down to the challenge that has faced every type of organisation in tough economic times – how do we motivate employees when we can’t necessarily pay them what we would like?

Dave wrote this blog based on his research into employee motivation.  What is interesting is that pay is not the top motivating factor – a subject much debated when looking at bankers’ pay and bonuses and backed up in research by the Institute of Leadership and Management.

Pay actually became less important as the recession hit, moving from second most important factor to fourth.  It is a good reminder that interesting work is what really motivates people – and appreciation of the work they have done.

What motivates staff

What motivates staff

2. Men make better leaders than women – really?

In this day and age, it is perhaps shocking to hear that a significant number of people from around the world actually believe that men make better leaders than women.  Or is it?

This blog was based on a mini-survey of Dr Rob Perrett’s Masters in Human Resource Management students – we should stress the sample size was small and it was not formal academic research.

However, it gave an insight into different international cultural attitudes to leadership.  Of those taking part, 20% were men, generally in their late 20s and early 30s and geographically, they were 52% from Africa; 21% UK; 12% Middle East; 6% Far East; 6% Europe;  3% USA.

I wonder with so much discussion at the moment on the new emerging MINT economies (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey), how important these different cultural attitudes to leadership are?

3. Organisational transformation:  3 key stages for managing change

Written by my predecessor, Prof Sarah Dixon (then Dr Dixon) in 2011, this topic attracted interest as soon as it went up – and it now appears globally top of Google searches on the subject.

Organisational transformation is the buzzword of the moment, particularly in the public sector and especially in the NHS.  It has been critical to every business – the world is a very different place now from five years ago and the survivors have been those who re-thought their markets, how they deliver their services and the leadership needed to inspire and manage that change.

This blog highlights the three key stages to manage change.

Mastering your business dissertation

Mastering your business dissertation

4. Choosing a business dissertation question:  how can you manage the expectation of all parties involved?

Dr Robert Lomas is a bestselling author on Mastering your Business Dissertation.  In this blog he shared his insights into how you choose the question for your dissertation to ensure you meet the  expectations of what he calls the ménage à trois, between you, your potential – or existing employer – and your business school.

I completely agree with his comment that you should ask yourself a critical question:  is your Masters topic interesting enough to maintain your enthusiasm over six months and 15,000 words!

5. Transformational leadership – why your business can’t grow without it

Transformational Leadership

Transformational Leadership

If organisational transformation is such a hot topic, it is not surprising that our blog on the transformational leadership needed to achieve this, was also in the top ten blogs.

This blog looked at the change from transformational leadership into transactional leadership; turnaround intervention  – examining the case studies of Marks and Spencer and Sir Stuart Rose; and the Russian oil company, Yukos which brought in non-oil people to lead it; and renewal intervention, ‘to secure strategic supremacy’.

So those are the top five for visitors to our blog.  I thought it worth mentioning a few of my own favourites which narrowly missed the top ten but are popular and thought provoking.  They are definitely worth a read!

Look out for part two of this blog which will cover the other top 10 blogs. Do leave a comment below and share your thoughts as to what blogs you would like to see this year and which were your own favourites.  And why!

About Jon Reast

Jon  is a Professor in Marketing at Bradford School of Management, Research Cluster Head for Marketing and Co-Editor of the Corporate Social Responsibility Section of Journal of Business Ethics. Jon primarily teaches Marketing Strategy, Relationship Marketing and Marketing Communications and specializes in research relating to marketing ethics, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and relationship marketing. Professor Reast has professional marketing experience in the healthcare, toiletries, food and beverage sectors, working for companies such as Reckitt & Colman and Kraft General Foods, and has consulted widely. A graduate of Leeds University (BA Econ) and Leicester University (MBA), with a PhD from Leeds University. His research work has previously been published in journals such as Journal of Business Ethics, Psychology and Marketing, Long Range Planning, Journal of Marketing Management, Industrial Marketing Management, Journal of Advertising Research and International Journal of Advertising.


+        Marketing ethics
+        Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
+        Relationship marketing

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