What we research
The research interests of KBS faculty are diverse, and can best be understood by looking under both themes and more discipline-specific areas.
The four main themes of our work are:
• Work, knowledge and employment
(theme leaders: Professor Patrick Gunnigle and Dr Siobhan Tiernan)
• The services economy and tourism
(theme leaders: Professor Jim Deegan and Dr Eoin Reeves)
• Entrepreneurship, innovation and marketing
(theme leaders: Dr Naomi Birdthistle and Dr Regina McNally)
• Public policy, enterprise, governance and sustainability
(theme leaders: Dr Helena Lenihan and Dr Philip O'Regan)
Work, Knowledge and Employment
The core research challenge under this theme is to investigate how economies can strike a balance between economic and social performance in promoting 'best practice' that enhances competitiveness and productivity while concurrently embracing good employment standards and enhancing human capital and partnership at work. Building on a long-established record of achievement in workforce management research and teaching at UL, this research theme focuses on workplace learning, human resource development and intellectual capital; work design, workplace relations and employee wellbeing; embedding foreign direct investment; strategic human resource management and business performance; and the political economy of workplace relations and labour markets.
The Services Economy and Tourism
This research theme emerges from the changing nature of consumption and production in modern societies. At present, over two-thirds of those employed in Europe work in services (both private and public) and between 60 and 70 per cent of Gross Value Added in most European states can be attributed to services. The broad areas for research include transport, tourism and travel, insurance, financial services, educational services, legal services, business and public services.
Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Marketing
In order to develop an indigenous innovation-driven economy, innovative, entrepreneurial and marketing-related skills and attitudes need to be nurtured. The KBS contributes to this agenda through its research on small-and mediumsized enterprises. Specific research foci include internationalisation, family businesses, marketing strategy, advertising and consumer research, new product development, branding and relationship marketing. The interface between entrepreneurship and pedagogy and between marketing and innovation has also attracted significant research attention. Scholars are open to new research agendas, and emerging research is currently ongoing in social, female and ethnic entrepreneurship, crisis management, high-growth firms, metrics for innovation and marketing.
Public Policy, Enterprise, Governance and Sustainability
The public policy component of this theme covers industrial, economic and social development issues and policy, the survival and growth of firms and the role that public policy (amongst other factors) plays in this regard. There is a concern with public policy evaluation, including ongoing research on taxation and privatisation policies. The focus on governance reflects the emerging importance of matters relating to regulation (including professional self-regulation), corporate governance and ethics, sustainability and responsibility (ERS). This accords with the active participation of KBS in the UN PRME Network. Ongoing research activity in these areas embrace risk (including political risk) and governance, behaviour and dynamics of boards of directors, regulatory and legislative compliance, control mechanisms in large and small firms and corporate social responsibility. Emphasis on sustainability reflects the emergence of this topic both as an area of discrete interest and one that offers interdisciplinary possibilities.
In addition to these four themes, each of the four constituent departments of KBS has an active research culture. The four departments are Accounting & Finance, Economics, Management & Marketing, and Personnel & Employment Relations.
Department of Accounting & Finance
The Department of Accounting & Finance comprises faculty working in the disciplines of accounting, risk management, finance and taxation. The research activity in the department is therefore varied, and includes work on risk management with a focus on weather risk and nanotechnology, capital markets exploiting the world-class trading floor facility of the KBS , ethics and the tax profession, international and multinational taxation policy, corporate social responsibility, professional self-regulation, critical accounting research, corporate governance, remuneration policies, sustainability, aviation finance, behavioural finance and finance in the medical field.
Department of Economics
The research activity of the Department of Economics is primarily in the field of applied economics. Two research centres, the Euro-Asia Research Centre and the National Centre for Tourism Policy Studies are located in the department. There is also an active research group on privatisation and public partnerships, and a critical mass of projects modelling debt and demographic changes across European economies. Faculty in the department also engage in research on tourism, industrial/enterprise development and policy, the evaluation of policy interventions, firm survival and growth and macroeconomic issues.
Department of Management and Marketing
Faculty in the Department of Management and Marketing are engaged in a variety of research projects involving diverse disciplinary frameworks. Work has appeared in journals such as the Journal of Product Innovation Management, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Industrial Marketing Management, Journal of Marketing Management, Marketing Theory, Journal of World Business, Consumption, Markets and Culture, Journal of Brand Management, and Journal of Consumer Behaviour. Editorial Board Memberships include Marketing Theory, European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Management, Journal of Consumer Behaviour and the Journal of Product Innovation Management.
Department of Personnel and Employment Relations
Faculty in the Department of Personnel and Employment Relations have published in major international journals such as Human Relations, British Journal of Industrial Relations, International Journal of Human Resource Management, Industrial and Labour Relations Review, Journal of Managerial Psychology and the Journal of World Business. Editorial Board memberships include Human Resource Management Journal, Industrial Relations Journal, Journal of Managerial Psychology and Journal of European Industrial Training. Key on-going projects include Employment Relations in Multinationals; International Human Resource Management; Employer and Employee Perspectives on Training & Development; Older workers and their experiences; Bullying in the workplace; Precarious work and immigrant experiences in the workplace. The Employment Relations Research Unit is located within the department. More information on research within KBS is available at www.ul.ie/business.
Structured PhD in Business
KBS offers a structured PhD programme which is the default option for all students registering with us from January 2014. The programme comprises a research thesis and a range of specialist taught modules which present students with the opportunity to develop personal effectiveness, team working, leadership and innovation. The thesis carries 270 credits of the programme total of 360, with core, specialist and research methods modules accounting for up to 90. Specialist modules are chosen on a case by case basis by the supervisor and the student, once any relevant knowledge gaps have been identified. The core modules are Introduction to Doctoral Studies, Research Integrity, Philosophy of Science and a Generic and Transferable Skills Portfolio. further detail available at Structured PhD Business