• The geography of business angel investments in the UK: Does local bias (still) matter?

      Cowling, Marc; Brown, Ross; Lee, Neil; University of Derby; University of St Andrews; London School of Economics and Political Science (SAGE Publishing, 2021-01-20)
      Business angels (BAs) - high net worth individuals who provide informal risk capital to firms - are seen as important providers of entrepreneurial finance. Theory and conventional wisdom suggest that the need for face-to-face interaction will ensure angels will have a strong predilection for local investments. We empirically test this assumption using a large representative survey of UK BAs. Our results show local bias is less common than previously thought with only one quarter of total investments made locally. However, we also show pronounced regional disparities, with investment activity dominated by BAs in London and Southern England. In these locations there is a stronger propensity for localised investment patterns mediated by the ‘thick’ nature of the informal risk capital market. Together these trends further reinforce and exacerbate the disparities evident in the UK’s financial system. The findings make an important contribution to the literature and public policy debates on the uneven nature of financial markets for sources of entrepreneurial finance.
    • Inter-firm knowledge transfer between strategic alliance partners: A way forward

      He, Qile; Ghobadian, Abby; Gallear, David; University of Derby; University of Reading; Brunel University London (Wiley, 2021-01-11)
      Strategic alliance (SA) is pursued by a diverse array of firms motivated by a range of factors. Among the SA themes, knowledge transfer (KT) has gained significant popularity over the past fifteen years. The developing literature is ontologically, epistemologically, and methodologically diverse. In spite of helpful reviews, the intellectual structure (up-stream decisions) of SA–KT research remains unclear, arguably resulting in the accidental rather than deliberate diversity potentially slowing the advancement of knowledge, its efficacy, its interpretation, and utility. By systematically analysing the intellectual structure of the empirical SA–KT studies published in peer-reviewed journals between 1990 and 2017 we address these shortcomings. The aim is to identify the preponderance of particular methods, and/or analytical procedures, developing the essence of the established research conventions. By reviewing the up-stream rather than the more conventional down-stream decisions, we offer an alternative approach to conducting systematic management literature reviews helpful to future researchers.
    • The intercultural skills graduates and businesses in Europe need today

      Halila, Fawzi; Pillalamarri, Kalyani; Bell, Robin; Ali, Sa'ad; Moser, Karin; Brand, Milou; Clarke, Isabel; Godts, Inge; Mulier, Lieve; Prouska, Rea; et al. (European Commission, 2020)
      This project aims to develop the intercultural competencies of graduates and employees in Europe by enhancing the quality and relevance of their skills to enable them to be active professionals in the European working environment. The project investigates the perceived and actual intercultural competencies of graduates required by employers and then provides outputs that help address these needs. The project responds to the European Commission’s (EC) Strategic Framework – Education & Training 2020 view, that there has been a lack of focus on the involvement of social institutions on the cross-cultural skill-needs that companies have and on the effectiveness of investment in education and training in this area on business productivity. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. Project Number 2019-1-UK01-KA203-061672. The project website in available below https://medialab.educationhost.co.uk/robbell/(link is external) The fist output is The Intercultural Skills Graduates and Businesses in Europe Need Today report and is availble at the website and the link below https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/9999/1/The%20Intercultural%20Skills%20Graduat...
    • Impact of gender on use of wasta among human resources management practitioners

      Alsarhan, Fadi; Ali, Sa'ad; Weir, David; Valax, Marc; Université de Lyon, Jean Moulin, iaelyon, Magellan, Lyon, France; University of Derby; Huddersfield University; York St John University; IAE Nice, Nice, France (Wiley, 2020-12-14)
      The practice of wasta dominates all aspects of Arabs’ lives; it is a parallel inegalitarian system that categorizes people according to their connections. One of the epicenters of wasta is human resources management (HRM). This paper studies the concept of wasta in the Arab world by examining its use in HRM according to gender, in the case of the Jordanian public sector. Results obtained from 27 semi-structured interviews of HR managers indicate that though wasta is an important feature of HRM in general, there is a notable discrepancy between male and female employees, with the former displaying higher tendencies for using wasta than the latter. An explanation for this finding is the prevalent masculine nature of Jordanian society, which entails social caveats related to the traditional role of women. Professional determinants, such as gendered job segregation and variance in qualifications, also affect men’s and women’s access to wasta
    • Active entrepreneurship education and the impact on approaches to learning: Mixed methods evidence from a six-year study into one entrepreneurship educator’s classroom

      Curtis, Vic; Moon, Rob; Penaluna, Andy; University of Derby; University of Wales, Trinity St David (Sage, 2020-11-25)
      Taking an active and experiential approach to teaching is often assumed to be the best way to promote learning. However, the empirical evidence to support this assertion in entrepreneurship education is inconclusive, and current practice suggests that delivery in higher education is still quite passive and traditional. This 6-year, mixed method study sets out to demonstrate that, in a final-year International Entrepreneurship module at a UK university mapped through the lens of ‘about’, ‘for’ and ‘through’ entrepreneurship, a more innovative, active, experiential and constructively aligned approach to teaching, learning and assessment impacts positively on students’ deep and surface approaches to learning. Students viewed the module as significantly more active than passive and the level of deep learning was significantly greater than the level of surface learning. Additionally, the more active approach was significantly correlated to increased deep learning and reduced surface learning. Students highlighted the active teaching approach and the creation of videos for a local company as part of the authentic assessment as catalysts for deeper learning approaches. The study provides empirical evidence that active entrepreneurship education has a positive impact on student approaches to learning.
    • A conceptual information sharing framework to improve supply chain security collaboration

      Koliousis, Ioannis; Tanveer, Umair; Ishaq, Shamaila; University of Derby; Coventry University; University of the West of England (Inderscience Publishers, 2020-10-20)
      Modern Supply Chains are critical in terms of efficiency, economic activities and commercial impact, particularly in case of security incidents. Inland terminals, commercial ports and dry ports constitute key gateways for the transportation flows in these modern supply chains and are require enhanced security procedures. This paper develops a framework that facilitates the sharing of information among various supply chain stakeholders, which is expected to improve the security level from a value chain perspective. In this context, we propose the upgrade of the current security strategies utilizing existing processes, equipment in order to minimise time and cost currently needed but more importantly improving the level of security in the supply chain. A conceptual rule and role-based data fusion framework is developed enabling the seamless and timely exchange of messages. The proposed Data Fusion Framework has a simple architecture that supports quick integration to either network-based, distributed systems or conventional stand-alone systems and adheres to common data fusion principles. The proposed framework considers different components (e.g. sensors, algorithms and fusing procedures) in an equipment agnostic approach so as to enable easy access and easy usage of security information.
    • Regional and spatial issues in the financing of small and medium-sized enterprises and new ventures

      Cowling, Marc; Ughetto, Elisa; Lee, Neil; Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy; University of Brighton; London School of Economics (Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2019-04-12)
      This editorial introduces the papers addressing regional and spatial aspects relating to the demand for, and the supply of, finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups. Reflecting the breadth of financial instruments that are potentially available to SMEs and new ventures (e.g., business angel, bank credit and credit card financing), this special issue offers a combination of up-to-date studies that integrate the regional and spatial perspectives into the debate on SMEs and start-up financing. Overall, the papers contribute to an understanding of the mechanisms by which geography shapes access to finance for SMEs and new ventures, and the implications for local economic activity.
    • Cost of capital and public loan guarantees to small firms

      Ughetto, Elisa; Scellato, Giuseppe; Cowling, Marc; Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy; University of Derby (Springer, 2017-03-09)
      In this paper, we study the determinants of the spread charged by banks under a UK policy intervention scheme, aimed at supporting access to the credit market for small firms through guarantee backed loans. We exploit a unique dataset containing data on 29,266 guarantee backed loans under the UK SFLG scheme over the period 2000 to 2005. Results suggest that lower spreads are offered for loans of larger amounts and higher durations, for service firms, for larger firms, and for those located in the most advanced regions. Higher spreads are applied to high-tech manufacturing firms and to loans issued for working capital purposes. We also find that the presence of other extant debt is associated with a relatively higher spread and that this effect is especially significant for the subset of firms that have reached a maximum debt capacity based on collateralized assets. Further, we also find that the higher the incidence of the publicly guaranteed debt over the total amount of outstanding loans, the lower, on average, the spread. However, an increase in the guaranteed coverage leads to a contraction in the spread only for loans aimed at covering working capital needs rather than investments.
    • Investment motivations and UK business angels' appetite for risk taking: The moderating role of experience

      Croce, Annalisa; Ughetto, Elisa; Cowling, Marc; Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy; Collegio Carlo Alberto, Torino, Italy; University of Derby (Wiley, 2019-08-13)
      In this paper we use a large UK survey of business angels (BAs) investing in two different publicly supported schemes to directly question the role that investment motivations play in shaping investors’ appetite for risk. We dive deeper into the relationship between investment reasons and risk taking, by exploring the potential for a moderating effect derived from BAs’ past experience (i.e. financial and entrepreneurial experience). Our analysis reveals that both investment reasons (for return and for passion) have substantial explanatory power in shaping angels’ risk attitude, but their effect is moderated by the investors’ prior experience. This key finding represents important empirical support for what has so far been anecdotal evidence concerning BAs’ appetite for risk when investing.
    • Congestion prediction for smart sustainable cities using IoT and machine learning approaches

      Majumdar, Sharmila; Subhani, Moeez M.; Roullier, Benjamin; Anjum, Ashiq; Zhu, Rongbo; University of Derby; University of Leicester; South Central University for Nationalities, Wuhan, China (Elsevier BV, 2020-09-25)
      Congestion on road networks has a negative impact on sustainability in many cities through the exacerbation of air pollution. Smart congestion management allows road users to avoid congested areas, decreasing pollutant concentration. Accurately predicting congestion propagation is difficult however, due to the dynamic non-linear behavior of traffic flow. With the rise of Internet of Things devices, there are now data sets available that can be used to provide smart, sustainable transport solutions within cities. In this work, we introduce long short-term memory networks for the prediction of congestion propagation across a road network. Based on vehicle speed data from traffic sensors at two sites, our model predicts the propagation of congestion across a 5-min period within a busy town. Analysis of both univariate and multivariate predictive models show an accuracy of 84–95% depending on the road layout. This accuracy shows that long short-term memory networks are suitable for predicting congestion propagation on road networks and may form a key component of future traffic modelling approaches for smart and sustainable cities around the world.
    • Gender and bank lending after the global financial crisis: are women entrepreneurs safer bets?

      Cowling, Marc; Marlow, Susan; Liu, Weixi; University of Derby; University of Bath (Springer, 2019-04-13)
      Using gender as a theoretical framework, we analyse the dynamics of bank lending to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis. Using six waves of the SME Finance Monitor survey, we apply a formal Oaxaca–Blinder decomposition to test whether gender impacts upon the supply and demand for debt finance by women. Reflecting established evidence, we found women had a lower demand for bank loans; contradicting accepted wisdom however, we found that women who did apply were more likely to be successful. We argue that feminised risk aversion might inform more conservative applications during a period of financial uncertainty which may be beneficial for women in terms of gaining loans. However, we also uncover more subtle evidence suggesting that bank decisions may differ for women who may be unfairly treated in terms of collateral but regarded more positively when holding large cash balances.
    • Is there a trade-off between accrual-based and real earnings management activities in the presence of (fe) male auditors?

      Owusu, Andrews; Mansour Zalata, Alaa; Omoteso, Kamil; Elamer, Ahmed A; University of Coventry; University of Southampton; University of Derby; Brunel University London (Springer, 2020-11-13)
      Prior research suggests that the presence of high quality auditors (i.e. proxied by audit firm characteristics) constrains accrual-based earnings management, but it inadvertently leads to higher real activities manipulation. We investigate whether such trade-off exists between accrual-based and real earnings management activities in the presence of female or male auditors. We use a sample of UK firms for the period 2009 to 2016 and find that firms audited by female auditors do not resort to a higher level real activities manipulation when their ability to engage in accruals management is constrained. Overall, our results suggest that the benefits of hiring female auditors (i.e. less accrual-based earnings management) are overwhelmingly higher than the costs they might bring to the client firms (i.e. higher real activities manipulation).
    • Did you save some cash for a rainy COVID-19 day? The crisis and SMEs

      Cowling, Marc; Brown, Ross; Rocha, Augusto; University of Derby; University of St Andrews (SAGE, 2020-08-04)
      As COVID-19 spreads across the globe, a common public policy response has been to enforce the temporary closure of non-essential business activity. In some countries, governments have underwritten a proportion of the wage income for staff forced to furlough or broadened their welfare systems to accommodate newly laid off workers or small business owners. While these actions are helpful, they do not explicitly address the lack of sales trading activity on business income and cash balances. In commentary, we identify what types of businesses have been increasing their cash holdings in the lead up to COVID-19 as an indication of what types of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are most at risk if the lockdown extends for a protracted period of time. We find that only 39% of the of businesses were bolstering their cash balances leading up to COVID-19 which suggests that 61% of businesses may run out of cash, including 8.6% that had no retained earnings whatsoever with micro firms at particular risk. The importance of precautionary saving for SMEs is critical to enhance resilience when Black Swan events occur.
    • The snowballing penalty effect: Multiple disadvantage and pay

      Woodhams, Carol; Lutpon, Ben; Cowling, Marc; University of Exeter; Manchester Metropolitan University (Wiley, 2013-06-26)
      This paper makes the case that the current single-axis approach to the diagnosis and remedy of pay discrimination is inadequate in the case of multiple disadvantage. While a good deal is known about pay gaps, particularly those affecting women, less is known about those affecting people in other disadvantaged groups and those in more than one such group. This analysis of multiple years of pay data, n = 513,000, from a large UK-based company shows that people with more than one disadvantaged identity suffer a significantly greater pay penalty than those with a single disadvantage. The data also suggest that penalties associated with multiple disadvantage exponentially increase. In other words, disadvantages seem to interact to the detriment of people at ‘intersections’. The paper considers the implications for policies aimed at reducing pay inequalities. These currently take a single-axis approach and may be misdirected.
    • Link between Islamic business and Wasta

      Ali, Sa'ad; University of Worcester (Winterwork, 2020-10-01)
      We can learn the falah economy concept – a well-being-oriented economy – from Islamic business. This goal has been around far longer than the sustainability debate, which started with the Brundtland Report in 1987. The falah economy also predates the Sustainable Development Goals by many centuries. These goals were announced in 2015 and adopted by all the United Nations‘ member states as a universal call to action to improve the environment and society by 2030. This book invites the reader on a journey of discovery of the key pillars of Islamic business, detailing its concepts and outlining how they impact corporate functions, such as finance, marketing, and human resources, while also shedding light on corporate behaviours with regard to, for example, contracts and charitable activities.
    • LDBG loan and grant funding recipients

      Cowling, Marc; Nadeem, Simon Peter; University of Derby (University of Derby, 2019-12-11)
    • A study of Chinese policy attention on cybersecurity

      Li, Zhengrong; Guo, Xi; He, Qile; Inner Mongolia University; University of Derby (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2020-10-20)
      The rising number of cyber-attacks and cyber-criminals around the world has put major threats on the cyber-security and even the national security of many countries. In response, governments started to introduce policies and regulations to improve cyber-security. It is increasingly realized that the effective cyber-security policy making largely depends upon optimized policy attention and the effective use of public resources. This paper draws on the “attention-driven policy choice model” and the Punctuated Equilibrium Theory (PET) to analyse the relationship between policy attention allocation, policy agenda setting and the choice of policy tools in different periods of cyber-security development. Using Chinese cyber-security development as the main context, content analysis of policy texts was conducted to examine the pathway of cyber-security policy development in China between 1994 and 2019. The findings suggest that there is evidence for punctuated equilibrium with policy stagnation and incrementality being broken up by major events which shifts policy attention and subsequently affects agenda setting and the choice of policy tools. The findings of this paper will provide important implications for the development of strategic foresight of cyber-security and the effective use of public resources to improve cyber-security.
    • Promoting effectiveness of “working from home”: findings from Hong Kong working population under COVID-19

      Wong, A. H. K.; Cheung, J. O.; Chen, Z.; Lingnan University, Tuen Mun, Hong Kong; University of Derby (Emerald Publishing, 2020-10-26)
      Working-from-home (WFH) practice has been adopted by many companies of a variety of industries in a diverse manner; however, it is not until the recent outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic WFH gains worldwide popularity. With so many different views out there and based on work–family balance theory, this study aims to find out the factors which affect peoples' WFH effectiveness and whether they want the extended WFH practice when the pandemic crisis is over. This paper adopted an online survey approach by posting questionnaires on the university website and different social media channels to collect views from full-time Hong Kong workers who have had WFH experience during the coronavirus outbreak. A total of 1,976 effective responses were collected for the data analysis. The findings of this study indicate that WFH effectiveness is improved by personal and family well-being but reduced by environmental and resource constraints. When workers are experiencing higher WFH effectiveness, they have a higher preference for WFH even after the pandemic; the female workers preferred WFH twice per week, while the male workers more often preferred WFH once per week. Finally, workers from the management and the self-employed levels demonstrated a lower preference for WFH, compared to the front-line and middle-grade workers. This paper fulfils to provide a timely reflection on workers' post-pandemic WFH preference, the factors affecting their WFH effectiveness and the demographic differences inducing to the differentiated preferences.
    • Developing a new multidimensional model for selecting strategic plans in balanced scorecard

      Daniel, Jay; Merigó, JM; University of Derby; University of Technology Sydney; University of Chile (IOS Press, 2020-08-11)
      The main motivation of this research is to develop an innovative multidimensional model through multi attribute decision making (MADM) methods for strategic plans selection process in the Balanced Scorecard (BSC). The current study has adopted MADM analytical methods including AHP, ELECTRE, BORDA, TOPSIS and SAW to rank the initiatives / strategic plans in BSC. Then the results of those methods have been compared against each other in order to find a robust model for selecting strategic plans. The correlation coefficient between methods has indicated that multidimensional and ELECTRE methods with 0.944 are the best and AHP with negative correlation (–0.455) is the worst method for selecting strategic plans in BSC. It has shown that the model can be useful and effective tool to finding the critical aspects of evaluation criteria as well as the gaps to improve company’s performance for achieving desired level. Developing multidimensional model is the core model for the selection of strategic plans. This study addresses the problem and issues of group decision making process for selecting strategic plans in BSC. It has numerous contributions that particularly includes; 1) Determination of the explicit criteria sub-criteria and criteria to improve ranking strategic plans in BSC, 2) Adopting MADM analytical methods including AHP, ELECTRE, BORDA, TOPSIS and SAW for the selection of strategic plans decision problem in BSC, 3) Developing multidimensional model to address the selection of strategic plans problems in BSC. The proposed model will provide an approach to facilitate strategic plans decision problem in BSC.
    • Can Facebook improve students’ engagement in flipped classes? Community of inquiry approach

      Talaei-Khoei, Amir; Daniel, Jay; Dokhanchi, Mohsen; University of Nevada; University of Derby; University of Queensland (HICSS, 2020-01-07)
      This paper aims at using Facebook to improve the students’ engagements with the flipped learning materials through implementation of a socially enabled peer learning environment. The article reports an experiment comparing the online quizzes and Facebook to increase the students’ engagement with the online materials in flipped classes. The study looks at the students’ perceptions. The current study utilizes the Community of Inquiry (RCOI) to analyze the students’ opinions about using Facebook for implementation of flipped learning. The paper provides recommendations to the instructors on how to use Facebook for increasing the students’ engagement with the flipped materials. This study also motivates teaching practitioners in Information Systems to improve flipped learning by using social networking sites in their courses.