• Access to finance for innovative SMEs since the financial crisis

      Lee, N; Sameen, H; Cowling, M; University of Brighton (Elsevier, 7/11/2014)
      In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, there has been increased focus on access to finance for small firms. Research from before the crisis suggested that it was harder for innovative firms to access finance. Yet no research has considered the differential effect of the crisis on innovative firms. This paper addresses this gap using a dataset of over 10,000 UK SME employers. We find that innovative firms are more likely to be turned down for finance than other firms, and this worsened significantly in the crisis. However, regressions controlling for a host of firm characteristics show that the worsening in general credit conditions has been more pronounced for non-innovative firms with the exception of absolute credit rationing which still remains more severe for innovative firms. The results suggest that there are two issues in the financial system. The first is a structural problem which restricts access to finance for innovative firms. The second is a cyclical problem has been caused by the financial crisis and has impacted relatively more severely on non-innovative firms.
    • The role of loan commitment terms in credit allocation on the UK small firms loan guarantee scheme

      Cowling, M; Matthews, C; Liu, W.; University of Brighton (Senate Hall Academic Publishing, 31/03/2017)
      In this paper we provide empirical evidence concerning the nature of loan commitment contracts as reflected by individual loan contract parameters in influencing the size of bank commitments. Specifically, we consider how the quantitative allocation of credit, the loan amount, is affected or altered by changes to other components of the total loan package. By doing so we shed some more light on the types of real world trade-offs that credit constrained firms might face when approaching banks for funds, using the UK governments loan guarantee programme. Our results point at the importance of relationship lending in the UK.
    • Corporate social responsibility performance and tax aggressiveness

      Chijoke-Mgbame, M.A; Yekini, Liafisu Sina; Kemi, Y.C; Mgbame, C.O; Coventry University (Academic Journals, 30/09/2017)
      This study investigated the effect of corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance on tax aggressiveness of listed firms in Nigeria. A cross-sectional research design was utilized for the study, and data were collected from the published annual reports. Using a sample of 50 companies for the period of 2007 to 2013, the findings of the study reveal that there is a negative relationship between CSR performance and tax aggressiveness in Nigeria. A significant relationship was also found between firm size and tax aggressiveness, though with mixed positive and negative results. In addition, the results reveal a negative and significant relationship between firm performance and tax aggressiveness, and the extent of tax aggressiveness is reinforcing. It can be concluded that firms are more or less likely to engage in tax aggressiveness depending on their CSR standpoints and dimension and other corporate characteristics. It is recommended that more attention should be given by tax administrations to understand conditions where tax aggressiveness is more likely and measures should be put in place to combat it.
    • The innovation debt penalty: Cost of debt, loan default, and the effects of a public loan guarantee on high-tech firms

      Cowling, M; Ughetto, E; Lee, N.; University of Brighton (Elsevier, 28/06/2017)
      High-technology firms per se are perceived to be more risky than other, more conventional, firms. It follows that financial institutions will take this into account when designing loan contracts, and that this will manifest itself in more costly debt. In this paper we empirically test whether the provision of a government loan guarantee fundamentally changes the way lenders price debt to high-tech firms. Further, we also examine whether there are differential loan price effects of a public guarantee depending on the nature of the firms themselves and the nature of the economic and innovation environment that surrounds them. Using a large UK dataset of 29,266 guarantee backed loans we find that there is a high-tech risk premium which is justified by higher default, but, in general, that this premium is altered significantly when a public guarantee is provided for all firms. Further, all these loan price effects differ on precise spatial economic and innovation attributes.
    • The World is your Oyster: The Effects of Knowledge, Human Capital, Technology and Entry Timing on International Growth

      Cowling, M; Liu, W; Zhang, N.; University of Brighton (Senate Hall Academic Publishing, 27/06/2016)
      We draw on elements of several established theories of internationalization to provide a framework for exploring international market entry and scale of entry measured by number of foreign markets entered for a sample of young, high-tech, firms from the UK and Germany. We find that founding team human capital is associated with more extensive internationalization, as is intensity of R&D, early internationalization and early stage venture capital. We also find that internationalizing firms who choose the US as their first international market entry are also those most likely to develop more extensive international market presence. Degree of asset specificity, in contrast, is associated with less extensive internationalization.
    • Impact of board independence on the quality of community disclosures in annual reports.

      Yekini, K.C; Adelopo, I; Andrikopoulos, P; Yekini, Liafisu Sina; Coventry University (Taylor and Francis, 27/02/2019)
      This study investigates the link between board independence and the quality of community disclosures in annual reports. Using content analysis and a panel dataset from UK FTSE 350 companies the results indicate a statistically significant relationship between board independence, as measured by the proportion of nonexecutive directors, and the quality of community disclosures, while holding constant other corporate governance and firm specific variables. The study indicates that companies with more non-executive directors are likely to disclose higher quality information on their community activities than others. This finding offers important insights to policy makers who are interested in achieving optimal board composition and furthers our understanding of the firm's interaction with its corporate and extended environment through high-quality disclosures. The originality of this paper lies in the fact that it is the first to specifically examine the relationship between outside directors and community disclosures in annual reports. The paper contributes both to the corporate governance and community disclosure literature.
    • Multiple disadvantage and wage growth: The effect of merit pay on pay gaps

      Woodhams, C; Lupton, B; Perkins, G; Cowling, M; University of Exeter; Manchester Metropolitan University; Brighton Business School (Wiley, 24/02/2015)
      This article concerns rates of wage growth among women and minority groups and their impact on pay gaps. Specifically, it focuses on the pay progression of people with more than one disadvantaged identity, and on the impact of merit pay. Recent research indicates that pay gaps for people in more than one disadvantaged identity category are wider than those with a single‐disadvantaged identity. It is not known whether these gaps are closing, at what rate, and whether all groups are affected equally; nor is it known whether merit pay alleviates or exacerbates existing pay gaps. In addressing these issues, the analysis draws on longitudinal payroll data from a large UK‐based organization. Results show that pay gaps are closing; however, the rate of convergence is slow relative to the size of existing pay disparities, and slowest of all for people with disabilities. When the effect of merit pay is isolated, it is found to have a small positive effect in reducing pay gaps, and this effect is generally larger for dual/multiple‐disadvantaged groups. These findings run counter to the well‐established critique of merit pay in relation to equality outcomes. The implications of this are discussed, and an agenda for research and practice is set out. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    • On the productive efficiency of Australian businesses: firm size and age class effects

      Cowling, M; Tanewski, G.; University of Brighton (Elsevier, 22/06/2018)
      After 26 years of growth, the Australian economy is beginning to show signs of stress and declining productivity. In this paper, we consider aspects of productive efficiency using an Australian business population data set. Using a production function approach, several key findings are uncovered. Firstly, decreasing returns to scale are identified as a significant feature of the Australian business sector. This implies that not all firm growth will lead to productivity gains. Secondly, there are significant differences in the way value added is created between small and large firms. In the largest 25% of firms, the capital contribution to value added is four times that of the smallest 25% of firms. Thirdly, efficiency follows an inverted ‘U’ shaped in firm age with the youngest (0–2 years) and oldest (> 9 years) firms being less productive than the middle 50% of firms. Fourthly, there are also huge industry sector variations in productivity. In particular, financial services appears to be the most productively efficient sector in the Australian economy and mining the least efficient.
    • Integrated reporting

      Conway, Elaine; Robertson, Fiona; Ugiagbe-Green, Iwi; University of Derby; Leeds Beckett University; University of Leeds (Palgrave, 2021-07-30)
    • The geographical impact of the Covid-19 crisis on precautionary savings, firm survival and jobs: Evidence from the United Kingdom’s 100 largest towns and cities

      Brown, Ross; Cowling, Marc; University of St Andrews; University of Derby (SAGE Journals, 2021-01-28)
      In this commentary, we trace the economic and spatial consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic in terms of potential business failure and the associated job losses across the 100 largest cities and towns in the United Kingdom (UK). The article draws on UK survey data of 1500 firms of different size classes examining levels of firm-level precautionary savings. On business failure risk, we find a clear and unequal impact on poorer northern and peripheral urban areas of the UK, indicative of weak levels of regional resilience, but a more random distribution in terms of job losses. Micro firms and the largest firms are the greatest drivers of aggregate job losses. We argue that spatially blind enterprise policies are insufficient to tackle the crisis and better targeted regional policies will be paramount in the future to help mitigate the scarring effects of the Covid-19 pandemic in terms of firm failures and the attendant job losses. We conclude that Covid-19 has made the stated intention of the current government’s ambition to ‘level up’ the forgotten and left-behind towns and cities of the UK an even more distant policy objective than prior to the crisis.
    • Relationship between routines of supplier selection and evaluation, risk perception and propensity to form buyer–supplier partnerships

      Gallear, David; Ghobadian, Abby; He, Qile; Kumar, Vikas; Hitt, Michael; Brunel University London; University of Reading; University of Derby; University of the West of England; Texas A&M University (Taylor and Francis, 2021-01-25)
      Supply chain partnership is viewed as an important contributor to superior competitiveness, yet the knowledge of ex-ante factors contributing to the deployment of supply chain partnership is nascent. This paper examines the influence of the current supplier selection routines, supplier evaluation routines, and managerial attitude towards relational and performance risks on the future intention to form buyer–supplier partnerships, based on relational and evolutionary economics theory. The analysis is based on 156 questionnaires received from senior executives and supply/logistics managers of UK firms. We found that partner selection routine positively influences firms’ propensity (future intention) to form buyer–supplier partnerships, unlike the supplier evaluation routine and perceptions of both relational risk and performance risk, which were not found to have a significant role. Our findings suggest that firms wishing to initiate buyer–supplier partnerships can increase the likelihood of doing so by ensuring that their supplier selection routines incorporate efforts to establish potential suppliers’ inclination for openness in a relationship, to establish their track record of demonstrating a high degree of integrity with other buyers, and to confirm that potential suppliers have a deep knowledge and understanding of the buyer’s business, a recognized strong reputation, and demonstrable financial stability.
    • The covid-19 lockdown in the United Kingdom and subjective well-being: have the self-employed suffered more due to hours and income reductions?

      Yue, Wei; Cowling, Marc; Hunan University, China; University of Derby (Sage, 2021-01-21)
      It is well documented that the self-employed experience higher levels of happiness than waged employees even when their incomes are lower. Given the UK government’s asymmetric treatment of waged workers and the self-employed, we use a unique Covid-19 period data set which covers the months leading up to the March lockdown and the months just after to assess three aspects of the Covid-19 crisis on the self-employed: hours of work reductions, the associated income reductions and the effects of both on subjective well-being. Our findings show the large and disproportionate reductions in hours and income for the self-employed directly contributed to a deterioration in their levels of subjective well-being compared to waged workers. It appears that their resilience was broken when faced with the reality of dealing with rare events, particularly when the UK welfare support response was asymmetric and favouring waged employees.
    • Audit committee and audit quality: An empirical analysis considering industry expertise, legal expertise and gender diversity

      Alhababsah, Salem; Yekini, Liafisu Sina; Coventry University; University of Derby (Elsevier, 2021-01-20)
      The extant literature and corporate governance regulations suffer from a tight focus on audit committee (AC) financial expertise as a mean of improving the AC’s oversight role. However, there is a lack of evidence about other kinds of expertise that might be important for AC effectiveness which could contribute to the quality of financial statements. This study examines whether AC industry expertise and AC legal expertise have an impact on audit quality in a developing country (Jordan). Furthermore, mixed and inconsistent findings regarding the role played by female directors and the peculiarity of the Jordanian context creates a motive to examine the effect of AC gender diversity on audit quality. By utilizing 1,035 firm-year observations, using two proxies to capture audit quality, and employing different estimation methods, this study highlights the importance of AC industry expertise in ensuring high audit quality. AC legal expertise and AC gender diversity have no significant effect on audit quality. This study offers a valuable contribution to the literature, and also has implications for policy-makers in Jordan and other countries with similar institutional environments to consider for future regulatory reform.
    • 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.
    • NGO accountability on environmentalism: a literature review of relevant issues and themes

      Yekini, Liafisu Sina; Yekini, Kemi, C; University of Derby (Emerald Publishing, 2021-01-04)
      This chapter, which is in themes, starts with a survey of the rise of environmentalism for the purpose of sustainability. It then evaluates the roles of nongovernmental organisations' (NGOs') self-regulation and government regulation on the need for accountability that ensures sustainability. NGOs' accountability is a way of making sure that stakeholders' social, environmental and economic sustainability are protected and rigorously evaluated. This chapter further examines what the enduring mechanisms should be if true accountability, which leads to sustainability, will be achieved to suggest a holistic accountability that involves downward and upward accountability. In doing so, this chapter utilised the identified five mechanisms that ensure the continuity of world sustainability, which is prima-facie, the objective of funders/donors, beneficiaries/stakeholders and the NGO's loop.
    • 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
    • An empirical study on the building blocks of resilience in British food supply chains in case of Brexit

      Liravi, Pouria; Polychronakis, Yiannis; Fassam, Liam; University of Derby; University of Salford; University of Northampton (2020-12)
      In the wake of Britain’s referendum results, which will lead to the UK leaving the EU, the pressures on British food supply chains to obtain safe and secure sources of supply has increased. This study aims to investigate “resilience” as a form of capability for risk mitigation within food supply chains. To achieve this aim, three major food companies, that have an active presence in British food supply chains, have contributed to this study. This empirical research adapted a multiple case study approach and used qualitative data to interpret answers to the research questions. Semi-structured interview questions were the principal data collection method. To increase the credibility and validity of the research findings, observational studies and document archival reviews were conducted and their findings were triangulated against the findings of interview responses. This research drew a theoretical framework for resilient food supply chains. The buying power and buying behaviour of large companies can not only affect their direct and indirect partners in supply chains, but also affect other companies, that are not in any supply chain relationship with the organisation. None-availability of products due to various external, internal factors can effectively distort food supply chains and jeopardise the flow of activities of companies. Financial strength of supply chain partners is considered as an essential criterion for entering business relationships, especially for the transport and logistics companies within the food supply chains. The ease of communication, amongst various levels of staff members of organisations, which consequently leads to a resilient supply chain. The capabilities of a procurement department in enabling resilience in food supply chains was highlighted and it was claimed that the extent of development of this role is closely related to the ability of the company, to fulfil its orders in the time of Brexit.
    • 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.
    • Developing a new conceptual framework of meaningful interaction for understanding social isolation and loneliness

      Wigfield, Andrea; Turner, Royce; Alden, Sarah; Green, Marcus; Karania, Vinal; University of Sheffield; University of Derby; Age UK (Cambridge Journals, 2020-11-24)
      Academic debate about social isolation and loneliness, and their adverse health and well-being implications, has resulted in many policy and programme interventions directed towards reducing both, especially among older people. However, definitions of the two concepts, their measurement, and the relationship between the two are not clearly articulated. This article redresses this and draws on theoretical constructs adapted from symbolic interactionism, together with the Good Relations Measurement Framework, developed for the Equality and Human Rights Commission in the UK, to challenge the way in which social isolation and loneliness are currently understood. It argues for a need to understand experiences of social relationships, particularly those which facilitate meaningful interaction, suggesting that opportunities and barriers to meaningful interaction are determined by wider societal issues. This is set out in a new conceptual framework which can be applied across the life course and facilitates a new discourse for understanding these challenging concepts.