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‘How boards strategize’ explored in new student-staff study

Marg Concannon

The strategy work of boards of directors has been a puzzle in the corporate governance literature for a long time. But the picture is becoming clearer, thanks to a paper soon to be published and co-written by a Master’s graduate and staff member in the Faculty of Management at BU.

After the financial crisis the work of boards became especially pertinent, for companies and public policy. Some boards — think of Royal Bank of Scotland and HBOS — manifestly failed both in strategizing  and in monitoring the performance of managers. The shortcomings contributed to a long, global economic malaise. Margaret Concannon earned an MSc in Corporate Governance with Distinction at BU in 2015 with a dissertation that examined how the work of boards has changed. Now, writing with Donald Nordberg, Associate Professor of Strategy and Corporate Governance, her study has become a journal article, due to appear soon in European Management Journal.

Donald Nordberg

Their paper, “Boards strategizing in liminal spaces: Process and practice, formal and informal,” shows how the theory of liminality, developed in anthropology to study rites of passage and adapted in organisation studies, can explain how, after the crisis, the increasingly hierarchical nature of the monitoring work of boards has pushed often strategy off the formal agenda. But strategizing has emerged again in new, informal settings and spaces, where the creativity possible in liminality can reassert itself. The paper explores what benefits that brings — and what risks.

International Olympic Committee World Conference on Prevention of Injury and Illness in Sport 2017

Last week I was lucky enough to be able to present at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) World Conference on Prevention of Injury and Illness in Sport in Monaco. The conference is held every three years and the setting was very prestigious. There were over 1,200 participants there from all corners of the globe and a lot of the major figures in sports medicine and sports physiotherapy were there. On the first day I was part of a panel presenting called “Tweeting, liking, following, sharing: enhancing the protection of athletes’ health now and in the future”, for which I summarised my PhD research and expanded upon its implications. Day 2 of the conference saw myself and my co-authors present the poster shown in the photo, which relates to my work conducted in the field of disability football.

Overall it was a fantastic experience to be able to present at a conference such as this and I felt very fortunate to be able to connect with some very experienced and knowledgeable clinicians and researchers at the event. Hopefully this will lead to further research collaborations!


Our poster on concussion knowledge and opinions of medical staff working in disability football

BU alumni working on serious gaming project

Joshua (Josh) Cook graduated in 2016  with a first in BSc Games Programming.  He is currently working on an innovation project being led by Professor Wen Tang. ” PLUS”   is a gamified training application funded by HEIF,  in collaboration with the Dorset, Devon and Cornwall (Strategic Alliance) Police forces in order to provide a virtual learning environment that teaches trainees in a more engaging manner than traditional paper based learning.

As a project team member Wen commented “Josh has been a pro-active and key member of the project team working with both academics , the College of Policing and police forces around the UK to develop this training application.”

Key areas of focus for Josh have included:

  • Making the system more generic, so that the project can later be expanded to multiple areas and more situations with ease
  • Improve the visual environment (of the game) with shaders and animations
  • Include data analytics in order to obtain an understanding as to how trainees are using the game, how long they take, how many mistakes they make etc

Josh didn’t take a placement year during University, so aside from a summer position in a local games position he  did not have much work experience. On being given this opportuntity to work on the projetc Josh commented ” The PLUS project seemed like an interesting project to work on, and when I found out a position was open to work on it I applied. I’ve learned some useful things on this project, such as working from and improving upon an existing code base, what it’s like working directly with clients, implementing and using data analytics, and I’m sure I’ll learn more throughout the duration of my employment.”

This project has received funding from August 2015 with the funding ending in July 2017. (HEIF 5+1 and HEIF 5+1+1)

Read more about this project in full: Serious Games for Police Training. 

College of Policing Research Map

FHSS and ADRC Seminar ‘Using Technologies for Safer Walking: A Participative Inquiry’ Dr Brannelly (Uni of Soton)

You are cordially invited to the next Faculty of Health and Social Science (FHSS) and Ageing and Dementia Research Centre (ADRC) joint seminar:

Using Technologies for Safer Walking: A Participative Inquiry

Dr Petula (Tula) Brannelly

Senior Research Fellow, University of Southampton

21st June 2017 1-1.50pm

R301, Royal London House, Lansdowne Campus

This research project examines the use of GPS and other technologies that people with dementia and their families use to help with wayfinding and location. In this presentation, discussion will focus on data from police officers involved in missing person investigations, people with dementia and their families using the technologies; and the experiences of people using the technologies gathered using an ethnographic go-along interview approach, where a researcher goes out walking with the person using the technology. Tula will draw attention to the ethics of care approach to technology use for people with dementia and their families. Project website 


All staff and students welcome.



Dr Brannelly joined the University of Southampton as a Senior Research Fellow in November 2015 to work with Ruth Bartlett on the Using GPS with Care project funded by the Alzheimer’s Society. It is an interdisciplinary participatory project centralising the experiences of people with dementia and their families. From 2006 – 2015 Tula was a Senior Lecturer in Mental Health at Massey University in New Zealand, and before that a Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham. Tula completed her PhD, ‘Citizenship and care for people with dementia’ at Birmingham in 2004. Prior to that Tula worked in mental health nursing roles with older people.

Tula’s interest in the ethics of care has sustained relationships with colleagues from the Universities of Brighton, Professor Marian Barnes and Dr Lizzie Ward, and Birmingham, Dr Nicki Ward, resulting in an edited collection to be published in October 2015, Ethics of Care, Critical Advances in International Perspectives, Policy Press. Whilst at Massey University in New Zealand, citizenship shaped by impacts of colonisation led Tula to consider ethics of care and collective cultures and to work with Maori. Tula has researched and published with Dr Amohia Boulton to understand more about the place of care in indigenous culture. PhD supervision has included Dr Stacey Wilson (Crisis intervention, Dean’s List) and Dr Sione Vaka (Tongan constructions of mental health; Sione is the first Tongan mental health nurse with a PhD, Health Research Council funded). Tula has also researched care workers and ethics at a dementia unit, completed a qualitative study of mental health service user activist priorities for change in mental health services (in NZ and UK), and evaluated the impact of antidiscrimination training on student nurses.


Healthcare social media publications

In the past week I have had two publications accepted which are both linked to my research areas of social media and healthcare.

The first was the main study from my PhD which has taken 4 years to get published after being rejected by three journals! This is in the Journal of Athletic Training and summarises a feasibility study of a Facebook concussion intervention called “iCon” or interactive concussion management.

The second is in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM) in their new “infographic” section and was modified from our previous BJSM editorial (Ahmed OH, Weiler R, Schneiders AG, McCrory P, Sullivan SJ. Top tips for social media use in sports and exercise medicine: doing the right thing in the digital age. 

Both of these publications are timely as on Thursday I am due to present at the International Olympic Committee ~World Conference on Prevention of Injury and Illness in Sport in Monaco ( I will be leaning heavily on both of these papers in our symposium when I discuss the use of social media to deliver healthcare interventions in sports and exercise medicine.


  • Ahmed OH, Schneiders AG, McCrory PR, Sullivan SJ. Sport Concussion Management Using Facebook: A Feasibility Study of an Innovative Adjunct ‘‘iCon’’. Journal of Athletic Training 2017;52(2):(in press-awaiting page numbers).
  • Ahmed OH, Weiler R, Schneiders AG, McCrory PR, Sullivan SJ. Infographic: Top Social Media Tips for Sports and Exercise Medicine Practitioners. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2017;(in press).

Dr. Masi Fathi appointed to the board of Sociological Research Online

SROCongratulations to Dr. Mastoureh (Masi) Fathi, FHSS Lecturer in Sociology, who has been appointed to the editorial board of Sociological Research Online.  Sociological Research Online is a peer-reviewed online sociology journal looking at current social issues, and it is in its twenty-second year.

Well done!

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

Blog by the Vice-Chancellor – what next for the Teaching Excellence Framework

The BBC 2 series “Meet the Lords” could not have been better timed. The House of Lords has flexed its muscles on the Article 50 Bill and this week’s episode coincided with them passing an amendment to the Higher Education and Research Bill (HE Bill) that breaks the link between the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and fees. Since then another amendment has been passed that would change the nature of the TEF, and bring it under Parliamentary scrutiny.

It would be easy to dismiss these (as some have done) as acts of rebellion by a non-elected chamber that is in the case of the HE Bill, representing vested interests in the face of a genuine government attempt to reform a sector that is badly in need of it. The Department for Education could be forgiven if they had thought that the HE Bill was nearly home and dry. They had published a long list of amendments which had been largely welcomed by the sector. The TEF does not require Parliamentary approval. Universities UK and GuildHE, amongst others, had expressed support for the HE bill as amended and expressed support for the TEF – opposing the addition of more detail as it would reduce flexibility in future negotiations on the detail. But the House of Lords did not agree – they have not sought to add more detail in the TEF, but to change its nature completely. Reading the debates, it is clear that members of the House of Lords, like most of the sector, generally support the objectives of TEF in bringing focus on the quality of education and student outcomes. They support the provision of more and better information about universities for applicants and others. They, like many in the sector, also generally support an inflationary increase in fees.

In the latest amendment, the provisions for the TEF in clause 26 have been removed and the new clause instead requires the Secretary of State to bring forward a scheme to identify whether an institution meets or fails to meet expectations based on quality standards but it “must not be used to create a single composite ranking of English higher education providers”.  The arguments are neatly summarised by Lord Lucas: “Bronze will be seen as failing because these universities will be marked out as the bottom 20%. This is just not necessary. We have succeeded, in our research rankings, in producing a measure of sufficient detail and sophistication for people to read it in detail. It produces quite marked differences between institutions, but nobody reads it as a mark of a failing institution. It is information, not ranking…”.

An earlier amendment removed the differentiation between fees based on different ratings. The speeches in the House of Lords demonstrate that they are opposed to this link for different reasons, for example:

  • Baroness Deech “If we detach fees from gold, silver and bronze, we stand a chance of increasing social mobility under the amendment. If we do not, social mobility will be frozen and ghettoisation will increase.”
  • Baroness Wolf of Dulwich: “I want to cite three groups of academics ….all of which feel, as do students, that in their current state the TEF metrics are not up to the job of determining fee levels and that, until we are sure that we have valid and reliable measures, we should not do this.”
  • Lord Lipsey : “… what seems knocking on bizarre is to plough on with bringing in this link between fees and the TEF before we have got the TEF right….The Government would give themselves the best chance of proving themselves right and the sceptics wrong if they gave time for the TEF to settle down before they brought in the fees link.”
  • Lord Kerslake: “My second reason for not making the link is that the TEF rating will relate to the university, not the subject or course. We will not see subject-level ratings until 2020 and yet we know that it is perfectly possible to have a mediocre course in an otherwise excellent university, and indeed vice versa. It can be argued that the TEF ranking gives an indication of the overall ​student experience at a particular institution, but the variation which so obviously exists within institutions makes that argument quite unconvincing.”

Except for the subject level fee point (which has not become a topic of debate yet), these are all arguments that were made by the sector in responding to the Green Paper and the TEF consultation. These are all things that we have continued to raise as we discuss the implications of subject-level TEF.

So as it stands, the TEF has lost both of its “incentives” – aka its carrot and its stick, which were both in the form of the impact on fees and reputation. It is not at all clear what will happen next – some ideas are given in this Wonkhe blog. In blogs on the Times Higher Education, Maddaleine Ansell of the University Alliance and Sorana Vieru gave very different perspectives.

So what compromise could there be to address all the concerns and yet still preserve the positive aspects of the TEF – i.e. the increasing focus on education and outcomes? I go back to BU’s response to the Green Paper, when we said that the TEF should model itself on the REF.. It should celebrate excellence wherever it is found, there should not be a link with tuition fees and there should be no forced ranking. To achieve that now, a remodelled TEF could include the following features:

  • no link to fees
  • have two rather than three levels of award – perhaps indicating good and outstanding. The last category is those who fail their quality assessment and don’t qualify for TEF.
  • take a different approach to benchmarking that does not force differentiation
  • include a place for commendations

I am not convinced by the argument that no-one would participate in the TEF without the direct financial incentive. That does not hold true for the REF. The REF has increased the focus on impact and had a beneficial impact on research. (We have some reservations about the changes proposed in the latest REF consultation, but that is a separate issue.) The concerns about the TEF would be mitigated substantially if the Olympic rating system and the link to fees were dropped. The sector would be able to engage in a much more constructive debate about subject-level TEF.

The TEF does not need to be thrown out completely – but this is an opportunity to go back to where this started from and ensure that the TEF brings focus on the quality of education and student outcomes.

Still places left for Creative Writing for Academics Workshop

Writing quotesCreative Writing for Academics with Kip Jones

Thursday 20 & Friday 21 April 2017 
Executive Business Centre, Bournemouth, UK

Workshop objectives:

  •  Have more of your work read by wider audiences; in other words, impact.
  •  By providing an intense two-day experience the playing field is levelled and opportunities for facilitated learning developed.
  •  By engaging in creative writing, it becomes possible for all to write more clearly, more simply, even more creatively, when writing not only for academic publications, but also for outlets previously unimagined.

The workshop will take place at the BU Executive Business Centre, 7th Floor. Thursday, 20 April and Friday, 21 April 2017

Workshop Price: £175. For two days of activities. The price includes lunch and refreshments and all class materials. Accommodation and travel costs are not included.

Register online:

Take a b&w photo you’ve never seen and write 1000 words about it.

Participant in Creative Writing for Academics at Bournemouth University about to write a story based on one photograph

Participant in Creative Writing for Academics at Bournemouth University about to write a story based on one photograph

P1020072-001 P1020060-001




Letting the Pigeons Fly Free!

Professor Matthew Bennett, Professor Of Environmental & Geographical Sciences, will be presenting a ‘Leading Innovation’ masterclass on Wednesday 22nd March.

‘Silos destroy the collective power of innovation that comes with inter-disciplinary collaboration and an ability to seek research funding, impact and success flexibly both as individuals and as teams.  In this master class using personal examples and reflections we will discuss the concept of transferability of research skills, of how to create a sense of confidence and how to inspire a can-do spirit that conquers all.’

It will take place 10.00 – 11.30 on Talbot Campus.  Please email to book a place

Future sessions in this series include:

  • An innovative approach to setting up a Research Hub
  • Developing Interdisciplinarity
  • The clinical doctorate model – enabling Practitioner Research

For more details please visit the Staff Intranet

Call for Papers: Psychosocial Reflections on a Half Century of Cultural Revolution

Association for Psychosocial Studies Biennial Conference

Bournemouth University, 5th- 7th April 2018



‘Psychosocial Reflections on a Half Century of Cultural Revolution’

Fifty years after the hippie counterculture of 1967 (‘the summer of love’) and the political turbulence of 1968 (‘May 68’), this conference will stage a psychosocial examination of the ways in which today’s world is shaped by the forces symbolised by those two moments. It will explore the continuing influence of the deep social, cultural and political changes in the West, which crystallised in the events of these two years. The cultural forces and the political movements of that time aimed to change the world, and did so, though not in the ways that many of their participants expected. Their complex, multivalent legacy of ‘liberation’ is still developing and profoundly shapes the globalising world today, in the contests between what is called neo-liberalism, resurgent fundamentalisms, environmentalism, individualism, nationalisms, and the proliferation of identity politics.

A counter-cultural and identity-based ethos now dominates much of consumer culture, and is reflected in the recent development of some populist and protest politics. A libertarian critique of politics, once at the far margins, now informs popular attitudes towards many aspects of democratic governance; revolutionary critiques have become mainstream clichés. Hedonic themes suffuse everyday life, while self-reflection and emotional literacy have also become prominent values, linked to more positive orientations towards human diversity and the international community.

We invite psychosocial analyses of the development and legacy today of the ‘revolutions’ of the sixties, either through explorations of contemporary issues in politics, culture and artistic expression, or through historical studies. All proposals for papers, panels and workshops must indicate how they address both psychological and social dimensions of their topic.

Topics could include:

What happened to hate in the Summer of Love?
Lennon vs Lenin: did 1967 and 1968 announce two divergent trends in contemporary culture – and what has happened since to the psychosocial forces they expressed?
What are the meanings of ‘liberation’ today?
New inequalities in post-industrial societies
·The resurgence of religion
The Six Day War, intifadas, and intractability
The planetary environment: fantasies and politics
Trajectories of feminism
The changing nature of ageing
‘The personal is political’ and other rhetoric in historical context
Free minds and free markets
The ethics of freedom: for example, where now for freedom of speech?
From the Manson Family to the Islamic State
Pop music’s global conquest and musical hybridity
Changes in artistic practice, creativity and commodification
The transformation of media
The digitisation of everything
Higher education: democratisation and marketisation
The potential and limitations of theories of narcissism as a major tool for understanding late modern/post-modern cultures
New narcissisms in the twenty-first century
Therapeutic culture and its critics
Where are they now? Biographical narratives of the revolutionaries
States of mind in pivotal moments: San Francisco 67, Paris 68, and since
The sense of entitlement: narcissism or social justice?
The decline of deference and its consequences
The hatred of government and authority
The sexualisation of culture
Controlled decontrolling or repressive desublimation? Elias and Marcuse on cultural liberalisation
Our bodies ourselves: shifting patterns and perceptions of embodiment.

Send your abstract of 250-300 words to:
Deadline: 31 May 2017.

Decisions on acceptance will be taken by early July 2017.

BUDMC Panel at Prestigious International Studies Association (ISA) Convention in Baltimore

Lee Miles (Professor of Crisis and Disaster Management) and the Bournemouth University Disaster Management Centre (BUDMC) convened a panel at the 58th Annual Convention of the International Studies Association (ISA) – widely regarded as the premier international conference for international studies/International Relations entitled ‘Policy Entrepreneurship and Political Change at Times of Crisis’, held in Baltimore in the USA (Friday 24 February 2017).

Not only did the panel include papers from leading academic authorities on the subject of policy entrepreneurship in the US (Professors Ralph Carter and James M. Scott), and Canada (Professor Charles-Philippe David) that examined policy entrepreneurship in handling crisis in the US Congress and US Presidency, but the panel also included contributions from leading members of the Disaster Management Centre. Alongside a sole-authored paper by Lee Miles on ‘Group Dynamics as Drivers of Political Change’, Lee and Dr Henry Bang (Research Fellow in Disaster Management) delivered key 2017 preliminary findings from the ‘Mini-AFRIGATE’ project on policy entrepreneurs in the African disaster management context in their paper: ‘A Glass of Crisis Management with a Foreign Policy Twist? Entrepreneurial Resilience in the Cameroon’. The paper and feedback acquired at the panel will also form the basis of a policy-oriented best practice workshop with African policy-makers scheduled to take place at Bournemouth University in late March 2017.


Professor Lee Miles and Dr Henry Bang at ISA in Baltimore

Professor Lee Miles and Dr Henry Bang at ISA in Baltimore

The final paper in the panel focused on the Ukrainian Crisis  and the role of policy entrepreneurs in handling longer term crisis and constitutes dissemination of an innovative project that brings together researchers from the UK (Lee Miles) and Sweden (Dr Viktoriia Panova). The panel was well received and highlighted how policy entrepreneurship represents a key area of interest that provides further insights into how the innovative skills of policy-makers, legislators, disaster managers and entrepreneurs may be a factor during times of crisis and turmoil. It also represents yet another major success for the BUDMC in competitively securing and convening a panel at one of the world’s premier IR conferences for the second year running.

Video features audience experience of 5th Anniversary screening of RUFUS STONE film

Rufus Shelley waterA Gala Celebration of the 5th Anniversary of the Premiere of RUFUS STONE took place at the historic Shelley Theatre in Boscombe (Bournemouth) on the 7th of November,  as part of ESRC’s Festival of Social Science. The Event was organized at the Shelley by FH&SS’s Lee-Ann Fenge and Kip Jones.

Watching the film with theatre projection was a special treat. After the screening and Q & A led by FM&C’s Trevor Hearing interviewing the film’s Executive Producer and Author, Kip Jones, the audience retired to the renovated bar area for drinks and nibbles. It is here that they had the chance to meet and chat with each other, including representatives of educational, statutory and community organisations which have made an impact on their communities with their own screenings of RUFUS STONE over the past five years.

And this was in no way  a swan song!  Shortly after  the Shelley screening, Kip Jones presented the film and talked with the audience via Skype at University of Tampere in Finland  at their Social Psychology Conference.

The film was directed by FM&C’s Tom Stone. Watch it here:

RUFUS STONE Shelley Theatre Screening