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University of Bath

School of Management PhD projects

Find out more about the PhD projects available in the School of Management

Projects

A multi-level exploration of the urgent transition to Net Zero Infrastructure

Project synopsis: Achieving Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 requires radically new and transformed infrastructure (e.g. transport, energy, hospitals, ICT). The 2050 target brings a sense of urgency to policy and business, but meeting this goal will require hugely ambitious programmes that will have to embrace innovative modes for delivering both completely new and adapting existing infrastructure. This raises interesting practical and conceptual research questions that require significant empirical scholarship. Such a grand challenge warrants research that addresses different levels of analysis and timeframes, so this PhD project will combine systems, organisational and behavioural insights with a range of temporal perspectives.
Lead Supervisor: Professor Jens Roehrich, Information, Decisions & Operations Division
Co-Supervisor: Professor Michael Lewis, Information, Decisions & Operations Division
Project Enquiries: J.Roehrich@bath.ac.uk

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Asset Allocation with Machine Learning & Parameter Uncertainty

Project synopsis: Development of robust portfolio optimization techniques in finance using machine learning techniques with sophisticated portfolio optimization methods and statistical methods.
Lead Supervisor: Dr Emmanouil Platanakis, Accounting & Finance Division
Co-Supervisor: Professor David Newton, Accounting & Finance Division
Project Enquiries: E.Platanakis@bath.ac.uk

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Authenticity, audience engagement and performance of early-stage hybrid ventures

Project synopsis: The growth of new ventures depends on their ability to mobilize an audience to support their endeavour. While this is challenging for most new ventures because they lack legitimacy, it is particularly problematic for those ventures that blend profit goals with non-profit goals. As these are seen as contrasting goals, hybrid ventures need to convince the audience of their congruence, i.e., the authenticity of their dual mission. The aim of this project is to investigate how new hybrid ventures craft authenticity over time, and what is the relationship between these efforts at authenticity and the audience’s subsequent engagement.
Lead Supervisor: Dr Daniela Defazio, Strategy & Organisation Division
Co-Supervisor: Professor Dimo Dimov, Strategy & Organisation Division
Project Enquiries: D.Defazio@bath.ac.uk

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Brand Activism and Online Advertising

Project synopsis: Brands constantly face the risk of online advertising appearing alongside content that promotes causes that are misaligned with their brand values. To manage such perceived ‘brand activism by association’, many brands blacklist particular websites, words, and causes that they do not wish to align with in order to uphold ‘brand safety’. The placement of online advertising then assumes a political dimension as brands negotiate the causes they are willing, or unwilling, to be associated with. This project seeks to develop greater understanding of how such brand safety practices are conducted and their effects on consumers and other stakeholders.
Lead Supervisor: Dr Sarah Glozer, Marketing, Business & Society Division
Co-Supervisor: Professor Andrew Crane, Marketing, Business & Society Division Co-Supervisor: Dr Joanne Hinds, Information, Decisions & Operations Division
Project Enquiries: S.Glozer@bath.ac.uk

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Color Affects Product Perception

Project synopsis: How does the color of a product affect purchase intentions? What causes consumers to choose a product in one color over another? And do these drivers vary according to product characteristics, like whether the product is a vice or a virtue? Previous research suggests that the color red may play a special role in consumer behavior, by e.g., increasing excitement and influencing the level of deliberation and product preferences. Therefore, this project will look to understand the effect of red (in comparison to other colors) on consumers’ decision-making and behaviors as well as to identify ways to counteract such effects.
Lead Supervisor: Dr Iina Ikonen, Marketing, Business & Society Division
Co-Supervisor: Professor Nancy Puccinelli, Marketing, Business & Society Division
Project Enquiries: imhi21@bath.ac.uk

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Competitive/Corporate Strategy and Sustainability

Project synopsis: What are the key interrelationships between competitive and/or corporate strategy and sustainability? How do competitive and/or corporate strategy adversely and advantageously affect sustainability? How do sustainability exigencies affect competitive and/or corporate strategy? What makes competitive and/or corporate strategies embrace or ignore sustainability? How do personality and individual differences affect competitive and/or corporate strategy/sustainability interrelationships? How do competitive and/or corporate strategy shape sustainable and unsustainable consumption, and vice versa? How do competitive and/or corporate strategy influence public opinion and policy on sustainability, and vice versa? If you find these kinds of questions intriguing and would like to help develop, refine and answer them as part of a structured programme of doctoral training and original scholarship, please get in touch.
Lead Supervisor: Professor Edmund Thompson, Strategy & Organisation Division
Project Enquiries: E.R.Thompson@bath.ac.uk

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Consuming modern slavery: re-examining the role of consumption in enabling and escaping extreme labour exploitation

Project synopsis: While most attention to consumption and modern slavery has focused on how consumers in the global North should purchase slave-free goods, this research project seeks to analyze the consumption practices of modern slavery victims. This includes consumption of people smuggling services or payments for food, accommodation, and other necessities that exacerbate debt bondage as well as compensatory consumption that might provide brief moments of human agency, freedom or pleasure during exploitation. The goal is to develop new theory on the role of consumption in enabling or escaping modern slavery, and to identify more effective policy and practice to protect victims.
Lead Supervisor: Professor Andrew Crane, Marketing, Business & Society Division
Co-Supervisor: Professor Pierre McDonagh, Marketing, Business & Society Division
Project Enquiries: A.W.Crane@bath.ac.uk

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Consumption and Sustainability

Project synopsis: Consumption and sustainability interactions constitute an important field with myriad unanswered and unposed questions - some very profoundly fundamental. What do consumption and sustainability really mean to different populations? Are current normative and empirical conceptions of each construct adequately clear and analytically tractable? How can they be made more nuanced to provide subtler theoretical insights? Is their measurement robust to rigorous empirical examination and hypotheses testing? If you find these kinds of questions intriguing and would like to help develop, refine and answer them as part of a structured programme of doctoral training and original scholarship, please get in touch.
Lead Supervisor: Professor Edmund Thompson, Strategy & Organisation Division
Co-Supervisor: Dr Debbie Desrochers, Marketing, Business & Society Division
Project Enquiries: E.R.Thompson@bath.ac.uk

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Coordination and profit allocation in Mobility as a Service

Project synopsis: Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) is one of the trends in new mobility services, that combines different players to form a common service platform, giving people options to search, book and pay for public and private transportation services at one stop. This project will focus on two critical questions (1) How to coordinate the services from different companies in MasS in order to improve the level of service and to increase the number of users of the system, and (2) How to allocate the profit by cooperation in MaaS so that a fair and acceptable allocation among the companies involved is achieved.
Lead Supervisor: Dr Meng Meng, Information, Decisions & Operations Division
Co-Supervisor: Dr Maria Battarra, Information, Decisions & Operations Division
Project Enquiries: mm3042@bath.ac.uk

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Enhancing Option Pricing Techniques via Deep Learning

Project synopsis: We are applying Deep Learning to option pricing and are looking for candidates with skills and interests in this area.
Lead Supervisor: Professor David Newton, Accounting & Finance Division
Co-Supervisor: Dr Emmanouil Platanakis, Accounting & Finance Division
Project Enquiries: D.P.Newton@bath.ac.uk

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Entrepreneurship as a household choice

Project synopsis: This project proposes a novel approach to entrepreneurship. We are interested in studying entrepreneurship as a household choice as opposed to an individual choice. Recent literature highlights how entrepreneurial dynamics are not isolated from the family of the entrepreneur (both parents and partner). However, apart few exceptions, the choice to become entrepreneur is mainly treated as an individual one. Our research will consider the focal individual and their partner. In particular we propose to look at spouse factors such as 1) relative income 2) personality 3) labour market characteristics and 4) cognitive ability & relative cognitive ability. This research will be based on quantitative analyses drawing from large panel dataset such as Understanding Society allowing to match individuals to their partners. We are looking for outstanding candidates interested to work with advanced statistical methods and quantitative analyses. We will give preference to candidates with first at UG level and/or a distinction at Master’s level.
Lead supervisor: Dr Chris Dawson, Marketing, Business & Society Division
Co-supervisor: Dr Virgilio Failla, Strategy & Organisation Division
Project Enquiries: C.G.Dawson@bath.ac.uk, V.Failla@bath.ac.uk

Entrepreneurship and Sustainability

Project synopsis: What are the key interrelationships between entrepreneurship and sustainability? How do business, social, institutional or organizational entrepreneurs adversely and advantageously affect sustainability? How do sustainability exigencies affect entrepreneurship? What makes entrepreneurs embrace or ignore sustainability? How do personality and individual differences affect entrepreneurship/sustainability interrelationships? How do entrepreneurs shape sustainable and unsustainable consumption, and vice versa? How does entrepreneurship influence public opinion and policy on sustainability, and vice versa? If you find these kinds of questions intriguing and would like to help develop, refine and answer them as part of a structured programme of doctoral training and original scholarship, please get in touch.
Lead Supervisor: Professor Edmund Thompson, Strategy & Organisation Division
Project Enquiries: E.R.Thompson@bath.ac.uk

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Entrepreneurship in Children

Project synopsis: Some children are entrepreneurial: are children natural-born entrepreneurs? Is childhood entrepreneurship developed or destroyed by social, economic and educational systems, or does it either develop or decline as a natural process of maturation? Nobody knows the answers to these and related questions as little is known systematically about the nature and extent of entrepreneurial propensity or activity amongst children or how entrepreneurialism evolves as children grow to adulthood. If you find these kinds of questions intriguing and would like to help develop and answer them as part of a structured programme of doctoral training and original scholarship, please get in touch.
Lead Supervisor: Professor Edmund Thompson, Strategy & Organisation Division
Project Enquiries: E.R.Thompson@bath.ac.uk

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Exploring Counter-Cultural Subcultures that Reclaim the Divine Feminine

Project synopsis: We live in challenging times, on many levels. This PhD topic explores the growing interest in alternative, counter-cultural movements or subcultures that question our current values and priorities, particularly in relation to Nature. Interest in alternative or complimentary life-style choices such as wellbeing, mindfulness, sustainability, self-sufficiency and veganism is on the rise. So too are nature-centred religions such as Wicca and spiritual practices such as meditation and yoga. We are interested in PhD topics that explore beliefs and practices seeking to reclaim a sense of the “divine feminine” in society to counter current value systems with more nurturing alternatives.
Lead Supervisor: Dr Lorna Stevens, Marketing, Business & Society Division
Co-Supervisor: Dr Aliette Lambert, Marketing, Business & Society Division
Co-Supervisor: Professor Pierre McDonagh, Marketing, Business & Society Division
Project Enquiries: L.M.R.Stevens@bath.ac.uk

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Food Citizenship and Obesity

Project synopsis: Public Health England estimates that obesity is responsible for more than 30,000 deaths each year and its cost to society is £27 billion. Therefore, choosing foods that lead to obesity may be deemed irresponsible and irrational (De Tavernier 2012) and poor citizenship. However, focusing on healthy choices ignores other factors in food consumption decisions (Fox et. al 2018), including the psychological, physical, emotional, and social relationships individuals and society have with food (Block et al 2011). This project is to better define the concept of food citizenship and investigate its impact on obesity and society.
Lead Supervisor: Dr Debbie Desrochers, Marketing, Business & Society Division
Co-Supervisor: Professor Edmund Thompson, Strategy & Organisation Division
Project Enquiries: D.M.Desrochers@bath.ac.uk

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Inequalities in Supply Chains

Project synopsis: Systems of inequalities, including gender, race, language, caste, and religion are rooted in supply chains.The aims of this project will be toa) develop greater understanding of intersecting forms of inequality in supply chains, based in an agreed upon context or industry; b) identify factors that contribute to inequality at individual and structural levels; c) explore the impact of such inequalities; and d) develop innovative interventions to promote equality, diversity, and inclusion in supply chains. The project invites applicants to engage in a range of qualitative methods to collect in-depth data from a range of actors in supply chains.
Lead Supervisor: Dr Vivek Soundararajan, Strategy & Organisation Division
Co-Supervisor: Dr Deborah Brewis, Strategy & Organisation Division
Project Enquiries: V.Soundararajan@bath.ac.uk

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Managing distractions and multitasking in a fragmented, digital world

Project synopsis: Modern technology has profoundly affected the way we work. Over the last year, technologies such as Zoom and Teams have become a critical aspect of our working lives. In using these technologies, individuals must balance increasing demands on their time, frequently switching between different tasks, platforms, and groups. This project will explore the impact of managing distractions and multitasking in digital-based work and will seek to understand: how individuals balance competing demands, the impact these demands have on home/work life, how these demands differ across demographics (e.g. gender, age, occupation), and what the implications may be for (digital) corporate responsibility.
Lead Supervisor: Dr Joanne Hinds, Information, Decisions & Operations Division
Co-Supervisor: Dr Sarah Glozer, Marketing, Business & Society Division
Project Enquiries: J.Hinds@bath.ac.uk

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Modelling and Analysis of the Effects of Different Levels of Automation on Warehousing Performance

Project synopsis: This study will investigate different approaches to employing automation (both physical and digital) within a warehouse and assess the effects of using these on warehousing performance by formulating mathematical models to optimise the decisions of storage assignment, order batching and picker routing, as well as development of quantitative solution approaches. The successful candidate will also study and collect data from warehouses adopting different automation technologies. Hence, profound knowledge of warehouse operations/technologies and operational research tools is required. The successful candidate will join the Centre for Smart Warehousing and Logistics Systems, and benefit from a strong network of academics and practitioners.
Lead Supervisor: Dr Melih Celik, Information, Decisions & Operations Division
Co-Supervisor: Dr Vaggelis Giannikas, Information, Decisions & Operations Division
Project Enquiries: M.Celik@bath.ac.uk

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New working space, migration and regional regeneration

Project synopsis: Disruptive technological change, precarious self-employment, along with the COVID-19 pandemic, has facilitated a growth in new workspaces, such as neighbourhood co-working and maker spaces (e.g. Fab Labs). Current studies have largely ignored the socio-economic impact of new working spaces on regional growth paths. This is a live policy issue in lagging regions, where appropriate policy tools may enable them to utilise new working spaces to enhance more inclusive and balanced growth.
Lead Supervisor: Dr Mariachiara Barzotto, Strategy & Organisation Division
Co-Supervisor: Professor Phil Tomlinson, Marketing, Business & Society Division
Project Enquiries: mb2602@bath.ac.uk, P.R.Tomlinson@bath.ac.uk

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Obesity and Food Away from Home

Project synopsis: Food consumed away from home (FAFH) is associated with high calorie consumption, lower nutritional value and, in turn, a higher body mass index. However, influencing choices in these settings is difficult because, for example, people may have an indulgence mindset rather than a focus on health. This project aims to understand how cues in these FAFH environments can influence consumers’ food choices and motivations, and potentially find interventions to mitigate the impact of unhealthy consumption in FAFH.
Lead Supervisor: Dr Iina Ikonen, Marketing, Business & Society Division
Co-Supervisor: Dr Debbie Desrochers, Marketing, Business & Society Division
Project Enquiries: imhi21@bath.ac.uk

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Routing fleets of very heterogeneous vehicles

Project synopsis: Will it be drones, self-driven vehicles, occasional drivers or another new and exciting technology to change the face of logistics in the combining years?! What seems certain is that routing decisions will have to effective, quick and reliable, if small-to-medium businesses will be able to compete with large corporations, as Amazon. How can these enterprises collaborate to effectively succeed in their delivery operations? In this PhD, we will study effective metaheuristic algorithms that will be able to raise to this challenge and develop a modular yet effective code capable of solving routing algorithms with very diverse fleets of vehicles.
Lead Supervisor: Dr Maria Battarra, Information, Decisions & Operations Division
Co-Supervisor: Professor Gunes Erdogan, Information, Decisions & Operations Division
Co-Supervisor: Professor Gilbert Laporte, Information, Decisions & Operations Division
Project Enquiries: M.Battarra@bath.ac.uk

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Switching from High-carbon to Sustainable Electricity: Consumer, Entrepreneur and Industry Imperatives and Interactions

Project synopsis: Switching from today’s flexible but high-carbon electricity to sustainable but less flexible generation needs both supply-side technological advance and demand-side transformation ensuring electricity consumption patterns shift to more closely synchronize with sustainable production patterns. How and through what mechanisms can consumers, entrepreneurs and industry change to achieve this? How do each of these interact with technology and politics to help or hinder successful adoption of swifter sustainable electricity production? If you find these questions intriguing and would like to help develop and answer them as part of a structured programme of doctoral training and original scholarship, please get in touch.
Lead Supervisor: Professor Edmund Thompson, Strategy & Organisation Division
Co-supervisor: Professor Furong Li, Dept. of Electronic & Electrical Engineering
Project Enquiries: E.R.Thompson@bath.ac.uk

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The all-male corporate board: COVID-19 and the asymmetric impact on women corporate leadership

Project synopsis: We are seeking a PhD candidate interested in understanding the effect of institutional changes brought about as a result of the pandemic on corporate board gender diversity, but also gender diversity in corporate leadership more broadly, and its impact on firms’ performance and reputation. The basic premise of the project is registered with the Government Equalities Office, and is on their dashboard of work carried out to look at the impact of COVID-19 on issues of equality. Evidence suggests that addressing the continued absence of women in leadership could create a boost to the UK economy totally £189bn (Financial Times, 2020).
Lead Supervisor: Dr Johanne Grosvold, Marketing, Business & Society Division
Co-Supervisor: Dr Paul Baker, Marketing, Business & Society Division
Project Enquiries: J.Grosvold@bath.ac.uk

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The effectiveness of Management games in Operations and Supply Chain Management education and training

Project synopsis: This study will examine the effectiveness of online Management games in achieving learning outcomes in Operations and Supply Chain Management (OSCM) education and training. There are 200 such different games that introduce various concepts in OSCM, including several educational games outside of academia (such as Factorio, Infinifactory, and Opus Magnum). The successful applicant will examine various online games within OSCM that claim relevant learning outcomes with the aim of understanding the relationships between game design variables and indicators of effectiveness. This will involve the use of games in an online education setting and measuring learning outcomes.
Lead Supervisor: Dr Baris Yalabik, Information, Decisions & Operations Division
Co-Supervisor: Professor Yasin Rofcanin, Strategy & Organisation Division
Project Enquiries: B.Yalabik@bath.ac.uk

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The impact of hyper connectivity on work and well-being

Project synopsis: A variety of ubiquitous technologies have allowed home and work life to overlap. However, the health and occupational impacts are far from clear. While some people can thrive in an ‘always-on’ environment, others may struggle. Going further, the very same digital technologies used to conduct business can log working patterns and provide feedback in real-time. Many questions remain regarding how people regulate their technology use to meet occupational and social obligations. Therefore, this PhD project will explore how technology is changing the way we work and how this impacts well-being. The successful applicant will help shape the final project.
Lead Supervisor: Dr David A Ellis, Information, Decisions & Operations Division
Co-Supervisor: Dr Brit Davidson, Information, Decisions & Operations Division
Project Enquiries: dae30@bath.ac.uk

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The Marketing of the Stigma of Obesity

Project synopsis: The attention focused on the obesity epidemic may be facilitating an obesity stigma, which imposes suffering on vulnerable groups (Puhl and Heuer 2010). Relative to other stigmatising traits, the negative attitude towards obesity differs in that it is accepted, justified, and even encouraged (Wang, et al 2004). The purpose of this project is to investigate the role of marketing communications and media as a facilitator, or possible remedy of this stigma. Gaining a better understanding of the role of marketing in this context may help reduce the stigma and the harms caused to this vulnerable population.
Lead Supervisor: Dr Debbie Desrochers, Marketing, Business & Society Division
Co-Supervisor: Dr Lorna Stevens, Marketing, Business & Society Division
Project Enquiries: D.M.Desrochers@bath.ac.uk

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The unintended consequences of the evolving family unit

Project synopsis: The traditional family unit comprised of the father who specializes in labour market work and the mother who specializes in home production is in decline in the United Kingdom (UK), the United States (US) and many other developed economies across the globe. There is a growing literature suggesting that this decline, by challenging gender identity norms (i.e. "a man should earn more than his wife"), remains unsettling for many in society. The core aim of this project is to investigate some of the unintended consequences of this transition to a less specialized division of labour within the household.
Lead Supervisor: Dr Chris Dawson, Marketing, Business & Society Division
Co-Supervisor: Dr Virgilio Failla, Strategy & Organisation Division
Co-Supervisor: Dr Joanna Syrda, Marketing, Business & Society Division
Project Enquiries: C.G.Dawson@bath.ac.uk

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Universities as Regional Anchors, Place Leaders and ‘Inclusive Growth’

Project synopsis: We are looking for PhD candidates to explore how universities - as a public anchor – can act as place leaders in promoting inclusive regional growth. During the COVID-19 pandemic, universities have played a critical role in sustaining regional responses to the health emergency (e.g. providing PPE). Post-COVID, universities are expected to be place leaders in fostering regional recovery plans and enhancing regional innovation eco-systems (Goddard, 2020). This presents an opportunity for a granular set of studies, exploring the idiosyncrasies of university capabilities/capacities and how they align with underlying economic geographies, university place leadership and the development of place-based policy frameworks.
Lead Supervisor: Professor Phil Tomlinson, Marketing, Business & Society Division
Co-Supervisor: Dr Felicia Fai, Strategy & Organisation Division
Co-Supervisor: Dr Mariachiara Barzotto, Strategy & Organisation Division
Project Enquiries: P.R.Tomlinson@bath.ac.uk, F.M.Fai@bath.ac.uk, mb2602@bath.ac.uk

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