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The University of Southampton
Southampton Business School

Research strategy

The University of Southampton is part of the prestigious UK Russell Group of Universities and is ranked in the top 100 of universities globally. It is distinguished by its world-leading research intensity and excellence, and its mission is to change the world for the better via research of the highest quality. Southampton Business School (SBS) is an integral part of the University and, as such, is expected to develop and display these high levels of research intensity and excellence. Consistent with this expectation, the School’s vision is to transform business and society for the better by enabling world leading research and generating knowledge that is recognised in the global academic community. Thus, the School’s research strategy is an important part of the School’s overall strategy, and excellence in research and development is considered crucial to achieving the School’s long-term aim of being ranked in the top 10 nationally (UK) and the top 100 internationally.

Notably, at SBS, we strongly recognise that research is central to everything that we do – and that it must:

·         drive our reputation, national and international rankings and accreditations.

Research strategy

At SBS, our research strategy, in an increasingly digital society, is to build on our core research strengths that reside in quantitative analytics and entrepreneurial business management, while broadening our scope to develop related areas within the business and management canon, such as artificial intelligence (AI), big data, climate change, accounting and finance, circular economy, digital, financial technology (fintech), future of work and other types of sustainability research.

Our mission is to develop future leaders who change the world for the better. We do this by fostering an inclusive thought leadership environment and encouraging responsible interdisciplinary research and education that makes a sustainable impact.

Our research strengths are in the following areas:

In addition, SBS plans to continue to invest in new and emerging research areas, such as family business and international entrepreneurship, fintech, future of work, healthcare analytics, circular economy (product returns), project management and other types of analytics, digital, climate change, accounting and finance, and sustainability research.

Our aim is to make a significant contribution to theoretical developments, policy and practical impacts across this broad set of disciplines and to solve problems of concern to local, regional, national and international business and society – academia, commerce, government, policy-makers and regulators, industry, professionals and professional bodies, the public, private and third sectors, and society in general. The wide cross-section of disciplines within the SBS provides disciplinary homes for individuals, as well as serving to coordinate education, enterprise and administrative activities.

These RCs operate within 6 Academic Departments:

In addition to the 8 RCs, there are three new and relatively smaller research groups located in DAR, namely Centre for Advanced Project Management Research Centre, Centre for Healthcare Analytics (CHA) and Product Returns Research Group (PRRG) that conduct research in the use of management science to the field of project management, the application of analytics to address challenges in healthcare and the impact of the return of products from online shopping on companies’ operations, respectively along with multi-research labs in the CISEI. Furthermore, through the CWO, SBS has strong links with the university-wide multidisciplinary Work Futures Research Centre (WFRC) with two of the four Co-Directors of the centre coming from, and funded by, the School.

These RCs and departments do not operate in silos, but are fully integrated, enabling cross-collaborations amongst RCs and departments. Staff may belong to more than one RC: there is considerable overlap in membership, for example, among CDF, CORMSIS and CRR. RCs are led by directors, who are typically senior staff and operate alongside heads of departments. The purpose of our RCs is to generate and disseminate knowledge, understanding and practical impact. In addition, the RCs foster co-working and ownership of the research mission/direction by enabling our Early Career Researchers (ECRs) to develop their careers and thrive in their fields of interest.

Specific research initiatives develop from RCs, individuals and groups, across the range of subject areas, and we believe that we have an excellent and recognised record in the creation of innovative research and new RCs to support new initiatives.

Overarching research strategy objectives:

To enhance our ability to transform business and society for the better, we have set out a clear strategic goal: We enable world-leading research and generate knowledge that is recognised in the global academic community. We will ensure that our research is of the highest quality, that it underpins all our activities, and that we generate the level of reputation and funding that can power our growth, development and long-term sustainability in a manner that is financially, environmentally and socially responsible.

Our research strategy has the following overarching/long-term objectives:


Collaboration is a key aspect of the University’s research activity; at Southampton Business School joint working is integral to many of our research projects.

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