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The University of Southampton

The University of Southampton appoints new Head of Business School

Published: 20 September 2020
Laura Costanzo
Professor Laura Costanzo - appointed as the new Head of the University of Southampton Busines

Professor Laura Costanzo has been appointed as the new Head of the University of Southampton Business School.

She succeeds Professor Martin Broad who left Southampton over the summer to take up a new role at the University of Winchester.

Professor Costanzo joined the Southampton Business School in 2014 as an Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship to be subsequently promoted to Full Professor of Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Since then she has proactively contributed to the development of the Southampton Business School by leading a number of changing initiatives that made a positive impact on students and colleagues, particularly in her different roles respectively as Director of the SBS PhD programmes and Head of the Department of Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. As a member of the SBS Board she has passionately contributed to the School’s recently refreshed strategy.

“I am privileged and delighted to serve as the next Head of the Southampton Business School and I would like to thank the University Panel for their trust in my ability to lead the School,” said Professor Costanzo. “Southampton Business School fosters an inclusive-thought leadership environment that encourages interdisciplinary research and education. Leveraging our research strengths in quantitative analytics and entrepreneurial business management, the SBS is well-placed to make a sustainable impact on business and society in an increasingly digital society.” She added,  “Furthermore, our world class research will generate impactful knowledge to co-create solutions with regional and global organisations to change the world for the better. Being part of the Faculty of Social Sciences is also a great advantage to realise valuable interdisciplinary collaborations that make a sustainable impact on our students, the university, the local and global contexts”.  

Professor Jane Falkingham, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Southampton said: "I am delighted that Laura has joined the senior leadership of the Faculty as the new Head of the Southampton Business School. She brings with her a wealth of experience and I am confident that under her leadership, the Business School will continue to go from strength to strength. I very much look forward to working with her.

As she begins her new role, Professor Costanzo is looking forward to fully engaging with colleagues, students and the wider academic and business communities to fulfil the recently refreshed vision of SBS to ‘transform business and society for the better’.

“Under the new context created by the Covid-19 pandemic, the next academic year is going to be one of the most challenging years in the history of the SBS as for any other Higher Education institution in the UK,” Professor Costanzo explained. “Given the tremendous amount of talent available in the School and being inspired by our values of quality, collegiality, integrity and inclusivity, I have no doubt that working as one team, we can show our great resilience at this challenging time as we continue to work towards achieving our ambitions.

“Guided by our vision, in our journey, we will need to adapt our current activities so that we can successfully respond to the immediate external challenges,” Professor Costanzo continued. “In so doing, equally, we can proactively transform some of the challenges into great opportunities for us.

“Particularly, with regard to our educational provision, we have already made the necessary adjustments to provide a transformative learning experience to our students so that they can become responsible and resilient future leaders” she concluded. “Our diverse body of passionate, resilient and talented academics will enable such a transformative experience in a safe learning environment. I am grateful to the VC, the University senior management team, professional services, all colleagues at all levels for all their great efforts and robust approach in taking all the necessary steps to make the campus very safe for students and staff. Hence, the SBS is ready to welcome both returning and new students who would like to join us to embark on the next challenge of their learning experience - online and, where possible, in person - as they wish to shape their future and realise their full potential. The SBS educational portfolio is interdisciplinary spanning across the subjects of accounting, banking and finance, data analytics and risk management, entrepreneurship and innovation, human resources management and organizational behavior, marketing and strategy. These taught subjects are underpinned by the academics’ rigorous and impactful research in addition to being supported by opportunities of blended and experiential learning.”

Professor Costanzo holds a PhD from the University of Leeds, is a member of a number of leading academic societies including the Academy of Management, European Academy of Management and British Academy of Management and Strategic Management Society. She has organised and chaired conferences tracks at prestigious international conferences. Her research work, presented at leading national and international conferences in the subject areas of strategic management and entrepreneurship, received a number of international awards including EURAM/SIMA best paper award for SMEs/International Management, British Academy of Management best paper award for strategic foresight, and Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence for Outstanding Paper in JFRC. She is a member of the editorial boards for a number of academic journals, amongst which the British Journal of Management (4* ABS) and the European Management Review (3* ABS). She also served as an Associate Editor of the European Management Review.

Her research interests are in social and sustainable entrepreneurship, strategy process, management teams’ dynamics, uncertainty and intuition in entrepreneurial decision-making. These topics are researched within different industry contexts in both developed and developing economies by applying different theoretical lens of investigation, which so far have mainly included institutional theory, institutional logics, ambidexterity, paradox, strategy-as-practice perspectives, affect-as-information theory, and appraisal tendency framework. Professor Costanzo is currently researching family businesses’ entrepreneurial behaviour from a multi-cultural/institutional perspective, challenges of family businesses’ intergenerational change and sustainability, and entrepreneurs’ sensemaking of the new reality created by Covid.  Her teaching portfolio includes expertise in strategic management, global entrepreneurship, strategic decision-making and family business.

Previously she held academic positions at the University of Surrey and the International Institute of Banking and Financial Services, University of Leeds. Prior to joining academia she worked as a consultant and business analyst in different European locations, which provided her with a wealth of practical and business knowledge. At the University of Bocconi (Italy) she undertook further training by being admitted to the elite ITP international professional qualification for teaching in the world top 100 business schools.

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