Managing Complex Change

The University of Hertfordshire has been ranked 1st in the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey 2019 for overall research student satisfaction for Business and Economics research degree programmes. Source: 2019 Postgraduate Research Student Experience Survey.

Managing complex change is a multi-disciplinary research group at the Hertfordshire Business School, which is interested in how organisations change, or why they stay the same, and how we might manage organisations and what they produce sustainably.

Members of the group take a practical, theoretical and critical interest in managing the complexities of change, and more generally in the emergence of novelty. Researchers aim to deepen understanding of the effects of novelty and change, and the consequences for society, for organizations and their stakeholders, and for ordinary citizens, and policy makers.

Key themes

Our key research themes are as follows:

Leading and managing in practice in different sectors – focusing on the practice of leadership and management in complex environments, and the extent to which it is possible to predict and plan the futures we desire.

Innovation, particularly the adoption, use, diffusion, evaluation and use of information technology and its social consequences.

Entrepreneurship – the possibilities and limits of planning to be entrepreneurial in start-up, micro, small firms and large, in the private and not-for-profit sectors. To develop an understanding of entrepreneurial learning and skills development in individuals, teams, organizations and clusters.

The emergence of new knowledge and ways of learning alongside the persistence of more traditional perspectives – the role of networks, online collaboration as well as forms of resistance to the new.

Developing management models to aid organisations, particularly cash-starved organisations like the NHS, to manage their resources more efficiently and effectively.

Developing business models to encourage organisations and citizens to be more sustainable, recycle and refurbish.

Our work

Modelling techniques in healthcare management

Dr Eren Demir and Dr Reda Lebcir, both Readers at Hertfordshire Business School, are involved in the use of modelling techniques in healthcare management, and the development of tools that can aid healthcare decision-making. They have been developing healthcare models in the form of simulation, statistical modelling, health economics and big data analytics.

The goal is to assist key decision makers (such as health policy makers, service managers and consultants) achieve the most efficient and effective delivery of high-quality care to patients. Eren and Reda have developed many models for a wide range of diseases, e.g., mental health, ophthalmology (cataract and retinal services), Parkinson’s disease, TB/HIV, antimicrobial resistance, acute services, and neonatal care.

Encouraging Entrepreneurial activity and funding

Dr Katya Murzacheva’s research runs in two threads: first, looking into alternative finance for young companies, and, second, linking early stage entrepreneurial activity, and its parameters with local deprivation. The first set of projects explores the role of informal funders in the development of a venture, and analyses its prevalence and context at the local and macroeconomic levels.

The work in this area is further extended to investigate the relationship between equity crowdfunding and a firm’s growth, and to match the supply and demand sides of microfinance in the UK. The second project tackles local communities in the UK, where early stage entrepreneurial activity, its gender profile, and entrepreneurial capital are related to local deprivation levels as a mediator of entrepreneurial outcomes.

Information systems and the Third Age

desi radioProfessor Jyoti Choudrie’s research explores the role of digital skills in innovative internet-enabled products and services which impact organisations and society. She has particularly focused on how to include older adults in the use of digital devices to enable their greater inclusion in society.

To identify how the digital skills can be obtained, Jyoti has been training older adults in Southall where she discovered that with one-to-one instructional approaches, their self-confidence can increase. Younger adults can adopt digital skills quite rapidly by observing or in a group like setting. Professor Choudrie has been working with Age (UK) Herts, the University of the Third Age and University of Hertfordshire.

Business Models for a Circular Economy

circular economy logoMaurizio Catulli has carried out action-research to test whether it is possible to create new products and services using fewer resources. With his co-researchers he designed a pilot project to lease infant strollers and car seats and gauge consumer response. A central aspect of the project was to measure environmental, resource efficiency and social benefits and this was done by performing a simplified Life Cycle Analysis (LCA).

On the basis of the research Maurizio has managed to demonstrate that refurbishing and leasing second hand car seats is economically and environmentally viable, while doing the same for strollers is not. The research has been of benefit to parents, manufacturers and the the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Multilevel modelling

Dr Neil Spencer is conducting research into the effect that geographical clustering of data has on the analysis of labour force data collated by Eurostat from EU member states and other countries in Europe. Multilevel modelling is often used to analyse these data, taking account of the fact that they have been collected from different countries. However, information available on the region in which the respondent lives or works is often ignored. This research aims to investigate the impact of this on analyses and provide guidance for researchers operating in this area.

Digital Health Care

Festus Oderanti’s research is in the areas of entrepreneurship and digital healthcare innovations for safe and independent living of the elderly people and people with disabilities in their own homes. He focuses on how cost-effective and digital assistive technologies could be deployed in reducing the pressure on health and social care sectors’ budgets. In the last eight years, he has been involved in research in the areas of frameworks for healthcare information systems, eHealth innovation diffusion, business models and commercial sustainability of eHealth innovations in the aging population.

chris mowles headshot

Chris Mowles

Professor Chris Mowles is director of the innovative Doctor of Management programme (DMan) at Hertfordshire Business School.

Chris’ research interests include leadership and management practice in complex environments, including in less developed countries in the South, ethics and group dynamics. Chris also teaches at Copenhagen Business School and on the foundation course for the Institute of Group Analysis (IGA). He is a Group Work Practitioner with the IGA. See a recent interview with Chris Mowles.

Meet the team

StudentResearch project titleQualification
Zeshan AhmerDiffusion of Enterprise Resource Planning Systems: A Case Study of Higher Education Institutions in PakistanPhD
Ali Salim Rashid Al BulushiExplaining and Understanding The Use of Online Social Networks (OSN) in Public Sector Organisations in a Developing CountryPhD
Fahima AlamThe integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on digital marketing in creating competitive advantage.PhD
Fahima Rubayet AlanArtificial Intelligence and Digital MarketingPhD
Adel Abdulmhsen AlfalahOlder Adults in Households and e-Government Services in Saudi Arabia, Hail City: A Digital Divide Study of Adoption, Use and DiffusionPhD
Stephen Charles ArnoldDecision Making at WorkDMan
Maj Karin AskelandThe Coach and the Facilitator; Exploring the Effects of Power on the Ability ot Reason and Act With IntegrityDMan
Tal AvigdorReflecting on My Pratice of Talent Management: Linking Belonging, Power and Recognition - Progression ReportDMan
Roma BhowmickStrategic Impact of Networking: The Case of UK’s High Growth SMEs.DBA
Kursad BilgiliComparison of Discrete Event Simulation (DES) and System Dynamic (SD) Simulation in Application of Patient with Diabetes Treatment Pathway on Hospital SettingsPhD
Carla Ruth BlackadderComplexity of HR PracticeDMan
Stefan BollerThe paradox of group membership: Making a difference but conforming to the group both at the same time as a serial entrepreneur.DMan
Gur Mordechay BraslaviExploring Processes of Burn Out and Renewal Through the Practice of an Israeli Business Owner in the Communication IndustryDMan
Katie BurkeCo-Creation and Co-Destruction of value at music festivals: A Practice Theory Approach.PhD
Shoshana CamchyComplexity of HR PracticeDMan
Jenifer Suzanne CarmichaelProject ManagementDMan
Carolina Fabiana Castro RodriguezUnderstanding the adoption, diffusion and impact of mobile devices and application on business to employee (B2E) working practices: a study of organisationsPhD
Kiran ChauhanStrategy development in the NHS – silencing and being silencedDMan
Chikelue Junior Chike-obuekweIdentifying, Explaining and Understanding the Adoption, Use and Diffusion of Online Social Networks (OSNs) (Facebook and Twitter) Within the Older Adult's Population Within UKPhD
Graham CurtisOrganisational Collusion: A Response to UncertaintyDMan
Emma Jane ElkingtonComplexity and ConsultancyDMan
Sara FilbeeVoices from the Margins: Influencing Decision-Making in the Canadian Federal Government as a Senior Manager Based in Regional Operations.DMan
Dammon GhanizadehExploring and understanding the adoption and use of online social networks in organisations: a qualitative studyPhD
Michal GoldsteinChange Processes in Tech start up in IsraelDMan
Christian GonnerThe Paradoxes of Project and Change Management - a Project Management Consultant's Inquiry Into the Social Reality of Technology-Driven Change ProjectsDMan
Sally-Ann Goold Choosing Geographic Scales for the Analysis of Labour Market and Related Statistics. PhD
Ann Judith HolnessPolicymaking for Childhood Obesity in the UK: A System Dynamics ApproachPhD
Sally Anne HopperHR Practice in Local Authorities in the UKDMan
Hajire HyseniImproving e-Commerce Conversion Rate: Consumer Journey PerspectivePhD
Karina Solso IversenReflexive Inquiry in Organisational ConsultingDMan
Leif IversenExploring the Nature of Leadership in the Face of Uncertainty and 'Stuckness' in my Profession as a Consultant and Project ManagerDMan
Philip Leslie JamesChange Processes in a Accreditation AgencyDMan
Sune Bjorn LarsenConsultancy and ComplexityDMan
Matthieu Leclerc-ChalvetVariations in the Uptake of Innovative Medical Technologies in UK firms.PhD
Disraeli Luiz Brito MachadoStrategy in Disruptive IndustriesDMan
Robbert MasselinkCollaboration: The Client-Consultant Relationship as Embodied Moral PracticeDMan
Mohieddine MessousiThe Role of Collaborative Partnership with Business Clients in the Telecommunication Service.DBA
Sharon MoshayofA Shifting Experience of Rules, Power and Recognition in Transition From Internal Leader to External ConsultantDMan
Uche NneneMobile Commerce Innovation: A case for retail adoption and consumer acceptance in Nigeria.DBA
Ukamaka Chikaodili NwanekezieExamining Older Adults Online Communication With Local Government; A Hertfordshire Case StudyPhD
Uchenna Valentina OjiakoAssessing the Behavioural Intentions of Older Adults Towards Internet Service Providers: A UK PerspectivePhD
Muhammed OrduDemand and Capacity Modelling of Acute Services Using Simulation and Optimisation TechniquesPhD
Klas Orsvärn Co-operation and competition from the perspective of a founder Board member in an IT company. DMan
Amanda RelphThe Impact of Higher Education Performance Evaluation Frameworks on University Decision Making: A Systems Thinking ApproachDBA
Matthew Henry Robins RichComplexity and Management in Higher EducationDMan
Nama SidiConsultancy PracticeDMan
Soren SkovOrganisational ConsultancyDMan
Deborah Caroline SmartQuestioning Norms: The Role of Improvisation in Consulting to UK Public Sector Organisations on Processes of ChangeDMan
Rikke Horup SorensenChange processes in a UniversityDMan
Helle Therkelsen StoltzThe Complexity of Project Management in an Aid DomainDMan
Tibor VorosICT and Uncertainty Avoidance: Using an Uncertain MetricPhD
Sophie Wong Learning to negotiate power, values and ethics in the role of an NGO Board member. DMan
Usame YakutcanEnabling Better Management of COPD Patients: Discrete Event Simulation Combined with Predictive AnalyticsPhD

Get in touch

For more information, please contact Professor Chris Mowles.