Managing Complex Change

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

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

Sally-Ann Goold Choosing Geographic Scales for the Analysis of Labour Market and Related Statistics. PhD
Stefan Boller The paradox of group membership: Making a difference but conforming to the group both at the same time as a serial entrepreneur. DMan
Sara Filbee Voices from the Margins: Influencing Decision-Making in the Canadian Federal Government as a Senior Manager Based in Regional Operations. DMan
Klas Orsvärn co-operation and competition from the perspective of a founder Board member in an IT company. DMan
Sophie Wong Learning to negotiate power, values and ethics in the role of an NGO Board member. DMan
Uche Nnene Mobile Commerce Innovation: A case for retail adoption and consumer acceptance in Nigeria. DBA
Mohieddine Messousi The Role of Collaborative Partnership with Business Clients in the Telecommunication Service. DBA
Roma Bhowmick Strategic Impact of Networking: The Case of UK’s High Growth SMEs. DBA
Matthieu Leclerc-Chalvet Variations in the Uptake of Innovative Medical Technologies in UK firms. PhD
Katie Burke Co-Creation and Co-Destruction of value at music festivals: A Practice Theory Approach. PhD
Alyaa Darwish The Influence of Online Marketing Tactics on Tourist Destination Reputation: Egypt as a Case Study. PhD
Fahima Alam The integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on digital marketing in creating competitive advantage. PhD

Get in touch

For more information, please contact Professor Chris Mowles.