Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business Industry & Skills, underlined the importance of academic research to business and management in a new report launched today at BIS. Making the Case for Social Sciences - Management summarises 16 research projects which have helped improve efficiency, support small businesses and promote good employee relations in the UK. It is the sixth report in a series promoting the work of social scientists published by the Academy of Social Sciences.
Vince Cable talked about his personal interest in the role of management research in supporting evidence-based decision-making in UK business. He sees management research as important to the future of UK business, and talked about some of the research detailed in the booklet and how it dovetails with Government initiatives. Vince also gave his view of the role of government in industrial strategy as being one of stimulating activity, for instance in industrial sectors such as the automotive industry, where he chairs a group of businesses and academics who work together to support innovation and tackle common issues.
Professor Julian Birkinshaw of London Business School and Rajesh Bhatt of Tata (Europe) explained how management research has helped drive success in Tata, the largest foreign investor in the UK. Tata companies include household names such as Jaguar land Rover and Tetley Tea. Other speakers included Rebecca Homkes of LSE's Centre for Economic Performance, Susan Vinnicombe of Cranfield University, and Iain Wright MP, Shadow Minister for Competitiveness & Enterprise. The panel discussion, chaired by Professor Cary Cooper and consisting of the speakers, explored whether there is good enough evidence that management research findings help make business more effective (the evidence exists but needs better presentation), the key role of SMEs in delivering innovation, the need for the spread of good practice, and the role of consultants in helping deliver change.