Bayes Research Day: The value of research and collaboration
Bayes Business School hosts inaugural research day to share projects in progress and discuss the benefits and challenges of greater collaboration.
Bayes Business School’s inaugural Research Day highlighted the need for impactful contributions and interdisciplinary working to ensure that academic studies continue to influence, and be influenced by, policy decisions and input from wider society.
The event, which was organised by Professor Bobby Banerjee, Professor Caroline Wiertz, Dr Cristina Grande Herrera, and Fiona Henderson, welcomed more than 100 academics in an online forum for panel discussions.
Here we pick out the key takeaways from the event:
Research is changing, and we must change with it
In a world that has changed considerably since the start of the pandemic, academic research can play an ever more significant role in addressing the challenges faced by society, through informing the debate and offering solutions. This includes developing a unique position for City and its research, ensuring research ideas and outputs are disseminated widely. This will enable others to benefit from and have further ideas about research, which in turn can inform research agendas.
The value of creating impactful research was emphasised by Professor Miguel Mera, Vice President of Research, who spoke about how it is equally necessary for the research environment to benefit from more than a high impact paper.
“Bayes Business School is a research led school that undertakes cutting edge research at the edge of practice,” said Professor Banerjee, Associate Dean for Research & Enterprise at Bayes, who chaired the event. “The pandemic has been a distraction for all of us over the last two years, but we have continued to produce quality and impactful research during these challenging times.”
Considering the challenges modern society faces, the point was made that the School must continue to move with the times, providing solutions and focusing on the big issues such as climate change, wealth inequalities and racial inequalities. The importance of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues is now recognised in corporate life and is an example of one area of research strength at Bayes that will be developed further. Artificial Intelligence is another area of growing importance that is a research priority for the School.
Impact can be achieved in different ways
The significance of creating impact with research, including how it can be evidenced and how it can help overcome challenges was a key theme of the day.
This includes embedding impact into the design of research at the beginning of the process and, ideally, with the users of that research as ‘co-creators’.
One example is the Real Estate Research Centre, which produces the UK Commercial Real Estate Lending Report each year and is sponsored by a variety of lenders. Based on this unique dataset, as well as by lenders, the reports are used by central banks to monitor risks in the system, including the Bank of England. The Centre also produces monthly reports on market leading indicators and debt capital markets, showing how academic research can inform the capital markets.
Delivering distinct impact can be achieved through a variety of activities such as commissioned research, consultancy projects, executive education, software tools and toolkits.
“Impact is a product of connection and collaboration, and it only through relationships that we learn” said Clare Avery, Business Development Manager. “We have a wealth of relationships at Bayes including alumni, links with organisations and personal connections that we might make even better use of. We can help develop those relationships and have funding available to stimulate those.
“It’s also important to say that impact is not all about the Research Education Framework (REF); collaboration is so beneficial in many ways and the research and enterprise team are here to help you.”
The power of interdisciplinarity
Working together and exploring connecting disciplines can be hugely important in advancing research.
Work done across the Bayes Research Centres accounts for numerous research outputs, with the need for interdisciplinary work growing all the time. Academics can contribute to each other’s work in new ways, having implications ranging from influencing managerial practice to policy making.
Examples of this include the Centre for Healthcare Innovation Research where colleagues at Bayes and The School of Health Sciences work with NHS Horizons and NHS England to help embed innovation at scale in healthcare systems; the Centre for Creativity in Professional Practice working with the University of Nairobi and ChangeSchool to strengthen entrepreneurial and innovation in African universities, with support from the British Council; and the Centre for Creativity enabled by AI developing a new ‘eco-system’ to support enhanced creative thinking in businesses supported by AI, funded by Research England.
Sessions throughout the day explored current areas of academic exploration, across the faculties of Management, Finance and Actuarial Science and Insurance.
These included presentations on subjects including artificial intelligence, forecasting and risk, ESG, CSR, climate change, organisation and leadership, corporate social responsibility, and pensions.
The strength of a dual approach
It was observed that while research needs to be high quality and impactful, the two may not always be mutually exclusive. Academics observed it is possible to do both although new ways of recognising and rewarding academics for research and knowledge exchange may need to be considered.
“Research is the core of who we are and what we do at Bayes,” concludedProfessor Banerjee. “It drives us to ask the important questions, develop creative approaches to problems and transform practice. We have a diverse community of people who bring different perspectives and that is invaluable to remaining at the forefront of research excellence and innovation.”
The event was concluded by Professor Andre Spicer, Interim Dean of Bayes Business School.
“This was such an informative day, and many thanks to all those who worked on putting it together,” said Professor Spicer.
“We thrive when we encourage different ideas, but commonality is also useful. We need a dual approach of following our own projects and searching for commonality. We should do important research which addresses the big issues around business and professions and that is interesting and new.”