My research interests lie at the intersection of several disciplinary fields: family firms, entrepreneurship, innovation, private equity, ownership, and governance. My early research interest in private equity developed as a result of being part of the Centre for Management Buy-out Research (CMBOR) at Nottingham University Business School, a group which monitored private equity investment activity throughout Europe. Family business research followed.
The complex ownership and governance structures of family firms, the goals of the family, the ability and willingness of family members, the resources and capabilities of the individuals and the firm, and decision making, will have an impact on outcomes such as corporate social responsibility, stakeholder relationships, performance, entrepreneurial activity, innovation, and ultimately survival.
I would be interested in supervising PhDs in any of the above areas but some specific examples might be: (1) the relationship between governance (e.g. board composition) and stakeholder relationships, corporate social responsibility; (2) Decision-making and new venture development (e.g. new ventures or subsidiaries set up by family members); (3) The role of women in family businesses with respect to innovation and entrepreneurship.
The effect of private equity on firm performance is a major area of interest for academics, practitioners, and policy makers alike. The general interest in private equity transactions intensified as the buy-out market peaked in 2007, when some very large buy-outs were completed in the UK and the USA. This created concern over wealth transfer, job losses, and possible firm failure. It is thus of great interest to examine the effects of private equity over the longer term which can address some of these concerns. Some examples of projects might be as follows: (1) the long-term impact of leverage during and beyond recessions; (2) the performance of buy-outs from the receiver over the longer term.