Sheffield, home of world class SE research and of EMES’ newest institutional member, Sheffield Hallam University

Sheffield, home of world class SE research and of EMES’ newest institutional member, Sheffield Hallam University

The city of Sheffield in the UK is well-known for its history of steelmaking and thriving independent scenes in music, art and culture.

It also has an unbelievable number of students: 60,000 across two universities! In addition, Sheffield is home to internationally recognised research on social enterprise and the third sector. Some of the researchers based at Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) have been in touch with EMES for many years, which explains why they became EMES’ newest institutional member in July 2017.

According to Dr Rory Ridley-Duff who is coordinating the efforts of this new institutional member

“of all the research networks on social enterprise, EMES is the one that is best aligned with the work we do on cooperative social entrepreneurship. It gives explicit recognition to participatory governance, and the interactions between civil society, state bodies and social entrepreneurs. It does not presume that social entrepreneurship is a market-driven movement. Instead, it properly recognises the breadth of motivations that lead social entrepreneurs to create different types of social enterprise, including cooperatives. For that reason, we are particularly keen to be engaged in projects with EMES.”

Moreover, SHU recently adopted a new strategy based on the commitment to transforming lives with three key aims:

  1. to reset the University’s level of ambition – not simply to be good, but to be globally outstanding at what we seek to do;
  2. to articulate a clear direction, enabling us to make informed choices that acknowledge the complexities of big organisations and social networks;
  3. to be succinct and clear, to express in compelling ways issues that foster engagement by our university staff and students.

SHU research activities, related knowledge transfer and teaching activities around SE topics are organised through two key centres: the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR) and the FairShares Institute for Cooperative Social Entrepreneurship (FSI).

Together, they cover the following areas of expertise:

  • Regional economic and social policy development
  • Social innovation and social value in the delivery of public services
  • Social enterprise and cooperative social entrepreneurship
  • Governance, accountability and regulation of non-profit and social economy organisations

Sheffield-Business School

Moreover, the Sheffield Business School (SBS) – a faculty within SHU, has formed partnerships with the Cooperative Management Education Programme (Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Canada), Cooperative College (Manchester, UK), Mondragon University (Spain) and Social Enterprise International Ltd to develop research projects and post-graduate level education. In addition, SBS has individual and institution memberships of Co-operatives UK, Social Enterprise Yorkshire and Humber, the UK Society for Co-operative Studies, Employee Ownership Association and FairShares Association Ltd.

The synergies with EMES are already visible as SHU will host the 7th EMES International Research Conference in June 2019. While preliminary preparations have begun, there are other ongoing opportunities for collaboration such as participation in scientific committees at EMES. For instance, Rory Ridley-Duff will be a member of the scientific committee of the 3rd EMES-Polanyi Seminar in April 2018 while Tracey Coule will be part of the faculty body of the 6th Training School in June 2018.

Other individual researchers contributing to knowledge on the social economy include SHU staff who recently completed (or are currently finalising) their doctoral research.

They include Mark Ellis, David Wren, Janette Hurst, Jules O’Dor, Emma Green, Jo Watts, Chris Damm, Ellen Bennett and Beth Patmore who are adding to knowledge on:

  • responsible leadership
  • performance and reward in employee-owned businesses
  • sustainable development in worker co-operatives
  • social entrepreneurial choices on legal structures
  • pro-social decision-making in crowdfunding
  • third-public sector relationships
  • third-public sector funding and marketisation
  • actors and institutional structures in public service innovation

Learn more about EMES’ newest institutional member by visiting SHU’s dedicated page.

More coming soon on the second institutional member who joined EMES in 2017…

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