• Access to finance for innovative SMEs since the financial crisis

      Lee, N; Sameen, H; Cowling, M; University of Brighton (Elsevier, 7/11/2014)
      In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, there has been increased focus on access to finance for small firms. Research from before the crisis suggested that it was harder for innovative firms to access finance. Yet no research has considered the differential effect of the crisis on innovative firms. This paper addresses this gap using a dataset of over 10,000 UK SME employers. We find that innovative firms are more likely to be turned down for finance than other firms, and this worsened significantly in the crisis. However, regressions controlling for a host of firm characteristics show that the worsening in general credit conditions has been more pronounced for non-innovative firms with the exception of absolute credit rationing which still remains more severe for innovative firms. The results suggest that there are two issues in the financial system. The first is a structural problem which restricts access to finance for innovative firms. The second is a cyclical problem has been caused by the financial crisis and has impacted relatively more severely on non-innovative firms.
    • The role of loan commitment terms in credit allocation on the UK small firms loan guarantee scheme

      Cowling, M; Matthews, C; Liu, W.; University of Brighton (Senate Hall Academic Publishing, 31/03/2017)
      In this paper we provide empirical evidence concerning the nature of loan commitment contracts as reflected by individual loan contract parameters in influencing the size of bank commitments. Specifically, we consider how the quantitative allocation of credit, the loan amount, is affected or altered by changes to other components of the total loan package. By doing so we shed some more light on the types of real world trade-offs that credit constrained firms might face when approaching banks for funds, using the UK governments loan guarantee programme. Our results point at the importance of relationship lending in the UK.
    • Corporate social responsibility performance and tax aggressiveness

      Chijoke-Mgbame, M.A; Yekini, Liafisu Sina; Kemi, Y.C; Mgbame, C.O; Coventry University (Academic Journals, 30/09/2017)
      This study investigated the effect of corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance on tax aggressiveness of listed firms in Nigeria. A cross-sectional research design was utilized for the study, and data were collected from the published annual reports. Using a sample of 50 companies for the period of 2007 to 2013, the findings of the study reveal that there is a negative relationship between CSR performance and tax aggressiveness in Nigeria. A significant relationship was also found between firm size and tax aggressiveness, though with mixed positive and negative results. In addition, the results reveal a negative and significant relationship between firm performance and tax aggressiveness, and the extent of tax aggressiveness is reinforcing. It can be concluded that firms are more or less likely to engage in tax aggressiveness depending on their CSR standpoints and dimension and other corporate characteristics. It is recommended that more attention should be given by tax administrations to understand conditions where tax aggressiveness is more likely and measures should be put in place to combat it.
    • The innovation debt penalty: Cost of debt, loan default, and the effects of a public loan guarantee on high-tech firms

      Cowling, M; Ughetto, E; Lee, N.; University of Brighton (Elsevier, 28/06/2017)
      High-technology firms per se are perceived to be more risky than other, more conventional, firms. It follows that financial institutions will take this into account when designing loan contracts, and that this will manifest itself in more costly debt. In this paper we empirically test whether the provision of a government loan guarantee fundamentally changes the way lenders price debt to high-tech firms. Further, we also examine whether there are differential loan price effects of a public guarantee depending on the nature of the firms themselves and the nature of the economic and innovation environment that surrounds them. Using a large UK dataset of 29,266 guarantee backed loans we find that there is a high-tech risk premium which is justified by higher default, but, in general, that this premium is altered significantly when a public guarantee is provided for all firms. Further, all these loan price effects differ on precise spatial economic and innovation attributes.
    • The World is your Oyster: The Effects of Knowledge, Human Capital, Technology and Entry Timing on International Growth

      Cowling, M; Liu, W; Zhang, N.; University of Brighton (Senate Hall Academic Publishing, 27/06/2016)
      We draw on elements of several established theories of internationalization to provide a framework for exploring international market entry and scale of entry measured by number of foreign markets entered for a sample of young, high-tech, firms from the UK and Germany. We find that founding team human capital is associated with more extensive internationalization, as is intensity of R&D, early internationalization and early stage venture capital. We also find that internationalizing firms who choose the US as their first international market entry are also those most likely to develop more extensive international market presence. Degree of asset specificity, in contrast, is associated with less extensive internationalization.
    • Impact of board independence on the quality of community disclosures in annual reports.

      Yekini, K.C; Adelopo, I; Andrikopoulos, P; Yekini, Liafisu Sina; Coventry University (Taylor and Francis, 27/02/2019)
      This study investigates the link between board independence and the quality of community disclosures in annual reports. Using content analysis and a panel dataset from UK FTSE 350 companies the results indicate a statistically significant relationship between board independence, as measured by the proportion of nonexecutive directors, and the quality of community disclosures, while holding constant other corporate governance and firm specific variables. The study indicates that companies with more non-executive directors are likely to disclose higher quality information on their community activities than others. This finding offers important insights to policy makers who are interested in achieving optimal board composition and furthers our understanding of the firm's interaction with its corporate and extended environment through high-quality disclosures. The originality of this paper lies in the fact that it is the first to specifically examine the relationship between outside directors and community disclosures in annual reports. The paper contributes both to the corporate governance and community disclosure literature.
    • Multiple disadvantage and wage growth: The effect of merit pay on pay gaps

      Woodhams, C; Lupton, B; Perkins, G; Cowling, M; University of Exeter; Manchester Metropolitan University; Brighton Business School (Wiley, 24/02/2015)
      This article concerns rates of wage growth among women and minority groups and their impact on pay gaps. Specifically, it focuses on the pay progression of people with more than one disadvantaged identity, and on the impact of merit pay. Recent research indicates that pay gaps for people in more than one disadvantaged identity category are wider than those with a single‐disadvantaged identity. It is not known whether these gaps are closing, at what rate, and whether all groups are affected equally; nor is it known whether merit pay alleviates or exacerbates existing pay gaps. In addressing these issues, the analysis draws on longitudinal payroll data from a large UK‐based organization. Results show that pay gaps are closing; however, the rate of convergence is slow relative to the size of existing pay disparities, and slowest of all for people with disabilities. When the effect of merit pay is isolated, it is found to have a small positive effect in reducing pay gaps, and this effect is generally larger for dual/multiple‐disadvantaged groups. These findings run counter to the well‐established critique of merit pay in relation to equality outcomes. The implications of this are discussed, and an agenda for research and practice is set out. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    • On the productive efficiency of Australian businesses: firm size and age class effects

      Cowling, M; Tanewski, G.; University of Brighton (Elsevier, 22/06/2018)
      After 26 years of growth, the Australian economy is beginning to show signs of stress and declining productivity. In this paper, we consider aspects of productive efficiency using an Australian business population data set. Using a production function approach, several key findings are uncovered. Firstly, decreasing returns to scale are identified as a significant feature of the Australian business sector. This implies that not all firm growth will lead to productivity gains. Secondly, there are significant differences in the way value added is created between small and large firms. In the largest 25% of firms, the capital contribution to value added is four times that of the smallest 25% of firms. Thirdly, efficiency follows an inverted ‘U’ shaped in firm age with the youngest (0–2 years) and oldest (> 9 years) firms being less productive than the middle 50% of firms. Fourthly, there are also huge industry sector variations in productivity. In particular, financial services appears to be the most productively efficient sector in the Australian economy and mining the least efficient.
    • Predicting future default on the Covid-19 bounce back loan scheme: The 46.5 billion question

      Cowling, Marc; Wilson, N; Nightingale, P; Kacer, M; University of Derby; University of Leeds (SAGE, 2022)
      The UK has had a commitment to loan guarantee schemes since 1981 when it introduced the Small Firms Loan Guarantee (SFLG) scheme to address access to debt finance issues for smaller firms. Over the last 40 years its’ support has been unwavering and in the Covid-19 crisis it once again turned to loan guarantees as a means of supporting smaller firms through the crisis induced slump in trading activities. Of its three core Covid-19 guarantee schemes, the Bounce Back Loan scheme was the most numerous with 1,531,095 loans issued amounting to a total of £46.5bn in lending. The BBL scheme provided a 100% capital guarantee on loans between £2,000 and £50,000, and firms were allowed to borrow up to 25% of their trading income, with a fixed interest rate of 2.5% of which the first years interest was paid by the government to the lending bank. Our findings suggest that the government losses may range between £7bn and £12bn depending on the underlying assumptions. But we estimate Covid-19 guarantee schemes may have protected 118,639 businesses and 1,117,849 jobs. Looking to the future we suggest that a new loan guarantee is justified which is more like the former SFLG than the restrictive EFG as more than 1 million small businesses will be heavily indebted and unable to borrow to invest in future growth opportunities. This would support the 'levelling-up' agenda and help prevent a post-Covid-19 low investment - low growth scenario.
    • Sustainable-business waste management a case the Emirate of Ajman – UAE

      AlHosani, Khaled; Liravi, Pouria; University of Derby (Springer, 2022)
      Waste is an unavoidable product of society, and it is a challenge to realise how to manage significant quantities of different types of waste in a way that has benefits for society, the economy and the environment and governments are facing a formidable challenge in trying to find solutions. Due to the continuous increase in population and the standard of life as well as industrial development, the UAE Government, like others, has the challenge to manage large quantities of different types of waste. Besides, there exists a lack of waste management correlated with business opportunities policies and practices in the UAE. This paper discusses the fact that these challenges can be overcome, resulting in benefits for the society, the economy, and the environment when introducing well-designed waste associated business models to the local and national markets, new waste management model framework correlated with business. Empowering industries to manage waste have been argued as the most innovative and practical approach to waste management strategy set to get businesses to place sustainability at the top of their priority list. This does not only help extend producer responsibility but creates a circular economy that retains the value of materials within the economy. Renowned benefits, therefore, exist for the Emirate of Ajman if industries are empowered to manage waste; these benefits go beyond the reduced level of waste sent to the landfills and incineration sites but have leveraged benefits to the economy as a whole, it is also concluded that the primary factors and practices that possibly can enable the business sectors to recycle and reuse maximum quantity of the total waste produced from the Emirates of Ajman by introducing a comprehensive business development model.
    • Has previous loan rejection scarred firms from applying for loans during Covid-19?

      Cowling, Marc; Calabrese, Raffaella; Liu, Weixi; University of Derby; University of Edinburgh; University of Bath (Springer, 2021-12-18)
      The concept of the ‘discouraged’ borrower is well documented. In this paper we consider whether smaller firms in the UK who have been previously rejected for bank loans have been scarred by the experience so badly that even in the presence of two exceptionally generous Covid-19 loan guarantee schemes they still refuse to make an application. Further, we also consider what happens when they do. As banks have either zero or minimal loss exposure, do they still maintain their normal strict lending protocols or do they relax their standards to fulfil the governments’ objective of supporting struggling businesses through the crisis? Our findings show that 72% of previously rejected borrowers are reluctant to request loans. We find some evidence that previously scarred firms faced such severe liquidity problems that they relaxed their distrust of banks during the Covid-19 crisis. However, their share of the governments guaranteed loan portfolio was slightly lower suggesting that banks were treating each new loan application on its merits.
    • Understanding the Dynamics of UK Covid-19 SME Financing

      Calabrese, Raffaella; Cowling, Marc; Liu, Weixi; University of Edinburgh; University of Derby; University of Bath (Wiley, 2021-12-14)
      The scale of the UK government’s response to the Covid-19 crisis after the first lockdown in March 2020 was unprecedented. For the business sector two financing schemes were particularly relevant, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBILS) and the Bounce Back Loan (BBLS). Both were designed to support the capitalisation of businesses through this difficult trading period. In this paper we use data covering the first two quarters of the Covid-19 crisis to explore the dynamics of SME financing and in particular the role of government support schemes. Our findings show that 92.1% of all debt funds provided in this period were backed by the UK government which compares to less than 5% under normal circumstances. We find that the demand, supply, and government share of SME lending increased from Covid-19 quarter 1 (April to June 2020) to quarter 2 (July to September 2020), that micro and small businesses had the highest demand for loans, and that better-performing firms were more likely to receive loans. Further, in a world where more loan requests than ever were granted the government share of this pool of loans had a different risk profile than the small pool of non-government backed loans.
    • The Impact of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Education on Regional Development

      Bozward, David; Rogers-Draycott, Matthew; Smith, Kelly; Mave, Mokuba; Curtis, Vic; Aluthgama-Baduge, Chinthaka Jayananda; Moon, Rob; Adams, Nigel; Royal Agricultural University; University of Birmingham; et al. (ISBE, 2021-10-29)
      The paper explores the ways in which enterprise and entrepreneurial education (EEE), delivered by HEI’s, impacts regional development. To do this we analysed several datasets from The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) focusing on the ways in which HEI start-up activity impacts indicators including GDP and employment. This highlights where further research and investment is needed to ensure a consistent regional development policy which we believe aligns with the conference's focus on connecting practitioners and policymakers to create a genuine change in regional disparities.
    • The determinants of aggregate fluctuations: The role of firm‐borrowing channels

      Ghosh Dastidar, Sayantan; Apergis, Nicholas; University of Piraeus, Piraeus, Greece; University of Derby (Wiley, 2021-10-27)
      The paper examines the empirical relationship between firm-borrowing channels and aggregate fluctuations for the 100 largest US firms over 2000–2018. The motivation for this study originates from the general consensus in macroeconomics that microeconomic shocks to firms cannot generate significant aggregate fluctuations. The analysis extends Gabaix's 2011 baseline model by incorporating measures for “bank shocks” at the firm-level. In addition to supporting the granular hypothesis, the econometric results indicate that bank shocks have a weak impact on GDP fluctuations, whereas non-bank loans exert a strong impact on the same. The above findings survive certain robustness checks associated with the presence of oil and monetary shocks, as well as with the firms’ location factor.
    • Governance thresholds and the human capital–growth nexus

      Apergis, Nick; Mustafa, Ghulam; Khan, Muhammad; University of Piraeus, Piraeus, Greece; University of Derby; Queen Mary University of London, UK; IQRA University, Islamabad, Pakistan (Emerald, 2021-10-20)
      The literature that explores the relationship between human capital and economic growth has produced mixed results. It highlights the puzzle on the correlations between human capital and economic growth. This study contributes to this debate by offering an explanation of the puzzling effects. Using the threshold model proposed by Kremer et al. (2013), the results document that there is a threshold effect in the human capital–growth nexus. The findings illustrate that the relationship between human capital and economic growth is weakly positive up to a certain threshold level of governance; however, the relationship turns out to be positive once the threshold level has been achieved. The mixed evidence on the human capital–growth relationship can be explained through institutional quality differences. The findings recommend that better governance is complementary to contribute to the productive use of human capital in achieving higher economic growth.
    • Green Jobs and Green Skills in the East Midlands

      Paterson, Fred; University of Derby (University of Derby, 2021-10-15)
      This Race to Zero White Paper explores the different definitions of ‘green jobs’ and ‘green skills’ and sets out what we know about the current state of ‘green collar’ jobs in the East Midlands and how the University of Derby is supporting the shift towards a sustainable economy.
    • Looking at the other side of the fence: A comparative review of the mergers and acquisitions, and strategic alliances literatures

      Gomes, Emanuel; Alam, Sunbir; He, Qile; Nova School of Business and Economics, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal; Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund University, Sweden; University of Derby (Emerald Publishing Limited, 2021-09-29)
      Over the last few decades, management has witnessed a proliferation of research on mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and strategic alliances (SAs). Although both fields have been widely studied, the relationship between the two bodies of literature has not been sufficiently explored. Despite the enormous commonality between both phenomena in terms of the drivers behind them and of the critical success factors associated with the M&A and alliance process management, scholars from the two fields have rarely exchanged findings and insights, even though they may be highly relevant to each other. M&A and SA research remain mostly separated from each other, thus minimizing the ability for more mutually beneficial complementary and synergetic knowledge sharing effects. This chapter synthesizes and compare existing theoretical perspectives from the M&A and SA literatures and identifies opportunities for future research and knowledge cross fertilization between the two fields. Building upon previous review studies about M&A and SA literatures, we develop a comparative longitudinal review of both literatures published in top management journals over a 27 year period. For that purpose, we resort to machine learning algorithms to discover thematic patterns that may have gone unnoticed by using traditional review methods. By highlighting some of the shortcomings that limit our theoretical and practical understandings, we challenge scholars from both fields (M&A and SA) to go beyond what they think they know from compartmentalized received theory, and draw upon novel and meaningful ideas, concepts, and theoretical approaches from “the other side of the fence”. We believe that such a dialog will facilitate further theoretical exploration and empirical investigation of both phenomena and produce insights that will influence the practical management of M&A and SAs.
    • Japanese Martial Arts for Wellbeing During COVID-19

      Veasey, Christian; Foster Phillips, Charlotte-Fern; Kotera, Yasuhiro; University of Derby (Taylor & Francis Group plc, 2021-09-16)
      The unprecedented and uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic have changed our lifestyles significantly, with lockdowns and social distancing measures in place to reduce virus transmission. These changes have likely had a negative effect on our wellbeing, and have been associated with increased stress, anxiety, and depression. During these unforeseen times, online martial arts lessons have highlighted the possibilities that martial arts offer in regard to positive wellbeing benefits such as self-awareness and self-mastery in managing and dealing with health issues. This short paper examines the potential benefits martial arts training may provide as an alternative wellbeing strategy to counter challenges associated with COVID-19.
    • Circular Economy in Agri-Food Sector: Food Waste Management Perspective

      Tanveer, Umair; Ishaq, Shamaila; Gough, Andrew; University of Bristol; University of Derby; University of Northampton (Springer, 2021-09-15)
      Reducing the food waste is the greatest challenge in the present times for sustainable food management systems that have significant economic, environmental and social impact on the food supply chain. The Circular Economy (CE) paradigm advocates the concept of the closed-loop economy endorsing more responsible utilization and appropriate exploitation of resources in contrast to the open-ended linear economic system of take-make-use and dispose. This chapter has explored Agri-Food waste in the context of CE, triple bottom line (TBL), and sustainability. An alignment of circular strategies with the food waste hierarchy is proposed that indicates practical application of the gradations of circularity in the food waste management that could lead to the development of sustainable food management system targeting the sustainable development goals of Zero Hunger and Responsible consumption and production. This chapter also highlights some opportunities and challenges of Agri-Food waste in the application of circular bio-economy.
    • Supply Chain Mapping and Visualisation of UK Rail Sector

      Rajeev, Rohit; Daniel, Jay; University of Derby (British Academy of Management, 2021-09)
      The UK government in 2018 announced a rail sector deal in conjunction with the UK Rail Industry and identified four key pillars to double export performance by 2025 (HM Government, 2018) as follows. 1. Digital transformation 2. Innovate intelligent mobility 3. Create sustainability in UK rail sector 4. Improve exports and investment The area of research in this developmental paper is creation of a UK rail supply chain map to identify strengths and weaknesses to improve exports and investments thereby meeting objectives three and four. Authors involved in this project liaise with different stakeholders from Unipart Rail, Department for International Trade, Railway Industry Association, Department for Transport, Depart for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. This paper consists of a brief rationale for the project undertaking followed by an initial literature review to understand the historical importance of using big data analytics and visualisation in the rail industry in UK and globally. This paper will investigate and conduct data analytics methods to create a comprehensive supply chain visualisation through Microsoft Power BI. Outcome of supply chain mapping will aid towards improving the export capability of the UK Rail sector by enabling the stakeholders to identify strengths and weaknesses of suppliers in different geographic clusters. Keyword: Rail Supply Chain, Big Data, Visualisation, UK Rail Sector