Kellogg Research Fellow awarded British Academy/ Leverhulme Research Grant

15 August 2016

Kellogg Research Fellow, Ruth Yeoman has been awarded a British Academy/Leverhulme Research Grant for a project she will be leading for the Kellogg College Centre for Mutual and Employee-owned Business.

The project, will investigate Ownership, Leadership and Meaningful Work in Employee-owned Businesses.

Increasingly, businesses are expected to make their contribution to the common good, and to manage their activities in multi-stakeholder contexts. In such environments, co-owned organisations offer a distinct organising philosophy for grounding innovations in management practices. Yet despite persistent interest in different kinds of ownership models, there remains a lack of research as to how co-owned organisations generate innovations in leadership practices and work design. At the same time, practitioners are expressing interest in organisational meaningfulness and purpose, as a result of stagnant productivity and employee engagement.

Using participatory research methods (Change Laboratories), this study will advance our understanding of the relationship between ownership, leadership and meaningful work through a detailed examination of two recently converted employee-owned businesses.

Agilisys provides advisory services and IT solutions to public sector organisations and Formation Architects, which is a newly converted employee owned business aiming to use its employee ownership to model the future for architectural firms in highly competitive markets where there is a need to recruit and retain the best talent. The case studies will contribute to theory development and permit application to other types of organisations.

The researchers will interact with employee owners at every level of the hierarchy, including the Board and employee representatives. Each organisation will create a working group of employee owners who will constitute the ‘Change Lab’ for the purposes of the research.

The duration of the project is expected to last 18 months, commencing in September 2016, and will culminate in a roundtable of academics and practitioners entitled ‘Leading Meaningful Organisations’ to be held at Kellogg College in December 2017.