CBiS white papers

CBiS white papers

The Centre for Business in Society examines the impact – good or bad – of organisations’ activities, behaviours and policies on society, to promote responsibility and changed behaviours for the benefit of economies and societies.

Here we offer a set of white papers and thought pieces aimed to inform, spark debate and to showcase aspects of our research.

Your Money Your Life

Published:

October 2023

Author:

Dr Lindsey Appleyard, Coventry University
Dr Hussan Aslam, Coventry University

Abstract:

Young people in the UK have been identified as having high levels of unsecured credit use, alongside low levels of financial well-being, and little resilience to protect them from financial shocks. This matters because the use of credit can have implications for young people’s financial well-being and future financial decision-making as they transition toward independence.

This research explores young people’s (aged 18-24) experience of borrowing and their use of unsecured credit.


Sport and Blockchain

Published:

January 2023

Author:

Dr Tom Bason, Coventry University
Dr Pythagoras Petratos, Coventry University
Dr Rocco Porreca, Coventry University
Dr Mujahid Mohiuddin Babu, Coventry University

Abstract: 

In recent years, blockchain and cryptoassets companies have entered the sport sponsorship market. While sponsorships at the top of the pyramid, such as the FIFA World Cup, Formula 1 and UFC have taken up much of the attention, the involvement of sport and the blockchain go far beyond this. This white paper analyses 1,859 partnerships between sport and blockchain technology. These encompass advertising and sponsorships, the sale of sport-branded cryptoassets, such as NFTs and fan tokens, the use of blockchain technology for daily sport operations and more formal equity investments.


Managing Loan Declines: A Best Practice Manual

Published:

November 2022

Author:

Professor Sally Dibb, Coventry University
Dr Lindsey Appleyard, Coventry University
Nick Money, Swoboda Research Centre
Dr Paul Jones, Liverpool John Moores University

Abstract: 

Access to credit is crucial to financial inclusion, yet those who have been declined for credit have limited options. As energy, food and national costs rise, the Office for Budget Responsibility expects living standards to fall faster than at any time since the mid-1950s. With 4 million people already using credit for essentials and one in five expected to experience problem debt in the next 12 months1, the outlook for those who are unable to access credit looks bleak.

The best practice provided in this Manual draws on the experiences of people who have been declined and of those committed to serve them. It includes tools and tips for handling declines for CDFIs and credit unions


Helping those who use credit to make ends meet

Published:

November 2022

Author:

Professor Sally Dibb,  Dr Kevin Broughton,  Dr Hussan Aslam, Dr Lindsey Appleyard and
Dr Pattanapong Tiwasing

Abstract: 

In February 2022, the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) commissioned the Centre for Business in Society (CBiS) at Coventry University to undertake a ‘Rapid Literature and Evidence Review’ of the latest evidence on the financially vulnerable, with a specific focus on those using credit to make ends meet. Through this review, this report aims to provide insights into how those who are over-reliant on credit might be best supported, given the outlook regarding the cost of living.


Personal Data, Public Policy: Public Views of the NHS Covid-19 App

Published

June 2022

Author

Dr Carlos Ferreira and Professor Maureen Meadows

Abstract

Data collection and analysis was heralded as one of the mechanisms available for managing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Contact tracing phone apps promised to provide early-warning for individuals who has been in contact with carriers of the virus, allowing them to isolate and reducing the chance of further transmission.

The NHS COVID-19 app was one of these apps, available for users in the UK. Our study helps understand why individuals decided to use the app, or not; how they used it; and what factors affect the legitimacy of the app.


Tackling Exclusion: The Work of the Centre for Business in Society

Published

June 2022

Author

Professor Lyndon Simkin

Abstract

CBiS explores the impact of business on society.  Much of our work inevitably involves righting wrongs… seeking to improve the life/circumstances of those who are disadvantaged… striving to improve inclusiveness and minimise social exclusion.  Not because of any political persuasion or philosophical stance.  But because the impact by business and policy bodies on society and on the individual so often reveals aspects of marginalisation or exclusion. 

This overview provides examples of CBiS’s latest work and impact in these respects, highlighting researchers currently engaged with projects/bodies of work which relate to this notion of fighting exclusion and helping those who are disadvantaged.  


Learning, leading, linking: Managing digital disruption

Published

March 2022

Author

Dr Carlos Ferreira, Dr Alessandro Merendino, Professor Maureen Meadows and Professor Lyndon Simkin

Abstract

This White Paper is concerned with the role of digital technologies in producing change, and how organisations, leaders and society can manage that change. The Paper discusses how organisations need to improve their ability to operate in data-rich environments; how leaders can ensure their organisations are prepared for change; and how technologies can be difficult to accept by social actors beyond the organisation, even when they are said to benefit the user. The discussion is based on three research cases of change brought about by digital technologies: the finance and accounting profession; the museums sector; and the NHS COVID-19 app. The paper finishes by pointing to a series of areas for action for managers to consider in the context of digital disruption.


Cyber Resilience in Sight: Some Lessons from the Norsk Hydro Cyber Attack

Published

November 2021

Author

Dr Mark P. Sallos and Professor Alexeis Garcia-Perez

Abstract

In the current socio-economic environment, organisations need to balance their efforts to adopt the latest technologies and their applications with strategies to manage the risks associated to the digital environment. This is particularly true for organisations from those sectors which underpin the socio-economic security and the public health or safety of a country. Manufacturing is one of those critical infrastructure sectors currently undergoing significant change while increasingly targeted by malicious actors.

In March 2019 Norsk Hydro – one of the largest global aluminium companies, was attacked with a ransomware which partly took down its operations. The company successfully absorbed and recovered from the cyber disruption to their digital, physical, informational, cognitive and social domains.

Two and a half years later, we revisit the Norsk Hydro cyberattack to understand what it meant for the organisation and for the international Aluminium manufacturing ecosystem. The lessons learned are complemented by recommendations for actions towards the long-term digital resilience of critical infrastructure sectors.


Working in the Foundational Economy During COVID-19

Published

April 2021

Authors

Dr Paul Sissons, Dr Pattanapong Tiwasing and Dr Jennifer Ferreira

Abstract

The COVID-19 crisis has provided a unique window into the social infrastructure which underpins much of daily life. Such provision clearly included health and medical services (nurses, doctors and social care staff), but also encompassed workers engaged in the provision and supply of food, water, energy and communications. Many of these activities comprise part of what has been termed the Foundational Economy (FE) – the nation’s essential physical infrastructure, operating infrastructure and public services. In this paper we discuss the experiences of workers in different parts of the FE during the COVID-19 pandemic, drawing on the results of a telephone survey of 1,917 UK employees undertaken in June and July 2020. We find a significant diversity of experiences across the FE. Workers within the material and providential parts of the FE were most likely to have continued working in the same way as before throughout the UK COVID-19 lockdown; being less likely to be furloughed and more likely to remain working at the same location (i.e. remaining in the physical workplace). They were also found to have more confidence in their employment prospects. However, this is balanced against greater concerns about the impact of work on the health of themselves and their family members. There is also evidence that workers in some parts of the FE feel the COVID-19 crisis has led them to ‘Feel more valued by the local community’.


COVID-19 and future transport

Published

December 2020

Author

Dr Andrew Jones

Abstract

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mobility has increased the uncertainty in a sector that was already undergoing rapid technological change, seeing new business models being introduced, and facing changing consumer expectations. Almost all forms of transport have been affected by the pandemic with mass-transit services, particularly those in urban centres, recording substantial declines in demand. Increased levels of remote access, for work and consumption, allied to evolving perceptions of risk are amongst the most influential factors in determining transport usage patterns during the pandemic. However, the extent to which these changes, and the other impacts of the pandemic, endure remains highly uncertain. As such, a number of possible futures for mobility in urban environments could occur and this study posits that individual behaviours will help determine these scenarios. In this context three futures, which are based on safety, economy, and green behaviours are proposed. Each of these scenarios has different implications for the economy, city spaces, spaces, and mobility.


Accessibility a pre-requisite of inclusive growth?

Published

June 2020

Author

Dr Jason Begley and Dr David Jarvis

Abstract

Transport planning and investment is central to combating social exclusion, improving employment opportunities and ensuring access to core services for people living on the periphery. Where previously transport planning focussed on economic growth in urban areas over the last number of decades academics and policymakers have emphasised the role of transport in improving social connectivity and quality of life issues. Central to this premise is the role of local stakeholders and actors, offering important local knowledge to aid central planning initiatives. In this white paper the current landscape of transport planning in the UK is assessed and new approaches to regional development of transport systems posited. The paper concludes that a centric focus to transport policymaking only serves to foster social exclusion and ignores opportunities for dynamic expansion in relatively under exploited regions. Yet, to help combat social exclusion and create dynamic, sustainable solutions that reverse population drain by offering improved access to key services and employment activities within peripheral regions, the role of region and national stakeholders remains crucial.


Engaging with your pension

Published

June 2020

Author

Dr Harjit Sekhon

Abstract

Since its introduction, an automatic-enrolment workplace pension has become one of the cornerstones of long-term financial planning. While automatic-enrolment has, to a large extent, achieved what it set out to do, which was to reverse the decline in the number of employees in a workplace pension scheme, there are still many millions who are choosing the default savings option so that they are not saving enough for a well-funded retirement. One of the reasons for this is that there is a lack of engagement with workplace pensions, and if greater engagement did take place, then the assumption is that employees would save more. After comparing the UK with other countries, this paper proposes that activity to improve engagement needs to happen at the right point during an employee’s working life. If too early, it may be lost amongst other day-to-day commitments, while leaving it too late could mean an ill-funded retirement. The key to engagement is the pensions conversations that need to take place.


Supporting credit union members towards greater financial wellbeing

Published

February 2020

Author

Dr. Lindsey Appleyard, Professor Sally Dibb, Dr. Hussan Aslam

Abstract

The financial capability of adults across Europe is key to their financial wellbeing (European Union, 2015). Yet half of all adults in the UK are financially vulnerable, with little savings to rely on if they experience a financial shock such as redundancy, illness, or relationship breakdown (FCA, 2018). This paper examines the role of credit unions in improving the financial capability of their members, through the provision of financial education and resources for credit unions to support this process. The findings come from recent research at Coventry University that tested the effectiveness of practical education materials designed to improve financial resilience. Recommendations for credit unions are included through a series of action points. Details of a free-to-use MoneySkills app that offers money management guidance and provides an interactive budgeting tool are shared in the paper. This app can be personalized and used ‘on the go’ to improve credit union members’ ability to manage their money.


Seeking sustainability in the coffee shop industry: innovations in the circular economy

Published

August 2019

Author

Dr Jennifer Ferreira and Dr Carlos Ferreira

Abstract

The circular economy has been heralded as a key instrument for addressing the challenge of climate change, with its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce, reuse and recycle waste products. The coffee and coffee shop industries are acutely aware of the potential impacts of climate change given the base of their industries is a crop that is highly vulnerable to shifts in global temperatures. There is great potential for these industries to make efforts to reduce emissions, energy consumption and contribute to the circular economy, moving towards a more sustainable approach for the future. Many actions are being taken by individuals and organisations in the coffee shop industry to find ways to utilise the growing consumption of coffee and use of coffee shops to engage in the circular economy, and create more sustainable business models.

This paper outlines the principles of the circular economy, to explore why it is relevant for the coffee shop industry. It presents examples of innovations from those involved in different ways with the coffee shop industry in order to engage in a more circular economy, and presents a case for further research.


Terminally in decline or able to be regenerated? The future of the high street

Published

June 2019

Author

Professor Lyndon Simkin and Dr Kevin Broughton

Abstract

Much has been discussed in the news headlines in recent months about the death of the High Street and the demise of the traditional town centre shopping area. Every High Street is struggling to find tenants for empty and disused shop units, some of which are large former variety stores and even larger department stores. Online shopping, changing leisure habits and new consumer behaviours are responsible. So is the traditional town centre retailing experience obsolete, now replaced by online shopping and other leisure activities, or is there hope for the High Street? This chapter first scopes the extent of the demise of the High Street and store-based shopping, before exploring the emerging options facing landlords, planners, local authorities and retailers, as they seek to inject vitality into former bustling High Streets and maintain viability.


Circular economy: What does it mean for remanufacturing operations?

Published

May 2019

Author

Professor Benny Tjahjono and Dr Eva Ripanti

Abstract

It appears that our modern society is somewhat characterised by the industrial economy of “take, make, throw-away”, where raw materials are extracted, converted into products, sold and consumed by end users, and at their end-of-life, the products are disposed of. Though many of the parts of the products can be recycled, in reality much still ends up in landfill. In the midst of the emerging global economy and growing middle class, this “linear economy” model is obviously an unsustainable way forward. Mass media have recently reported ongoing discourse by politicians, non-governmental organisations, commercial organisations and academics about the emerging concept of a Circular Economy (CE).


The past, present and future of the Paralympic Games

Published

February 2019

Author

Dr Ian Brittain and Dr Simon Gerrard

Abstract

This paper looks back over the development of the Games, exploring the emergence of sport regarding its therapeutic value and identifying the drivers for expansion of the Games, including their association and scheduling alongside the Olympic Games. The paper suggests some of the challenges now to be addressed if the Paralympic Games are to progress further and also to continue to play a broader role in society’s understanding of disability.

Like the National Health Service, the Paralympic Movement celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2018. The first Stoke Mandeville Games, held at Stoke Mandeville hospital in Aylesbury on the 29th of July, 1948, are considered to be the founding episode that led to the birth of the Paralympic Movement.

By looking more closely at the emergence of the Stoke Mandeville Games, it is possible to shed new light on the social context around these games, as well as the mechanisms and strategies that gave birth to the Paralympic Games a little over a decade later.


Why the business case for sustainability matters

Published 

May 2018

Author

Dr David Bek

Abstract

This paper explores the need to explore the business case for sustainability within the context of the global standards and certifications industry. A wide range of standards and certifications provide assurance around the sustainability of business practices usually via an audit-based process whose primary goal is to establish whether a business is compliant against a core set of criteria. This compliance-based approach is increasingly coming under criticism as it is not seen to facilitate improvements in overall performance. Drawing upon research conducted in the horticultural sector in South Africa, this paper outlines some of the shortcomings of the compliance-based approach and then considers how things can be done better by developing models which focus upon Continuous Improvement in performance.

Wider debates within the certification and standards field are reflected upon and a holistic model is proposed, which shifts the emphasis to performance rather than compliance. The paper concludes by stating the imperative for research to be an integral component of the Continuous Improvement process. Such research can elucidate the relationships between specific business practices and sustainable outcomes. This is important for ensuring that training and support offered to businesses are appropriately targeted and for enabling better business planning. Furthermore, research can demonstrate the benefits to business of specific sustainable practices. In this way the business case for sustainability can be articulated and the notion that sustainability is a ‘luxury’ can be dispelled.


Understanding disruption and managing fast-changing markets: Successful strategies for the automotive sector

Published

April 2018

Author

Professor Lyndon Simkin

Abstract

Disruption in markets poses threats and opportunities, requiring the re-thinking of strategies and new business models in response. Few markets have faced as much disruption as the automotive sector today. Whether connected, electric or autonomous vehicles, the pace of change is dramatic. New entrants are engaging in this sector, existing automotive players are striving to respond, while regulators and policy-makers are developing their viewpoints. But what of the consumers in this fast-evolving market? How receptive are they to these developments? Which consumers will modify their behaviours and which will resist? Do we understand why?

It will be very interesting to identify the emerging ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ between the more traditional players in automotive and the new-comers to this fast-changing sector, such as:

  • Jaguar Land Rover or Toyota versus Tesla or Google’s Waymo
  • GKN or Leah versus FEV or LG Chem
  • Shell or Exxon versus EDF or Eon
  • Petrolheads versus new-thinking consumers
  • The Gulf’s oil versus Coventry’s EV batteries

How these trade-offs and disruptive dynamics unfold will shape the future of the automotive sector, the mix of companies and partnerships involved, the products brought to market and their channels, as well as radically alter consumer purchasing and behaviours. This is the focus for this thought piece paper, which is part of a large body of research across the transport and automotive arena being undertaken by the Centre for Business in Society at Coventry Business School.

 Queen’s Award for Enterprise Logo
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2023