Economic Development and Inclusive Economies

Economic Development and Inclusive Economies

Focus of our research

Encouraging economic growth and development is a core aim of public policy; however, there is increasing concern with the question ‘who gains from growth?’ This question was brought into sharp focus by the global financial crisis, alongside continued economic and social inequalities, and on-going austerity in many countries. In the UK, there are long-running concerns about low-pay, productivity and spatial disparities in economic performance and outcomes, as well as increasing concerns about insecurity in the labour market. There is also a growing acknowledgement that future growth and development must be ‘greener’ and more sustainable. Yet questions remain about the ability to balance economic, social and environmental sustainability – with an associated proliferation of proposed development models, such as local economic development (LED), the low carbon economy, the circular economy, a sharing economy, community economic development and community finance.

The economic and social outcomes of growth and development relate to both the type of growth which is generated and the mechanisms connecting this to the experiences of workers, citizens and communities. The aim of this CBiS research cluster is to develop high quality and impactful research, which seeks to inform and shape policy on the future challenges for economic development and inclusive economies.

Core Cluster Themes
  1. Understanding the economic and social implications of different approaches to economic development, forms of growth and associated business models
  2. Generating insights into how the benefits of growth and development can accrue more broadly and equitably, including implications for policy making
  3. Developing practice and learning through our regional position and partnerships

Key Researchers

This cluster is led by Dr. Paul Sissons and Dr. David Jarvis and benefits from a collegiate group of research staff, associates, PhD candidates and visiting professors.

Dr Paul Sissons

Paul focuses on developing research insights which are policy relevant and communicating these to policy audiences. Examples include providing an invited response at the UK launch of the OECD Skills Strategy in 2012; presenting an expert paper on low-wage work to skills policymakers from Scotland; and, being an expert witness at a Scottish Government Inquiry into underemployment.

His research has also been cited in a number of Government publications including the Black Review of Sickness Absence and Social Mobility: the next steps.

Dr David Jarvis

David Jarvis is Reader in Local and Regional Economic Development, with research interests in economic development and economic impact, manufacturing sectors, clusters and economies and neighbourhood regeneration, faith and community. David was also the founding Academic Programme Director for the Faculty’s Professional Doctorate (DBA), and sits on the Management Group of the University’s Future Transport and Cities (FTC) Research Centre.

Since completion of his PhD in 2002, David has held a series of full-time professional research posts in both commercial consultancy and higher education settings.

David has secured, managed and delivered more than 70 funded research or evaluation projects for clients across the public, private and charitable sectors. In the course of doing so, he has gained extensive direct experience of utilising both quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Visiting Professor David Bailey

David Bailey from Aston University, an influential business expert on economic restructuring and industrial policy, is perhaps best known for his knowledge of UK car manufacturing. As an author, regular media commentator and newspaper columnist, he has provided articles and commentary on key economic and regional policy issues.

Most recently, David has undertaken European funded research on using foreign investment to upgrade clusters and on industrial and regional policy and the rise of ‘phoenix’ industries, such as the low carbon vehicles cluster in the West Midlands.

Visiting Professor Mark Jenkins

Mark Jenkins is a Professor of Business Strategy and Director of Community: Strategy, People and Leadership at Cranfield School of Management.

Mark’s teaching, research and consulting activities focus on the areas of competitive strategy and innovation. He is the author of a number of books on strategic management issues, including Performance at the Limit: Business Lessons from Formula One Motor Racing, Advanced Strategic Management and The Customer Centred Strategy.

Mark is on the editorial boards of Long Range Planning, Organization Studies and the Journal of Management Studies. Mark was a member of the Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) panel for Business and Management.

PhD Opportunities

The Economic Development and Inclusive Economies research cluster focuses on policies and practices for growth and development, and the economic and social outcomes which follow from these; with a particular emphasis on  issues of inclusion. We welcome PhD applications which explore a range of topics relating to growth and inclusion. These include city growth, employment policy, social investment and community finance; and the impact of economic development, such as strategies for local and regional economies, including advanced manufacturing, entrepreneurship and business models. 

The cluster also welcomes PhD applications from suitably qualified candidates interested in pursuing historical research in line with our research themes. The expertise of our cluster members covers the following continents: Africa; Australasia; Europe; Latin America; and North America. PhD researchers are a core part of our cluster and benefit from the opportunity to work with scholars at various stages of their career.

For all enquiries in the first instance regarding the Economic Development and Inclusive Economies research cluster, please contact Dr David Jarvis or Dr Paul Sissons.

Guidance on Coventry University’s PGR eligibility and application process can be found here.

More detail on the Centre for Business in Society can be found here or contact the Centre’s PGR Director, Dr Jason Begley (

Self-funding or corporately sponsored PhD applications are always welcome. Some fees-only bursaries and full studentships might be available on a competitive basis.

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