The mission of our Business research themes is to enable excellence in multidisciplinary research.

Our research topic areas encompass a range of subjects and this is reflected in our members’ disciplines – finance and accounting, management, people, organisations and practice.

Members undertake research and knowledge exchange activities funded by a wide range of external bodies including: ESRC, EPSRC, MRC, British Academy, The European Union, NHS, Scottish Government, UNESCO, Research Councils, local government, professional bodies, and industry. 

Examples of research projects include:

Transparency Reporting Legislation for the Extractive and Logging Industries

This research project is led by Professor Louise Crawford, Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University and Professor Jim Haslam at Sheffield University.

LoggingTogether with Dr Eleni Chatzigevri from University of Westminster, Lynsie Chew from UCL, and Martyn Gordon from Robert Gordon University, the team have been investigating the challenges of developing, interpreting and implementing new transparency reporting legislation for the extractive and logging industries. The ‘UK Reports on Payments to Governments Regulations’ implements one year early the EU Accounting and Transparency Directives, which have introduced a new obligation for large extractive and logging companies to report the payments they make to governments on a country-by-country basis. The European Commission predicts that these new transparency disclosures “will provide civil society in resource-rich countries with the information needed to hold governments to account for any income made through the exploitation of natural resources”.

The research team will formally report policy recommendations emerging from their analysis of the  county-by-country disclosures of over 50 UK listed extractive companies and interviews undertaken with users, preparers, auditors, industry representatives, civil servants, politicians and the legal profession. This research will inform responses to the scheduled Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) review to be completed by 1 December 2017 and the subsequent EU review scheduled for completion by 21 July 2018.

For further information, email Professor Louise Crawford or Professor Jim Haslam.

The Capability and Competency Requirements of Auditors

Professor Elizabeth Gammie, of Aberdeen Business School, conducts research into the competencies required by professional accountants.

AuditorsShe has recently been working with Barac (University of Pretoria), Howieson (University of Adelaide) & Staden (University of South Africa) on a study of the competencies of auditors for the global business environment, commissioned by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) and the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) in 2013.

The study explored the views of key audit stakeholders from Australia, South Africa and the UK.  Interviews were focused on six significant public companies from different sectors in each country and involved the audit engagement partners, the Chief Financial Officer, the Audit Committee Chair and the internal auditors.  Additionally, individuals who had some oversight, public policy or educative role with regard to audit in each of the three countries were also interviewed.  Questions focussed on the current and future role and responsibilities of the auditor, what capabilities auditors need to perform their role now and in the future, how recruitment models should be adapted to ensure that those recruited can meet the demands today and in the future and how should training and development programmes be changed to ensure that auditors are appropriately trained to perform their roles today and in the future. The report concludes with a “proposed strategy to ensure that auditors of today and tomorrow have the necessary capabilities and associated competencies to deliver high quality public interest audits”. 

Barac, Gammie, Howieson & van Staden (2016) The Capability and Competency Requirements of Auditors in Today’s Complex Global Business Environment was published in March 2016.

Democratic Legitimacy in the EU

EUProfessor Justin Greenwood has received funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), 2016-2019. £290159 Grant no: ES/NO18761/1: Democratic Legitimacy in the EU: Inside the 'Black Box of Informal Trilogues'.The ESRC grant is held by the Robert Gordon University (Principal Investigator - Justin Greenwood and co-investigator - Christilla Roederer-Rynning, University of Southern Denmark). This is a series of collaborative research projects under the 'Open Research Area' scheme (funded separately by the national research councils of: Germany - PI Ariadna Ripoll Servent University of Bamberg; the Netherlands - PI Gijs Jan Brandsma & CI Sebastiaan Princen, Utrecht University; and the UK),that seek to open up the ‘black box’ of these informal negotiations and examine what impact public debates have on these negotiations, and how the EU institutions use these debates to negotiate their respective positions.

See the article by Christilla Roederer-Rynning and Justin Greenwood on 'The Culture of Trilogues' and 'The European Parliament as a Developing Legislature: coming of age in Trilogues?' in the Journal of European Public Policy.