Dr Robert Wapshott
Lecturer in Entrepreneurship
I am a Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and joined the Management School in February 2012. Prior to this, I lectured in the School of Management at Bradford University. Before becoming an academic, I worked in manufacturing and service sectors of the economy.
Teaching and Learning
In my teaching, typically at MSc and MBA levels, I seek to incorporate my research interests with students’ experiences and perspectives. Taking this approach to ‘joint’ engagement I seek to ensure that classes use relevant examples that stimulate students to think about their day-to-day practice and understanding of the world of work.
In class, drawing on my recent and current research work benefits students by giving them access to up-to-date interpretations of research literature and also insight into the problems facing real organizations today. Discussing examples from these organizations permits a level of detail that is not always communicated via textbooks or pre-prepared case studies, giving students opportunities to raise questions that interest them rather than just those set by a case study author. Having students engage with a topic and develop interesting questions of their own is something I find really rewarding.
My research interests centre on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs. My research interest in SMEs focuses on the negotiated nature of employment relationships in small service-sector firms. Most recently I have been looking at how small businesses encounter management challenges as they grow. The owners of these businesses often self-identify as entrepreneurs, but running a larger organization on a day-to-day basis may require a different mind-set and practical approach. I am interested in how the businesses respond to such changes.
One of the things I enjoy about researching and teaching around SMEs and entrepreneurs is their relevance to the study of work and organizations. Even students who plan a career in large corporate environments are likely to find themselves doing business with small suppliers, being advised by niche business consultancies or maybe even starting up their own business! Either way, understanding how these organizations operate can offer important insights to anyone interested in the world of work and enterprise.
If you think you would like to undertake a PhD studying this topic area or related issues then please get in touch.
Wapshott, R. and Mallett, O. (now available online) The unspoken side of mutual adjustment: Understanding intersubjective negotiation in small professional service firms. International Small Business Journal.
Mallett, O. and Wapshott, R. (now available online) Informality and employment relationships in small firms: humour, ambiguity and straight-talking. British Journal of Management.
Mallett, O. and Wapshott, R. (2012) Mediating ambiguity: Narrative identity and knowledge workers. Scandinavian Journal of Management 28(1): 16-26.
Wapshott, R. and Mallett, O. (2012) The spatial implications of homeworking: A Lefebvrian approach to the rewards and challenges of home-based work. Organization 19(1): 63-79.
Mallett, O. and Wapshott, R. (2011) The challenges of identity work: Developing Ricoeurian narrative identity in organisations. ephemera: theory & politics in organization 11(3): 271-288.