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Research degrees at Kingston Business School

Dear Applicant,

Your decision to engage in doctoral research marks the beginning of your academic career and a personal commitment to contribute to knowledge in your field of study.

During your studies you will develop your research skills and formulate new ideas which will help solve important business and management problems.

The doctoral process will take you through a journey that involves periods of great fulfilment, coming from the production of scholarly work, but also times of struggle. Our promise is to support, encourage and recognise your efforts and work throughout your studies.

We will ensure that you receive research training to a high-standard and are equipped with the necessary skills and tools to produce rigorous research outcomes.

Our goal is to produce future researcher leaders who are able to demonstrate excellence in their field, undertake collaborative work, and disseminate and publish leading outputs that can influence stakeholders.

The guidance and research support you receive from us will be substantial. We will seek to develop a lifelong collaboration with you, whether you choose to stay in academia or enter the business world.

We are here to support your decision and effort and I look forward, as a Director of the programme, to welcoming you to Kingston Business School.


Director of Doctoral Programmes

Areas of supervisory expertise for doctoral and masters students

Staff have a breadth of experience in the supervision of doctoral and masters students. The following is a list of areas that we cover, although this is not meant to be exhaustive.

More information on supervisors can be found in our staff profiles.

Small business management

  • Strategy
  • HRM employment relations, skills, learning and training
  • Procurement and SMEs
  • Innovation / responsible innovation
  • Creativity
  • Employee behaviour
  • Intellectual property and management and SMEs
  • SME finance
  • Management buy-outs
  • Employee-owned enterprises

SMEs environment

  • New firm formation
  • Growth SMEs
  • Business exits
  • Networking
  • Co-opetition
  • Internationalisation; SME exports; Born globals
  • Entrepreneurship in developing and transition economies
  • Small businesses and environmental sustainability
  • Entrepreneurship and small business responses to climate change

The entrepreneur / business owners

  • Motivations
  • Demographics of enterprise (eg. young / older people)
  • The entrepreneurial personality
  • Entrepreneurial behaviour (psychology; sociological; approaches)
  • Ethnic minority and immigrant entrepreneurship
  • Disadvantaged entrepreneurs
  • Informal entrepreneurship
  • Social entrepreneurship/entrepreneurs
  • Sustainable entrepreneurship/entrepreneurs
  • Business owners' health and well-being

Small business/enterprise policy

  • Institutional environment
  • Policy initiatives, local, regional, national international
  • Regulation
  • Enterprise education initiatives and programmes
  • Innovation policy for SMEs
  • Policy monitoring and evaluation

Accounting and informatics

The Accounting & Finance department can supervise research in the following areas:

  • Financial accounting
  • Cost accounting
  • Banking
  • Earnings management, including areas such as:
  • Venture capital investments
  • Cost of capital for SMEs
  • Uncertainty in valuation
  • Valuation of intangible assets
  • IPOs
  • Venture capital exit deals

Management, occupational psychology and behavioural science

  • Risk and decision making
  • Leaders and their teams
  • Conflict resolution and industrial strategy
  • Personality, diversity and identity at work
  • Managing new technology for effective work
  • Wellbeing and work engagement
  • Cognitive interactivity

Department of Management

The Department of Management is looking for prospective PhD students of a high calibre to apply for supervision on one of eight research projects. These projects reflect the research interests of key staff within the department, who are experts in their respective fields and well-disposed to supervising high-quality research in the following fields:

To apply for any of these projects, please contact the supervisor in the first instance to discuss.


  • Qualitative and quantitative SME research methodologies
  • Multi-level modelling
  • Survey and interviewing techniques
  • Narrative analysis
  • Discourse analysis
  • Grounded theory
  • Systematic literature review methods
  • Critical incident technique
  • Measuring entrepreneurial attributes
  • Impact assessment

Kavita Patel's PhD experience

Kavita Patel, a Kingston Business School PhD student used Facebook to identify whether people are serious about sustainability, or just playing at being green. Watch Kavita talk about her very interesting research and also about her experience of doing a PhD at Kingston Business School.

Faculty of Business and Social Sciences
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