The Sustainable Organisations Research Group generates practical and theoretical research and delivers impactful outcomes. We have multidisciplinary research interests and share a common interest in designing research that is academically rigorous and relevant to practice and the broader community. We embrace a broad range of qualitative and quantitative approaches including survey, interviews, archival research, observation, participant observation, ethnography, and creative methods incorporating film, photography, and art. Our research focuses on addressing economic, social and environmental challenges and solving problems that are relevant to organisations, businesses and society. 

Our Aims

We aim to increase the sustainability of organisations through:

  1. Working collaboratively to develop group projects and outputs
  2. Developing collaborations with others outside the University of Worcester both in the academic and practitioner communities
  3. Enhancing knowledge exchange to external practitioner communities
  4. Informing and enhancing the student experience within Worcester Business School, the wider university and academia more generally.
  5. Producing high quality academic outputs.

We are keen to work with organisations to increase their sustainability. Details of the expertise we offer and examples of current projects may be found by accessing the drop-down menus below. Please do not hesitate to contact Joanne Murphy who is our WBS Business Development Manager or Dr Catharine Ross, Sustainable Organisations Research Group leader if you wish to discuss your needs.


Core Members and Expertise

Our researchers are all active in their particular fields, producing journal articles and book publications, conference presentations, and working with organisations to ensure engagement with practice to deliver relevant and impactful research. 

For more details regarding our research team, their academic and industry expertise, research interests and publications, please click on the links below: 

  • Dr Mohsen Abumuamar - Organizational change, institutional analysis, and institutional entrepreneurship 
  • Dr Kay Emblen-Perry - Education for Sustainability; Systems thinking for environmental protection; Sustainability Governance; Systems thinking for sustainable futures; Energy behaviours; Energy efficiency opportunities and barriers.  
  • Dr Laila Kasem - Immigrant and refugee entrepreneurship, refugee economic integration and the role of business, ethical marketing.
  • Dr Paulo Mora-Avila - Corporate reputation, consumer behaviour, brands, social media, digital marketing, corporate reputation, and cross-cultural and cross-generational marketing
  • Dr Cedric Nkiko - CSR, Strategic Management, Global Challenges and Sustainable Development Goals
  • Dr Colin Price - Education for Sustainability, emerging zero-carbon energy technologies. Systems thinking for energy demand and consumption.
  • Dr Catharine Ross - Business ethics; social and environmental sustainability
  • Dr Abdulmaten Taroun - Project risk management, Operations & Supply Chain Management, Quality management, Project appraisal and performance analysis, Sustainability and sustainable development

Affiliate Members (PhD/DBA students)

Our doctoral students are investigating a range of topics in organisations and management under the supervision of the core members of the research group.  

DBA Students and Graduates 

  • Gisela Anthony (MPhil / PhD student)
  • Silke Balk (DBA student)
  • Otty Shambare (MPhil / PhD student)
  • Yuqian Sui (DBA student)
  • Werner Podkowik (DBA student)
  • Liza Kirchberg (DBA student)
  • Eric Habiryayo (DBA student)
  • Anke Trischler (DBA student)
  • Klara Olberg, Halmstad University

Current Projects

Sustainability auditing; 

  • 2 x 3 month paid student knowledge exchange placements undertaking sustainability audits.

Educating future organisational leaders for sustainability:

  • Green Impact (NUS-funded) student project on Raising Awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals within WBS
  • Green Impact (NUS-funded) student project on Embedding Climate Change within the Business and Computing curricula

Creating sustainable organisations:

  • Two doctoral students researching How the German ‘Volksbank’ is living up to      its politically dictated responsibility in the sustainable transformation of German SMEs and how it can achieve the greatest impact, and the use of vision culture to address company culture.

Refugee Entrepreneurship and Integration

  • Research has been conducted to explore entrepreneurial intention amongst recently arrived refugees and examine specifically their perceptions of desirability towards entrepreneurship and personal perception of ability to be an entrepreneur. The implications of research highlight the need for more inclusive entrepreneurship support that focusses on strengthening the perceived abilities and capabilities of refugees. Research is currently being conducted on the role business could play in supporting refugee integration in host societies.

Migrant Entrepreneurship

  • A doctoral student researching the role of family support in the post start-up entrepreneurial motivation of Chinese female migrant entrepreneurs

Ethical business and management

  • Five doctoral students exploring ethical business and management. Their research projects focus on Corporate Social Responsibility in Nigerian Banks; Organisational decision-making in relation to Corporate Social Responsibility; the implementation of the German concept of the Honourable Businessman in German banks; How the German ‘Volksbank’ is living up to its politically dictated responsibility in the sustainable transformation of German SMEs and how it can achieve the greatest impact, and the role of vison culture in overcoming company crises.


PhD/DBA Opportunities

We welcome interest from potential research students. If you are interested in joining us to study a research degree, then please visit our MPhil/PhD and DBA webpages where you will find more information about how to apply. 

Recent Publications

Abumuamar, M. (2022) The Role of Social-symbolic Work in Addressing Grand Challenges: The Case of Women Empowerment. Washington. The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management: Creating A Better World Together. 

Abumuamar, M., (2021) Outsider-driven institutional entrepreneurship: The case of emerging field of positive psychology education. Amsterdam: EGOS: Micro-institutions: Unpacking the Building Blocks of Organizations and Institutional Fields.

Emblen-Perry, Kay , Nichol, Lynn and Ross, Catharine  (2020) Does commuting to university influence students’ personal and professional development and the likelihood of graduate level employment? The International Journal of Professional Management, 15 (5). ISSN 2042-2341

Emblen-Perry, Kay (2020) Using Sustainability Audits to Enhance Responsible Management Education and Develop Personally and Professionally Responsible Work-Ready Graduates. The International Journal of Professional Management, 15 (2). ISSN 2042-2341

Emblen-Perry, Kay  (2020) Drawing Sustainability: Helping students to know what they know. In: Universities, Sustainability and Society: Supporting the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. World Sustainability Series . Springer, pp. 217-237. ISBN 978-3-030-63399-8

Emblen-Perry, Kay  (2019) Can Sustainability Audits Provide Effective, Hands-on Business Sustainability Learning, Teaching, Research and Assessment for Business Management Undergraduates? International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 20 (7). pp. 1191-1219. ISSN 1467-6370

Emblen-Perry, Kay  (2019) What is the Impact of Non-domestic Building Tenure on SME’s Energy Efficiency? The International Journal of Professional Management, 14 (1). ISSN 2042-2341

Emblen-Perry, Kay  (2019) Engaging and Empowering Business Management Students to Support the Mitigation of Climate Change Through Sustainability Auditing. In: Climate Change and the Role of Education. Climate Change Management . Springer, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 549-573. ISBN 978-3-030-32897-9 Online ISBN: 978-3-030-32898-6

Emblen-Perry, Kay  (2019) Closing Graduates’ Sustainability Skills Gaps by Using the University as a Live Sustainability Case Study. In: Sustainability on University Campuses: Learning, Skills Building and Best Practices. World Sustainability . Springer, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 271-292. ISBN Print: 978-3-030-15863-7 Online: 978-3-030-15864-4

Kasem, L. and Mawson, S. (2019), Are Refugees Truly More Entrepreneurial, British Academy of Management Annual Conference 2019.

Leal Filho, W., Levesque, V., Sivapalan, S., Salvia, A.L., Fritzen, B., Deckert, R., Kozlova, V., LeVasseur, T.J., Emblen-Perry, Kay , Azeiteiro, U.M., Paço, A., Borsarill, B. and Shiel, C. (2021) Social Values and Sustainable Development- Community experiences. Sustainability Science. ISSN Print:1862-4065 Electronic: 1862-4057

Leal Filho, W., Kovaleva, M., Fritzen, B., Fudjumdjum, H., Emblen-Perry, Kay , Platje, J., Tuladhar, L., Vasconcelos, C., LeVasseur, T.J., Minhas, A., Farinha, C.S., Buil-Fabrega, M., Novo-Corti, I., Tirca, D-M. and Antonio de Cunha, D. (2020) Sustainability practices at private universities: a state-of-the-art assessment. International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology. ISSN Print: 1350-4509 Online: 1745-2627

Leal Filho, W., Lange Salvia, A., Frankenberger Silva, F., Mohammed Akib, N.A., Sen, S.K., Silvpalan, S., Nono-Corti, I., Venkatesan, M. and Emblen-Perry, Kay  (2020) Governance and Sustainable Development at Higher Education Institutions. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 23 (4). pp. 6002-6020. ISSN 1387-585X (print) 1573-2975 (eISSN)

Leal Filho, W., Emblen-Perry, Kay , Molthan-Hill, P., Mifsud, M., Verhoef, L., Azeiteiro, U., Bacelar-Nicolau, P., de Souza, L., Castro, P., Beynaghi, A., Boddy, J., Lange Salvia, A., Frankenberger, F. and Price, E. (2019) Implementing Innovation on Environmental Sustainability at Universities Around the World. Sustainability, 11 (14). p. 3807. ISSN 2071-1050

Leal Filho, W., Doni, F., Ruiz Vargas, V., Wall, T., Hindley, A., Rayman-Bacchus, L., Emblen-Perry, Kay  and Boddy, J. (2019) The Integration of Social Responsibility and Sustainability in Practice: Exploring Attitudes and Practices in Higher Education Institutions. Journal of Cleaner Production, 220. pp. 152-166. ISSN 0959-6526

Mawson, S. and Kasem, Laila (2019) Exploring the Entrepreneurial Intentions of Syrian Refugees in the UK. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 25 (5). pp. 1128-1146. ISSN 1355-2554


We are an open, diverse and friendly group, so please contact us about our research, knowledge exchange activities and doctoral opportunities.  

For more information about the Future Proofing Organisations Research Group, please contact Dr Catharine Ross ( Research Group Leader.