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PhD Studentship: Creating and Preserving Organisational Value from Data Analytics: The Role of Business Partners in Bridging Data Science and Business-Facing Managers

Loughborough University - School of Business and Economics

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Loughborough
Funding for: EU Students, International Students, Self-funded Students, UK Students
Funding amount: £15,009 per annum
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 16th July 2019
Closes: 4th September 2019
Reference: SBEAR-19

Application details:

Reference number: SBEAR-19
Start date of studentship: 1 October 2019
Closing date of advert: 2 August 2019
Interview date: 4 September 2019


Primary supervisor: Dr Anna Raffoni

Secondary supervisors: Dr Ian Herbert, Professor Chris Holland

Short Introductory Paragraph

Applications are invited for a fully funded three-year PhD research project in the area of Business Analytics for Organisational Decision-Making. This is a unique opportunity to participate in an interdisciplinary project that has the potential to generate high impacts for organisations, professional bodies and higher education. 

Extracting value from increasingly complex and extensive data is widely recognized as an essential capability for organisations, but still a significant challenge for many. Employing a cross-disciplinary perspective, the project aims to improve the understanding of: 1) how data-driven decision-making devices, employing expert statistical and algorithmic processes (the blackbox) interface with human actors, namely business partners as decision framers; and 2) how outputs (management information) are made sense of and used by a range of decision makers.  

The selected candidate will work with world-leading academics in the field of accounting and information management. Students from a broad range of disciplines, including accounting, information management and decision sciences, are welcome to apply.

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you will work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

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Full Project Detail:

This project investigates the role of the business partner in supporting executive decisions through leading-edge analysis of complex and extensive data sets.

The project will explore three main issues: (1) how business partners in case organisations frame real-world business situations for analysis; (2) the role of the business partner in providing a bridge between technical experts employed in the analytical processes and business-facing user groups; (3) how outputs generated by ‘blackbox’ analytics (technology and methods) are validated heuristically by managers against real-world phenomena.

The study will explore data analytical projects within case organisations settings through primary data sources (data inputs and information outputs), interviews and focus groups. The results will add to a nascent body of literature about the role and nature of data analytics in organisational decision-making and will benefit a wide range of stakeholders, including professional bodies and higher education.

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Entry requirements:

UK Masters degree (with average programme mark of no less than 65%) or International equivalent. English Language requirement of IELTS band 7.0 or above with not less than 7.0 in each component.

Funding information:

The studentship provides a tax-free stipend of £15,009 per annum for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. International (non-EU) students may apply however the total value of the studentship will be used towards the cost of the International tuition fee in the first instance.

Contact details:

Name: Dr Anna Raffoni

Email address:

Telephone number: +44 (0)1509 228232

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select Business School  

Please quote reference number: SBEAR-19

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