Roadmap for UK business schools


A report on how the UK's business schools could drive innovation and support growth in the UK economy has been launched by University of Leeds' Professor Richard Thorpe.

Professor Thorpe, Pro-Dean for Research and Innovation at Leeds University Business School, presented the report and gave a keynote speech together with Richard Rawlinson, the report's co-author, David Willetts MP, Lord Heseltine and Lord Young.

The conference, which was organised by the Association of Business Schools and supported by the FT, looked at the role business schools can play in supporting business locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

Topics discussed included how business schools could: contribute to developing leadership skills; better connect their research projects to the corporate sector; provide support for key industries; help foster innovation and up-skill a generation of managers and business leaders; and drive growth in the domestic and international economy.

The conference was organised around the report, 'The role of UK business schools in driving innovation and growth in the domestic economy' written by Professor Thorpe and Richard Rawlinson, of Booz & Company, and contributions built on the main themes and recommendations which included how the effectiveness of business schools might be improved by:

  • Integrating industry experience into more course programmes 
  • Involving more business practitioners as guest speakers/lecturers into course programmes
  • Encouraging academics to take sabbatical in industry to reacquaint with a fast changing business environment
  • Developing and managing corporate relations institutionally
  • Improving the measurement of Business School research impact on business
  • Promoting the expertise of university research centres to target sectors, reiterating how their research could impact business 
  • How Business Schools could have more defined, specialised roles within the sector.

Professor Thorpe said: “This was a great opportunity for Leeds University Business School to play such a prominent role in engaging with and influencing the UK business agenda.”

The conference took place on Tuesday 21 March 2013 and was streamed live nationally to a number of HE institutions.

Further information:

Contact: Guy Dixon, Communications, University of Leeds. Email: