Monthly Archives: May 2015

Developing Sustainable Diabetes Care Networks

World Diabetes Day

Project delivered in partnership with Diabetes UK
Dr Colin Pilbeam

Networks of individuals and organizations are used increasingly to provide health and social care in the UK. They provide opportunities to focus resources on particularly significant and major health conditions, for example diabetes, cancer and stroke patients, combining relevant skills to deliver care more effectively.

However, networks vary considerably in their structural form and mode of governance and it remains unclear how contextual variation influences these two key characteristics of networks. Moreover, while we know that inter-personal trust, role complementarity, shared values and leadership all significantly contribute to the initiation and establishment of a network, we know little about how these influences change as the network develops or indeed whether they stimulate network change. Uncertainty also lies in the real benefit derived from networks; individual organizational not collective performance is measured. Greater effectiveness is assumed.

A number of research questions naturally arise from this:
1. How do differences in environmental context affect the choice of governance and the structural form of a network?
2. How do any of the internal factors (trust, leadership or shared values) affect the development and evolution of a network?
3. How is network performance measured? And how does performance change with time?
4. How do networks impact the local healthcare system?

In partnership with Diabetes UK, Cranfield School of Management is seeking a PhD student on either a full-time or part-time basis to investigate any of these potential research questions. The successful candidate will draw on existing research literature on networks generally and on health-care networks specifically to establish an appropriate conceptual framework before accessing with the support of Diabetes UK appropriate diabetes care networks to gather empirical data. The project has both academic and practical impact. In addition to a doctoral thesis and a number of academic publications, the project will help Diabetes UK develop appropriate tools and guides for developing sustainable networks to deliver care to a greater number of patients.

Please contact Dr Colin Pilbeam in the first instance.

Admission requirements:

  • a strong first degree (UK level 2.1 minimum)
  • please see Admission Requirements for English language requirements.


  • applications for scholarships – mid-April
  • self-funded applications – 15 July.

See website for full details


Transformational Journey: Dr Alice Maynard CBE & Dr John Towriss

Dr Emma Parry, Director, International Executive Doctorate (DBA) and Reader in Human Resource Management welcomes a valuable contribution to this DBA webinar series by Dr Alice Maynard, DBA Alumna from our 2003 cohort. Alice’s research focused on the economic appraisal of transport projects and her supervision panel members were Dr John Towriss, Dr Richard Kwiatkowski and Dr Val Singh. Having graduated in 2008, Alice talks us through her research and DBA experience, sharing how it has contributed to her career so far. Dr John Towriss contributes from a faculty support perspective.

About Dr Alice Maynard:
Dr Alice Maynard’s work with the rail industry laid the foundations for the Department for Transport’s ‘Railways for All’, making rail travel much easier for disabled people. Her doctoral thesis at Cranfield uniquely demonstrated the economic value of inclusive station design. As a consultant she works with national transport bodies increasing inclusion through better governance practices.

Alice led the Board of Scope, the disability charity, in developing an ambitious strategy to deliver its vision of equal opportunity for disabled people and their families. The strategy capitalises on Scope’s strong reputation and the improvements she oversaw in its financial and management capability after she became Chair in 2008. Her experience at Scope led Alice to establish with colleagues in the third sector the Association of Chairs. It aims to enhance chairing in nonprofits, given the key role Chairs have in ensuring Board and organisation performance.

In 2014 Alice was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of York, and won the Sunday Times / Peel Hunt Not-for-profit / Public Service Organisation Non-Executive Director of the Year. She was on the Cranfield 100 Women to Watch list in 2013 and 2014 and was in the inaugural ‘Power List’ of the 100 most influential disabled people. In January 2015 she was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours for her services to disabled people and their families.

Key motivator: Particularly interested in the balance between economic benefit, resource management and the ethical drivers in critical social support systems such as transport and social care.

Cranfield International Executive Doctorate (DBA)

Next Doctoral Open Day at Cranfield School of Management – 4 Nov 2015

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