Sustainable Growth, Business, Work and Economic Productivity (SBE)


The Sustainable Growth, Business, Work and Economic Productivity (SBE) Pathway addresses key debates concerning the drivers of economic growth and productivity; evolving business and management practices; changing patterns of employment and understandings of the nature of work; equitable economic development within and between states; and the challenges of the transition to socially and environmentally sustainable economic futures. Within these grand challenges, the Pathway explores a range of interconnected issues relating to work and employment relations; labour markets, rights and protections; ownership, finance and financialisation; management, regulation and governance; wages, skills and welfare; competition and competitiveness; corporate social and environmental responsibility; and, sustainable production and consumption practices and alternative models of business. Debates about the future of work and the role of consumption in society are central to the Pathway’s interrogation of how we live now, and sustainability acts as a fundamental link across the Pathway themes. The SBE Pathway adopts a broad focus to consider productivity and sustainable economic growth at multi-level scales, from firm, to sectoral, at regional, national, transnational and global levels. In doing so, the Pathway seeks to make sense of the increasing volatility and fluidity of markets and supply chains, examining the implications of geo-political factors in terms of economic security and resilience. 

Contributing disciplines 

To address the grand challenges outlined above, the SBE Pathway brings together researchers from a range of fields including economics, business, management, finance, accounting, work psychology, industrial relations, and geography. The Pathway supports innovative research that uses a range of qualitative and quantitative tools, including macroeconomic and microeconomic analysis, big data, action research and participant observation, ethnography and anthropology, experimental and quasi-experimental designs, and historical methods. 

Pathway training and development 

Training provided by the SBE Pathway fosters interdisciplinary research in relation to the challenges of economy, society, and sustainable growth. Training is provided in three main areas: cutting edge field developments; methodological advancements and methods acquisition; and career development. Training reflects the wide interests of SBE students as academic researchers and applied research practitioners. Training covers areas such as inequality and economic growth, business and environment, rigour-relevance debates, while methods training includes historical methods in management studies, interdisciplinary research design, building impact and policy into research, decolonial methodologies, quantitative approaches, and theory building.

Pathway Governance Team

Sally Russell

Professor Sally Russell

Pathway Director, University of Leeds

Eva Kipnis

Professor Eva Kipnis

Deputy Director, University of Bradford

Tina McGuinness

Dr Tina McGuinness

Deputy Director, University of Sheffield