School of Business and Economics


Dr Iain Coyne

Dr Iain Coyne

Dr Coyne conducts research into workplace bullying and cyberbullying

PhD topics

Current list of unfunded PhD topics - listed by discipline group

 Accounting and Finance

Corporate social responsibility reporting

My research specialism is corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting (social and environmental accounting, sustainability disclosure, corporate social and environmental responsibility).

I welcome PhD applicants interested in researching CSR reporting and particularly: organisational motivations for CSR reporting; comparative international developments (developed vs. less developed contexts) ways to analyse and evaluate CSR reporting information; relationship of CSR reporting with media pressure; relationship of CSR reporting with corporate governance; CSR reporting by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). 


Economics (only two topics are listed out here, but there is a link below to a separate page devoted to Economics PhD topics)

Corporate finance and the political environment

This project aims at analysing whether firms’ decisions and structure are influenced by the political environment and institutions.

Potential applicants with interest on this topic should contact me for further details.


International trade in relation to Brexit

Our Trade Realignment And Negotiation Strategy Impact Team (TRANSIT) is multidisciplinary group of researchers within the SBE, involved or potentially involved in policy analysis and advice to industry in the aftermath of Brexit. The Brexit context has brought these areas together, leading to a potential creative overlap of these disciplines. Critically, we are already engaged in funded and non-funded work in these areas.

Our team builds on the following areas of existing SBE/LU London expertise:

    • the economics of trade and foreign direct investment
    • the international aspects of entrepreneurship and innovation
    • bargaining in international negotiations and political constraints

In all of these areas, Loughborough already has a tradition of academically strong research, as demonstrated by academic publications, conferences and grants. We would be happy to discuss proposals (in the areas listed above or any combination of the above), particularly where we can relate these to UK policymakers’ soon-to-be-published research agendas.


Work and Organisation

I am available to supervise PhD students interested in topics in organization studies, Int.HRM and employment relations that include, for instance:

  • Employee voice and participation in multinational corporations (MNCs). That includes the roles of company forums, works councils, and trade unions. Similarly, MNCs and provision of transnational forums that (may)extend throughout their supply chains, such as transnational or global works councils. An empirical question on this topic could enquire into: the role of European MNCs in Asia-Pacific subsidiaries and institutions of employee participation.
  • New developments in corporate responsibilities, beyond conventional CSR, and development of private governance regimes for transnational employment and HRM relations. This includes engagement with the UN’s Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals in particular reference to human resource management and transnational labour rights and conditions. Also, new institutions such as International or Global Framework Agreements. An empirical question on this topic could be: How effective are International Framework Agreements (IFAs) in African institutional contexts? or Asia-Pacific firms?
  • Organizational dynamics in regard to the micro-politics of regulation, strategic choices recognition, and societal interests.
  • Efforts in collaborative management practices; for instance, labour-management partnerships, inter-organizational collaborations, development of cross-party trust and sustained commitment; workplace and organizational democracy.
  • Organizations’ and citizens’ interests and actions in the regulation of competitive, market and technological forces.
  • Institutional innovations for the improvement of working life.


Management Science and Operations

Revenue Management and Pricing

Revenue management concerns the allocation of limited and perishable products/services (such as aeroplane seats, hotel rooms, rental cars, etc ) among customers from multiple market segments.

Apart from booking controls, dynamic pricing is another important lever to manage customer demand so as to maximise the overall revenue and increase utilisation. The staff members in the MSO group have rich research experience in revenue management, with applications particularly in car rental and car (ride) sharing, airline and telecommunications, and container leasing.

We welcome PhD applicants interested in researching any aspect in revenue management and in any industries.


Marketing and Retailing

The Marketing and Retailing group invites prospective doctoral researchers to submit research proposals that are aligned to one of these specific themes:

  • Marketing (digital) communications: app use, social media
  • Consumer motivations, perceptions, and identities in ethical/health behaviour contexts
  • International facets of entrepreneurship and marketing
  • Marketing strategy
  • Salespeople, sales managers and selling
  • Organizational designs, structures, systems and marketing
  • Innovation and marketing strategy
  • Global consumer culture
  • Branding and brand strategy
  • Consumer ethnocentrism, identity and brands
  • Aspects of service management
  • B2B marketing
  • Adoption of innovations
  • Sustainability in marketing
  • Digital marketing in retail
  • Social media and virtual communities
  • Customer service experience

Work and Organisation

Workplace bullying/cyberbullying and games-based assessment

Within the (cyber)bullying sphere I am keen to examine moderators and mediators within the antecedent-outcome relationships, bystander behaviour, attributions and ways to reduce bullying at work.

I am part of a network developing a toolkit for enhancing dignity at work and would be keen for a PhD student to work alongside me on this project. Games-based assessments (GBA) are a new form of pre-employment selection testing using a game format to assess individuals on various work-based constructs.

Specific areas for research in GBA that can be examined are criterion-validity using objective measures, applicant reactions to GBA, cross-cultural issues within GBA and prediction of career vocation via GBA.


International Business, Strategy and Innovation

The IBSI group invites prospective doctoral researchers to submit research proposals that are aligned to one of these specific themes:

  • Entrepreneurship in emerging markets,
  • Internationalisation strategies,
  • Culture-strategy nexus in global organisations,
  • Social innovations and entrepreneurship,
  • Strategy and performance in complex environments,
  • Digital innovations and development.