Ben is a Research Fellow at the Retail Institute in Leeds Business School.
Ben joined the university as an information specialist in the Policy Research Institute in 1999 and provided an information service for the institute for over ten years. During this time he worked on numerous large scale policy related projects and developed advanced skills in literature searching and an extensive knowledge of employment and skills related issues.
He has a Masters in Information and Library Management and another one in Social and Public Policy, from which he received his training in research methods. He is currently studying for a PhD on evaluating soft skills training programmes, using realist methods. He has contributed to the university’s research activities which have been funded by charities, local and central government, the European Union and major companies within the retail industry.
Ben delivers research and consultancy on a range of subjects using advanced information retrieval techniques and other research methods. His work for the Retail Institute has seen him support companies in the development of new products and business strategies. This has covered issues such as service quality, choice of packaging materials, premiumisation and sensory marketing.
Ben has several areas interest which are pursued both through his work as a research fellow and as a PhD student. His doctoral work is focused on the question of how soft skills (including emotional competences and other interpersonal skills) can be learned. He is using the realist synthesis approach to systematic review to understand what types of soft skills programmes work in particular circumstances. Ben has a long term interest in systematic reviews and has regularly supported colleagues in the Centre for Health Promotion on various public health related reviews.
Ben's retail related interests cover a range of topics concerning the way that consumers interact with retail products and services.
Devins D; Bickerstaffe T; Nunn A; Mitchell B; McQuaid R; Egdell V; Lindsay C (2011) The Role of Skills from Worklessness to Sustainable Employment with Progression [Online]. Wath-upon-Dearne: UK Commission for Employment and Skills.
Nunn A; Bickerstaffe T; Mitchell B (2010) International Review of Performance Management Systems in Public Employment Services [Online]. Norwich: Department for Work and Pensions.
Available from: http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd5/rports2009-2010/rrep616.pdf