Dr David Littlewood

PhD MA BSc (Hons)

Management School

Research Development Director for Entrepreneurship, Strategy and International Business

Senior Lecturer in Strategic Management

+44 114 222 3493

Full contact details

Dr David Littlewood
Management School
Room E017
Sheffield University Management School
Conduit Road
S10 1FL

I joined Sheffield University Management School in 2015 to work as a Lecturer in Strategic Management.

In 2018, I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in Strategic Management. I teach on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

Prior to this, I was a Lecturer in Reputation and Responsibility at the Henley Business School, the University of Reading, where I also taught on undergraduate and postgraduate MSc and MBA programmes.

I completed my PhD at the University of Sheffield in the Geography Department, with my research examining relationships between CSR and development in the context of the mining industry in Namibia.

I was then employed as a post-doctoral research fellow at Queen’s University Belfast Management School, working on the Trickle Out Africa Project, which examined social and environmental enterprises in East and Southern Africa and their role in sustainable development and poverty alleviation.

I am a frequent speaker at international conferences and have been widely published in international peer reviewed journals, as well as contributing to various books and conference proceedings.

I am active internationally engaging in research collaborations with scholars in the USA, Europe, Asia and Africa, and practitioners.

Research interests

My interests lie in the business and society domain, and relate more specifically to: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR); sustainability, green business and environmental entrepreneurship; organisation stakeholder relationships; social entrepreneurship and innovation; the informal economy.

 By geography my work focusses on the developing world and particularly Sub-Saharan Africa. I am involved in several international research projects, including: the Trickle Out Africa Project; the International Comparative Social Enterprise Models (ICSEM) project and the GREY Project.

I am a Fellow of the Sheffield Institute for International Development (SIID), a member of the Centre for Regional Economic and Enterprise Development (CREED), and the Cluster for Research on the Informal Sector and Policy (CRISP).

I am also an affiliate of the John Madejski Centre for Reputation, Henley Business School, the University of Reading. I also sit on the Editorial Board of the journal Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management (CSREM), and recently co-guest edited a special issue of the Social Enterprise Journal on ‘Social enterprise and networks’.

I also sit on the Editorial Board of the journal Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, and the Editorial Advisory Board of the Social Enterprise Journal.


Journal articles


Website content

Research group

I currently supervise six PhD students at Sheffield University Management School:

  • Naeem Albihany (Joint second supervisor, start date October 2014)
  • Valentina Varbanova (2nd supervisor, start date October 2015)
  • Bala Auwalu (Joint 1st supervisor, start date October 2016)
  • Dian Eka Mayasari (Joint 1st supervisor, start date February 2017)
  • Zara Seini (Joint 1st supervisor, start date April 2017)
  • Shinell Smith (Joint 1st supervisor, start date October 2018)

Recent completed PhD students:

  • Irene Garnelo Gómez. ‘I Live Sustainably’: Exploring sustainable narratives through the lens of identity expression and motivational drives (Second supervisor). Henley Business School, University of Reading Scholarship.

I would be interested in supervising PhD or postgraduate taught students in the areas of:

  • Social entrepreneurship, social innovation and hybrid organisation
  • CSR in both the developed and developing country context
  • The informal economy
  • Business and society relationships, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa"
  • Social entrepreneurship, social innovation and hybrid organisations
  • Social entrepreneurship in South Africa: Internationalisation, Institutional Work, and Partnerships for Sustainable
    • Awarding body: Development Higher Education Funding Council for England, Global Challenges Research Fund
    • £2370
    • January - September 2019
  • The Role of Innovation Hubs in Promoting Social Entrepreneurship in Kenya University of Sheffield, GLOSS Research Associate Scheme
    • £2300
    • April – September 2016
    • Co-researcher Ms Wilkister Kiyumbu (GLOSS Research Associate)
  • Motivations, Agglomeration and the Formal/Informal Economy Nexus – A Study of Informal Economy Entrepreneurship in Windhoek, Namibia
    • Sheffield University Management School Research Stimulation Fund
    • £2500
    • October 2015- September 2016
  • Scholarship to study an MA Human Geography Research and for a PhD
    • ESRC 1+3 Studentship, University of Sheffield Department of Geography
    • £64,000+/-
    • September 2005- August 2010
    • PhD supervisors: Dr Deborah Sporton and Dr Chasca Twyman
Teaching activities

Responsibility and sustainability are key themes that I embed across all of my teaching. I see my role as a facilitator of student learning and a positive student experience, and seek to help students to develop as critical and reflective thinkers and responsible future business leaders.

I am an advocate of collaborate group based learning, and encourage active student involvement in the classroom.

I also believe in research-led teaching, providing opportunities for student inquiry, and drawing upon current research and thinking in the field including my own research on CSR, social entrepreneurship, and wider relationships between business and society.

I contribute to teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in the area of strategy. I lecture on the undergraduate module MGT231 Business Strategy, and I am module leader for the postgraduate module MGT6047 Strategic Management.

I believe in reflective teaching practice and continuing professional development. I am a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Professional activities
  • Since joining Sheffield University Management School, I have served in several administrative roles including Lead Undergraduate Admissions Tutor (MIES Division), and MIES Divisional Director of Impact, Innovation and Engagement.
  • Guest Editor for Special Issue the Social Enterprise Journal – Social Enterprise and Networks
  • 9th International Social Innovation Research Conference. Stream co-chair - Social innovation, hybridity and networks.
  • Marie Curie Fellow - Seconded to the GREY Research Project. September 2016 - February 2017
  • 2015 RETF funded Best Research Output Prize for the Henley Business School
  • Winner Best Paper in Social, Environmental and Ethical Enterprise Track, ISBE 37th Annual Conference, Manchester 2014
  • Winner Best Full Paper, Sustainable and Responsible Business, British Academy of Management Conference 2014, Belfast 9-11th September.
  • Editorial board of the journal Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management (CSREM)
  • Editorial Advisory Board of the Social Enterprise Journal
  • Winner Best Paper Social, Environmental and Ethical Enterprise Track, and shortlisted Best Paper Rural Enterprise Track, ISBE Conference 2013, Cardiff UK.