Dr David Littlewood

PhD MA BSc (Hons), SFHEA

Management School

Research Development Director for Entrepreneurship, Strategy and International Business

Senior Lecturer in Strategic Management

David Littlewood wearing a white shirt and dark grey jacket.
Profile picture of David Littlewood wearing a white shirt and dark grey jacket.
+44 114 222 3493

Full contact details

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

I am a Senior Lecturer in Strategic Management. I joined Sheffield University Management School in 2015 as a Lecturer in Strategic Management and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2018. I teach on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and supervise PhD students.

Prior to my appointment at Sheffield, I was a Lecturer in Reputation and Responsibility at the Henley Business School, the University of Reading. Before that I was a research fellow at Queen’s University Belfast Management School, working on the Trickle Out Africa Project: www.trickleout.net which examined social and environmental enterprises in East and Southern Africa and their role in sustainable development. I completed my PhD at the University of Sheffield in Geography, with my research examining corporate social responsibility (CSR) and development in the context of the mining industry in Namibia.  

I am a Visiting Professor at ALTIS – Graduate School Business & Society, the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, Italy, and a visiting member of faculty at IE University, Madrid Spain. I currently serve as an external examiner at Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University.

I am a Fellow of the Institute for Global Sustainable Development at the University of Sheffield, and member of the Centre for Regional Economic and Enterprise Development (CREED).


PhD MA BSc (Hons), FHEA

Research interests

I conduct research in the field of business and society, and more specifically on social entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility (CSR), stakeholder management, and the informal economy. By geography, my work focusses particularly on sub-Saharan Africa.

My research has been published in various academic journals, including the Academy of Management PerspectivesBusiness & Society, the California Management ReviewBusiness Strategy and the EnvironmentEuropean Journal of Marketing, International Small Business Journal, the Journal of Business Ethics, the Service Industries Journal and Technological Forecasting and Social Change amongst others.

I am a former Marie Curie Fellow and was seconded to the EU funded GREY research project examining the informal economy in Southeast Europe. I chaired the 2020 International Social Innovation Research Conference (ISIRC 2020) and continue to lead streams on social innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa and the wider majority world. 

I have led special issues in the Social Enterprise Journal and Africa Journal of Management and sit on the editorial review boards of the Social Enterprise Journal and the journal Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management. I am a regular speaker at international conferences, and my research has won various prizes. I collaborate with academics and practitioners in Africa, Asia, North America, and Europe – including the UK and Sheffield.


Journal articles


Conference proceedings papers

Website content

Research group

Centre for Regional Economic and Enterprise Development (CREED)

  • Assessing the state, impact, and potential of Sheffield's social enterprise sector. Sheffield Innovation Programme [£8906].
  • The ecosystem for impact entrepreneurship in Kampala, Uganda'. QR GCRF - Pump priming [£3500].
  • Social entrepreneurship in South Africa: Internationalisation, Institutional Work, and Partnerships for Sustainable Development. Development Higher Education Funding Council for England, Global Challenges Research Fund [£2370].
  • The Role of Innovation Hubs in Promoting Social Entrepreneurship in Kenya University of Sheffield, GLOSS Research Associate Scheme. Co-researcher Ms Wilkister Kiyumbu (GLOSS Research Associate) [£2300]. 
  • 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].
  • ESRC 1+3 Scholarship, University of Sheffield Department of Geography. [£64,000].
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 seek to help students develop as critical and reflective thinkers and responsible future business leaders.

I am an advocate of collaborative group-based learning and encourage active student participation 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, stakeholder management, and wider relationships between business and society.

At Sheffield University Management School, I contribute to teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in the area of strategy. I have also taught internationally in Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Italy, and Spain. I am a Visiting Professor at ALTIS – Graduate School Business & Society, the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, Italy, and a visiting member of faculty at IE University, Madrid Spain. 

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

PhD Supervision

I have supervised three PhD students to completion:

  • Bala Auwalu (PhD awarded 22nd February 2021)
  • Naeem Albihany (PhD awarded 21st November 2019)
  • Irene Garnelo Gomez (PhD at Henley Business School, PhD awarded 21st September 2017).

I currently supervise six PhD students:

  • Yiren Wu (2nd year, start date: 01-Oct-2019)
  • Zara Seini (4th year, start date: 30-May-2017)
  • Dian Eka Mayasari (4th year, start date: 01-February-2017)
  • Valentina Varbanova (6th year [Part time], start date: 01-Oct-2015)
  • Muhamad Rizky Rizaldy (1st year, start date: 01-Oct-2022) 
  • Linda Stretz (Final year, joined team Oct 2022)

I have examined more than 20 PhDs in the UK, Australia, Italy, South Africa, and Switzerland.