Dr Robert Wapshott

Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship

Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching

Room: D028
Phone: +44 (0)114 222 3224
Email: r.wapshott@sheffield.ac.uk
Twitter: @RobertWapshott
Robert Wapshott  

I am a Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and joined the Management School in February 2012. Prior to this, I lectured in the School of Management at Bradford University. Before becoming an academic, I worked in manufacturing and service sectors of the economy.

As Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching, a key part of my role is to deliver improvements in the student learning experience and to further develop the School’s strategy around curriculum improvement and learning enhancement.


In my own teaching, across Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels, I seek to incorporate my research interests with students’ experiences and perspectives. Taking this research-led approach I use relevant examples that stimulate students to think about their day-to-day practice and understanding of the world of work. As such most of my courses feature a high degree of student independence and student-led learning.

In class, drawing on the latest research, along with guest-speakers, benefits students by giving them access to up-to-date interpretations of research literature and also insight into the problems facing organizations. Discussing examples from these organizations permits a level of detail that is not always communicated via textbooks or pre-prepared case studies, giving students opportunities to raise questions that interest them. I think about my teaching as oriented towards academic rigour and practical relevance.

Having students engage with a topic and develop interesting questions of their own is something I find really rewarding.


My research interests centre on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs. My research interest in SMEs focuses employment relationships and practices. Most recently I have been looking at how small businesses encounter management challenges as they grow. The owners of these businesses often self-identify as entrepreneurs, but running a larger organization on a day-to-day basis may require a different mind-set and practical approach. I am interested in how the businesses respond to such changes.

I am a member of the Centre for Regional Economic and Enterprise Development (CREED).

I am series editor (with Janine Swail – University of Auckland) for the Routledge Master’s in Entrepreneurship series of textbooks and I an editorial board member for the International Small Business Journal and for Human Relations. I am an Associate Editor for Personnel Review.

PhD Supervision

Employment relations in SMEs (any aspect)