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A leader in social sciences

26 October 2011

Four University professors have been honoured with the highest accolade in the social sciences field.

Professors Amanda Coffey and Andrew Pithouse, School of Social Sciences, and Professors George Boyne and Hugh Willmott, Cardiff Business School, have all been appointed as Academicians of the Academy of Social Sciences.

Nominated by their peers, academicians are distinguished scholars and practitioners who have demonstrated a significant contribution to the field of social sciences.

The four most recent appointments, means 31 Cardiff University academics have now achieved this honour.

Professor Graham Hutchings, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research said: "Cardiff has one of the largest totals of Academicians of any UK university, underlining our strength in a wide range of disciplines. These four appointments underline the excellence and relevance of our work in the social sciences, spanning issues involving young people, gender, the vulnerable, financial services and public service. My congratulations go to Amanda, Andrew George and Hugh."

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Professor Amanda Coffey

Professor Amanda Coffey is a deputy director in the School of Social Sciences, with responsibility for teaching and learning. She was director of the Cardiff Node of the Economic and Social Research Council National Centre for Research Methods from 2005-8, and a founding co-director of the Wales Institute for Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD). She is currently an editor of Sociology, a flagship journal of the British Sociological Association and an executive editor of the British Journal of the Sociology of Education.

Amanda’s research interests include young people and social change, gender and education, and working lives. She has an international reputation in qualitative research methods, and has led and been involved in a number of funded research projects focussing on methodological development. Her publications include three monographs and a leading qualitative research methods text. She also co-edited the Sage Handbook of Ethnography.

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Professor George Boyne

George Boyne is Professor of Public Sector Management and Dean of Cardiff Business School. His main research interest is the explanation and evaluation of organizational performance in the public sector, and his empirical projects have investigated the influence of organizational strategy, structure and processes on public service outputs and outcomes. His current work includes an ESRC project on the causes and consequences of executive succession in government agencies.

George founded the Public Management Research Group at Cardiff Business School in 1995. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise this group was singled out by the Business and Management panel as world-leading in all three RAE categories (outputs, environment and esteem). He served as President of the U.S. Public Management Research Association from 2009-2011, is co-editor of the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, and is Program Chair of the Public and Non-Profit Division of the Academy of Management. He has published eight books and over 130 articles in academic journals.

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Professor Andrew Pithouse

Andrew Pithouse is a member of the Childhood Research Group in the School of Social Sciences. He has been principal investigator of several child-safeguarding and parent/family support projects that have helped promote conceptual development, practice innovation and system-building across voluntary and statutory sectors in child and family services. Other interests include professional decision making, information systems, risk and assessment in child protection, community development, child and youth advocacy, child and adolescent mental health services, sociology of welfare organisations and action research. His published work is in the area of assessment technologies, family services evaluation, advocacy, family centres, sociology of social work and user involvement.

Recent high impact research funded by government and UKRC involving theoretical development and policy evaluation include: an analysis of error in decision-making in statutory children’s services with colleagues at Lancaster University; design and piloting of a common assessment framework with colleagues at London University; a national review of children’s advocacy in Wales with colleagues at Glyndwr University; piloting the Integrated Children’s System in England and Wales with colleagues at Open University, Loughborough and Royal Holloway Universities; developing an inter-agency referral and shared assessment mechanism for children in need with Loughborough University.

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Professor Hugh Willmott

Professor Hugh Willmott, Cardiff Business School, has an enduring interest in the application of social theory to study management and organization as contested forms of social practice. His empirical research has ranged across a number of fields including public sector provision for vulnerable groups, management control in the financial services industry, international accounting regulation, money-laundering and public sector reform.

Hugh co-founded the annual International Labour Process Conferences in 1982 and the bi-annual International Critical Management Studies Conference in 1999. His emergent research interest is in the relevance of poststructuralist thinking for illuminating the relationship between corporate domination and contemporary global problems, with particular reference to the institutions of finance and science. He has published more than 20 books and 100 journal articles and has served on the editorial boards of Academy of Management Review, Administrative Science Quarterly, Organization Studies, Accounting, Organizations and Society and Journal of Management Studies. He is a member of the REF Business and Management sub-panel.