Management Tools and SME Growth
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The Team

Project Lead/Director - Dr. Michael JR Butler

Project Lead/Director – Dr. Michael JR Butler

Michael, based at Aston Business School, led the project, took overall responsibility for the project, and provided direct academic support. He is an expert in Transformational Change and is a Reader in the subject at Aston Business School. He is committed to engaged scholarship – he works at the boundary of academia and practice, effectively exchanging knowledge between both sectors.

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View Michael's Aston Business School Profile
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Background to this Project

Transformation for Growth emerged from The TRANSFORMATION Project. There, with his team, he developed The TRANSFORMATION Pathway which includes two toolsets, all tested with a mix of clients from the private, public and NGO sectors:

  • The Receptivity for Change Toolset
  • The Actor Analysis Toolset

As The TRANSFORMATION Project works with more organisations across sectors and countries, we realise many do not have objective performance improvement indicators – this is a surprise. In response to this need, The Receptivity for Change Toolset is being used with project teams to measure change readiness and implementation success to monitor how their receptivity for change can be sustained – including the SMEs involved in Transformation for Growth. Toolset data is supported by interview data with key actors.

The Project was asked by the Central Office of Information (COI) to contribute to their review of the behavioural considerations of managing change to improve policy formulation and implementation.

Figure. Innovation Flow Between Our Projects

Project Team - 12 Colleagues

The following colleagues were involved in the management, support and delivery of the project:

Project Manager/Marketing

Was responsible for the day-to-day implementation of the project plan. The role involved marketing communications. There was direct contact with participating SMEs.

Business Engagement Manager

Provide specific support to the majority of SMEs. The role was assisted during 2013 by three supports.

Knowledge Exchange Facilitator

Local networker who secured event speakers, partners and public relations. The role had a wider brief to disseminate the outcomes from the Project.

Back Office

Finance Support

Business Development (Aston University Business Partnership Unit)

Birmingham City Council

Business Change Manager 1

Business Change Manager 2

Helped in translating CHAMPS2 to become 4 Stage Process. They worked directly with some SMEs.

2 Project Researchers

1 MSc in HRM and Business student – for more detail see below

1 recent PhD graduate is evaluating the Receptivity for Change Audits.


We have a network of experienced and expert Knowledge Exchange Executives drawn from a range of sectors.

In line with our philosophy of nurturing young talent, we are supervising an MSc student as a researcher evaluating the value chain of knowledge exchange.

As a guiding principle, such students use the findings from the assignments to write their projects and dissertations. In return, you receive a dedicated resource with access to Aston Business School faculty associated with Transformation for Growth.

Project Advisory Board

The project Advisory Board met at the end of 2013 to hear about the purposes of Transformation for Growth, offer guidance about implementation, and suggested how it could get involved in specific activities.

At various points, Board Members got involved in our work.

Steering Group Presentations

View Steering Group Members