Dr Syahirah Abdul Rahman


Senior Lecturer in Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Oxford Brookes Business School


I am a Senior Lecturer in Innovation and Entrepreneurship and an Early Career Researcher Co-Investigator on the Innovation & Research Caucus. As part of my research, I work closely with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Innovate UK, and the UKRI on projects related with firstly, commercialisation of research out of Arts, Humanities, and Social Science and secondly, the wider innovation policy (from a national perspective). I completed my PhD on financialisation and financial citizenship at the Alliance Manchester Business School, the University of Manchester. I have taught both undergraduate and postgraduate levels on the subject focus of managing at a global level, the cultural economy of management, organisational behaviour, and capstone modules.

Teaching and supervision


Modules taught

  • Business in Society
  • Organisational Behaviour and Management
  • Integrated Business Research Project

I also supervise dissertation, client project, and placement students


I am currently supervising PhD students and are open to more supervision. Please contact me for potential supervision in the areas of: 

  • commercialisation
  • entrepreneurship
  • innovation

My research method expertise is qualitative, specifically through interviews, observation, and focus groups. I prefer to conduct research from a critical perspective, bringing in aspects of economic geography such as cultural economy, narratives, and feminist methodologies, although I am open to learning and collaborating with different types of research designs.


My research interest could be divided into two main themes:

Commercialisation of research

I am passionate about learning the different pathways to research impact. I work closely with the ESRC to learn about drivers, barriers, and landscape of commercialisation in social science. I have also worked with the Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council to understand barriers to commercialisation in the bioscience.

Alternative Perspectives of Entrepreneurship

I am currently conducting research with Dr Doaa Althalathini to observe the challengs of entrepreneurship among female refugees in the UK. We are observing this topic through the lens of gender dimensions in entrepreneurship, to understand nuances of how gender discourses may help us to problematise the concept of self-empowerment in entrepreneurship among refugees.

Other areas of research

I have written on critical finance, specifically financialisation, which challenges the traditional view of finance. Instead of thinking about finance as a purely economic activity that is driven by market logics and rationalities, I bring forward the usage of policy narratives to make finance more important and prevalent in our daily lives. My work especially focused on the development of a "financial citizen" to assist post-colonial nation building in Malaysia. 

In addition to these research interests, I am also involved with innovation and entrepreneurship projects that explore, for example:

  • Cluster development in the UK
  • Social investment from a regional perspective
  • Open innovation 
  • Co-creation between policy actors and academics

Research impact

I am an engaged academic and have worked extensively with policy actors, which include standard bodies, regulators, research funders, businesses, and other academics. I have presented my work to stakeholders across the UK and internationally too. I am keen on collaborating with others to bring forward research impact beyond academia. 

Centres and institutes


Projects as Co-investigator

  • Innovation and Research Caucus - Lead a network of innovation and research funding policy experts(09/01/2023 - 31/03/2026), funded by: Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), funding amount received by Brookes: £4,728,640, funded by: Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC)


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Professional information

Memberships of professional bodies

  • Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics


  • Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics Annual Meeting
  • Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting
  • Academy of Management Annual Meeting
  • European Association for Evolutionary Political Economy Conference
  • International Conference for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Impact Acceleration Account Annual Conference