Dr Hutchinson has been dedicated to producing high quality research with impact in the area of small business and entrepreneurship for almost 15 years. Her research reputation in this area has developed from an early focus on retail and internationalisation, to marketing and supply chain relationships, and most recently leadership development and growth. Understanding the centrality of the small business owner to success has led to pioneering study of entrepreneurial leadership with national recognition by the British Academy of Management for research and impact. The significance of this research is underlined by her affiliate status on a global scale with the Authentic Leadership Institute in Harvard associated with the Harvard Business School and her recent research text published by Palgrave Macmillan.
Since her appointment to Ulster University in 2004, she has been centrally involved developing the research portfolio of the Business and Management Research Institute submitted to both RAE 2008 and REF 2014. Her contribution to REF 2014 included high quality research publications and impact case study (ranked 7th in the UK), as well as other measures of achievement. Dr Hutchinson is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and holds a number of positions outside the University including, Affiliate of the Authentic Leadership Institute in Harvard, USA, and Chair of the Causeway Enterprise Agency, and British Academy of Management.
Her research experience includes business engagement across a range of industry sectors, where she has led several Knowledge Transfer Programmes (KTPs), consultancy projects, organised a wide range of large scale events for business owners and policy stakeholders, as well as being an invited keynote speaker. As a result of her strong engagement with industry, Dr Hutchinson has been involved in national media broadcasts on well-known radio and television programs, commenting on current economic issues in Northern Ireland from the perspective of the consumer and retailer, with publications in range of regional and national newspapers.
In 2014 she was promoted to Senior Lecturer on the basis of her research and impact achievements and reputation on a national and global stage, in the context of leadership as Head of Department in the Ulster University Business School. Today her research reputation advancing the understanding of entrepreneurial leadership and small business not just in the field of management but across disciplines underpins her role as Provost of Coleraine campus and a member of the Senior Leadership Team.