Professor Vania Sena

EBS - Management Science and Entrepreneurship (MSE)
Professor Vania Sena
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1702 328423

  • Location

    GB 3.64, Southend Campus



Prof Vania Sena has previously worked at Leeds University Business School (LUBS), University of Leeds and at Aston Business School (ABS), Aston University. Her first degree was awarded with laude by the University of Naples, Federico II, Naples, Italy; her postgraduate studies in Economics were carried out at the University of York, UK, where she was awarded both the MSc and the DPhil in Economics. Her research focuses mainly on the econometric analysis of the determinants of productivity growth, both at the micro and macro level. She also has an interest into the use of alternative methods (based on linear programming analysis) to the measurement of productivity. Her most recent research looks at the relationship among innovation activities, spatial concentration of human capital and total factor productivity. Her work has been published in Small Business Economics, Journal of Comparative Economics, The Economic Journal, Scandinavian Journal of Economics, European Journal of Operational Research, Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics and Regional Studies, amongst others. Her work has been funded by several bodies including ESRC, Innovate UK, Nuffield Institute, NESTA, Leverhulme Trust, IPO, UKTI and British Academy. In 2011, she was visiting fellow at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science and Harvard University. For more information about the ESRC Businessand Local Government Data Research CentreseeESRC BLG Page


  • DPhil Economics (York)

  • Msc Economics (York)

  • Laurea (Federico II, Napoli)

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Agglomerations of Human capital

Open to supervise


Open to supervise

Current research

characteristics of innovation in High-growth firms

choice of IP methods and impact on firms' productivity

mobility of human capital and knowledge spillovers

corruption and impact on firms' performance

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Business Economics (BE201)

  • Entrepreneurship (BE853)

  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship for New Business Models: Innovation Project (BE893)

Previous supervision

Jingjing Qu
Jingjing Qu
Thesis title: Self-Employment and Work-Place Well-Being
Degree subject: Entrepreneurship
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 18/4/2018
Carlos Abel Poblete Cazenave
Carlos Abel Poblete Cazenave
Thesis title: Expectation Vs. Reality in the Field of Entrepreneurship
Degree subject: Entrepreneurship
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 24/11/2016
Adeelah Tariq
Adeelah Tariq
Thesis title: Downsizing Is a Form of Strategic Change: A Study of its Implementation as an Investment Strategy in UK Based Firms
Degree subject: Business Administration
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 4/7/2016
Luis Rafael Figueroa Moron
Luis Rafael Figueroa Moron
Thesis title: Geography, Linkages and Capabilities: Innovation in the Agricultural Coffee Production in Latin America
Degree subject: Entrepreneurship
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 18/12/2015


Journal articles (31)

Fernandez De Arroyabe Fernandez, JC., Sena, V. and Poblete, C., (2019). How do motivational factors influence entrepreneurs’ perception of business opportunities in different stages of entrepreneurship?. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology. 28 (2), 179-190

Sena, V., Bhaumik, S., Sengupta, A. and Demirbag, M., (2019). Big Data and Firm Performance: What Can Management Research Tell Us?. British Journal of Management. 30 (2), 219-228

Sena, V. and Ozdemir, S., (2019). Spillover effects of investment in big data analytics in B2B relationships: What is the role of human capital?. Industrial Marketing Management

Sena, V., Duygun, M., Lubrano, G., Marra, M. and Shaban, M., (2018). Board independence, corruption and innovation. Some evidence on UK subsidiaries. Journal of Corporate Finance. 50, 22-43

Aldieri, L., Sena, V. and Vinci, CP., (2018). Domestic R&D Spillovers and Absorptive Capacity: Some Evidence for US, Europe and Japan. International Journal of Production Economics. 198, 38-49

Hall, BH. and Sena, V., (2017). Appropriability mechanisms, innovation, and productivity: evidence from the UK. Economics of Innovation and New Technology. 26 (1-2), 42-62

Malomo, F. and Sena, V., (2017). Data Intelligence for Local Government? Assessing the Benefits and Barriers to Use of Big Data in the Public Sector. Policy and Internet. 9 (1), 7-27

Duygun, M., Sena, V. and Shaban, M., (2016). Trademarking activities and total factor productivity: Some evidence for British commercial banks using a metafrontier approach. Journal of Banking and Finance. 72S, S70-S80

Hall, BH. and Sena, V., (2015). Appropriability Mechanisms, Innovation and Productivity:Evidence from the UK

Duygun, M., Sena, V. and Shaban, M., (2014). Trademarking status and economic efficiency among commercial banks: Some evidence for the UK. Journal of Banking & Finance. 49, 506-514

Hall, B., Helmers, C., Rogers, M. and Sena, V., (2014). The Choice between Formal and Informal Intellectual Property: A Review. Journal of Economic Literature. 52 (2), 375-423

Sena, V. and Higon, DA., (2014). Productivity, R&D Spillovers and Educational Attainment*. Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics. 76 (1), 1-23

Hall, BH., Helmers, C., Rogers, M. and Sena, V., (2013). The importance (or not) of patents to UK firms. Oxford Economic Papers. 65 (3), 603-629

Sena, V., Scott, J. and Roper, S., (2012). Gender, borrowing patterns and self-employment: some evidence for England. Small Business Economics. 38 (4), 467-480

De Devitiis, B., Irene De Luca, A., Wanda Maietta, O. and Sena, V., (2012). Do Co-Operatives Promote Consumer Social Responsibility? The Case of Fair Trade in Italy. Advances in the Economic Analysis of Participatory and Labor-Managed Firms. 13, 51-75

Sena, V., (2011). Technical efficiency and human capital in the retail sector. The Service Industries Journal. 31 (16), 2661-2676

BOTTONE, G. and SENA, V., (2011). Human Capital: Theoretical and Empirical Insights. American Journal of Economics and Sociology. 70 (2), 401-423


Destefanis, S. and Sena, V., (2009). Public capital, productivity and trade balances: some evidence for the Italian regions. Empirical Economics. 37 (3), 533-554

Aidt, T., Dutta, J. and Sena, V., (2008). Governance regimes, corruption and growth: Theory and evidence. Journal of Comparative Economics. 36 (2), 195-220

Jacobs, R. and Sena, V., (2008). Measuring productivity under different incentive structures. International Journal of Business Performance Management. 10 (4), 366-366

Maietta, OW. and Sena, V., (2008). Is competition really bad news for cooperatives? Some empirical evidence for Italian producers’ cooperatives. Journal of Productivity Analysis. 29 (3), 221-233

Destefanis, S. and Sena, V., (2007). Patterns of corporate governance and technical efficiency in Italian manufacturing. Managerial and Decision Economics. 28 (1), 27-40

Sena, V., (2006). The determinants of firms’ performance: Can finance constraints improve technical efficiency?. European Journal of Operational Research. 172 (1), 311-325

Destefanis, S. and Sena, V., (2005). Public capital and total factor productivity: New evidence from the Italian regions, 1970–98. Regional Studies. 39 (5), 603-617

Skovsgaard Aidt, T. and Sena, V., (2005). Unions: Rent Creators or Extractors?*. Scandinavian Journal of Economics. 107 (1), 103-121

Sena, V., (2004). The Return of the Prince of Denmark: A Survey on Recent Developments in the Economics of Innovation. The Economic Journal. 114 (496), F312-F332

Sena, V., (2004). Total factor productivity and the spillover hypothesis: Some new evidence. International Journal of Production Economics. 92 (1), 31-42

Sena, V., (2001). The Generalized Malmquist index and capacity utilization change: an application to the Italian manufacturing, 1989-1994. Applied Economics. 33 (1), 1-9

Dismuke, CE. and Sena, V., (2001). Is there a Trade-Off between Quality and Productivity? The Case of Diagnostic Technologies in Portugal. Annals of Operations Research. 107 (1/4), 101-116

Dismuke, CE. and Sena, V., (1999). Has DRG payment influenced the technical efficiency and productivity of diagnostic technologies in Portuguese public hospitals? An empirical analysis using parametric and non-parametric methods. Health Care Management Science. 2 (2), 107-116

Books (3)

Sena, V., (2007). Credit and Collateral. Routledge. 0203023471. 9780415341172

MAIETTA, O. and SENA, V., (2007). Organizational Capital, Product Market Competition and Technical Efficiency in Italian Cooperatives. Elsevier. 0762313897. 9780762313891

Maietta, OW. and Sena, V., (2004). PROFIT-SHARING, TECHNICAL EFFICIENCY CHANGE AND FINANCE CONSTRAINTS. Emerald (MCB UP ). 0762311142. 9780762311149

Book chapters (2)

Barra, C., Destefanis, S., Sena, V. and Zotti, R., (2017). Disentangling faculty efficiency from students’ effort. In: Data Analytics Applications in Education. 105- 126. 9781498769273

Sena, V., (2006). Large-Scale Labour Market Restructuring and Labour Mobility: The Experiences of East Germany and Poland. In: The European Labour Market. Regional Dimensions. Editors: . 267- 286. 9783790816792

Conferences (4)

Fasli, M., Hermoso, R., Sbruzzi, E. and Sena, V., (2015). Introducing innovation in social networks: A cost-benefit analysis of entry point selection

Duygun, M., Sena, V. and Shaban, M., (2013). Schumpeterian competition and efficiency among commercial banks

Sena, V., (2012). Innovation and productivity in the financial sector

Maietta, OW. and Sena, V., (2008). Shadow price of capital and the Furubotn-Pejovich effect: Some empirical evidence for Italian wine cooperatives

Grants and funding


Business and Local Government Data Research Centre (BLG DRC)

Economic and Social Research Council


Scoping Exercise and feasibility study with Jiangsu Credit Re-Guarantee

Essex and Jiangsu Province Credits Re-guarantee Group Co Ltd


Supporting the work of the Essex Employment and skills board

Essex County Council

The Social Analytics Strategic Network (SASNET)

Economic & Social Research Council


Smart Data Analytics for Business and Local Government

Economic & Social Research Council

Smart Data Analytics for Business and Local Government

Economic & Social Research Council


Green Innovation and Management Practices


+44 (0) 1702 328423


GB 3.64, Southend Campus