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Kingsman Prize for 2013

Juliana Bonomi Santos

12 December 2013

The Kingsman Prize for 2013 has been awarded to Management Science PhD graduate . The prize was established in memory of the long-standing scholar of Management Science, Professor Brian Kingsman.

Juliana was a remarkable student, and produced a remarkable body of work. The title of her thesis was ‘Operations Management Perspectives on Expert Services’, and the PhD was awarded ‘forthwith’ in July 2013. Juliana was a trailblazer in that she took the recently-normalised ‘PhD by publication’ format as an opportunity to create something original and unique in form, as well as in substance and contribution. The three papers it contained dealt with distinct topics – Expert Service processes, the role of the customer, and New Service Development – but did so against a background of the concept of expertise, which Juliana is the first to bring in to the Operations Management field as a central concern. The final thesis incorporates sections additional to the three papers that set out the concept of expertise and its importance, then draw out the wider implications arising from the three papers taken as a whole.

The fieldwork that was carried out was all initiated by, conducted, managed, documented and analysed by Juliana. It was difficult to do in a number of ways – three very different industries were involved, so a lot of new technological and industry-specific knowledge was involved each time; being rather small firms, there was no ‘well-oiled machine’ to provide access and orient research students – Juliana had to make it all happen for herself. And in more general terms, qualitative research of this sort always requires a lot of ‘thinking on one’s feet’; it is never mechanical, and novices can struggle. That was not the case here. The firms were all provided with executive reports on completion of the study, which they found very useful; feedback on these also further validated the quality of the data and analysis.

Professor Nigel Slack, one of the leading figures in OM in the past 25 years, was Juliana’s external examiner and comments as follows:

“It is rare that a Doctoral thesis is both innovative and practically useful, while at the same time being methodologically sound. That of Juliana Santos is exceptional in achieving this.... the defence of her thesis was one of the most enjoyable and stimulating viva voce examinations I have ever conducted.”

Her academic career already has considerable momentum. As of October 2013, she has secured an academic position at FEI in Sao Paulo. With her supervisor Martin Spring, she has recently submitted a book chapter on service interfaces, drawing on aspects of her research that didn’t make it into the thesis; and she has independently set up a further research collaboration with mutual colleagues in EUROMED Marseilles, developing a new journal paper for submission to a high quality journal. The work on interfaces, and the concept of expertise are both fruitful areas for future research and publications, and she continues an affiliation with the Department as a Visiting Researcher.