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We are devoted to researching the measurement, analysis, management and improvement of productivity.
A core principle of our Centre’s work is that productivity must be understood at multiple levels: individual activities, firms, supply chains, sectors and localities. This is especially relevant in the development of place-specific industrial strategy and in harnessing digital technologies that have the potential to intimately link together firms in business networks and supply chains.
We adopt a multi-disciplinary perspective, encompassing economics, operations & supply chain management, analytics, human resource management, accounting and entrepreneurship. We also work closely with related LUMS productivity initiatives in Executive and Organisational Development and with the Work Foundation to maximise the impact of our research on practice and policy.
Our research activities incorporate several areas of productivity, industrial policy and supply chain productivity. Visit our publications to view the research produced by this centre.
Our focus is to make a sustained contribution to the development of industrial strategy or industrial policy in the UK and elsewhere. We seek to do so in part by examining the links between economic insights at policy level, and management insights at organisational level.
Our recent research in this area includes a paper in the Journal of Operations Management in February 2017, building on previous work by Alan Hughes and Martin Spring for the UK GO-Science Foresight ‘Future of Manufacturing’ project. This latest research examines the development of industrial policy thinking and the potential for greater engagement between operations managers and industrial policy initiatives in changing the institutional architecture in the UK and other developed economies. Read more here:
The Centre is building on LUMS’ long-standing expertise in working with SMEs in research projects and leadership programmes to develop survey and qualitative research in this area. We also work collaboratively with the Centre for Family Business on mutual research interests.
There is considerable evidence that aggregate productivity is undermined by the relatively low productivity of a ‘long tail’ of SMEs. A strong theme of our work is the relationship between large firms and the smaller firms in their supply chains, and we work with major Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and industry bodies such as the Northwest Aerospace Alliance.
Our research often sits alongside Executive and Organisational Development activities such as the Productivity through People programme, supported by BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and Siemens. We are also involved in a funded project on public contracting for innovation, and Chris Ford is conducting collaborative research on inter-organisational performance measurement.
Our work in the area of efficiency draws on the insights of Gerard Debreu, Michael Farrell, and Harvey Leibenstein, employing the tools of Data Envelopment Analysis and Stochastic Frontier Analysis.
Research at Lancaster focuses both on methodological development of these tools and on application, in areas as diverse as education, banking, construction, and manufacturing.
Management practices and the development of talent play a crucial role in managing and improving productivity. The Centre is working with external collaborating organisations such as the CIPD and the newly-established Productivity Council to examine these aspects of productivity. This work draws upon previous research as part of the Centre for Performance-Led HR, which was one of the world's leading centres of applied research into human resources. This Centre delivered vital research which continues to have significant impact.
A sporting chance: on the impact of sports participation on subsequent earningsJohnes, G. 9/02/2018 In: Economics Bulletin. 38, 1, p. 146-151. 6 p.
Student and School Performance Across Countries: a Machine Learning ApproachMasci, C., Johnes, G., Agasisti, T. 9/02/2018 In: European Journal of Operational Research.
Entrepreneurial Dynamics and Institutional ChangesHormiga, E., Xiao, L., Smallbone, D. 18/01/2018 In: Journal of Evolutionary Studies in Business. 3, 1, p. 1-16. 16 p.
Small and medium enterprise (SME) research in SCM: the case for single-respondent research designsKull, T., Kotlar, J., Spring, M. 01/2018 In: Journal of Supply Chain Management. 54, 1, p. 23-34. 12 p.
The role of Technological Business Incubators in supporting business innovation in China: a case of regional adaptability?Xiao, L., North, D. 01/2018 In: Entrepreneurship and Regional Development. 30, 1-2, p. 29-57. 29 p.