Centre for Productivity and Efficiency

We are devoted to researching the measurement, analysis, management and improvement of productivity.

About this Centre

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 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 Mission

We adopt a multi-disciplinary perspective, encompassing economics, operations & supply chain management, analytics, human resource management, accounting and entrepreneurship.

Our Research Themes

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.

Industrial Policy

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:


SME and Supply Chain Productivity

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.

Data List

Human Resource Management

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.

People working

Latest Updates

Discover the latest updates from this Centre including our latest research papers, news, events and blogs. For past events, please visit our Events Archive.


LUMS to help deliver £3m Government-commissioned research

Lancaster University Management School will help deliver a major new research project to help mid-sized law and accountancy firms adopt artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to improve productivity and develop new business models. This project presents a tremendous opportunity to make a real impact on a vital and potentially world-leading sector of the UK economy. It will also show how the deeply engaged, multi-disciplinary ethos of our Centre for Productivity & Efficiency can be harnessed to tackle society’s grand challenges, based on excellent scholarship and research.

Read More

Research showcased at Parliamentary event

The Centre for Productivity and Efficiency was part of an event where Lancaster University took its world-leading research and business engagement programmes to the heart of Government. University representatives met with MPs and industry leaders at an event showcasing Lancaster’s crucial role in addressing the UK’s Industrial Strategy, held at the Houses of Parliament. SME leaders who have benefitted from the business support offered by Lancaster University were also in attendance, offering their personal stories about how engaging with the institution helped transform their organisations.

Read More
NHS logo on ipad screen

Innovation Agency helping to bring more small businesses into NHS fold

The Innovation Agency is successfully supporting small businesses to make inroads into the NHS market, according to a report. However, innovative small businesses continue to face obstacles in bringing their products and technologies to the NHS, despite the best efforts of programmes designed to help them.

News Article - Innovation Agency helping to bring more small businesses into NHS



Centre Director

Martin Spring

Professor Martin Spring

Professor of Operations Management

Centre for Productivity & Efficiency, Supply Chain Management

+44 (0)1524 592739 A053, A - Floor, Management School

Deputy Centre Director

Geraint Johnes

Centre for Productivity & Efficiency, Economics Research Group, Labour, Education and Health Economics

+44 (0)1524 594215 B018, B - Floor, Management School

Centre Administrator

Teresa Aldren

Teresa Aldren

Research Enhancement and Centres Administrator

Centre for Consumption Insights, Centre for Family Business, Centre for Financial Econometrics, Asset Markets and Macroeconomic Policy, Centre for Marketing Analytics & Forecasting, Centre for Productivity & Efficiency, Centre for Technological Futures

+44 (0)1524 510906 B003a, B - Floor, Management School


Hadar Elraz

Dr Hadar Elraz

Lecturer in Management and Organisation Studies (Employment Relations and Human Resource Management)

Centre for Productivity & Efficiency

+44 (0)1524 594247
Stephen Eldridge

Dr Stephen Eldridge

Senior Teaching Fellow

Centre for Productivity & Efficiency

+44 (0)1524 593891 B060a, B - Floor, Management School
Yiyi Fan

Dr Yiyi Fan

Lecturer in Operations Management and Information Systems

Centre for Productivity & Efficiency, Supply Chain Management

+44 (0)1524 594414 Management School
Chris Ford

Dr Chris Ford

Lecturer in Accounting & Management

Centre for Productivity & Efficiency, Corporate Governance and Auditing

+44 (0)1524 593978
Mark Freel

Centre for Productivity & Efficiency, Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Alan Hughes

Professor Alan Hughes

Distinguished Visiting Scholar

Centre for Productivity & Efficiency

Katy Mason

Professor Katy Mason

Professor of Markets, Marketing and Management

CeMoRe - Centre for Mobilities Research, Networks, Knowledge and Strategy

+44 (0)1524 510983 C065, C - Floor, Management School
Atif Sarwar

Dr Atif Sarwar

Research Associate

+44 (0)7864 013975
Kostas Selviaridis

Dr Kostas Selviaridis

Senior Lecturer

Centre for Productivity & Efficiency, Centre for Transport & Logistics (CENTRAL), Health Systems, Supply Chain Management

+44 (0)1524 594602
Elena Sischarenco

Dr Elena Sischarenco

Research Associate

Centre for Productivity & Efficiency

+44 (0)1524 594045
Mark Stevenson

Professor Mark Stevenson

Professor of Operations Management

Centre for Productivity & Efficiency, Supply Chain Management

+44 (0)1524 593847 A071, A - Floor, Management School
Mike Tsionas

Centre for Financial Econometrics, Asset Markets and Macroeconomic Policy, Centre for Productivity & Efficiency, DSI - Foundations, DSI - Health, Economics Research Group, Labour, Education and Health Economics, Macroeconomics and Financial Markets

+44 (0)1524 592668
Ian Walker

Centre for Productivity & Efficiency, DSI - Society, Economics Research Group, Gulf One Lancaster Centre for Economic Research, Labour, Education and Health Economics

+44 (0)1524 592055
Li Xiao

Dr Li Xiao


Centre for Productivity & Efficiency, Entrepreneurship and Innovation

+44 (0)1524 594026 C055, C - Floor, Management School