Newcastle University Business School

Multidisciplinary Applied Research in Organisation

Multidisciplinary Applied Research in Organisational Excellence


Our aim is to conduct research that has significant impact in helping organisations achieve excellence through improving their service delivery and competitiveness.

The group takes a broad multidisciplinary, sociotechnical approach to research. We combine expertise in a range of areas including operations management, operations research, human resource management, information systems and strategy.

The agenda is driven by the changing needs of organisations as they seek responses to changes in the political, regulatory, commercial and economic environment. The research addresses the societal challenge themes:

  • sustainability (green supply chains/logistics, Lean)
  • aging and health (transformational change in the NHS, innovation/growth in the regenerative medicine industry)
  • social renewal (supporting employment through the transfer of best practice to SMEs)


Our work is arranged around the following themes:

  • food and agricultural and sustainable supply chains
  • healthcare – transformational change, Lean and facilities design
  • manufacturing – Lean, planning, layout design, modelling and supply chain management
  • maritime container shipping optimisation
  • optimisation – related to planning, timetabling and layout
  • service operations – particularly relating to automotive distribution and healthcare

The group employs a wide range of research methods. Our qualitative research includes case studies and content analysis, and our quantitative research includes:

  • modelling and optimisation of logistics networks, layout, inventory, planning and control
  • time series analysis
  • structural equation modelling

Recent funding

Our most recent funding includes:

  • £134k from Benfield Motors via the Knowledge Transfer Partnership, started January 2014
  • £42k from The Evaluation of the Lean Design of Healthcare Facilities at Gateshead Foundation Trust, Health Foundation, between January 2013 and May 2015
  • Supply Chain Management in Regenerative Medicine, £16,500, Newcastle University Internationalisation Fund, 2011 to 2012

Older successful funding bids include a grant from the Evaluation of Transformational Change in NHS North East, National Institute for Health Research Service Delivery and Organisation betwene 2009 and 2013. We received a total grant of £500k. This was a joint bid with Professor David Hunter at Durham, with our contribution totalling £200k.

We received a total grant of €3.3m (our contribution was €428,000) from European Regions for Innovative Productivity project, EU Interreg project, between 2008 and 2011.

We received a total grant of £122,000 from the Evaluation of Lean techniques in the North East Health Authority, in 2008. This was a joint bid with Professor David Hunter at Durham, with our contribution totalling £61,000.

Group Memers

Head of group

Head of group

Dr Jingxin Dong
Reader in Operations Management

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 1692

Professor Christian Hicks
Deputy Director, Professor of Operations Management

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 1604

Primary group members

Primary group members

Dr Adrian Small
Lecturer in Operations Management

Telephone: +44 0191 2081688

Dr Ying Yang
Senior Lecturer in Operations Management DPD for Dual Degree in Operations Management

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 1593

Secondary group members

Secondary group members

Professor Matthew Gorton
Professor in Marketing, Joint Head of Marketing, Operations and Systems Group

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 1576

Dr Graeme Heron
Lecturer in Operations Management

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 1739

Professor Tom McGovern
Professor of Business History and Management, Associate Director of the Leadership, Work and Organization Group, and Director of The Business, Accounting and Management History Research Group

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 1712

Dr Fiona Whitehurst
Senior Lecturer in Management

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 1603