The practice of strategy, change management and performance management

Our research helps organisations to increase their agility and develop strategies which meet multiple needs. In addition it demonstrates how organisations can manage and lead through change, identifying areas in which they can adapt to changing markets and develop a competitive advantage.

Examples of our research in this area:


The TRANSFORMATION Project, led by Dr Michael Butler, received funding from the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) and was supported by the Association for Project Management (APM).  It built on knowledge gained from the public, third and private sectors to create two new change management toolsets which allow organisations to see where their efforts should be channeled, focusing on turning resistant actors, actor groups and organisations into proactive ones whilst keeping on board those who already support the change.

Transformation project

Changing markets in reinsurance

Recent changes in technology and regulation have intensified competition in insurance markets. Professor Paula Jarzabkowski, a leading authority on strategic management, won two Business Placement Fellowships funded by the ESRC and the Insurance Intellectual Capital Initiative (IICI), to examine the benefits of a flexible approach to the underwriting process. Her research analysed the different approaches in London, Bermuda and Europe, producing a global dataset covering the three main reinsurance markets that between them account for 94% of the global market. As a result, reinsurance firms and broking houses worldwide are now able to evaluate and strengthen their practices systematically, capitalise more effectively on recent industry changes and understand the training and development implications of each means of conducting business.

Aston Centre for Critical Infrastructure and Services (ACCIS)

ACCIS delivers cutting edge research into the challenges of critical infrastructure service industries. Dr David Saal, in collaboration with colleagues from Universidad Pública de Navarra in Spain, has developed strategic research methods to look at how to make the water industry into a more competitive market. The research, funded by Severn Trent Water, is being used by the water industry to inform policy, and offers valuable lessons for the current reform debate in England and Wales.

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research