Professor John Edwards

Operations & Information Management Group

John Edwards

Position: Emeritus Professor Email: j.s.edwards@aston.ac.uk  
Phone: +44(0)121 204 3087
Room: ABS603

  • PhD Operational Research, Cambridge University, 1980
  • M.A., Cambridge University, 1977
  • B.A., Cambridge University, 1973 
  • 2012 - Emeritus Professor, Operations and Information Management Group, Aston Business School.
  • 2011-2012 Executive Dean, Aston Business School, Aston University.
  • 2002-date Professor of Operational Research and Systems, Aston Business School, Aston University.
  • 2008-2010 Deputy Dean, Aston Business School, Aston University. 
  • 2001-2002 Reader in Operational Research and Systems, Aston Business School, Aston University.
  • 1991-2001 Senior Lecturer in Operational Research and Systems, Aston Business School, Aston University.
  • 1978-1991 Lecturer in Operational Research and Systems, Management Centre (now Aston Business School), Aston University.
  • 1976-1977 Project Officer, Personnel and Training Department, Thomas Cook Group, Thorpe Wood, Peterborough.

My interest has always been in how people use models and systems to help them do things. For many years I have studied the development and uses of various types of system in management and administration.

My current interests cover three overlapping themes: Knowledge Management, Business Processes and Decision Support.  Three major strands within this are:

  • Examining the relationship between "top down" knowledge management strategies and initiatives in organisations, and "bottom up" organisational learning and culture change, with a particular emphasis on the need for trust.  Organisations concerned in this work have included a distribution company, a heavy engineering firm (Corus), and Mortgage Code Compliance Board.  More recently this strand has extended into the relationship between knowledge management and risk management, both qualitative approaches to risk (in an NHS Trust) and more quantitative ones (in banking and financial services).

  • Looking at processes and systems for knowledge creation, transfer, organising, sharing, storage, and use or re-use.  This is the area of my contribution to the NESTA Creative Credits evaluation project.  A further project involved combining simulation with knowledge-based systems to help improve maintenance processes in manufacturing at the Ford Motor Company.

  • Applying group facilitation processes and models in decision-making and knowledge management.  Research here has been funded by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, and we have now worked with 16 organisations ranging from SMEs to FTSE100 companies, public, private and non-profit making.  The study was extended to include a longitudinal element - investigating how what organisations said they planned to do compared with what actually happened.

  • 2009 NESTA/ESRC £185,000 (with Scully and Shaw).

  • 2009 AWM/ERDF Innovation voucher scheme £740,000 (with Scully and Wilson).

  • 2005 Heart of England NHS Trust £12,882 (with Shaw and Hall).

  • 2005 Exel Logistics £3,200.

  • 2004 Linde Gas £1,500.

  • 2003 Scottish Ambulance £1,619 (with Shaw).

  • 2003 Mortgage Code Compliance Board £1,000 (with Shaw).

  • 2003 Linde Gas £1,500.

  • 2003 Birmingham Heartlands and Solihull NHS Trust £15,000.

  • 2002 SimKnowledge: Simulation Based Knowledge Elicitation (with Dr S L Robinson, University of Warwick) Collaborators: Lanner Group, Ford Motor Company. £170,834 EPSRC/Warwick Integrated Manufacturing Centre.

  • 2001 Management Accounting & Knowledge Management £8,860 CIMA (with Shaw and Collier).

  • Association for Information System

  • British Academy of Management

  • Operational Research Society

  • UK Academy of Information Systems

For a full list of John Edwards' publications since 2005 click here.

Refereed Journal Articles

  • CLEGG B, BINDER M, EDWARDS JS and CHANDLER S (to appear) Governing inter-organizational R&D supplier collaborations: A study at Jaguar Land Rover. Production Planning & Control.

  • ROBINSON S, LEE EPK and EDWARDS JS (to appear) Simulation Based Knowledge Elicitation: Effect of Visual Representation and Model Parameters. Expert Systems with Applications.

  • RODERIGUES E and EDWARDS JS (to appear) Transferring knowledge of risk management to the board of directors and executives. Journal of Risk Management in Financial Institutions.

  • HAMMER RJ, EDWARDS JS and TAPINOS E (to appear) Examining the strategy development process through the lens of complex adaptive systems theory. Journal of the Operational Research Society, (11 pages).

  • MARRA M, HO W and EDWARDS JS (2012) Supply chain knowledge management: a literature review. Expert Systems with Applications 39(5): 6103-6110.

  •  BINDER M and EDWARDS JS (2010) Using grounded theory for theory building in operations management research: a study on inter-firm relationship governance. International Journal of Operations & Production Management 30(3): 232-259.

  • RODRIGUEZ E and EDWARDS JS (2009) Knowledge Management applied to Enterprise Risk Management: Is there any value in using KM for ERM? Journal of Risk Management in Financial Institutions, 2(4): 427-437.

  • EDWARDS JS, ABABNEH B, HALL MJ and SHAW D (2009) Knowledge management: A review of the field and of OR's contribution. Journal of the Operational Research Society, 60(Supplement 1): S114-S125.

Book Sections

  • EDWARDS JS (2009) Business processes and knowledge management. In M. Khosrow-Pour (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology (Second ed., Vol. I, pp. 471-476). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.


  • BAKHSHI H, EDWARDS JS, ROPER S, SCULLY J and SHAW D (2011) Creating Innovation in Small and Medium sized Enterprises: Evaluating the short-term effects of the Creative Credits pilot. London: NESTA.

Papers in Refereed Conference Proceedings

  • MARRA M, HO W and EDWARDS JS (2011) Managing Supply Chain Knowledge in the New Product Development Process: A Social Network Analysis Approach.  In Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management, Singapore.

  • MCCRACKEN S and EDWARDS JS (2011) A KM Perspective on the progression towards an Electronic Patient Record within an NHS hospital. In Proceedings of ICICKM 2011. Academic Conferences, Thailand.

  • RODRIGUEZ E, EDWARDS JS and KOENIG D (2010) The Board of Directors, Executives and Risk Knowledge Management. In Proceedings of ICICKM 7th International Conference in Intellectual Captial, Conferences Limited, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China.

  • EDWARDS JS (2010) A process view of knowledge management: it ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it. In Proceedings of 11th European Conference on Knowledge Management (ToméE, Ed), Famalicão, Portugal.

  • CLEGG B, BINDER M, CHANDLER S and EDWARDS JS (2010) Governance architectures for inter-organizational R&D collaboration.  In Proceedings of POMS 2010 - Operations in Emerging Economies), Vancouver, Canada.

  • RODRIGUEZ E and EDWARDS JS (2009) People, technology, processes and risk knowledge sharing.  In Proceedings of 10th European Conference on Knowledge Management (Bolisani E and Scarso E, Eds), pp. 684-694. Academic Publishing International, Vicenza, Italy. 

  • Editor, Knowledge Management Research & Practice since 2003.

  • Associate Editor, European Journal of Information Systems (2001-2004).

  • Guest Editor, European Journal of Information Systems (2001), Journal of the Operational Research Society (2003).

  • Editorial Board member, Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management, International Journal of Knowledge and Learning, International Journal of Energy Sector Management, International Journal of Knowledge Management.

  • Referee for over 20 academic journals and charities; referee and rapporteur for ESRC and EPSRC.

  • RAE 2008 I37 panel member.

  • Evaluator - Belgian Government IAP Programme, Monash University RQF.

  • Operational Research Society's General Council, Events Committee, Publications Committee & Electronic Services Committee.

  • Chair of KMAC2000, KMAC2003 and KMAC2006 knowledge management conferences.

  • Organising Committee for IFORS2002, the ECKM series and several OR Society conferences.

  • PhD External Examining 15 candidates at 11 different institutions.

  • Taught course External Examining at 4 different institutions.

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research