Operations and Information Management 


OIM research focuses on the challenges of running a modern organisation, its supply chain and the political, environmental, societal, technical, economic and legal environment.

The research we undertake is both rigorous and relevant, and we work with leading organisations, both in the public and private sector. Recent examples include: 

  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • Chiltern Railways
  • United Nations
  • AstraZeneca
  • BAE Systems
  • Health and Safety Executive (UK)
  • Fire and Rescue Service
  • Birmingham Children’s Hospital
  • Department for Education
  • Baxi
  • Higgs & Sons Solicitors
  • SigmaPro
  • Brintons Carpets
  • Caterpillar
  • M.A.N Trucks
  • Rolls-Royce Aerospace
  • Various water utility companies.

Our research also involves many smaller and medium-sized companies, particularly in the areas of carbon reduction, cyber-security and circular economy and advanced services.

The OIM Department currently hosts two research centres: the Advanced Services Group (ASG) and the Aston Centre for Research into Safety and Security (CRISIS). More Research Centres are due to launch soon.

OIM embraces all research paradigms and uses mixed methods when required. We use a variety of research methods in our research such as case study, action research, and ethnography. We use deductive, inductive and abductive thinking to generate new knowledge. 

Techniques commonly used include quantitative (e.g. multi-criteria decision analysis, data envelopment analysis, analytical hierarchy process, statistical analyses, structural equation modelling, simulation) and qualitative analyses (e.g. grounded theory, case narrative, soft systems analysis, and content analysis). 

Our approach to research delivers rigorous, relevant and impactful research. We work with large and small companies in the public, private and voluntary sector. We have particular expertise in automotive, food, energy, construction, public utilities and health sectors. Our research has local relevance with global reach and significance.

If you would like to become a research student in any of the above topics, or related topics, then please contact us. 

People and Publications

A departmental overview (including people and publications) can be accessed on Aston Research Explorer.

Systems Modelling and Simulation Group

The world, our technologies, and our understanding of our natural and human environment is changing continuously, so our simulations, models and decision support systems have to adapt. The Systems Modelling and Simulation (SMS) Group focuses on transforming the models used in the systems around us into effective tools for the benefit of society and businesses. We analyse systems and business process, we build models and simulations to test those models, develop tools to use data, apply models and deliver actionable options for organisations around the world. Most lately, findings have supported humanitarian logistics and crises management interventions. The SMS Group work closely with the Operations Research Society.

Business Analytics Group

The Business Analytics Group have made important contributions to methodologies in business analytics. Several of our team serve in editorial capacities in some of the most prestigious journals in their field, including the European Journal of Operational Research and the Journal of the Operational Research Society. The Business Analytics (BA) Group also runs the annual conference of the International Society of Data Envelopment Analysis. Applied work has included collaboration with OFWAT (regulator of water companies), HEFCE (funding higher education in England), the Department for Communities, local government and numerous consultancy companies.

Operations Management Group

The Operations Management (OM) Group’s research focuses on the practical challenges and opportunities organisations face when they want to improve their operations function, end-to-end value stream and supply chain. Both private and public sectors have been part of our research projects, creating strong links with industry and government. The OM Group engages with industry through research partnerships, executive courses and consulting. The OM Group works with global organisations, both big and small.

Global ICT Management Group

Through cross-disciplinary research, the Global ICT Management Group study how people interact with digital technologies in an organizational context, and how knowledge-intensive work is organised and managed in technology-enabled environments. Empirical research studies undertaken in a wide range of countries are renowned for cyber-security, knowledge management, IT value (economic, environmental and social), IT adoption and diffusion, social media behaviour and analysis, ICT in Healthcare, green IT, Internet-of-Things and Industry 4.0 innovations.

Advanced Services Group

 The Advanced Services Group is a centre of research excellence specialising in servitization, helping manufacturing companies to compete through services. The ASG centre hosts over twenty staff involved in research and application of knowledge about servitization, and the use of gamification to educate people on the topic and help them to apply it. Research materials are used for teaching students on degree courses, bringing innovative new practices to the classroom.

Institutional Links Project

Vulnerable people in developing countries are faced with an increasing number of Climate-related events (CRE), normally relying on limited resources. A team from the Operations and Information Management department at Aston University have joined up with the Universidad Autónoma de Occidente in Mexico to develop a solution. Their working on research to mitigate the impact of Climate Related-Events through designing a system to make distribution and evacuation operations more effective.

 Find out more.


Diverse Supply Chains Project