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 OIM Department currently hosts five research centres.

The Advanced Services Group (ASG)

The Advanced Services Group (ASG) is the world’s primary research centre focused exclusively on the adoption of servitization and outcome-based business models. Its mission is to transform global manufacturers and technology innovators by developing models and frameworks that enable them to innovate and implement services-led strategies.

Centre for Research into Safety and Security (CRISIS)

The Aston Crisis Management Centre aims to have significant impact on the work of governments and the people they serve.

Circular Economy and Advanced Sustainability (CEAS) Centre

CEAS develops impactful research aimed at developing technological, business and engineering innovations which enable and accelerate transitions to the circular economy.

Cyber Security Innovation Centre

Addresses the profoundly multifaceted challenge that is cyber security by linking academics in information security, corporate governance, risk management, linguistics, criminology, intelligence, law and psychology together with cyber security experts from industry and government.

Aston India Centre for Applied Research

Enables the creation and dissemination of multidisciplinary knowledge for corporations in India or with Indian interests. 

OIM plans to launch more research centres focusing on applied business analytics and business transformation.

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, circular economy and advanced services.

OIM provides research supervision for MPhil, PhD and DBA students. Topics include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • Humanitarian logistics
  • Carbon reduction and energy reduction
  • Crises and disaster management
  • Quality and lean six sigma management
  • Productivity and efficiency improvement
  • IT and IS adoption
  • New product and technology development
  • Cybersecurity
  • Gamification and serious games
  • Advanced service development for manufacturing
  • Circular, green and sustainable economy
  • Internet-of-things and industry 4.0
  • Best practices in supply chain, procurement and operations
  • Project management
  • International operations and logistics
  • Social media and web analytics

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). 

OIMs 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.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships allow OIM experts to apply their research to directly support growing businesses. These projects offer funding support from government via InnovateUK, to recruit a talented graduate who delivers an innovative project, with support from academics. Projects typically last around 2 years, with close collaboration between the KTP Associate, the business and academic experts. We draw on the expertise within the department, in the areas of Operations Management, Information Systems and Business Analytics, as well as interdisciplinary expertise from across Aston University. Our colleagues will help your business to identify a growth opportunity and design and deliver a project that embeds new capabilities and achieves increased profitability. Contact us for more information.