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Recent Publications

May 2014 - Rhian Silvestro published a paper in International Journal of Production Economics

Performance topology mapping: understanding the drivers of performance


  • Understanding the drivers of performance is fundamental to operations strategy
  • Research and practice are constrained by generic models and managerial assumptions
  • This paper introduces and evaluates performance topology mapping and morphing
  • Performance topologies provide new insights into performance relationships
  • Morphing the topologies provides a new perspective to support the construction of strategy maps.


Understanding the drivers of performance is fundamental to the development of operations strategy and the effective management of operations. Emerging from the service management literature, the service profit chain is a framework which draws together many assumptions about the drivers of performance. From a different perspective, the performance management literature offers several approaches to understanding performance relationships, the most widely recognised being strategy mapping. Each of these approaches has been influential in both academic and practitioner domains, but they share a common limitation: each may lead researchers and managers to make assumptions about performance relationships that may not hold true. In this paper a different approach, called performance topology mapping, is proposed and evaluated.

International Journal of Production Economics, Volume 156, October 2014, Pages 269–282

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For more information contact rhian dot silvestro at wbs dot ac dot uk

March 2014 - Rhian Silvestro and her co-author Paola Lustrato have published a paper on financial supply chain integration in the International Journal of Operations and Production Management

Integrating financial and physical supply chains: the role of banks in enabling supply chain integration

Purpose – The financial supply chain, running parallel to the flow of goods and information, is common to all economic supply networks, and its integration with the physical supply chain is therefore a critical and ubiquitous aspect of supply chain integration largely ignored in the supply chain management literature. This paper presents a process model of physical/financial supply chain integration which uniquely recognises the role of banks in enabling buyers and suppliers to improve supply chain integration, synchronisation and performance.

International Journal of Operations and Production Management, Vol. 34 Iss: 3, pp.298-324

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For more information contact rhian dot silvestro at wbs dot ac dot uk

March 2014 - Mark Johnson and Mehmet Chakkol were among the authors of a paper for the International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

From goods to solutions: how does the content of an offering affect network configuration?


Purpose – This paper aims to adopt service-dominant logic (SDL) to empirically explore network configurations resulting from the provision of goods, goods and services, and solutions.

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management Vol. 44 Iss: 1/2, pp.132 - 154
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For more information contact mark dot johnson at wbs dot ac dot uk or mehmet dot chakkol at wbs dot ac dot uk

February 2014 - Pietro Micheli conducted a collaborative research project with The Design Council, published in early Spring 2013-14

Leading Business by Design - Why and how business leaders invest in design

Design is now firmly on the business agenda. No longer the cherry on the cake for high-end goods and luxury brands, over the past has gained relevance for the way organisations are structured, how they operate and how they think. An increasing number are starting to use design strategically – to differentiate themselves from the competition, to launch new brands and strengthen existing ones, and to inform strategic choices. There is already considerable evidence for design acting as a mechanism for business growth and innovation. This research ... aims to build on such evidence by asking business leaders of various organisations how they use design, and how they benefit from it.

Download booklet (PDF Document) or for more information contact pietro dot micheli at wbs dot ac dot uk

September 2013 - Nicola Burgess and Graeme Currie had a paper accepted by the British Journal of Management

The Knowledge Brokering Role of the Hybrid Middle Level Manager: the Case of Healthcare

In the literature it is argued that middle level managers (MLMs) enact a strategic role in public sector organizations, at the same time as there exist calls for their delayering so that frontline services can be protected. Such calls do not recognize the strategic importance of the hybrid MLM, who crosses professional frontline and managerial domains. Drawing upon the example of their managerial role in healthcare, we highlight that the hybrid MLM enacts a strategic knowledge brokering role and outline contingent factors framing this more strategic role.

British Journal of Management Volume 24, Issue Supplement S1, pages S132–S142, September 2013

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For more information contact nicola dot burgess at wbs dot ac dot uk