The design, operation and maintenance of systems, assets, critical infrastructure and projects requires decision making under uncertainty to manage risk. Management Science has been actively developing processes to holistically support and analyse such decision-making through methods for problem structuring, uncertainty modelling, expert elicitation, data analysis, decision support and forensic analysis. Our methods have been applied to industries such as aerospace, energy and water. Specifically, we have addressed issues concerning optimal reliability/availability growth of systems such as in aerospace and wind farms, asset management for the water industry, vessel optimisation for the installation of offshore wind farms, supply network risk analysis for manufacturing organisations, causes of complex project overruns and improving risk analysis and mitigation processes in cities. We have addressed challenges such as managing interacting risks from an array of stakeholders resulting in better project management. A Strathclyde model is included in the international reliability growth standard (IEC 61164) which is adopted globally by manufacturing firms and procurement agencies. Our work has also been applied in arbitration and litigation processes where understanding of the causes of uncertainties determines the award of a substantial amount of money.
Fraser of Allander Institute and BREXIT
The Fraser of Allander Institute (FAI) are undertaking a series of activities to assess the implications for Scotland’s economy of Brexit. This includes both new technical economic modelling (with publications planned in academic journals) alongside wider knowledge exchange stemming from existing expertise within the FAI (e.g. in the Scottish economy) and Economics Department (e.g. in international trade). Our work is having significant impact, including direct support for Scottish Parliament Committees, regular engagement with business organisations and MSPs, CPD events for civil servants, frequent citations in parliamentary debates and speeches, and regular pick-up in national press.
High Growth Entrepreneurship
The Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship launched the Growth Advantage Programme, in partnership with Santander. Feedback evidence highlights the impact which this programme has had on their businesses. Businesses report significant actual, and projected increase in turnover and employment. Extensive press coverage highlights this success. Other related high growth work, expected to lead to similar direct impact on SME performance, includes a series of international rapid growth events targeted at craft beer entrepreneurs, and development of a concise GAP programme for tech entrepreneurs. Policy is also, impacted through, for example, a research report into high growth entrepreneurs commissioned by Scottish Enterprise (2016).
Researching job quality to drive fair work in Scotland
Research in Human Resource Management has heavily influenced the development of a fair work agenda in Scotland. In particular, three streams of research activity – (1) job quality/good and bad jobs (2) skills under-utilisation and (3) union engagement with skills, learning and workplace governance – have influenced the development of policy. This research impact has been achieved through the deployment of the research in Scottish Government’s Working Together Review of Progressive Workplace Practices in Scotland, which has influenced SG policy and economic strategy. This led to the establishment of the Fair Work Convention, which in turn has influenced government policy and practice (including the establishment of a fair work portfolio and a Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work within Scottish Government) and the practice of public agencies, employers and unions in relation to fair work.
Building Strong Entrepreneurship Policy, Support, and Development Ecosystems
The Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship has developed a better understanding of how entrepreneurs can more successfully create new value for both business and society. This research has led to practical recommendations to policy makers, and entrepreneurship support organizations, including educational institutions. This is seen in the range of related publications and projects that staff have engaged with, as well as ongoing links to policy and support organizations. Research work in this area has led to HCE faculty Influencing policy at local, regional and national level; as well as advising and collaborating with a range of enterprise support and development bodies.