Management Science

Research in Management Science

An international centre of excellence working at the heart of research in management science and operational research.

Student studying

Our Research

The Department is a recognised centre of excellence in Management Science and related fields such as Operational Research, Operations Management, Information Systems and Business Analytics. We have a strong commitment to producing research of practical importance, capitalising on our tradition of collaborative research with industry. The Department takes the lead in three research centres: the Centre for Marketing Analytics and Forecasting, the Centre for Productivity and Efficiency and the Centre for Transport and Logistics (CENTRAL). The Department also has leadership roles in the EPSRC funded STOR-i Centre for Doctoral Training, the Data Science Institute and

Research Areas

Research in Management Science covers a wide range of topics in OR/MS, Business Analytics, Operations Management, Information Systems and Project Management. We have particular strengths in the following seven areas.

Marketing Analytics and Forecasting

Forecasting and market analytics are important activities in organisations and form a critical part of data sciences. With the pioneering Centre for Marketing Analytics and Forecasting, we provide fundamental and applied research that leads to knowledge exchange between academia and business.

Our group advances the practice and research foundations of Marketing Analytics and Forecasting, by developing innovative approaches, and a programme of dissemination of best practices through the introduction of new methods, processes and systems. Research areas include demand planning and promotional modelling, automatic model selection and data mining, and advancing AIML (artificial intelligence and machine learning) methods for forecasting.

We support organisation to optimise their supply chain and improve their forecasting and planning process through efficient ordering and inventory management to ensure good customer service. For this, we use the latest statistical methods but also focus on the behavioural aspect of decision-making. Beyond statistical modelling, expert judgment is always needed with a great potential for improvement.

There is also a high demand for researchers in both these two fields, in both industry and academia and we are always looking for interested new PhD students.


Health Systems

The Health Systems Research Group is a grouping of management scientists with a common interest in the development and application of Operational Research, Operations Management and Information Systems methods and theories, quantitative and qualitative, to important health systems issues.

Whilst the health systems research issues tackled are wide and varied, many of them relate to the general challenges of helping health systems to make better use of available resources, in terms of both improving efficiency and improving patient experiences. Much of it concerns elements of knowledge transfer, be it between researchers and practitioners, between industry and healthcare, or between the health systems of different countries.

Research is undertaken in a variety of modes including longer-term research via PhD, Research Council funded projects, and NHS R&D funded projects; and shorter-term research via Master's student projects and consultancy projects. This mix of research modes means that shorter-term projects designed to meet fast-moving organisational timescales can be informed by ongoing research and expertise, whilst longer-term research can benefit from genuine experience of the real issues faced within health systems. Examples of MRes/PhD research and Master's projects can be accessed below.

A number of these people are also involved in collaborations with colleagues in other LUMS departments via the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare or in multi-disciplinary projects across the University via the Health Innovation Campus.

Interested PhD candidates would normally have some knowledge of health systems and strong knowledge of some area of management science. Research topics and methodology can then be tailored to meet the needs and interests of the candidate and the interests and expertise of potential supervisors, for example:

  • performance management
  • waiting list management
  • impacts of spatial factors on health service delivery
  • health systems improvement
  • systems that transform patients-provider communication
  • systems to support health promotion planning
  • modelling patient flows in healthcare
  • Optimisation, analysis and simulation of Bayesian designs of adaptive clinical trials

Previous and ongoing PhD projects include:

  • Empathic Design for Healthcare Improvement, M. Al Khatani (2008)
  • The Diffusion of Operations Research in Management Decision Making - An Analysis of U.S. Healthcare Organisations, J. Langabeer (2009)
  • Generic simulation modelling of Accident and Emergency patient flows in acute hospitals in England, A. Fletcher (2012)
  • An Agent-Based Model of the IL-1 Stimulated Nuclear Factor-kappa B Signalling Pathway – Richard Williams, University of York (2015)
  • The development and application of an analytical healthcare model for understanding and improving hospital performance, D. Suen (2016)
  • Managing radiotherapy treatment trade-offs using multi-criteria optimisation and data envelopment analysis, K-M Lin (2016)
  • Online Discrete Event Simulation for the Management of Inpatient Beds (Ongoing)
  • Bayesian Bandit Models for the Optimal Design of Clinical Trials (ongoing)
  • Stakeholder saliency dynamics in strategic ICT projects in the Saudi public healthcare system: appreciative systems perspective, T. Al-Ghaith (2013)

Recent MSc projects include:

  • Developing a generic simulation model for NHS England to better understand hospital bed occupancy by time of day and its impact on A&E performance.
  • Prostate cancer pathway modelling for Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust
  • Discrete Event Simulation of patient pathways for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) treatment for Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
  • Modelling the emergency response service in Blackpool Division for North West Ambulance Service
  • Strategic and operational modelling for Day Case services at the Lancashire Cardiac Centre
  • Analysing A&E services at Hillingdon hospital – identifying the drivers of 4-hour breaches
  • Cost-effectiveness study of Ventricular Assist Devices for Warwick Evidence HTA Centre
  • Investigating a phased approach to the possible implementation of the FRG formula for funding general practices for the Department of Health
  • Modelling clinical pathways for strokes for PenCHORD, University of Exeter

If you have any queries you wish to discuss, please contact Dr Dave Worthington and if you would like to apply for a PhD, please visit our PhD in Management Science.

Visit our staff and PhD student lists for further details.


Information Systems

Our Information Systems research takes a strong inter-disciplinary approach to study socio-technical principles in the design and use of information systems within organisations, businesses and society in general too. We use both qualitative and quantitative methods to study the effects of technology in various aspects of human use of technology in the personal level and in the context of work and organisations. We have natural links within the department of Management Science with operations, Systems/Soft OR (through problem structuring and methodology, and action research), and to the Health Systems Research group (through a focus on healthcare information systems). We are also involved in the Centre for Technological Futures and the Institute for Social Futures.

Within the wider Management School, the group has complementary and teaching research interests with the Department of Organisation, Work and Technology and across the wider University, there are links with the School of Computing and Communications and the School of Design, through the inter-disciplinary ESRC funded HighWire Doctoral Training Centre, which includes PhD supervision and Centre Co-directorships.

Key projects by members of this research group include:

  • Professor Jo?o Baptista's primary research interests focus on digital work and digital innovation within organisations, and in studying the effects of technology in ways of organising and the shape of modern organisations. This includes studying inherent tensions between forces for innovation and forces for efficiencies, security and compliance within organisations. He is also involved in projects at national level on environmental sustainability, digital resilience and climate change.
  • research interests lie in the area of architecting and designing enterprises, digital services and systems through using tools such as enterprise architecture frameworks, enterprise modelling, design rationale, and system dynamics modelling. His works applied across different sectors such as manufacturing, healthcare, public services and cybersecurity.
  • Dr Mahsa Honary is a lecturer in Information Systems, and her research is focused on digital health innovation. Her research is interdisciplinary, human-centred and problem-driven. She is interested in the design, development and evaluation of health information systems, users’ behavioural analysis and technology adoption models. She is motivated by real-world problems in public health systems and processes to improve the quality of care for patient benefit.
  • Professor Niki Panteli is a Professor of Digital Business in the Department of Management Science. Her main research interests lie in the areas of digital transformation, digital health, online collaborations, online communities, e-leadership and more recently cybersecurity management. She led and participated in several research projects and her work appeared in numerous top-ranked academic journals. She is currently the President of the UK Academy of Information Systems (UKAIS).
  • research interests focus on complexity and problem solving with a particular interest in the application of Soft Systems Methodology (SSM). She is particularly interested in the pedagogy of teaching SSM and the role of systems approaches in curriculum development for both face-to-face and online teaching materials.
  • research focuses on information systems (IS) security, privacy concerns, and digital innovation. Specifically, he leverages the traditional technical view through integrating behavioural, economic, and legal perspectives in order to understand IS phenomena. His academic work builds on previous IS expertise gained from working for leading financial and banking institutions and being a visiting scholar at a number of prominent academic institutions.

Key areas of research of this group are:

  • Digital innovation and organisational transformation
  • Inter-organizational relationships/processes
  • Reach/richness-enabled impacts of IST such as online privacy and social influence
  • Digital capabilities in modern organisations
  • Sustainability, climate change and digital resilience
  • Industry sectors such as small business enterprises (SME’s) and healthcare
  • Project Management of ERP implementations
  • Social and technical complexity inherent to large multi-vendor ERP programmes
  • Online collaborations and Online Communities
  • Digital and Cybersecurity Leadership
  • Gender Issues in IT & high tech sector
  • Hybrid Work and Work Analytics

All of these areas draw from various social and technical theoretical perspectives. Much of the work includes an international focus. The levels of analysis include individual, group and organisational.

Research Opportunities

The group has a strong PhD programme focused on the themes outlined above. We welcome PhD and post-doctoral students in these areas. We are also open to other areas of research that fit our theoretical or methodological strengths - which include a broad range of qualitative and quantitative work. If you are interested in a topic not listed above you should write a brief description of the topic and why it may be of interest to a potential supervisor, sending it to our IS PhD Co-ordinator Jo?o Baptista.

Visit our staff and PhD student pages for further details.

Information Technology

Supply Chain Management

The Supply Chain Management group at Lancaster is one of the leading groups in Europe. We are also one of the largest research units in the UK in the area of operations and supply chain management, using a wide range of qualitative and quantitative methodological approaches.

Our research is impact-oriented and connects to national and international policy agendas. Group members engage with relevant stakeholders to conduct research that links operations and supply chain management to contemporary grand challenges such as sustainability and climate change, decent work, innovation, productivity and economic growth, and reduced inequalities. Specifically, we boast internationally-recognised research expertise in the following areas:

  • Environmental and social sustainability in global supply chains
  • Supply chain resilience, risk management and cybersecurity
  • Technology and innovation in operations and supply chains
  • Servitisation of manufacturing and service-based business models
  • Production planning and control

The group maintains particularly strong links with colleagues specialising in Operational Research applications (e.g. transport planning and supply chain forecasting) and Information Systems aspects of supply chain management. We also work closely with colleagues across the School and in other Faculties and interdisciplinary Research Centres e.g. the Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business.

Current Research Activities

  • Sustainability in supply chains: Lancaster is internationally-leading in this area and hosted the 2016 EurOMA Sustainability Forum. and have a particular interest in socially sustainable sourcing (e.g. to combat modern slavery). Linda is currently involved in a UKRI-funded project seeking ways to reduce plastic packaging in food supply chains. Quyhn Do is working on circular economy concepts and applications in food supply chains, and Lingxuan Liu studies climate change-linked supply chain disruptions and how to mitigate these.
  • Supply chain resilience and risk management: studies supply chain resilience in multiple settings (e.g. product counterfeiting). Anas Iftikhar is particularly interested in how supply chain complexity interacts with resilience, while Yiyi Fan focuses on how and when organisations can manage supply chain risks (e.g. cybersecurity risks) and build resilience into their supply chains. Nonhlanhla Dube and investigate how procurement and contracting practices can promote resilience in medicine supply chains, as part of their Norwegian Research Council-funded project on measures to improve availability of medicines and vaccines. Nonhlanhla is interested in resilience strategies more broadly, including in the context of humanitarian operations and logistics. Sunil Banga is, among other things, studies resilience in healthcare supply chains and has recently developed a research-led teaching case in this area.
  • Technology and innovation in operations and supply chains: is studying the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in professional service operations (e.g. law and accounting), with his work attracting ESRC funding and international interest. Steve Eldridge researches how technology and digitalisation help transform business operations within firms and along the supply chain. is interested in how novel products and services, including those developed by technology-intensive SMEs, can be effectively contracted for and integrated in supply chains, and the role of public policy in this respect.
  • Servitisation of manufacturing and service-based business models: and lead on this theme, which encompasses manufacturers’ ‘shift to service’ (servitisation) and its implications along the supply chain, service-based business models and performance-based contracting.
  • Production planning and control: The Lancaster group has for many years been central to the development of Workload Control, an approach to management and planning of make-to-order manufacturing companies which introduces efficiencies and improvements in business productivity. and lead in this area, and their work has influenced many researchers in German, Dutch, Italian, Greek, North American and Portuguese universities and research institutes. Sebastian Schiffels is studying, among other things, sales and operations planning and inventory management decisions with a focus on behavioural aspects.

If you have any queries you wish to discuss, please contact Kostas Selviaridis and if you would like to apply for a PhD, please visit our PhD in Management Science.

Visit our staff and PhD student lists for further details.

Logistics lorries


Optimisation is concerned with the maximisation or minimisation of functions of many variables. It is a multi-disciplinary field, having numerous applications in Management Science, Operational Research, Finance, Statistics, Computer Science, Engineering and the Physical Sciences. The Optimisation group in Lancaster is one of the largest in Europe, with over fifteen full-time faculty, in addition to post-docs and PhD students.

We have particular strengths in the following areas:

  • Exact Algorithms for Combinatorial, Global and Robust Optimisation
  • Meta-Heuristics and Hyper-Heuristics
  • Computing Efficient Frontiers for Multi-Objective Combinatorial Problems
  • Computing Near-Optimal Policies for Stochastic Dynamic Problems
  • Applications in Logistics, Healthcare, Finance, Telecommunications and Data Analytics.

Current Projects

  • , , and Dr Anna-Lena Sachs work on optimal policies for stochastic resource-allocation problems. The classical approach to solving such problems, stochastic dynamic programming, becomes computationally infeasible once the system reaches a certain level of complexity. Current research focuses on alternative methods, based for example on Lagrangian relaxation, to develop near-optimal policies.
  • , and are mainly interested in developing models and algorithms for practical problems which arise in the context of logistics, such as vehicle routing, facility location or airline scheduling problems. They are particularly interested in applications in which environmental considerations are an important factor.
  • and Dr Thu Dang work on exact solution methods and bounding procedures for hard optimisation problems. They work mainly on discrete (aka combinatorial) problems, but also occasionally on continuous (aka global) problems. The solution methods are typically based on linear, quadratic or semidefinite programming.
  • researches into the development, analysis and implementation of heuristic techniques for solving complex real-life optimisation problems.
  • works mainly on multi-objective optimisation problems, particularly in algorithms for producing sets of efficient solutions for combinatorial problems, and applications in medicine and transportation.
  • research interests focus on both deterministic and stochastic optimization, particularly as applied to ground and air transportation, energy and bio-computational problems

Members of the group have been on the editorial boards of journals such as Computational Optimization and Applications, Computers & Operations Research, Discrete Optimization, EURO Journal of Computational Optimization, Journal of Global Optimization, Mathematical Programming, Naval Research Logistics and Operations Research.

If you have any queries you wish to discuss, please contact Dr Burak Boyaci. If you would like to apply for a PhD, please see our PhD admissions page.

Visit our Staff, PhD student and Publications lists for further details.


Simulation and Stochastic Modelling

Stochastic Modelling and Simulation are core methodology areas not only in modern management science and business analytics but also in machine learning and artificial intelligence. They can be employed to support decision making in a wide range of contexts in which taking account of stochastic variation is important. These models, methods and algorithms are of key importance to help with gaining insight into complex situations, designing well-functioning systems, developing well-performing procedures, and making decisions under uncertainty or risk. The group members have substantial collective expertise developing methodology in this area, partnering with industrial and other partners to employ it to real-world problems and teaching these topics to the highest standard at all levels.

Methodology Research and Collaboration

The methodology expertise in both stochastic modelling (applied probability) and simulation at Lancaster University is recognised as being of the world leading level and the group members regularly . The group members are regularly invited to co-organise and present at the specialised world-leading conferences such as INFORMS Applied Probability Society Conference, EURO WG Stochastic Modelling Meeting, INFORMS Winter Simulation Conference, ORS Simulation Workshop, European Conference on Queueing Theory, etc.

The group members specialise in topics that can be found on their personal web pages and are supported by several visiting researchers and professors emerita. The collective expertise currently covers the following research subareas:

Simulation Modelling (Amjad Fayoumi, , , ): analysis methodology, modelling methodology, discrete-event simulation, dynamic simulation, agent-based modelling and simulation, validation and calibration of simulation models on empirical data, multi-fidelity modelling, simulation optimisation, etc.

Optimisation under Uncertainty (, Yu Jiang, , , , Dong Li, ): Sequential decision making, stochastic dynamic programming, approximate dynamic programming, simulation-based dynamic programming, reinforcement learning, data-driven optimisation, Markov decision processes, stochastic optimisation, decision theory, decision analysis, decision trees, distributionally-robust optimisation, stochastic game theory, stochastic optimal control, resource allocation under uncertainty, resource-constrained project scheduling, stochastic scheduling, optimal search, Markovian and restless multi-armed bandits, index policies, etc.

Learning from Experimentation (, , Dong Li): Reinforcement learning, machine learning, design and analysis of sequential experiments, A/B testing, data-driven learning, Bayesian learning, Bayesian decision theory, bandit algorithms, computer simulation experiments, adaptive randomised controlled trials, demand learning, dynamic pricing, etc.

Queueing and Random Systems (, Amjad Fayoumi, , , ): steady-state queueing theory, time-dependent queueing systems, queueing networks, queueing disciplines, performance evaluation, social networks, systems analysis and design, business process modelling, process mining, requirements modelling, modelling with random variables and stochastic processes (Markov chains, Markov processes), data-driven modelling, routing/dispatching policies, staffing of service systems, etc.

Partner with Us

Impact on organisations and society is a priority of the group. Our research and knowledge transfer has achieved major improvements in decision making, leading to boosted efficiency of allocation of resources, improved automation, enhanced service level and customer satisfaction, decreased risks, increased revenue and/or reduced costs. Our group members have engaged with companies across different industries, government and non-profit organisations, including automobile makers, healthcare and pharmaceutical organisations, aviation companies, telecom providers, retailers, and many SMEs. As an academic group, we can give independent suggestions and are not tied to any software product. Our solutions always consider the most practical approach and the best match for your organisation.

Teaching & Problem-solving

PhD: The group members have led the organisation of the PhD-level course on Stochastic Modelling biennially since NATCOR’s inception in 2007. They also co-organised the held in July 2022. They are involved in supervision of PhD students in the programmes PhD Management Science and PhD Statistics and Operational Research (and in supervision of postdoctoral research associates), many of which are in collaboration with industrial and/or academic partners worldwide.

For more information, including a list of recent MSc dissertations and PhD theses, see the , or the list of current PhD students. If you have any queries you wish to discuss please contact .


Transport and Logistics

We have an excellent reputation for strong research impact in the field of transport and logistics through our dedicated Centre for Transport and Logistics (CENTRAL). This Centre explores an interdisciplinary approach to producing cutting-edge sustainable solutions to logistical and transportation issues. The research focuses on two main projects known as OR-MASTER and OptiFrame.