James Aitken

Professor James Aitken

Professor in Operations Management
+44 (0)1483 684310
Student Feedback & Consultation hours. Please email me to arrange a face-to-face or online meeting


Areas of specialism

Operations and supply chain management focusing on resilience, complexity and sustainability

University roles and responsibilities

  • Head of Department for Business Transformation (2012-2022)
  • Head of Department for operations and MIS (2009-2012)

    My qualifications

    Cranfield University
    Strathclyde University

    Previous roles

    1995 - 2003
    Managing Director for three businesses involved in the electronics , construction and lighting sectors
    Interim Barwell Ltd, Celluform and Concord Lighting
    2003 - 2013
    Partner in consultancy firm
    Muradi LLP

    Affiliations and memberships

    Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport
    Member of CILT

    Business, industry and community links


    Garn W, Aitken J. (2015) 'Agile factorial production for a single manufacturing line with multiple products'. European Journal of Operational Research, Esain A, Aitken J, Williams S, Maneesh K. (2015) 'Reverse Exchange: Classifications for Public Service SCM'. Supply Chain Management: an international journal, Aitken, J. and Harrison, A. (2013) 2013) 'Supply Governance Structures for Reverse Logistics Systems'. International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 33 (6) , pp. 745 Christopher, M, Aitken, J., Childerhouse, P., and Towill, D.R., (2009) “Value Stream Classification”, Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 20 (4), pp 460-474 Hines, P. and Aitken, J. (2006) “Lean Purchasing - the next winning step on the lean journey”, Danish Purchase and Logistics Forum, Kolding

    Aitken, J., Childerhouse, P., Christopher, M., and Towill, D.R. (2005), “Designing and Managing Multiple Pipelines”, Journal of Business Logistics, 26, pp 73-96 Aitken, J., Childerhouse, P., and Towill, D.R. (2003) “The impact of product life cycle on supply chain strategy”, International Journal of Production Economics, 85, pp 127-140 Aitken, J., Christopher, M., and Towill, D.R. (2002) “Understanding, implementing and exploiting agility and leanness”, International Journal of Logistics, Research & Applications, 5, (3), pp 59-74 Childerhouse, P, Aitken, J., and Towill, D.R. (2002), “Analysis and design of focussed demand chains”, Journal of Operations Management”, 20 (6), pp 675- 68 Aitken, J., Christopher, M., and Towill, D.R. (2001), “The impact of product life cycle on supply chain strategy”, International Conference on Production Research, Prague 12 (5), pp 1-18 Aitken, J. (2000), “Agility and Leanness - a successful and complimentary partnership in the lighting industry”, Proceedings of the Logistics Research Network 2000 Conference, Cardiff, pp 1-7. Aitken, J. (1999), “Supplier Associations, a Methodological Opportunity in Supply Chain Research”, Proceedings of the 8 International IPSERA Conference, pp 13-21 Aitken, J. (1998), “Supply Chain Integration within the Context of a Supplier Association”, Cranfield University, Ph.D. Thesis Aitken, J. and Gullander, S. (1998), “Proceedings of the 7thInternational IPSERA Conference, pp 1-8 Aitken, J. (1997), “Knowledge Transfer within a Supplier Association Network”, Proceedings of the Logistics Network Conference, University of Huddersfield, pp16-17 Aitken, J. (1996), “Supplier Associations Networks: Vehicles for Improving Supply Chain Performance”, 3 International Workshop on Multi-Organizational Partnerships: Working Together Across Organizational Boundaries”, University of Strathclyde, 4th September.

    James Aitken, Cecil Bozarth, Wolfgang Garn, (2016) "To eliminate or absorb supply chain complexity: a conceptual model and case study", Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, Vol. 21 Issue: 6, pp.759-774, https://doi.org/10.1108/SCM-02-2016-0044

    Neil Tuner, James Aitken, Cecil Bozarth, (2018) "A framework for understanding managerial responses to supply chain complexity", International Journal of Operations and Production Management, https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOPM-01-2017-0062