James Aitken

Professor James Aitken

Professor in Operations Management and Head of Department
+44 (0)1483 684650
17 MS 02
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 complexity and sustainability

University roles and responsibilities

  • Head of Department for Business Transformation (ongoing)
  • 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

My publications


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