Professor James Aitken
Professor James Aitken began his career within a manufacturing environment where he gained success in the logistics and operation fields. The knowledge and experience accrued supported his part-time PhD studies and provided the platform for the development of the UK’s first manufacturing operations based on combining lean and agile. His continued interest in innovative operations led him into an academic career focused on manufacturing and supply chain management. Over the last eight years James’s research has been conducted in collaboration with colleagues from Germany, New Zealand, UK and the USA. The funded research is typically designed to work closely with practitioners developing and transferring knowledge to improve manufacturing performance. The leadership and management insights gained in his industrial career has been successfully applied within academia.
In addition to the demanding role of Head of Department he also conducts 4* and 3* recognised research on supply chain and operations management issues as well as teaching on MBA and MSc programmes. During his tenure as Head of Department he has managed to secure over £520,000 worth of funding operating as the PI for two of the projects
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)
Affiliations and memberships
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