The Northern Productivity Hub (NPH) is a multidisciplinary research centre operating within a broad spectrum of economics, finance, supply chain management, operations, transport, big data, and human capital. The NPH research agenda aims at understanding, measuring and improving performance and productivity of private and public institutions including the impact of economic environment and regulation on these outcomes.
The NPH brings together researchers across the Business School with a mind-set of producing knowledge, based on practical relevance to managers, policy makers and wider participants of the economic activity. The NPH is underpinned by an integrative perspective that combines research starting with the evolution of knowledge from theory-led research, to the design of systems to apply that knowledge in practice, to the application of that research through close collaboration with industrial partners in practice to create impact, and evaluation of that action-led research further to inform theoretical knowledge.
Aims of the Centre
The aims of the NPH are to:
1) Establish the NPH as the leading Research Centre for developing ‘Productivity and Performance’ across a wide array of organisations.
2) Establish the NPH as a leading player in developing and applying theoretical knowledge in the four research themes
3) Establish and grow the research capability of NPH members.
The NPH has four research themes that creates a centre structure to provide focused research leadership. Each theme is led by a Theme Leader. The themes complement each other to create a multidisciplinary research environment.
The NPH has four research themes that creates a centre structure to provide focused research leadership. Each theme is led by a Theme Leader. The themes complement each other to create a multidisciplinary research environment. The themes are:
1) Supply Chains
This theme will incorporate Supply Chain, Logistics, Operations and Transport related topics, across all sectors and methodologies. The current projects in this area utilise both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, ranging from grounded theory work to modelling and simulation. A number of projects have a mixed method and multi-disciplinary philosophy.
2) Digital transformation
This theme encapsulates the integration of digital technology into all areas of business, fundamentally changing how organisations deliver and perceive value. Example areas of research include: Blockchain, Analytics (Marketing, HRM, Big Data), e-Commerce, Digital Marketing, Internet of Things, Fintech, Real-time Data processing,
3) Applied Finance and Economics
This theme has a quantitative research agenda on analysing primary and secondary datasets and utilising empirical methodologies supported by theory to identify and explain current economic and financial issues. The theme focuses on efficiency, productivity, and improvement in the areas of Banking and Financial Markets, Corporate Finance and Governance, Tourism Economics, and Energy Economics.
4) Human Capital
The focus of this theme is to put people at the centre of the productivity debate and by focussing on human capital, rather than human resources, to emphasize the importance of investment over exploitation and the need to raise workforce skills ahead of technological innovation. While short-term competitive advantage can be gained from work intensification, the negative effects on worker well-being are well documented. Sustainable productivity growth with improved employee well-being requires anthropocentric forms of work organisation that support worker autonomy, facilitate continuous learning and encourage creativity.