Improving Sustainability and Resilience of Organisation Through Development of Analytical Models and Tools 

Research at Loughborough University by Alok Choudhary has led to the development of a set of sustainability toolkits (web-based or Apps), which enable companies in various sectors including logistics, manufacturing, agri-food and services to significantly improve economic and environmental sustainability and mitigate risks in their supply chain. More than 15 organisations from across India, Saudi Arabia and UK, Jiyinvarying from large multinationals through to SMEs have benefited from the toolkits through financial savings, increased resource efficiency, reduced carbon emission, improved business performance, increased competitive differentiation and enhanced food security. Furthermore, the research has been used by associations

Defining and implementing library standards in Wales and Scotland

On the basis of her extensive work on the operation and usage of library services, Claire Creaser was invited by the Welsh, and later the Scottish governments to play a major part in defining standards for operation of their libraries. Working with Loughborough colleagues including Louise Cooke, Valerie Spezi Boyka Simeonova, and the late Mark Hepworth, Claire’s work has defined the standards by which Welsh libraries operate since 2014 and look set to influence Scottish libraries too.



Developing economically sustainable High Streets in the Digital Era

Building on Fiona Ellis-Chadwick’s long-standing research on the adoption and effectiveness of internet retailing, a methodology and index have been developed for evaluating the digital performance of organisations and geographical centres (such as town high streets). This is now being expanded to other service contexts such as parking. Four local authorities have used or are using the index to evaluate retail performance in their patch, and lessons learned from the research and its implementation feature in training materials being developed by a third party. The insights from the application of the index are being used for the development of regional plans for the training and development of digital business skills in Warwickshire and Leicestershire.


Improving the Cost Assessment Techniques used by Companies and Ofwat to set 2020-2025  Regulated Water and Sewerage Prices. 

Members of the Centre for Productivity and Performance (CPP) (including Saal, Nieswand, Ferrari, A Glass and K Glass) have significantly influenced Ofwat’s 2019 Price Review (PR) and hence the prices faced by consumers for the 2020-2015 period.  This has occurred via several channels, and the impact and impact potential of this visit was evidence by the May 23rd 2018 workshop hosted by CPP and attended by Ofwat, the Water Industry Commission for Scotland and at least 15 of the UK’s 19 water and sewerage companies ( CPP’s work building on past research and experience has been fundamental to the regulatory cost determination employed by Anglian Water in its regulatory submissions that will influence the water bills of the 4th largest water and sewerage company in the UK, and will influence millions of customers’ bills.  Several other lines of impact are also possible (see below).


Protecting Dignity and Respect At Work

With colleagues in the School of Management Sheffield University, Iain Coyne developed a bullying intervention group drawing together experts in academia, professional bodies, unions and charities to foster discussion, develop collaborations and ultimately to produce an evidence-based toolkit for addressing bullying in the workplace.


 Informing Trade Policy in a Changing European Context

Based on research by Huw Edwards on international trade amongst European and post-Soviet countries, impact has been achieved on two separate fronts. First, Edwards contributed to the EU position, subsequently implemented in 2014, on a trade deal with Ukraine. Second, his expertise has been used by both CBI and DIT in the context of establishing trade policy post-Brexit and evaluating its impact, in the forms of briefings to industry and capacity building of DIT staff in shaping trading arrangements.


Improving the scheduling of service delivery operations using decision support models and systems

The models and techniques developed by the research of Professor Jiyin Liu and Dr Rupal Rana are being implemented in Telco service scheduling system through two projects. The first helps scheduling service tasks to engineers so as to minimise the risk of missing customer appointments. Tests show great (90%) improvement in risks, over the schedule that only minimises travel time. The second builds a decision support system that minimises CO2 emissions when routing the service vehicles and scheduling the workforce. This is the first software which offers such an application leading to a 13.5% reduction in CO2 emissions.

Developing a framework for the prioritizations of bio-security threats for DEFRA (UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

The prioritization and management of health threats to humans and animals pose serious challenges for policy makers in charge of managing bio-security risks. In this impact case we developed a framework to address these challenges from both a technical and an organizational perspective, drawing from the literature on Decision Sciences and Organizational Sciences, respectively. Such framework was employed to develop risk management support systems to help the prioritisation of bio-security threats for DEFRA in recent years, providing an effective mechanism for the prioritisation of bio-security health threats and support the design of policy recommendations and legislative changes.

Improving Communication and Learning Through use of Images

This case study examines the impact across a range of audiences of using images in presentations. Presentations might be in the ‘real world’, involving sales briefings, marketing strategies, business training and general training at most levels, and in the military where similar events take place. In academia, it mainly concerns the ways we teach in lectures  The impact across the board is Cognitive engagement with academic content, as a recognised and established proxy for learning, is increased in all tested disciplines by approximately 60%, Effective engagement is amplified similarly, contributing further to learning, Active learning, an element often under-established in lectures, is elevated by 40-80%, Dyslexic students are supported inclusively, benefiting in similar, but more amplified ways, and correlated elevation of FYO coursework marks: number of ‘firsts’ for essays improves c.30%

Using facilitated simulation in stakeholder-centred workshops to support decisions

The research methodology developed as part of two separately funded research projects, PartiSim and SimLean and later Simtegr8 which is mostly an integration of the methodologies  of the previous two projects, have been applied in two separate projects working with external organisations to improve their services and/or operations. Two organisational interventions are described where the approach has been used and has brought about efficiency gains in the respective organisations. This approach mainly involves finding solutions through the use of simulation modelling working jointly with clients and/or their customers/clients in finding practical and realistic solutions that help the organisations become more efficient.


Using the Reflective Goal Setting (RGS) model to enhance leadership and managerial performance at work

Dr Travers has created a model, Reflective Goal Setting (RGS), which is a theory-based, practical goal-setting framework, designed to support the transfer of learning and personal development across a range of contexts. In particular, the RGS is designed to enable people to improve their work effectiveness and career development through behavioural self-management. The impact outlined arises mainly from the extensive use of RGS within Loughborough University-based Executive Education (EE) modules for both accredited and non-accredited programmes. Data gathering is ongoing, but one particular project so far has produced data evaluating continued goal impact using: 1. An ‘evaluation of impact’ survey, assessing the use and impact of the key features of RGS. 2. In-depth interviews with reflective goal setters and 3) interviews with some of their colleagues/managers/leaders who could corroborate reported outcomes. This data gathering is carried out by someone other than Dr Travers – i.e. an objective researcher not a member of Loughborough faculty. Respondents report a range of crucial and far-reaching individual, team and organisational impacts as a result of their goal setting, such as gaining in confidence, the ability to manage stress, self-organising, and empathy with others/ Line managers and colleagues in their working contexts corroborated these findings.


Improving Public Access to Digital Information and Combatting Digital Exclusion

The impact of the research has been to create more equitable access to information by citizens through awareness-raising of public policy measures that restrict and constrain the digital information environment. The production of international guidance to harmonise and inform practice with regard to the use of digital tools in public libraries that filter and block access has transformed practice across the UK and beyond. Within the UK specifically it has informed public policy and practice with regard to the use of filtering, monitoring and blocking technologies in public libraries.

Influencing business models and social welfare using distributed energy systems with storage at the city level.

Our study of consumers’ attitudes to district heating systems in Birmingham has informed an Electricity distribution network operator as part of their Low Carbon Network Fund project on flexible grid. Through the network and expertise developed for this project the research has been extended to the study of emerging business models and consumers’ attitudes to solar photovoltaic (PV) technology with storage systems in collaboration with Leeds City Council and colleagues at Leeds University. An additional strand of the research attempt to assess the impact of innovative energy solutions on vulnerable consumers. Potential impact includes the deployment of small-scale energy storage in domestic properties and/or owner-occupied housing.

Responding to changing work patterns in Business Process Centres: Influencing policy, practice and professional education

Our research into the reconfiguration, re-engineering and relocation of professional business support services has identified the phenomenon of disappearing middle-office work which, typically, provides essential entry-level work to enable young people to form a career identity in areas such as finance, HR, IT and procurement. A consequential issue over time is a ‘talent pipeline’ shortage into mid-career positions. Working with organisations, higher education, professional bodies and the UK Government we have developed practical proposals to enable students to engage in meaningful work experience during higher education programmes, and to graduate debt-free and with a greater sense of work-readiness to compete in a global market for graduates.

EMOTIVE: using emotion words in tweets to predict and understand behaviour of consumers, voters and patients.

EMOTIVE is an analytics tool for extracting and detecting fine-grained emotions in social-media posts, based on a state-of-the-art semantically driven engine, it can detect expressions of eight basic emotions: anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, surprise, shame and confusion. EMOTIVE has been able to predict the outcome of 2 UK General Elections and 1 US Presidential election. It has been used to detect environmental stress via its adaptation called Stresscapes. It is currently being used to detect mental health issues from users’ tweets. It has been used in the post Paris bomb attack to identify potential onlookers who might suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome.


Improving efficiency, quality and profitability in the steel industry through continued research on logistics operations planning and application

The decision support systems, based on Professor Jiyin Liu’s research implemented in a Far-East Iron and Steel Corporation, continues to benefit the company’s production and logistics operations in ways that go beyond those described in the REF2014 impact case.  New research and development have been done extending the research and applications to more logistics areas in the system from handling raw materials to distribution of final products, resulting in significant cost savings as well as product quality improvement.


Knowledge management: Adding value to organisations

Underpinning research in knowledge management has been produced by Dr Gillian Ragsdell and colleagues at Loughborough University from 2006 to date. This research has delivered novel research methods that have been employed to generate new insights into knowledge management activities in the voluntary sector and energy sector. Knowledge practices have been prioritised in the Energy Technologies Institute to ensure the creation of impact from project delivery and that there is a significant legacy for the energy sector. In high performance sport, a bespoke knowledge management audit is identifying and supporting specific initiatives to improve knowledge sharing between sport science and medicine practitioners. Transformation of knowledge practices in a partnership of advice agencies has increased efficiency by, for example, reducing: waiting time for appointments, non-attendance of appointments, and time from initial contact to a specialist appointment.


Developing a ‘research-as-practice’ exploration of the sex-typing and gendering of British theatre

This project has developed a ‘research as practice’ approach to explore why theatre study is female-dominated and professional work comparably male-dominated. Specifically, based upon previous qualitative social research exploring gender inequalities in the theatre industry we commissioned a professional playwright to produce a short play to disseminate insights from our research to a practitioner audience.


Informing Water Price Charges in England and Wales, 2020-2024

The regional water companies in England and Wales are monopolists as it would not be cost effective for them to face competition due to the huge infrastructure start-up costs. To avoid companies setting excessive prices that take advantage of their monopoly status, the industry regulator, Ofwat, sets the prices. To set the prices the water companies can charge their customers for water and sewerage services Ofwat must determine each company’s efficient cost level. Dr Anthony Glass and Dr Karligash Glass (nee Kenjegalieva) have been heavily involved in work that determines the efficient cost levels of the water companies.