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The future of the high street Evaluating alternative visions for UK high streets Tesco goes west Britain’s biggest retailer enters the world’s biggest market Simulating healthcare systems leads to innovation Research benefiting healthcare systems in the UK and overseas Making change work Learning lessons from other people’s experiences

Issue 18

In this issue


We live in turbulent times. Now, more than ever, leaders and managers need to be agile to cope with the demands of our changing world. The aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008 is still a major factor in our everyday lives and will influence generations to come. You will not be surprised to hear we spend a great deal of time at the Southampton Management School examining how businesses and organisations in the public and private sectors can survive and flourish in today’s challenging market place. This edition of On Course will give you a flavour of the wide spectrum of research currently underway at the Management School. We have a fascinating insight into Tesco’s decision to open its Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets in the USA, through research by Professor Michelle Lowe. Rail companies are learning more about scheduling trains on busy routes to achieve maximum efficiency thanks to a University of Southampton multidisciplinary research project involving sophisticated algorithms from Dr Tolga Bektas. We also explore how change management programmes can be made more successful. Management School alumni can be found in senior positions in many companies and organisations around the world. One of them, William Ellis, is using the skills he learned on his MBA to improve the lives of children in Kenya. We hope you enjoy learning more about our work both in the seminar room and the wider world. To find out more about our activities in the Southampton Management School, see Professor Malcolm Higgs, Director of the Southampton Management School

Please send us your feedback We are keen to receive any feedback you have about On Course. If you have any comments or suggestions, please do send them to



1 Tesco goes west Britain’s biggest retailer enters the world’s biggest market.

Page 6 2 Simulating healthcare systems leads to innovation Applying Management Science and Operational Research to healthcare systems.

Page 10 3 The future of the high street Southampton researchers evaluate alternative visions of UK high streets.

Page 13 4 Honing his business skills in Kenya Southampton MBA student puts his new skills to good use helping to build a school in western Kenya.

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More highlights Making change work – lessons from the successful.

Page 15 In our busy world, how can better planning improve transport? Coping with the complexities and challenges introduced by efficient planning of transport.

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News Latest developments

New research reveals Chief Executive ‘churn’ as myth

Professor Malcolm Higgs

Research into the leadership structure of the UK’s largest companies suggests turnover rates or ‘churn’ in the position of chief executive are much lower than commonly perceived. Management School Director Professor Malcolm Higgs and PhD student Peter Rejchrt carried out the work in collaboration with executive search consultants Thorburn McAlister. They examined data from companies in the FTSE-350 index to explore changes in senior executive and board positions over a five year period. Just 51 chief executives moved to their job from another chief executive position. Two thirds of chief executives in the FTSE-350 are recruited as internal appointments, which may indicate that boards wish to maintain strategic continuity by appointing home-

grown talent. The average length of service of a chief executive in the FTSE-350 is 6.35 years and 5.91 in the FTSE-100 which contrasts with previous reports of tenure in the FTSE-100 suggesting an average figure of 3.25 years. “It is accepted wisdom that chief executives are highly vulnerable to being attracted to a higher paying role, ready to leave for a better deal – but our research challenges this,” says Malcolm. “Evidence suggests their moving around occurs far less than assumed, with little movement from one chief exec position to another. In these financially turbulent times, with pay and bonuses in the spotlight, we should ask ourselves if high levels of remuneration are really keeping people in post, or if the impetus to move isn’t as strong as perceived.”

New grant funds international collaboration with Turkey The British Council has awarded a grant to a team from the Southampton Management School, led by Dr Mine Karatas-Ozkan and Dr Tolga Bektas with Professor Jeremy Howells, Dean of Business and Law, to investigate entrepreneurial development in Turkey.

“We envisage that this project will pave the way for the development of a major international research programme in the domain of entrepreneurship, innovation and environmental management and sustainability in emerging markets,” says Mine.

The £20,000 award is part of the Knowledge Transfer Scheme between UK and Turkish Higher Education institutions and involves collaborative research with colleagues at Adnan Menderes University in Aydin in the south west of the country.

There will be in-depth interviews with owner-managers to explore the management capacity, entrepreneurial development, environmental management and sustainability strategies of small and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs) in the agricultural sector.


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How can you tweet in Chinese? Social media in China could change the world. Management School PhD student Ring Xu is studying developments in the digital economy in her country. More than 513 million people use the internet in China and most are under the age of 30.Yet, up to now, only a third of the Chinese population of 1.4billion are currently online; with most of them are under the age of 30. What are they doing? Ring presents compelling evidence that many of them, just like young people around the world, are obsessed with social media. The statistics are compelling. A quarter of all social media users in the world are Chinese. And material in the Chinese language now makes up 24 percent of the Internet. Ring has four reasons for this explosion in Chinese social media. Many families are forced to live apart, as many young people may work or study away from home, good broadband links are affordable, China’s one child policy means many young people turn to friends for support rather than siblings and there is suspicion of mainstream government-controlled media.

Hairdressers go green Dr Denise Baden of the Southampton Management School has secured almost £100,000 from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for a 12 month project to investigate if hairdressers can be encouraged to adopt environmentally friendly practices. “Every day, hairdressers deal with strong chemicals and use large amounts of electricity and water. Many are already interested in finding out how to introduce sustainable business practices, both to save money and benefit the environment. We will stage events to introduce them to new techniques and processes and explain the benefits,” says Denise. The research will also look at how hairdressers can be used to pass on information about sustainability to the public. “Of all occupations, they spend the most time generally chatting to a wide variety of people,” she adds. Denise has a long term interest in social psychology and is currently involved in research and teaching in the areas of ethics, entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility.

Although there are no Facebook, Twitter and You Tube in China, their Chinese equivalents are better in some ways, according to Ring. Sina Weibo, the phenomenally popular Chinese website most similar to Twitter has a facility for users to re-post adding comments and pictures to the original message. And, of course, 140 characters in the Chinese language convey far more meaning than 140 letters. She says many young people enjoy receiving and passing on discount vouchers and codes so they can snap up top fashion items at bargain prices. “I haven’t bought anything at full price online after I followed those Weibo accounts which broadcast discount codes every day,” she declares.

Connecting with the world of advertising Academics in the Management School have welcomed news that the University of Southampton has agreed to form a strategic partnership with the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA). Experts from many of the UK’s leading agencies will be contributing to teaching on marketing programmes and discussing curriculum development. This is part of the IPA’s ‘Future of Talent’ strategy, which aims to attract high flyers into the industry and support them in their careers. “Working with the IPA will be a great opportunity for our students,” says Dr Bev Hulbert, Head of the Marketing Subject Group. “They are interested in tapping into our expertise in data analysis which is vitally important in our digital economy.”

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Tesco goes west Four years ago, Britain’s biggest retailer entered the world’s biggest market. Romesh Vaitilingam tells the story so far…


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In November 2007 Americans were treated to a new shopping experience. Fresh & Easy Neighbourhood Market, the brainchild of Britain’s biggest retailer, Tesco, opened its first six stores in Los Angeles and Orange County, California. Meanwhile, back in Britain, Professor Michelle Lowe was beginning a research project on retail innovation, supported by the ESRC’s Advanced Institute of Management (AIM) Research. Tesco’s venture seemed the ideal opportunity to study how innovation works in one of Britain’s most successful service companies, particularly at a time that Tim Mason, chief executive of Fresh & Easy, described as a “transformational moment” in the firm’s history. For one of the world’s four largest retailers (along with the US’s WalMart, France’s Carrefour and Germany’s Metro), launching an innovative chain of supermarkets in west coast US markets was a high-risk venture, especially during what rapidly became a deep recession. Professor Lowe, who is now at the University of Southampton, has followed the progress of Tesco’s ambitious market entry since it began over four years ago. Despite often negative media portrayals of the Fresh & Easy chain in the British media (and persistent expectations that its parent will soon admit failure and leave the market), her research reveals considerable strength in the US brand that Tesco has created through a series of innovations in market positioning and retail and supply network operations. The AIM study finds evidence of a significant consumer franchise for the relatively small-scale (10,000 sq ft) ‘convenience format’ neighbourhood stores, which draw on the small store operating skills Tesco has developed over the past ten years

in Britain and overseas. And while the company is often attacked in this country for perceived domination of the high street, across the Atlantic it is widely seen as a champion of urban regeneration, courted by local authorities and attracting devoted customers. Professor Lowe notes that in thinking about its entry into a highly competitive market, Tesco saw the opportunity in the US attitudes that were shifting in relation to local shopping, preservatives and additives in food, health, the environment and community responsiveness. All of this suggested the potential of developing a strongly focused neighbourhood brand. As Tim Mason said when Fresh & Easy launched, “We wanted to design a business that was for the 21st century, which recognised the issues that Americans care about today: issues of neighbourhood, issues of community, issues of obesity, issues of global warming.” In the context of existing US retailers, that new format was positioned to be “as fresh as Whole Foods, with the value of Wal-Mart, the convenience of Walgreens and the product range of Trader Joe’s”. A fresh approach To deliver a supermarket designed for west coast US consumers, Tesco invested time and money in intensive research. A group of its top executives spent months carrying out detailed anthropological investigations, studying US families to see what they put in their fridges and cupboards and how they did their cooking and shopping. All this information-gathering indicated that there was a gap in the market for a store selling food that bit healthier and that bit less processed at prices significantly below what a standard US supermarket would charge.

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The venture has been very successful in terms of judging the market for a new brand

One of the surprises for the Tesco researchers was that while the US was known as the land of plenty, the quality of processed fresh food in supermarkets was not high. Simon Uwins, chief marketing officer of Fresh & Easy, recalls: “One of the things we wanted to provide was chilled ready meals. Fresh processed food should have no artificial colours, no artificial flavours and only use preservatives where absolutely necessary for the safety of the product. But when we looked round to see how we were going to provide those products, there was no one there who was capable of doing it.”

company also saw the opportunity to engage with local communities through social media like Twitter, which had begun the previous year. Another significant factor was where the stores opened. In many US cities, deprived areas have become virtual ‘food deserts’. So when Fresh & Easy started to open in these underserved markets, they were welcomed. Professor Lowe points out that the stores do have a real commitment to being a good neighbour, embedding themselves in their localities and sponsoring socially worthwhile projects. This has been a key element of building the brand’s presence in the US.

So Tesco invited two trusted British suppliers to join them: Wild Rocket supplying fresh fruit and vegetables, and Two Sisters providing meat to a state-of-the-art ‘campus’ in Riverside, California, which housed a distribution centre and the Fresh & Easy kitchen. The company also developed innovative partnerships with local US suppliers, for example, coffee supplier Cafe Calabria, which is based in San Diego.

Fresh & Easy was an immediate hit with its customers. But no one foresaw the hit that was about to be taken by the US economy. Some of the consumer markets Tesco had targeted would be those worst affected by the recession. There were whole areas where new Fresh & Easy stores might have been opened that were economically devastated, and this has clearly held back the expansion of the chain.

When the first stores opened in parts of California, Arizona and Nevada, they offered the kind of chilled prepared meals and other ‘food-on-the-go’ products that are common in British supermarkets but rare in the US. Fresh & Easy also introduced a range of innovations within the store, including assisted service checkouts and ‘the kitchen table’, where consumers can sample products. A further distinctive feature of Fresh & Easy, from the start, was its emphasis on digital and viral marketing. In 2007, it was novel to invite bloggers to store launches. The

Beating the recession Fresh & Easy reacted to the recession by increasing special offers and promotions, and slowing down the rate of new store openings. Some commentators took this as a sign of defeat, but Simon Uwins says it was simply time for the new business to slow down and take stock: “We were planning to open a number of stores, have a gap, reflect, see if there’s anything that we needed to change and then push the accelerator button. But because of the recession, we thought it was

only prudent not to do that, and just keep the openings running at the same level as we had been.” So has Fresh & Easy been a success even in the face of the recession? Professor Lowe believes that the venture has been very successful in terms of judging the market for a new brand, in terms of researching the market and in terms of engaging with consumers. But while the stores are clearly creating value for customers and growth is solid in difficult economic circumstances, as a whole the chain has yet to turn a profit. Nevertheless, Professor Lowe thinks that the Fresh & Easy concept is so innovative that Tesco might be a little way ahead of the curve: “The question is: will the curve catch up with you at exactly the right moment, and that’s not being helped by the recession. But that’s the ideal notion of innovation: just ahead of your customers catching up with you.” Overall, the AIM study suggests several lessons. First, it emphasises the importance of understanding innovation not only in high-tech manufacturing but also the ‘hidden innovation’ in retail and other services. Second, it reveals that the flow of retail innovation has perhaps shifted from its historic pattern of the US to Britain. Third, it shows that British retailers looking to expand westwards are not always destined for failure. And finally, in providing the opportunity to learn from one of Britain’s most successful multinational companies, the research demonstrates the value of studying and celebrating British business achievements. Reproduced from Britain in 2012 with permission of the Economic and Social Research Council.


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Learning how to successfully lead change Most change management programmes don’t work. But companies and organisations must adapt to meet today’s challenges. And so do you! A new postgraduate programme at the University of Southampton Management School will help you build on your existing skills and knowledge in leading and enabling change. Your colleagues on the programme are likely to come from very varied backgrounds including organisational leaders, change managers, organisational development practitioners, practising and aspiring consultants. Our academic specialists in leadership, organisational behaviour, human resource management and strengths-based approaches to change have a wealth of experience in working across the public and private sectors and personally carry out high level research on effective change management. Southampton’s MSc in Organisational Development and Facilitation brings together the latest theory and practice in a comprehensive three year part-time degree programme. (It can also be studied full-time over one year). You will learn how to assess and diagnose issues within your organisation or those you work with, develop evidence-based arguments and communicate them effectively. You will also develop essential coaching and facilitation skills. For your dissertation, you will

examine a topic in depth related to change in an organisation or context of your choice. Optional modules will enable you to strengthen your skills in other areas such as strategy, entrepreneurship and finance. Your learning experience will include small group work, case study analyses, lectures and projects that have immediate relevance to your work. Our intention is to create a vibrant and effective learning community. The Southampton Management School has an international reputation for the analytical study of the world of business. We have high academic standards and an impressive success rate in educating tomorrow’s leaders. Come and join our 500 postgraduate students who have chosen Southampton as the place to continue their studies. For further information please contact Stefan Cantore, MSc Organisational Development and Facilitation programme director. E-mail: tel: +44(0) 23 8059 3073

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Simulating healthcare systems leads to innovation Techniques developed through the disciplines of Management Science and Operational Research are now being used in healthcare systems in the UK and overseas.


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Over the past 15 years, Professor Sally Brailsford has been involved in numerous simulation modelling projects in healthcare, along with her colleagues including Dr Jonathan Klein, Professor Con Connell, Dr Honora Smith and Dr Navid Izady and many post-doctoral researchers and PhD students. Our work directly benefits the health of different populations, both in the UK and overseas, at local or national level, by improving the design of healthcare delivery services and using scarce resources more efficiently and effectively. By simulating proposed new services or systems, while at the same time working closely with the relevant healthcare organisation and clinicians involved to ensure stakeholder engagement, better decisions can be made which directly impact patients’ quality of life and reduce unnecessary expenditure.


How can simulation aid healthcare professionals?

Simulation is a way of representing a real-life system such as a hospital department, an urgent care centre, or a cancer screening service, in a computer model. In essence, such models are not unlike a computer game (often including graphics, although not of Xbox quality!) in which managers, policymakers and clinicians can ‘play’ with the system and try out different strategies and ideas which might take weeks, months or years to test in the real world. Better still, no harm is done when the simulated patients die! Our projects all involve developing bespoke simulation models and all require some kind of methodological or technical innovation in order to be applicable for a range of different healthcare problems. For example, I have developed an approach for incorporating human behaviour in simulation models, by

adapting theories from health psychology. These ideas were used in a model for evaluating the effect of mammography screening programmes.


Southampton is a centre of excellence for healthcare modelling?

I have twice won the Operational Research Society’s Goodeve Medal, awarded annually for the best paper published in its journal. In 2004, this was for a simulation model of the entire Nottingham healthcare system, which enabled planners to test out various proposed reconfigurations, and in 2006 for simulation modelling of chlamydia infection, in collaboration with St Mary’s Hospital, Portsmouth. More work is currently underway with the Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust.


How broad are the applications for simulation?

We have used simulation techniques in a project to support patients with mental health problems. The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funded the PAM project (Personalised Ambient Monitoring) for bipolar disorder (2007-10). With the Universities of Nottingham, Stirling and Warwick, we modelled a telecare system for monitoring patients’ activity patterns, in order to detect the early signs of onset of a severe episode of depression or mania. The EPSRC also funded RIGHT (Research Into Global Healthcare Tools, 2007-09), a multi-institution project whose aim was to understand why simulation and modelling approaches, which are standard in other sectors such as manufacturing or defence, had not, to date, been routinely applied within healthcare. RIGHT involved close engagement with NHS stakeholders in order to analyse the issues which make healthcare different from other sectors. }

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in October 2007 to gain overseas experience. For a dental practitioner of 15 years standing, with limited academic experience outside One of our postgraduate research students dentistry, it was of course a great challenge brought us an interesting problem. In Sri to undertake a PhD in simulation modelling, Lanka, state employment is, in theory, but Dileep is a remarkable person. Together, guaranteed to all Sri Lankan-trained doctors we developed a simulation model of the and dental surgeons. However, from the early supply and demand for dental healthcare 1990s onwards, the island’s Government in Sri Lanka in order to study various policy has funded too many university places in options over the years 2010-25. The model dentistry and as a result has been unable simulated the flows of dentists through to employ all its newly-qualified dentists. the very complex recruitment and career At the start of 2010, there were more than progression phases through to retirement. 250 dental surgeons awaiting Government This was augmented by a demand model, employment, nearly 25 per cent of the total which combined empirical data (collected number available. Many either left to work by Dileep) on the time required to carry out overseas, or set up in private practice. This various dental procedures and secondary under unemployment among dental surgeons clinical and demographic data used to project was increasing, due to a lack of coordination the future incidence of different dental between the trainer (the Ministry of Higher conditions. Together, the supply-demand Education) and the main employer (the model enabled policy-makers, civil servants Ministry of Health). At the same time the and politicians to investigate different University Grant Commission, which decides scenarios and test out various policies for the number of undergraduates was under staffing, training and recruitment. continuous political pressure to increase the As a practising dentist himself, Dileep intake of dental students. was able to gain the respect of his fellow One of your students was involved professionals and gather reliable data which in this work? made the model acceptable to the dental As one of the ‘underemployed’ dentists fraternity. In addition, his position as a himself, Dileep De Silva travelled to the UK Can simulation be used to tackle issues in different healthcare systems?



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civil servant in the Ministry of Health gave him access to senior policy-makers within Government. He was thus able to present the model to Ministers and run various scenarios which demonstrated the effect of different policies.


What were the outcomes of Dileep’s work?

After examining the model findings, the Sri Lankan Ministry of Higher Education decided to keep the intake of dentistry students fixed at its current level for another ten years. Moreover, the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health was convinced, based on Dileep’s results, of the long term adverse consequences of having unemployed dental surgeons and created 400 additional Government-funded vacancies over the three years 2011-14. The Sri Lankan Government now has a tool to aid decision-making. Sri Lankan dental surgeons now have better career prospects due to a better future balance between supply and demand. Taxpayers money is better spent and, ultimately, the whole Sri Lankan population will benefit from improved dental health, as more dentists are able to obtain Government employment and can hence provide state-funded healthcare free of charge to the patient.

Examining the future of UK high streets Researchers at the University of Southampton have been awarded £300,000 to evaluate alternative visions of the future of UK high streets over the next 25 years. Professor Neil Wrigley from Geography and Environment is leading the project; the Management School’s Professor Michelle Lowe is coinvestigator. “We will look at how retail and services provision might evolve over the next quarter century, and, in-turn, to what extent and how our town centres and high streets are likely to adapt and change to survive,” says Neil. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, with support from the UK’s largest

retailer Tesco, the project aims to provide a forward-looking and agenda-setting evaluation building-on, and out from, the government-commissioned ‘Portas Review’ into high streets. The Southampton study will have an emphasis on what emerging evidence-based research is suggesting about high streets’ longer-term development. Researchers will draw together expert panels of opinion leaders from the retail and property industries, local and national government, and academia. They will also conduct in-depth interviews with key stakeholders; explore case studies of specific high streets; and examine successful small to medium sized businesses which can act as ‘local heroes’ for retail in their towns.

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Putting the logic into logistics Where should major logistics companies site their warehouses? Beside major ports or in regional or national distribution centres? Business analysts from the University of Southampton have been called on to examine the arguments. Import Services’ new 20,000 pallet distribution centre opened in late 2011, right next to Southampton’s major container port. The company claims the new facility will cut costs and improve supply chain efficiency, largely because of its port-centric location. Yet suppliers have been slow to get the message. Import Services asked specialists from the Management School to research the business case for port-centric distribution and produce an independent report. Senior Lecturer in Innovation, Dr Lorraine Warren, says: “Retailers know the benefits of portcentric distribution compared to traditional regional or national distribution centres. It saves time and money right along the supply chain. However suppliers are lagging behind in recognising this, our work may encourage them to think again.” Dwij Ramloul, postgraduate student in Business Analytics and Management Sciences has examined the issues as part of his master’s degree. Working with both Import Services and its marketing and communications company Defero UK, he surveyed suppliers and retailers to discover their views about distribution systems.


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w e n r Ou

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Making change work – lessons from the successful By Professor Malcolm Higgs and Dr Nicholas Clarke

Can we learn lessons on effective change management from other people’s experiences? Have companies and organisations that have tackled change effectively taken similar approaches to the issues? We all know about change management programmes in the private and public sectors that have ended in disaster. But what about the initiatives that have worked well? The Management School’s specialists in Human Resources and Organisational Behaviour were called in by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) to analyse the process of culture change at six organisations. Our report Developing organisation culture Six case studies is now available from the CIPD. We co-opted Dr Edgar Meyer to help us investigate the dynamics of culture change at Arts Council England, London Borough of Barnet Housing Department, VISA Europe, BNP Paribas, the Southampton Children’s Trust and the National Police Improvement

Agency. The CIPD told us they felt that the six in-depth case study stories provided rich food for thought for HR professionals and organisational leaders undergoing culture change. Simplifying a housing department Our work with the London Borough of Barnet revealed how a housing department successfully re-organised itself to both save money and provide a better service to its customers. The council launched a major project Future Shape in 2008, an initiative which coincided with the arrival of Pam Wharfe as the new Assistant Director of

Housing and Environmental Health. She spent her first three months talking to staff and holding open meetings to find out more about the realities of the service and discovered there was widespread agreement that it was time to change. Barnet’s housing system was complicated. Customers visiting for the first time found themselves seeing (among others) a housing adviser, a homeless persons officer, a registrations officer, an allocations officer, then perhaps a temporary accommodation officer and maybe an income officer. All the documents produced were overseen and } OnCourse | Southampton Management School


checked by a manager. Following and mapping the customer’s journey through the system, taking photographs at each stage, highlighted the wasted time and resources.

event to hear first-hand about the development, along with major stakeholders such as partner agencies from the voluntary sector.

Pam and her team adopted a lean project to eliminate waste and improve the quality for customers, directly involving front-line staff to identify what was wrong and how they could be put right. Twelve volunteers drawn from across the department formed a lean team to drive improvement. They started three months of experimenting with a more holistic and generic approach to assess needs – then held a two-day Decision Accelerator event with more than 100 people to discuss their findings. It was agreed that one person should be responsible in future for taking the customer through the service from beginning to end.

Analysing the change, we found much to praise. Offering staff the opportunity to help shape their service was largely welcomed. Supporting them to work together played an important part in helping change happen. Levels of job satisfaction increased although some staff were anxious about change and there was concern about taking on new responsibilities on areas such as homelessness legislation that had previously been handled by specialists within the department. Leaders and managers now adopt a far more ‘participative and empowering’ style than the old ‘command and control’ system and decisions are now frequently made collectively. There were no redundancies in the restructuring in contrast to previous costsaving exercises although money was saved in devising better ways of running the service.

Customers visiting for the first time found themselves seeing a housing adviser, a homeless persons officer, a registrations officer, an allocations officer, a temporary accommodation officer and maybe an income officer.

Improvements would also be made to the housing allocation system. Pam told us about one young man called John, left disabled after an accident, who couldn’t live at home because his needs were too great. He had been placed in a nursing home for elderly people because there was no alternative at the time. Not surprisingly, his quality of life suffered and he was even put to bed at five o’clock in the evening. Redesigning the housing service was a big job but managers involved staff at every stage. Teams were reconfigured and members received training to give them knowledge of every aspect of the work. The council appointed one of the first volunteers as ‘lean co-ordinator’ and worked closely with external consultants to ensure the transfer of knowledge and skills would be successful. Effective communication and leadership was key throughout the process. Political support for the initiative was also important. The lead councillor for housing attended the Decision Accelerator


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Analysing what worked well

What happened to John? His case was one of the first to be examined carefully and better housing was found for him. In fact, he also joined one of Barnet’s groups of service-users to give his opinions on future improvements. Summarising our research, we believe companies and organisations embarking on culture change should think seriously about the process – long before it starts. Managers should plan carefully, communicate their proposals in good time, involve all staff and promote buy-in from them. Effective leadership is, of course, vital. Organisations should also develop the necessary infrastructure to enable change to take place along with capabilities for the new ways of working. The CIPD report includes a comprehensive check list for HR professionals and others interested in the successful management of change.

The shape, sound and texture of things to come The Management School teamed up with the University of Southampton’s Digital Economy Strategic Research Group to showcase a host of innovative projects using the latest technologies. More than140 academics, students and outside guests demonstrated their research in South x South Coast and heard talks from a range of high profile speakers including Alan Patrick from the market intelligence company Broadsight who talked about cycles of technology hype and bubbles, using several prediction models. He was impressed. Alan wrote in his blog: “…the most interesting thing was watching all the embryo technologies on display and listening to the other talks, as - as is the wont of Universities - they tend to be doing the really new, ‘isn’t this interesting - hmmm, what if I do that next’ sort of groundbreaking stuff, which allows you to take a view of where things may go.” One of the organisers, Dr Lorraine Warren, who heads the Management School’s Centre for Strategic Innovation (CSI), says “We made some great connections as there was high level of interest around creative and interactive design particularly from a value creation point of view. We’re now looking forward to planning future developments.” Alan concludes “All in all a very interesting day… I can see 3 megatrends here:

2. 3D imaging and manipulation, even from a few 2D photos, will become much simpler, so when economical 3D printing arrives there will be no shortage, or huge cost, of the up-front preparation phase. 3. And it won’t just be 3D printing. Making the virtual real - sound, shape, even texture - will be a major part of the coming 3D world.” CSI is a multidisciplinary research group, which believes innovation can be a driver for new businesses and markets, new ways of organising and new ways of creating value. Its members are interested in digital media, digital economy, social media, supply chain, retail, neuro management, pharma, business models, value creation, logistics, international development and HRM. The Centre encourages and carries out high quality research between innovation and strategy in organisations and society and aims to develop a stimulating, creative and collaborative environment for its members and other like-minded researchers elsewhere in the University and beyond. For information on future events and seminars visit

1. The use of distributed resources - and the distribution of used resources - on the Web/Net will continue apace, and all the discontinuities that implies. OnCourse | Southampton Management School


Honing his business skills in Kenya A University of Southampton MBA graduate is putting the skills he learned in the classroom to good use – by helping a project to build a school in western Kenya.


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William Ellis and a group of his friends, who are all based in Zurich, are working with the charity CBSM, which runs a school for orphans and vulnerable children in the small provincial town of Kimilili. They have ambitious plans for permanent school buildings with improved sanitation and have already helped to recruit teachers, build desks and stock the school with new books. Thanks to their efforts, the 300 children all now get one good meal a day and an education. “When my friends first got involved, there was much work to do. The children were taught out in the open, under the burning sun and resources were few,” explains William. “I went out with them myself at the end of December and immediately found myself launched into their construction project. I found the knowledge I had gained through

my MBA was very useful, especially change management, accounting and marketing. Managing stakeholder relations particularly between the local management and the charity head office was fascinating. We hope the new school will be both successful and sustainable.” William signed up for the Southampton MBA while working in Guernsey: “I had been working in investment management and wished to develop a holistic view of business; I was delighted to discover it was possible to study with a respected UK university in the Channel Islands. I learned a great deal about all aspects of management and look forward to using them in my career as well as in Kenya.” As part of his degree, he took part in a summer school for MBA students from around the world at Aarhus in Denmark.

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The transport sector is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases (GHGs), especially carbon dioxide (CO2). The US transportation system, the world’s largest, emitted more than 1,882 million metric tons of CO2 in 2009 (Conti et al., 2010)


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In our busy world, how can better planning improve transport? by Dr Tolga Bektas

Transportation forms the backbone of world trade. Every day, hundreds of trains, buses, trucks, ships and aeroplanes carry an ever-growing number of passengers and freight. Different types of transport often share infrastructure; lorries, vans and cars all use the same roads, ships sail into ports then trucks and trains take the unloaded goods further, trains deposit freight at rail terminals in similar ways. Running the systems needed to make sure that services are run as smoothly and efficiently as possible, particularly under constraints imposed by limited resources or unexpected disruptions, is always a tremendous challenge. The complexity of planning transportation operations increases even further when various targets on achieving service levels, profit or cost are imposed.

2010), freight accounts for 22 per cent of the total and cars , lorries and other vehicles represent 92 per cent (McKinnon, 2007). As the environmental impacts of freight increase, in particular on the roads, reducing emissions becomes increasingly important. Making systems work better

How can we cope with complexities surrounding and challenges introduced by efficient planning of transport? This is Looking wider, planners should consider where we can help. Management Science issues such as the use of land for roads, (MS), also known as Operational Research railways and other infrastructure, the (OR), is a discipline which strives to achieve depletion of natural resources, such as fuel, ‘better’ in every system or organisation. and of course, climate change and global One of the main goals of researchers in this warming. The last of these is the most serious. field is to come up with alternative system The transport sector is one of the largest configurations or designs which improve on emitters of greenhouse gases (GHGs), one or more performance measures under especially carbon dioxide (CO2). The US limitations caused by scarcity of resources or transportation system, the world’s largest, constraints imposed by regulations, policies, emitted more than 1,882 million metric tons etc. The techniques are typically based on of CO2 in 2009 (Conti et al., 2010). Transport mathematical modelling, optimisation is the third largest source of GHGs in the UK, and simulation and are flexible enough to emitting more than 150 mmtCO2 (25 per cent accommodate a variety of objectives and a of the total CO2 emissions) in 2009 (DECC, wide range of constraints.

Operational level planning is usually concerned with short term decisions involving short time scales. An example of decisions at this level is the classical Vehicle Routing Problem, which concerns scheduling a fleet of lorries from one or more depots to serve a number of customers. The primary objective is to minimise the total distance or total cost (of travel) for all vehicles in the fleet. To complicate matters, many companies have pre-arranged time slots to visit customers, which must be taken into account. Tactical planning is a set of decisions on activities at a system-wide level with short to medium-term impact. On the other hand, long-term decisions for freight transportation are made at strategic levels of planning and involve issues such as the location of facilities, plants or consolidation hubs. The planning horizon for these decisions range from five to ten years and usually involve building a freight network from scratch or investing to expand an already existing network. }

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The size of the problems arising from real-life applications is often huge, which means it can be very difficult to find the optimal solution.

The complexity of the planning decisions described above usually increases as one moves from operational to strategic level of planning. The size of the problems arising from real-life applications is often huge, which means it can be very difficult to find the optimal solution. One other reason behind this difficulty is the length of time required to solve the associated mathematical models through off-the-shelf optimisation solvers. A way to overcome this difficulty is to resort to heuristic techniques -relatively easy to implement methods for solving problems in short amounts of time. The MS/OR literature is abundant with heuristic methods for solving transportation planning problems. One very good guide, for instance, is provided by Cordeau et al. (2002) who summarise and compare several of the most important heuristics for the Vehicle Routing Problem. In practice, transport planning still heavily relies on the experience and expertise of planners. How can we better use the techniques of Management Science and Operational Research to support the professionals and improve current practice? Here are a few examples: Examining complex issues – A study conducted at the Southampton Management School in 2009 focused on tactical planning of freight rail operations on a network operating over Austria, the Czech Republic, and Poland. We looked at how to devise schedules for 22 train services to carry 40 commodities with different origins and destinations in a


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way to minimise the total time spent in delivering freight as well as the CO2 emitted by running the services. Not surprisingly, it was difficult to achieve both aims with one system (Bauer et al., 2010) but it was still possible to find a good solution balancing emissions and timely deliveries. – An ongoing project at the Southampton Management School is looking at operational planning of lorry routes to minimise fuel costs as well as driver times through the use of mathematical models and heuristic algorithms (Bektas and Laporte, 2011). Through the application of these new tools, reductions of up to ten per cent in fuel consumption are possible through controlling vehicles’ speed and loading. – One other major project is underway at the University of Southampton with colleagues in Civil Engineering and Mathematics with funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Overcoming Capacity Constraints – A Simulation Integrated with Optimisation for Nodes (OCCASION) is examining nodes in the UK rail network, such as junctions and stations, to develop dynamic models to improve the scheduling of trains through a congested network and develop a tactical level planning model. We will determine how operational changes will improve the existing capacity of the system through combining simulation and optimisation tools.

References Bauer, J., Bektas, T., Crainic, T.G., 2010. Minimizing greenhouse gas emissions in intermodal freight transport: an application to rail service design. Journal of the Operational Research Society 61, 530–542. Bektas, T. and Laporte, G. 2011. The pollutionrouting problem. Transportation Research Part B: Methodological 45: 1232–1250. Conti, J., Chase, N., Maples, J., 2010. US Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Transportation Sector, in: Sperling, D., Cannon, J.S. (Eds.), Climate and Transportation Solutions: Findings from the 2009 Asilomar Conference on Transportation and Energy Policy. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, pp. 24–32. Cordeau, J.-F., Gendreau, M., Laporte, G., Potvin, J.-Y. and Semet, F. 2002. A guide to vehicle routing heuristics. Journal of the Operational Research Society 53, 512–522. DECC, 2010. 2009 Greenhouse gas emissions, final figures by end-user. Available at: statistics/climate_change/data/data.aspx McKinnon, A., 2007. CO2 Emissions from Freight Transport in the UK. Report prepared for the Climate Change Working Group of the Commission for Integrated Transport Available at: http://cfit.independent. pdf/2007climatechange-freight.pdf

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Oncourse - Issue 18  

Magazine from Southampton Management School