Liverpool Business School

Research impact

Pioneering research that has real societal and economic impact.

We always strive to deliver multi-disciplinary, high-impact research. Our research strategy also has a strong focus on working with external partners. Read on to discover our most recent research and the impact it has on our every day lives.

Improving patient outcomes through better project management of clinical trials

The problem

The global pharmaceutical R&D spend is $125-$160 billion annually and of that at least $20 billion is wasted annually due to management failures associated with clinical trials.

The solution

The research has contributed to new approaches in clinical trials project management and led to a shift in clinical trials culture. By changing attitudes and creating a more efficient way manage the clinical trials process, our research helps to make the best use of time and budget.

For example, on one project detailed in the case study a cost saving of 80,000 GBP was reported during the clinical trial phase, with a time saving of 10 days, which by conservative estimates equates to a saving of at least 6m GBP on the overall cost of the drug development process.

How this impact daily lives

Drugs get to market faster and it allows them to be more competitively priced; a direct beneficial impact on patients. A reduction in delays to clinical trial schedules and eliminating wasteful activities, there is a direct beneficial impact on patients; through faster time to market of drugs, which can then also if the associated development costs are reduced.

“The research with LJMU has encouraged smarter outsourcing but with a results-based focus, and if outsourcing is to be credible it has to be able to deliver results.  What Professor Bryde and his team have provided is, is more than a framework, it has provided people with something to go into their management and say, look, there’s a better way of doing this.” Richard Schaife, Chair of the Project Management Special Interest Group of the Pharmaceutical Contract Management Group (PCMG), UK.

Research leads:

David Bryde, Professor of Project Management
Christine Unterhitzenberger, Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Project Management

This research has been submitted to the Research Excellence Framework 2021

Creating operational benefits and service improvements in an NHS Trust through leadership development

The problem

To improve organisation efficiencies to enhance the experience of service users and patient care within an NHS Trust.

The solution

We developed a Senior Leaders Development Programme (SLDP) with 75 members of staff to improve individual professional practice and effective team working within the Trust.

How this impacts our daily lives

A number of notable improvements to the experience of service users and patient care across the Trust have been reported, such as:

  • improvements to waiting times for ophthalmology appointments - 92% of patients are now seen within 10 weeks, previously 69%
  • a reduction in waiting times for blood test results for patients in the Emergency and Urgent Care department - from 120 minutes to 60 minutes
  • the establishment of a new community-based heart failure service and tuberculosis (TB) testing clinic for migrants between 16-35 years old who have recently arrived in Liverpool.

“Our staff have found both the Senior Leaders and Operational Leaders programmes extremely useful, leading to the increase in confidence and skills of people within leadership roles who participated in the programme. We have seen some notable improvements in key areas of team performance and NHS Trust service delivery.” Debbie Herring, Chief People Officer, Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Research leads:

Aileen Lawless, Reader of HRD
Johan Coetsee, Programme Leader
Jim Stewart, Professor of HRD
Hannah Wilson, Senior Lecturer: Business Research Methods

This research has been submitted to the Research Excellence Framework 2021

Customer performance measurement in Facilities Management (FM): Influencing professional standards and international growth

The problem

Facilities Management (FM) involves the provision of services that support a high-functioning workplace to fulfil an organisation’s core business objectives. Traditionally however, FM has been perceived as a technical, building-focused discipline, responsible solely for the upkeep of a building (e.g. plumbing, heating and cooling, elevators) often neglecting the key tasks performed by people such as custodial services, cleaning, reception services, lease accounting, catering, security, grounds keeping.

Consequently, the strategic value of the role of FM professionals in improving an organisations performance and productivity has been neglected.

The solution

By focussing on the development of performance and customer satisfaction, Dr Tucker’s research has led to the development of a novel Customer Performance Measurement System (CPMS) which has contributed to the development of professional competencies and standards across the the profession.

How this impacts our daily lives

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is the professional body which represents 134,000 global members – reviewed its competency framework and developed a new pathway for Corporate Real Estate.

The Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM) used the research to inform a strategic business focus to FM across their 17,000 members, expand its suite of qualifications, including a set of (Masters) qualifications, written by Tucker,that had previously not been offered by the industry. Overall, IWFM increase the number of learners across the profession by 6% enabling the IWFM to deliver on their strategic objectives of truly enhancing the growth and standards of the FM profession.

Facilitated a global alliance between RICS and International Facility Management Association (IFMA), the largest FM professional body in the United States (23,000 members).

“Dr Tucker’s crucial research in customer performance measurement was a key influencer that informed [IWFM’s] key decisions to expand its suite of Masters qualifications. Most significantly, since the introduction of the qualifications, IWFM increased its learners by 6%. Through Dr Tucker’s outstanding research, it has enabled IWFM to deliver on their strategic objectives of truly enhancing the growth and standards of the facilities management profession.” Linda Housmanis, Chief Executive Offer, Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM)

Research lead:

Dr Matt Tucker, Reader in Workplace and Facilities Management

Roma Education Aspiration Project (REAP): improving educational opportunities for the Roma community of Liverpool

The problem

In 2012, a Ministerial Working Group published 28 commitments to improving the lives of Gypsy and Traveller (Roma) communities. A review was undertaken to consider the evidence on how well policymakers and service-providers were taking into account the needs of the communities. Roma people have historically been persecuted across Europe and in the sixteenth century a law was passed in England that allowed the state to imprison, execute or banish anyone that was perceived to be a Gypsy. Roma have the worst outcomes of any ethnic group including education and employment (House of Commons, 2019).

The solution

Roma Education Aspiration Project (REAP) was set up in 2016 in collaboration with local community partner Granby Toxteth Development Trust (GTDT). The collaboration approach seeks dialogue with Roma community and its’ decision makers to aid a shift in focus to Roma young people laying foundations for a self-confident Roma community with an awareness of the value of education.

How this impacts our daily lives

The REAP project directly led to increased school attendance, improved employment opportunities (increase in number of Roma employed in better quality jobs) and a change in teacher and employer attitudes towards Roma people in the workforce.

Meet Alexandra, who attended a REAP event and is now studying Human Resource Management at LJMU.

Research leads:

Dr Patricia Jollife, Senior Lecturer
Helen Collins, Senior Lecturer

Transport logistics systems: resilience and sustainability

The problem

Since the start of the current century, the world has experienced uncertainties as a result of climate change, security threats and a revolution in new technologies in the digital industrial era. For instance, the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season caused over $200 billion in damages from 17 storms Cargo thefts have doubled in the EU in 2014-2016, presenting a multi-billion-euro problem for the European transport sector. These uncertainties have a huge impact on the transportation system which drives this research on resilient and sustainable transport logistics systems

The solution

A holistic decision support framework has been developed, to improve safety and green performance of logistics and transport companies in the UK and internationally. It has also had a significant and direct impact on both regulatory and public policy targeting transport logistics resilience and sustainability.

How this impacts our daily lives

Specifically:

  • Advised Dublin Ferryport that an investment in automation will save more than 6 million Euros and eliminate all human related safety incidents in comparison to using manually-driven equipment. Following our research, in 2017 the terminal management decided to invest in automation technologies with Kalmar (cargo handling solutions provider), making it the most modern terminal in the region.
  • Influenced UN policy making on port adaptations to climate change and enabled the global premier infrastructure firm AECOM to provide effective climate adaptation consultation to its clients and generate circa. £100K additional revenue.
  • Reduced logistics and transportation operational incidents, such as  ship collisions, by an estimated 10% of incident-caused cost for COSCO Shipping (the third largest shipping line in the world).

Research leads:

Zhuohua Qu, Senior Lecturer
Zaili Yang Role, Professor

This research has been submitted to the Research Excellence Framework 2021