Irene Ng

Professor Irene Ng

Professor Irene Ng to lead research in services in the UK

Professor Irene Ng, Associate Professor in Marketing and Head of Postgraduate Studies, is awarded a prestigious fellowship from the Advanced Institute of Management Research. Announced in the Financial Times on 31 March, the award is for Professor Ng's pioneering work in services research.

Professor Ng, who was also appointed the Lead Service Fellow, will take a leadership role for the Services Fellows Cohort, coordinating activities and joining the Directorate of AIM to ensure that AIM's entire range of activities is appropriately integrated. 

AIM is a UK leader in the field of management research, bringing academics together with business, public sector and policy thinkers in order to develop and deliver research of a world class standard which has an immediate and significant impact on management practice. These fellowships are part of a new initiative funded by the UK's Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The AIM fellowship is a highly prestigious award in the UK where, in order to support and encourage cutting edge innovation in management research, AIM has taken an unusual step of backing people rather than projects with its Fellowship scheme. All individuals appointed to AIM Fellowships are recognised leaders in their own fields. AIM supports the Fellows to generate knowledge suitable for academic audiences in scholarly settings while engaging with practitioners and policy makers throughout their research.

Services are becoming increasingly important to the UK economy, with over 60% of the employed population working in them. In fact, statistics show that 65% of the industrialised world economies are based on services in 1995. This number has since grown to 80% and 70% in 2003, for the US and European economies respectively. The importance of the service economy has resulted in the UK government's funding for more research, and leading to the appointment of the AIM Fellowships on Services.

Aside from Professor Ng, five other academics from the University of Nottingham, University of Lancaster, University of York, University of Bradford and University of Oxford have also been appointed AIM Fellows on Services. The new Fellows will be exploring topics such as innovation in services, the creation and pricing of new service business models, entrepreneurial behaviour in services, and gender and diversity in the sector.

Professor Ng is an Associate Professor of Marketing in the School of Business and Economics at the University of Exeter, focuses her research on the pricing and revenue management of services, value-based service innovation, service capacity and B2B service contracts.

Professor Ng, the founder and director of the Centre for Service Research, as well as the Head of Postgraduate Studies of the School of Business & Economics, University of Exeter, is also the author of book The Pricing and Revenue Management of Services (Routledge, 2007).

Prior to joining academia, Professor Ng was a business practitioner for 12 years as the CEO of SA Tours, the largest tour operator in Southeast Asia based in Malaysia, Singapore and China and the founder and CEO of Empress Cruise Lines, a cruise company turning over USD250 million per annum.

More recently, Professor Ng, together with nine other UK institutions in a consortium led by Professor Duncan McFarlane of the University of Cambridge has been awarded a £2 million grant for research on Service Support Engineering Solutions by the EPSRC and BAE Systems. This ground-breaking grant, which also includes Roll-Royce and MBDA as its industrial partners, will investigate service transformation of aerospace engineering companies.

Professor Ng is also an advisor for several companies in Asia and Europe. She consults for several firms in Singapore, Malaysia, South Africa, Italy and UK, specialising in value-based service innovation, capacity, pricing and revenue management.

Date: 4 April 2008

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