Professor Andi Smart

Professor of Operations & Process Management

Research area

Andi's research is focused on exploring new knowledge in the design and improvement of operational systems. This involves building upon Systems Theory as foundations for thinking; conceptualising operational systems from an activity systems perspective (looking at core business processes and their interactions), and predominantly conducting inquiry into service contexts.

What is the name of your current research project, and what does it focus on?

Recent projects have looked at Business Model Innovation. An ESRC seminar series grant provided insights into thought leadership in this area.

What other institutions/partners are involved in the project?

The perspectives of leading practitioners and academics culminated in the publication of a White Paper - "The Imperative of Business Model Innovation" which was co-authored with colleagues at the University of Cambridge.

What impact do you hope the research will have?

This paper has received over 650 downloads since release this year. Business model research has also been conducted into the 'mobile payments' arena. This research highlighted different business model archetypes based on the analysis of 50 case companies. The work also positioned these archetypes against the dominant card-based payment model and assessed potential disruption. The business model theme is also central to a new project looking at the experiences of visitors to cultural heritage sites. This project, currently at the proposal stage, draws on advanced text analytics and geo-spacial mapping to gain visitor intelligence, seeks to segment visitor groups based on 'experience requirements', and embraces Augmented Reality technologies to innovate interpretations of cultural heritage assets.

What are the potential challenges involved in your research?

A constant tension for leaders of professional service firms is between strengthening existing areas of expertise and developing new areas of expertise. Such choices are fraught with difficulty because they depend on the unpredictable responses of clients in uncertain markets of the future.