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A recent research project headed by Dr Joe Sanderson, Head of Procurement and Operations Management Department, has been published by the Association of Business Schools (ABS) in a case study collection designed to highlight the impact of business school research.

The ABS publication, The Impact of Business School Research: Economic and Social Benefits, presents a series of 11 case studies that exemplify instances of business schools from around the country undertaking research that extends beyond academia and provides solutions that are implemented by businesses, government or society in general.

Dr Sanderson's project, entitled 'Competitive Success through Supply Chain Performance Improvement’, investigated the four main collaborating companies in UK naval shipbuilding, focusing on how the power structures underpinning particular buyer-supplier relationships affected the supplier’s willingness to collaborate, and the effects of any such collaboration on the performance of the supplier.

The research findings led to Dr Sanderson visiting one of the companies involved (BAE Systems) and giving advice on improvements to the procurement and supply management process of the Astute submarine programme - a Ministry of Defence contract being handled by BAE Systems. The outcome was the introduction of longer-term contracts called Performance Partnering Arrangements (PPA) and a more collaborative and mutually benefical buyer-supplier relationship, and proved to be an excellent example of how research from Birmingham Business School is having an impact on the wider world.

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