Dr. Xishu Li

Dr. Xishu Li

Department of Management
Associate Professor in Business Analytics

Contact details

Birmingham Business School
University House
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Xishu is an Associate Professor in Business Analytics at the Department of Management, Business School, University of Birmingham.

She completed her Ph.D. in 2019 in Operations Management, at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. Her dissertation was on dynamic decision making under supply chain competition.

Xishu specialises in operations management, supply chain management, real-time optimization, pattern recognition, and software development. Her research topics include capacity investment, transportation planning, supply disruption risk forecasting, new product development, technology adoption, and contracting in new forms of economy. Some examples of the research questions are: how (when) should firms invest in their production capacity for a new product under competition and uncertain consumer tastes? How to measure demand risk and consumer taste uncertainty? How should firms sign contracts with gig workers to ensure a sustainable and robust labor supply? How to assess supply disruption risk with limited data?

In all of her research, she works closely with firms, especially those in the aviation, retail, and pharmaceutical industries. Some examples of the firms which she works with are Fokker, Air France-KLM, Philips, and Amazon Web Service. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for innovation, she thrives in solving practical problems and providing impactful solutions. Xishu’s focus extends beyond theoretical exploration as she actively engages in the implementation process, ensuring the seamless integration of her solutions.


  • PhD in Operations Management, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, the Netherlands, 2019
  • MPhil in Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Erasmus Research Institute of Management, Erasmus University, the Netherlands, 2013
  • BSc (summa cum laude) in Computer Science, University of Texas at Austin, 2011 
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, 2023


Postgraduate supervision

Actively seeking Ph.D. candidates with an interest in exploring operations challenges, particularly those related to contracting within the gig and sharing economy, as well as topics in operations management and supply chain management. Xishu has served as the primary supervisor for Ph.D. students since 2018, demonstrating proficiency in guiding individuals with diverse backgrounds, encompassing both quantitative and qualitative orientations.


Xishu researches capacity management, covering areas like strategic capacity investment, transportation planning, supply and demand disruption risk forecasting, and new product development. She uses methods such as (partially observable) Markov Chain, dynamic games and economic modelling, complemented by behavioural and field experiments as validation. Currently, she is diving into contracting issues in emerging economies and AI supply chains, focusing on trust and fairness concepts. She is collaborating with four PhD students on these projects.


Trust and Fairness: Contracting on a Share-based Platform. X Li, Y Yin - Available at SSRN 4331819, 2023

Optimal competitive capacity strategies: Evidence from the container shipping market. X Li, R Zuidwijk, MBM de Koster -Omega, 2023

Time for upgrades? In time for consumers and competition. X Li, R Zuidwijk, R de Koster, S Sethi - International Journal of Production Economics, 2023

Using forecasting to evaluate the impact of COVID‐19 on passenger air transport demand X Li, M de Groot, T Bäck - Decision Sciences, 2023 

Business transformation in an age of turbulence–lessons learned from COVID-19. X  Li, M Voorneveld, R de Koster - Technological forecasting and social change, 2022

Lifecycle forecast for consumer technology products with limited sales data. X Li, Y Yin, DV Manrique, T Bäck - International Journal of Production Economics, 2021

Combating a Strategic Cross-Border Counterfeiter through a Public-Private Partnership. X Li, M Pourakbar - Available at SSRN 3841471, 2020

Assessing end‐of‐supply risk of spare parts using the proportional hazard model. X Li, R Dekker, C Heij, M Hekimoğlu - Decision Sciences, 2016