Roger Maull

University of Exeter


Roger Maull

RCUK NEMODE Session — Friday 13th June 2014, 1:45pm


BIOGRAPHY | Roger Maull is a Professor of Management in the University of Exeter Business School. He has a BA in Economics, and an MSc in Management Information Systems. He gained his PhD in 1986 in the use of systems modelling (IDEF0) in manufacturing. His research interests are in applying systems thinking to the management and design of service organisations, in particular those problems that are at the nexus of marketing, operations, IT and HR. At the centre of his research is the question “how do we design service systems?”

Service processes occur because of the introduction of the “customer into the works” (Frei 2006). They are open systems often with high variety sometimes with known unknowns or even unknown unknowns. These processes provide fundamentally different problems from those in manufacturing where modelling is often deterministic or probabilistic. Roger is particularly interested in the characteristics of service variety and his dominant theoretical lens is Ashby’s law of requisite variety which states that the regulator must be able to match the variety in the disturbance in order for the system to be viable. In April 2012 he was awarded an RCUK Network grant (£1.5M) to lead research into the issues surrounding the impact of the digital economy on new economic models (NEMODE). This places the questions of service design within the context of a rapidly changing technological landscape. Since the launch of NEMODE Roger has become increasingly interested in the opportunities for service design arising from ‘big data’. He conceptualises this research domain into three areas: collecting the data eg sensors and mobiles; analysing the data through new statistical methods; using the analysis to inform new business models. The third stream is of particular interest and he has been successful as part of a large consortium of researchers in bidding for on-going RCUK funding (£928k) in looking at how ‘big data’ might transform individuals ability to use their own data in the ‘HAT’ project.

Roger has developed and delivered a wide range of systems modelling courses for companies such as Vodafone, Woolwich, IBM, ICL, Rank Xerox, GKN/Westland Aerospace, LloydsTSB, Scottish Amicable Scottish Power, British Aerospace, Motability Finance Ltd, DuPont, Fujitsu, Prudential and Sprint PCS. He has been awarded international grants to work with industry in the USA, Australia, Germany and Italy and is currently a Visiting Professor at the Australian Business School at UNSW. He has successfully supervised 18 PhD students and examined 19 PhDs.