The role of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
It is vital that business leaders and policy makers understand how FDI impacts economic growth, especially in the context of environmental changes and increased FDI to and from emerging markets. The Aston Centre for Research into International Business is analysing the impact of inward investment on host countries and regions, and on FDI in conflict and post-conflict zones. Research findings have been used by policy makers including UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), the European Commission, the World Bank and the Foreign Investment Advisory Service.
This is an emerging research theme within the School, the El Shaarani Centre for Islamic Business and Finance directed by Dr Omneya Abdelsalam is the platform for the School’s growth in this area. It explores how Islamic finance can expand into both the Islamic and Western financial markets and what the mainstream financial institutions can learn from Islamic financial practices.
Servitization and competitive manufacturing operations
Manufacturers are increasingly choosing to link products to a portfolio of services which strengthen relationships with customers, create new and resilient revenue streams and set high barriers for competition. This is achieved through a process known as servitization. Tim Baines, Professor of Operations Strategy, has investigated the operations and strategies of many services-led companies including Rolls-Royce, Caterpillar, Alstom, MAN and Xerox, making best practice available to other organisations who wish to compete in this effective way. He has recently been awarded a European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) project looking at Exploiting Servitization in West Midlands SMEs (small and medium enterprises).