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Jillian Catherine MacBryde


Former affiliation

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Jill is particularly keen to supervise PhD students interested in innovation and performance measurement.

Personal profile

Research interests

As a researcher the theme throughout Jill’s work is operations and performance management in changing environments. Her research focuses on increasing the innovation capacity and competitiveness of organisations. In particular she is interested in helping firms to sense and seize opportunities and to reconfigure their operations.

Early in her research career Jill largely worked with manufacturing firms faced with a changing competitive arena. Faced with competition from firms operating in lower cost economies, many manufacturers in developed economies found themselves unable to compete on the basis of price and looked to find alternative ways to compete, often on the basis of design, innovation, brand or service.  She has worked with many companies, both large and small, helping them to make this transition, which demands a change in the nature of their operations, often involving new activities, skill-sets and technologies. Jill has led large research projects in this arena, with grants from the UK Research Councils and European Union. For example she was co-investigator on a large EU FP7 project called FutureSME, worth over 8m Euro which aimed to develop the competitive capacity of European SMEs globally. This research consortium included 26 partners from 8 European countries.

More recently Jill has expanded her research beyond the context of manufacturing firms, recognising that many other organisations are also having to change their operations in response to changing conditions. She is currently working with North Yorkshire Police helping them to change their working practices and processes in light of the increased number of people they are dealing with who have mental health issues. She is also carrying out research to understand how universities can innovate their business models and manage performance in a rapidly changing environment. A recently completed a project funded by the EU through ERDF looked at workplace innovation and studying changing workplaces and innovation that benefits employees as well as employers – this included working with a diverse range of organisations, from biscuit makers to undertakers.

Jill engages in collaborative research, often reaching across disciplinary boundaries and has led many research projects, bringing over £3m in research funding. To date she has secured seven EPSRC grants (5 as Principal Investigator), four ESRC grants (one as PI, three as co-investigator), one EU FP7 grant (co-investigator at lead institution). She has also been involved in the management of 10 KTP projects.

Engaging in collaborative research with colleagues in leading UK and European Universities, Jill disseminates her research output widely and has published 20 journal papers and over 55 conference papers and 3 contributions to research books.

Jill’s “laboratory” is industry and she engages in useful research whilst at the same time helping to bring about significant improvements in manufacturing firms. Jill strives to ensure that her academic research and knowledge exchange activities feed off each other.

The nature of her research means I need to be close to companies and practitioners.  She is an enthusiastic champion of engagement with industry and the community and views engagement as underpinning and supporting both teaching and research.


  • TS Manufactures
  • High Value Manufacturing
  • Servitization
  • Innovation
  • Performance Measurement
  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • Innovation
  • Performance Measurement

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or