Dr Mel Smith

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  • Qualifications:PhD FHEA
  • Position:Associate Head of Department - Strategy and Operations Management
  • Department:Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
  • Telephone:+4411732 84243
  • Email:Mel.Smith@uwe.ac.uk
  • Social media: LinkedIn logo

About me

I am currently the Leader of Strategy and Operations Cluster at UWE, with line management responsibility for c32 academic staff and the academic development of the subject.


I am experienced in teaching Operations Management, Supply Chain Management, general Business and Research Methods in the HE sector, along with supervising students from undergraduate placement students, through dissertation supervision, to PhD students.


I am also an active researcher, with various publications in the areas of healthcare service quality, small business, sustainable supply chains and ERP implementation.


Research & Practice:

My background is in business management research, focusing on small firms and performance improvement. I became interested in considering Family Practices (GP Surgeries) as small firms and undertook some research looking at how they are measured and the role of performance measurement in achieving a positive patient experience.


More recently I have been investigating the concept of service quality in Family Practice and how this can inform improvements in GP-patient consultations. Research in this area to date has developed a set of dimensions of service quality for Family Practices in England and one of the most significant dimensions, in terms of patient experience, is the GP-Patient interaction (covering the empathy & assurance of the GP). However, the constructs of empathy and assurance are both subjective and intangible, so future research will aim to better understand what they mean from the patient's perspective and how that impacts overall patient experience. 


I have extensive experience of KTPs, having been involved in 6 grants over 7 years. I also have extensive supervision experience, from undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations to MPhils and PhDs.


I have 6 research degree completions as follows:  

Moya Lerigo-Sampson – PhD (post-viva corrections being completed) "The holistic exploration of the relationship between healthcare professionals' job satisfaction and quality of care"

Mamata Dhakal (2018) – PhD "Reverse Logistics in Micro Businesses : An Exploratory Study"

Uchitha Jayawickrama (2015) - PhD "Knowledge Management Competence for ERP Implementation Success"

Alison Ashby (2015) - PhD "From Principles to Practice: Sustainable Supply Chain Management in SMEs"

Ravi Saxena (2010) - MPhil "The Role of RFID in Improving Product Availability in a UK Apparel Retailer"

Emmanuel Odofin (2009) - MPhil "Implementing Continuous Improvement in Small Firms"


I am currently interested in taking on PhD supervision in the following areas: healthcare service operations and performance measurement; sustainable supply chains; small business operations improvement.

Area of expertise

Recent Research
Measurement of Service Quality & Customer Satisfaction

My research into healthcare service operations has looked at the somewhat neglected area of General Practice in the UK, specifically focusing on quantitative analysis of two key performance measurement tools (the Quality and Outcomes Framework and the GP Patient Survey) that the government uses to monitor GP performance. Outputs to date have included various conference papers, a book chapter examining the impact of the Quality and Outcomes Framework on patient satisfaction and a paper in Health Services Research (ABS 3), which seeks to identify the aspects of service quality, as measured in the GP Patient Survey, that determine positive patient experiences when visiting their GP Practice. I also have another paper in development looking at the links between service quality, customer satisfaction and value-in-use, which is due for submission to the International Journal of Management Reviews (ABS 3) this year. 

SME Sustainable Supply Chains
Supervised various PhD projects investigating how small businesses balance the three pillars of sustainability; economic, environmental and social in forward and reverse supply chains. Outputs include an ABS 3 rated publication, with another in revision after initial review.
Knowledge Management in ERP Implementation
Supervised a PhD project looking at the impact of knowledge management on ERP implementations in large and small firms. Outputs include 2 ABS 3 rated journal publications, plus an ABS 2 rated paper.
​Previous research includes:​
The development of a tool for introducing strategically derived performance measurement systems in smaller firms; 
Investigating the issues surrounding the adoption of ecommerce in small firms; 
Statistical analysis of timetabling dataset, plus analysis of the timetabling process, to identify the root causes of some of the timetabling problems.
Researching the issues associated with implementing quality improvement tools including lean and 6 sigma in smaller firms.


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