Dr. Richard Ian Taylor
NeWater Postdoctoral Research Associate
Centre for Policy Modelling,
Manchester Metropolitan University Business School
Aytoun Street, Manchester, M1 3GH. UK.
Tel: +44 161 247 6482
Fax: +44 161 247 6802












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ESRC research

Supply chains

Innovation systems

PhD research


Organic production

Knowledge economy




NeWater (New Approaches to Adaptive Water Management under Uncertainty)

This 6th Framework project has over 40 partner institutions throughout europe. It is organised into seven case studies of river basin  management in europe, africa and asia, supported by development of research tools for complexity (such as agent-based modelling), and involvement of stakeholders in integrated assesment of water policy. (

I am involved in the workpackage 2.1 'vulnerability and exposure to shocks and stressess in river basins' under the direction of Dr.  Thomas Downing of the Stockholm Environmental Institute, Oxford. One of the outputs of this collaboration is an ABM of groundwater flows and resource users. CPM report CPM-06-169

ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council)

ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow (10/03  - 9/04)

The PDRF programme aims to enable the young researcher to disseminate PhD work and get experience in the higher education sector leading to the  possibility of a research career in the economics and social science fields.

See my publications in ESRC Society Today


PhD research

Undertaken at Centre for Policy Modelling, MMUBS under the supervision of Prof. Scott Moss, Dr. Bruce Edmonds and Dr. Ray  Hackney.

"Agent-Based Modelling Incorporating Qualitative and Quantitative Methods: A Case Study Investigating the Impact of E-commerce upon the Value Chain."

This research investigates the question of how new e-commerce technology impacts upon the organisational structure of value chains. The  methodology unites qualitative and quantitative approaches, by undertaking a detailed case study within a major international organisation.  The focus is upon exploring those issues identified as important by a stakeholder group working in the company and actively participating in the research.

Thesis available online in pdf format as CPM report CPM-04-137

Supply chains

Supply chains are increasingly seen as complex adaptive systems, and agent-based modelling has become a tool for investigating them. One  important issue concerns the impact of the introduction of new ICT technologies (such as e-commerce)- the patterns of technology adoption and implementation, and the changing nature of business relationships.

However most current work appears to be based on the operational research paradigm, which exclusively models the logistical processes  like the flow of goods and inventory management systems, but tends to ignore the sociological and strategic aspects (e.g. business value,  embedded ties, willingness to share propriety information). By (reflexively) avoiding these (possible) dimensions, agent-based research  adds nothing more useful to traditional system dynamics, an approach which has always been highly sufficient for modelling stocks, flows and feedbacks in supply systems.

In management and organisational behaviour literatures these sociological insights are recognised as important. They also clearly emerged in  the qualitative studies for my PhD work -- I raised these points in my presentation "Representing Social Reality in Supply Chain Systems" at ESSA 2005.

Knowledge economy
With Piergiuseppe Morone of the University of Napoli "L'Orientale" I am currently working on a project involving simulation modelling of  knowledge diffusion dynamics. This research is concerned with informal learning processes taking place through face-to-face interactions  and (to a lesser extent) computer mediated interactions. The target is to test whether knowledge diffuses in a homogeneous way or whether  it follows some biased path towards convergence or divergence, ie. there are mechanisms which trap individuals in states of very low  knowledge. Our model was calibrated with data sampled from the 1998 edition of the Encuesta de Ocupación y Desocupación for  Santiago, Chile, and respected the geographical aspects of that region. The paper "Small World Dynamics and the Process of Knowledge  Diffusion. The Case of the Metropolitan Area of the Great Santiago of Chile" was a joint winner of the 2003 EMEEA Schumpeter Young Economists award. Link.

We have identified two fundamental problems facing social simulators working in this area: formal approaches tend to rely upon an  over-simplification of the structure of knowledge (for example, where knowledge is treated as a 'stockpile') and secondly a lack of understanding of the properties of social networks through which learning agents interact.

Organic production

With Piergiuseppe Morone of the University of Napoli "L'Orientale" and Roberta Sisto of the University of Foggia, I have been  investigating knowledge flows and innovation potential in organic food production networks, concentrating on firms and institutions  operating in the area of Foggia, Italy. Knowledge flows are quite complex and quite important in the context of the emerging markets for  organic and other "environmental-movement" products. The firms are following the directive of the EU for meeting the requirements to be  awarded the "organic product" label and much of the knowledge flowing from one firm to another and from the institutions is regarding  technical and legal matters of this directive. The role of the institutions (which number about 30) is to support organic production, to promote learning, and to implement local development strategy. EuroChoices publication analyses firms' and institutions' networks.

We are now looking at the development of stockfree-organic systems as an example of how producers' networks can motivate the adoption of sustainable farming techniques, which have the characteristics of complex systems. CPM report CPM-05-155

Innovation systems

With Piergiuseppe Morone of the University of Napoli "L'Orientale" I am developing agent-based models of innovation networks. The  objective is to model interactions among firms based upon partnership formation to carry out joint innovations. Agents (i.e. Firms) are endowed with different Skill Profiles and aim to be the first to innovate, either on their own or in partnership. Hence, an important task in  our model is obtaining information about the complementarity of other Firms' profiles. In different versions of this model, we either assume  the presence of local institutions to act as facilitatiors of information exchange, or we assume that information flows are bounded to local  neighbourhoods. This is based on the recognition that geographical factors are an important aspect of innovation and development of industrial districts/clusters.CPM report CPM-04-151

Page Piergiuseppe Morone   Andrea Morone

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Page last updated 21/1/2007