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BSc(CNAA) MSc PhD(Manc) CEng MIEERichard_Greatbanks_image

Operations Management
OBS 810
Tel +64 3 479 8658
Skype Richard.Greatbanks

Richard is a Chartered Manufacturing Engineer and has held several technical and managerial positions within Aerospace manufacture. After spending more than thirteen years in the UK Aerospace industry, Richard moved to academia.

Research interests

Richard's research interests are:

  • operations management
  • quality process improvement
  • performance measurement, particularly in conjunction with SME organizations
  • operational excellence within service

Richard has recently had a report launched in Auckland. This is a commissioned piece for Philanthropy New Zealand, which reports on the findings of a national benchmarking survey of grantmaking practice within New Zealand, undertaken earlier this year.

Read the report 'Grantmaking in New Zealand: Giving That Works' (PDF)

Read an opinion piece by Richard on university governance.

Teaching responsibilities

Richard's teaching responsibilities include:

Research supervision

Richard is keen to attract new PhD students with the following interests:

1. Lean Thinking applications within Healthcare environments

Whilst Lean Thinking within healthcare is not a new concept, many aspects are still not fully understood, and there are also aspects of Lean Thinking which the literature indicates are not fully applied or implemented within healthcare environments. Potential PhD research projects will focus on exploring why some aspects of Lean are not full deployed in health, and investigate the barriers to and implications of this situation.

2. Evaluation and performance measurement within For Benefit (nonprofit and philanthropic) organisations

Within New Zealand the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors are increasingly being expected to operate and deliver in a more professional and business-like manner. Yet recent research indicates that such organisations are struggling to apply and benefit from many business practices, including performance measurement approaches used in public and commercial focused organisations. These PhD research projects will explore the levels of performance management development in 'For Benefit' sector organisations, and define the barriers and consequent strategies which need to be deployed to allow this sector to perform more effectively.

3. The application of quality process improvement techniques in service and nonprofit organisations

Over the last three decades, many of the quality improvement tools, techniques and approaches have been proven to work well in manufacturing and commercial environments. Yet these same approaches have not delivered the same benefits to other sectors such as public services, healthcare and nonprofit organisations. These PhD projects will explore the specific nature of the chosen sector and look at which improvement methodologies have been used, and to what effect, and why others have not.

Richard is willing to work with interested PhD students to develop research projects which fit both the student's interest and the Department's research scope. All research is expected to be undertaken within a New Zealand context, and assistance will be offered to gain access to suitable organisations if required.

To discuss one of the above potential PhD projects contact Richard directly.

Read about the entry requirements for the PhD, and how to apply.

Current supervisions

Richard is currently supervising the following students:


Adeel Akmal - What can New Zealand learn from the United Kingdom? A study on implementing lean practices in the healthcare sector of New Zealand. (Supervisors: Richard Greatbanks, André Everett)


Jodie Black - Lean in Mental Health Service Redesign.


Beatson, N., de Lange, P., Tharapos, M., O'Connell, B., Smith, J., Scott, S., & Greatbanks, R. (2024). An examination of self-efficacy and sense of belonging on accounting student achievement. Accounting & Finance, 64, 723-738. doi: 10.1111/acfi.13160 Journal - Research Article

Akmal, A., Podgorodnichenko, N., Greatbanks, R., Foote, J., Stokes, T., & Gauld, R. (2024). Towards the development of a system-wide quality improvement maturity model: A synthesis using systematic review and expert opinion. International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, 15(3), 503-540. doi: 10.1108/IJLSS-06-2021-0107 Journal - Research Article

Manville, G., & Greatbanks, R. (2023). Institutional isomorphism and performance management: Exploring the linkage and relationship in English social housing. Housing Studies. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/02673037.2023.2217769 Journal - Research Article

Akmal, A., Podgorodnichenko, N., Greatbanks, R., & Zhang, J. A. (2022). Does organizational readiness matter in lean thinking practices? An agency perspective. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 42(11), 1760-1792. doi: 10.1108/IJOPM-05-2021-0331 Journal - Research Article

Akmal, A., Podgorodnichenko, N., Stokes, T., Foote, J., Greatbanks, R., & Gauld, R. (2022). What makes an effective quality improvement manager? A qualitative study in the New Zealand health system. BMC Health Services Research, 22, 50. doi: 10.1186/s12913-021-07433-w Journal - Research Article

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