Digitising Professional Services: Building Business Resilience through Industry 4.0 Capabilities
This research examines operational disruption of COVID-19 within professional service firms (PSFs). There is an emerging consensus that professional services are turning to Industry 4.0 practices, due to the socio-economic and political climates in which they operate. The objective of this research is to examine the heterogeneous nature of new technology adoption in Professional Service Firms (PSFs) as a result of the COVID-19 virus and the associated literature of technology transfers, particularly the service offerings through AI and Machine Learning to generate research solutions in service value and operational effectiveness.
The research will employ mixed-methods to:
1) establish technology benchmarks of the legal tech and Fin Tech within the profession;
2) examine how the use of new tech could be a source of competitive advantage; and
3) use VR/AR techniques to capture relevant data and develop conceptual models in order to inform knowledge transfer and the decision-making in response to COVID-19.
Furthermore, the research will also assess the impact of ‘Resilience’ in relation to operational effectiveness across the professional service sector, specifically, legal and financial services in order to develop a theoretical framework for ‘I4’ for business resilience.
Aims and objectives
The aim of this project would be to measure the security of whole Industry 4.0 systems. This will be accomplished through two objectives:
1. To examine the perceptions of AI and how digitalisation is responding to the impact of COVID-19 in how professional services firms (PSFs) perform, focusing on ‘online’ service design and modularity, digitisation, machine learning, AI, VR/AR and knowledge transfer.
2. To construct a theoretical framework for understanding the impact of AI, VR/AR perceptions and disruption of professional services, particularly regarding possible tension between profession and digitalisation.
Specific requirements of the project
Candidates must hold a Bachelors degree with Honours (to UK standard) of First or Upper Second (2:1) Class, and would normally be expected to hold a Masters degree (to UK standard), with results of 65% or above (or overseas equivalent). In exceptional cases applicants who do not meet this requirement may be considered. Please note: Due to variations in the grading structures of international institutions, higher results may be required than stated here. Professional qualifications other than a Bachelors Degree and/or relevant and appropriate experience may be taken into account for entry to a PhD programme.
This opportunity is open to UK, EU and overseas applicants. This project includes funding for the equivalent of UK/EU fees for 3 years, plus an annual stipend at the standard Research Council recommended rate - overseas applicants will need to pay the difference in fees should they be successful.