Kate Blackmon

Associate Professor in Operations Management

Saïd Business School
University of Oxford
Park End Street


Alongside her role at the School, Kate is a Tutorial Fellow in Management Studies at Merton College.

She was the Senior Proctor in 2014-15 and has contributed to university administration, especially in research ethics and the Bodleian Library.

Her chief areas of interest include operations strategy and how to help businesses achieve optimal performance, how gender and diversity can be managed in organisations, the innovation and evolution of new business models in professional service firms, and the design of research methods for business and management research. She is co-author with Dr Harvey Maylor of Researching Business and Management (Palgrave), and is completing a book on the gender gap in leadership, Leading Women, for OUP.

Kate joined Saïd Business School from the University of Bath’s School of Management in September 2003, having previously worked at the London Business School and the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne. Her first career was in the electric utility industry, designing and starting up nuclear power stations. She holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from Clemson University in South Carolina and a BA in Business from the Queens University of Charlotte, North Carolina, plus an MBA and PhD from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 


  • Operations strategy
  • Service operations and management
  • Research methods
  • Gender and diversity in organisations
  • Technological innovation and management


Kate's research interests span manufacturing, services, and technology management.

She is particularly interested in how organisations can manage their productive resources and capabilities to achieve and sustain competitive advantage. Much of her recent research focuses on integrating organisational theory with operations management, and also on historical and cross-national perspectives.

Kate is also interested in how issues like gender and diversity affect organisational working practice and performance.



  • Harvey Maylor,
  • Kate Blackmon,
  • Martina Huemann
Major Programme Management
Technology and Operations Management

Operations Management: The Relentless Quest for Efficiency

  • Chapter
  • This is Service Design Thinking: Basics, Tools, Cases
  • K Blackmon
Major Programme Management
Technology and Operations Management

A Two-Year Stretch(opens in new window)

  • Journal article
  • Journal of Management Inquiry
  • Kathryn Haynes,
  • Irena Grugulis,
  • Martin Spring,
  • Kate Blackmon,
  • Giuliana Battisti,
  • Irene Ng
Major Programme Management
Technology and Operations Management
  • Steve Brown,
  • Kate Blackmon,
  • Paul Cousins,
  • Harvey Maylor
Major Programme Management
Technology and Operations Management

Being a world-class organization - what does it mean?

  • Chapter
  • Best Practice: Process Innovation Management
  • K Blackmon,
  • P Hanson,
  • C Voss,
  • F Wilson
Major Programme Management
Technology and Operations Management
See more publications


Kate’s research has attracted the attention of policymakers and influential bodies such as the CBI.

Her work at the confluence of research design, ethics and research philosophy allows her to provide expert advice not only to academics and students but also to the University of Oxford itself. She has chaired the University of Oxford’s Social Sciences and Humanities Interdepartmental Research Ethics Committee and is a member of the Central University Research Ethics Committee. She has been a Curator of the University Libraries and a member of the Social Sciences Divisional Board. Kate is one of the very few women to have served as Senior Proctor, one of the university’s top officers. She is returning as a member of the University’s Council and Education Committee from 2015-16.

She sits on the editorial board on many academic journals and has won several awards. She is a Fellow of the Advanced Institute of Management Research.


Kate has taught core operations management and service management to undergraduates, MSc and MBA students, as well as an extensive range of sessions on research design, philosophy, and methods to research postgraduates. She also teaches and coaches executives in open and custom programmes through Executive Education and is a Tutorial Fellow in Management Studies at Merton College. Kate has also lectured on the MSc in Clinical Embryology and will be lecturing in the Education Department in Michaelmas.

She is currently teaching the General Management and Operations Management courses to undergraduate students and the MSc in Major Programme Management, for which she uses the ‘flipped classroom’ approach. In this radical new approach, instead of postgraduate students listening to lectures, they are assigned topics to research which they then present to their group for discussion and analysis. Kate believes firmly that this ‘active learning’ approach makes students engage with both the topic and their fellow students, teaching them new skills very rapidly.