Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 263171
Loughborough University

School of Business and Economics

School staff

Photo of Professor Franco, L. Alberto

Professor L. Alberto Franco BEng (Católica), MSc (Lancaster), PhD (LSE)

Professor of Management Sciences

  • Profile
  • Research
  • External activities and recognition
  • Featured publications

Alberto Franco is Professor of Management Sciences in the School of Business and Economics at Loughborough University. Prior to Loughborough, he held various positions at Warwick, Strathclyde, London School of Economics (LSE), Kingston, Hull, and IE Business School (Madrid). He has a background in civil engineering,and holds an MSc in Operational Research from Lancaster University, and a PhD in Operational Research from LSE. Alberto joined Loughborough in June 2013 as Head of the Management Science and Operations Management Group, a role he performed until August 2016. 

As a decision scientist, Alberto has extensive consulting experience in a variety of sectors including: heath, transport, construction, government and defence, where he has led projects to support strategic issue management, value-focused thinking, risk prioritisation, scenario planning, resource allocation, and multi-organisational collaboration. Organisations he has worked with include: Whitbread, Bombardier, Network Rail, Insights, Ministry of Defence, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, NATO Research and Technology Agency, and the World Health Organisation.

Alberto is currently on sabbatical leave, and will be spending time at different institutions including University of St Gallen, Eawag, Radboud University, and Warwick Business School. 

Alberto’s research has traditionally been focused on the empirical study of intervention approaches that use group facilitation and visual models to help teams engage in effective strategic thinking, problem structuring, and decision analysis. More recently, his main interests lie in making the practice of decision science more ‘visible’. This involves taking a closer look at what practitioners actually do when using decision science methods and tools in the field or the lab, and assess the consequences of these ‘doings’ . This strand of work is part of a broader European behavioural agenda within the decision science and operational research disciplines, and draws on a range of theoretical perspectives (e.g. communication, psychology, sociology, economics), with a view to discovering novel ways to improve decision science practice and education.

Ongoing research focuses on the examining how behaviour affects, or is affected by, decision-supported processes. This research has both a descriptive and a prescriptive orientation, and adopts a process and interaction lens for analysis. Recent research contributions in this area include:

  • Investigating the conditions under which models developed within group workshops become ‘boundary objects’ in interaction.
  • Distinguishing the analytical and relational capabilities and impacts of mixed-method operational research interventions.
  • Understanding how visual interactions with strategy tools produce different knowledge production patterns in workshops.
  • Identifying the role and impact of individual differences in the use and perceived effectiveness of decision aids.
  • Unpacking the socio-material and situated specifics of facilitated modelling practices.

Alberto’s research has appeared in the European Journal of Operational ResearchBritish Journal of Management, Group Decision and NegotiationTechnological Forecasting and Social Change, OMEGA: The International Journal of Management ScienceJournal of the Operational Research Society, and Preventive Veterinary Medicine

  • Associate Editor, Group Decision and Negotiation
  • Editor, Euro Journal on Decision Processes.
  • Editorial Board, European Journal of Operational Research.
  • Member, OR Society Research Panel
  • 2017 Dean’s Award Researcher of the Year, School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University.
  • 2016 British Journal of Management’s Top 10 Article. Paper: Visual Interactions with Strategy Tools, with S Paroutis and T Papadopoulos).
  • 2016 Decision Analyst Society’s Practice Competition Award Finalist. Paper: Supporting the Prioritisation of Emerging Animal Threats for the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with Decision Analysis, with G Montibeller). 
  • 2016 Dean’s Award Impact of Practice, School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University (with G Montibeller).
  • 2014 OR Society Annual Conference 2014 Keynote speaker.
  • 2013 Banxia Prize for Best Paper in the OR Society Conference’s Problem Structuring Methods Stream. (Paper: Dynamics of facilitated modelling: A micro-level analysis of model-supported group conversations, with E Tavella). 
  • Franco, L. A., & Hämäläinen, R. P. (2016). Engaging with behavioural OR: On methods, actors, and praxis. In M. Kunc, J. Malpass, & L. White (Eds.), Behavioural Operational Research: Theory, methodology and practice: 3-26: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Franco, L.A., Rouwette, E.A.J.A., & Korzilius, H. (2016). Different paths to consensus? The impact of need for closure on model-supported group conflict management. European Journal of Operational Research, 249(3): 878-889.
  • Henao, F., & Franco, L. A. (2016). Unpacking multimethodology: Impacts of a community development intervention. European Journal of Operational Research, 253(3): 681-696.
  • Paroutis, S, Franco, LA, & Papadopoulos, T (2015). Visual interactions with strategy tools: Producing strategic knowledge in workshops British Journal of Management, 26: S48-S66.
  • Tavella, E, & Franco, LA (2015). Dynamics of group knowledge production in facilitated modelling workshops: An exploratory study. Group Decision and Negotiation, 24(3): 451-475.
  • Franco, LA (2013) Rethinking Soft OR interventions: Models as boundary objects, European Journal of Operational Research, 231(3): 720-733.


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