Using studies based on citation and co-citation tools, Pilkington has made contributions to understanding the development and diffusion of disciplines, particularly in the fields of operations management and innovation.
Pilkington's approach to innovation concerned "product of individual, organisational and knowledge trajectories". His idea was that "modelling the relationships between observed typologies within each of these spheres, conditions for successful innovation can be identified and failures explained. This work is leading to tools which will help managers define successful and achievable technology strategies."
Enterprise Engineering is the application of engineering principles to the management of enterprises. It encompasses the application of knowledge, principles, and disciplines related to the analysis, design, implementation and operation of all elements associated with an enterprise. In essence it is an interdisciplinary field which combines systems engineering and strategic management as it seeks to engineer the entire enterprise in terms of the products, processes and business operations. The view is one of continuous improvement and continued adaptation as firms, processes and markets develop along their life cycles. This total systems approach encompasses the traditional areas of research and development, product design, operations and manufacturing as well as information systems and strategic management.
This Enterprise Engineering research had focussed on five types of management specialties:
Engineering Management : the application of engineering principles to business practice. It brings together the technological problem-solving savvy of engineering and the organizational, administrative, and planning abilities of management to oversee complex enterprises from conception to completion.
Innovation Management : discipline of managing processes in innovation. It can be used to develop both product and organizational innovation. Innovation management includes a set of tools that allow managers and engineers to co-operate with a common understanding of goals and processes.
Operations Management : area of management concerned with overseeing, designing, and controlling the process of production and redesigning business operations in the production of goods or services.
Service Management : integrated part of supply chain management, the intersection between the actual sales and the customer. The aim of high performance service management is to optimise the service-intensive supply chains, which are usually more complex than the typical finished-goods supply chain.
Technology Management : set of management disciplines that allows organisations to manage their technological fundamentals to create competitive advantage. Typical concepts used in technology management are technology strategy (a logic or role of technology in organisation), technology forecasting (identification of possible relevant technologies for the organisation)
Pilkington has authored and co-authored numerous publications in the field of Management of technology, Operations management, Manufacturing strategy and Enterprise engineering. A selection:
Pilkington, Alan. "Manufacturing strategy regained: evidence for the demise of best-practice." California Management Review 41 (1998): 31–42.
Pilkington, Alan, and Catherine Liston-Heyes. "Is production and operations management a discipline? A citation/co-citation study." International Journal of Operations & Production Management 19.1 (1999): 7–20.
Pilkington, Alan, Romano Dyerson, and Omid Tissier. "The electric vehicle:: Patent data as indicators of technological development." World Patent Information 24.1 (2002): 5–12.
Pilkington, Alan, and Thorsten Teichert. "Management of technology: themes, concepts and relationships." Technovation 26.3 (2006): 288–299.
Pilkington, Alan, and Jack R. Meredith. "The evolution of the intellectual structure of operations management—1980–2006: A citation/co-citation analysis." Journal of Operations Management 27.3 (2009): 185–202.
Pilkington, Alan, Edward WN Bernroider, and José-Rodrigo Córdoba. "Information systems as a discipline in the making: comparing EJIS and MISQ between 1995 and 2008." European Journal of Information Systems 21. (2012): 479-495.
Pilkington, Alan, Roost, Katja, and Thorsten Teichert. "Social network analytics for advanced bibliometrics: referring to actor roles of management journals instead of journal rankings" Scientometrics 112.3 (2017): 1631-1657.
Kapetaniou, Chrystalla, Alison Rieple, Alan Pilkington, Thomas Frandsen, and Paola Pisano. "Building the layers of a new manufacturing taxonomy: How 3D printing is creating a new landscape of production eco-systems and competitive dynamics." Technological Forecasting and Social Change 128 (2018): 22-35.
Pilkington, Alan, and Jack R. Meredith. "The diffusion network of research knowledge in operations management." International Journal of Production and Operations Management 38.2 (2018): 333-349.
Pilkington, Alan, and Jack R. Meredith. "Assessing the exchange of knowledge between operations management and other fields: Some challenges and opportunities." Journal of Operations Management 60 (2018): 47-53.
^Ma, Zhenzhong, Yender Lee, and Kuo-Hsun Yu. "Ten years of conflict management studies: themes, concepts and relationships." International Journal of Conflict Management 19.3 (2008): 234–248.
^Ramos‐Rodríguez, Antonio‐Rafael, and José Ruíz‐Navarro. "Changes in the intellectual structure of strategic management research: A bibliometric study of the Strategic Management Journal, 1980–2000." Strategic Management Journal 25.10 (2004): 981–1004.
^Dangayach, G. S., and S. G. Deshmukh. "Manufacturing strategy: literature review and some issues." International Journal of Operations & Production Management 21.7 (2001): 884–932.
^ abcdEnterprise Engineering Research at Royal Holloway Archived 26 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed 20 October 2013.
^ abcAlan Pilkington: Professor at Copenhagen Business School. Linked-in profile. Accessed 20 October 2013.