Portsmouth Business School
Strategy Enterprise and Innovation
The Strategy, Enterprise and Innovation Subject Group actively engages in research and knowledge transfer in four key research areas: innovation management, business strategy, entrepreneurship and risk management. Research in the subject group is led by two distinguished professors, Professor Paul Trott who is an internationally acknowledged scholar in innovation management and who is the author of a leading student textbook in this field. In addition to the two professors, the subject group has several active researchers who specialise in research around, small business and entrepreneurship problems. Research in the subject group benefits from close links with organisations and firms such as the Royal Air Force, Procter & Gamble, Hampshire Fire Service and Rescue and Crown Packaging Ltd. With our focus on up-to date teaching and on applied research that addresses real business needs we aim close the loop between business research and research informed teaching so that we are able to bridge the potential gap between “theory and practice” that academic research in business and management is often criticized for.
The following two examples of how applied research and knowledge transfer work has led to research informed teaching in the Strategy, Enterprise and Innovation Subject Group and also some more information on Professor Paul Trott’s textbook Innovation Management & New Product Development which is now in its fifth edition.
Example 1: Research informed teaching arising from a Knowledge Transfer Project with Powertecnique
The business problem:
Powertecnique and the University of Portsmouth Business School worked together to analyse new markets for uninterruptible power supplies (UPS).
In particular the company was seeking new markets for its ‘Power Shelter’ product which had previously only been sold to the US military.As a result of this Shorter Knowledge Transfer Partnership, Powertecnique have launched a new range of modular ‘Data Shelters’ to enter the data centre market.
Professor Paul Trott led the team from the University’s Business School supporting this project. The team which included Dr Andreas Hoecht and David Ward worked with Powertecnique to research new markets and develop a new product development process. Paul and Andreas brought expertise in innovation and new product development to the project, while David supplied marketing experience.
The civilian data centre market was fully evaluated and a new potentially lucrative sales route realised. Subsequently a new business model has been developed offering a range of Data Shelter sizes rather than designing a bespoke product for each order. Powertecnique not only continue to offer powershelters, but the company now has the confidence to undertake market research and grow by delivering new products to new markets.
Research informed teaching:
Insights gained from this project are being used, mainly in the form of case examples, in a number of Marketing and Innovation and New Product Development teaching units (for example in the teaching of new product development for the MSc Innovation Management & Entrepreneurship).
The project has also provided opportunities for a number of postgraduate Marketing students to do applied research with the company for their dissertations.
Example 2; Research informed teaching arising from applied research on innovation with Chesapeake LTD:
Applied research on innovation and packaging:
For the past three years, Chris Simms has worked on a collaborative research project with Chesapeake, a leading manufacturer of packaging in the paperboard packaging sector. Chris's research with Chesapeake has explored how the company can optimise its product development process and appropriately target its R&D activities at the opportunities with greatest potential. In order to explore this, the research has analysed how Chesapeake can differentiate its products in a way that is pertinent to its customers, and the key factors and trends influencing the industry that will impact on the pertinent points of differentiation into the future.
Research informed teaching:
As part of the ongoing collaboration with Chesapeake LTD, representatives from this company have delivered guest lectures, for example on the Managing Product Portfolio's unit, and have also sponsored a student competition for the past three years. This has involved the company providing new product development briefs to students for students to generate and explore new product ideas, and ultimately present these as a proposal back to the company. Chris’ research is also more broadly applied to his teaching in a number of undergraduate and postgraduate units, where he delivers lectures on packaging and product development in the fast moving consumer goods industry.
Books that inform teaching
Title: Innovation Management and New Product Development, 5th edition.
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Author: Paul Trott
Publication date: 2011
The purpose of innovation is to create new business. In industry, methods and tools are developed on how to organize and manage innovation processes with the objective to better control added-value, cost and risk. Employees, suppliers and customers are principal actors in the process. In academia, information from observations and case studies is transformed into scientific knowledge with the objective to better understand the successes and failures in innovation and, ultimately to improve the chance of success.
Innovation requires a change, i.e. change in the way we think and change in the way we act. These changes may be small or big. In life cycle management, the ambition is to make continuous improvements on existing products and services. In this way the life cycle can be extended for many extra years. In innovation management, the ambition is to come up with new concepts. This means moving away from existing solutions. As a consequence, innovation shortens the life cycle of existing products and services. Schumpeter calls this property ‘creative destruction’: life cycle management and innovation management are in competition with each other. This may cause major dilemma’s in business development. This is explored in this new edition.