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Reversing the Decline of Innovation in Australian Manufacturing and Services


About This PhD Project

Project Description

The aim of the project is to investigate the pattern of Australian firms’ innovation, in terms of technological (product and process) as well as non-technological (marketing and organisational) innovations. This will be done by analysing the enabling and inhibiting factors at micro and macro levels, using large scale data representative of firms in various Knowledge Intensive Sectors, regions, and size classes. This is much needed and timely because Australian firms’ innovation ranks poorly against other countries and has declined persistently since the years preceding the Global Financial Crisis.

Research Questions:
• What are the managerial-level factors that systematically enhance innovation of firms?
• What are the firm-level factors that systematically enhance innovation of firms?
• What are the regional-level factors that systematically enhance innovation of firms?
• What are the industry-level factors that systematically enhance innovation of firms?
• How can innovative and non-innovative firms design innovation strategies to increase their innovation propensity and innovation intensity, respectively?

Australian firms’ innovation ranks poorly against other countries and has declined persistently since the years preceding the Global Financial Crisis, although many advanced economies have already bounced back after the crisis. This is a clear concern because a country indeed needs innovative firms if it wants to create new (types of) jobs, have higher export intensity, create more wealth, and reduce environmental footprint. The significant problem is that there is neither an adequate understanding of the factors that inhibit or enable innovation of firms, nor a comprehensive large scale dataset available to pave the way for investigation of the inhibiting and enabling factors. Moreover, only 33% of Australian firms reported having an innovation strategy in 2014, with just 10% reported that their strategies were documented. This project directly addresses such practical problems, by empirically identifying and analysing such enabling and inhibiting factors, which eventually can be beneficial for providing evidence based policy and strategy to foster the innovation of (Australian) firms.

Proposed Outcome:
Build new knowledge about inhibiting and enabling factors concerning the innovation behaviour of firms by combining micro and macro factors in an integrated framework
Contribute to better understanding of innovation behaviour of firms of different sizes, in various regions and various knowledge intensive industries
Produce options for firms in order to align their innovation strategy to micro and macro factors, and hence improve their competitive advantage
Generate options for Australian governments to design evidence-based innovation policy at the regional as well as national levels

Proposed Postgraduate Research Programme

School: School of Management
Program name: PhD (Management)
Course code: DR204
Enabling Capability Platform (ECP) Alignment : Global Business Innovation

Supervisory Team

Dr Sam Tavassoli -
Professor Anne-Laure Mention -

Academic Contact

HDR Coordinator, Dr Cameron Duff -

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