Getting a 'win-win' from research collaboration
Published 17 March 2006
Business and academic delegates gathered for a workshop at Lancaster University Management School on Thursday 16th March to discuss the value of collaboration between industry and universities.
Speakers from the Workshop are shown from left to right: Alison Willocks (BAE Systems), Professor Ian Clarke (LUMS), Wayne St. Amour (LUMS), Professor Mark Easterby-Smith (LUMS), Dr. Ellen Pruyne (LUMS), Doug Chamberlin (Ciba Speciality Chemicals), and Dr. George Baxter (North West Development Agency).
Engaging leading businesses
The event was opened by Dr George Baxter, Head of Science and Innovation at the North West Development Agency. Around 50 delegates heard from both the organisers and directors of the companies with which they were collaborating – BAE Systems and Ciba – and discussed the benefits and costs involved in engaging in different models of research collaboration, and how it can be best made to work. Dr Baxter said: “This is an important event, as it demonstrates Lancaster University – as one of the UK’s top three management schools – is serious about engaging with leading businesses in the North West”.
Professor Ian Clarke said, “Our research with BAE Systems and Ciba has provided new insights into the competencies underlying strategic thinking and what it takes for them to continuously develop their capabilities”. Adding to this, Professor Mark Easterby-Smith concluded that, “While both organisations are world leaders in their own areas, our research has shown how engagement in research can help them to understand and improve their management practices”.
A win-win from collaboration
The two companies were represented at the Workshop by senior directors, who welcomed the findings of the AIM projects. Ali Willocks, Human Resources Director at BAE Systems in Salmesbury, said: “The project has shown that we can learn significantly from opening ourselves up to closer study, and we are keen to apply the insights our Lancaster colleagues have developed”. Doug Chamberlin, Managing Director at Ciba’s International Water Management business unit, said: “The research collaboration has enabled us to get a handle on the intangible capabilities that keep organisations like ours dynamic and competitive”.
Delegates were also enthusiastic about the event. One said: “I’ve gained some very valuable insights today – I feel much better able to understand the factors involved in making collaborative research with senior managers successful”. Another concluded: “It is critical that pure research is combined with consultancy-style and implementation recommendations to be useful to industry. Today has really opened up this debate – how both researchers and industry can get a win-win from collaboration”.
The workshop is the latest in a series of events Lancaster University Management School has organised for business people and academics. Recent speakers have included Stephen Green, Group Chief Executive of HSBC Holdings plc, Larry Hirst, Chief Executive of IBM UK Limited and Hamish McRae Business and Finance Editor of The Independent.
ESRC Collaboration Workshop March 2006 (Workshop PowerPoint slides)
Social Science Week is an initiative from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). The week long celebration of the social sciences is made up of a series of different initiatives across the UK - from conferences to workshops and book launches to policy briefings. For more information, see the ESRC's web pages on Social Science Week.
The Advanced Institute of Management Research was established in 2002 with the mission statement: 'to significantly increase the contribution of and future capacity for world class UK research on management.' More on the initiative can be found at: http://www.aimresearch.org
For additional information, please contact Claire Frusher, Marketing Co-ordinator at Lancaster University Management School on 01524 594037, or email firstname.lastname@example.org