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The project management paradox: dependable innovation

By Luciana DAdderio - Posted on 9 April 2015

Dr Luciana D’Adderio talks about her research on Dependable Innovation and introduces the new MSc in Project Management and Innovation which will start from September 2015.

The ability to develop and sustain capabilities that promote change and innovation is increasingly relevant in today’s fast-moving competitive business climate. As ‘the engines that drive innovation’ (Shenhar and Dvir, 2013), projects constitute the foundations for a firm’s ability to survive and prosper.

My research on Dependable Innovation highlights how, in the current harsh economic climate, firms are increasingly faced with the difficult task of managing and resolving tensions that often appear paradoxical: they have to be innovative while at the same time being dependable, they have to be efficient while remaining flexible and agile, and they must strive to lower costs and decrease time to market, but never at the expense of quality. In this challenging competitive context, best in class companies are those who manage to identify the potential trade-offs and learn to reduce or eliminate their unwanted impacts. I have found that leading-edge organisations are able to establish flexible but reliable practices which allow them to remain innovative while anticipating and resolving potential conflicts that otherwise might result in loss of product, process quality and reliability.

At Strathclyde Business School we are introducing a new MSc called Project Management and Innovation.  The 12 month-Masters programme will provide students with the fundamental knowledge and skills required for managing small, medium and large scale projects conceived to bring about change, transformation, and innovation in both technology and organisation. Based in the Department of Strategy and Organisation, the new MSc draws on the contributions of leading academic experts across all the key relevant disciplines (project management, innovation, strategy and organisation), as well as exploiting the crossovers that derive from a range of interdisciplinary collaborations of academic and industry bodies (i.e. the Technology and Innovation Centre at Strathclyde).

The programme integrates theory and practice, allowing students to obtain an advanced qualification in project management, which will substantially enhance their employment prospects. On completion of the programme, students will be expected to have gained:

  • a comprehensive, critical knowledge and understanding of key issues in managing technology and innovation
  • a thorough understanding of the role projects play in delivering innovation and change in products, processes and services
  • a set of practical skills for managing projects with a high uncertainty and innovation content and/or which have innovation and change as a main target.

The MSc was recently listed by the Independent on Sunday among the ‘cutting edge courses fresh off the press” for its potential to produce job-ready graduates. Students on the programme will have access to summer projects and internships, some of which will be in partnership with leading companies. There is also a number of studentships available.

To find out more about the MSc Project Management and Innovation, click here.  To find out more about Luciana’s research visit her website.

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