Ever heard of EURAM? - Maybe a good Dissertation Resource!

EURAMlogo200If you scan the content of any internationally accredited MBA programme you will notice that “Strategy” or “Strategic Management” are central modules in each of these programmes.

While in particular for many marketing driven programmes “Strategy” equals “Positioning” in the context of design and management the scope of the discipline touches far more areas as one might think of: General Management, Corporate Governance, Organisational Theory, Organisational Behaviour & Decision-making.

Consequently a comprehensive understanding of the concept of “Strategy” is essential in order to be able to integrate the design discipline with all of its subspecies into a corporate context. (I will write a more comprehensive posting about the intersection of Strategy and Design on my blog Vol. 2: design-management.de soon)

Interestingly once you’ve left the academic university context your concentration on academic organisations and conferences gets lost: You’re in business now! ;-) Consequently many of us do not know that there exist some academic societies out there who are holding quite interesting and informative conference each year. In the field of Strategic Management these are the Academy of Management, the Academy of Strategic Management and the European Academy of Management.

Last year’s European Academy of Management conference (EURAM 2005) took place at the TUM Business School in Munich and it addressed the topic “Responsible Management in an Uncertain World”. Interestingly track 18 of the conference is dedicated to “Innovation, Creativity & Design”. (Special thanks go to MITD from the Managing Innovative Thinking + Design blog for digging that deep into the galaxies of the net ;-)

If we’re honest we all know that “Innovation, Creativity & Design” are the three most used, but quite less understood buzzwords these days. Fortunately there are blogs out there like CPH127.com who are aiming to lift the fog and stimulate a dialogue about this particular intersection. On the other hand the track of conference papers from the above mentioned EURAM 2005 conference is showing how academia is addressing these issues. Here’s a snippet from the track description:

“Innovation remains a key topic for a manager’s agenda - and therefore an important topic for academics around the world. There has been much research, primarily from the fields of economics, operations management and marketing, and increasingly also from fields of organizational behavior, strategy and design/design management, but there remains a wide gulf between the acknowledgement of the need to become more innovative, and the ability to translate that need into action and reality. For example, in a survey undertaken by the innovation and creativity consultancy Synectics in 2003, 80% of participants declared innovation to be of high importance to their organization, but only 4% feel their organizations to be superior at it. While creativity is a long-established topic in management research and an acknowledged first step for innovation, the role of design and designers in the context of innovation is much less understood and explored.
The disconnect between need and ability to meet that need poses important challenges for academia and practitioners alike,

  • First, understand what prevents companies from translating intent to reality,
  • Secondly, develop insights, tools, techniques, approaches that enable managers to improve their company’s innovation performance
  • And finally, to find ways to disseminate existing knowledge better”

Among the members of the steering committee for this track you will also find Zollverein School MBA lecturer Bettina von Stamm. Unfortunately her paper abstract can’t be downloaded from the website. However paper titles like “External Forces for Design Innovation - Research in Progress to Inform a regional Strategy for Design Support Interventions” by Dr Philippa Ashton and Mr Jon Ayling or”Managing Design for Innovation: a Comparison of French and British Practices” by Professor Margaret Bruce, Christine Kratz, Stephen Glennon read quite promising as well.

After all the complete list of tracks at EURAM 2005 seems to be a very helpful resource while doing research for your creative MBA dissertation as well ;-)

P.S.: While the EURAM 2005 site and content looked as we might expect it from an academic context, the organisers the EURAM 2006 conference seem to have understood that visual communication is a essential element of success as well ;-)

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