I was Louise’s Director of Studies. I served as second supervisor for Hannah alongside my colleague Professor David Benyon, who was her Director of Studies. Both students completed their doctoral studies part-time.
Louise’s thesis is entitled Tracing the adoption of a management innovation labelled ‘knowledge working’ in a public sector agency in Scotland. The main theme of Louise’s work is the process of adoption of management innovation – in this case Knowledge Management (KM) – in an organisational setting. Louise’s findings are drawn from primary research that explores, and considers in depth, the introduction of a KM programme within a large distributed public sector organisation. Her case study generated an account of the process of adoption of management innovation through three phases (initiation; implementation; and outcomes), the episodes within each phase, and decision-making across all phases. Louise modelled the process of the adoption of management innovation as a whole, with a focus on key implementation decisions and the power of organisational discourse throughout. This research has extended our knowledge of both the process of adoption of management innovations, and how KM is implemented, in large organisations.
Hannah’s thesis is entitled A framework for the transformation of the creative industries in a digital age. In her doctoral research Hannah investigated the value of the AmbITion Approach as a change methodology for enterprises that seek to transform and build adaptability, taking into account environments characterised by continuous disruption due to the rapid and on-going introduction of digital technologies. The empirical study reported in the thesis covered a period of two years between 2012 and 2014 and involved 21 participant organisations. Hannah blended participatory action research (PAR) methods with modern management consultancy, design, and creative practices in her research approach.
The main findings of Hannah’s work contribute new knowledge on a specific set of constructs and criteria that define first, second, and third order change in creative enterprises. It established the value of the framework under scrutiny to prove and validate the change, adaptation, or transformation achieved. Hannah’s work also makes a contribution to conceptions of the practice of research by adding understanding of the value of PAR and design thinking approaches as methods for change.
Hannah recently delivered a presentation on some of the work from her thesis at the 10th International Forum on Knowledge Asset Dynamics in Bari, Italy. The full text of the paper is available, as is the abstract.