Professor Mark Dodgson


Current roles

I advise, research and teach about innovation. I am Professor of Innovation Studies at the University of Queensland Business School, and have been Visiting Professor at Imperial College Business School since 2007.

Research: I research innovation strategy and policy. My recent research addresses how innovation is changing with an especial interest in digital technologies, project-based organizations, science-business collaboration, the behaviours of highly successful entrepreneurs, and innovation and philanthropy.

Business: My advice on innovation is regularly sought in business in Australia and the UK. I was a founding director of The Think Play Do Group (2005 – 2013) which undertook advisory projects for, amongst others, IBM, Microsoft, Shell, BP, World Intellectual Property Organisation, and Sainsbury’s. I have been on Nestlé Australia’s Board of Directors, and a member of the Advisory Boards of Thiess plc and ecoLegacy. I am currently a Director of Playfulwork Ltd.

Policy: I have played an active role in policy research and advice throughout my career. I have been an advisor to various bodies in the European Commission and government agencies throughout Asia, and have been engaged in innovation policy making in Australia for over 25 years.

Past positions

Since my PhD on innovation in small firms at Imperial College, 1982-84, my work has been devoted to understanding innovation. I worked at the Technical Change Centre in London for two years, researching innovation and skills, before moving to the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex. During my eight years there I developed its innovation management research and teaching. In 1993 I moved, aged 36, to the Australian National University as the Foundation Professor of Management in its Institute of Advanced Studies. During the next 10 years, along with a colleague, I established the National Graduate School of Management, becoming its Executive Director. It had a highly ranked MBA, several postgraduate degrees, and executive education programmes run in Australia and China for leading international companies such as Ericsson.

Research contributions

I have been an active researcher in the field of innovation since completing my PhD over 30 years ago, and have been fortunate to collaborate with many of the world’s leading innovation researchers. To-date I have jointly published with over 50 international scholars. I have written or edited 16 books, and am presently writing another two: on ‘playful work’ and ‘playful universities’. I have written over 100 journal articles, book chapters and reports on innovation. Recent research includes studies of virtualization technologies in IBM; a 10-year study of the building of Heathrow Terminal 5; innovation in Crossrail, the major new railway across London; measuring the performance of clusters; digital money; Huawei’s innovation and patenting strategy, case studies of high profile philanthropists, and innovation in the 18th century English pottery and silk industries. My work has been cited over 11,000 times (Google Scholar).

I put great effort into communicating my research findings to a broader audience, writing regularly for newspapers and radio and giving public presentations.

My research has been funded by, amongst others: Australian Research Council, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (UK), Australian Business Foundation, International Finance Corporation (World Bank, USA), Fraunhofer ISI (Germany), National Institute of Research Advancement and Daiwa Foundation (Japan), Economic and Social Research Council (UK), European Commission, Leverhulme Foundation.

Other academic contributions

I am a member of the editorial board of eight international academic journals in innovation. In 2016 I retired as editor-in-chief of Innovation: Management, Policy and Practice (IMPP), a Routledge journal I founded in 1995 and which developed a reputation for its special editions on China, Taiwan and Latin America. This journal is now called Innovation: Organization and Management, and is highly recommended. 

I have spoken at international conferences in over 60 countries, and have given invited lectures in over 60 universities around the world. I have led numerous academic visits to Brunei, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. I have travelled and worked extensively throughout Africa, Europe and North and South America.

Teaching and executive education

I have started and led Master degrees in Technology and Innovation Management in three universities and have taught postgraduate courses in most aspects of innovation management, including: Innovation Strategy, Innovation Leadership, Managing R&D, Managing New Product Development, Commercializing Research, and Developing Business from Science. Current teaching activities include an MBA course on Innovation Leadership. I regularly conduct senior executive education programmes, with recent clients including: BP, Total, Finmeccanica, CSIRO and Metro Rail.

I have supervised 15 PhDs to completion and examined over 20.

Visiting academic positions: At various stages of my career I have held visiting academic positions at: University of Pisa, University of Oxford, Imperial College, Advanced Institute of Management Research, Tsinghua University, and Bocconi University.

Academic and professional awards: I am a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. I have been an Australian Vice Chancellor’s Committee Commonwealth Fellow, Honorary Ambassador for the Australian Capital Territory, and have been awarded the Eureka Prize for Leadership in Business Innovation (Australia’s premier science prizes).

Advisory Boards: I have been a member of: Australian Business Ltd. Research Advisory Board; Danish Research Unit in Industrial Dynamics Scientific Committee; Brisbane Institute Research Advisory Board; UK Innovation Research Centre Advisory Board; Global Change Institute College of Experts; Queensland Science and Innovation Advisory Council.

International public sector consulting

I have advised the: Fraunhofer Institute for Innovation and Systems Research (Germany); Department of Science (South Africa); National Science Council (Taiwan); National Science Foundation (USA); Danish Employers' Federation; Basque Government; National Science and Technology Development Agency (Thailand).