Research Projects

Current research projects

Playful Entrepreneurs.

This has led to a recently completed book, written with David Gann, entitled: The Playful Entrepreneur: What Rousseau can teach us about succeeding in uncertain times. It will be published by Yale University Press in 2018.

The book uses contemporary and historical cases of innovators and entrepreneurs to demonstrate how and why they play and how this holds lessons for everyone at work confronted by turbulence and uncertainty.


Playful Universities: This is a work-in-progress, conducted with David Gann, that argued that although universities have never been more important, they are constrained by government policies and their own increasing bureaucratization. The solution lies with increased playfulness.

Strategic management of Universities: This is a project undertaken with Markus Perkmann, Nelson Phillips and David Gann, concerned with the management of hybridity: maintaining the aims and objectives of public science whilst encouraging engagement with industry. The study uses the case of Imperial College London. 

Innovation in Large, Complex Projects.

This work, conducted with Andy Davies, David Gann and Sam MacAulay, examines the importance and nature of innovation in the delivery of large infrastructure projects, such as Crossrail and Heathrow Terminal 5. Various papers have been published, submitted and are in preparation.

Stategies for Integrating Fine Arts and Manufacturing in England c1750-1850.

Conducted with Catherine Casson, this project explores the early industrialization of the cotton,silk and pottery industries, and how manufacturing and arts were integrated to "add beauty to utility".

Innovation in China.

With Marina Zhang and Guo Lei, research is being undertaken on Huawei's innovation strategy. Research is also being undertaken on new forms of patent analysis and in a study of distributed institutional entrepreneurship in mobile payments in China and Korea.

Assessing the performance of cluster ecosystems: An exploratory framework.

With Anne ter Wal, Chris Corbishley and David Gann, we have developed a framework for examining the formation and performance of cluster ecosystems.