Dr Anne ter Wal, Assistant Professor of Technology and Innovation Management, has recently been awarded a European Research Council starting grant of €1.3million under the Horizon 2020 scheme. The funds will support Dr ter Wal’s research into Networking for Innovation which aims to investigate how entrepreneurs leverage their networks to come up with new ideas and build novel business propositions.
“It is widely recognised that entrepreneurs thrive in generating innovations when they have access to well-developed local and global network resources” says Dr ter Wal, “However, the behaviours that enable entrepreneurs to build effective local and global networks and leverage these for innovation are much less clear. This research aims to investigate this network-innovation relationship from a behavioural perspective.”
Over the next five years the research programme, titled N4I_CLUSTER, will involve large-scale and intensive data collection using a range of methods including interviews, observational techniques, online networking monitoring and social science experiments. Dr ter Wal anticipates that the data will generate insight into the strategic as well as spontaneous networking behaviours of entrepreneurs and how these enable or inhibit them to succeed in building a thriving, innovative business.
Findings from Dr ter Wal’s research will also inform the Full-Time MBA elective on Strategic Networks for Innovation and Change. During the evidence based elective, students will have access to live updates from Dr ter Wal’s research in what he calls “parallel teaching” – an element unique to Imperial’s Full-Time MBA.
Findings from my research will be used to directly inform MBA elective material, thus providing students with first-hand insights into the inner workings of their own professional networks
“The MBA elective focuses on how networks may help individuals, entrepreneurs, and organizations to create value,” explains Dr ter Wal. “More specifically, it aims to generate insights into the role of interpersonal and inter-organizational interaction in achieving creative outcomes, innovative performance, organizational change and competitive advantage.”
“Findings from my research will be used to directly inform elective material, thus providing students with first-hand insights into the inner workings of their own professional networks” says Dr ter Wal. Learnings from the elective will provide Full-Time MBA students with valuable lessons for the management of social capital for driving innovation as well as providing exposure to key network analytic concepts.
To find out more about Dr Anne ter Wal’s research please click here.