Mapping Innovation and Capabilities in Engineering

Arup MapTheme: Open & Distributed Innovation

Dates: 2004-2007

Research Team: Professor Ammon Salter, Paola Criscuolo

MICE explored how networks inside engineering consultancies shape project and innovative performance. We worked closely with Arup and WS Atkins to examine the sources that people draw upon when developing new ideas. This work has helped these organisations to develop new ways of harnessing networks for innovation.

Knowledge is important for professional services firms in the engineering sector, yet it can be difficult to capture the lessons from one project and apply them to another. Our quantitative research approach involved extensive interviews and detailed analysis of the connections between experts in two professional services firms, Arup and Atkins.

Using these data, we created a picture of the Arup ‘brain’, showing the breadth of capability within the firm and the knowledge flows between experts. The research provided a robust understanding of the way innovation knowledge is shared within organisations, leading to more effective structures and processes.

Organisations can take this learning process further by beginning to understand how networks shape innovation and inform their decision making.

Notable Achievements

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