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Unit for Enterprise Innovation

Siggi Gudergan

Professor Siggi Gudergan

Co-Director
Unit for Enterprise Innovation

Contact Details

Email: siggi.gudergan@waikato.ac.nz
Shikhar Sarin

Professor Shikhar Sarin

Co-Director
Unit for Enterprise Innovation

Contact Details

Email: shikhar.sarin@waikato.ac.nz

Mission

The mission of the Unit for Enterprise Innovation (UEI) is to have a profound impact on the way enterprises operate in New Zealand and the world by inspiring innovators and equipping them with the expertise and insight to drive growth. Through UEI, Waikato Management School's vision is to become the No.1 business school in New Zealand in regards to enterprise innovation, recognised as world class in "Leading through Innovation."

Objectives

UEI has two overarching objectives:

  • To create and disseminate research-based knowledge in the area of innovation that influences education, practice and policy within New Zealand and the rest of the world.
  • To apply the knowledge and expertise to engage with business, government and society, and to contribute and promote innovative approaches to address socio-economic opportunities and challenges within New Zealand and the rest of the world.

UEI brings together researchers from multiple fields to provide a unique perspective on innovation that integrates the management, economic, technical, and social facets of enterprises. Through its research, high quality publications, and engagement with business, government and society, it will develop and nurture a culture of innovation in New Zealand and beyond. UEI is Waikato Management School’s vehicle to produce impact concerning “Leading through Innovation” and is housed within the New Zealand Institute for Business Research.

UEI will consolidate and leverage existing capability as well as build new capability to conduct and apply world-class cross-faculty and cross-disciplinary research addressing business and social innovation. It will operate as a hub where researchers from the Waikato Management School and elsewhere can engage with business, government and society.

Themes within the Unit for Enterprise Innovation

The activities of UEI are organised along three themes. Each of the three themes encompasses activities that relate to individuals or organisations or the wider system within which individuals and organisations innovate. While certain activities are focussed on narrow aspects, our work recognises and accounts for the intersections amongst the three themes:

  • The Future of Innovative Work;
  • The Future of the Innovative Enterprise;
  • The Future of Innovation Eco-Systems.

Chart displaying themes within the Unit for Enterprise Innovation

The Future of Innovative Work

Activities in this theme predominantly account for the role of the individual in enterprise innovation. Here, UEI seeks to produce insights and solutions to questions such as the following illustrative ones: How can we better instil and leverage entrepreneurial and innovative mindsets? How can we foster and benefit from creativity? How can we make better decisions to seize innovation opportunities? How can we effectively lead innovation? What does it take to create an innovative workforce? How will the workforce of the future contribute to enterprise innovation and performance? How can we create innovation resilience? How can we assemble and leverage innovation teams? How is digitisation changing the nature of work?

The Future of the Innovative Enterprise

Activities in this theme predominantly relate to aspects of the enterprise in innovation. Here, UEI seeks to produce insights and solutions to questions such as the following illustrative ones: How can we reignite growth in established businesses? How do enterprises deal with the relentless pressure to innovate? What capabilities are required to be agile and to change business models? How can we leverage data analytics in innovation? How can we improve digital transformations? How can we move beyond incremental innovation and foster breakthrough innovation? How do we create the innovative born global enterprise? How can we better innovate internationally? How can we better reap the commercial and social benefits of innovations? How can we develop enterprise configurations that will blend world-class innovations with responsible management?

The Future of Innovation Eco-Systems

Activities in this theme predominantly relate to how innovation eco-systems affect enterprise innovation. Here, UEI seeks to produce insights and solutions to questions such as the following illustrative ones: How can we improve regional innovation and productivity?  What does it take to innovate in sustainable as well as socially and environmentally responsible ways? How do we create and leverage open innovation capabilities? How can we innovate in the ‘sharing economy’? What does it take to come up with and engage in disruptive innovation? How can socially and economically disenfranchised communities be served through low-cost or resource-constrained innovation?

Academic and Professional Impact of the Unit for Enterprise Innovation

UEI covers the full spectrum of academic activities and is inspired by both theory and practice. The impact that UEI will have will emerge from the excellence of its research that, in turn, impacts business, government and society. As Waikato Management School aspires to be the No.1 international business school in New Zealand in the context of “Leading through Innovation”, UEI will build the intellectual capital and capabilities that deliver on what it takes to demonstrate excellence and impact not only to our academic stakeholders but importantly also to our professional stakeholders.

Academic Impact

Foremost, UEI focusses on advancing knowledge that is practically relevant and can help solve real innovation challenges, while being at the forefront of management innovation scholarship. In order for Waikato Management School to become recognised amongst academic peers as the No.1 international business school in New Zealand in the context of “Leading through Innovation”, UEI will deliver on the following:

  • publications on “Leading through Innovation” in top tier academic journals are written by members of UEI and are cited widely;
  • substantial Marsden and other competitive research funding is generated by the members of UEI to further understanding about “Leading through Innovation”;
  • internationally and also locally respected scholars with a reputation that relates to “Leading through Innovation” turn to Waikato Management School as an employer or as a place to visit;
  • prospective local and international candidates for PhD studies that relate to “Leading through Innovation” approach Waikato Management School to do PhD studies; and
  • international scholarly associations/societies with a focus on “Leading through Innovation” seek to partner with the Unit for Enterprise Innovation.

Professional Impact

In helping business, government and society solve real innovation challenges UEI engages in meaningful ways with professional communities. Thus, while the above-mentioned aspects about Enterprise Innovation are predominantly focussed on its scholarly and academic standing and reputation, the professional presence and impact becomes visible in that:

  • members of UEI write thought leader pieces on “Leading through Innovation” that appear in professional magazines and various news more widely;
  • enterprises turn to UEI as the authority in “Leading through Innovation”;
  • government organisations turn to UEI as the authority in “Leading through Innovation”;
  • NGOs, etc. turn to UEI as an authority in “Leading through Innovation”;
  • enterprises, government organisations and NGOs (co-)fund research projects on “Leading through Innovation” that are carried out by UEI;
  • individual managers and professionals from public and private organisations turn to UEI for training and advice in “Leading through Innovation”;
  • students come to Waikato Management School because its programmes are known for producing graduates with strong competencies in “Leading through Innovation”;
  • Waikato Management School students have ‘work integrated learning’ opportunities focussed on “Leading through Innovation”; and
  • international professional associations/societies with a focus on “Leading through Innovation” seek to partner with UEI.

UEI achieves such academic and professional impact through engaging in research and consulting, developing and delivering executive training programmes and workshops, shaping the content and delivery of Waikato Management School’s undergraduate and graduate learning programmes, and outreach and community connections.