RADMA Scholars

Mohammad Y Darvizeh

Dynamic Capabilities in New Product Development and its Effects on Firm Performance

Alliance Manchester Business School -
PhD awarded 2018

I have proposed a generic framework to assess dynamic capabilities (DC) associated with a firm’s performance. My research results in a novel model that could be used to assist firms to manage performances and improve competitive advantages. My findings open a new chapter in the area of strategic management that involve innovation dynamics and organizational performance.

In my research activities, I approached the people, organization and management practices that form the micro-foundations of dynamic capabilities (DC) in the new product development context (NPD). I put them together into multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) and structured my knowledge in the areas of supply chain management (SC), NPD and DC into MCDA models, and also structured them into hierarchical forms for measuring the DC and NPD performance assessment consistently and robust. The models have been applied and validated by the R&D intensive manufacturing companies such as Rolls-Royce, Cummins, Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan and Lam research companies. The MCDA results for the self-performance assessment of the companies have been generated through new measurement method via evidential reasoning approach (ER). The novelty of contribution of Ph.D. research work has been also related to examining the complex interrelationship between DC and NPD performance through MCDA. In terms of replicability of the research method, the MCDA model on DC can be applied for other applications with a different unit of analysis in management sciences context for the purpose of fine-tuned measurement and continuous performance improvement. These also lead senior managers to identify the area of improvement and achieve a sustainable completive advantage. In fact, the research work involves the three intersected domains of strategic management, supply chain management, and innovation management.

Yuta Hirose

A Structured Mapping Approach for Understanding the Dynamics of New Technology-Based Venture Emergence

Cambridge University -
PhD awarded 2018

After completing a PhD in Engineering from the University of Cambridge, I joined the University of Cambridge’s consultancy arm, IfM Education and Consultancy Services Limited (IfM ECS), as an Industrial Fellow.

Prior to this, I worked in business and strategy development support at a Japanese trading house and as a consultant at the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).  I also have a BEng in Chemical Engineering, a BCom in Finance from the University of Melbourne, Australia, and a MSc in Sustainability Science from the University of Tokyo, Japan.

During my industry experience, I became aware that many technology entrepreneurs and managers of client companies tend to focus only on developing products or services (or technologies) while they place relatively little emphasis on pursuing strategic thinking. By this I mean understanding and managing associated uncertainties in their ventures and projects, and aligning developments with relevant supply-push and demand-pull dynamics.

Most of them ended up dissatisfied as they were not able to create and capture value as they had hoped.

As part of early investigations, I explored Roadmapping, a systems-oriented visual approach to strategy and innovation, as a potentially appropriate method to support strategic thinking of technology entrepreneurs and managers, depicting with the time dimension and with systems-oriented thinking in the context of innovation and technology management.

Roadmapping is the subject of ongoing academic research, including some consideration of the application of roadmapping to technology ventures, for both prospective planning and retrospective learning purposes. However, I believe that in order to more appropriately and effectively apply the roadmapping approach to support technology ventures, the theoretical foundations need to be considered and developed to customise roadmapping for the specific case of technology ventures. This provided a starting point and motivation for conducting this research.

My PhD focused on characterising the emergence of technology ventures in the context of strategy and innovation in the technological fields of engineering, ICT and advanced materials. I adapted roadmapping principles to develop a retrospective visual mapping approach to understand how technological and market uncertainties are coped with while creating and capturing value at the time of emergence. I conducted 32 case studies and a focus group in the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Japan, Australia and the United States. Based on the research outputs, I designed a strategic roadmapping tool and process to support emerging technology ventures in practice, encouraging tool testing and development as part of future work recommendations.

Overall, my PhD research demonstrates that characterising technology venture emergence, by applying roadmapping principles, provides significant implications for both researchers and practitioners of strategy and innovation.  Success or failure of emerging technology ventures, in terms of value creation and capture, is not only directly related to products or services, but more broadly to the innovation systems in which the technology ventures operate.

My PhD research showed that applying roadmapping is an appropriate method to characterise and improve emerging technology venturing practices, supporting value creation and capture.

I am now an Industrial Fellow at the University of Cambridge’s consultancy arm, called the IfM Education and Consultancy Services Limited (IfM ECS). I am mainly based in Tokyo, Japan, helping small, medium and large organisations benefit from IfM research outputs in the Asia-Pacific region, with a particular focus on strategic roadmapping, innovation and technology management, and policy research relating to science, technology and innovation.

Maurizio Catulli

The Adoption and Diffusion of Product Service Systems (PSS) in Consumer Markets

The Open University
PhD awarded 2016

Dr. Maurizio Catulli is a professional academic and Chartered Marketer with experience both as an academic and as a practitioner. Maurizio has led several research and consultancy projects across the automotive, pharmaceutical, electronics and defence industries.  Maurizio has been working as a full time academic since 2001.  At The University of Hertfordshire he lectures in Understanding Customers and led several “live” client consultancy projects, including DTI funded Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) and Knowledge East of England (KEEP), as well as REBUS, a project on sustainable consumption funded by DEFRA and which deployed academic staff from Environmental Sciences, Creative Arts, Psychology and Engineering. Maurizio’s interests include sustainable consumption and production, Product Service Systems and Access Based Consumption.

Maurizio achieved a PhD in design in April 2019 from The Open University with the invaluable support of RADMA.  Maurizio’s doctoral project focused on a design theme, Product Service System (PSS), system of products and services, supporting networks and infrastructure designed to be resource efficient. The focus was on social and cultural dynamics shaping PSS consumption. From a R&D perspective, the findings inform research strategies to test these sustainable innovations.

The theoretical framework of the project included two cultural theories, Consumer Culture Theory and Practice Theory, or the theory of social practices. This framework was conceptualized to explore the nexus between consumers’ deliberate action driven by their will to project their identity to the world and the social conventions and physical structures that inhibit consumers’ ability to consume sustainably.

A very important finding of the thesis was the resistance to the uptake of innovations due to the obduracy of incumbent practices. From a R&D perspective, this means that innovation researchers need a full understanding of the social practices consumers are immersed within to understand the dynamics of uptake of innovations.

Maurizio is currently engaged with a research group spanning The Open University, where he is an Honorary Research Fellow, and the University of Hertfordshire. He is involved in a number of projects focusing on sustainable business models. One of these projects, “The one million mile electric car” explores the feasibility of long life electric vehicles and in particular, their consumption challenges.

Maurizio’s thesis will soon be available on the Open University’s web site,

Ambra Mazzelli

How Strategic Objectives and Actions Affect Value Creation through its influence on Decisions concerning Technology and Innovation Management in SMEs

Lancaster University
PhD awarded 2014

Ambra Mazzelli is an Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations at Asia School of Business (ASB) and an International Faculty Fellow at MIT Sloan School of Management. Prior to joining ASB she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Concordia University, John Molson School of Business (Montreal, Canada). Ambra holds a PhD in Management from Lancaster University Management School (Lancaster, UK) and received her Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Management Engineering from University of Bergamo (Bergamo, IT).

Ambra’s research interests lie in organization and management theory. Specifically, her research is dedicated to understanding the dynamics of organizational responses to unmet goals and their implications for organizational change in family and non-family firms. Her approach combines two main theoretical perspectives – the behavioral theory of the firm and cognitive theory – to stake out new and dynamic avenues for exploring how decision makers collect, interpret, and act upon information signaling the presence of an organizational problem, and how their interpretations and actions are affected and constituted by social exchanges in the environment in which they operate. Her research has been published in leading journals including Academy of Management Review, Journal of Management Studies, Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, and Long Range Planning.

Dhruba Borah

Challenges and Strategies for Offshoring R&D to Emerging Countries: Evidence from Foreign MNCs' R&D Subsidiaries in India.

Alliance Manchester Business School
PhD awarded 2019

I am currently working as a Postdoctoral Researcher in Strategy and International Business at the University of Liverpool Management School (ULMS). I will be joining as a Lecturer at ULMS from the 1st of December, 2019. I completed my PhD at the Alliance Manchester Business School (AMBS) in early 2019 under the supervision of Professor Silvia Massini and Dr Khaleel Malik. My PhD thesis studies two key challenges for offshoring R&D activities to emerging countries in terms of recruiting and retaining talent: low-quality of fresh engineering graduates and high outward mobility of inventors and investigates firms’ strategies to overcome these challenges. This thesis is a collection of three research papers.

The first paper of this thesis presents research findings from an exploratory study of 12 firms in India to establish how these firms use teaching-focused industry-academia (I-A) collaboration strategies with universities to develop engineering graduates with prerequisite skills for R&D positions. By offering insights into how teaching-focused I-A collaborations are operationalised, and the drivers and challenges for universities and corporations participating in such alliances, this paper strengthens a much-neglected dimension of industry-academia (I-A) collaboration literature: the role of collaborative activities in teaching. In addition, this paper contributes to the human capital theory by demonstrating the potential of teaching-focused I-A collaborations to provide an alternative to the traditional graduate recruitment and development model: ‘in-house on-the-job training’. This paper has been published in Research Policy, a Financial Times’ top 50 Journal.

The second paper of this thesis further contributes to this line of research by exploring the university-level and institutional determinants of teaching-focused I-A collaborations using mixed methods. The identification of factors that facilitate or hinder universities’ propensity to engage in teaching-focused I-A collaborations allows me to suggest policy implications on how to promote a favourable environment for teaching collaborations to take place.

The third paper of this thesis aims at explaining the factors behind inventors’ high outward mobility in emerging countries.  We claim that MNCs’ formal and informal institutional distance with the host countries positively impact the inventors’ outward mobility from subsidiaries. We also posit that experience plays a moderating role at both the micro level (i.e. at the individual inventor-level) and macro level (i.e. at the MNC-level). Our empirical analysis refers to foreign ICT MNCs in India, in the period 1996-2016, and adopts a novel methodology of tracking 1,421 inventors’ mobility on LinkedIn. This paper was nominated for the best paper award at the Academy of International Business (AIB) Conference in Copenhagen in 2019. To summarise, my thesis contributes to one of the critical research themes that RADMA supports which isthe interaction of organisation-wide processes such as strategy formulation and human resources with R&D”.

During my PhD, I also worked as a Research Assistant in Horizon 20-20, and Innovate UK funded projects; completed an internship at the Asian and Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology, United Nations (New Delhi); and spent a semester at Politecnico di Milano, Italy as a Visiting Researcher. Engagement in these projects helped me achieve a broader business, societal and policy impact. In order to develop all-round academic skills, during my PhD I also participated in teaching at AMBS. In 2018, I received the ‘Teaching Assistant Award’ from AMBS. Overall, my PhD journey was a fascinating experience. I am grateful to RADMA for partially sponsoring my PhD dissertation project. Without RADMA’s generous financial support, the PhD degree would have remained a mere dream to me.