Professor Anne-Laure Mention is a world renowned expert in the field of innovation economics and management. Her research interests mainly concentrate on open and collaborative innovation, innovation ecosystems, innovation in business to business services, with a particular focus on financial industry and fintech, technology management, and business venturing.
Professor Mention is the co-founding editor of the Journal of Innovation Management, which encourages the submission of papers addressing the multidisciplinary nature of the innovation process combining principles and concepts originating from a myriad of scientific areas, from social sciences to technology research and development. Being twice rewarded with a prestigious IBM Faculty Award for her research on open innovation, currently serving as the Director of the Global Business Innovation Enabling Capability Platform at RMIT, Melbourne, Australia, Anne-Laure in this blog article tells about her research and publications.
Professor Mention, could you briefly tell us about your recent research work and publications?
Recently, I have focused my attention on the use of social media, as an alternative open innovation practice, in relation to innovation activities and innovation performance in private sector organizations.
Questions addressed included e.g. which types of social media platforms are used in specific stages of the innovation process? What organizational characteristics (in terms of culture, strategy, diversity management, leadership style) are conducive to the use of social media for innovation activities? And finally, what are the effects of social use on innovation and economic performance?
Another area of recent interest has been the human side of open innovation, both from the research perspective – revolving around skills, frameworks, culture conducive to open innovation adoption and performance, and from the education side, with the collaborative development of a European-wide curriculum for teaching open innovation, with an e-book ‘Innovation Education Reloaded – Nurturing Skills of the Future’.
I have also co-edited a book on this topic, “Open Innovation – Unveiling the Power of the Human Element”, which includes a dozens of contributions from various perspectives. This recent book brings together the latest thinking from members of the academic community, industry leaders and practitioners, along with, policy-makers. By adopting a variety of research methods, it provides relevant up-to-speed but at the same time down-to-earth invaluable insights, foresights and solutions in relation to the role and the positioning of the human element within the participatory and connection-driven DNA of the open innovation paradigm.
Furthermore, I am currently conducting research on regulatory sandboxes as instruments to foster innovation in traditionally heavily regulated areas, addressing questions related to their design, their efficiency, and their performance; and on university-centred innovation ecosystems, including the maturity of ecosystems, and the interplay between ecosystem and internationalization of firms.
What do you consider to be the scientific challenges in your field of research? Where do the greatest needs for research lie?
In my opinion, the most pressing issues revolve around new value creation and value capture mechanisms, the emergence of ecosystems spanning across traditional industry boundaries, and the advent of new business models and related governance modes.
Most of the topics described above deserve further attention, as they relate to topical phenomena on which little is known at this stage. Ecosystems and platforms are probably the best example, as it has now become the centre of attention for many scholars.
Yet, the academic literature is still mainly catching up with practice, as it still mainly adopting a descriptive approach rather than a predictive one. Conceptual clarity remains a key challenge, let aside the measurement issues.
What would you recommend a young scientist just starting to work in the field?
Meaningful and impactful innovation research requires a multi- and inter-disciplinary approach, bringing together experts from multiple areas willing to simultaneously bring in-depth and specific knowledge and to build a shared body of knowledge and understanding. I would, therefore, advise young scholars to be open-minded, to seek cooperation across disciplines, and to go beyond the usual suspects.
Professor Anne-Laure Mention is a member of the UIIN Scientific Board. You can contact her here.
You can access full e-book ‘Innovation Education Reloaded – Nurturing Skills of the Future’ here