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January 23, 2011
Rich McDonnell asks...

What Innovation topic provides for a unique & meaningful MBA dissertation?

My MBA International Management dissertation is an opportunity to analyse a business or management issue issue in depth as an independent research project. While, I have selected Innovation as my area of reseach. That said, I am casting a wide net, to gather suggestions for unique & meaningful research topics. For example, a few of the topic areas I am considering are as follows:
1) Smart products and their specific characteristics and success factors.
2) Leveraging outside organizations e.g., university tech transfer, or similar research & develoment organizations in the pursuit of the next big idea.
3) Smart Product – Service Systems…In order to maintain company value, the establishment of a service framework around the core product becomes of value to both company, end user and their user community. For example, Nike Plus+ product (Nike & Apple collaboration).

In closing, I would greatly appreciate any suggestions you might make to identify a novel – highly impactful reseach topic.

Thanking you in advance for your assistance.

Rich McDonnell
MBA Candidate
University of London, Royal Holloway School of Management

Currently there are "7 comments" on this Article:

  1. Stefan Lindegaard says:

    Hi Rich,

    I like your topic 3. Perhaps you can find some good inspiration in the new book by Chesbrough. It is called Open Services Innovation. You can also find some inspiration on http://www.peerinsight.com.

    Personally, I find the topics of small companies versus big companies in open innovation and the intersection of social media tools and open innovation quite interesting.


  2. guido stompff says:

    Hi Rick

    My attention was drawn to your Q by stefan. My own dissertation (PhD) is about design thinking in innovative teams. And it is just the start of really looking at things differently. I understand you are interested in collaborations and open innovations., Good topic: it is the 'modern' way, and is irreversible. My advice for your PhD is to take a view on teams. Teams that have to accomplish the collaboration and execute a new product idea. Chesbrough and the like discuss it at a quite abstract level, some studied it at organizational level. All agreed this is the next hot managerial thing. However: at interactive team level it is much harder than expected, and first paper (e.g. in JPIM) show that there are requirements and draw backs. I studied it as well, and I’m also both enthusiastic about these open collaborations; and critical. It is as very interesting topic: how do teams composed of different organizations, with different language, culture and background come to great innovative products and services?

  3. Rich McDonnell says:

    Hello Stefan,
    I appreciate the reply and suggestions e.g., Open Service Innovation, peerinsight.com, etc.
    It appears both are infomation rich.

    Regarding your comment about small versus big companies engaged in open innovation, to be very intersting as well. I'll certainly be keeping that in mind going forward.

    • Rich McDonnell says:

      Hi Guido,
      Thank you for following up on Stefan's request to review my question. After readng your comments, I can help, but agree how 'global' innovation project team dynamics and their ultimate peformance in executing a new product idea will prove to be the next big thing in the C-Suite.
      I look forward to reading the JPIM paper you mentioned as well.
      Thank you again, I appreciated the valuable insights.

  4. Desmond says:

    Please have you got any suggestions for dissertation topics that combine IT Service Management (such as Change Management) with Customer Service?

  5. There are lots of topics you can use to to start your MBA.

  6. Jhon says:

    Teams that have to accomplish the collaboration and execute a new product idea. Chesbrough and the like discuss it at a quite abstract level, some studied it at organizational level dissertation writing