The Cranfield PhD - Prioritizing the Innovation Project Portfolio

Cranfield School of Management

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PhD Opportunities

Prioritizing the Innovation Project Portfolio

Supervisor: Marek Szwejczewski BA (Hons) MSc MSc DipM PhD

Supervisor: Keith Goffin BSc MSc PhD

Supervisor: Rick Mitchell MA PhD CEng FIEE

An important component of the innovation process is the fuzzy front end ? the generation of ideas for new products. Once ideas have been generated, companies need to effectively select the most promising ones, otherwise valuable resources will be wasted on sub-optimal projects. Research by Robert Cooper has shown that most organizations use financial methods (e.g. net present value ? NPV) to assess and select innovation projects. When used alone, such methods have been shown to be ineffective.Therefore, financial assessments need to be combined with strategic and other considerations to achieve optimal portfolio management. Previous research has also shown that the different perspectives and cultures of the finance and research functions make communications difficult and hinder effective portfolio management.

The research will build on an exploratory study of UK manufacturing companies conducted by Dr Marek Szwejczeski and Prof Rick Mitchell from Cranfield. This found most companies only use one method to assess projects and NPV is most commonly used.

This new project will look in detail about how companies select and prioritize new product development projects and could be conducted as either a PhD or a DBA. The aim will be to not only identify the tools and techniques used (such as NPV) but also to understand how actual management decisions on which innovation projects to select are made. The output of the research is likely to generate practical guidelines on how organizations can improve their portfolio management.

Contact Details:

Dr Marek Szwejczewski, Professor Rick Mitchell or Professor Keith Goffin

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