Dr Colin Ashurst
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Address: Newcastle University Business School
5 Barrack Road
Newcastle upon Tyne
Colin qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1983 and then moved into IT and management consulting with PwC. More recently, Colin held various senior IT leadership roles with Asda and Microsoft. Colin was Programme Director for the Management Masters Programmes (Full-Time) at Durham Business School. Following 2 years as Director of Learning, Teaching & Student Experience here at Newcastle University Business School Colin is now Director of Global Programmes exploring innovation in education.
Colin has a passion for enabling individuals and organizations to realize benefits from IT and to exploit IT to enabled business innovation. His research and teaching address:
- Identifying opportunities and priorities for IT investments.
- Realizing benefits from IT investments through agile and benefits-led approaches to projects.
- Realizing value from the IT investment portfolio.
- Succeeding with business innovation enabled by IT.
- Exploiting IT to improve knowledge worker productivity.
- Building the innovation and transformation capability of the organization.
Education & Professional Qualifications
2008/9 Participated in the development programme for Directors of Learning & Teaching run by the Association of Business Schools.
2007 PhD at Loughborough University – exploring the organisational capability to succeed in realising benefits from IT investments through organisational change.
2007 Completed the International Teachers Programme (at IMD).
2006 Postgraduate Certificate in Learning & Teaching in Higher Education.
2003 Member of the Association for Project Management based on professional experience and success in the APMP exam.
2002 Accredited as Microsoft Solutions Framework trainer.
1999 Member of the British Computer Society and Chartered Engineer.
1998 Bradford University, MBA (a final year project explored the implications of knowledge management concepts in getting business benefits from IT).
1983 Qualified as a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales.
1980 Durham University B.Sc. Mathematics.
I completed my PhD in 2007, having studied part time at Loughborough University. The work explored two areas: the extent to which benefits-driven approaches to investments in IT have been adopted; and how organisations can develop the capability to succeed with business transformation.
I am now engaged in a series of research projects in collaboration with local organizations and the North East IT Directors Forum. The focus on innovation, business transformation and realising the strategic potential of IT is a high priority for many organisations. The action-research approach I adopt is designed to engage with participants and help them make a difference.
A recent project, funded by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (£73k), sought to build the capability of the organisation to realise benefits from investments in IT. Outreach sessions involved workshops at the Russell Group IT Directors Forum, the Cabinet Office sponsored Council of Local Government CIOs, and EDUCAUSE (US – IT in HE).
Current work continues to build on the benefits-led perspective:
- Developing the organisational capability to compete with IT and realise benefits from IT investments.
- Exploring practices for benefits realisation from the IT portfolio.
- Exploring practices contributing to IT-enabled innovation.
The aim of my teaching is to enable learning for life. I focus specifically on bridging the gap between current research and practice to enable participants to gain new perspectives and to develop knowledge and ‘craft’ skills that are valuable in practice. My research and business engagement are closely linked with my teaching in terms of both content and approach. I have introduced a number of new modules across UG, Masters and MBA programmes.
Recent teaching has included the following:
Competing with IT . The management issues of realizing benefits from Information Systems. Includes coverage of the value from IS in specific scenarios, aspects of IS strategy, project management and systems development.
Elements of Business Transformation. A multidisciplinary approach to business transformation and realizing the strategic potential of IS. A key element is agile and design thinking to enable IT-enabled innovation.
Consulting. Based on real-world projects.
Management into Action. Exploring the theory and practice of management.
Business Transformation. The strategic issues of managing IS to realize business value.
Strategic Customer Relationship Management. Exploring the value of CRM for an organisation, establishing a CRM strategy and developing a change programme to improve the CRM capability of the organisation.
- Ashurst C. Benefits Realization from Information Technology. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
- Ashurst C, Freer A, Ekdahl J, Gibbons C. Exploring IT-enabled innovation: A new paradigm?. International Journal of Information Management 2012, 32(4), 326-336.
- Doherty N, Ashurst C, Peppard J. Factors Affecting the Successful Realisation of Benefits from Systems Development Projects: Findings From Three Case Studies. Journal of Information Technology 2012, 27(1), 1-16.
- Ashurst C, Cragg P, Herring P. The Role of IT Competences in Gaining Value from E-Business: an SME Case Study. International Small Business Journal 2012, 30(6), 640-658.
- Ashurst C, Hodges J. Exploring Business Transformation: The Challenges of Developing a Benefits Realization Capability’. Journal of Change Management 2010, 10(2), 217-237.
- Burd E, Hatch A, Ashurst C, Jessop A. Building project management communities: exploring the contribution of patterns supported by web 2.0 technologies. Computer Science Education 2009, 19(4), 257-272.
- Redman T, Snape E, Ashurst C. Location, location, location: Does place of work really matter?. British Journal of Management 2009, 20(S1), S171-S181.
- Ashurst C, Doherty N, Peppard J. Improving the impact of IT development projects: the benefits realization capability model. European Journal of Information Systems 2008, 17(4), 352-370.
- Norton AL, Coulson-Thomas YM, Coulson-Thomas CJ, Ashurst C. Ensuring benefits realisation from ERP II: the CSF phasing model. Journal of Enterprise Information Management 2013, 26(3), 218-334.
- Norton AL, Coulson-Thomas YM, Coulson-Thomas CJ, Ashurst C. Delivering training for highly demanding information systems. European Journal of Training and Development 2012, 36(6), 646-662.