Newcastle University Business School

Staff Profile

Dr Arturo Vega

Lecturer in Innovation and Policy

Background

PhD (innovation policy), MBA, PG Cert (HE), PG Cert (Mktg), Electronic Eng, Cert (IS), BEng 

Academic Profile

I obtained a PhD at Lancaster University Management School on public policies for technology innovation in SMEs. My research has been awarded by the Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE), and has been selected to be published in the special issue of world-top conferences -International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) and Engage Higher Education Institutions (Engage HEI). I have developed an emerging portfolio of publications as a first author in top-ranked journals (Association of Business Schools, ABS classification) on disrupting themes affecting units of analysis, topics, theories and methodological approaches in whole areas of research. I was also director of the MSc in E-business programmes for 5.5 years with exceptional results in terms of programme design, recruitment, student satisfaction and employability. Finally, my teaching has been rated by the students as one of the best over the years in the Business School. Prior to joining Newcastle University I worked as a lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University Business School and research associate at Lancaster University Management School. 

I have been a member of the Danish Research Unit for Industrial Dynamics (DRUID), the International Research Society for Public Management (IRSPM), the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE), the Association for Information Systems (AIS), the British Academy of Management (BAM), the Association of MBAs (AMBA), the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and the Peruvian Engineers School (CIP).

Industry Profile

I have almost 10 years of rich experience in multinational corporations of the technology sector, including Oracle, IBM, Philips and Red Unicard. My international exposure embraces long stays in the United Kingdom, Spain, Mexico and Peru. I have worked in very diverse areas, including my last leadership role in consulting. My background in industry has given me well-founded knowledge of practically all the organisational innovation process (strategy and innovation definition, project design, selection of products and suppliers, implementation, change management, training, support and evaluation) as well as all the business functions (procurement, logistics, inventory, production and operations, sales and marketing, customer service, and accounting and finance) in different industries. During my stay at Oracle, my teams secured around eight 6-digit-dollar contracts in business software. For this reason, I was a member of the Oracle Excellence Club in two opportunities and travelled to San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Las Vegas (USA) for the awards. I have also written several articles for newspapers and specialised magazines, and given interviews to the media. 

 

Research

Research Profile 

My research is on innovation in society as the main driver for competitive advantage and economic development, with a focus on information systems/technologies (IS/T) and the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector. I conceptualise innovation as the result of the complex interaction of determinants located at multiple levels, including the person, the company, the micro-environment (e.g. buyers, competitors and suppliers) and the macro-environment (e.g. governments, universities and business associations). More concretely, the success or failure of innovation in companies is a final consequence of the activities performed by several actors, as well as the coordinated work among themselves - i.e. systems of innovation. 

For example, multinationals of the IS/T sector (e.g. manufacturers of big data, or artificial intelligence or multiple technologies) and universities in partnership with a government department could offer subsidised research and development services to entrepreneurs for the creation of new products based on the technologies of the multinational. Or the e-startups of a country (e.g. that give service to the health, or environmental or multiple sectors) could receive business support from incubators which are operated regionally by the chambers of commerce and funded as a risky investment by a financial institution that wants to profit from the future success of the ventures. Or the SMEs of an industrial sector (e.g. from the creative, retail or multiple sectors) could adopt a new type of IS/T if the universities of the region delivered focused consultancy programmes funded by the regional government. At the same time, SMEs, startups and entrepreneurs would also be directly or indirectly influenced to innovate by many other determinants such as innovation-related laws and regulations, the lobbying power of business associations to affect innovation policies, the strength of the supply of products and services to innovate, market pressures to innovate, financing/subsidies, the experience of the SMEs with technology, the innovative character of the decision-takers in the SMEs, etc.

For all these reasons, my work expands the frontiers of traditional research in terms of more comprehensive units of analysis, topics, theories and methodological approaches.

My specific research areas are the following:

  • Analysis and design of systems of innovation (e.g. ecosystems) in countries, regions, industries and technological sectors. The innovation systems could be about the development, entrepreneurship or diffusion of innovations.
  • Formulation, administration, implementation and evaluation of enterprise-related policies, including science, technology, innovation and SME policies
  • Knowledge exchange and impact activities of higher education institutions regarding enterprise innovation and economic development
  • Business association structures and political activities
  • Innovation in the SME sector, specially IS/T
  • Philosophy (specially critical realism), trans-disciplinarity and methodological pluralism in innovation studies

A wide selection of my publications can be downloaded from http://newcastle.academia.edu/ArturoVega

Current Projects

Complex Diffusion of Innovations: Understanding of the systemic complexity of the diffusion of information systems in SMEs, including relevant public policy aspects. Funding: Lancaster University Management School.

Impact and Knowledge Exchange Approaches: Understanding of the believes, mindsets and practices of the main actors; the academics. Funding: KITE, Newcastle University.

Affiliations

The Centre for Knowledge Exchange, Innovation, Technology and Enterprise (KITE) (University-wide research centre)

Innovation, Enterprise and Digital Business (Business School research community)

Prospective PhD students

I welcome enquiries from prospective students wishing to undertake doctoral studies under my supervision. The topic areas in which I am prone to develop PhD proposals are any of the ones mentioned above. It goes without saying that we could shape these areas in order to structure a PhD proposal according to your interests. For example, we could focus on the development, entrepreneurship or diffusion of innovations, different types of product or process innovations (not necessarily IS/T), innovators such as a country, a region or an industry, and companies of different size (not necessarily SMEs). Alternatively, we could focus on any relevant component of the systems of innovation/ecosystems including any stage of the policy process (e.g. formulation or implementation), innovation-related laws and regulations, business pressure groups, public support programmes, incubators, university engagement with different stakeholders, financial instruments, open innovation networks, the development of markets including supply and demand, etc.

Feel free to contact me should you wish to explore the possibility of working together. Before doing so, I recommend you to read the University’s webpages to prospective postgraduate students (www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate) as well as the specific webpages for postgraduate research of the Business School (https://www.ncl.ac.uk/business-school/research/postgraduate). I would also strongly recommend to apply as early as possible in order to not lose the deadline for relevant scholarships. Before formally applying, the trick is to construct and then email to me (arturo.vega@newcastle.ac.uk) no more than a six-page summary of your proposed work, which must include the following points:

  • Research Topic: As explained above
  • Research Questions
  • Theoretical Framework: For the fieldwork and analysis
  • Potential theoretical contributions to the existing literature
  • Research Design: Methodology-ies (case study, survey, grounded theory, etc.) and methods to collect data (interviews, post-mailed questionnaires, participant observation, etc.)
  • Potential Funding: For example monies from the ESRC, national governments, or Newcastle University-funded scholarships. You must include the respective deadlines for the application for funding
  • Full list of references

Teaching

Teaching Profile

The modules I teach are very popular and consistently receive some of the highest feedback from the students in the business school. All the design and execution of my teaching put strong emphasis on employability. My teaching has four core characteristics. Firstly, as a consequence of the trans-disciplinary nature of my research, I have been involved in courses as diverse as information systems, electronic business, innovation, entrepreneurship, strategic management, consultancy projects and public policies. Secondly, my teaching is strongly informed by research. This is instrumental to include topics that really matter in the syllabus of the courses and the content of the sessions. Thirdly, my work in industry has equipped me with relevant experience to base my teaching largely on practice. The aim is to make students reflect on real situations in order to make sense and interiorise the theoretical concepts. Importantly, my industrial background has also been fundamental for the delivery of executive education to senior professionals. Fourthly, my degree in higher education has given me knowledge of different concepts and techniques which nurture my planning and daily teaching activities. For example, educational aims, learning styles, student-centred learning, assessment-driven learning, project-based learning, e-learning and multimedia, brainstorming and discussion groups, and feedback types.  

Current/Previous Responsibilities

  • Supervision of PhD, MSc and BSc research projects
  • Currently, courses related to information systems strategy and management
  • Previously, courses related to innovation, entrepreneurship, policy and consulting
  • Ex-director of the MSc in E-business programmes

Publications