Centre for Knowledge, Innovation, Technology and Enterprise

Staff Profile

Dr Paul Richter

Senior Lecturer, Innovation and Entrepreneurship


I am a Senior Lecturer in Innovation and Entrepreneurship and a longstanding member of the KITE research centre.

My research interests centre on the relationship between organisational change, technologies and identity, and the function of language and materiality in constituting those phenomena. I have explored these issues in several empirical contexts: small firms and entrepreneurship in multiple sectors, including cultural and creative settings; trends in the delivery of public services; and higher education.

I welcome PhD applicants in areas including:

  • 'innovation' and 'entrepreneurship' in small firms 
  • 'innovation' and 'entrepreneurship' in the creative and cultural sectors, including in 'developing' nation settings
  • trends towards 'customer-isation'
  • organisational change, technologies and identity
  • regulation in an organisational context


Current/Recent research activities

I am the Principal Investigator of the SECT:OR (Small Enterprises in COVID Times: On Regulation) project, funded by the ESRC (£150K) under the UKRI’s rapid response to COVID-19. Working with partners at Birmingham Business School and Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), the project will identify how small firms have received and acted on information about laws and guidance during the pandemic. This work builds on the outcomes of another ESRC funded project (£234K) - REBEL - on which I was a Co-Investigator in conjunction with Prof. Simon Down (Birmingham University), Prof. Jane Pollard (Newcastle University), and Prof. Monder Ram OBE (Aston University). The study (2009-2012) adopted a longitudinal, multi-method framework to explore how small firms understand and respond over time to different forms of regulation in contrasting sectoral (bio-processing, film and media and security) and geographic contexts.    

I am also a Co-Investigator on an ESRC IAA-funded project – More Than ‘Meanwhile’ Spaces: Long-Term Business Models for Artists in the City – which assembles a network of stakeholders capable of enacting change in Newcastle/Gateshead and the wider north east region that seeks to develop a shared and sustained understanding of current decision making processes, their impact and potential, and to co-develop new, sustainable models in the sector.

This work led on from my involvement in an action-oriented research project – in conjunction with academic colleagues based in the School of Arts & Cultures and Architecture, Planning & Landscape – examining the current state and future potential of a Newcastle-based artist-led community – http://thenewbridgeproject.com/. The principal aim is to support the organization in mapping and articulating its value in terms of inter alia; creative activity, public engagement with the Arts, graduate retention, and affordable artist space.

I am also a member of the Creative Fuse North East project team comprising researchers spanning the five north-east universities, researching and delivering business innovation activities to regional creative and cultural enterprises funded by the AHRC and Arts Council England.

In addition, I am part of an inter-disciplinary research team collaborating with partner organizations in East Africa as part of an AHRC Global Challenges Research Network project: Networking New Opportunities for Artists in East Africa. The project seeks to develop a research network to create new, sustainable conversations, interactions and collaborations between UK and East African academics, artists, visual arts organisations, museum professionals and other stakeholders, including audiences for art.

I am also a Co-Investigator on a project (Captured), initially funded by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, which explores the ways that ‘anchor institutions’, such as universities and business schools, in conjunction with large regional organizations, can support regional small firms to develop leadership and entrepreneurship skills.

As a KITE-based researcher, I won a series of funding awards (£50K) from Newcastle University to carry out research into various aspects of the HE student’s experience (2008-2012). These studies have included researching the factors underpinning student satisfaction, exploring the notion of 'student engagement' among undergraduates, and an investigation of students' experience of learning resources and spaces. These investigations form a valuable empirical base for generating theoretical contributions to debates around the shifting HE landscape and student and institutional identities. I also led on a project (2012) that provided an independent assessment of the impact of key Staff Development Unit (Newcastle University) programmes. In related activity, I and KITE colleague Prof. Rob Wilson won an Innovation award from the University's Teaching & Learning Committee (2009) to carry out a study entitled 'Developing the teaching of Research Methods: Students as researchers and co-producers of knowledge into ‘Student Satisfaction’. Its’ principal aim was to develop a more participative and engaging approach to the delivery of social science research methods teaching that has pedagogic benefits for the wider academic community.

This work builds on a number of projects I worked on earlier in my research career investigating different dimensions of ICT deployment in HE settings. These included a study into the deployment, use and identity implications of a set of newly-developed student relationship management systems. Funded by the host university, this research project sought to generate useful knowledge for the university management and to develop KITE's research agenda around the deployment/exploitation of ICTs in a HE setting.

In 2009, I led an exploratory project funded by Newcastle University's HaSS Faculty Research Fund entitled 'Shared Services and Higher Education sector transformation: Processes and Outcomes'. It aimed to develop a social science perspective on shared services in order to critically question their implications for higher education and to develop research capacity in relation to shared services.

During 2010, I was a researcher on an EU-funded (FP6 IST programme) international, multi-disciplinary project developing e-services for older people. Also during 2010, I was a Co-Investigator on a research project funded by The North East Improvement and Efficiency Partnership (NE-IEP) investigating information governance and management across the north east region.

My PhD (Newcastle University Business School) study, primarily involving qualitative data collection, employed a narrative approach to organisation and technology and was concerned with how concepts associated with ‘customer-focus’ are being realized in UK local government service delivery via processes of organizational restructuring, technological implementation, and narrative re-ordering.

Esteem Indicators

Visiting Fellow: The Institute for International Management Practice, Anglia Ruskin University 

Reviewer for submissions to:

  • International Small Business Journal
  • Public Money and Management
  • M@n@gement
  • Journal of Electronic Commerce in Organizations
  • E-Commerce Research and Applications
  • Electronic Commerce Research
  • and British Academy of Management and European Conference on Information Systems conference

Academic Referee for ESRC grant applications

Research Funding

  • ESRC (UKRI) - SECT:OR £150K
  • ESRC IAA - More than Meanwhile Spaces £16K
  • UKCES – Captured programme £133K 
  • ESRC – REBEL £234K
  • North East Improvement and Efficiency Partnership £80K
  • Newcastle University Student Opinion Working Group (multiple funding awards) £50K
  • Newcastle University Staff Development Unit £9K
  • Newcastle University HaSS Faculty Research Fund £4K
  • Newcastle University Teaching & Learning Committee Innovation Award £5K
  • EPSRC – PhD studies


    Current postgraduate teaching:

    • NBS8214 Technology Change and Innovation Policy
    • NBS8039 ICE dissertation
    • NBS8241 ABC dissertation

    Current undergraduate teaching: 

    • BUS3019 The representation of management and organisation in popular culture

    I also supervise Masters and Doctoral students