Newcastle University Business School

Staff Profile

Dr Arturo Vega

Lecturer in Innovation and Policy - Director of the MSc in E-business programmes

Background

Academic Profile

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

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 issues 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 in top-ranked journals (Association of Business Schools, ABS classification). I am also director of the MSc in E-business programmes. Prior to joining Newcastle University I worked as a senior 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) and the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

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 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 business functions (procurement, logistics, inventory, production and operations, sales and marketing, customer service, and accounting and finance) as well as of all the organisational innovation process (strategy and innovation definition, project design, selection of products and suppliers, implementation, change management, training, support and evaluation). 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 Approach 

My research is on innovation in society as the main driver for competitive advantage and economic development, with a focus on information systems and the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector. I conceptualise innovation as the result of the interaction of determinants located at different 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. For example, the small companies of an industrial sector could adopt a new e-business system if the universities of the region delivered specific consultancy support programmes funded by the government. Small and medium companies could also be directly or indirectly influenced to innovate by many other determinants such as national laws and regulations, the lobbying role of business associations, competitive pressures, the experience of companies with technology, and the innovative character of decision-takers in companies.

Given this diversity, I see innovation as a trans-disciplinary field of study. Therefore, some of the theories and concepts I use -at the moment- come from systems thinking, evolutionary and institutional economics, network theories, political sciences and public administration, research on higher education institutions, theories on pressure groups and voluntary organisations, organisational innovation, business studies and others. The multi-level nature of innovation also requires methodological pluralism -including quantitative and qualitative methods. Doing so, I guide my research using a critical realist perspective. The layered logic of this kind of research permits to address the underlying determinants that really block or enable innovation processes, which gives to this approach a relevant value for practice and society. For all these reasons, my work expands the frontiers of traditional research in terms of more comprehensive topics, theories and research methodologies.

My specific research areas are the following:

  • Analysis and design of systems of innovation in countries, regions, industries and technological sectors
  • Formulation, administration, implementation and evaluation of enterprise-related policies, including 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 small and medium enterprise sector, specially information systems
  • 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)

Prospective PhD students

I welcome enquiries from prospective students wishing to undertake doctoral studies under my supervision. The topic areas in which I would be interested in developing PhD proposals are the ones mentioned above. It goes without saying that we could shape these areas in order to structure a PhD proposal. For example, we could focus on the creation, commercialisation or diffusion of innovations, different types of product or process innovations, innovators such as a country, a region or an industry, companies of different size, or any relevant component of the systems of innovation including public support programmes, academic engagement with different stakeholders, business pressure groups, open innovation networks, innovation-related laws and regulations or so on.

Do please 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 in the Business School (www.ncl.ac.uk/nubs/courses/postgrad/research). 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@ncl.ac.uk) no more than a five-page summary of your proposed work, which must include the following points:

  • Research Topic: As explained above
  • Research Questions: Explaining the 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 Approach

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, Consultancy Projects, Strategic Management, as well as Enterprise, Technology and Innovation Policy. 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 Responsibilities

  • Director of the MSc in E-business programmes
  • Courses related to information systems/e-business strategy/management and research supervision

Publications