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Developing the social science of innovation

IKON is a multidisciplinary research centre located in Warwick Business School. IKON research aims to develop the social science of innovation by applying theoretical perspectives from social and organization theory to empirical studies of the creation, translation and use of knowledge and innovation. Since its establishment in 1997, IKON has gained significant national and international reputation and has been influential across a variety of academic fields, namely organization studies, innovation studies and information systems. Our particular focus is on understanding the social and information processes and networking practices entailed in innovation and the ways in which these are influenced by specific organizational and institutional contexts.


Our research spans a range of theoretical perspectives, and this is reflected in past and current projects. IKON research has been published in a wide variety of books and journals, including Organization Science, Organization Studies, Journal of Management Studies, British Journal of Management, Human Resource Management Journal, Management Learning, International Studies of Management and Organization and Research Policy.

The IKON network (Directors, Professor Jacky Swan and Professor Davide Nicolini) is centred on Warwick Business School in the UK, but IKON has links to a number of other individuals and institutions in the UK and internationally, including Professor Harry Scarbrough (Cass), Professo Jeanne Mengis (Univerity of Lugano), Professor Maxine Robertson (Queen Mary University of London), Professor Mike Bresnen (Manchester) and Professor Sue Newell (University of Warwick).

IKON supporting policy and practice

IKON's work includes support for policy and practitioner groups through various forms of engagement, including:

  • The production of commissioned reports (including reports for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development on 'Evaluating Human Capital' and for the British Standards Institute on 'Knowledge Management in the Public Sector')
  • The development and management of the Knowledge and Innovation Network (KIN) whose membership comprises a number of leading organizations from private and public sectors including AWE, Severn Trent Water, British Council, Macmillan Cancer Support and Norton Rose Fulbright.

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