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The Evolution of Biomedical Knowledge: Interactive Innovation in the UK and US

There are an increasing number of scientific breakthroughs that have the potential to change medical practice. However, the breakthrough per se, is only the start of the innovation process. If the innovative potential of these breakthroughs is to be fully exploited then novel forms of integrated, multi-disciplinary working arrangements are required as developments expose gaps in the social, legal and ethical frameworks in which the anticipated innovations occur.  For example, within the fields of genetics recent scientific breakthroughs are potentially competency destroying and highly disruptive to existing professional institutional structures. There is therefore an increasingly critical requirement to establish collaborative working arrangements across heterogeneous groups of clinicians, scientists, social scientists, industrial researchers, pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms. This research aims to explore the social interactions across multi-disciplinary groups that are required for the evolution of medical knowledge leading to the development and approval of both radical and incremental innovations in the UK and US health sectors. The major objectives will be to identify the institutional influences that can facilitate (or impede) the evolution of knowledge which can support innovation in medical treatment and diagnosis. In addition we aim to identify factors that facilitate and impede the management of multi-disciplinary forums through comparing different collaborative arrangements for medical innovation. 

For more details of this project, download the fact-sheet(PDF Document)

A copy of the final report from the project is also available(PDF Document)

Selected Publications 

Refereed Journal Papers

Swan, J.,Goussevskaia, A., Newell, S., Robertson, M., and Bresnen, M. (2006) Modes of organizing biomedical innovation in the UK and US and the role of integrative and relational capabilities. Research Policy (Forthcoming)
Swan, J., Goussevskaia, A, Newell, S., Bresnen, M. and Robertson, M. (2006) The Role of Institutional Differences in Biomedical Innovation Processes: A comparison of the UK and US, International Journal of Health Technology Management (forthcoming)
Robertson, M. (2006) Translating breakthroughs in genetics into biomedical innovation: The case of UK Genetic Knowledge Parks, Technology Analysis and Strategic Management (Forthcoming).
Newell, S and Edelman, L. (2006) Developing a dynamic project learning and cross-project learning capability: Synthesizing two perspectives. Information Systems Journal (forthcoming)
Swan, J. and Scarbrough, H. (2005) The politics of networked innovation , Human Relations 58(7), 913-943 (PDF Document)
Bresnen, M., Goussevskaia, A. and Swan, J. (2005) Organizational routines, situated learning and processes of change in project-based organizations. Project Management Journal, 36(3), 27-41

Book Chapters  

Swan, J., Robertson, M., Newell, S., Bresnen, M., Goussevskaia, A., & Obembe, A. (2007) Organizing biomedical innovation in the UK and US, in H. Scarbrough (ed), Evolution of Business Knowledge, Oxford University Press, Oxford (Forthcoming)
Newell, S., Robertson, M. and Swan, J. (2006) Interactive innovation processes and the problems of managing knowledge. In B. Renzl, K. Matzler and H. Hinterhuber (Eds) The Future of Knowledge Management.  Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 115-136 ISBN 1-4039-4760-0 (PDF Document)
Swan, J. Managing Knowledge for Innovation: Production, Process and Practice. In R.Day (Ed) Rethinking Knowledge Management: From Knowledge Management to Knowledge Process (forthcoming)
Bresnen, M. (2006). ‘Conflicting and conflated discourses? Project management, organisational change and learning’, in D. Hodgson and S. Cicmil (eds), Making Projects Critical, pp. 68-89. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 1-4039-4085-1.

Papers Submitted to Journals  

Swan, J., Bresnen, M., Newell, S. and Robertson, M. The Object of Knowledge: The Role of Objects in Interactive Innovation. Submitted to Human Relations – revised submission.
Newell, S., Goussevskaia, A, Swan, J., Robertson, M., Bresnen, M., Obembe, A. The Interactivity of Projects and the Evolution of Knowledge in Biomedical Innovation, Submitted to Long Range Planning – revise & resubmit.

Papers Presented at Conferences  

Bresnen, M., Goussevskaia, A., Newell, S., Obembe, A., Robertson, M. and Swan, J. (2006). ‘Making it up as you go along? Exploring the emergence and construction of biomedical innovation projects’, abstract submitted to Making Projects Critical: Beyond Project Rationality, Manchester Business School, 11-12 December 2006
Robertson, M. Bresnen, M., Gouusevskaia, A., Newell, S., Obembe, A. and Swan, J. (2006) The triple helix unravelled: the development of biomedical innovations in the US and UK. Academy of Management Conference, Atlanta, August 2006
Bresnen, M., Goussevskaia, A., Newell, S., Obembe, A., Robertson, M. and Swan, J. (2006). Bonding or bridging for new knowledge production? Exploring practices, organization and institutionalization in biomedical innovation, 22nd European Group on Organization Studies Colloquium, University of Bergen, Norway, 4-6 July 2006
Robertson, M. and Swan, J. Exploring the political dynamics of knowledge integration. International Conference in Organization Learning Knowledge Capabilities, Warwick, UK, 17-19 March 2006
Robertson, M. Bresnen, M., Gouusevskaia, A., Newell, S., Obembe, A. and Swan, J. (2006) The triple helix unravelled: the development of biomedical innovations in the US and UK. International Conference on Organizational Learning, Knowledge and Capabilities, Warwick, UK 17-19 March 2006
Swan, J., Bresnen, M., Goussevskaia, A. and Scarbrough, H. (2006) Implementing new management initiatives in project-based environments: the role of organizational practices and power dynamics, 39th Hawaii International Conferences in Systems Sciences, Kauai, USA, 4-7 January 2006
Swan, J., Bresnen, M., Mendes, M., Newell, S., Perkmann, M. and Robertson, M. (2005). ‘Exploring interactivity in biomedical innovation: a framework and case study analysis’, in 6th European Conference on Organisational Knowledge, Learning and Capabilities, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, 16-18 March 2006
Scarbrough, H. and Swan, J. Developing the process perspective on networked innovation. Organization Studies Summer Workshop, Santorini, June 2005
Robertson, M., Swan, J., Bresnen, M. and Newell, S. (2005) Translating new science into biomedical innovation: Power, politics and the integration of knowledge, Critical Management Studies Conference, 4-6 July 2005, Cambridge
Swan, J., Mendes, M. Bresnen, M., Newell, S,  (2005) Exploring the effects of integrative and relational capabilities on biomedical innovation in the UK and US 21st European Group in Organization Studies, Berlin, 1-3 July 2005
Goussevskaia, A and Swan. J. (2005) Power and innovation processes in inter-organizational networks , 6th European Conference on Organizational Knowledge Learning and Capabilities, Boston USA 16-18 March 2005
Mendes, M, Bresnen, M., Perkmann, M. Robertson M. Newell, S. and Swan J., 'Translation in Interdisciplinary Contexts' , Innogen International Conference on Evolution of the Life Science Industries, Feb, 2005
Swan, J.A. (2004) Interactive Innovation Processes and the Evolution of Biomedical Knowledge, Academy of Management Conference (All Academy Symposium) New Orleans, August 2004.
Swan, J. and Newell, S. (2004). The Object of Knowledge: The Role of Objects in Interactive Innovation. 20th European Group on Organization Studies Colloquium, Lubliana, July 2004.
Swan, J., Robertson, M., Bresnen, M. and Newell, S. (2003) Interactive Innovation Processes in the Biomedical Domain: The Development of a Framework. 19th European Group on Organization Studies Colloquium, Copenhagen, July 2004.


Swan, J. (2006) Organising Knowledge for Innovation, Keynote presentation at EBK Research Programme: Final Conference, 17 th October 2006.
Bresnen, M. (2006). Inaugral Keynote ‘Challenging orthodoxy: critical reflections on organising and managing in project environments’, University of Leicester, 10 January 2006.
Swan, J. ‘Knowledge Management In Action?’. Keynote for Waterford Institute of Technology Workshop on The Knowledge Economy: Making Knowledge Work, Dungarvey, Ireland, Sept. 23 rd 2003
Bresnen, M. (2003). Competing discourses? Project management and organisational change, Keynote Presentation in Making Projects Critical: A Crisis of Instrumental Rationality?, Bristol Business School, UWE, 10-11 April 2003.