Innovation – Summer of Research 2019

Catherine Loughlin, Associate Dean, Research and Knowledge Mobilization


Illustration for blog post about Claudia DeFuentes' research

Innovation is a driving force in business. Envisioning better, more efficient ways to accomplish something, planning new products and processes – these are the basic stuff of 21st century capitalism. Locally, the Halifax Innovation District is developing as a connecting web among a number of local players in the business world, including the Halifax Partnership, Innovacorp, Volta, COVE, the universities, and more.

Innovation seems so fundamental to business that it’s strange to think there was ever a time it wasn’t emphasized.  A 2012 article in the Harvard Business Review titled “The History of Inventing Innovation” notes that as recently as the 80s, “diversification” was what businesses called exploring new markets, and they often dove in with no empirical evidence or indication of what to expect. Management by intuition and leaders’ ‘gut’ was established practice. The article talks about business research pioneer Ralph Biggeselle who explored things like the time horizon for new products to reach profitability.
Claudia De Fuentes, professor of management

Today, innovation is central to business. It is studied and fostered, and smart companies assign resources to cultivating it.

Dr. Claudia DeFuentes is a professor in the Sobey School of Business Department of Management. Claudia has studied innovation in Mexico and Canada, and has taught both innovation and the related topic of design thinking to undergraduate and graduate students of entrepreneurship and business.

In this video, she reveals some surprising aspects of innovation, and its relationship to diversity, based on research she has conducted.

  • Open innovation is a concept that is shaking many firms today. How do companies achieve open innovation?
  • Sometimes innovative change introduces inequalities. What role does government policy play in addressing this?

We hope you enjoy this video and if you are interested in learning more about innovation, let us know!

Catherine Loughlin
Associate Dean, Research and Knowledge Mobilization
sobeyschool@smu.ca T: 902-420-5422