Life after-death: knowledge trajectories after innovation failure
Failure is common among innovative new-start enterprises, but firm closure does not necessarily equate to the ‘death of knowledge’. Yet we know surprisingly little about the ‘after-life of ideas’, partly due to an academic and policy focus on ‘winners’. This project investigates the post-failure mobility of different forms of knowledge – tacit (personal to individuals) versus codified (manuals, prototypes, patents, copyrights, etc.) – and whether and how that influences subsequent innovation. What types of knowledge survive firm closures, how does it ‘move’, and what factors determine its re-use?
The research focuses on tourism start-ups because they have high failure rates and the fieldwork will be undertaken in Spain so as to build on their previous EU Marie Curie-funded investigation of tourism innovation in that country. Three stages of interviewing are involved: with key informants in policy and funding organizations, with ‘failed’ entrepreneurs, and with other key stakeholders such as employees and shareholders.
Dr Isabel Rodríguez
Professor Allan Williams
Chair in Tourism and Mobility Studies
Allan studied Economics and Geography at University College Swansea, before obtaining his PhD at the London School of Economics. After completing his doctoral thesis, he worked as a Research Fellow at the LSE and then was Lecturer in Geography at the University of Durham. In 1978 he moved to the Geography Department at the University of Exeter, where he was successively Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader and then, from 1995, Professor of Human Geography and European Studies.He was Co-Director of the Centre for European Studies 1987-95. He also jointly established, with Gareth Shaw, an MSc in Tourism, Development and Policy at Exeter in 2000. He was appointed to the Chair in European Integration and Globalization at London Metropolitan in 2006, in the Institute for the Study of European Transformations, and the Working Lives Research Institute. He joined the Tourism Group in the Faculty of Management at Surrey in January 2011.
He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Science, and has been a member of several Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) committees including: the Research Grants Board, and the 'One Europe or Several' Commissioning Panel. He chaired the ESRC/NERC Transdisciplinary Seminars competition and was vice chair of the ESRC First Grants Commissioning Panel in 2006, and a member of the Commissioning Panel for CASE Studentships, 2006-9.
Within the Royal Geographical Society with the IBG, he has been Chair of the Annual Conference in 2005, Chair of the Research Groups Sub-Committee, a Member of the Research Committee, and a Member of Council. He was awarded the Heath prize of the Royal Geographical Society in 1995 for his research on Europe. He was founding co-editor of European Urban and Regional Studies, 1994-2009, and founding Co-Editor of Tourism Geographies, 1999-2016. He is an Adjunct Professor in the National Centre for Research on Europe, at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.
His central research interests are the relationships between economic development and mobility, and especially the roles of knowledge and risk. He is especially interested in the relationships between tourism and migration, return migration, innovation, productivity and entrepreneurship. He has undertaken research in a number of European countries, but especially Central Eastern Europe, Southern Europe and the UK, as well as New Zealand.
Dr Brahim El-Habib