AMBS alumnus Andrew Buckley has been awarded a Simon Industry and Professional Fellowship to continue his research into innovation in services.
In particular, he will be researching the services that society increasingly depends or ‘takes for granted’ like transport, telecommunications or banking, services which people expect to be performed consistently and around which we build our wider lives.
Yet, as he argues, these dependable services do not remain static because we expect them to be improved upon through innovation. “This provides something of a paradox because innovation is, or carries the risk of being, disruptive.”
Andrew took his MBA at AMBS, and a few years ago went on to complete a DBA which specifically looked at the research topic. Starting his Fellowship this summer, he says he intends to explore further into the subject, talking to industry practitioners, regulators and policymakers, with the intent of writing an academic paper, a practitioner guide, and organising a conference on the topic with AMBS academics.
As he explains: “This is very much a chance for me to look again at my findings from my DBA, combined with my industry experience in payments, and develop further insights. The academic literature can view services as homogenous, but my practitioner experience is that this is far from the case.
Also research into innovation processes has tended to be product-focused and explored less the service industries.”
As he adds: “One of the key areas I am going to look at is how you innovate in so-called ‘dependable’ services, namely those services that people depend on in their daily lives, and which are rapidly digitising. For instance, take the example of catching a flight. Whether it’s booking the taxi to the airport, or checking in for the flight beforehand, so much of the experience is now digital and we have modified our behaviour accordingly.
“However, this then creates questions about what happens if part of the process fails. For example, what if the ride sharing app is out, or my plane ticket is not available on my mobile. How then do I catch my flight seeing as I’ve changed my behaviour and didn’t book the taxi in the days before?”
Andrew has spent his career in services, most notably in banking and personal finance. Until recently he was an Executive Vice-President for bank payment systems company Vocalink where he managed bank payment products in some 14 countries. He was also previously at Mastercard and American Express, in both the UK and the USA.
Added Andrew: “I find the academic world endlessly fascinating and over the years in all my executive roles I have been interested to see how academic theory is applied, or not applied, in practice.”