Posted Wednesday 2 January 2019
An innovative Kingston University scheme to share its business management expertise with postgraduate science students has led to the publication of a new textbook for the wider higher education sector.
For the past five years, all postgraduate courses in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing have included a ‘with management' minor field option. This allows students to develop their knowledge of business and management from experts across the University through a cross-disciplinary project.
The success of the scheme has now led to the publication of Management for Scientists, by respected publishers Emerald, which has been edited by Associate Professor in Computing Sciences Dr Robert Mellor. The thinking behind the creation of this subject field, Dr Mellor said, had been that while scientific progress - from creating more effective medicines or building stronger bridges to designing improved technology networks - could lead to exciting business opportunities, management expertise wasn't always a natural companion to scientific excellence.
"Scientists require a nuanced understanding of the modern business environment to successfully navigate the commercial world and maximise the economic potential of their ideas," he explained. "Management for Scientists explores the core theories and practices in management studies today in a context applicable to those working in the scientific industries."
Essential business concepts covered in the book include:corporate strategy and business planning; management and operations; labour and human resources and organisation structure.
"These concepts are tackled from the perspective of building, maintaining and developing a scientific business in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, engineering, maths and computing sectors," Dr Mellor explained. "A range of real-world examples are included in the book taken from modern science-driven businesses and presented by experienced scientists with proven strategic and economic business expertise."
Alongside Dr Mellor, the book's team of international authors also includes; Jean-Christophe Nebel, Islam Choudhury and Mehmet Tevfik – also from the University's Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing, as well as Ken Morrison from St George's, University of London and Rahul Chawdhary from Kingston Business School.
Senior lecturer in Marketing and Strategy Dr Rahul Chawdhary said this project was an excellent example of interdisciplinary collaboration at the University. "It provided me, as a Kingston Business School academic, with an opportunity to interact with scientists – which has been a great learning experience," he said. "I am convinced that this book will be well received by both scholars and the wider student community."
Dr Mellor said the publication reflected the fact that for the past five years, the postgraduate 'with management studies' field had been one of the University's best-rated courses in terms of participant feedback. "The timing is also right in that 10 years ago the textbook Entrepreneurship for Everyone was published by Sage and, in 2019, the number of participants on the corresponding module at the University – IT and Entrepreneurship – exceeded 2,000, so within this new book my chapter is about entrepreneurship for scientists," he added.
Dean of the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing Dr David Mackintosh provided the foreword for the book. "I firmly believe that Management for Scientists will continue to boost the number of business-aware and entrepreneurial scientists both at Kingston University and at institutions across the United Kingdom and further afield," he said.