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Department of Management

Professor John Bessant

Professor John Bessant

Emeritus Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship




Originally a chemical engineer, Professor John Bessant has been active in research, teaching and consultancy in technology and innovation management for over 25 years. He currently holds the Chair in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Exeter University where he is also Research Director. In 2003, he was awarded a Fellowship with the Advanced Institute for Management Research and was also elected a Fellow of the British Academy of Management. He served on the Business and Management Panel of both the 2001 and 2008 Research Assessment Exercises. He has acted as advisor to various national governments and to international bodies including the United Nations, The World Bank and the OECD.

Professor Bessant is the author of over 30 books and monographs and many articles on the topic and has lectured and consulted widely around the world. His most recent books include Managing innovation (2018) (now in its 6th edition) Entreprenurship (2018) (both published by John Wiley and Sons) and 'Riding the innovation wave' (Emerald, 2017).


  • PhD (Innovation studies)
  • BSc (Psychology)
  • BSc, (Chemical engineering)


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Research interests

  • High involvement innovation
  • Humanitarian innovation
  • Scaling innovation
  • Networks and ecosystems for innovation

My research is concerned with the process of technological innovation and its management. At enterprise level, it focuses on trying to identify the key structures and behaviours which enable organisations to renew their business offerings (products / services) and the ways in which they create and deliver them. Product and process innovation of this type requires capabilities both in 'doing what we do better' - continuous improvement' - and occasionally 'doing something different' - radical / discontinuous change. My research aims to improve understanding of what is needed here but also to identify or develop tools and techniques to enable organisations to build and sustain these capabilities.

I am increasingly interested in innovation management inside organizations engaged with creating social value – for example in the public sector or in not-for-profit organizations such as those operating in the humanitarian aid sector.  In many ways these environments pose additional and complex challenges for organizing and managing innovation.

Another increasingly important dimension to this problem is the fact that organisations do not operate in isolation. Most activity involves different kinds of relationships with other organisations, and understanding how the principles of effective innovation management can be applied to inter-organisational networks forms an increasingly important area of my research.

Research projects

  • In my role as Visiting Professor at the University of Stavanger I am involved in a major project on ‘Releasing the power of users’ looking at user innovation and ‘living labs’ in the context of healthcare innovation.
  • I am also involved in a variety of projects funded by humanitarian agencies looking at the challenge of moving innovation to scale

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Bessant J, Goller I (2017). Creativity for innovation. London, Routledge.
Bessant J (2017). Riding the waves of innovation. London, Emerald.
Bessant J, Tidd J (2015). Innovation and entrepreneurship., John Wiley and Sons.
Bessant J, Lehmann C, Moeslein KM (2014). Driving Service Productivity Value-Creation Through Innovation., Springer. Abstract.
Tidd J, Bessant J (2014). Strategic Innovation Management., Wiley.
Augsdorfer P, Bessant J, Moslein K, Piller F, Von Stamm B (2013). Discontinuous Innovation. Abstract.
Bessant J, Tidd, J (2013). Managing innovation: Integrating technological, market and organizational change, 5th edition. Chichester, John Wiley.
Owen R, Bessant J, Heintz M (2013). Responsible Innovation., John Wiley & Sons. Abstract.
Bessant J, Venables T (2008). Creating wealth from knowledge: Meeting the Innovation Challenge. Cheltenham, Edward Elgar Publishing.
Tindd J, Bessant J, Pavitt K, 跃红王, 伟立李 (2008). Managing innovation - Chinese translation.
Tidd J, Bessant J, Pavitt K (2005). Managing innovation, (Japanese translation). Tokyo, NTT.
Brown S, Bessant J, Lamming R, Jones P (2004). Strategic Operations Management. Oxford, Butterworth Heinemann.
Tidd J, Bessant J, Pavitt K (2003). Gestao da inovacio. Lisbon, Monitor Publishers.
Bruce M, Bessant J (2002). Design in business., Ft Pr. Abstract.
Tidd J, Bessant J, Pavitt K (eds)(1999). Management dell'innovazione. Milan, Italy, Guerini & Associati.
Tidd J, Bessant J, Pavitt K (1999). Managing innovation: Instructor's manual. Chichester, John Wiley.
Dodgson M, Bessant J (1996). Effective innovation policy. London, International Thomson Business Press.
Rush H, Hobday M, Bessant J, Arnold E (1996). Technology institutes: Strategies for best practice. London, International Thomson Business Press.
Miles I, Rush H, Turner K, Bessant J (1993). Orizzonti ed implicazioni sociali delle nuove tecnologie dell'informazione. Bologna, Italy, Baskerville.
Bessant J (1991). Managing advanced manufacturing technology: the challenge of the fifth wave. Oxford/ Manchester, NCC-Blackwell.
Bessant J, Lamming R (1991). The Macmillan Dictionary of Production Management and Technology. London, Macmillan.
Bessant J, Haywood B (1989). New directions in electronics manufacturing. Bedford, IFS Publications.
Whitaker M, Miles I, Rush H, Bessant J (1988). IT Sources - an annotated bibliography of information technology. Brighton, Edward Elgar.
Miles I, Rush H, Turner K, Bessant J (1988). Information horizons. London, Edward Elgar.
Bessant J, Lamming R (1988). The Macmillan Dictionary of Business and Management., Macmillan Press Ltd.
Bernal C, Bessant J (1987). Innovacion. Lima, Peru, Junta del Acuerdo de Cartagena.
Rothwell R, Bessant J (1987). Innovation, adaptation and growth. Amsterdam, Elsevier.
Bessant J, Grunt M (1985). Management and manufacturing innovation in the UK and West Germany. Aldershot, Gower.
Bessant J, Cole S (1985). Stacking the chips: Information technology and the global distribution of income. London, Frances Pinter.
Bessant J, Dickson K (1982). Issues in the adoption of microelectronics. London, Frances Pinter.
Bessant J, Dickson K, Marsh J, Bowen T (1981). The impact of microelectronics. London, Frances Pinter.

Journal articles

Gomes LA, Gregorio MJ, Iakovleva TA, de Sousa RD, Bessant J, Oliveira P, Branco JC, Canhao H, Rodrigues AM (2021). A Home-Based eHealth Intervention for an Older Adult Population with Food Insecurity: Feasibility and Acceptability Study. JOURNAL OF MEDICAL INTERNET RESEARCH, 23(8).  Author URL.
Agwu UJ, Bessant J (2021). Sustainable Business Models: a Systematic Review of Approaches and Challenges in Manufacturing. Revista de Administração Contemporânea, 25(3). Abstract.
Bessant J, Trifilova A (2017). Developing absorptive capacity for recombinant innovation. Business Process Management Journal, 23(6), 1094-1107. Abstract.
Bessant J, Trifilova A, Alexander AT (2017). Responsible Innovation in Healthcare - the case of digital TV. International Journal of Innovation Management, 21
Trifilova A, Bessant J, Alexander AT (2016). How can you teach Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Technology Innovation Management Review, 6, 45-50.
Bessant J, Lamming R, Trifilova A (2016). New wine or new bottles? What purchasing and supply managers need to know about open innovation. Journal of Supply Excellence, 4, 34-40.
Bessant J, Scheiner C, Baccarella C, Voigt K (2016). Organizational and Individual Unlearning in Identification and Evaluation of Technologies. International Journal of Innovation Management, 20(2).
Readman J, Bessant J, Neely A, Twigg D (2015). Positioning <scp>UK</scp> research and technology organizations as outward‐facing technology‐bases. R&D Management, 48(1), 109-120. Abstract.
Abu El-Ella N, Bessant J, Pinkwart A (2015). Revisiting the Honorable Merchant: the Reshaped Role of Trust in Open Innovation. Thunderbird International Business Review, 58(3), 261-275.
Nicholas J, Ledwith A, Bessant J (2015). Selecting Early-Stage Ideas for Radical Innovation: Tools and Structures. Research-Technology Management, 58(4), 36-44.
Adams R, Jeanrenaud S, Bessant J, Denyer D, Overy P (2015). Sustainability‐oriented Innovation: a Systematic Review. International Journal of Management Reviews, 18(2), 180-205. Abstract.
Scheiner CW, Baccarella CV, Bessant J, Voigt K-I (2015). Thinking patterns and gut feeling in technology identification and evaluation. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 101, 112-123.
Bessant J, Öberg C, Trifilova A (2014). Framing problems in radical innovation. Industrial Marketing Management, 43(8), 1284-1292. Abstract.
Bessant J, Abu El-Alla N, Stotzl M, Pinkwart A, Schrenker K (2013). Accelerating high involvement innovation. International Journal of Innovation Management, 17(6).
Bessant J, Ledwith A, Nicholas, J (2013). Reframing the Search Space for Radical Innovation. Research Technology Management: international journal of research management, 56(2), 27-35.
Bessant J, aloini D, von Stamm B, Martini A (2013). Search Practices for Discontinuous Innovation: Scale Development and Construct Validation. Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, 25(10).
Trifilova A, Bessant J, Jia F, Gosling J (2013). Sustainability-driven innovation and the Climate Savers' programme: experience of international companies in China. Corporate Governance: the international journal of business in society, 13(5), 599-612.
Rush H, Bessant J, Hobday M, Hanrahan E, Medeiros MZ (2013). The evolution and use of a policy and research tool: assessing the technological capabilities of firms. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 26(3), 353-365.
Bessant J, Alexander A, Tsekouras G, Rush H, Lamming R (2012). Developing innovation capability through learning networks. Journal of Economic Geography, 12(5), 1087-1112. Abstract.
Trifilova A, Bessant J (2012). Innovation - into the future. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 24(2), 107-111.
Howells J, Bessant J (2012). Introduction: Innovation and economic geography: a review and analysis. Journal of Economic Geography, 12(5), 929-942. Abstract.
Seebode D, Jeanrenaud S, Bessant J (2012). Managing innovation for sustainability. R and D Management, 42(3), 195-206. Abstract.
Thorpe R, Eden C, Bessant J, Ellwood P (2011). Rigour, Relevance and Reward: Introducing the Knowledge Translation Value‐chain. British Journal of Management, 22(3), 420-431. Abstract.
Bessant J, Von Stamm B, Moeslein K, Neyer A (2011). Selection strategies for discontinuous innovation. International Journal of Technology Management, 55(1-2), 156-170.
Bessant J, Albors-Garrigos J, Hervas-Oliver JL (2011). Special Issue on Radical Challenges for Innovation Management. International Journal of Technology Management, 55(1-2), 1-5.
Bessant J, von Stamm B, Moeslein KM, Neyer AK (2010). Backing outsiders: selection strategies for discontinuous innovation. R&D Management, 40(4), 345-356. Abstract.
Noke H, Radnor Z, Bessant J (2009). Creating a new product development capability: Organizational enablers for moving up the value chain. International Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 16(4), 319-342.
Bessant J, Maher L (2009). Developing radical service innovations in healthcare - the role of design methods. International Journal of Innovation Management, 13(4), 555-568.
Bessant J, Tsekouras G, Rush H (2009). Getting the tail to wag: Developing absorptive capacity in SMEs.
Bessant J (2009). The integration barrier; problems in the implementation of advanced manufacturing technology. Robotica, 3(2), 97-103. Abstract.
Bessant J (2008). Dealing with discontinuous innovation some European experience. International Journal of Technology Management, 42(1/2), 36-50.
McClaughlin P, Smart P, Bessant J (2008). Developing an Organization Culture to Facilitate Radical Innovation. International Journal of Technology Management, 44(3/4), 298-323.
Bessant J, Francis D (2008). Special issue: developing capabilities for continuous innovation. International Journal of Technology Management, 44(3-4), 293-297.
Bessant J, Birkinshaw J, Delbridge R, Griffith R, Haskel J, Neely A (2008). Special report: Competing on knowledge. Business Strategy Review, 19(1), 73-89. Abstract.
Rush H, Bessant J, Hobday M (2007). Assessing the technological capabilities of firms: Developing a policy tool. R&D Management, 37(3), 221-236.
Dabhilkar M, Bengtsson L, Bessant J (2007). Convergence or National Specificity? Testing the CI Maturity Model across Multiple Countries. Creativity and Innovation Management, 16(4), 348-362.
Birkinshaw J, Bessant J, Delbridge R (2007). Finding, Forming, and Performing: Creating Networks for Discontinuous Innovation. California Management Review, 49(3), 67-83.
Phelps R, Adams R, Bessant J (2007). Life cycles of growing organizations: a review with implications for knowledge and learning. International Journal of Management Reviews, 9(1), 1-30. Abstract.
Phelps R, Adams RJ, Bessant J (2007). Models of organizational growth: a review with implications for knowledge and learning. International Journal of Management Reviews, 9(1), 53-80.
Rush H, Hobday M, Bessant J, Arnold E (2007). Strategies for best practice in research and technology institutes: an overview of a benchmarking exercise. R&D Management, 25(1), 17-31. Abstract.
Smart P, Bessant J, Gupta A (2007). Towards technological rules for designing innovation networks:. a dynamic capabilities view. International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 27(10).
Readman J, Bessant J (2007). What challenges lie ahead for improvement programmes in the UK? Lessons from the Continuous Improvement Survey 2003. International Journal of Technology Management, 47, 290-305.
Papaioannou T, Rush H, Bessant J (2006). Benchmarking as a policy-making tool: from the private to the public. Science and Public Policy, 33(2), 91-102.
Phillips W, Noke H, Bessant J, Lamming R (2006). Beyond the steady state: Managing discontinuous product and process innovation. International Journal of Innovation Management, 10(2), 175-196.
Phillips W, Bessant J, Lamming R, Noke H (2006). Discontinuous innovation and supply relationships: strategic dalliances. R & D Management, 36(4), 451-461.
Adams R, Phelps R, Bessant J (2006). Innovation management measurement: a review. International Journal of Management Reviews, 8(1), 21-47.
Readman J, Squire B, Bessant J, Brown S (2006). The application of agile manufacturing for customer value. Journal of Financial Transformation, 18(November), 133-141.
Squire B, Brown S, Readman J, Bessant J (2006). The impact of mass customisation on manufacturing trade-offs. Production and Operations Management, 15(1).
Morris M, Bessant J, Barnes J (2006). Using learning networks to enable industrial development: Case studies from South Africa. International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 26(5), 532-557. Abstract.
Bessant J (2005). Enabling continuous and discontinuous innovation: Learning from the private sector. Public Money and Management, 25(1), 35-42. Abstract.
Hansen PK, Bessant J, Eris O, Mabogunje A, Leifer L (2005). Innovation scenarios generating a structure for a toolkit. Proceedings ICED 05, the 15th International Conference on Engineering Design, DS 35
Bessant J, Lamming R, Noke H, Phillips W (2005). Managing innovation beyond the steady state. Technovation, 25(12), 1366-1376. Abstract.
Hobday M, Rush H, Bessant J (2005). Reaching the innovation frontier in Korea: a new corporate strategy dilemma. Research Policy, 33, 1433-1457.
Francis D, Bessant J (2005). Targeting innovation and implications for capability development. Technovation, 25(3), 171-183.
Francis D, Bessant J (2005). Transferring soft technologies. International Journal of Sustainable Technology and Development, 4(2), 93-112.
Hobday M, Rush H, Bessant J (2004). Approaching the innovation frontier in Korea: the transition phase to leadership. Research Policy, 33(10), 1433-1457.
Rush H, Bessant J, Lee S (2004). Assessing the Effectiveness of Technology Policy - a long-term view. Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, 16(3), 327-342.
Jager B, Minnie C, Jager J, Welgemoed M, Bessant J, Francis D (2004). Enabling continuous improvement: a case study of implementation. Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 15(4), 315-324. Abstract.
Birkinshaw J, Bessant J, Delbridge R (2004). Innovation as unusual. Business Strategy Review(Autumn).
Squire B, Readman J, Brown S, Bessant J (2004). Mass customisation: the key to customer value?. Production Planning and Control, 15(4), 459-471.
Bessant J (2004). The capable company: Building the capabilities that make strategy work. R&D Management, 34(5), 614-615.
Bessant J, Morris M, Kaplinsky R (2003). Developing capability through learning networks. International Journal of Technology Management and Sustainable Development, 2(1).
Bessant J, Partington D, Sapsed J, Tranfield D, Young M (2003). Knowledge Management for Innovation: Developing an Hierarchic Process Model. International Journal of Innovation Management, 7(1), 27-50.
Francis D, Bessant J, Hobday M (2003). Managing radical organisational transformation. Management Decision, 41(1), 18-31.
Bessant J, Cooper C, al. E (2003). The State of the field in UK Management Research: Reflections of the Research Assessment Exercise Panel. British Journal of Management, 14(1), 51-68.
Brown S, Bessant J (2003). The manufacturing strategy-capabilities links in mass customisation and agile manufacturing - an exploratory study. International Journal of Production and Operations Management, 23(7), 707-730.
Bessant J, Francis D, Knowles D, Buffa G (2002). Developing the agile enterprise. International Journal of Technology Management, 24(5/6), 484-497.
Sapsed J, Bessant J, Partington D, Tranfield D, Young M (2002). Teamworking and knowledge management;a review of converging themes. International Journal of Management Reviews, 4(1).
Vias BCB, Bessant J, Pérez GH, González AA (2001). A conceptual model for the development of technological management processes in manufacturing companies in developing countries. Technovation, 21(6), 345-352. Abstract.
Bessant J (2001). Developing continuous improvement capability. International Journal of Innovation Management, 2(4), 409-429.
Bessant J, Francis D, Meredith S, Kaplinsky R, Brown S (2001). Developing manufacturing agility in SMEs. International Journal of Technology Management, 22(1-3), 28-54. Abstract.
Barnes J, Bessant J, Dunne N, Morris M (2001). Developing manufacturing competitiveness within South African industry: the role of middle management. Technovation, 21(5), 293-309.
Bessant J, Caffyn S, Gallagher M (2001). Evolutionary model of continuous improvement behaviour. Technovation, 21(2), 67-77. Abstract.
Bessant J (2000). Developing and sustaining employee involvement in continuous improvement. IEE Colloquium (Digest)(35), 13-31. Abstract.
Bessant J, Francis D (1999). Developing strategic continuous improvement capability. International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 19(11).
Bessant J (1999). The rise and fall of ‘Supernet’: a case study of technology transfer policy for smaller firms. Research Policy, 28(6), 601-614.
Bessant J, Francis D (1999). Using learning networks to help improve manufacturing competitiveness. Technovation, 19(6), 373-381. Abstract.
Hoffman K, Parejo M, Bessant J, Perren L (1998). Small firms, R&amp;D, technology and innovation in the UK: a literature review. Technovation, 18(1), 39-55.
Arnold E, Rush H, Bessant J, Hobday M (1998). Strategic planning in Research and Technology Institutes. R&D Management, 28(2), 89-100.
Bessant J (1997). Creating the high involvement innovation process: Special issue. International Journal of Technology Management, 14
Bessant J (1997). Developing technology capability through manufacturing strategy. International Journal of Technology Management, 14(2/3/4), 177-195.
Bessant J, Caffyn S (1997). High-involvement innovation through continuous improvement. International Journal of Technology Management, 14(1), 7-28. Abstract.
Bessant J, Francis D (1997). Implementing the new product development process. Technovation, 17(4), 189-197.
Hoffman K, Parejo M, Bessant J, Perren L (1997). Small firms, R&D, technology and innovation in the UK. Technovation, 18, 39-55.
Rush H, Bessant J, Hobday M, Arnold E (1997). Strategies for best practice in Research and Technology Institutes. Wissenschafts Management, 5(September/October), 251-261.
Bessant J, Caffyn S (1996). Learning to manage innovation. Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, 8(1), 59-70.
Rush H, Arnold E, Hobday M, Bessant J (1995). Benchmarking R&D institutes. R&D Management, 25(1), 89-100.
Bessant J, Rush H (1995). Building bridges for innovation; the role of consultants in technology transfer. Research Policy, 24, 97-114.
Bessant J, Kaplinsky R (1995). Industrial restructuring:. Facilitating organizational change at the firm level. World Development, 23(January (1)), 129-142.
Bessant J (1995). Manufacturing strategy – a framework for innovation. International Journal of Technology Management
Bessant J, Lamming R (1994). Managing successful total quality relationships in the supply chain. European Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management, 1(1), 7-18.
Bessant J, Caffyn S, Gilbert J, Harding R, Webb S (1994). Rediscovering continuous improvement. Technovation, 14(1), 17-29.
Bessant J (1994). Towards total integrated manufacturing. International Journal of Production Economics, 34, 237-251.
Bessant J, Burnell J, Harding R, Webb S (1993). Continuous improvement in UK manufacturing. Technovation, 13(4).
Bessant J, Rush H (1993). Government Support of Manufacturing Innovations: two country-level case studies. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 40(1), 79-90.
Bessant J, Buckingham J (1993). Organisational learning for effective use of CAPM. British Journal of Management, 4(4), 219-234.
Bessant J, Smith S, Tranfield D, Levy P, Ley C (1993). Organization design for factory 2000. International Journal of Human Factors in manufacturing, 2(2), 95-125.
Bessant J (1993). The lessons of failure: Learning to manage new technology. International Journal of Technology Management, 8(3/4/5), 197-215.
Bessant J (1992). Big bang or continuous evolution: why incremental innovation is gaining attention in successful organisations. Creativity and Innovation Management, 1(2), 59-63.
Bessant J, Smith S, Tranfield D, Levy P (1992). Factory 2000: Organisation design for the factory of the future. International Studies of Management and Organisation, 22(Winter).
Bessant J, Burnell J, Webb S (1992). Helping UK industry achieve competitive advantage through continuous improvement. Industry and Higher Education, September, 185-189.
Bessant J, Smith S, Tranfield D, Levy P (1992). Organisation Design Implications of Computer Integrated Technology. International Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing. Special issue on Human Factors(July).
Bessant J, Rush H (1992). Revolution in three-quarter time: lessons from the diffusion of advanced manufacturing technologies. Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, 4(1), 3-20.
Bessant J, Smith S, Tranfield D, Levy P (1991). A new paradigm for the organisation of manufacturing. International Journal of Integrated Manufacturing Systems, 2(2).
Bessant J, Levy P, Smith S, Tranfield D, Ley C (1991). Changing oranization design and practices for computer-integrated technology. International Journal of Technology Management, 6(3/4).
Levy P, Bessant J, Levy C, Smith S, Tranfield D (1991). Organizational strategy for CIM. Computer Integrated Manufacturing Systems, 4(2), 80-90. Abstract.
Rush H, Bessant J (1990). The diffusion of manufacturing technology. OECD Observer, 166, 21-24. Abstract.
Bessant J, Buckingham J (1989). Implementing integrated technology. Technovation, 9(4), 321-336. Abstract.
Bessant J, Haywood B (1988). Flexible Manufacturing in Europe. European Management Journal, 6(2).
Bessant J, Haywood B (1988). Islands, archipelagoes and continents: Progress on the road to computer-integrated manufacturing. Research Policy, 17(6), 349-362.
Bessant J (1988). Pushing Boxes or Solving Problems?. Some marketing issues in the diffusion of Computer Integrated Manufacturing. Journal of Marketing Management, 3(3), 352-371.
Bessant J, Haywood B (1986). Experiences with FMS in the UK. International Journal of Operations and Production Management
Bessant J, Haywood B (1986). Flexibility in manufacturing systems. Omega, 14(6), 465-473.
Bessant J (1986). The introduction of flexible manufacturing systems as an example of computer integrated manufacturing. Operations Management Review, 4(3), 8-19.
Bessant J, Lamming R, Senker P (1985). The challenge of computer-integrated manufacturing. Technovation, 3, 283-295.
Bessant J (1984). Competition, technical change and employment in the UK foundry sector. Journal of Research, Steel Castings and Research Association, 66(September), 29-33.
Bessant JR (1984). Influential factors in manufacturing innovation. International Journal of Flexible Manufacturing Systems, 235-250. Abstract.
Bessant J, Lamming R (1984). Making IT fit: the design of integrated manufacturing systems. Design Studies, 5(2), 106-112. Abstract.
Bessant J, Buchanan D (1983). Failure, uncertainty and control: the role of operators in a computer integrated production system. Journal of Management Studies, 22(4).
Bessant JR (1982). Influential factors in manufacturing innovation. Research Policy, 11(2), 117-132. Abstract.
Bessant J (1982). Non-technical factors in the introduction of microelectronics into the chemical-industry. Chemistry & Industry(17), 623-629.
Bessant JR (1980). Making the most of microelectronics. Iron and steel international, 53(4). Abstract.
Bessant J (1980). Microelectronics and manufacturing industry. Microprocessors and Microsystems, 4(3), 89-93.
Bessant J, Rickards T (1980). The Creativity Audit: introduction of a new research measure during programmes for facilitating organizational change. R & D Management, 10(2), 67-75.
Bessant JR (1979). Preparing for design studies: ways of watching. Notes towards appropriate methodology for studying functional specialists. Design Studies, 1(2), 77-83. Abstract.
Bridgewater A, Bessant J (1975). Plasics waste- disposal or recovery?. Revista Portuguesa Quimica, 16/17


Bessant J (2023). Disruptive innovation in the higher education sector: the case of the One Planet MBA. In  (Ed) Practicing Responsibility in Business Schools, Edward Elgar Publishing, 214-225.
Bessant J, Pinkwart A, Abu El-Alla N (2015). Changing change management. In Albach H, Meffert H, Pinkwart A, Reichwald R (Eds.) Management of permanent change, Heidelberg: Springer.
Bessant J, Phillips W (2014). Innovation management and dynamic capability. In Harland C, Nassimbeni G, Schneller E (Eds.) The SAGE Handbook of Strategic Supply Management, London: Sage.
Bessant J, Lamming R (2013). Network innovation. In Pitsis T, Simpson A, Dehlin E (Eds.) Handbook of Organizational and Managerial Innovation, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
Bessant J (2008). Opening up Strategic Space through Discontinuous Innovation. In Galavan R (Ed) Strategy, innovation and change, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Adams R, Bessant J (2008). Policy mechanisms to accelerate innovation adoption. In Bessant J, Venables T (Eds.) Creating wealth from knowledge: Meeting the innovation challenge, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
Bessant J (2008). Using learning networks as an aid to innovation. In  (Ed) Inside the innovation matrix, Sydney, Asutralia: Australian Business Foundation.
Bessant J (2007). Dealing with discontinuous innovation. In  (Ed) Innovationstreiber am Standort Deutschland, Frankfurt: FAZ Institut.
Bessant J, Francis D (2007). Making it better - achieving outstanding performance in manufacturign organizations. In Cooper C, Burke R (Eds.) Building more effective organizations, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bessant J, Davies A (2007). Managing service innovation. In Connolly C (Ed) DTI Occasional Paper 9: Innovation in services, London: Department of Trade and Industry.
Tranfield DM, Young D, Partington J, Bessant J, Sapsed J (2006). Building Knowledge Management Capabilities for Innovation Projects. In Tidd J (Ed) From Knowledge Management to Strategic Competence, London: Imperial College Press.
Bessant J, Birkinshaw J, Delbridge R (2006). Innovating beyond the steady state. In Delbridge R, Gratton L, Johnson G (Eds.) The exceptional manager, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bessant J (2006). Learning and continuous improvement. In Tidd J (Ed) From knowledge management to strategic competence (2nd edition), London: Imperial College Press.
White A, Bessant J (2006). Managerial responses to cognitive dissonance: Causes of the mismanagement of discontinous technological innovations. In Khalil T (Ed) IAMOT 2004, New York: Elsevier.
Bessant J (2005). 'Advanced manufacturing technology' and 'Continuous improvement' sections. In Slack N, Lewis M (Eds.) The Blackwell Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Operations Management, Oxford: Blackwell.
Bessant J (2004). Supply chain learning. In Westbrook R, New S (Eds.) Understanding supply chains: Concepts, critiques, futures, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bessant J (2003). Challenges in innovation management. In Shavinina L (Ed) International handbook on innovation, New York: Elsevier.
Bessant J (2003). Getting the tail to wag: Enabling innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises. In Heitor M (Ed) Learning and knowledge for the network society, New York: Purdue University Press.
Bessant J (2002). Developing routines for innovation management within the firm. In Sundbo J, Fuglsand L (Eds.) Innovation as strategic reflexivity, London: Routledge.
Bessant J, Francis D, Knowles D, Meredith S (2000). Developing the agile manufacturing enterprise. In Gunasekaram A (Ed) Agile manufacturing: 21st centruy manufacturing strategy, New York: Elsevier Science.
Bessant J, Rush H (2000). Innovation agents and technology transfer. In Miles I, Boden M (Eds.) Services, innovation and the knowledge-based economy, London: Continuum.
Bessant J (2000). New elements in national / regional innovation systems to support SMEs - Developing learning networks. In Heitor M (Ed) Innovation and Regional Development, Lisbon: ITEC.
Bessant J (1999). Getting the tail to wag: Enabling innovation in small/medium sized enterprises. In  (Ed) Innovation theory and practice, Eindhoven: Centre for Innovation Studies, Eindhoven University.
Bessant J (1999). Learning and continuous improvement. In Tidd J (Ed) Measuring strategic competencies: Technological, market and organisational indicators of innovation, London: Imperial College Press.
Bessant J (1998). Advanced manufacturing technology. In Cooper C, Argyris C (Eds.) The Concise Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Management, Oxford: Blackwell.
Bessant J (1998). Innovation and the smaller firm. In Aldwinckle L (Ed) The innovator's sourcebook, London:.
Bessant J, Caffyn S (1997). Continuous improvement and organisational learning. In Butler J, Piccaluga A (Eds.) Knowledge, Technology and Innovative Organisations, Milan: Edizione Angelo Guerini i Associati SpA.
Bessant J (1997). Creating the right conditions. In Rock S (Ed) Innovation - a real business guide, London: Confederation of British Industry.
Bessant J (1997). Government support for innovation. In  (Ed) Innovation, London: Caspian Publishing.
Bessant J (1997). La creacion de redes como mecanismo para hacer posibles las innovaciones organizativas:El caso de la mejora continua. In Hidalgo CO (Ed) Los Desafios de Europa: Inovacion organizativa, Competitividad y Empleo, Madrid: ESIN.
Bessant J (1995). Innovation and manufacturing strategy. In Dodgson M, Rothwell R (Eds.) Handbook of industrial innovation, London: Edward Elgar.
Bessant J (1995). Networking as a mechanism for technology transfer; the case of continuous improvement. In Kaplinsky R, den Hertog F, Coriat B (Eds.) Europe's next step, London: Frank Cass.
Bessant J, Haywood W (1994). Island, archipelagoes and continents. In Rhodes E, Wield D (Eds.) Implementing new technologies, Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Bessant J, Ettlie J (1992). Organisation design for integrated manufacturing. In Simon J (Ed) Fewer and faster - a story of technological organisational and managerial innovation, Harvard University Press.
Bessant J, Buckingham J (1991). Implementing Integrated Computer Systems. Clever Control Ltd. In Legge KEA (Ed) Case Studies in Information Technology, People and Organisations, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 131-144.
Bessant J, Haywood B (1991). Mechatronics and the machinery industries. In Sharp M, Freeman M, Walker W (Eds.) Technology and the future of Europe - European Challenges in technology, London: Frances Pinter Publications, 245-260.
Bessant J, Haywood B (1990). Organisation and integration of production systems. In Warner M, Wobbe W, Brodner T (Eds.) New Technology and Manufacturing Management, Chichester: John Wiley.
Bessant J (1990). Organisational adaptation and advanced manufacturing technology. In Haywood W (Ed) CIM-Revolution in progress, Laxeburg, Austria: International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.
Bessant J (1990). Organisational implications of advanced manufacturing technology. In Biervert B, Monse K (Eds.) Wandel durch technik, Opladen, Germany: Westdeutscher Verlag, 235-251.
Bessant J (1989). Flexible, manufacturing: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. In Bolk H (Ed) Implementing Flexible Manufacturing, Delft, the Netherlands: Eburon Publishers.
Bessant J (1989). From scientific soldiers to General Jumbo; employment trends in computer-integrated manufacturing. In Davies A, Et al (Eds.) Labour market responses to industrial restructuring and technological change, Aldershot: Gower.
Bessant J, Chisholm A (1989). Human factors in computer-integrated manufacturing. In Forester T (Ed) Computers in the human context, Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Bessant J, Haywood B (1988). CAD/CAM Integration: Flexible manufacturing systems in the UK. In Rader MEA (Ed) Social Science Research on CAD/CAM, Stuttgart, Germany: Physica Verlag.
Bessant J, Lamming R (1988). Design for efficient manufacturing. In Wild R (Ed) International handbook of operations management, London: Cassell.
Bessant J, Senker P (1987). Societal Implications of advanced manufacturing technology. In Wall T, Clegg C, Kemp N (Eds.) The Human side of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, John Wiley.
Haywood W, Bessant J (1987). The implications of integrated technology for manufacturing engineering strategy. In Rothwell R, Bessant J (Eds.) Innovation, adaptation and growth, Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Bessant J (1987). The ups and downs of implementing CIM. In Evans D (Ed) CIM - mechanical aspects, Oxford: Pergamon-Infotech.
Appleby C, Bessant J (1986). Adapting to decline: Organisational structures and government policy in the UK and West German foundry sectors. In Wilks S, Wright M (Eds.) Government-industry relations in the UK and West Germany, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bessant J, Haywood W (1986). Experience of FMS in the UK. In Voss C (Ed) Managing advanced manufacturing technology, Kempston: IFS Publications.
Bessant J, Haywood W (1986). Flexible skills for flexible manufacturing. In Brödner P (Ed) Skill-based automated manufacturing, Oxford: Pergamon.
Bessant J (1986). Information technology and the North South divide. In Finnegan R (Ed) Social implications of IT, Milton Keynes: Open University.
Bessant J (1985). Microelectronics in textile machinery. In Bhalla A, James D (Eds.) Blending of new and traditional technologies, Dublin: Tycooly International.
Bessant J (1984). Information technology and the North-South divide. In Burns A (Ed) New information technology, Chichester: John Wiley and Sons.
Bessant J, Lester G (1984). Living with the future - the adaptive manager. In Beck C, Cox G (Eds.) Advances in management education, Chichester: John Wiley and Sons.
Bessant J, Verstoep N (1984). Making the future: Developing the individual and the organisation. In Rijnsdorp J (Ed) Training for tomorrow, Oxford: Pergamon.
Arnold E, Bessant J (1984). Oiling the wheels of technical change: skills, training and the adoption of CAD. In  (Ed) , 123-127.
Bessant J (1983). Management and manufacturing innovation; the case of IT. In Winch G (Ed) Information technology in manufacturing processes, London: Rossendale.
Bessant J (1983). The diffusion of microelectronics. In Sigurdson J, Jacobsson S (Eds.) Technological trends and challenges to the Third World, Lund, Sweden: RPI.
Bessant J, Dickson K (1982). Issues in the industrial adoption of microelectronics. In Mumford E, Bjørn-Anderson N (Eds.) The information society - for better or worse?, Amsterdam: North-Holland.
Bessant J, Dickson K (1981). A reassessment of the impact of computers on employment. In Parslow R (Ed) Information technology for the 80s, London: Heyden and Son.
Bessant J (1981). The production and application of microelectronics. In Grandstrand O, Sigurdson J (Eds.) Technological and industrial policy in China and Europe, Lund, Sweden: RPI.
Bessant J, Et al (1980). Microelectronics in manufacturing indusry: the rate of diffusion. In Forester T (Ed) The microelectronics revolution, Oxford: Basil Blackwell.


Bessant J, Trifilova A, Alexander AT (In Press). Responsible Innovation in Healthcare - the case of digital TV. XXVIII ISPIM Conference.
Jones K, Trifilova A, Alexander AT, Bessant J (2017). Creating Novel Approaches to Developing Tacit Knowledge and Skills in Innovation Management. Nairobi Innovation Week.
Trifilova A, Bessant J, Alexander AT (2016). Enabling Innovation through Storytelling. 23rd Innovation and Product Development Management Conference.
Russell W, Alexander AT, Bessant J (2016). Fighting tradition: Developing ambidextrous capabilities across the innovation portfolio. XXVII ISPIM Conference.


Wood T, Alexander AT, Bessant J (2014). An Evaluation of Bridging the Gaps: the Exeter Science Exchange.
Bessant J, Adams RJ, Jeanrenaud S, Overy PC, Denyer D (2012). Innovating for sustainability: a systematic review of the body of knowledge. Network for Business Sustainability,  London, Ontario, Canada, Network for Business Sustainability. Abstract.
Bessant J, Moeslein K (2012). Opening up healthcare innovation: Innovation solutions for a 21st century healthcare system. London, Advanced Institute for management Research.
Bessant J (2011). Open Collective Innovation., Advanced Institute for Management Research.
Bessant J, Moeslein K, Piller F, Neyer A (2009). Radical Innovation: Making the Right Bets., Advanced Institute for Management Research.
Bessant J (2006). Dealing with Discontinuity: How to sharpen up your innovation act., Advanced Institute for Management Research.
Bessant J, Tether B, Whyte J, Davies A (2006). Intelligent Design: How managing the design process effectively can boost corporate performance., Advanced Institute for Management Research.

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External Engagement and Impact

Awards and Honours

  • Elected Fellow, British Academy of Management
  • Senior Fellow, Sunningdale Institute 
  • Senior Fellow, Advanced Institute of Management Research
  • International Ambassador, Friedrich Alexander Universität, Germany
  • Fellow, International Society for Professional Innovation Management (ISPIM)

External positions

  • Currently Visiting Professor, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany and University of Stavanger, Norway
  • Fellow, Centre for Leadership and Innovation, H.H. L. Business School, Leipzig, Germany
  • Previous Visiting Professor Queensland University of Technology, Australia  and National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Ireland
  • Honorary Professor, Science Policy Research Unit, Sussex University
  • Formerly Senior Fellow, Irish Management Institute, Dublin, Ireland
  • Formerly Fellow, The Sunningdale Institute, National School of Government
  • Member, EPSRC's College of Peers

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  • Innovation management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Operations management

Professor Bessant's teaching focuses on how we can organise and manage the innovation process effectively - and how to extend and develop that capability as we encounter new challenges posed by an increasingly complex and turbulent environment. So his teaching includes both a 'roadmap' of the core process which we need to manage and then a series of key issues which we have to learn to deal with. Examples might be the huge challenge of 'sustainability' - how we create products, services, processes and business models which meet the needs of a predicted nine billion people, whilst simultaneously coming up with innovative solutions to problems like climate change and resource scarcity. Another big theme is healthcare - how we develop new models for providing high quality care for an increasingly old population without placing unacceptable burdens on financial and human resources. Another lies in how we tap into the latent creativity every individual possesses and make better use of this within our organisations, and as part of an increasing movement towards 'user-led' innovation.



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