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Stephen Flowers You may not view that information via this system.

Telephone 07903 843736

Stephen Flowers heads up the Centre for Research in Innovation Management (CENTRIM) based within the Business School at the University of Brighton. This dynamic centre produces world-class research into the management of innovation and its work has significant impact both in the UK and internationally.

Under his leadership the centre continues its long tradition of closing the loop between research and practice. CENTRIM researchers have worked with more than 50 academic institutions and industrial partners and the centre has achieved widespread international recognition in the field of innovation. The excellence of CENTRIM's work was recognised in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, with Brighton Business School being ranked in equal fourth place in the UK for its research impact.

Over the course of his career Stephen has made significant contributions to the development of his research area and has influenced academic, policy and professional practice in the UK and internationally. His research contribution in terms of leadership and output has also been significant and he has produced more than 20 peer-reviewed journal articles and reports, five books, 11 book chapters, 35 conference and working papers and 17 articles in the national media. He speaks regularly at international conferences and has given many invited contributions and keynote speeches.

Stephen has also made a series of contributions to the development of policy positions on user innovation and is a leading researcher in this area. His work with the National Endowment for Science and the Arts (NESTA) in the UK resulted in the publication of the report The new inventors: how users are changing the rules of innovation'. The research project that led to this report explored the scale, scope and depth of user innovation in the UK and was the first substantive piece of policy research on user innovation to take place in that country. Subsequent to this he has led research on the measurement of user innovation activity by firms and consumers, and he continues to work with policy groups on these topics. Stephen is a founding member and Fellow of the Open and User Innovation Society, has held visiting positions at several universities and has undertaken projects for the OECD, the European Commission, the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts, the Behavioural Innovation Team, and Vinnova.

My research interests

We are fortunate to have experienced and highly-skilled researchers and close links with our academic and industrial collaborators to enable our world-leading research. I work hard to make sure that CENTRIM's research continues to close the loop between academic research and practice and has lasting economic and societal impact. My research interests have developed from initial work on IT systems and now focus on non-traditional forms of innovation by users and other non-firms actors. I am particularly interested in:

  • characteristics of sites in which innovation by users and communities occur
  • users and community innovation in the context of services
  • implications for service-based firms of innovative activity by users and communities
  • how users and communities mobilise the resources required to undertake innovative activities

Research activity

Current projects

UK maker study

Open and user innovation - incoming

User-driven services innovation and co-creation management

Previous projects

The Sussex renal innovation project

Measuring consumer innovation in the UK

Measuring user-led innovation in the UK

Measuring user innovation in the European Community

Youth innovation

Exploring user innovation in the UK Economy

User-centric Innovation: a key policy agenda for the knowledge economy

Knowledge Transfer: exploring the role of users in knowledge transfer

A review of ICT Policy in the Netherlands and the UK

Contact me

University of Brighton
154-155 Edward Street
United Kingdom

Tel: 07903 843736

Research Esteem


Journal articles

Darking M, Anson R, Bravo F, Davis J, Flowers S, Gillingham E, Goldberg L, Helliwell P, Henwood F, Hudson C, Latimer S, Lowes P, Stirling I, (2014) Practice-centred evaluation and the privileging of care in health information technology evaluation, BMC Health Services Research.

von Hippel, E., de Jong, J., Flowers, S. (2012) Comparing business and household sector innovation in consumer products: Findings from a representative study in the UK, Management Science, 58 (9) pp 1669-1681.

Carlin, L, Smith, H, Henwood, F, Flowers, S, Jones, A, Prentice, R, Miles, K. (2010) Double vision: an exploration of radiologists' and general practitioners' views on using picture archiving and communication systems (PACS), Health Informatics Journal 16 (2) June: p75-86.

Flowers, S. (2008) Harnessing the hackers: The emergence and exploitation of outlaw innovation. Research Policy 37(2): p177-193.

Flowers, S. and Henwood F. (2008) Editorial - Special issue on User Innovation. International Journal of Innovation Management, 12(3): v-x.

Flowers, S. (2007) Organisational capabilities and technology acquisition: Why firms know less than they buy. Industrial and Corporate Change 16(3): p317-346.

Flowers, S, Molas-Galart, J, Tang, P. and Davies, A. (2005) Contrasting approaches to the adoption of e-Government: the UK and The Netherlands, Journal of E-Government 2(3): p51-84.

Flowers, S. (2004) Contingent capabilities and the procurement of complex product systems. International Journal of Innovation Management 8(1): p1-20.

Flowers, S. and Reeve, S. (2002) Management education and development through the application of the knowledge fusion method: a radical model to accelerate management learning. International Journal of Management Education 2 (3): p27-34.

Herson, K, Sosabowksi, M, Lloyd, A, Flowers, S, Paine, C. and Newton B. (2000) Implementation strategies for educational resources, British Journal of Educational Technology 31 (1) p47-56.

Flowers, S., Newton, B. and Paine, C. (1998) Creating a faculty intranet: A case study in change, Education and Training, September. 40 (8): p340-346.

Bourner, T. and Flowers, S. (1997) Teaching and learning methods in higher education: a glimpse of the future, Reflections in Higher Education, January: p77-102.

Flowers, S. (1997) Information systems failure - do critical failure factors exist? failure and lessons learned. Information Technology Management, 1997, 1 (1) p19-29.

Policy and industry reports

Flowers, S. de Jong, J., Sinozic, T. and Von Hippel, E. (2010) Measuring User Innovation in the UK. NESTA, London: pp44.

Ujadal, V., Voss, G. and Flowers, S. (2010) Understanding user involvement in industrial innovation, NESTA Research Fellows Report. NESTA, London: pp42

Flowers, S., Sinozic, T., and Patel, P. (2009) Prevalence of user innovation in the EU: Analysis based on the Innobarometer Surveys of 2007 and 2009. INNO-Metrics Thematic Paper, EU, Brussels: pp27

Sebba, J, Griffiths, V, Luckock, B, Hunt, F, Robinson, C. and Flowers S. (2009) Youth-led Innovation: Enhancing the Skills and Capacity of the Next Generation of Innovators. NESTA, London: pp42

Flowers, S., Mateos-Garcia, J., Sapsed, J., Grantham, A., Nightingale, P. and G. Voss (2008) The New Inventors: How users are Changing the Rules of Innovation. NESTA, London: pp44

Flowers, S. and Rogers, B. (2004) Procurement - Getting IT Right for Business, INTELLECT UK, London: pp14.

Molas-Galart, J., Tang, P., Flowers S., Hulsink, W., Davies, A., Gooijer, W. and Spaapen, J. (2003) A Review of the ICT Policy in the Netherlands and the UK, Institutet for Tllvaxtpolitiska Studier, Stockholm, Sweden: pp168

Flowers, S. and Hobday, M. (2000) Review of Government IT Projects: A Briefing Note, submission to Cabinet Office Enquiry into Public Sector IT projects: pp12


Flowers, S. and Henwood, F. (Eds) (2010) Perspectives on User Innovation. Imperial College Press, London: pp264

Flowers, S. (1996) Software Failure, Management Failure: Amazing Stories And Cautionary Tales, John Wiley, Chichester: pp198

Flowers, S. (1993) Success in Information Processing 2nd edition, John Murray, London: pp335

Flowers, S. (1988) Success in Information Processing, John Murray, London: pp307

Millmore, L. and Flowers, S. (1982) Accounting Through Numeracy, Nelson, Walton-on-Thames: pp188.

Book chapters

Flowers, S and Voss, G. (Forthcoming) User Innovation in the music software industry: the case of Sibelius. In: C.Jones et al The Oxford Handbook of the Creative Industries.

Flowers, S. (2010) User innovation: the developing policy research agenda, in S. Flowers and F. Henwood (Eds) (2010) Perspectives on User Innovation. London: Imperial College Press: p1-8

Flowers, S. (2009) Use in the context of outsourcing: The view from downstream. In: F. Prenkert, E. Baraldi, H. Hakansson and A. Waluszewski. Use of Science and Technology in Business: Exploring the Impact of Using Activity for Systems, Organizations, and People. London, Emerald: p55-73.

Flowers, S. (2009) Outlaw Innovation: drawing hackers into the innovation process. In: V. Madhuri (Ed) Hacking: A Legal Quandary, Icfai University Press.

Reeve, S and Flowers, S (2004) From high level clarity to ground level confusion: exactly where do IT-mediated education policies fit? In: Ottewill, R, Borredon, L, Falque, L, Macfarlane, B and Wall, A (Ed) Educational Innovation In Economics And Business: Pedagogy, Technology And Innovation VIII. Kluwer Academic, Dordretch, pp. 43-60.

Flowers, S., Newton, B, Paine, C. (2003) From leading edge to mainstream: the evolving Brighton Business School Intranet. In: R. Kaye and D. Hawkridge (Eds) Learning & Teaching for Business: Case Studies of Successful Innovation, Kogan Page, London: p31-47

O'Hara, S., Reeve, S. Flowers, S. (2003) The live consultancy case study. In: R. Kaye and D. Hawkridge (Eds) Learning & Teaching for Business: Case Studies of Successful Innovation, Kogan Page, London: p167-80

Flowers, S, Reeve, S. and O'Hara, S. (2003) The live consultancy case study. In: BEST Stories Series 2. LTSN BEST, University of East Anglia.

Reeve, S. and Flowers, S. (2001) The impact of hi fidelity case work on organisational learning using immediate consultancy. In: C. Hockings and I. Moore (Eds) Innovations In Teaching Business And Management. Staff and Education Development Association, Birmingham, UK.

Flowers, S, Newton, B and Paine, C (2000) An Intranet for the Business School: Developing a model of technology-enhanced higher education. In: T. Bourner, T. Katz and D. Watson (Eds) New Directions in Professional Higher Education. Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) and Open University Press (OUP), London, UK: p111-119.

Flowers, S. and Reeve, S. (1999) Positioning Web-based learning in the Higher Education Portfolio: Too much too soon? In: L. Lloyd (Ed) Teaching With Technology: Rethinking Tradition, Information Today.

Conference/working papers

Flowers, S. (2014) Challenging traditional models of Intellectual Property: the Shanzhai System of Innovation. Workshop on Challenges of Knowledge Creation - Intellectual Property Protection and Innovation Performance, Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Munich, 2 December.

Flowers, S. (2014) Medical user innovation in the context of chronic disease: the creation of Helminthic therapy. Workshop on Medical User Innovation and Medical Commons, NYU School of Law, 15-17 May.

Flowers, S. and Svensson, P. (2014) TAFTIE - Open and User Innovation and the Renewal of Cooperative Research Centres. TAFTIE Strategy workshop, Brussels, 14 May.

Flowers, S. (2012) User-driven service innovation - the case of Nokia, Symposium on Users, Innovation and Services, British Academy of Management, Cardiff, 11 September.

Flowers, S. (2012) Probing the limits of user innovation: radical patients, intestinal parasites and the development of Helminthic Therapy. Erasmus Research Institute, Erasmus University, 4 September.

Flowers, S. (2012) The role of Users and Communities in Innovation: fans, friends and frenemies. Creative Innovation, Manufacturing and Business Workshop, University of Exeter, 13 July.

Flowers, S. (2012) Innovation Opportunity Space: understanding users, innovation and services. University of Vaasa, 14 June.

Flowers, S. (2012) A novel approach to Crohn's disease: unhappy patients, intestinal parasites, and the development of Helminthic Therapy. Division of Primary Care and Public Health. Brighton and Sussex Medical School, 31 May.

Flowers, S. (2012) Helminths and IBD: with special reference to Crohn's. Gastroenterology Unit. Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, 3 February.

Flowers, S. (2011) Exploring the limits of user innovation: unhappy patients, intestinal parasites, and the development of Helminthic therapy. Freeman Centre Seminar, 2 December.

Flowers, S. (2011) User created medical treatments: Crohn's disease and the development of Helminthic therapy. Innovation Lab workshop, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Boston, 9-10 November.

Flowers, S. (2011) How Users are changing the rules of innovation: directions for future service business research. Tekes Service Research Forum, Helsinki, 19 October.

Flowers, S. (2011) User innovation: Theoretical perspectives and policy implications. Conference on Invention, Innovation and Commercialisation, Technology Users' Innovation Group, Lincoln University Christchurch, 13-14 June.

Flowers, S. (2010) Users, Outlaws and Innovation. Workshop on the Cultural Economy of Open Innovation in Madrid, Spanish National Research Council, 2-3 December.

Flowers, S., Voss, G. and Ujjual, V. (2010) Users & Super-Users: exploring the user innovation landscape in a healthcare technology. Open and User Innovation Workshop, MIT, 2-4 August.

Flowers, S. (2010) Super-Users, users and operators: exploring the user innovation landscape in healthcare technology, International workshop on Users, Innovation and Healthcare Technologies, The Freeman Centre, University of Brighton, 28 May.

Flowers, S. (2010) Over the counter and beyond: User and User-Driven Innovation in a developed country setting, User and User-driven Innovation Workshop, Open University, 8 March.

de Campos, A., Celadon, K., Flowers, S and Rush, H. (2009) Capital Intensive Sports: preliminary research on the sources of innovation in Scuba Diving and Golf. BAM 2009, Brighton, UK, 15-17 September.

Flowers, S, von Hippel, E, de Jong, J. and Sinozic, T. (2009) Measuring user-led Innovation in the UK. TUHH User and Open Innovation workshop, Hamburg June.

Flowers, S. (2009) From Castle Smurfenstein to Star Wars Kid: The role of hackers in digital media. Innovation without patents, Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, University of Geneva, April 6-8.

Flowers, S. (2007) From outlaws to trusted partners: challenges in mobilising user-centric innovation in R&D projects. IRNOP 2007, Brighton, UK, 19-21 September.

Flowers, S. (2007) Offshoring in UK financial services: Seeking value in the global service market. Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, USA, 3-8 August.

Flowers, S. (2007) Exploring user-centric innovation in the UK. British Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Warwick, UK, 11-13 September.

Flowers, S. (2007) Offshoring in UK financial services, Workshop on Offshoring of Intangibles, University of Bologna, 2 February.

Flowers, S. (2006) Harnessing the Hackers: the emergence and exploitation of outlaw innovation. DRUID Summer Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark, 18-20 June.

Flowers. S. (2006) The emergence and exploitation of outlaw innovation, International workshop on User Innovation, TUM, Munich, 13-14 July.

Flowers, S. (2006) Outlaw innovation: how hackers impact the innovation process, Working Paper, Complex Product Systems Innovation Centre, Brighton.

Flowers, S. (2005) The view from downstream: exploring the roles of users and advisors over the Acquisition/Use Lifecycle. International Symposium on Economic Use of Technology and Science, Oslo, Norway, October.

Flowers, S. (2004) With or without you: Examining the role of contingent capabilities in complex projects. 4th EURAM Conference, St Andrews, UK, 5-8 May.

Flowers, S. and Hobday, M. (2004) Organisational capabilities and technology acquisition. Working Paper, Complex Product Systems Innovation Centre, Brighton.

Flowers, S and Brady. T. (2003) Through the looking glass: Exploring buyer-supplier relationships in complex high-technology projects, European Academy of Management, Milan.

Flowers. S, Newton, B. and Paine, C. (2002) Hot technology, cool academics, Occasional Paper Series, LTSN BEST.

Flowers, Stephen (2002) Building the invisible palace: Capability gaps, traps and overlaps in complex software projects, EURAM 2002, Stockholm, Sweden, 9-11 May.

Flowers, S. and Brady T. (2001) The growing pains of the global IT infrastructure: how mature is the software industry? 5th International Conference on Technology Policy and Innovation, Delft, 26-29June.

Reeve, S. and Flowers, S. (2001) From high level clarity to ground level confusion: exactly where do IT-mediated education policies fit? EDINEB, University of Nice.

Reeve, S., Flowers, S. (2001) Knowledge fusion: A radical model to enhance management development, Business Education Support Team conference, Windermere, 3-5 April.

Reeve, S and Flowers, S. (2000) IT mediated learning is important: so where are all the policies? 11th International Conference on Teaching and Learning, Jacksonville, Florida, April.

Flowers, S. (2000) IT Projects in the public sector. CoPS Working paper, Complex Product Systems Innovation Centre ,

Reeve, S. and Flowers, S. (1999) The shape of things to come: a discussion on the nature of the technologised higher education institution, Selected proceedings of the 10th annual CTI-AFM conference, p 10-17.

Flowers, S., Newton, B and Paine, C. (1999) Building a business school intranet: lessons and directions, CTI-AFM, Selected proceedings of the 10th annual CTI-AFM conference, p24-28.

Flowers, S., Newton, B. and Paine, C. (1998) Think global, surf local, Business Information Management - Adaptive Futures, Manchester, November.

Flowers, S. (1997) Towards predicting information systems failure, key issues in information systems. Proceedings of 2nd Annual conference of the United Kingdom Academy of Information Systems, University of Southampton.

Flowers, S. (1997) IS project risk - the role of management in project failure, BIT 97, Manchester, November.

Flowers, S. and Bourner, T. (1997) Teaching and learning methods in higher education: a glimpse of the future, what's new, what's cool, and above all what works, Teaching and Learning Conference, University of Brighton, July.

O' Hara, S., Reeve, S., Flowers, S. (1997) The impact of live high-fidelity case work on organisational learning, Proceedings of University as Learning Organisation, HEC/Nottingham Trent University.

Mainstream and other National media

Flowers, S. (2004) Service has changed the way IT matters - Editorial comment. Computing, 9 September.

Flowers, Stephen and Nightingale, Paul (2002) Crash programmes. Parliamentary Brief, 5 (3). pp. 10-17.

Flowers, Stephen and Nightingale, Paul (2002) Management Blamed for IT Project Failure. Professional Manager.

Flowers, S. (2001) Flying Without Wings, The Guardian, Online, 7 June.

Flowers, S. (1994) One Huge Crash, The Guardian, Computer, 28 April.

Flowers, S. (1994) Project Gutenberg, The Guardian, Computer, 11 January.

Flowers, S. (1993) Data Privacy, The Guardian, Society, 19 November.

Flowers, S. (1993) Want It? Gopher It, The Guardian, Computer, 18 August.

Flowers, S. (1992) We Have Your Number, The Guardian, Computer, 2 June.

Flowers, S. (1992) Invasion of the Data Snatchers, The Guardian, Computer, 18 February.

Flowers, S. (1992) Cornershop Ethos Returns to Market, The Guardian, Computer, 16 Jan.

Flowers, S. (1991) Machines to make the Census, The Guardian, Computer, 23 April.

Flowers, S. (1990) Neural Networks, The Guardian, Computer, 14 February

Flowers, S. (1989) Neural Net Profit, The Guardian, Computer, 12 October.

Flowers, S. (1989) Hunt for the Write Stuff, The Guardian, Computer, 7 Sept.

Flowers, S. (1989) Dashing Fashion, The Guardian, Computer, 27 July.

Flowers, S. (1989) Cashing in your Chips, The Guardian, Computer, 2 March.

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