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Management Lab PhD Scholarships

Research in the Management Lab examines the business or commercial potential arising from future scenario planning and digital transformation processes – rethinking the standard business models of the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction industries to, for example, consider new digital ‘Anything as a Service’ (XaaS) models. Developing a digital strategy to understand where to invest in technology, for the greatest financial return, is an important consideration in this process. In parallel, developing new knowledge about how to leverage commercialisation returns and how to manage IP and innovation, along with the manufacturing consequences of these factors, is similarly important. Collectively, the projects in this theme develop a cohesive body of new knowledge about the business, operational, and industrial contexts of a sector on the cusp of embracing new technology and methods. 

Desired disciplinary backgrounds include: management, organisational behaviour, strategy, information systems, sociology, psychology, architecture, design, and engineering. 

Desired abilities and technical skills include: statistical skills (multi-level modelling, social network analysis); and/or qualitative skills (interviews, cases, NVivo).

Candidates with interest in the following should apply: multi-team systems, knowledge management, organisational change, organisational capability, learning, training and development, strategic management, organisational studies (institutional theory), digital transformations, digital sustainability, or firm performance are desired. 

The Research

Management Topic 1 

What factors in the AEC work environment help and hinder knowledge flows and digital innovation within and between teams and projects?

This topic may include: an examination of tools that impact knowledge flows and innovation; an investigation of multi-team systems; and an exploration of how systems thinking and strategic foresight research might be integrated to create a comprehensive framework for retaining and transferring knowledge between projects. 

Management Topic 2 

What are the learning mechanisms and change processes in AEC firms that facilitate or hinder organisational performance outcomes – including digital transformation? 

This topic may include: consideration of barriers to learning in computational design methods and workflows both within and across organisations; the impact of training courses; and a broad exploration of how organisational learning affects firm behaviour (for example, procedures and activities) and performance (such as sustainability). 

Management Topic 3

What are the roadblocks to business model innovation in Architecture, Design, and Engineering (ADE), and how can they be addressed? 

This topic may include consideration of the typology of business models in ADE, as well as factors that facilitate business model innovation in the sector. 

Management Topic 4 

What are the potential scenarios for the future of the Architecture, Design, and Engineering industry, and what proactive measures should firms take to prepare for them? 

This topic may include consideration of: forces impacting the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction sector; what capabilities and practices are needed for future thinking; and how firms benefit from developing them. 

Management Topic 5 

How can those involved in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction sector (organisations, regulators, industry bodies, etc.) shape its future by transforming the way the sector works (considering both demands and forces)? 

This topic may include consideration of: how the sector has evolved over the past few decades; how AEC professions have changed over the past few decades; and an exploration of what it will mean to be an architect, engineer, or designer in the future. 

Management Topic 6 

How can Architecture, Design, and Engineering (ADE) organisations develop digital capabilities and information systems for efficient delivery and overcome challenges in digital transformation? 

This topic may include consideration of: the opportunities and challenges that ADE firms face when developing digital capability; as well as the development of digital maturity models for ADE firms. 

Management Topic 7 

How will the increasing sustainability pressures shape the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction sector and its business models, specifically considering the building life cycle?  

This topic may include consideration of initiatives that can accelerate digital sustainability in the sector and reach sustainability goals. 

Applications have closed.