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Professor of Industrial Organisation with a focus on innovation and technology management, at the School of Business, Engineering and Science. Appointed in 2010.
Mike Danilovic's research is about innovation and innovation-process, particularly in regard to high-tech companies and products such as mobile phones, cars and aircraft – and the collaboration between academia and industry.
"In other words, my research is about the innovation process from the idea to commercialisation. In order to develop high-tech products, it is essential that you interact; not only internally at a company, but also with customers and suppliers. Innovation is an iterative process, that is to say, a reoccurring process, and also a question of interaction between different participants. I am trying to understand the dynamics of innovation processes and describe the iterative and interactive", says Mike Danilovic when discussing his research interests.
To understand interaction you have to understand (above all) three aspects. The first is the structure of the organisation and in the product structure that affects how the interaction between people works.
Mike Danilovic has developed analysis-methods and software support to enable businesses to change their ingrained structures so that they become supportive for interaction with others and the processes of innovation. Another aspect is the way of working and procedures. How good is collaboration at a company? How do people act in their interactions with others? Are there opportunities and possibilities for collaboration? How can traditional procedures develop and change to allow for a more intensive cooperation?
"The third important aspect is the social and psychological barriers, such as power relations, identity and traditions, sometimes called soft factors. They affect how we interact, cooperate and communicate with each other. Here are both in-built positive and negative aspects. In my research, I ask questions how communication can improve in order to reduce the negative aspects of these soft (and many unknown) barriers?"
The commercialisation area of the innovation process is about how companies interact with customers and the market. Mike Danilovic studies include interactions on the net, how companies use so-called communities and social-media to create a dialogue with customers, the users and suppliers in order to create innovations.
Many innovations fail as the market and commercial issues are not considered sufficiently important. Companies interact way too little with the users of their products and lack sufficiently well-developed processes to take advantage of the customers' experiences, views, wishes and needs.
Mike Danilovic and his fellow researchers are also interested in how innovation-ability and innovation-processes of firms operating in the global market are affected by commercialisation and an early presence in several markets (both global and local).
In his research Mike Danilovic works with empirical proximity, that is to say, be close to what he is studying. He is also a Professor of Business Administration and the common denominator for him in both subjects is the interaction between the persons involved and closeness to the companies of which he studies.
"To work in collaboration has always been natural and obvious to me. Both the industrial organisation and business economics are applied areas. This is more practical than theoretical. We borrow theories from other fields with the purpose to analyse, describe and understand complex phenomena that we study in real-life. And it is the businesses reality that is involved. To understand a company's problems, you must be involved in what you are studying. You have to know how they work and what their conditions and requirements are. You cannot just read about it. You have to be there, look and observe, sometimes even influence to totally understand what happens. Try and test limits, otherwise, you cannot understand, or help as a researcher to develop or alter the way companies work."
Mike Danilovic is research director of the research environment CIEL at HalmstadUniversity and has overall responsibility for the University's research and post-graduate education in science innovation.
Mike Danilovic was born in 1955 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. He entered Civil Engineering in Engineering Physics at Linköping University in the mid-1970s, but left after two years to start working, among other things, in health care, as a vacuum cleaner salesman and general salesman. After officer training in the military, he resumed his university studies in Linköping, this time in Business, completing his degree in Economics in 1985, Teacher and post-graduate at Linköping University in 1986, Licentiate degree in 1997 and doctor's degree in 1999. From 2000 he worked at the International School of Engineering in Jönköping, where he became a Senior Lecturer in 2005 and Professor in 2008. Mike Danilovic has been employed as a Professor at the Halmstad University since 2010.