SPRU's research and teaching focus on addressing real world problems of a strategic nature related to innovation, technical change and science. Over the last 40 years, we have had a remarkably successful record of close engagement with the policy community as well as with international business.
Our research differs from that in most management schools in that we address long-term strategic problems that require looking upwards and outwards from the organisation, rather than managerial problems that primarily look downward and inwards. Strategic problems, related not just to long-term productivity and innovativeness but also to such global issues as climate change and arms control, all require the kind of interdisciplinary research for which SPRU has a justified reputation as a world leader. To do this we work closely with a range of stakeholders that are not exclusively industrial but also encompass government, NGOs and other civil society organisations.
One of SPRU's great strengths is our ability to work effectively with the full range of stakeholders, rather than occupying an unproductive polarised position. For example, our climate change research covers both industrial and broader environmental perspectives. As a result of this upwards and outwards approach, staff are invited to work 'in' as well as 'with' external constituencies and serve on government committees and advisory boards, and expert working groups both in the UK and abroad.
SPRU has strong links to international and UK firms who sponsor and support our research. We also have very strong links to the UK government, supranational bodies such as the EU and the UN, and governments around the world (in particular, in Asia and Latin America). Many of our alumni have gone on to occupy senior positions in industry and government as well as in academia.