The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction


Clark Stacey

Management of Applied Scientific Research Projects

School research theme: Management of Projects
Research supervisors: Prof. Tim Broyd and Dr Natalya Sergeeva
Start date: January 2023

My research is an exploration of approaches to managing the balance and interplay between various types of constraints and affordances involved in cultivating creativity and innovation within the organisational contexts of applied physical science research and the early stages of engineering design. I want to better understand how management processes and the culture of research organisations act to influence the productivity of scientists, engineers and project managers. Traditional project management, and even new cyclical or agile forms, are very much based upon a linear paradigm that assumes a repeatable, deterministic and linear relationship between effort and output. According to this model, the more control you have and the more efficient the process, the greater the output. However, if applied scientific research exhibits many of the properties of non-linear complex adaptive systems, then these traditional approaches are unlikely to maximise the potential returns. Through combining knowledge from cognitive and social psychology with practical insights from complexity science, my hope is that this research may be able to identify narratives for innovation and potential catalysts within research organisations that could lead to the emergence of higher levels of cross-role collaboration, creativity and novel high-value intellectual property.