Director of the Master of Business and Technology. This is an elite Masters program focussed upon the development of the next generation of innovative business leaders in Australia. The MBT is recognised as one of the leading postgraduate programs at UTS.
Formerly held the Chair in Leadership Studies at Rhodes University in South Africa (1988-1999).
Consults to global business, state and third sector organisations and teaches regularly at international business schools.
Can supervise: YES
Leadership for innovation; learning and knowledge generation.
Leadership; creativity and innovation; research methods.
Mastio, E & Dovey, K 2019, 'Power dynamics in organizational change: an Australian case', International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 39, no. 9-10, pp. 796-811.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the understanding of the role of abstract forms of power in organizational change by exploring the role of such forms of power in the recent structural transformation of an iconic Australian Intellectual Property law firm. The research literature reflects relatively few studies on the increasing complexity of power dynamics in organizational and institutional arrangements. Design/methodology/approach: The complexity of the investigated phenomena led to the adoption of three qualitative methods in order to access the specific forms of data that were perceived to be relevant to answering the research question ("How did abstract power dynamics influence the nature and outcomes of the firm's structural transformation?"). Ethnography was used in the attempt to discern, through participation and observation, the assumptions that manifested in action and/or inaction; phenomenology in the exploration through unstructured interviews with 41 staff members and 4 clients of the firm, of their interpretation and "sense-making" of their "lived experience" of "what was going on" in the firm; and narrative enquiry in establishing a narrative of critical events, and their impact on "what was going on" in the firm, including those that had occurred over the years prior to this research initiative. Findings: The research shows the effects of contradicting forms of abstract power (namely, hegemonic (ideological) power, dominant institutional logic and structural power) as the firm struggled to address challenges to its existence. The impact of these forms of power upon the partners' apprehension and interpretation of the emerging challenges to the firm's business performance remained inconspicuous throughout the period of transformation. However, these contradictory forms of abstract power insidiously created tensions within the organization which were poorly addressed, resulting in organizati...
Allen, G & Dovey, KA 2016, 'Action Research as a Leadership Strategy for Innovation: The Case of a Global High-Technology Organisation', International Journal of Action Research, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 8-37.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The paper describes two sets of action research within an iconic global high-tech company. Two teams within the organisation (one in New York and one in Sydney) were selected to participate on the basis of their failure to have achieved any technical innovation over the previous three years. The action research had the practical goal of generating valuable technical innovations and the research goal of gaining insight into any social (leadership) practices that may have facilitated the technical innovation. The research delivered novel insights into the nature of the leadership practices that enabled these two teams to deliver four company-lauded technical innovations. The principal finding of the research - that social innovation precedes technical innovation – highlights the role action research can play in the creation of a social environment conducive to technical innovation within enterprises.
In this article, we examine the construct of 'leadership' through an analysis of the social practices that
underpinned the Australian Broadcasting Corporation television production entitled The Code. Positioning
the production within the neo-bureaucratic organisational form currently adopted by the global television
industry, we explore new conceptualisations of the leadership phenomenon emerging within this industry
in response to the increasingly complex, uncertain and interdependent nature of creative work within it.
We show how the polyarchic governance regime characteristic of the neo-bureaucratic organisational
form ensures broadcaster control and coordination through 'hard power' mechanisms embedded in
the commissioning process and through 'soft power' relational practices that allow creative licence to
those employed in the production. Furthermore, we show how both sets of practices (commissioning
and creative practices) leverage and regenerate the relational resources – such as trust, commitment and
resilience – gained from rich stakeholder experience of working together in the creative industries over a
significant period of time. Referencing the leadership-as-practice perspective, we highlight the contingent
and improvisational nature of these practices and metaphorically describe the leadership manifesting in this
production as a form of 'interstitial glue' that binds and shapes stakeholder interests and collective agency.
The paper explores the relationship between leadership, culture and innovation. Through an analysis of four enterprises, voted by their peers as having strong innovation-friendly cultures, we explicate the assumptions embedded in these innovation-supporting cultures, and outline the leadership practices that have created them. By locating the study within the interpretivist research paradigm and adopting the 'practice turn' perspective that has characterised recent leadership research, this study has been able to acknowledge and address the political dynamics involved in the creation of innovation-conducive cultures.
Dovey, KA & Rembach, M 2015, 'Invisible practices; innovative outcomes: intrapreneurship within the academy', Action Learning: research and practice, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 1-17.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Across the world, higher education is facing new challenges as governments cut subsidies, new technologies enable 'massively open' online courses, students are accessed from global locations, and the centuries-old mission of universities is commercialised. In spite of these profound changes, most institutions of higher education have remained unaltered in terms of how they are structured and governed. Similarly, the consequent commodification of knowledge has not been challenged in general even though the lack of the deep knowledge that underpins competent professional practice is periodically lamented. This paper outlines an experiment in an alternative form of academic programme management; one which is perhaps more appropriate in current times. It describes an initiative at an Australian university where an action-research approach is being used to engage the full spectrum of stakeholders in the governance and execution of the strategic intent of a particular 'flagship' postgraduate programme. In this way, it demonstrates how knowing (knowledge manifesting in practice) is achieved through a form of praxis that continuously refines, through interactive 'creatively abrasive' forums, the enactment of mission-pertinent practices. However, as an initiative that threatens the political status quo within the university, much of the action, until recently, has had to be conducted 'invisibly'.
Bianchini, S, Maxwell, T & Dovey, KA 2014, 'Rethinking Leadership in the Academy: An Australian Case', Innovations in Education and Teaching International, vol. 50, no. 5, pp. 556-567.View/Download from: Publisher's site
As with higher education institutions in other Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development countries, Australian universities are facing significant challenges. One particular challenge is that of the declining quality of the teaching and learning experience within the academy. This paper describes an attempt to sustain the quality of a `flagship postgraduate academic programme through an action research initiative intended to distribute the programme's leadership across its stakeholder community. One year into the intervention, while its achievements include new collaborative arrangements with the university, as well as unconventional teaching/learning partnerships and enriched stakeholder learning, its standing within the university remains uncertain.
Chew, E & Dovey, K 2014, 'Learning to create sustainable value in turbulent operational contexts: the role of leadership practices', The Learning Organization, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 243-257.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Dovey, KA & McCabe, B 2014, 'The Politics of Innovation: Realising the Value of Intrapreneurs', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LEARNING AND INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 185-201.
This paper offers three cases, from very different industries, where an organisation failed to realise the value of the talent that was recruited at significant cost to lead an attempt at innovation. In each case, the recruited talent was forced into an intrapreneurial role - one in which they had to operate below the management radar - in order to attempt to progress the project for which they were employed. Furthermore, in each case, senior management at the company failed to scrutinise its management practices with respect to the constraints they unwittingly imposed upon the newly recruited person. Through its analysis of the reasons for each of these failures, the paper highlights the dynamics of effective talent management in the knowledge era, and points to alternative leadership practices through which to realise the value offered by talented staff recruited specifically to lead an organisation's strategic intent to innovate.
Dovey, KA & Mooney, GR 2012, 'Leadership Practices In The Generation And Deployment Of Intangible Capital Resources For Innovation', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LEARNING AND INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL, vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 295-306.View/Download from: Publisher's site
This paper explores the practices underpinning an enterprise's ability to generate and deploy intangible capital in support of its strategic intent to innovate. Drawing on two research projects, we focus upon enterprises that are able to innovatively leverage the intangible capital resources that are potentially available to them. Using a phenomenological methodology, one project explores at a high level the social dynamics within 25 medium-sized enterprises noted for their innovative capabilities in Sydney, Australia. The other project explores in finer detail, through an action research methodology, the transformation of stakeholder relationships within another Sydney-based medium-sized enterprise that has become highly innovative over the past five years. Our findings show that the most important forms of intangible capital for innovation are relationship-based and are leveraged through stakeholder collaboration.
Dovey, KA & Muller, E 2011, 'Dangerous Learning in Edgy Contexts: Creativity and Innovation in the South African Arts Domain', International Journal of Lifelong Education, vol. 30, no. 5, pp. 613-629.View/Download from: Publisher's site
n this paper, we outline a pilot project aimed at exploring the role of contextual factors in the facilitation of creativity and innovation within a range of South African art forms. Interviews with 11 people who have rich experience of the South African art domain delivered an insightful perspective on the contextual factors driving lifelong creativity and its continuous realization in innovative outcomes within these art forms.
Martincic, A & Dovey, KA 2011, 'Action Research as a Knowledge Generating Change Methodology', International Journal of Learning and Intellectual Capital, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 108-122.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The paper outlines an action research project conducted within an Australian public sector organisation with the purpose of changing a key internal business process. Despite the significant challenges incurred by using a change methodology considered to be âradicalâ within this conventional, hierarchically structured, organisation, the business process was transformed successfully and productivity has increased significantly within the organisation. Furthermore, the action research approach generated pertinent new knowledge; greatly enriched various forms of intangible capital within the organisation; and created a precedent with respect to greater collaboration and democracy within the organisation. In encouraging this approach to managing change within hierarchically structured organisations, the paper advocates caution in its introduction and warns of the challenges that it poses for power management in such organisations.
The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of trust in the collaborative learning processes that underpin innovation as a competitive strategy in organizations. Design/methodology/approach As a conceptual paper, the argument is framed by academic perspectives, drawn from the academic literature on the topic and by professional and life experience. Findings The collaborative learning practices that underpin idea generation and realization in organizations are strongly dependent for their effectiveness upon the availability, within and beyond stakeholder networks, of trust and other key social capital resources. Practical implications If innovation is dependent upon social capital resources, such as trust, then leadership endeavour needs to be much more focused upon the creation of a social environment that nurtures rich stakeholder and other relevant network, relationships. New forms of governance and power management, and more appropriate and aligned organizational structures, are required in organizations that are attempting to compete through innovation. Originality/value The paper's explication of the role of social capital resources, like trust, in organizational innovation offers new insights into this complex but increasingly vital form of competitive strategy.
Dovey, KA 2008, 'Addressing Structural Inhibitors of Change in Public Health Sector Organizations: A South African Case.', Journal of Change Management, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 37-56.
This article draws attention to the structural inhibitors of effective service delivery within a South African public health organization and outlines a change initiative aimed at facilitating the decentralization of decision-making power in an attempt to transform the service offered by this organization.
Dovey, KA & Fenech, BJ 2007, 'The Role of Enterprise Logic in the Failure of Organizations to Learn and Transform A Case from the Financial Services Industry', Management Learning, vol. 38, no. 5, pp. 573-590.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Profound change in the global business environment is foregrounding the need for new competitive strategies in organizations. The realization that success in the era of knowledge capitalism depends upon the creative productivity of knowledge workers is focusing attention on the forms of intangible capital that underpin creativity, learning and innovation as sources of competitive advantage. In this article we argue that many organizations are failing to execute mission-critical change because their leaders fail to comprehend how such change is inhibited by the `enterprise logic' of the organization. Through the case of an Australian financial services company, we show that embedded within the functional hierarchical structure of most large organizations is the strategic intention of managerial control, and we argue for the envisioning and development of a form of enterprise logic that is predicated on new structural forms that encompass the principles of co-ownership and lateral power relations
Dovey, KA, Strydom, A, Penderis, B & Kemp, P 2007, 'Leading change in the South African District Health Service', International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 192-205.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Purpose - The paper sets out to explore the leadership processes and dynamics of change management in a fragmented, and resource-poor, health service in an impoverished rural region in South Africa. Design/methodology/approach - The paper outlines an action research process aimed at assisting the stakeholders of two rural clinics to integrate psychiatric care into the Primary Health Care service that they offer their respective communities. This involved the transformation of existing practices through a form of praxis that involved learning from action and acting on learning. Findings - The findings of the paper relate to the role of leadership in the facilitation of transformational learning in team-based social action. Four areas of leadership responsibility are highlighted: the transformation of inappropriate mental models; the development of strategic resilience; the shifting of the locus of control of stakeholders to a more internal position; and the creation of a social environment in which intangible capital resources are generated and leveraged in the collective interest. Research limitations/implications - This paper is subject to the limitations of potential bias and distortion in action research. Although the "objective" evidence of the integration of psychiatric services at Pelsrus and Kwanomzamo clinics exists, the portrayal of the learning processes through which this was achieved could have been influenced unwittingly by the authors' own knowledge and other interests. Practical implications - The paper endorses the educational importance of work-based projects through which strong tacit leadership knowledge bases can be developed in health sector personnel.
Dovey, KA 2005, 'Leadership Education in the Era of Disruption: What Can Business Schools Offer?', International Journal of Leadership Education, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 179-191.
Dovey, KA & Singhota, J 2005, 'Learning and knowing in teams', Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 18-20.
Dovey, KA & White, RJ 2005, 'Learning about learning in knowledge-intense organizations', The Learning Organization, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 246-260.
The post-implementation review (PIR) literature emphasizes the benefits of ex post evaluations of information technology (IT) projects. However, empirical studies of actual practice show that few organizations undertake any substantive form of ex post ev
White, RJ & Dovey, KA 2004, 'Knowledge Construction in an Australian software development enterprise: developing the knowledge bases for innovative renewal', International Journal of Learning and Intellectual Capital, vol. 1, no. 4, pp. 405-415.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Dovey, KA 2002, 'Leadership Development in a South African Health Service', International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 15, no. 6/7, pp. 520-533.
The paper reports the outcomes of one module of a collaborative learning project aimed at the development of leadership capacity in district health management teams in the East Cape province of South Africa. A work-based learning methodology was selected for the module with the intention of developing strategic and procedural knowledge bases within these teams as a way of addressing the complex problems of policy implementation in South African state organisations. The paper demonstrates the effectiveness of collaborative work-based projects in developing team members' capacity to solve difficult workplace problems and to implement strategy in a challenging operational environment. It endorses the role of leadership coaching in the development of, and ability to leverage, important strategic knowledge resources that reside within and between team members. The paper concludes with an example that demonstrates the developing ability of team members to initiate successful collaboration around the resolution of complex service delivery problems.
Dovey, KA, Green, J & McQueen, M 2001, 'Academic Learning Revisited: Curriculum innovation in an Australian University', Teaching in Higher Education, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 383-397.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The paper explores an attempt by a small team of staff within the School of Management at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) to transform the only postgraduate third sector management programme offered in Australia, in response to powerful external and internal pressures for change. After analysing the nature of these contextual imperatives for the transformation of the programme, the paper outlines the rationale underpinning the new programme and the 'intrapreneurial' process that accompanied its implementation. Thereafter, the results of an evaluation of the transformed programme, conducted after the first phase of strategic action, are presented, with specific attention given to an analysis of the politics of its implementation and the nature of the learning gained by the participants in the programme.
Dovey, K 1993, 'Organisational Form and People Development: The Team as a Vehicle for Developing the Individual-in-Community', British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 124-132.View/Download from: Publisher's site
It is argued that all social action serves specific power interests and that the organisational form of social agencies is strongly influenced by the theoretical assumptions and practical aims of those who establish them. The paper presents the case of radical humanism, as an appropriate theory of social action within social democracies in the late-twentieth century, and argues that the team is a highly effective form of social organisation which leads to the establishment of an organisational culture compatible with radical humanist principles. © 1993, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. All rights reserved.
Dovey, KA 1980, 'Politics and Guidance: An Overview of the South African School Guidance Service', British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 1-10.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The South African guidance service is an example of the way in which the population can be manipulated when a guidance service is used to serve the political and economic ends of a ruling group. The South African government views the guidance service as an 'auxiliary education service', the function of which is to ensure conformity to the official Christian National Education policy for White schools. 'Pedagogy' provides a theoretical explanation for deviance from Christian National norms, and thus is emphasised in the training of guidance personnel. The focus of the guidance service is upon the identification and reorientation of children who are 'different'. The overview presented here provides an example of the consequences of unquestioning compliance of a guidance service with the values and norms of the dominant culture. It is argued that all guidance services constantly need to make explicit, and to question, the cultural assumptions upon which they operate. © 1980, American Industrial Hygiene Association. All rights reserved.
Allen, G, Burdon, SW & Dovey, K 2016, 'The Socio-Political Antecedents of Technical Innovation', International Society for Professional Innovation Management, International Society for Professional Innovation Management, Porto, Portugal, pp. 1-10.
The paper reports on a management initiative within an iconic global high-tech company to facilitate technical innovation within two teams (situated in different global locations of the company) that had been unable to produce any form of technical innovation over a period of several years. Experimenting with an action research strategy, this initiative had the practical goal of generating technical innovation and the research goal of gaining insight into the social dynamics that may facilitate such innovation. The two-year process delivered novel insights into the circumstances that enabled these teams to deliver four company-lauded technical innovations. The principal finding of the research - that social innovation is an antecedent of technical innovation – highlights the importance of alternative research methodologies (to that of the dominant research approach involved in R&D facilities) in addressing the politics of innovation within large organisations.
Burdon, SW & Dovey, K 2015, 'THE CULTURAL ANTECEDENTS OF SUCCESSFUL INNOVATION', PROCEEDINGS IFKAD 2015 on the theme of 'Culture, Innovation Entrepreneurship: connecting the knowledge dots', International Forum of Knowledge Asset Dynamics - "Culture, Innovation and Entrepreneurship: connecting the knowledge dots", IFKAD, Bari, Italy, pp. 1061-1072.
This paper outlines the leadership practices that support an organisation's strategic intent to innovate through the creation of an innovation-conducive culture. By surveying the opinions of member organisations of the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), four companies (each within a particular revenue category) were selected by AIIA members as having the most innovation-friendly cultures. The paper explicates the cultural basis of effective innovation within these four companies by drawing on survey data; analyses of the presentations given at the awards ceremony by senior members of each of the winning companies; and follow-up interviews with the leaders of these companies. The results point to the vital role that leadership plays in the creation of an appropriate cultural platform for successful innovation; and indicate how the execution of the strategic intent to innovate depends on the appropriateness of the cultural assumptions held by a stakeholder community. In particular, the study shows that within companies that are recognised as having innovation-supporting cultures, innovation is assumed to be a human/social process that is enhanced by open and honest communication, strong interpersonal relationships, mission-pertinent learning, and permission to experiment and fail.
Dovey, KA 2012, 'Innovation Within Large Organizations: The Role of the Intrapreneur', XXIII ISPIM Conference: Action for Innovation: Innovating From Experience, XXIII ISPIM Conference: Action for Innovation: Innovating From Experience, International Society for Professional Innovation Management (ISPIM), Barcelona, Spain, pp. 49-49.
This paper explores the role of the intrapreneur in successful innovation within large organizations. Offering a case of the creation of a successful new product within a large Australian organization, the paper explores the politics of championing creative ideas through to their realization in innovative new commercial offerings. Through the lens of one intrapreneurâs experience, it highlights the practices required to innovate within environments rich in innovation rhetoric but governed by contradictory enterprise logic. Furthermore, it addresses the self-management practices required of those wanting âto make a differenceâ in such organizations and warns of the fatal traps into which inexperienced intrapreneurs can fall.
Dovey, KA 2011, 'The Promise of Crisis: Dangerous Learning in Turbulent Contexts', OLKC 2011: Making Waves, Organizational Learning and Knowledge Capabilities, Hull University Business School, Hull, United Kingdom, pp. 36-53.
In this paper, I outline a pilot project aimed at exploring creativity and innovation within the South African creative industries. Interviews with eleven people who have deep knowledge of these industries delivered an insightful perspective on the contextual factors driving creativity and its realization in innovative outcomes within these industries; factors that align well with those identified in the creativity and innovation research literature.
Dovey, KA & Mooney, GR 2010, 'The Social Dynamics of Generating and Leveraging Intellectual Capital for Innovation', The Proceedings of the 2nd European Conference on Intellectual Capital, European Conference on Intellectual Capital, ISCTE Lisbon University Institute and Academic Publishing Limited, Lisbon, pp. 225-231.
This paper explores the factors influencing an enterprises ability to generate and deploy intellectual capital in support of its strategic intent to innovate. Drawing on two research projects, we focus upon the leadership practices that enable an enterprise to innovatively leverage the intellectual capital that is potentially available to it. One project, using a phenomenological methodology, explores, at a high level, the social dynamics within twenty-five medium-sized enterprises noted for their innovative capabilities, in Sydney, Australia. The other project explores in finer detail, through an action research methodology, the transformation of stakeholder relationships within another medium-sized Sydney enterprise that has become highly innovative over the past five years. Our findings show that the most important forms of intangible capital for innovation are relationshipbased and are leveraged through stakeholder collaboration.
Fenech, BJ & Dovey, KA 2005, 'The role of structure in the failure of organisations to learn and transform', Proceedings of the 6th International conference on organisational learning and knowledge, International conference on organisational learning and knowledge, University of Trento, Trento, Italy, pp. 58-75.
Dovey, KA, Green, J & McQueen, M 2001, 'Partnerships in educational networks in community organisations', Conference working papers: the Third Sector: For what and for whom?, ISTR Fourth International Conference, International Society for Third Sector Research, Dublin, Ireland.
Multiple organisations in all three sectors (private, state and community sectors) of the global economy.