In the first of Waterford Institute of Technology’s Professorial Lecture Series, Prof Denis Harrington and Prof Bill O’Gorman from the School of Business discussed the challenges and importance of leadership in an ever changing world in a lecture entitled ‘Reimagining leadership for the knowledge economy – organisational and regional perspectives’.
In his address, Professor Harrington spoke about the leader’s challenge to balance the need for high performance with the simultaneous requirement for continuous change. He discussed how greater investment in leadership development and in stronger collaborations between Irish firms and business school academics can deliver managerial excellence and how research can usefully inform management practice. He also described the changing role of the business school with an eye to outlining potential bridges between academic knowledge and managerial practice.
According to Prof Harrington “numerous reports point to the requirement for improved levels of collaboration between industry and academia to enhance leadership capability development in companies. New entrepreneurial forms are required however in universities to reach on this agenda so as to ensure that our ongoing research activity can support and inform the practice of management in our region”. Prof Harrington has responsibility for all taught postgraduate business programmes and the Doctorate of Business Administration at WIT and has secured €5m through his research activities with EU and national partners.
Prof Bill O’Gorman explained that he believes it is leadership within regions that creates the environment for sustainable growth and development, where innovation, creation, invention, commercialisation and societal inclusion can blossom and grow. However, with today’s mega advances in communications and communications’ technology, the complexity of defining region and leadership becomes a big quandary.
According to Prof O’Gorman, “To remain competitive and to sustain their economies in a globalised economy, where the boundaries between regions and economies are blurring, regions need to realise that the capability and capacity to innovate and commercialise research is essential.” Prof O’Gorman, through the Centre for Enterprise Development and Regional Economy (CEDRE) has led or partnered in EU and EI funded projects with a total value of €14 million.
This was the first lecture in the inaugural Professorial Lecture series at the Institute. The series is designed to engage the Institute’s wider community by exchanging and inspiring ideas, sharing our very best research and acknowledging the very great contribution our newly appointed professors make to their community and the region.
For more information on the remaining lecture in the series, visit www.wit.ie/proflectures.