Silvia Massini

Silvia Massini


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Digital technologies, skills, digital technologies for sustainability

Personal profile


Silvia Massini is Professor of Economics and Management of Innovation.  She has served as the Head of the Innovation Management and Policy (IMP) Division at the Alliance Manchester Business School (2017-2022).  Prior to this she was Associate Head of Research in IMP, a Director of the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research (MIOIR) and Head of the Innovate and Sustain Subject Group in the IMP division.   She has been a member of the Senate (2015-2018) and the Board of Governors (2016-2019) at the University of Manchester.  She joined Manchester School of Management at UMIST in January 2000 after a position as .Research Fellow at the Centre for Creativity Strategy and Change (CCSC), Warwick Business School (1999). Prior to that, she has worked as a researcher at the Institute for Scientific Research and Documentation Studies (ISRDS) of the Italian National Research Council (CNR) in Rome, and at the Policy Research in Engineering Science and Technology (PREST) at the University of Manchester. She has been a visiting research fellow at Science and Technology Policy Research (SPRU) at the University of Sussex and at the ESRC Centre for Research on Innovation and Competition (CRIC) at the University of Manchester. Silvia holds Laura (Cum Laude) in Statistics and Economics (La Sapienza University, Rome), MSc in Economics (Warwick University), Doctorate in Economics (La Sapienza University, Rome). She has been Visiting Scholar at Duke University April-September 2007.

Research interests

Silvia's main current research interests are: emergence, adoption and diffusion of digital technologies, and their impact on innovation processes and strategies, as well as the relationship with skills needs and changes; industry-university collaborations for teaching programmes; Global Sourcing of Innovation, and other Business Services.  The unifying theme is the develiopment of organizational routines and absorptive capacity for innovation. Global souricing of Innovation was part of an international research programme led by Prof. Arie Lewin at Duke University and in collaboration with colleagues in other leading European Business Schools.  The study was based on a firm level survey, launched in UK in June 2006, and case studies.  It aimed at understanding nature, characteristics, and trends of emerging offshoring strategies and practices, and built on the conceptual work on internal and external absorptive capacity routines, innovator and imitators dynamics, and complementarities.

Other research activities, and areas for PhD supervised research, include emerging digital technologies and skills, diffusion of technological and organisational innovations; technology flows between sectors, intellectual property strategies; intellectual property flows between countries and companies; knowledge management (creation, transfer and absorption), at firm level and in relation to firm collaborations, networks and alliances. The domain of the research is often, but not only, international, and can involve international comparisons across countries or globalised companies.

Silvia currently teaches "New Product Development and Innovation" to UG students.  She has taught “Technology and Innovation Management", core course in the MSc in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship; "International Competitiveness and Technical Change", and contributed to Research Methods courses.  She has taught "Managerial Economics", UG Y2, and "International Competitiveness and Technical Change", UG Y3, on the Singapore Programmes.  She supervises MSc and PhD dissertations in the area of innovation management and strategy, international business and economics of innovation and technological change.

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Senior Editor of Management and Organization Review (MOR) (2014-2022).

Associate editor of Economia e Politica Industriale-Journal of Industrial and Business Economics (2015-2021)

Guest editor, with Lucia Piscitello (POLIMI), Tommaso Ciarli (U. of Sussex) and Marti Kenney (UC Davis) of a special issue of Research Policy on Innovation and Skills in the Digital Economy, 2021.

Guest editor, with Tom Murtha (U.  of Minneapolis) and Martin Kenney (U. of California, Davis), of a special issue of the Journal of International Business Studies on Offshoring of white collar work, 2009. 

Editorial Review Board of the Journal of International Business Studies (2003-2007); Organization Studies (2003-2006).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Technological Diffusion Models: Theoretical Perspectives and Empirical Investigations

Award Date: 1 Jul 1999

Areas of expertise

  • H Social Sciences (General)

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures
  • Manchester Institute of Innovation Research


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