Sustaining Innovation in a Complex Human System
: The Challenge of Balancing Strategy and Business Model design

  • Steven Michael

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The thesis concerns the critical examination of the strategy adopted and business model employed to sustain the value created by a mental health service innovation: Creative Minds; a partnership between an NHS organisation and community based creative arts ventures. Using instrumental case study methodology and adopting a reflexive approach, findings reveal the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous nature of the broader system within which mental health and social care, and this specific innovation, is delivered. The case highlights potential for contradiction to exist between key stakeholders in relation to the adoption of strategy and employment of a business model. Such contradictions were found to be shaped by competing philosophies and ideologies, resulting in a sense of creative tension. To sustain the value creation, conflicting paradigmal views need to be accommodated in a politically and culturally feasible way, through improved systemic understanding, reflexive practice and explicit application of a business model design framework.
Date of Award2023
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorLeigh Morland (Main Supervisor)

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