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Developing competencies to lead innovation in Indian manufacturing: an education model

Partha Priya Datta (Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, Kolkata, India)

International Journal of Innovation Science

ISSN: 1757-2223

Article publication date: 9 May 2018

Issue publication date: 15 October 2018




This paper aims to explore the implementation of an innovation in an executive education programme in the context of the Indian manufacturing industry. This paper presents an understanding of a conceptual framework for delivering a unique manufacturing leadership programme, explaining the different linkages between government, industry and academia for changing the mindset of participants and growth of a nation by developing highly skilful employees to lead India’s manufacturing industry.


The paper reports a single case study of an innovative manufacturing leadership development programme. Primary data were obtained from focus group studies and interviews. Documentary evidence in the form of reports, student work, course curriculum and meeting minutes was studied. The individual participants in the programme are used as units of analysis to explore systems of innovation, at individual levels. The analysis was carried out by applying theoretical models to explain the design, delivery and development of the programme over the years.


The findings from this research are an exploration of factors for sustaining the value of a system of innovation with special focus on a subsystem of knowledge creation and competence building. Institutional change is found to be a key input to the innovation process in terms of a collaborative mindset between three different academic institutes well known in different areas of expertise. Building an innovative coordination mechanism and curriculum combining academics with practical learning helped in changing the mindset of the students and faculty of the programme. This is linked to the development of country through leadership development by mindset change in mentors and students. The findings show that the studied programme has grown in terms of creating demand (in the form of increased applicants), guaranteeing 100 per cent placement with an average 50 per cent increase in salary and accelerated career in terms of role in the organisation. This was possible through continuous improvement practices for making local changes to the programme from time to time and building a community of practice in collaboration with industry.


The value of this research lies in highlighting the importance of international cooperation in speeding up the process of transferring management and technological knowledge from academia to industry. The framework developed for implementing a system of learning for creating a national system of innovation in manufacturing can be generalised to develop more such programmes in emerging nations for addressing skill challenges to lead future innovative projects.



Datta, P.P. (2019), "Developing competencies to lead innovation in Indian manufacturing: an education model", International Journal of Innovation Science, Vol. 10 No. 4, pp. 475-494.



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