Professor Stephen Flowers

Professor of Management (Innovation)


Professor Stephen Flowers has recently joined KBS and his research focuses on Users and New Forms of Innovation. Over the course of his career he has made significant contributions to the development of his research area and has influenced academic, policy and professional practice in the UK and internationally. His research contribution in terms of leadership and output has also been significant and he has produced 21 peer-reviewed journal articles and reports, 4 books, 11 book chapters, 49 conference and working papers and 17 articles in the national media.

He has also edited a special issue on User Innovation for an international journal and in 2010 published an edited collection on the same topic (entitled ‘Perspectives on User Innovation’). His work has also provided the basis for a series of contributions to the development of policy positions on Open and User Innovation and he is a leading researcher in this area.

His work with the National Endowment for Science and the Arts (NESTA) in the UK resulted in the publication of the report ‘The New Inventors: how users are changing the rules of innovation’. The research project that led to this report explored the scale, scope and depth of User Innovation in the UK and was the first substantive piece of policy research on User Innovation to take place in that country.

Subsequent to this he led research on the measurement of Open and User Innovation activity by firms and consumers, subsequently replicated in many countries, and continues to work with policy groups on these topics. Stephen has presented his work at many leading universities including Harvard Business School, MIT, Erasmus University and Copenhagen Business School. He has undertaken projects for the OECD, Tekes, the European Commission and the Institutet for Tllvaxtpolitiska Studier, Stockholm.



I would welcome applications to undertake research degrees in the area of Open and User Innovation that relate to my research interests.


Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository


  • de Jong, J., & Flowers, S. (2018). Free in, free out? Outbound transfer of user innovations in small UK firms. Industrial Marketing Management. doi:10.1016/j.indmarman.2018.01.008
  • Meyer, M., Kuusisto, J., Grant, K., De Silva, M., Flowers, S., & Choksy, U. (2018). Towards New Triple Helix Organisations? A Comparative Study of Competence Centres as Knowledge, Consensus and Innovation Spaces. R&d Management. doi:10.1111/radm.12342
  • Darking, M., Anson, R., Bravo, F., Davis, J., Flowers, S., Gillingham, E., et al. (2014). Practice-centred evaluation and the privileging of care in health information technology evaluation. Bmc Health Services Research, 14, . doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-243
  • Von Hippel, E., De Jong, J., & Flowers, S. (2012). Comparing business and household sector innovation in consumer products: Findings from a representative study in the United Kingdom. Management Science, 58, 1669-1681. doi:10.1287/mnsc.1110.1508
  • Flowers, S., von Hippel, E., de Jong, J., & Sinozic, T. (2010). Measuring user innovation in the UK: The importance of product creation by users. Nesta. Retrieved from
  • Carlin, L., Smith, H., Henwood, F., Flowers, S., Jones, A., Prentice, R., & Miles, K. (2010). Double vision: an exploration of radiologists' and general practitioners' views on using Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS). Health Informatics Journal, 16, 75-86. doi:10.1177/1460458210361935
  • Flowers, S. (2008). Harnessing the hackers: The emergence and exploitation of Outlaw Innovation. Research Policy, 37, 177-193. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2007.10.006
  • Flowers, S., & Henwood, F. (2008). Editorial: special issue on user innovation. International Journal Of Innovation Management, 12, vx. doi:10.1142/S1363919608002102
  • Flowers, S. (2007). Organizational capabilities and technology acquisition: Why firms know less than they buy. Industrial And Corporate Change, 16, 317-346. doi:10.1093/icc/dtm011
  • Flowers, S., Tang, P., Molas-Gallart, J., & Davies, A. (2006). Contrasting Approaches to the Adoption of e-Government: The UK and the Netherlands. Journal Of E-Government, 2, 51-83. doi:10.1300/J399v02n03_04
  • Flowers, S. (2004). Contingent capabilities and the procurement of complex product systems. International Journal Of Innovation Management, 8, 1-20. doi:10.1142/S1363919604000940
  • Reeve, S., & Flowers, S. (2002). Management education and development through the application of the knowledge fusion method: a radical model to accelerate management learning. International Journal Of Management Education, 2.
  • Herson, K., Sosabowski, M., Lloyd, A., Flowers, S., Paine, C., & Newton, B. (2000). Implementation strategies for educational intranet resources. British Journal Of Educational Technology, 31, 47-55.
  • Flowers, S., Newton, B., & Paine, C. (1998). Creating a faculty intranet: a case study in change. Education And Training, 40, 340-346. doi:10.1108/00400919810239374
  • Bourner, T., & Flowers, S. (1997). Teaching and learning methods in higher education: A glimpse of the future. Reflections On Higher Education, 9, 77-102.
  • Flowers, S. (1997). Information systems failure: Identifying the critical failure factors. Failure And Lessons Learned In Information Technology Management, 1, 19-29.

Book section

  • Flowers, S., & Voss, G. (2015). User Innovation in the music software industry: the case of Sibelius. In J. Candace, Mark, L., & Sapsed, J. (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Creative Industries. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199603510.013.004
  • Flowers, S. (2010). User Innovation : The Developing Policy Research Agenda. In Use of Science and Technology in Business: Exploring the Impact of Using Activity for Systems, Organizations, and People (Vol. 16, p. ). World Scientific.
  • Flowers, S. (2009). Outlaw Innovation: drawing hackers into the innovation process. In Hacking: A Legal Quandary. University Press.
  • Flowers, S. (2009). Use in the Context of Outsourcing: The view from downstream. In F. Prenkert (Ed.), Use of Science and Technology in Business: Exploring the Impact of Using Activity for Systems, Organizations, and People (Vol. 25, pp. 55-73). Emerald Group Publishing.
  • Reeve, S., & Flowers, S. (2004). From high level clarity to ground level confusion: exactly where do IT-mediated education policies fit? In R. Ottewill, Borredon, L., Falque, L., Macfarlane, B., & Wall, A. (Eds.), Educational Innovation in Economics and Business: pedagogy, technology and innovation VIII (pp. 43-60). Springer.
  • Newton, B., Paine, C., & Flowers, S. (2003). From leading edge to mainstream: The evolving brighton business school intranet. In Learning and Teaching for Business: Case Studies of Successful Innovation (pp. 31-47). Kogan Page. doi:10.4324/9780203416648
  • Newton, B., Paine, C., & Flowers, S. (2003). From leading edge to mainstream: the evolving Brighton Business School intranet. In Learning & Teaching for Business: Case studies of successful innovation (pp. 31-47). Routledge.


  • Flowers, S., Meyer, M., & Kuusisto, J. (2017). Capturing the Innovation Opportunity Space: Creating Business Models with New Forms of Innovation. Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, MA, USA: E. Elgar. doi:10.4337/9781783475520
  • Flowers, S., & Henwood, F. (2010). Perspectives on User Innovation. London: Imperial College Press.
  • Flowers, S. (1996). Software Failure, Management Failure: Amazing stories and cautionary tales. Chichester: John Wiley.
  • Flowers, S. (1993). Success in Information Processing. London: John Murray.
  • Flowers, S. (1988). Success in Information Processing. Hodder Arnold.
  • Millmore, L., & Flowers, S. (1982). Accounting Through Numeracy. Nelson BEC Books.

Research report (external)

  • Sebba, J., Griffiths, V., Luckrock, B., Hunt, F., Robinson, C., & Flowers, S. (2009). Youth-led innovation: Enhancing the skills and capacity of the next generation of innovators. NESTA.
  • Flowers, S., Sinozic, T., & Patel, P. (2009). Prevalence of User Innovation in the EU: Analysis based on the Innobarometer Surveys of 2007 and 2009. EU.
  • Flowers, S., Mateos-Garcia, J., Sapsed, J., Nightingale, P., Grantham, A., & Voss, G. (2008). The New Inventors: How users are changing the rules of innovation. NESTA.
Total publications in KAR: 32 [See all in KAR]