UMKC Ranked No. 1 in the World

Release Date:  Dec 05, 2011

Read our story in the Wall Street Journal!

On Dec. 5, the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) announced a major global ranking in the field of innovation management research.

Driven by research productivity in the Henry W. Bloch School of Management’s Department for Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) has been ranked No. 1 in the world for innovation management research, surpassing such schools as M.I.T., Harvard, Stanford, Michigan State and Texas A&M, to name a few. The full top 10 list can be found here.

The event was hosted by the Kauffman Foundation and featured key hosts/speakers including Kansas City, Mo. Mayor Sly James, UMB Bank President Peter deSilva, Kauffman Foundation CEO Carl Schramm and Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce President Jim Heeter.

The ranking is part of a research article entitled “Perspective: Ranking of the World’s Top Innovation Management Scholars and Universities”, to be published in a March 2012 issue of the Journal of Product Innovation Management, a leading innovation management academic journal.

The ranking was based on research over the past 20 years. A total of 625 universities were ranked on research topics focusing on hot trends and future research directions in the field of innovation management.

Three Bloch School entrepreneurship faculty, Dr. Michael Song, Dr. Mark Parry and Dr. Lisa Zhao (whose research drove the ranking) were also ranked among the top 50 innovation management scholars in the world by the Journal, with Song ranking as the world’s No. 1 innovation management scholar again, Parry ranking No. 4 and Zhao ranking No. 50.

While the Journal has ranked innovation scholars in the past, this is the first time they have ranked universities. The ranking is once in five years, so UMKC will hold the title for the next five years.

How Does UMKC beat M.I.T. and Harvard? The answer is strategic focus. UMKC is an urban university that has chosen a pervasive entrepreneurial and innovation focus throughout all disciplines and does it well.

This helps attract the best faculty (who then attract other world-class faculty deep in innovation research), all of which propelled UMKC to the top.

How does this affect the community? Great cities have great universities. Kansas City is staking its claim as the most entrepreneurial city in the nation, one of the Chamber of Commerce’s Big 5 initiatives. The recognition of UMKC as a global urban research university and the Bloch School as a preeminent research school of management with an emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation will impact the city’s reputation and help us attract top firms, entrepreneurial talent and new businesses to set up and keep operations in KC.

How does this affect quality of  students’ education? Bloch students benefit from having access to the top innovation management faculty in the world. This attracts more students who want to study at UMKC. Bloch’s world-class scholars are also excellent teachers. They bring their cutting-edge research and results into the classroom to prepare students – future innovators – to lead in new ventures or existing organizations.

How does this affect the economy, region and nation? The study of innovation management yields critical economic insights for companies involved in new product/service development. This research is designed to help companies take actions that will speed up the launch of successful new ventures, maximizing the use of resources to build and scale new business in the shortest amount of time.

Further Details about the Research The study tracks the past 20 years of research activities of 1,718 innovation management scholars in the world’s universities, ranking 625 of them.

The study classifies 1,229 research papers into 20 categories, looking at hot topics and future research directions in the field of innovation management.

These research studies have been published in the top 10 leading authoritative, tier 1 peer-reviewed academic journals namely: the Journal of Product Innovation Management, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management (these two are commonly recognized as the top two Innovation Management Journals), Strategic Management Journal ( SMJ), Academy of Management Review (AMR), and Journal of Operations Management and Journal of Marketing, just to name a few.

The study describes innovation management research covering topics related to products, firm (company) strategy, product development process and market environment factors.

Dr. Song’s research output is 2.2 times higher than the No. 2 world’s innovation management research scholar Roger Calantone from Michigan State and 5.3 times higher than Steven Eppinger from MIT.

Examples of the type of research include a series of pioneering research projects conducted by Song and Parry together that examine new product development in China and Japan based on data collected from over 400 Japanese companies on 788 new product development projects and comparing them with 612 from U.S. companies.

A significant research paper from the above research stream was awarded the Excellence in Global Marketing Research award by the American Marketing Association. This award recognizes the author(s) of an outstanding research article, published within the last 10 years, which has significantly influenced the direction of global marketing.

Dr. Lisa Zhao’s work is on product/service pioneering, first product/service development and new venture survival. Her research articles have appeared in IEEE Transaction on Engineering Management, Strategic Management Journal, and Journal of Product Innovation Management, to name a few.

UMKC’s research output ranks 47 percent higher than MIT, 205 percent higher than Harvard and 243 percent higher than Stanford University.

The ranking study is carried out once every five years, so UMKC will maintain the No. 1 spot for five years.

The study concluded by stating that there are three strategies for Universities around the world to establish reputation in innovation management research:

1. Building on existing university reputation and legacy ( e.g. MIT, Harvard and Stanford)
2. Retaining productive scholars ( Michigan State, Northeastern and Delft)
3. Attracting the best faculty using a new strategic focus ( e.g. the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at UMKC)

The strategy at UMKC’s Henry W. Bloch School of Management, as stated by the study, is such:

“UMKC pursued a strategy of attracting the best faculty using new strategic focus. In line with Kansas City’s entrepreneurial culture, UMKC created a strategic focus in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. It provided permanent university funding, secured private and foundation funding, recruited 7 productive innovation scholars and created a permanent academic department of Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Henry W. Bloch School led by a new dean with entrepreneurship and innovation expertise. UMKC’s success provides a model for universities aspiring to create and foster excellence in a particular academic discipline.”