18 January 2007

The Queensland government has awarded one of three grants to UQ Business School’s PhD candidate, Sandeep Salunke, announced this week.

Mr Salunke, who lives at Holland Park West, has won competitive grant funding under the Growing the Smart State PhD Funding Program which provides research funds and a mentor for the duration of the research.

His research will investigate how small and medium service providers innovate to gain competitive advantage.

“There has been a phenomenal growth of services, which now accounts for around 70 to 80 percent of GDP of developed countries, such as Australia,” Mr Salunke said.

“While there is evidence that innovation leads to sustained competitive advantage, this evidence is confined to manufacturing industries.

“My research will investigate how small and medium service providers or service organizations manage the service innovation process. Owners and senior managers will be important in this process.”

Mr Salunke expects the study to benefit owner-managers and senior managers of small to medium service providers by providing information about the competitive dynamic capabilities that need to be built and nurtured to gain and sustain competitive advantage.

“There is a gap in the research because relatively little is known about how new services are actually developed,” Mr Salunke said.

“This opportunity will help me in aligning my research with industry issues and reflect upon outcomes that affect the real world. I wish to thank the Queensland Government and would also like to express my gratitude for the tremendous support given by the UQ Business School throughout my candidature.”

Mr Salunke is supervised by Dr Jay Weerawardena and Professor Janet McColl-Kennedy.

"As there has been no major studies examining the role of services innovation, Sandeep`s study findings will have important implications for theory, service providers and public policy planning,” Dr Weerawardena said.

In its fifth round, Growing the Smart State PhD Funding Program is an initiative from the Department of the Premier and Cabinet and developed in consultation with the tertiary sector to foster evidence-based public policy development.

Media inquiries: Fiona Sutton (07 3365 6748 or 0423 637 699).