Professor Bruce Tether

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Profile photo of: Professor Bruce Tether Email: Show Email Address
Position: Professor of Innovation Management and Strategy
Academic unit: Innovation, Management and Policy


Bruce Tether is Professor of Innovation Management and Strategy at Manchester Business School (MBS) within the University of Manchester. A prosition he has held since October 2011.

Prior to this Bruce Tether was for four years Professor of Design and Innovation at Imperial College Business School in London, where he was also the leader of the design-innovation research team and the Research Director of Design London - a joint venture between Imperial College and the Royal College of Art (RCA). He also taught design and innovation on the MBA and Masters in Management programmes.

Before Imperial Bruce Tether spent a decade at the University of Manchester, rising from Research Fellow (at the ESRC Centre of Research on Innovation and Competition - CRIC) to Full Professor (with a joint appointment at Manchester Business School and CRIC). During this time he also became a Fellow of the UK's Advanced Institute of Management Research (AIM).

Prior to Manchester he was for two years a Research Fellow at the Centre for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises at Warwick University’s Business School, and before that an ESRC funded doctoral student at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex. He began his research career in 1990 as a Research Associate at the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS) at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, which is also his alma mater: he graduated with a first class bachelors degree in economic and social geography, and won the Anson memorial prize for the best dissertation.

Research Interests

My research concerns three inter-related themes:

1. Innovation and entrepreneurship through creativity and design, including imagination

2. The competitive dynamics of professional service firms, especially those oriented to design and creativity, such as architecture practices, design and engineering consultancies.

3. How firms make choices regarding their geographical locations for competitive advantage: this concerns strategies of place (i.e., which particular places to locate) and of space (i.e., how to distribute activities over space.

Programme involvement

Specialist fields




Publication summary




Showing 47 publication(s)



  • Tether, B. S., Salter, A., Haynes, K. (Ed.), & Grugulis, I. (Ed.) (2015). Innovation in Services: An Overview. In Managing Services: Challenges and Innovation. Oxford: Oxford University Press. . Publication link: 4bc13384-86a1-464c-8232-3c6a14b9726b
  • Filitz, R., Henkel, J., & Tether, B. S. (2015). Protecting aesthetic innovations? An exploration of the use of Registered Community Designs. (n.a.; No. n.a.). n.a.. Publication link: 010717a1-b121-40b7-a25d-ec2a1ce12cec


  • Pina, K., & Tether, B. S. (2014). Distinguishing knowledge types and the differential drivers of innovation among KIBS. (n.a.; No. n.a.). n.a.. Publication link: 27b2a833-c8c0-4b9e-b078-67f6287260f6
  • Wennberg, K., Tether, B. S., Li, Q. C., & Mina, A. (2014). Taking or Eschewing Opportunities? Diversification in Professional Service Firms.. Publication link: e4243251-38a2-4adc-80e7-ea6de159bbec


  • Tether, B. S., Dodgson, M. (Ed.), Gann, D. (Ed.), & Phillips, N. (Ed.) (2013). Services, Innovation, and Managing Service Innovation. In The Oxford Handbook of Innovation Management. Oxford: Oxford University Press. DOI: 978-0-19-969494-5. Publication link: 4e67ea25-0e59-4445-a16b-63fa5a09847a


  • Bascavusoglu-Moreau, E., & Tether, B. S. (2012). Do R&D and Marketing enhance the benefit of collaborating with customers for innovation performance?. Publication link: cb6b0a6c-63d0-4c29-a515-553a21b0d3da
  • Tether, B. S., Li, Q. C., & Mina, A. (2012). Knowledge-bases, places, spatial configurations and the performance of knowledge-intensive professional service firms. Journal of Economic Geography, 12(5), 969-1001. [lbs015]. DOI: 10.1093/jeg/lbs015. Publication link: 4feef81d-d870-4ebe-8072-f941e3aed269


  • Bascavusoglu-Moreau, E., & Tether, B. S. (2011). A Different Path to Growth?: Service Innovation and Performance amongst UK Manfacturers.. Publication link: 56d47160-4dc0-40cd-9f2b-7d9e6c332de1
  • Li, Q. C., Tether, B. S., Mina, A., & Wennberg, K. (2011). Diversification and Human Capital as Antecedents of Internationalization amongst Professsional Service Firms.. Publication link: b93c369f-491f-4856-8ae5-dde38b170392
  • Tether, B. S., & Bascavusoglu-Moreau, E. (2011). Servitization: The Extent and Motivations for Service Provision amongst UK Manufacturers.. Publication link: ba6790ab-9668-4e62-ba9b-14d078658827
  • Tether, B. S., Li, C., & Mina, A. (2011). Organisational Architecture, Knowledge-Types and Configuring Space to Compete in Knowledge-based Services.. Publication link: bc0bb25b-cb9c-4717-a899-e0bc6101561d


  • Tether, B. S., & Stigliani, I. (2010). Service Design 2020: What does the future hold, and (how) can we shape it?Touchpoint, 1(3), 32-37. . Publication link: 42bdcac7-2c29-48e1-9a7f-03b3db3d74a4


  • Tether, B. S. (2009). Design in Innovation: Coming out from the Shadow of R&D, An analysis of the UK Innovation Surveys of 2005. London: Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, HM Government.. Publication link: b0edd791-1729-43f9-bb47-a910e02f45d7



  • Howells, J., Tether, B., Cox, D., Glynn, S., & Rigby, J. (2006). Information technology research in the UK: Perspectives on services research and development, and systems of innovation. Science and Public Policy, 33(1), 17-31. DOI: 10.3152/147154306781779172. Publication link: 0ca6f11b-2e46-4200-846f-cb9fde3a2b0f


  • Tether, B., Mina, A., Consoli, D., & Gagliardi, D. (2005). A Literature Review on Skills and Innovation. How Does Successful Innovation Impact on the Demand of Skills and How Do Skills Drive Innovation (Sept 2005). (Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)). DTI.. Publication link: 311974e4-9a49-4f36-8924-0559a5b74b87
  • Tether, B., Mina, A., Consoli, D., & Gagliardi, D. (2005). How does successful innovation impact on the demand for skills and how do skills drive Innovation. In A Literature review. London: Department of Trade and Industry (DTI, UK). . Publication link: fcc45bdc-d075-42d2-bfeb-a2e2cfec8484


  • Howells, J., Tether, B., & Uyarra, E. (2004). Innovation in Service: issue at stake and trends [Study for DG Enterprise, Commission of the European Communities]. No publisher name.. Publication link: 85c5123a-4d82-4db3-9197-1c294b1a6e6a


  • Tether, B., & Miles, I. D. (2003). The Effects of Innovation in Standardised, Customised and Bespoke Services: evidence from Germany. In host publication. London: Imperial College Press. . Publication link: a9a3ce7d-8742-4ef1-b8ad-dcc649d89594
  • Miles, I., Flanagan, K., Malik, K., Swann, G. M., Tether, B., & Green, L. (2003). Knowing How, Knowing Whom: a study of the links between the knowledge intensive services sector and the science base [Report to the Council for Science and Technology]. Manchester, UK: Manchester Institute of Innovation Research.. Publication link: acb17357-b18f-4402-88ce-74c4c25d1b53
  • Tether, B., & Randles, S. (2003). Services, Scale, and Structures of Internationalization: North West England's Environmental Technologies Firms, in Miozzo. M and Miles, I (eds.). In host publication. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. . Publication link: b2ae489b-5823-448d-ab58-1ad9c5ed9459
  • Tether, B. (2003). How to Define a New Product and a New Process : A review of existing approaches. Competitive Business, Scottish Enterprise.. Publication link: e6204f29-6cb2-4782-80dd-4714bc711aa8
  • Coombs, R., Harvey, M., & Tether, B. S. (2003). Analysing distributed processes of provision and innovation. Industrial and Corporate Change, 12(6), 1125-1155. . Publication link: 0bc74713-5346-408d-af11-d61e1d4891eb



  • Miles, I., Tether, B., Blind, K., De Liso, N., & Cainelli, G. (2001). Analysis of CIS Data on Innovation in the Service Sector [Final Report to European Commission by CRIC/IDSE/ISE]. No publisher name.. Publication link: 8dfa77f6-28a5-435e-a02f-e485a144661f
  • Tether, B., & Miles, I. D. (2001). Surveying Innovation in Service : Measurement and Policy Interpretation Issues. In host publication. Luxembourg: European Commission Publication. . Publication link: 7cf747e9-330e-4b43-939c-30540958ef1d
  • Howells, J., Glynn, S. M., Cox, D., Rigby, J., & Tether, B. (2001). UK R&D Strengths in IT, Electronics and Communications (ITEC) and Creative Content Industries. No publisher name.. Publication link: ab2c501b-3e12-45f6-93fe-77b2a8864cc7


  • Miles, I. D., & Tether, B. (2000). Surveying Innovation in Services: measurement and policy interpretation issues. In host publication.. Publication link: d72917a0-e1e9-4bc5-85d0-ca2ce1c6d811


  • Tether, B., & Green, L. (1999). What Would Constitute Success for the UK in Information Communication Technologies by 2005? A Background Report (Mimeo, CRIC, Report for DGRC (UK)). No publisher name.. Publication link: 915c7fa2-d754-4ef6-a30b-a2ba5e69f763