About Stephen Little

Last Update 14 May 2019


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20 Wellington Crescent,
Manchester, M16 9RG
United Kingdom

Telephone +44 161 881 4890
Email little@stephenelittle.com

Stephen Little, Guangzhou, 2014



Stephen Little was Chairman of the Asia Pacific Technology Network (APTN) from 2008 to 2016. This was established as company limited by guarantee to encourage collaboration between the UK, wider Europe and Asia in the area of high technology, corporate strategy and entrepreneurship. It is now a networked virtual organisation.

Ccurently he is an external supervisor at the Centre for Islamic Finance, University of Bolton and Business Liaison Officer for the Stretford and Urmston Constituency Labour Party.

He is a Fellow of the Regional Studies Association and has served as a Council Member of the Design Research Society (DRS) and received the 1990 Design Studies Award. He was also a board member of Asia Pacific Researchers in Organization Studies (APROS) and was co-organiser of their 2013 symposium 'APROS-15: Re-covering Organization' hosted by Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo.

After graduating from the Birmingham School of Architecture he studied applied psychology at Aston University. In 1983, following a decade of practice as an architect in urban renewal in Manchester and Glasgow, he was awarded a PhD on the organisational impact of computer aided design at the Royal College of Art, London.

Subsequently he held full-time appointments in Information Systems at Griffith University Queensland, the University of Wollongong NSW, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK and in Knowledge Management at the Open University, UK. He has also held visiting appointments in the Urban Research Program, Australian National University Canberra, the Australian Graduate School of Management, NSW, Bolton University, UK and Erasmus University, Netherlands.

Prior to his retirement from the Open University Business School in 2013 he had headed the Centre for Innovation, Knowledge and Enterprise and been co-director of the cross-faculty Centre for Innovation, Knowledge and Development. He was also responsible for the development and delivery of teaching modules in knowledge management, entrepreneurship and strategic management in life sciences and healthcare. Subsequently he served as external examiner for the Masters in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship at the Manchester Business School.

His current research interests include the global migration of skilled labour, the contribution of large science projects to innovation in the wider economy and the role of place-branding and heritage in regional development.

Details of these research interests can be found here.

A full curriculum vitae is available here.

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News and Additions


His 2004 book 'Design and Determination: The role of information technology in redressing regional inequalities in the development process' can now be downloaded HERE

His paper "Internal and Local Tourism to Build Regional Identity: The New UK City Regions" presented to the international conference on "Contemporary Tourism: Traditions and Innvations" at Sofia University, Bulgaria, October 2017 is available HERE

He is a co-editor of Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Challenges and Experiences from East and West published by Springer in March 2017. Details HERE

Shortly after retiring from the Open University, in October 2013, he presented a paper co-authored with Professor Frank Go at the City Branding Symposium: Positioning Cities: Innovative and Sustainable Strategies for City Development and Transformation School of Communication and Journalism, Tsinghua University, Beijing.

'Co-creating a national brand portfolio to support inclusive growth' discussed the need to articulate a cohesive brand portfolio for the constituents of the rapidly growing city clusters in China.

The proceedings of this meeeting are now available for download (in English) HERE

His research continues with colleagues working on place leadership, branding and management and echoes his earlier contributions to urban renewal in North West England and Scotland as an architect during the 1970s and 1980s.

Details of additional publications from these and other research activities can be accessed HERE at the Open Research Online (ORO) depository
maintained by the Open University

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Further Details
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Curriculum Vitae (html)
Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

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