About Stephen Little

Last Update 10 June 2021


 News and Additions

Research Interests

Further details & C.V.

 On-line Resources 


Contact Address

20 Wellington Crescent,
Manchester, M16 9RG
United Kingdom

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

Stephen Little, Guangzhou, 2014



Stephen Little is Professor Extraordinaire at SARChI, Tshwane University of Technology and an external PhD supervisor at the Centre for Islamic Finance, University of Bolton and Business Liaison Officer for Stretford and Urmston Constituency Labour Party.

Prior to his retirement from the Open University Business School in 2013 he had headed the Centre for Innovation, Knowledge and Enterprise and had been a 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.

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 before joining the Open University as Senior Lecturer in Knowledge Management at the Open University Business School, UK in 1999. 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 and has also held appointments as an external examiner at London Metropolitan, Birmingham, Manchester Metropolitan and Manchester universities.

In Australia he was a member of the SMART project on the introduction of team-based cellular manufacturing into several large Australian organisations, a participative action research project funded by the Australian and German Federal Government.

As a visiting lecturer at the Academy for Management Excellence, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, he delivered a programme on knowledge management on behalf of the Commonwealth Secretariat and as a member of the CERN-MODE project hosted by the Atlas experiment, CERN, reviewed technology transfer developments.

From 2008 to 2016 he was Chairman of the Asia Pacific Technology Network. This was established as a company limited by guarantee to encourage collaboration between the UK, wider Europe and Asia in the area of high technology, corporate strategy and entrepreneurship. APTN supported high level fora between the UK and China, South Korea and Japan together with sector and technology specific seminars to encourage partnerships between EU/UK high tech firms and potential South and East Asian partners. In 2010 he was an invited participant at an EU/US Conference and co-author of the subsequent Roadmap for Measuring the Results of Science: The Bellagio Statement.

He has refereed for a number of journals, currently Technology Forecasting as Social Change and Technology Assessment and Strategic Management. His most recent book is a coedited volume Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Challenges and Experiences from East and West for Springer.

He has served on a range of international conference committees and, as a board member of Asia Pacific Researcher in Organization Studies, was co-organiser of, APROS-15 Recovering Organization their 15th International Colloquium hosted by Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo.

He is a Life Member of the International Sociological Association, Fellow of the Regional Studies Association and a former Council Member of Design Research Society, receiving their 1990 Design Studies Award. His 100 publications and 95 conference presentations cover the global migration of skilled labour, the contribution of large science projects to innovation in the wider economy, the institutional and organisational dynamics of design innovation and the role of place-branding and heritage in regional development.

A full curriculum vitae is available here.

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News and Additions


Drawing on five years of local political campaigning in North West England and his work on place-branding he presented "Hyper-localism as a basis for recovering identity and purpose in left behind places" in Special Stream 19 Rethinking Economic and Social Development in 'Left Behind Places' at the RSA 'Regions in Recovery' e-Festival, June 2021.

He is currently contributing to the All Africana Post-Graduate Academy (AGPA), a series of online training seminars for doctoral and post-doctoral students across the continent. Details HERE

He coedited Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Challenges and Experiences from East and West published by Springer in March 2017. Details HERE

His 2004 book Design and Determination: the role of information technology in redressing regional inequities in the development process Ashgate Publishing, is avaiable for download 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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Stephen Little