Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change

The Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change is a national inter-disciplinary research institute, based at NUI Galway, focused on building an internationally-recognised programme of research and education on innovation processes and policies that are fundamental to the development of a knowledge-based economy. The Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change is one of the five major research institutes within NUI Galway and it is aligned to the Applied Social Science and Public Policy thematic research priority. The core focus is to provide multidisciplinary insights into innovative change.


Innovation Systems

The goals of this priority area are to investigate the theoretical and operational aspects of innovation and structural change in Ireland, to analyse, measure and evaluate knowledge flows and other linkages within national and regional innovation systems as part of a programme of collaborative, interdisciplinary research, to identify the implications of this research for the framing of science, technology and innovation policy in Ireland and more widely, and to provide training for young and emerging researchers

Industry Clustering

The goals of this area are to develop a better understanding of the characteristics and performance of industry clusters as a newly identified source of competitive advantage in the global economy, to construct primary data sources for research in Ireland using longitudinal survey and case study approaches, with the potential for international comparative analysis, and to build expertise in collaboration with international researchers which is incorporated into undergraduate and postgraduate teaching programmes.

Internationally- Traded Services

The goals of this area are to examine the role of foreign investment in the mergence of the internationally traded services sector in Ireland to assess the ’embeddedness' of ITS investment in the local economy and the role of indigenous firms in supply chain activity, outsourcing and penetration of global markets, to identify the public policy implications relating to spatial strategy, and to pursue new teaching and learning initiatives on the theme of the information economy.

Inter-Organisational Systems

The goals of this area are to investigate the salient operational features of inter-firm networks and collaborative relationships, including those with a regional dimension, to determine the extent to which ’inter-organisational systems' incorporating new information technologies facilitate the growth of flexible inter-firm networks and provide a platform for value-added partnerships, and to devise feedback loops between research and teaching so that course materials and delivery are informed by best practice in the area.

High Performance Work Systems

The goals of this priority research area are to examine the strategies and characteristics of high performance workplaces and their diffusion through organisational learning and social partnership, to assess the degree to which innovation and effectiveness are impeded by a growing ’representation gap' at workplace level, to generate new sources of primary data, leading to an all-Ireland Workplace Employee Relations Survey, and to contribute to an emerging research and teaching focus in the management of human resources.


Researchers at the Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change have access to the following facilities and equipment:

View the full list of NUI Galway research facilities

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Information Systems
Social Science Research Methodologist Please visit our jobs section for a complete list of current vacancies.