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The core programme for the R&D Management Conference is structured around a series of parallel sessions each lasting 90 minutes. Sessions comprise four paper presentations that may be academically focused, practice relevant, or a mix of both. Tracks are nspired by this year's theme “Innovation Across Boundaries: Historical Reflection and Future Vision". Details can be seen below. 


Social Systems and Future Manufacturing :

Understanding the dynamics of industrial organisations and technological change

The SSFM track welcomes papers that focus on how social systems shape the development and diffusion of new manufacturing technologies as well as how societal systems will be affected by these new technological trends. Of particular interests are papers that adopt a cross-disciplinary and multi-level approach to the analysis of innovation and learning processes as relevant to SSFM. 

The SSFM is grounded in the broad context that the diffusion of a new generation of advanced technologies into a wide variety of industries has raised the prospect of a widespread and profound transformation of innovation and production systems. These technologies, known variously as Manufacturing of the Future, Advanced Manufacturing Technologies, or Industry 4.0  include, but are not limited to, a variety of digital technologies (e.g. Internet of things and advanced robotics), 3D printing, advanced biotechnology, new materials, nanotechnologies as well as artificial intelligence (AI). Together, they provide new possibilities that are expected not only to transform the production and distribution of goods and services but also have far-reaching consequences for productivity, skills, the environment, income distribution and social well-being. 

Future manufacturing will be embedded in multiple social systems of innovation and learning at various levels of aggregation (e.g. team and work systems within firms, global and local supply chains, as well as national and local systems of innovation and production). A cross-boundary analytical approach that focuses on the complex and dynamic relationships between radical technological change and the multiple social systems in which these processes are embedded is needed in order to identify the specific characteristics of this new stage of manufacturing transformation. 


The analysis of how different social systems influence the creation, development, and implementation of this generation of advanced manufacturing technologies is critical to our understanding of the dynamics of industrial organisations and technological changes in the next period. The SSFM track promotes a cross-disciplinary and multi-level approach of studying the processes of industrial learning and innovation driving the transformation of social systems linked to future manufacturing. Main objectives of the track include: 

Objective 1- To promote multidisciplinary research with contributions from closely related knowledge bodies, including but not confined to sociology of work, organisational/institutional studies, production engineering, operations management, economics, computer sciences, etc. 

Objective 2- To explore multilevel interactions across work, organisation and policy domains. 

Objective 3- To establish an open and interactive research community focusing on innovation and learning in social systems and future manufacturing.


  • Yufeng Zhang  
  • Paulina Ramirez 
  • Daniel Wintersberger 


  • Tim Minshall  
  • Letizia Mortara 
  • Andrew Tylecote 
  • Joseph Yuan Zhou 

Timeline for Submission

  • Decisions on abstracts and papers  27th March
  • Full Paper Submission Deadline 5th May 2020


Registration Fees

Early Bird (before 5th May): £515

Early-Student (before 5th May): £415

Standard: £615

Standard Student: £515

One Day: £300


Did you know you can donate £10 to help off-set your travel to and participation in the conference? Click here for more information.

Subsidised Conference Fees


With thanks to RADMA, we are pleased to offer funding to support the attendance of a limited number of Early Career Researchers and PhD students at the conference. Details and application form can be found here

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