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Digital Innovation in Retail

Woolworths Ltd. and Queensland University of Technology (Brisbane, QLD), joined a collaboration termed the “Woolworths Chair of Retail Innovation” initiative.

Stated objectives of the initiative have been to:

  • provide seamless integration of the research and scholarship resources of QUT with the requirements of an innovation-led culture of Woolworths leading to quantifiable, short and mid-term benefits including cost reduction and potential new streams of revenue;
  • develop an internationally recognised retail innovation research profile closely affiliated with Woolworths, leading to mutual reputational benefits.

Through the initiative, Woolworths and QUT committed to jointly undertake activities in retail innovation research, education and training for the mutual benefit of Woolworths, Woolworths Group, and QUT; and to provide research-grounded services to ensure successful implementation of all stages along the innovation lifecycle including post-implementation studies leading to increased corporate performance. The initiative’s objective was to conduct applied research on innovations in business, processes and technology-based systems, and the management of innovation processes at Woolworths Limited. Topics addressed a variety of business, management, process, service and IT-components, and thus require holistic and multidisciplinary approaches to research.

The Chair has also been active in supporting capability development at Woolworths, by providing education seminars and contributing to leadership development programs, such as regular Innovation Inspiration Seminars and an Innovation Leadership Professional Education course.

Much of the research has been commercial-in-confidence. For information about the research and outcomes, please contact Professor Jan Recker at

Selected Publications

  • Patroni, J., von Briel, F., Recker, J. (2016): How can Enterprise Social Media use facilitate innovation? An exploratory study in the retail industry. IEEE IT Professional, Vol. 18, No. 6, pp. 34-41.
  • Kummer, T.-F., Recker, J., Bick, M. (2017): Technology-induced anxiety: Manifestations, cultural influences, and its effect on the adoption of sensor-based technology in German and Australian hospitals. Information & Management, Vol. 54, No. 1, pp. 73-89.
  • Mertens, W., Recker, J., Kohlborn, T., Kummer, T.-F. (2016): A Framework for the Study of Positive Deviance at Work. Deviant Behavior, Vol. 37, No. 11, pp. 1288-1307.
  • Recker, J., Lekse, D. (2016): A Field Study of Spatial Preferences in Enterprise Microblogging. Journal of Information Technology, Vol. 31, No. 2, pp. 115-129.
  • Recker, J. (2016): Reasoning about Discontinuance of Information System Use. Journal of Information Technology Theory and Application, Vol. 17, No. 1, pp. 41-66.
  • Recker, J., Malsbender, A., Kohlborn, T. (2016): Learning how to Effectively Use Enterprise Social Networks as Innovation Platforms. IT Professional, Vol. 18, No. 2, pp. 42-49.
  • Mertens, W., Recker, J., Kummer, T.-F., Kohlborn, T., Viaene, S. (2016): Constructive Deviance as a Driver for Performance in Retail. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Vol. 30, pp. 193-203.
  • Recker, J., Rosemann, M. (2015): Systemic Ideation: A Playbook for Creating Innovative Ideas More Consciously. 360 Degrees – The Business Transformation Journal, No. 13, pp. 34-45.
  • Patroni, J., Recker, J., von Briel, F. (2015): How does Enterprise Soical Media Help Retail Employees Innovate? In: Proceedings of the 23rd European Conference on Information Systems. Association for Information Systems, Muenster, Germany.

Coverage in Media

  • New Gen Talks Shop
    The Sunday Mail (Queensland), 26 October 2014, written by Jackie Sinnerton.
  • Woolworths releases report into future of supermarkets
    Sunshine Coast Daily, 10 August 2014, published by APN Media.
  • Woolies’ plan to stock the promotional shelf
    The Australian, 5 November 2013, written by Jennifer Foreshew.
  • Innovating for the “Fresh Food People”
    360 Degrees – the Business Transformation Management Journal, Issue 8, pages 70-71, written by Norizan Safrudin.
  • Woolies to fund$1m for QUT retail research
    Computerworld, 3 May 2012, written by Diana Nguyen.