Jenny Darroch’s research and teaching interests sit at the marketing and innovation interface. In this capacity, she has examined macroeconomic policy that fosters innovation; behaviors and practices within organizations that lead to more innovative outcomes; and the definition of innovation itself.
Her early work on innovation was around the time National Innovation Systems (NIS) became popular. Here, Darroch developed a methodology for examining New Zealand’s NIS. While working in New Zealand as a Director of Entrepreneurship at the University of Otago, Darroch developed the country’s first Master’s in Entrepreneurship, which included a city-wide incubator to foster and develop startups.
Identifying drivers of innovation led her to develop the first ever instrument to measure an organization’s knowledge management orientation. Two of her articles (“Developing a measure of knowledge management behaviors and practices” and “Knowledge management, innovation and firm performance”) were recognized as classics in the Knowledge Management field based on the high number of citations they received.
Examining what innovation means led Darroch to examine the impact innovations have on markets, underscoring her signature course, Transforming & Creating Markets to Generate Growth, which informed her book Marketing Through Turbulent Times. Darroch also published an article in the Journal of Business Research on market creation in the pharmaceutical industry.
Darroch’s interest in markets led to her latest book, Why Marketing to Women Doesn’t Work, which explores market segmentation and was written in response to how poorly marketers seem to understand the role of women.
In addition to work that speaks directly to her interest in marketing and innovation, Darroch co-edited a Special Issue of the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science dedicated to Peter Drucker (with George Day and Stan Slater). This was published in 2006 (Issue 34, Volume 3).
Darroch is deeply interested in Drucker’s work on a functioning society and inspired by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. She is using her interest in macroeconomic policy, innovation systems, and human capital to examine at how organizations and economies can be more innovative, but in a sustainable way.