Sebastian Fixson teaches operations management and product development courses to both undergraduate and graduate students at Babson. Prior to joining Babson he taught at both business and engineering schools such as MIT’s Sloan School of Management, the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering, and Northeastern University’s School of Technological Entrepreneurship.
In the broad area of Technology and Innovation Management Dr. Fixson’s research focuses on New Product Development (NPD). In particular, he studies the impact of product and process characteristics on product development performance.
The goal of the product-focused research stream is to explain the relationship between the designed structure of products on one hand and the structure of industries on the other. For example, Dr. Fixson has investigated the effects that architectural aspects of products and product systems - such as modularity, integrality, and commonality - exert on the strategic and operational competitiveness of firms, and ultimately on the competitive structure of entire industries.
In the process-focused research stream he investigates individual activities within the NPD process - such as knowledge search, concept creation, selection, and iteration, or prototyping and testing - and how the ways in which these activities are conducted affects NPD performance. In addition to better understand these mechanisms at work in industrial settings, he also looks into how to teach better these capabilities in NPD and Innovation-related educational settings.
Information about Professor Fixson's teaching around design can be found at Innovation by Design and some of his papers can be found at SSRN.