"Chasing Entrepreneurial Firms"
Echeverri-Carroll, Elsie and Feldman, Maryann, Industry and Innovations. 2018.
The search for a reliable data-set of entrepreneurial firms is ongoing. We analyze and assess longitudinal data on startups from two data sources – the National Establishment Time-Series (NETS) database and the Secretary of State (SOS) business registry data. Our primary purposes in this paper are to assess the usefulness and reliability of these databases in measuring startup activity along several quality indicators and to explore the possibility of integrating these large databases using both automated and manual processes. The NETS identifies a firm’s employment, sales, and industry but is expensive and suffers from a temporal lag. The SOS data provide up-to-date startup counts but offer limited variables. We conclude that policymakers and researchers will benefit from combing both the SOS and adjusted NETS since they provide complementary information on startups. We carefully document our methodology and make suggestions for use of the data for future research.
Can your employees really speak freely?
Detert, J.R. & Burris, E.R., Harvard Business Review. 2016.
No matter how approachable you may be as a manager, chances are good that your employees are withholding valuable intelligence from you. Research shows that many people are more likely to keep mum than to raise important questions or suggest new ideas. Companies use a variety of tactics to get people to open up, like “climate” surveys and all-staff feedback sessions. But they usually fall short for two key reasons: a fear of consequences and a sense of futility. In this article, two professors look at how leaders’ misguided attempts to promote candid expression fail to address—and sometimes stir up—those feelings. For example, if you ask for anonymous input, you may be signaling that it’s not safe to speak openly in your organization. And if you don’t act on feedback, employees will quickly come to believe that providing it is pointless. But there are several ways to create a much more vocal culture, say the authors. To make idea sharing less intimidating, tone down the power cues with employees, and gather feedback in regular, casual exchanges. Be transparent about the processes for gathering and following up on ideas. And if you really want to know what people think, go ask them. Research shows that when employees do speak up, organizations see increased performance. So getting all this right pays off—both for workers eager to make contributions and for their firms
Combining Logics to Transform Organizational Agency Blending Industry and Art at Alessi
Dalpiaz, E., Rindova, V., & Ravasi, D., Administrative Science Quarterly. 2016
To understand how organizations combine conflicting institutional logics strategically to create and pursue new market opportunities, we conducted an in-depth longitudinal study of the multiple efforts of the Italian manufacturer of household goods Alessi to combine the logics of industrial manufacturing and cultural production. Over three decades, Alessi developed three different strategies to combine normative elements of the two logics, using each strategy to envision and pursue different market opportunities. By combining the logics of industrial manufacturing and cultural production, Alessi was able to envision new possibilities for value creation and to enact them through innovation in product design. The three strategies triggered a common set of mechanisms through which the purposeful combining of logics enabled the pursuit of opportunity, while each strategy structured the process differently. We develop a theoretical model linking the development of recombinant strategies to the dynamic restructuring of organizational agency and the related capacity to create and pursue new market opportunities. Our findings and theoretical insights advance understanding of the processes through which organizations challenge taken-for-granted beliefs and practices to create new market opportunities, use logics as resources to enable embedded agency, and design hybrid organizational arrangements.
Creating and Sustaining High-Technology Development in Austin, Texas “The University of Texas at Austin"
Gibson, D., & Butler, J., in The Entrepreneurial University: Context and Institutional Change, Foss, L., Gibson, D., & Hodgson, B., Routledge Pubs. 2015.
Global recessions and structural economic shifts are motivating government and business leaders worldwide to increasingly look to "their" universities to stimulate regional development and to contribute to national competiveness. The challenge is clear and the question is pressing: How will universities respond?
This book presents in-depth case narratives of ten universities from Norway, Finland, Sweden, UK, and the U.S. that have overcome significant challenges to develop programs and activities to commercialize scientific research, launch entrepreneurial degree programs, establish industry partnerships, and build entrepreneurial cultures and ecosystems. The universities are quite diverse: large and small; teaching and research focused; internationally recognized and relatively new; located in major cities and in emerging regions. Each case narrative describes challenges overcome, actions taken, and resulting accomplishments.
This volume will be of interest to policymakers and university administrators as well as researchers and students interested in how different programs and activities can promote university entrepreneurship while contributing to economic growth in developed and developing economies.
“Innovations”, “Radical Innovations”, and “Disruptive Innovations”
Ahuja G, Toh PK., The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Management – Entrepreneurship, Hitt M. A. and Ireland R. D. 2015.
This new volume in the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Management volume set: The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Entrepreneurship, especially commissioned for the second edition from editors Michael A. Hitt and R. Duane Ireland, charts the key concepts and frameworks in the expanding field of Entrepreneurship.
- A brand new, state-of-the-art volume in the growing field of Entrepreneurship;
- Features 90 important entrepreneurship concepts written by 110 international contributors;
- Charts the key concepts and frameworks of the field, covering: 'creative destruction'; competitive dynamics; real options; social capital; corporate entrepreneurship; risk management; franchising; succession planning; location effects; spinoffs; and product innovation.
Organizational Oscillation Between Learning and Forgetting: The Dual Role of Serious Errors
Haunschild, P., Polidoro F., & Chandler D., Organization Science, 26(6): 1682-1701. 2015.
We know that organizations change over time as a result of their ability to learn and their tendency to forget. What we know less about, however, is why they might change back, despite evidence suggesting that this occurs. In this paper, we develop and test a model of organizational oscillation that explains why firms cycle through periods of learning and periods of forgetting. In particular, we identify a dual role for serious errors, which push firms toward a focus on safety while also pulling them away from other foci, such as efficiency or innovation. Although existing learning research recognizes errors as disruptive, this dual effect has not been theorized. We also demonstrate that, over time, the effect of a serious error on safety weakens, allowing alternative activities to emerge that lead to subsequent errors. We draw on qualitative data from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Challenger and Columbia accidents to build theory about why organizations oscillate between safety and other foci, and how serious errors trigger these shifts. We then test this theory using a data set of all pharmaceutical firms that introduced Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs in the United States from 1997 to 2004. Results confirm our theory, which contributes to our understanding of complex learning processes by identifying a mechanism by which organizations learn, then forget; then learn, then forget again.
Origins and Outcomes of Strategy in Nascent Ecosystems
Hannah, D. & Eisenhardt K., 2015 Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings, BPS Division. Under review at Strategic Management Journal. 2015.
Prior research examines firm strategy within the context of established ecosystems. This study investigates nascent ecosystems. Through an in-depth, multiple-case study of firms in the US residential solar industry, I develop a theoretical framework to explain how firms successfully navigate nascent ecosystems over time. I identify three distinct strategies, each driven by a unique strategic logic and carrying its own unique advantages and disadvantages. In contrast to prior research, I find that the strategies of high-performing firms are motivated neither by their own preexisting capabilities nor rivalry between partners. Instead, high- performing firms are motivated to create value in collaboration with their partners, and enact strategies that allow them to do so despite the uncertain and dynamic structure of nascent ecosystems. The resultant theory has implications for research on strategy within ecosystems, as well as the relationship between strategy, capabilities, and industry structure.
Unlocking the Hidden Value of Concepts: A Cognitive Approach to Business Model Innovation
Martins, L. L., Rindova, V. P., & Greenbaum, B. E., Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 9(1): 99-117. 2015.
We advance a theory of how business models can be innovated proactively in the absence of exogenous changes, through processes of generative cognition. We contribute to the cognitive perspective in strategy by analyzing business models as schemas that organize managerial understandings about the design of firms' value-creating activities and exchanges and by theorizing how they can be innovated through processes for proactive schema change. Drawing on cognitive psychology research on two major cognitive processes through which individuals change their schema to cope with novelty, analogical reasoning and conceptual combination, we theorize firm-level strategic processes for designing innovative business models.
Who gets credit for input? Demographic and structural status cues in voice recognition.
Howell, T. M., Harrison, D. A., Burris, E. R., & Detert, J. R., Journal of Applied Psychology, 100(6), 1765-1784. 2015.
The authors investigate the employee features that, alongside overall voice expression, affect supervisors’ voice recognition. Drawing primarily from status characteristics and network position theories, the authors propose and find in a study of 693 employees from 89 different credit union units that supervisors are more likely to credit those reporting the same amount of voice if the employees have higher ascribed or assigned (by the organization) status—cued by demographic variables such as majority ethnicity and full-time work hours. Further, supervisors are more likely to recognize voice from employees who have higher achieved status—cued by their centrality in informal social structures. The authors also find that even when certain groups of lower status employees speak up more, they cannot compensate for the negative effect of their demographic membership on voice recognition by their boss. The authors underscore how recognition of employee voice by supervisors matters for employees. It carries (mediates) the effects of voice expression and status onto performance evaluations 1 year later, which means that demographic differences in the assignment of credit for voice can serve as an implicit pathway for discrimination. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)
Do Ties Really Bind? The Effect of Knowledge & Commercialization Networks on Opposition to Standards
Ranganathan, R. & Rosenkopf, L., Academy of Management Journal, 57(2):515–540. 2014.
We examine how the multiplicity of interorganizational relationships affects strategic behavior by studying the influence of two such relationships—knowledge linkages and commercialization ties—on the voting behavior of firms in a technological standards-setting committee. We find that, while centrally positioned firms in the knowledge network exhibit lower opposition to the standard, centrally positioned firms in the commercialization network exhibit higher opposition to the standard. Thus, the influence of network position on coordination is contingent upon the type of interorganizational tie. Furthermore, when we consider these relationships jointly, knowledge centrality moderates the opposing effect of commercialization centrality, such that the commercialization centrality effect increases with decreasing levels of knowledge centrality. In other words, firms most likely to delay the standard are peripheral in the knowledge network yet central in the commercialization network, which suggests that they have the most to lose from changes to current technology.
Managing to stay in the dark: Managerial self-efficacy, ego defensiveness, and the aversion to employee voice.
Fast, N.J., Burris, E.R. & Bartel, C.A., Academy of Management Journal. 57(4), 1013-1034. 2014
Soliciting and incorporating employee voice is essential to organizational performance, yet some managers display a strong aversion to improvement-oriented input from subordinates. To help to explain this maladaptive tendency, we tested the hypothesis that managers with low managerial self-efficacy (that is, low perceived ability to meet the elevated competence expectations associated with managerial roles) seek to minimize voice as a way of compensating for a threatened ego. The results of two studies support this idea. In a field study (Study 1), managers with low managerial self-efficacy were less likely than others to solicit input, leading to lower levels of employee voice. A follow-up experimental study (Study 2) showed that: (a) manipulating low managerial self-efficacy led to voice aversion (that is, decreased voice solicitation, negative evaluations of an employee who spoke up, and reduced implementation of voice); and (b) the observed voice aversion associated with low managerial self-efficacy was driven by ego defensiveness. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of these findings, as well as highlight directions for future research on voice, management, and leadership.
A Competition-Based Explanation of Collaborative Invention within the Firm
Toh PK, Polidoro F., Strategic Management Journal, 34(10):1186-1208. 2013.
Existing literature shows that collaborative invention within the firm enhances innovativeness by facilitating knowledge recombination. Despite such benefit, firms vary in their use of collaborative invention when drawing on their individual inventors' knowledge. In addressing this puzzle, we argue that competition from rival products building on similar knowledge compels firms to favor search depth over exploratory search and respond expeditiously, thus reducing a firm's inclination toward collaborative invention. In contrast with prior research's focus on how upstream resources influence a firm's position in downstream markets, this study shows that downstream competition drives heterogeneity across firms in their utilization of upstream resources.
Can stories shape strategy? Narrative-Structured Information and Strategic Decision Making
Roundy, P.T, & Graebner, M., Academy of Management Proceedings. 2013
Despite progress made by prior research in understanding how information is used in strategic decision making, most studies are grounded on a similar, unstated assumption: information is homogeneous. We examine the influence of an important source of information heterogeneity: strategic information can be structured in narrative or non-narrative form. We develop a theoretical framework to explain why narrative information will have a greater likelihood of entering the decision making process and then, once there, why it will be more likely to influence key cognitive processes. Specifically, we propose that narrative-structured information will be more likely than non-narrative information to be granted attention, analyzed, recalled, and used in communication with other strategic decision makers. Moreover, we contend that the strength of narrative information will not be the same across stable and unstable decision making contexts.
Divergent Reactions to Convergent Strategies: Investor Beliefs and Analyst Reactions During Technological Change
Benner, M. J. & Ranganathan, R., Organization Science, 24(2): 378-394. 2013.
An important outcome of technological change is industry “convergence,” as a new technology spurs competition between established firms from different industries. We study the reactions of securities analysts, as important sources of institutional pressures for firms, to the similar product/market strategies undertaken by firms from different prior industries responding to industry convergence. Our empirical setting is the convergence between the wireline telecommunications and cable television industries in the period following the advent of voice over Internet protocol technology. Controlling for firm financial performance and capabilities, we find that analysts were consistently more positive toward the cable firms than toward the wireline telecom firms. Our findings further show that this divergence in reactions arises from differences in existing investor expectations and preferences concerning how firms create value; stocks owned by investors with a greater preference for growth receive more positive reactions than those owned by investors with a greater preference for margins. However, this divergence in reactions shrinks over time as convergence unfolds and as investors shift their shareholdings in response to misalignment between their preferences and firms' strategic changes. Reactions from analysts—reflecting inertial expectations of investors—may persist for a time despite changes to firms' strategies, thus creating challenges for some firms in responding to technological change and industry convergence while legitimating and enabling similar responses from their competitors.
No News Is Bad News: Sensegiving Activities, Media Attention, and Venture Capital Funding of New Technology Organizations
Petkova, A., Rindova, V., & Gupta, A., Organization Science, 24(3): 865-888. 2013.
A significant body of research has examined how new organizations gain legitimacy and how gaining it affects their subsequent access to resources. Less attention has been given to the problem of how new organizations attract collective attention. Although related to legitimation, the problem of attracting attention is distinct, as attention and evaluation are distinct cognitive processes. In this study, we examine the allocation of collective attention to new organizations in a system of relationships, within which new organizations seek to attract attention through their sensegiving activities; the information properties of their sensegiving activities affect the level of attention they receive from different types of media; and media attention, in turn, increases their perceived value potential in the eyes of venture capital investors (VCs). We examine these relationships in a sample of 398 information-technology start-ups that have obtained different levels of venture capital funding. Our results show that new organizations that engage in more intense and diverse sensegiving activities attract higher levels of industry media attention and that these effects are enhanced by the human capital of their founders and leaders. Diverse sensegiving activities are also associated with higher levels of attention from the general media, but only the attention of specialized industry media is positively associated with the level of VC funding obtained. These findings extend current research on information intermediation and institutional legitimation by demonstrating that media attention early in the life of new organizations affects how they are valued by a well-informed expert audience, such as VCs. They also contribute to entrepreneurship research on the effects of new organizations’ strategies on their ability to secure resources and to research on VC funding decisions.
Research Universities in the Framework of Regional Innovation Ecosystems: The Case of Austin, The Case of Austin, Texas.
Butler, J., & Gibson, D., Foresight-Russia, vol. 7. No.2 2013. (Top Management in Russia)
Based on the case of the University of Texas at Austin, the authors provide a model of knowledge-based regional development that enables leadership and international competitiveness. In the framework of this model, University of Texas is regarded as a core of a regional innovation system. In addition to the traditional objectives of performing research and education, universities are increasingly tasked with the third mission of transferring and commercializing university-based R&D to stimulate economic development. While responding to growing industry needs and efficiently interrelating with industries and governments, universities shape a unique entrepreneurial environment that foster development of the regional innovation ecosystem. The university has a direct impact on the regional innovation ecosystem development and is also impacted by feedback loops from the ecosystem. This enables reinforcement of the university’s potential. The case of Austin shows that its successful transformation from a university town to a fast-growing, globally competitive hi-tech hotspot has occurred mainly owing to visionary influencers rather to institutional excellence in science, industry or governance. Their ability to make bold decisions, connect and leverage otherwise unconnected and perhaps competing sectors in the framework of large-scale projects, generate a creative environment for productive partnerships and achieve synergy led to the institutional and organizational change. The model here is based on so-called «Technopolis Wheel» consisting of seven sectors: the research university; large and small entrepreneurial firms; federal, state and local government; and support groups (business associations, chamber of commerce, etc.). The paper characterizes in detail the role of each sector in the transformation of Austin region.
Sustaining the Technopolis: The Case of Austin, Texas
Gibson, D., & Butler, J., World Technopolis Review, 2: 64-81. 2013
In “Creating the Technopolis: High Technology Development in Austin Texas,” Smilor, Kozmetsky, and Gibson (1988) make the case that in the mid-1980s Austin was becoming a globally competitive high tech region. Indeed over the years and into 2013, Austin has established its reputation as a leading entrepreneurial and technology center and “talent magnet.” Delegations from across the US and worldwide visit Austin to better understand how this central Texas city went from being a state government and university town to become a fast growing, globally competitive, technology hotspot leading the state and nation in job creation. Central to the concept of the Triple Helix and Technopolis Frameworks is the importance of university, business, and government cooperation. This paper gives examples of mechanisms, processes, and metrics on how The University of Texas at Austin; regional technology industry; federal, state, and local government policies; and support groups all contributed to growing and sustaining the Austin Technopolis.
Speaking Up vs. Being Heard: The Disagreement Around and Outcomes of Employee Voice
Burris, E. R., Detert, J. R., & Romney, A. C., Organization Science, 24 (1), 22-38. 2013.
This paper contributes to research on the outcomes of employee prosocial voice to managers by focusing on the relationships between voice and two managerially controlled outcomes: managerial performance ratings and involuntary turnover. Past research has considered voice from either the managerial or subordinate perspective individually and found that it can lead to positive outcomes because of its improvement-oriented nature. However, others have argued that voice can lead to unfavorable outcomes for employees. To begin resolving these competing perspectives, we examine agreement and disagreement between employees and their managers on the extent to which employees provide upward voice, proposing and demonstrating that considering either perspective alone does not fully capture how voice is related to employee outcomes. Findings from a study of 7,578 subordinates and their 335 general managers within a national restaurant chain indicate that agreement between employees and managers that employees display a high level of voice leads to favorable outcomes for employees. Our findings then extend existing research by showing that supervisor–subordinate disagreement around voice also helps explain employee outcomes—namely, how negative outcomes arise as a result of employees overestimating their voice relative to their managers' perspective and how positive outcomes result when employees underestimate their upward voice.
The Competitive Implications of Certifications: The Effects of Scientific and Regulatory Certifications on Entries into New Technical Fields
Polidoro, F., Academy of Management Journal, 56(2): 597-627. 2013.
Extant literature highlights the benefits accruing to a firm that obtains third-party certifications. Certifications provide reputational benefits that increase stakeholders' confidence in a firm's prospects, thereby increasing the firm's ability to garner critical resources. Yet the influences that certifications have on rivals remain underexamined. This study investigates how the scientific and regulatory certifications that a firm receives affect rivals' entries into a new technical field it pioneers. I demonstrate that certifications have a dual role in shaping an emerging competitive landscape: Whereas a pioneer's scientific and regulatory certifications attract competition by indicating value creation prospects, its certification advantage over rivals deflects competitive entries by indicating bleaker value capture prospects. This study also shows that the influences stemming from a pioneer's certifications diminish as the innovation it pioneers receives certifications, thus providing rivals with more direct cues about a new field's prospects. In contrast with prior research showing that the emergence of a new technical field carries drastic implications for rivals, this study highlights how social context guides rivals' responses to an otherwise disruptive change, thereby shaping the patterns of technological evolution.
The Israeli Model of Hi-Tech Entrepreneurship Military Capital and the Hi-Tech Industry
Ori Swed, O., & Butler, J., Journal of Armed Forces and Society. 2013.
The unique relations between the Israeli-armed forces and the local hi-tech industry have been identified as a strong explanatory variable for the Israeli hi-tech boom. This article highlights the role of the military as a socialization institution in those relations. We identify how the accumulation of “military capital” during military in service contributes to soldiers as veterans and employees in the hi-tech sector. Military service brings with it professional training, social ties, and social codes that influence the composition of the hi-tech workforce and hi-tech industry’s organizational and functional culture. Examination of Israeli hi-tech workers’ profiles reveals not only a very high proportion of military capital amongst the employees but also an institutional preference for those who possess it.
Voice flows to and around leaders: Understanding when units are helped or hurt by employee voice.
Detert, J. R., Burris, E. R., Harrison, D. A., & Martin, S. R., Administrative Science Quarterly, 58(4), 624-668. 2013.
In two studies, we develop and test theory about the relationship between speaking up, one type of organizational citizenship behavior, and unit performance by accounting for where employee voice is flowing. Results from a qualitative study of managers and professionals across a variety of industries suggest that voice to targets at different formal power levels (peers or superiors) and locations in the organization (inside or outside a focal unit) differs systematically in terms of its usefulness in generating actions to a unit’s benefit on the issues raised and in the likely information value of the ideas expressed. We then theorize how distinct voice flows should be differentially related to unit performance based on these core characteristics and test our hypotheses using time-lagged field data from 801 employees and their managers in 93 units across nine North American credit unions. Results demonstrate that voice flows are positively related to a unit’s effectiveness when they are targeted at the focal leader of that unit—who should be able to take action—whether from that leader’s own subordinates or those in other units, and negatively related to a unit’s effectiveness when they are targeted at coworkers who have little power to effect change. Together, these studies provide a structural framework for studying the nature and impact of multiple voice flows, some along formal reporting lines and others that reflect the informal communication structure within organizations. This research demonstrates that understanding the potential performance benefits and costs of voice for leaders and their units requires attention to the structure and complexity of multiple voice flows rather than to an undifferentiated amount of voice.
When Does Voice Lead to Exit? It Depends on Leadership
McClean, E., Burris, E.R., & Detert, J.R., Academy of Management Journal, 56 (2), 525-548. 2013.
We examine the unit-level relationship between employee voice and exit with multisource data collected over two time periods in 136 restaurants. We find that three managerial characteristics that signal the ability and willingness to engage in change—management team change orientation, manager participation in decision making, and manager access to organizational resources—moderate the unit-level relationship between voice and exit: Employee voice is positively related to turnover when each of these factors is low and negatively related to turnover when each is high. Implications for research on voice, leadership, and turnover are discussed.
Why Put All Your Eggs in One Basket? A Competition-Based View of How Technological Uncertainty Affects a Firm’s Technological Specialization
Toh PK, Kim TK, Organization Science, 24:1214-1236. 2013.
Conventional wisdom suggests that when a firm faces technological uncertainty, it responds by becoming less technologically specialized so as to remain adaptable to subsequent resolution of this uncertainty. We adopt a competition-based view of technological uncertainty to identify an opposite effect in competitive settings: the firm may instead become more specialized when faced with greater technological uncertainty so as to focus on advancing its technologies against competition and influence the resolution of uncertainty in its favor over rivals. We propose that this effect is accentuated when the firm expects that it cannot easily adapt to rivals’ technologies subsequently, specifically when rivals are a greater deterrent through being litigious or innovative. Using U.S. government funding for fuel cell research as a policy shock, with stock option-implied volatilities to measure expected uncertainty, we find empirical support for our propositions among firms active in research and development in the U.S. communications equipment industry. Through these findings, we demonstrate that a competition-based view of uncertainty identifies an alternative path for the firm’s resource accumulation under uncertainty, and we stress that the resolution of uncertainty can be something the firm attempts to influence rather than adapt to.
The Risks and Rewards of Speaking Up: Managerial Responses to Employee Voice
Burris, E.R., Academy of Management Journal, 55(4): 851-876. 2012.
This article examines whether managerial responses to employees speaking up depend on the type of voice exhibited—that is, whether employees speak up in challenging or supportive ways. In one field study and two experimental studies, I found that managers view employees who engage in more challenging forms of voice as worse performers and endorse their ideas less than those who engage in supportive forms of voice. Further, perceptions of loyalty and threat mediated these relationships, but in different ways. I discuss implications for research on voice, proactivity, and social persuasion.
Dealing with Unusual Experiences: A Narrative Perspective on Organizational Learning
Garud, R., Dunbar, R., & Bartel, C. A., Organization Science, 22: 587-601. 2011.
Experiences that do not fit squarely into known categories pose a challenge to notions of organizational learning that rely primarily on scientific or experiential approaches. Making sense of, responding to, and learning from such unusual experiences requires reflection and novel action by organizational actors. We argue that narrative development processes make this organizational learning possible. By developing narratives, organizational actors create situated understandings of unusual experiences, negotiate consensual meanings, and engage in coordinated actions. Through the accumulation of narratives about unusual experiences, an organization builds a memory with generative qualities. Specifically, through narratives, actors evoke memories of prior unusual experiences and how they were dealt with, and this generates new options for dealing with emerging unusual experiences. We outline a framework detailing how narrative development processes enable organizational learning from unusual experiences and conclude by summarizing how this approach differs from and yet builds upon scientific and experiential approaches to learning.
Getting Competition Down to a Science: The Effects of Technological Competition on Firms' Scientific Publications
Polidoro, F. & Theeke, M., Organization Science, 23(4): 1135-1153., 2012
Prior research about the interaction between private firms and the scientific community has largely viewed firms' articles in scientific publications as a means to improve research and development productivity—by encouraging their researchers to publish scientific papers, firms can maintain linkages with the scientific community, attract talent, and access external knowledge on which they can build to create innovations. This paper, in contrast, emphasizes the role of scientific publications in firms' battles for market dominance and examines how competitive conditions shape firms' propensities to publish scientific articles about their innovations. Focusing on the context of pharmaceutical drugs, we develop propositions about how the competition that one drug faces from similar drugs and potential substitutes influences the innovating firm's inclination to publish articles in the top medical journals about that drug to facilitate its assessment by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the medical community. We also propose that scientific articles about competing drugs compel a firm to highlight its own drug in scientific papers to assert the drug's uniqueness and mitigate the threat of substitution. Whereas prior research has elucidated how science contributes to enhancing firms' competence at creating innovations, which is critical to their ability to compete in technology-intensive environments, this paper draws attention to how competition, in turn, permeates into the scientific arena, creating inducements for firms to use scientific publications to position their innovations in the marketplace.
Partnering portfolios, value-creation logics, and growth trajectories: A comparison of Yahoo and Google (1995 to 2007)
Rindova, V. P., Yeow, A., Martins, L. L., & Faraj, S. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 6: 133-151. 2012.
We add to the theory of entrepreneurial firm growth by inductively theorizing the processes through which new high-growth firms utilize their partnering portfolios to pursue distinctive approaches to growth. We extend the strategic perspective on entrepreneurial networks by identifying three mechanisms linking partnering portfolios to differences in firm growth: configuring partnering portfolios to pursue distinctive logics for sourcing external resources, aligning resource-sourcing and resource-linking logics in new product development, and embarking on different growth trajectories, which contribute to different performance patterns. These theoretical insights contribute to current understanding of the external and internal sources of heterogeneity in the performance of entrepreneurial firms.
A Cultural Quest: A Study of Organizational Use of New Cultural Resources in Strategy Formation
Rindova, V., Dalpiaz, E., & Ravasi, D., Organization Science, 22(2): 413-431. 2011.
Our study was motivated by the growing influence in cultural sociology and organizational research of the view of culture as a “toolkit,” from which individuals draw resources flexibly to develop strategies of action that address different circumstances. To investigate if and how organizations can also use new and diverse cultural resources, we undertook a historical case study of the incorporation of new cultural resources in the cultural repertoire of the Italian manufacturer of household products Alessi. Through in-depth analysis of four rounds of incorporation of new cultural resources, we develop a robust theoretical model that relates the use of new cultural resources to the development of unconventional strategies and strategic versatility. We find that cultural repertoire enrichment and organizational identity redefinition are two core mechanisms that facilitate this process. The model contributes novel theoretical understanding regarding the use of cultural resources in strategy formation and change.
Creativity in Virtual Work Effects of Demographic Differences
Martins, L. L. & Shalley, C. E., Small Group Research, 42(5): 536-561. 2011.
Organizations are increasingly using virtual teams, in which individuals work with their teammates across distance and differences, using a variety of information and communication technologies. In this study, the authors examined how demographic differences (i.e., differences in race, sex, age, and nationality) between individuals working virtually affected their collective creativity. Specifically, the authors examined how demographic differences interacted with the nature of interaction processes (establishment of rapport, participation equality, and process conflict) and difference in technical experience, to affect creativity in short-term virtual work interactions. Differences in age interacted with the processes and with differences in technical experience to affect creativity. Differences in nationality had a strong negative direct effect and interacted with differences in technical experience to affect creativity. Differences in sex and race did not significantly affect creativity. Implications of findings for managing virtual teams are discussed.
Global Perspectives on Technology Transfer and Commercialization
Butler, J., & Gibson, D., Edward Elgar Publishing, UK. 2011.
As we move further into the 21st century, increasing emphasis is being placed on the importance of technology transfer. Through new research and practices, scholars, practitioners and policymakers have made great strides in broadening our understanding and ability to implement technology transfer and commercialization processes. The fruit of that research is collected in this timely volume.
Technology transfer is a dynamic area of study that examines traditional topics such as intellectual property management, the management of risk, market identification, the role of public and private labs, and the role of universities. This volume reflects on how government, business and academia influence technology transfer in different countries and how the infrastructure of a country enhances technology and contributes to each country’s overall economy. Interpreting and adopting the processes of technology transfer and commercialization – or, building innovative ecosystems – is critical to seeing success in this digital age.
Those leading the surge toward building innovative ecosystems for technology transfer are the fellows of the Institute for Innovation Creativity and Capital (IC² Institute) at The University of Texas at Austin. Global in its scope of solving market economy problems, for this volume the Institute has focused its lens on accelerated knowledge-based development. Here, scholars from 13 countries come together to critique technology transfer from each of their respective nations. The results of their contributions lend innovative insight to exactly how different nations are working to maximize technology transfer and commercialization in uncertain times.
Those with an interest in commercialization and technology transfer, from students to scholars, practitioners to policymakers, will find this important collection of great value.
An American Story: Mexican American Entrepreneurship and Wealth Creation.
Butler, J., Morales, A., & Torres, D., Ashland, OH: Purdue University Press. 2010.
The development of a capitalist class lies at the heart of political, social and economic power in free
market societies. Mexican American self-employment has been rising at an impressive rate;
however, the size and quality of these businesses are disproportionately lower than in the
mainstream economy. In this paper, we examine characteristics of Mexican-ancestry business
owners in three ways. First, we compare labors force characteristics of this group with other Latinos
-- Cubans, Puerto Ricans and Central/South Americans. Second, we compare labor force
characteristics of the self-employed with salaried workers in the public and private sectors. Finally,
we analyze our findings for two time periods – 2000 and 2007. Our goal is to shed light on the
following question –“Are there significant statistical patterns that shed light on the question of
whether Mexican American participation in self-employment is likely to lead to substantial wealth
creation for the group? An ancillary question is, “Where are the “best and brightest” Latinos
finding the greatest number of professional and monetary rewards? This study is one of very few
studies that consider the public, private and self-employed sectors, arguing that Latino participation
in one sector of the economy has important implications for other sectors. The study also uses
national data -- many studies of minority participation in the economy, especially those with a
theoretical orientation, have tended to use smaller, proprietary samples.
If You Build It Will They Come: Three Steps to Test and Validate Any Market Opportunity
Adams, R., Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. 2010.
Know if you'll hit your targets before pulling the trigger on any marketing plan.
More than sixty five percent of new products are commercial failures, and if you compound this with a recession, now more than ever you can't afford to be wrong. In If You Build It Will They Come, business professor and strategy consultant Rob Adams shows you how to make sure you hit your target market before you spend a lot of money. He shows you the fast, systematic and proven approach of performing Market Validation in advance of making a large product investment.
Adams outlines a simple and effective market validation and testing strategy that is proven, giving entrepreneurs and managers the ability to dramatically improve the prospect of product success. He explains how to quickly gather information on competitors, directly interview members of your target market, and figure out what the market really wants to buy, versus what customers say they want. * The steps to quickly understanding the viability of your market * Where to go to gather the information needed to hit the market requirements * How to follow through with the right product launched in the right way * Adams cuts through the fancy terms and expensive market research that gives lots of data but no real product oriented information about usage, pricing, features and competitive forces. In the end you'll produce results on your first release of a far more mature product, shipped in a faster timeframe with features customers will actually use. * This book is for anyone involved with designing, developing and launching new products. Its examples and advice cover everything from the fledgling start-up that needs their first product to work just to survive to the successful Fortune Class company establishing new worldwide markets. Examples cut across all major industrial sectors including consumer, retail, manufacturing, technology, life sciences and services. This book offers the step-based guidance you need to make sure failure is not an option.
Organizational Membership and Business Success: The Importance of Networking and Moving Beyond Homophily.
Rhodes, C., & Butler, J., Challenge, Vol. 16 Issue 1. 2010.
The homophily principle is that similarity breeds connection and affects the structure of personal networks in all kinds of social structures. The result is that networks become very homogeneous. The "birds of a feather lock together" limit social worlds because they restrict the movement of information received by people, the attitudes they form, and the interactions in which they engage. Research has shown that homophily is strongest in race and ethnic interactions, followed by divides in age, religion and gender. This paper examines organizational membership, business networking and homophily among entrepreneurs engaged in classic enterprises such as retail and service industries. The search for information and resources to improve entrepreneurial enterprises is a major task of the self-employed. Using a sample of black entrepreneurs, this work examines the impact of networking outside of the structure of homophily. We ask if this networking is perceived as improving the overall operation of the business. We examine the characteristics of entrepreneurs and how these characteristics affect the decisions to move outside of familiar homophily networks. Granovetter's network theory of strong/weak ties is used to describe the process of networking in both types of voluntary organizations.
The Development of University–based Entrepreneurship Ecosystems.
Fetters, M., Greene, P., Rice, M., & Butler, J., Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing. 2010.
Entrepreneurship and innovation are increasingly viewed as key contributors to global economic and social development. University-based entrepreneurship ecosystems provide a supportive context in which entrepreneurship and innovation can thrive. In that vein, this book provides critical insight based on cutting-edge analyses of how to frame, design, launch, and sustain efforts in the area of entrepreneurship.
Success and Failure in Technology Acquisitions: Lessons for Buyers and Sellers
Graebner, M., Eisenhardt, K., & Roundy, P., Academy of Management Perspectives, 24, 73-92. 2010.
Technology acquisitions can benefit firms by providing valuable resources, increasing market power, and initiating strategic renewal. Yet despite these opportunities, technology acquisitions often present a significant challenge for both buyers and sellers. In this article, we review the research on technology acquisitions and outline what is known and what remains to be studied. First, we examine firms' motivations for engaging in technology acquisitions. Second, we explore the features and challenges that make technology acquisitions unique. Third, we summarize the research on how both buyers and sellers can improve the performance of technology acquisitions. Fourth, we propose a research agenda to address unanswered questions and emerging issues related to technology acquisitions, placing particular emphasis on cross-border deals and the effects of acquisition activity on an industry's competitive dynamics.
Value from gestalt: How sequences of competitive actions create advantage for firms in nascent markets
Rindova, V., Ferrier, W., & Wiltbank, R., Strategic Management Journal, 31(13): 1474-1498. 2010.
Research on competitive dynamics and hypercompetition has demonstrated the importance of firm competitive actions for disrupting industry positions and gaining competitive advantage. The effects of competitive actions in disequilibrium environments, such as nascent markets, however, have not been examined. In this paper, we argue that under conditions of high ambiguity, firms can gain competitive advantage from the Gestalt properties present in the sequences of their competitive actions. Such properties, we argue, facilitate investor sensemaking and influence their valuations. Drawing on psychological research on pattern perception and holistic information processing, we investigate the effects of four Gestalt properties—simplicity, predictability, grouping, and motif—on investor valuations of new firms competing in the nascent markets that emerged around the commercialization of the Internet in the mid-1990s. We find support for our arguments that the dynamic properties of action sequences provide firms with advantages and that simplicity, grouping, and motif are associated with increases in the market value of high-ambiguity firms, but not of low-ambiguity ones. Our study advances research on competitive advantage by developing both theory and methods for studying how the dynamic, holistic properties of firms' competitive actions contribute to competitive advantage under varying levels of ambiguity.
Caveat venditor: Trust asymmetries in acquisitions of entrepreneurial firms
Graebner, M., Academy of Management Journal, 52: 435-472. 2009. [Recipient of Academy of Management Journal Best Paper Award for 2009].
I explore the role of trust in acquisitions of entrepreneurial firms, taking a dyadic view that gives equal attention to buyers and sellers. The two parties have asymmetric views regarding whether their counterparts are trustworthy. I outline how these asymmetries emerge, persist, and influence behavior, including tendencies to behave deceptively and to guard against deception. I also find that buyers' and sellers' beliefs concerning whether their counterparts are trustworthy and trusting are often erroneous. I explore the implications of these findings for developing a theory of trust asymmetries and argue that selecting buyers on the basis of trust increases rather than diminishes entrepreneurs' vulnerability. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Entrepreneurship as emancipation
Rindova, V., Barry, D., & Ketchen, D., Academy of Management Review, 34: 477- 491. 2009.
We define “entrepreneuring”as efforts to bring about new economic, social, institutional, and cultural environments through the actions of an individual or group of individuals. Thus, we view entrepreneuring as an emancipatory process with broad change potential. This view foregrounds three aspects of entrepreneuring that merit closer attention in future research—seeking autonomy, authoring, and making declarations. We highlight the novel directions for entrepreneurship research suggested by our emancipatory perspective and relate it to the special topic forum articles.
Playing favorites: The influence of leaders’ inner circle on group processes and performance
Burris, E., Rodgers, M., Mannix, E., Hendron, M., & Oldroyd, J., Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35: 1244-1257. 2009.
Leaders frequently form stronger relationships with certain subordinates moreso than others, creating an inner circle of close friendships and an outer circle of more distant relationships. Three studies examine the effects of inner-circle membership on group dynamics and interpersonal influence in hierarchical teams. Study 1 finds that, compared to outer-circle members, inner-circle members feel safer and participate in the group discussion more, and leaders recognize them as making a greater contribution and allocate a larger bonus to them. Consequently, inner-circle members influence the groups' decisions more, and team decision quality improves when inner-circle members possess expert knowledge. Study 2 finds that leaders attended to and recalled suggestions from their inner circle more regardless of argument strength, suggesting heuristic information processing. Study 3 replicates these findings using intact teams in a large governmental agency. Implications for leadership and group decision making are discussed.
Structural homophony or social asymmetry? The formation of alliances by poorly embedded firms
Ahuja, G., Polidoro, F., & Mitchell, W. Strategic Management Journal, 30: 941-958. 2009
Recent research shows that preexisting network structure constrains the formation of new interorganizational alliances. Firms that are poorly embedded in a network structure are less likely than richly embedded firms to form alliances, because they lack informational and reputational benefits. This study examines the types of ties that poorly embedded firms can form to overcome the constraints that their structural positions impose, in turn helping to explain how firms' actions can transform existing network structures. We argue that poorly embedded firms are more likely to participate in ties characterized by social asymmetry than in ties characterized by structural homophily. We analyze the terms of trade that socially asymmetric partners negotiate for alliance governance and discuss how such alliances influence network dynamics. To test our arguments, we use longitudinal data on the alliance activities of 97 global chemical firms from 1979 to 1991.
Technological competition and knowledge disclosure: A study of firms’ scientific publications
Polidoro, F., & Theeke, M., Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings., 2009.
Firms have incentives to maintain their knowledge proprietary to protect the value of innovations as a source of competitive advantage. Yet, firms sometimes voluntarily disclose knowledge about their innovations, which may erode competitive advantage. In addressing this tension, this study investigates how the battle for technological dominance affects firms' propensity to disclose knowledge in scientific journals. This study shows that firms' publications in scientific journals, besides helping them access external knowledge to create innovations, as prior research emphasized, are an important arena where they compete to assert the superiority of the innovations that they have already created.
The Role of Narratives in Sustaining Organizational Innovation
Bartel, C. A. & Garud, R., Organization Science, 20(1): 107-117. 2009.
Sustaining innovation is a vital yet difficult task. Innovation requires the coordinated efforts of many actors to facilitate (1) the recombination of ideas to generate novelty, (2) real-time problem solving, and (3) linkages between present innovation efforts with past experiences and future aspirations. We propose that innovation narratives are cultural mechanisms that address these coordination requirements by enabling translation. Specifically, innovation narratives are powerful mechanisms for translating ideas across the organization so that they are comprehensible and appear legitimate to others. Narratives also enable people to translate emergent situations that are ambiguous or equivocal so as to promote real-time problem solving. With their accumulation, innovation narratives provide a generative memory for organizations that enable people to translate ideas accumulated from particular instances of past innovation to inform current and future efforts.
How can New Ventures Build Reputation? An Exploratory Study
Petkova, A., Rindova, V., & Gupta, A., Corporate Reputation Review, 11: 320-334. 2008.
In this paper, we explore the processes and mechanisms of reputation-building by new ventures (NVs), using a grounded theory-building approach from case studies. Based on interviews with experienced entrepreneurs, supplemented by secondary data on their NVs, we identify several types of activities that may help NVs build their initial reputations. We find that NVs accumulate one of two types of reputation: generalized reputation with large groups of distant stakeholders or local reputation with a small group of local stakeholders. Our analyses suggest that using symbolic activities, as well as investments in human capital and social capital may help an NV accumulate generalized reputation, whereas investments in product quality together with building close relationships with customers may help an NV build local reputation. What type of reputation an NV would try to achieve and what activities it would emphasize appear to be related to the type of product that the NV offers.
Market watch: Information and availability cascades among the media and investors in the US IPO market
Pollock, T., Rindova, V. & Maggitti, P., Academy of Management Journal, 51: 335-358. 2008. [Recipient of the Thought Leadership Award of the Entrepreneurship Division, Academy of Management Meetings, 2009]
In this study we advance current research on social influence in markets by examining how the recency and availability of information about others' actions within and between different communities influence their allocation of attention and their evaluations. Specifically, we examine how the media and investors allocate attention to and evaluate newly public firms in the days following their initial public offerings (IPOs). Our findings have implications for understanding the fieldwide processes through which the value of new firms is established in markets.
Quitting before leaving: The mediating effects of psychological attachment and detachment on voice
Burris, E., Detert, J., & Chiaburu, D., 95: 912-922., 2008.
This research advances understanding of the psychological mechanisms that encourage or dissuade upward, improvement-oriented voice. The authors describe how the loyalty and exit concepts from A. O. Hirschman's (1970) seminal framework reflect an employee's psychological attachment to or detachment from the organization, respectively, and they argue that psychological attachment and detachment should not be considered as separate, alternative options to voice but rather as influences on voice behavior. Findings from 499 managers in the restaurant industry show that psychological detachment (measured as intention to leave) is significantly related to voice and mediates relationships between perceptions of leadership (leader-member exchange and abusive supervision) and voice, whereas psychological attachment (measured as affective commitment) is neither a direct predictor of voice nor a mediator of leadership-voice relationships.
Leadership influences on employee voice behavior: Is the door really open?
Detert, J., & Burris, E., Academy of Management Journal, 50: 869-884, 2007.
We investigate the relationships between two types of change-oriented leadership (transformational leadership and managerial openness) and subordinate improvement-oriented voice in a two-phase study. Findings from 3,149 employees and 223 managers in a restaurant chain indicate that openness is more consistently related to voice, given controls for numerous individual differences in subordinates' personality, satisfaction, and job demography. This relationship is shown to be mediated by subordinate perceptions of psychological safety, illustrating the importance of leaders in subordinate assessments of the risks of speaking up. Also, leadership behaviors have the strongest impact on the voice behavior of the best-performing employees.
Standing out: How new firms in emerging markets build reputation
Rindova, V., Petkova, A., & Kotha, S., Strategic Organization, 5: 31-70. 2007.
While strategy and organizational researchers increasingly recognize that observers' perceptions and beliefs about firms have a substantive effect on firms' access to resources and performance, the processes through which these perceptions form are not well understood. To address this question, we examined how three new firms - Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and CDNow - that entered the emerging e-commerce domain in the mid-1990s built their initial reputations in the media. Given the limited theory and empirical evidence about the process of reputation accumulation by new firms in emerging markets, we used the case study method to develop inductively a model that relates the visible external actions of the three firms to the patterns of media coverage they accumulated. Patterns of media coverage are likely to both reflect and affect the process of reputation accumulation, as the media constitute an influential audience of critics, who first form their own perceptions and opinions, thereby reflecting the process of reputation accumulation, and then disseminate these perceptions and opinions to the public, thereby influencing the perceptions and opinions of other stakeholder audiences. Our analysis indicates that the pattern of market actions of new firms influences the pattern of media coverage they receive in terms of levels (visibility), content (strategic character), tenor (favorability) and distinction (esteem).The observed inter-firm differences in these characteristics of received coverage suggest that reputation may be better understood as a composite construct and that firms' reputational assets may vary in their composition. Our study offers an inductively developed process model that relates the market actions of new firms to the accumulation of the different components of their initial reputations in the media.
When is a new thing a good thing? Technological change, product form design, and perceptions of value for product innovations
Rindova, V., & Petkova, A., Organization Science, 18: 217-232, 2007.
Innovation researchers recognize that the uncertainty with regard to the value-creating potential of product innovations increases with their technological novelty, and have argued that the usefulness and value of novel products are socially constructed. Despite this recognition, researchers have not explored how the outer form in which a technological innovation is embodied influences the processes through which the innovation’s value is constructed and perceived. In this paper we argue that by embodying novel technologies in objects with specific functional, symbolic, and aesthetic properties, innovating firms also endow their products with cues that trigger a variety of cognitive and emotional responses. Drawing on psychological research we articulate how such cognitive and emotional responses underlie initial perceptions of value and theorize how innovating firms can influence them through product form design. Our framework explains how product form contributes to perceptions of value by modulating the actual technological novelty of a product innovation and facilitating how customers cope with it. Our theoretical framework makes an important contribution to innovation research and practice because it articulates how product form can be used strategically to achieve specific cognitive and emotional effects and enhance the initial customer perceptions of the value of an innovation.
Cases in Financial Reporting
Hirst, D., & McAnally, M., Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2005.
Collection of Financial Accounting cases designed to help students become users of financial reports. Students learn accounting by reading financial statements and by responding to topical questions about those financials. This casebook introduces students to 38 companies and portions of their financial statements. Each case deals with a specific financial accounting topic within the context of one companies's financial statements.
Entrepreneurship and Self-Help among Black Americans: A Reconsideration of Race and Economics
Butler, J., Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. 2005.
Since its publication in 1991, Entrepreneurship and Self-Help among Black Americans has become a classic work, influencing the study of entrepreneurship and, more importantly, revitalizing a research tradition that places new ventures at the very center of success for black Americans. This revised edition updates and enhances the work by bringing it into the twenty-first century. John Sibley Butler traces the development of black enterprises and other community organizations among black Americans from before the Civil War to the present. He compares these efforts to other strong traditions of self-help among groups such as Japanese Americans, Jewish Americans, Greek Americans, and exciting new research on the Amish and the Pakistani. He also explores how higher education is already a valued tradition among black self-help groups-such that today their offspring are more likely to be third and fourth generation college graduates. Butler effectively challenges the myth that nothing can be done to salvage America's underclass without a massive infusion of public dollars, and offers a fresh perspective on those community based organizations and individuals who act to solve local social and economic problems.