Delivering a difference – In Science careers, the author talks about how he transitioned from being a virologist to a mailman. This article really hit me hard as it forced me to reflect on the value I provide to society. Last week, I was arguing with some academic about some ultimately pointless thing. These lines really struck me:
“It’s ironic that although I’m trained as a virologist—surely an essential skill these days—it is in my new role that I am considered an “essential worker.” I certainly hope I’m helping in the fight against COVID-19 by delivering election ballots, medicines, and checks (among the bills, too, of course). Truth be told, I believe I am making a more direct and positive impact on people’s lives now than when I was in science.”
Ig Nobel Prize 2020 – I especially liked the Management prize. It was given to 5 Chinese hitmen who subcontracted the job to each other, with each one taking their cut.
Information Frictions and Entrepreneurship – Something that has been regurgitated in many self-help books is that A-students typically end up working for C-students. There seems to be some truth to it in this article where they show that entrepreneurs are typically smarter than employees but employees are better educated.
A Text-Based Analysis of Corporate Innovation – they used Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) to analyze a large corpus of analyst reports. I toyed with this method too during my PhD to map the pharmaceutical industry. NLP is something that I am not surprised to see being used more in the management sciences.
I normally post on my blog every Friday but the last Friday was a holiday here in Catalonia so I decided to take a break. It was also my birthday week so I wanted to take the time to reflect too on my life and the things I want to achieve moving forward. Anyhow, this are my top reads of the last week:
A hypothesis is a liability – compares day science (where ideas are tested) with night science (where ideas are generated). When we focus on testing a hypothesis, we may be blinded from exploring other important facets of the data. I especially liked the experiment where they asked students to analyze a certain dataset. If you simply plot the dataset, you will see a gorilla. However, most students miss this as they are too focused on running the regressions, without adequately conducting data exploration.
Coevolution of cyberinfrastructure development and scientific progress – explored how developing cyberinfrastructure can impact progress in research, specifically in the field of biodiversity and ecology. The researchers show that the coevolution between this data infrastructure and the field itself led to evolutionary progress in terms of increasing both collaborations and democratization in this research community. Moreover, it also led to revolutionary progress in terms of connecting this field with other scientific disciplines.
On democracy – The current issue of Science has a special section dedicated to democracy Articles cover a wide range of topics including immigration, inequality and activism. Just last week, Economist also had a plot showing the increasing support towards autocrats by people in weaker democracies. In the plot, my country the Philippines has increased support for “Having the army rule is good.” Scary times ahead. It’s difficult to not feel powerless in this situation. Yet, I’m hopeful that the brilliant social scientists working on this topic could come up with ways to better support democracy.
Is disruptive innovation in emerging economies different? Evidence from China – When we think of disruptive innovation, it is natural to think of the Ubers and the Netflixes of the world. However, disruptive innovation can manifest differently in emerging economies. The authors argue that, in China, disruptive innovations emerge by improving value propositions through cost innovation, quickly iterating to improve the quality of their offerings, launching directly to mass-market and placing efficient production processes.
Confidential Gossip and Organization Studies – It still fascinates me how researchers can study phenomena of all kinds. This one is interesting considering how prevalent gossip can be yet how understudied they are in general.
Optimal distinctiveness in platform markets: Leveraging complementors as legitimacy buffers – This studied optimal distinctiveness by comparing MOOC platforms. They found that “a standard deviation increase in distinctiveness (from low to moderate) increases the expected number of platform users by 1.7 million (+55.1%) for platforms with an above-average share of high-status complementors, but decreases the number of users by 2.9 million (-53.5%) for platforms without high-status complementors in their ecosystem.”
Organizational Resilience: A Valuable Construct for Management Research? – Resilience has become a buzzword during the pandemic. The paper clarifies a lot of things about what it really is about and how to measure it. They identify behavior, resources and capabilities as relevant components which aid to have a resilient response which then leads to organizational growth.
I wanted to get updated with the latest trends in the technology management literature. To do this, I conducted a bibliometric review of the publications in the top innovation and general management journals.
I searched the Web of Science for articles published from 2019 in the top technology journals (Research Policy, Journal of Product Innovation Management, Technovation, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, R & D Management, Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, Journal of Engineering And Technology Management, Industry and Innovation, Research-Technology Management, Scientometrics and Journal of Technology Transfer). I then added articles in the top general management journals as long as they contain the terms science, technology or innovation. These journals include Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Annals, Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Perspectives, Journal of Business Research, British Journal of Management, Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of Management Studies, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Strategic Management Journal, Management Science, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Journal of Management and Organization Science.
Using these data collection steps, I had 2,561 articles. I used python to analyze the articles in bulk. Visualizations were carried out using VosViewer.
Top Cited Works
Self-citations as strategic response to the use of metrics for career decisions
Can big data and predictive analytics improve social and environmental sustainability?
Social media and innovation: A systematic literature review and future research directions
How crowdfunding platforms change the nature of user innovation – from problem solving to entrepreneurship
Green innovation and organizational performance: The influence of big data and the moderating role of management commitment and HR practices
Understanding Smart Cities: Innovation ecosystems, technological advancements, and societal challenges
Servitization and Industry 4.0 convergence in the digital transformation of product firms: A business model innovation perspective
Technology Reemergence: Creating New Value for Old Technologies in Swiss Mechanical Watchmaking, 1970-2008
Innovation policy for system-wide transformation: The case of strategic innovation programmes (sips) in Sweden
Collaborative modes with Cultural and Creative Industries and innovation performance: The moderating role of heterogeneous sources of knowledge and absorptive capacity
Implementing citizen centric technology in developing smart cities: A model for predicting the acceptance of urban technologies
Scale quickly or fail fast: An inductive study of acceleration – accelerators have three main characteristics: investment on ventures that already reached product-market fit, focus on growth (through revenue, number of customers and even team maturity) in a short amount of time and an emphasis on aggressively testing whether the venture can succeed or fail.
Crossing the valley of death: Five underlying innovation processes – They describe five processes to cross the so-called valley of death, hindering early-stage ventures from succeeding. These include: refining the narrative for the technology concept, evaluating the technical aspects of the lab-scale models, refining how the technology will be used, assessing the comparative value and integrating the inputs of innovator actors.
The creative cliff illusion – people assume that their creativity will drop over time. This study however demonstrates that this is not the case and that having such negative assumptions can be detrimental to performance.
The authors introduced their article with 4 quotes, which then anchored the different perspectives to explore immigration.
Self-selection among immigrants and role in the diffusion of innovation
“Migration has one characteristic that should make it very effective as a diffusion method. The hardships occasioned with [it] will usually discourage all but the most resourceful, energetic, and courageous. Those who have the hardihood to venture in this way hence are likely to have exactly those human qualities which are most essential to innovating and diffusing”
-Warren C. Scoville (“Spread of Techniques: Minority Migrations and the Diffusion of Technology”, Journal of Economic History 1951: 11/4, p.349)
Arguments against brain-drain and for the value of choice
“… even were it possible to force the professionals to stay at home, it would be a foolish policy. Lack of congenial working conditions, absence of peer professionals to interact with, and resentment at being deprived of the chance to emigrate can lead to a wholly unproductive situation in which one has the body but not the brain. The brain is not a static thing: it can drain away faster sitting in the wrong place than when travelling to Cambridge or Paris!”
Jagdish Bhagwati (In Defense of Globalisation, Oxford University Press: 2007; p.214)
Struggles in assimilating and in being away
“Le véritable lieu de naissance est celui où l’on a porté pour la première fois un coup d’oeil intelligent sur soi-même: mes premières patries ont été des livres, à un moindre degré, des écoles.” (The real birthplace is where you first took an intelligent look at yourself: my first countries were books, to a lesser extent, schools.)
“We hire from the best schools. All the people who go to those schools […] we offer jobs to American, non-American, that’s who we build these product teams around. And so, because we’re in a very competitive business, we don’t compromise on that. Wherever we can get those people, that’s where we create the jobs.”
Bill Gates (National Public Radio interview, March 12, 2008; https://www.npr.org/transcripts/88154016– last visit May 2020)
It has been quite a while since I’ve updated my blog. I was busy with finishing my PhD and securing my postdoc position. I’m still pursuing academia for now and thus, would still have to continue reading the literature for the latest advances in the management sciences. These are my interesting reads of the week.
Disruption Versus Discontinuity: Definition and Research Perspective From Behavioral Economics – I have to admit that I use the terms disruption and discontinuity interchangeably. This articles explains the difference between the two. Discontinuity refers to when a new technology competes directly with an established one based on having better performance on some technological dimension (typically 10x better). On the other hand, disruptions attach dominant technologies by satisfying customer needs even though they may not be performing as well on this primary dimension.
Anchor entrepreneurship and industry catalysis: The rise of the Italian Biomedical Valley – fascinating account on the role of entrepreneurship in transforming a depressed rural area into an internationally known medical-device cluster. I especially like how much they take into account the role of luck in the story of this entrepreneur Mario Veronesi: “many of Veronesi’s successes came accidentally, a result of serendipity, being present at the dawn of an emerging medical field that married knowledge about renal and cardiac treatment to improved plastics.”
From creative destruction to creative appropriation: A comprehensive framework – study exploring Didi, usually called China’s Uber. I appreciated the typology in the paper talking about the other forms of creative destruction. Destruction is when a firm outright does not cooperate with the incumbents. Creative cooperation is when incumbents work together with the disruptors. In the middle of these two is creative appropriation, where a firm disrupts a market by leveraging the complementary resources of an incumbent without directly cooperating with them.