Weekly Reads – Sept 4

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.

Conceptualising technology, its development and future: The six genres of technology – Creates a typology of technology based on various combinations of relationships between humans and artefacts. It’s interesting how they weave the coming AI apocalypse throughout the article.

The impact of technology transfer and knowledge spillover from Big Science: a literature review – Big science refers to this phenomenon where scientific experiments require larger and larger groups of scientists, needing funding from groups of governments. The term is associated with organizations/projects like CERN, NASA and the Human Genome Project. The outcomes of these experiments impact society in real, tangible ways as documented by this review.

Does the merger of universities promote their scientific research performance? Evidence from China – universities around the world have become so conscious of their ranking. France for instance has been featured in the Economist recently for their Paris Saclay initiative which combines many of their research organizations in Paris to improve their rankings. In China, however, these mergers have not proved to be too successful due to difficulties in cultural integration and reaching economies of scale.

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.

Weekly Reads – Aug 31

Being Extraordinary: How CEOs’ Uncommon Names Explain Strategic Distinctiveness – Reminds me of this episode on Freakonomics exploring how names can influence the career paths that people take (like people named Dennis become dentists). In a similar vein, CEOs with uncommon names pursue uncommon strategies.

A history of insatiable intellectuals – A review of the book The Polymath by Peter Burke. I listened to the podcast episode where the author gives a lecture about the book. It was really fascinating to see how polymaths and the tension between specialization and being a generalist have evolved over time.

The Strategic Allocation of Inventors to R&D Collaborations – they find that companies send their inventors with strong IP protection to collaborations. These inventors serve to balance value creation with value protection.

Mapping technological trajectories and exploring knowledge sources: A case study of 3D printing technologies – Maps 3D printing technologies using patents. I like their path analysis showing the contributions of the different countries in the development of this technology. I explored this technique in a previous post.

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.”

Weekly Reads – Aug 21

Government royalties on sales of biomedical products developed with substantial public funding – The pharma industry has faced a lot of criticisms due to the increasing drug prices and privatization of research funded by taxpayer money. This paper proposes how royalties can be a better alternative compared to price controls by not decreasing investment in R&D.

The authenticity premium: Balancing conformity and innovation in high technology industries – A study on authenticity, putting their own spin to the idea of optimal distinctiveness. They looked at the balance between differentiation and conformity in three signals given by firms – network, governance and narrative.

Post-Failure Success: Sensemaking in Problem Representation Reformulation – failures normally spring from a faulty representation of the problem. A reformulation of these wrong assumptions is the key then to steer one’s trajectory, ultimately turning the initial failure into a success.

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.

Managing intrapreneurial capabilities: An overview – an introduction to a special issue on intrapreneurship and dynamic capabilities. They identify different research streams in the intersection of these two topics.

Weekly Reads – Jun 17

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.

Technological impact of biomedical research: The role of basicness and novelty – another study looking at patents and publications to assess the impact of research.

The European research landscape under the Horizon 2020 Lenses: the interaction between science centers, public institutions, and industry – contains nice network visualizations of interacting partners at various levels (country, affiliations and organizations)

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.

Weekly Reads – Apr 17

Discoverers in scientific citation data – this research finds that there are a group of researchers who are good at discovering (or citing early) potentially important papers. This reminds me of the book Superforecasting which talks about how some people are better than others in forecasting the future.

Choices and Consequences: Impact of Mobility on Research-Career Capital and Promotion in Business Schools – In a study of 376 professors in European business schools, they find that mobility is useful in building research careers. At the same time, moving too much can also delay promotions.

The Art of the Pivot: How New Ventures Manage Identification Relationships with Stakeholders as They Change Direction – there is so much emphasis these days for startups to be able to pivot. The problem however is that pivoting is not so easy when you have many stakeholders to appease. This research gives insights on how to manage such relationships with important stakeholders when a startup needs to pivot.

Political skills and career success of R&D personnel: a comparative mediation analysis between perceived supervisor support and perceived organisational support – like many things, the technical superiority of an entity (whether it’s a product, firm or an employee) does not guarantee its success. In this study, they look at R&D employees and find that political skills are important for one to get ahead in one’s career.

Weekly Reads – Apr 5

Collaborative patents and the mobility of knowledge workers – In my field of FBDD, research mobility seems to be one of the most important mechanisms for the knowledge to spread. In this study of the European biotech sector, inventors who were previously located together are found to form collaborations faster.

Taking leaps of faith: Evaluation criteria and resource commitments for early-stage inventions – Researchers use text mining to quantify how technology transfer office evaluate and decide to financially back a new invention. They find that feasibility and desirability (expressed through words used in the examination document) are important for new inventions.

Exploration versus exploitation in technology firms: The role of compensation structure for R&D workforce – people respond to incentives. This study explores how a firm can structure its incentives as a lever to incentivize exploration / exploitation. In this study, the researchers find that firms with ” higher-powered tournament incentives in vertical compensation structure report higher fraction of innovation directed towards exploration”

Aligning technology and institutional readiness: the adoption of
– It’s always exciting to explore how big firms adopt innovation. While technological readiness is important, researchers in this paper introduce that it should be complemented with the idea of institutional readiness.

Team efficiency and network structure: The case of professional League of Legends – with the amount of data generated by Esports, we should expect more management insights coming from them. In this study, they look at the effect of team interactions/centrality on team performance.

Weekly Reads – Mar 31

For the next month, I’ll be at the University of Cambridge to conduct a study on how fragment-based drug discovery thrived in the area.

The Legitimacy Threshold Revisited: How Prior Successes and Failures Spill Over to Other Endeavors on Kickstarter – previous outcomes in Kickstarter affect future crowdfunding efforts by “encouraging audiences to repeatedly support other related endeavors or by discouraging them from doing so.”

The Time Efficiency Gain in Sharing and Reuse of Research Data – sharing research data can yield to efficiency gains to the scientific community

Does combining different types of collaboration always benefit firms? Collaboration, complementarity and product innovation in Norway – conventional thinking dictates that firms should collaborate as much as they can to increase the chances of innovation occurring. This study however finds that pursuing all types of collaborations (in this case, scientific and supply chain) might not be useful all the time as these might interact and may negatively impact innovation.

It’s in the Mix: How Firms Configure Resource Mobilization for New Product Success – networks are always fascinating. Here, they look at the new product development through a network perspective.

Weekly Reads – Mar 20

Improving the peer review process: a proposed market system – Currently, reviewers do not receive any compensation given the amount of work they have to do. This is bad for science as well because papers do not get reviewed properly/fast enough. Creating a market system for the review process for better incentivization of both authors and reviewers might improve the process.

Federal funding of doctoral recipients: What can be learned from linked data – New datasets are always exciting. Researchers in this study propose linking a huge dataset on university payrolls with another huge survey about PhD graduates. It would be interesting to see how other researchers will use data to understand innovation, basic research, career development to name a few.

Universities and open innovation: the determinants of network centrality – Universities that are located centrally in their university-industry networks are also in better position to generate spinoffs and conduct projects with external funding.

The fragmentation of biopharmaceutical innovation – The pharma industry is not consolidating as much as expected, with smaller firms playing big roles. Commentary by the blog in the pipeline here.

Weekly Reads – Mar 13

This week seems to be a special one for the field of entrepreneurship, with some publications on the merits of studying it from an academic perspective such as this one A wakeup call for the field of entrepreneurship and its evaluators

Has the Concept of Opportunities Been Fruitful in the Field of Entrepreneurship? – In line with the previous one, this reflects on the concept of opportunities which has always been in the same conversation with entrepreneurship. I have not been able to access the article despite various searchers but I’m sure that it touches on the perennial question on whether opportunities are created or discovered. I find this discussion fascinating because by itself, entrepreneurship research is already too scholarly. Going one step backwards and reflecting on such philosophical questions, perhaps pushes this even further.

Firm Strategic Behavior and the Measurement of Knowledge Flows with Patent Citations –  Ever since I got into bibliometrics, citations have been fascinating. Instead of just a measure of paper’s worth and knowledge flow, citations also reflect other subtle things such as informal ties, cliques and prestige. In this paper, the researchers looked at patent citations and explores how it does not only reflect knowledge flow but also other other factors including firm strategy and intellectual property regime.

Predicting citation counts based on deep neural network learning techniques – in the theme apply neural networks to everything, in this paper, the researchers aimed to predict citation counts of papers. This makes me wonder whether we could reverse the process one day and design an AI that can output papers according to an input citation count.

Optimal Distinctiveness, Strategic Categorization, and Product Market Entry on the Google Play App Platform – optimal distinctiveness is really taking the management literature by storm. It will probably be the next open innovation or absorptive capacity with the growth in publications about it such as this one looking at app success.

Weekly Reads – Mar 6

The age at which Noble Prize research is conducted – Spoiler alert: It’s 44

Zero impact: a large-scale study of uncitedness – It’s common knowledge that a large number of scientific articles do not get cited, from this article around 20-30%. This article breaks down the level of uncitedness per subject and article type. This begs the question, if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

How optimal distinctiveness affects new ventures’ failure risk: A contingency perspective – I really am fond of this topic optimal distinctiveness. In this study, they looked at metal bands and how much distinct they can be with their mix of sub-genres. They show that optimal distinctiveness is relevant to the failure risk of new ventures.

Is Elsevier helping or hurting scientific progress? – Fascinating podcast opening a dialogue between a scientist in Elsevier and an advocate of open science. I like how the host Julia and the participants tried to see each other’ perspective and not only discredit each other. Personally, I adore Elsevier and how it is moving towards more of a service company than a traditional journal publishing one.