THE GENERATIVE PROCESS OF INNOVATION
How to Design an Innovation System that Incentivizes the Creation and Adoption of New Ideas?
What is the Relationship Between Inter-organizational Competition/Collaboration and Innovation?
My research stream on the generative process of innovation intends to reveal understudied paradoxes in the creation and adoption of new ideas. To this end, I focus on how innovation stems from (1) the interaction between market intermediaries and the organizations they govern, and (2) the inter-organizational dynamics across domains (i.e., competition and collaboration). I leverage empirical contexts in both technological innovation and creative industries to offer insights into how new ideas are generated, evaluated, and eventually legitimized by market participants, as well as ways firms may strategize in these regards.
I am actively engaged in building a community of conversations at the intersection of market boundaries, inter-organizational collaboration, and innovation. For example, in an ongoing research project, I challenge the monolithic view on the binding role of boundary and highlight its enabling effect on inter-domain collaboration. Together with Letian Zhang and Mukti Khaire, we propose that boundaries may enable collaboration by deterring the need for identity signaling on one hand, while creating demand for resource reciprocity on the other hand. More broadly, to motivate academic discussions on issues as such, I have organized three symposiums at the Academy of Management Annual Conference: (1) "Crossing the Private-Public Boundary: Why, What and How?” (with Christopher Marquis); (2) “The Value Underpinnings of Market Categories” (with Rodolphe Durand), and (3) “Rethinking Technological Innovation: Where to Settle Between Material Space and Value Space?” (with Elizabeth Pontikes). These prepare me to continue advancing research in this field.
I also explore the intersection of inter-organizational competition and innovation. In a paper in collaboration with Heeyon Kim, we build a theory around why--in the face of rising market competition--producers may refrain from coming up with new ideas but instead, rely on the adaptation of existing ideas. Using Broadway theatrical productions as a context, we underscore an intriguing tradeoff faced by producers between appealing to the general audience and exposing themselves to gatekeeper scrutiny on the novelty of ideas. In another paper, I take stock on the U.S. LED lightbulb market to highlight that product acceleration may unexpectedly harm the competitiveness of entrepreneurial ventures in a nascent industry.