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Challenge in Innovation Research Changhui Zhou Guanghua School of Management Peking University Beijing, China 100871 July 13, 2007 Guanghzhou.

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Presentation on theme: "Challenge in Innovation Research Changhui Zhou Guanghua School of Management Peking University Beijing, China 100871 July 13, 2007 Guanghzhou."— Presentation transcript:

1 Challenge in Innovation Research Changhui Zhou Guanghua School of Management Peking University Beijing, China July 13, 2007 Guanghzhou

2 The legacy of Schumpeter Schumpeter: –Competition through innovation is the driving force of economic development. –Five types of innovation New products New methods of production New sources of supply The exploitation of new markets New ways to organize business

3 Innovation can be seen from both big picture and micro processes The broadly defined field of technological innovation research covers diverse, yet overlapping, sets of literature. For example: –macro level (e.g., nation, state/province, industry sectors, clusters) of aggregate analysis of technological innovation (e.g., Pavitt, 1984; Saxenian, 1991; Audretsch and Feldman, 1996; Almeida and Kogut, 1999; Frost and Zhou, 2000). –firm level examination of strategic choice and structural contingencies of innovative activities and the performance implications (e.g., Cohen and Levinthal, 1990; Danneels, 2002; Laursen and Salter, 2006; Powell et al. 1996; Pisano, 1990). –more micro level (e.g., team/planning) inquiry into the management of innovation process (e.g., Eisenhardt and Tabrizi, 1995; Hedlund and Ridderstråle, 1995; Nobel and Birkinshaw, 1998; Hoopes and Postrel, 1999).

4 It is a broad field that intersects with different streams of research The innovation literature can also been seen as a broad field that intersects with different streams of research –Entrepreneurship, SMEs and business venturing () –MNEs (Kogut and Chang, 1991; Zander, 1999; Nobel and Birkinshaw, 1998; Frost 2001; Kuemmerle, 1999; Dunning and Narula, 1995) –Strategic alliances, network studies (Powell et al. 1996; Pisano, 1990; Ahuja, 2000; Hagedoorn, 1993;) –Learning and knowledge transfer (Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995; Hansen, 1999) –Search (Greve and Tailor, 2000; Chen and Miller, 2007) –Spillovers and geography of innovation (Audretsch and Feldman, 1996; Jaffe 1993; Almeida and Kogut, 1999) –Technical change (Nelson and Winter, 1982; Tushman and Anderson, 1986) –Etc…

5 Individual behavior Organizational behavior Environmental drivers rooted in Schumpeters psychological theory of entrepreneurial behavior How firms go about innovation process and the consequences of innovative activity Industry structure Technical change Locational factors Social context Institutional conditions

6 What theoretical lenses can be employed? How? Economic theories –TCEs and governance; agency theory and incentives; IO theory and competitive rivalry; strategic options and investment decisions Evolutionary, RBV, dynamic capabilities –Nelson (1991) Why do firms differ and how does it matter? It is organizational differences, especially differences in abilities to generate and gain from innovation, rather than differences in command over particular technologies, that are the source of durable, not easily imitable, differences among firms. Sociological perspectives –Network, social capital, and social embeddedness –Institutional theory and mimetic process –Powell (1990) networks are most pronounced in the domain between the flexibility and autonomy of markets and the force and control of organizational authority. Cognitive perspectives –Learning

7 In terms of empirical approaches Existing studies –range from broad-brush explorations to in-depth case studies (Brown and Eisenhardt, 1995). –range from archival data to questionnaire data –are conducted in different settings (firms, industries, countries; time periods;) Measuring innovation –Existing and new indicators: what can be measured and what are the limitations? R&D expenditure Patent data New products (introduction) Survey: subject vs. object approach

8 Two papers to discuss Ahuja G & Lampert CM Entrepreneurship in the large corporation: A longitudinal study of how established firms create breakthrough inventions. Strategic Management Journal 22: Laursen, K. & Salter, A Open for innovation: The role of openness in explaining innovation performance among UK manufacturing firms. Strategic Management Journal 27:

9 Questions For each paper, please discuss: –What is the research question? Why this question? –How was the question positioned in the literature? –How have the authors developed the arguments? –What is your reaction to the main hypotheses? –Do you think the empirical approach is appropriate? –How would you assess the rigor of the empirical analysis of the paper? –Do you think the results make sense? –What can you learn from the paper about how to discuss the findings in terms of theoretical implications, practical implications, and broader contributions?

10 Challenge in Innovation Research in the context of China

11 Promising areas of research may include the following… Capability building of Chinese indigenous companies – (SOEs / private; large / SMEs; science park firms; etc.) Adaptation of foreign invested enterprises – (WOS; IJVs; new products; new business models) The interplay between foreign and domestic firms –Competition effect; spillover effect; strategic alliances; network; Foreign R&D in China –Antecedents; process; consequences;

12 Challenge I: Can we mapping out the complex phenomenon To understand the nature of the Chinese companies in learning and innovation –We have learned form prior literature about Lean production (Womach et al. 1990), N-form organization (Hudlund, 1994), Hypertext organization (Nonaka and Takeuchi 1995), J-form (Aoki, 1988; Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995), Cellular forms (Miles et al. 1997), Modular forms (Galunic and Eisenhardt 2001), Project-based networks (DeFillippi, 2002) –We ask: Is there a C-form organization? –How to delineate the impacts of social, institutional and economic factors? Capability building and OEM? Spatial pattern of innovation? Innovation and time? The role of local government? Entrepreneurship? IPR regime and firms innovative propensity? Patenting behavior of foreign and domestic firms?

13 Challenge II: How to develop China- based theories and discuss findings in terms of generalizability and contributions to the mainstream literature?

14 Challenge III: How to overcome the difficulty in obtaining quality data and to ensure the rigor of research process?

15 Three examples Su Yiyis dissertation –Focus –Setting –Ideas and approach Liu Mingkuns dissertation –Focus –Setting –Ideas and approach Zhu Quanzhens dissertation –Focus –Setting –Ideas and approach

16 Q & A My questions: –What do you think are the major challenges in conducting innovation research in China? –What problems have you encountered in your research? Your questions: 1? 2? 3?

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