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Publications
Journal Article
Academy of Management Journal 62 (2): 503-530
2018 EBS-SITE Best Paper Award Innovation Management
Henning Piezunka, Linus Dahlander (2019)
Subject(s)
Strategy and general management; Technology, R&D management
Keyword(s)
Crowdsourcing, innovation, tie formation, networks, rejection
When organizations crowdsource ideas, they ultimately select only a small share of the submitted ideas for implementation. Organizations generally provide no feedback on ideas they do not select. Contributors whose ideas are not selected for implementation tend to forego submitting ideas in the future. We suggest that organizations can increase contributors’ willingness to submit ideas in the future by giving a thus far understudied form of feedback: rejections. Drawing on social network theory, we develop the overarching argument that rejections lead contributors to bond with the organization, increasing their willingness to continue to interact with the organization. While it may be counterintuitive to associate rejections with bonding, we hypothesize that rejections indicate to contributors that the organization is interested both in receiving their ideas and in developing a relationship with them. This effect, we argue, is particularly pronounced when rejections provide newcomers with explanations that suggest to them that they and the organization are a good match. To test our theory, we examine the crowdsourcing efforts of 70, 159 organizations that receive ideas from 1,336,154 contributors. Using large-scale content analysis, we examine differences in how rejections are written in order to disentangle the mechanisms through which rejections affect contributors’ willingness to continue to interact with an organization. We find that getting a rejection has a positive effect on a newcomer’s willingness to submit idea in the future. The effect is stronger if the rejection includes an explanation, and is particularly pronounced if the explanation accompanying the rejection matches the original idea in terms of linguistic style.
With permission of the Academy of Management
Volume
62
Journal Pages
503-530
Journal Article
Research Policy 47 (3): 543–557
Susan Biancani, Linus Dahlander, Daniel A. McFarland, Sanne Smith (2018)
Subject(s)
Technology, R&D management
Keyword(s)
Organizations, universities, knowledge, networks, interdisciplinarity, centers
Many universities have developed large-scale interdisciplinary research centers to address societal challenges and to attract the attention of private philanthropists and federal agencies. However, prior studies have mostly shown that interdisciplinary centers relate to a narrow band of outcomes such as publishing and grants. Therefore, we shift attention to include outcomes that have been the centers mandate to influence - namely outreach to the media and private industry, as well as broader research endeavors and securing external funding. Using data covering Stanford University between 1993 and 2014, we study if being weakly and strongly affiliated with interdisciplinary centers in one year relates to and increases (1) knowledge production (publications, grants, and inventions), (2) instruction (numbers of students taught, PhDs, and postdocs advised), (3) intellectual prominence (media mentions, awards won and centrality within the larger collaboration network), and (4) the acquisition of various sources of funding in the next year. Our results indicate that interdisciplinary centers select productive faculty and increase their activity on a broad range of outcomes further, and in ways greater than departments and traditional interdisciplinary memberships, such as courtesy and joint appointments.
With permission of Elsevier
Volume
47
Journal Pages
543–557
Journal Article
Academy of Management Journal 60 (2): 433–460
2016 TIE / VHB 2016 Jürgen Hauschildt Award best research publication in innovation management, 2016 EBS Best-Paper-Award “Innovation Management” 2016
Paola Criscuolo, Linus Dahlander, Thorsten Grohsjean, Ammon J. Salter (2017)
Subject(s)
Technology, R&D management
Keyword(s)
innovation search, novelty, professional services firms, R&D project selection, selection panels
Building on a unique, multi-source, and multi-method study of R&D projects in a leading professional service firm, we develop the argument that organizations are more likely to fund projects with intermediate levels of novelty. That is, some project novelty increases the share of requested funds received, but too much novelty is difficult to appreciate and is selected against. While prior research has considered the characteristics of the individuals generating project ideas, we shift the focus to panel selectors and explore how they shape the evaluation of novelty. We theorize that a high panel workload reduces panel preference for novelty in selection, whereas a diversity of panel expertise and a shared location between panel and applicant increase preference for novelty. We explore the implications of these findings for theories of innovation search, organizational selection, and managerial practice.
With permission of the Academy of Management
Volume
60
Journal Pages
433–460
Journal Article
Industry and Innovation 24 (1): 8–40
Marcel Bogers, Ann-Kristin Zobel, Allan Afuah, Esteve Almirall, Sabine Brunswicker, Linus Dahlander, Lars Frederiksen et al. (2017)
Subject(s)
Information technology and systems; Technology, R&D management
Keyword(s)
open innovation, review, research, theory, contingencies, knowledge, collaboration
JEL Code(s)
D83, O30
This paper provides an overview of the main perspectives and themes emerging in research on open innovation (OI). The paper is the result of a collaborative process among several OI scholars – having a common basis in the recurrent Professional Development Workshop on “Researching Open Innovatio” at the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management. In this paper, we present opportunities for future research on OI, organised at different levels of analysis. We discuss some of the contingencies at these different levels, and argue that future research needs to study OI – originally an organisational-level phenomenon – across multiple levels of analysis. While our integrative framework allows comparing, contrasting and integrating various perspectives at different levels of analysis, further theorising will be needed to advance OI research. On this basis, we propose some new research categories as well as questions for future research – particularly those that span across research domains that have so far developed in isolation.
Volume
24
Journal Pages
8–40
Journal Article
Strategic Management Journal 37 (2): 280–302
An abridged version of this article was earlier published in the AOM Best Paper Proceedings
Linus Dahlander, Siobhan O'Mahony, David Gann (2016)
Subject(s)
Entrepreneurship; Technology, R&D management
Keyword(s)
Search, innovation, individuals, attention, scientists, boundary-spanning
The “variance hypothesis” predicts that external search breadth leads to innovation outcomes, but people have limited attention for search and cultivating breadth consumes attention. How does individuals' search breadth affect innovation outcomes? How does individuals' allocation of attention affect the efficacy of search breadth? We matched survey data with complete patent records, to examine the search behaviors of elite boundary spanners at IBM. Surprisingly, individuals who allocated attention to people inside the firm were more innovative. Individuals with high external search breadth were more innovative only when they allocated more attention to those sources. Our research identifies limits to the “variance hypothesis” and reveals two successful approaches to innovation search: “cosmopolitans” who cultivate and attend to external people and “locals” who draw upon internal people.
© 2014 The Authors. Strategic Management Journal published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Volume
37
Journal Pages
280–302
Journal Article
Academy of Management Journal 58 (3): 856–880
2016 Highly cited paper (Web of Knowledge) , 2015 Darmstadt Innovation Research Best Paper Award
Henning Piezunka, Linus Dahlander (2015)
Subject(s)
Technology, R&D management
Keyword(s)
Selection, evaluation, user-based innovation, crowd sourcing
When organizations reach out to their users for ideas, users take on a considerable role in the innovation process. Including users expands the number of participants and potential ideas from which an organization can select. But how do organizations select some user suggestions while rejecting or ignoring others? We analyze the selection processes at 24,067 organizations that collectively received 702,729 suggestions. Our findings suggest that organizations filter the suggestions they receive by focusing on suggestions that inspire feedback from the user community. Despite receiving contributions from a diverse pool of users, organizations quickly settle into a pattern of attending to only a few. To our surprise, collective user preferences only matter as a filter mechanism when crowding is high. In contrast, the debate among users about a suggestion strongly increases the likelihood of it being selected by the organization. Our illustration of the screening criteria organizations use to winnow suggestions has broad implications for the selection literature. We also bring insight to the literature on user-driven innovation processes by studying all suggestions that were considered, rather than only those organizations select and implement.
With permission of the Academy of Management
As of May/June 2016, this highly cited paper received enough citations to place it in the top 1% of the academic field of Economics & Business based on a highly cited threshold for the field and publication year. – Data from Essential Science Indicators℠
Volume
58
Journal Pages
856–880
Journal Article
Social Forces 93 (4): 1687–1722
Craig Rawlings, Daniel A. McFarland, Linus Dahlander, Dan Wang (2015)
Subject(s)
Technology, R&D management
Keyword(s)
social networks
Volume
93
Journal Pages
1687–1722
Journal Article
Organization Science 25 (5): 1306–1324
Susan Biancani, Daniel A. McFarland, Linus Dahlander (2014)
Subject(s)
Entrepreneurship; Technology, R&D management
Keyword(s)
social networks; organizational form; organizational structure; innovation; network analysis; sociology of science
This paper draws attention to a new dimension of organization, the semiformal organization, and it reveals how the allocation of different membership forms can render knowledge-intensive organizations more flexible and exploratory in their knowledge creation efforts without sacrificing the functions stably enacted via the formal organization. Most knowledge-intensive organizations seek to create new spaces for collaborations through formally prescribed departments and divisions or through serendipitous, emergent, informal associations (i.e., the formal and informal organization). However, organizations also strategically manage what we call the “semiformal organization” to guide the creation of new work relations and encourage innovation. These secondary memberships are organizationally sponsored and directly related to the organizations’ core research functions, but they are voluntarily joined. As such, they are distinct from formal and informal memberships. On the basis of extensive longitudinal analyses of research initiatives at Stanford University, we find that the semiformal organization provides a compelling channel through which organizations can shape employees’ collaborations and overall productivity.
© 2014 INFORMS
Volume
25
Journal Pages
1306–1324
Journal Article
Research Policy 43 (5): 812–827
Linus Dahlander, Henning Piezunka (2014)
Subject(s)
Technology, R&D management
Keyword(s)
Open innovation, attention, suggestions, ideation, openness, user innovation, success bias, social media
This paper analyzes organizations’ attempts to entice external contributors to submit suggestions for future organizational action. While earlier work has elaborated on the advantages of leveraging the knowledge of external contributors, our findings show that organizational attempts to attract such involvement are more likely to wither or die. We develop arguments about what increases the likelihood of getting suggestions from externals in the future, namely through (1) proactive attention (submitting internally developed suggestions to externals to stimulate debate); and (2) reactive attention (paying attention to suggestions from externals to signal they are being listened to), particularly when those suggestions are submitted by newcomers. Findings from an analysis of about 24,000 initiatives by organizations to involve external contributors suggest these actions are crucial for receiving suggestions from external contributors. Our results are contingent upon the stage of the initiative because organizations’ actions exert more influence in initiatives that lack a history of prior suggestions. Our work has implications for scholars of open innovation because it highlights the importance of considering failures as well successes: focusing exclusively on initiatives that reach a certain stage can lead to partial or erroneous conclusions about why some organizations engage external contributors while others fail.
With permission of Elsevier
Volume
43
Journal Pages
812–827
Journal Article
Academy of Management Journal 56 (5): 1348–1371
Erkko Autio, Linus Dahlander, Lars Frederiksen (2013)
Subject(s)
Entrepreneurship; Technology, R&D management
Keyword(s)
entrepreneurial action, information exposure, opportunity recognition, opportunity evaluation, user entrepreneurship
We study how an individual's exposure to external information regulates the evaluation of entrepreneurial opportunities and entrepreneurial action. Combining data from interviews, a survey, and a comprehensive web log of an online user community spanning eight years, we find that technical information shaped opportunity evaluation and that social information about user needs drove individuals to entrepreneurial action. Our empirical findings suggest that reducing demand uncertainty is a central factor regulating entrepreneurial action, an insight that received theories of entrepreneurial action have so far overlooked.
With permission of the Academy of Management
Volume
56
Journal Pages
1348–1371
Journal Article
Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal 7 (2): 122–137
Onal Vural, Linus Dahlander, Gerard George (2013)
Subject(s)
Entrepreneurship
Keyword(s)
scientific teams, collaboration, university, invention, knowledge
We examine the effects of team structure and experience on the impact of inventions produced by scientific teams. Whereas multidisciplinary, collaborative teams have become the norm in scientific production, there are coordination costs commensurate with managing such teams. We use patent citation analysis to examine the effect of prior collaboration and patenting experience on invention impact of 282 patents granted in Human Embryonic Stem Cell (hESC) research between 1998 and 2010. Our results reveal that team experience outside the domain may be detrimental to project performance in a setting where the underlying knowledge changes. In stem cell science, we show that interdepartmental collaboration has a negative effect on invention impact. Scientific proximity between members of the team has a curvilinear relationship, suggesting that teams consisting of members with moderate proximity get the highest impact. We elaborate on these findings for theories of collaboration and coordination, and its implications for radical scientific discoveries.
© 2013 Strategic Management Society
Volume
7
Journal Pages
122–137
Journal Article
Administrative Science Quarterly 58 (1): 69–110
Linus Dahlander, Daniel A. McFarland (2013)
Subject(s)
Technology, R&D management
Keyword(s)
research collaborations, network ties, tie formation, tie persistence, long-term ties, task relationships
Using a longitudinal dataset of research collaborations over 15 years at Stanford University, we build a theory of intraorganizational task relationships that distinguishes the different factors associated with the formation and persistence of network ties. We highlight six factors: shared organizational foci, shared traits and interests, tie advantages from popularity, tie reinforcement from third parties, tie strength and multiplexity, and the instrumental returns from the products of ties. Findings suggest that ties form when unfamiliar people identify desirable and matching traits in potential partners. By contrast, ties persist when familiar people reflect on the quality of their relationship and shared experiences. The former calls for shallow, short-term strategies for assessing a broad array of potential ties; the latter calls for long-term strategies and substantive assessments of a relationship’s worth so as to draw extended rewards from the association. This suggests that organizational activities geared toward sustaining persistent intraorganizational task relationships need to be different from activities aimed at forging new ones.
With permission of Sage
Volume
58
Journal Pages
69–110
Journal Article
Organization Science 23 (4): 988–1007
Linus Dahlander, Lars Frederiksen (2012)
Subject(s)
Strategy and general management; Technology, R&D management
Keyword(s)
collaboration, innovation, user, communities, online
Users often interact and help each other solve problems in communities, but few scholars have explored how these relationships provide opportunities to innovate. We analyze the extent to which people positioned within the core of a community as well as people that are cosmopolitans positioned across multiple external communities affect innovation. Using a multimethod approach, including a survey, a complete database of interactions in an online community, content coding of interactions and contributions, and 36 interviews, we specify the types of positions that have the strongest effect on innovation. Our study shows that dispositional explanations for user innovation should be complemented by a relational view that emphasizes how these communities differ from other organizations, the types of behaviors this enables, and the effects on innovation.
© 2012 INFORMS
Volume
23
Journal Pages
988–1007
Journal Article
Organization Science 22 (4): 961–979
Linus Dahlander, Siobhan O'Mahony (2011)
Subject(s)
Strategy and general management
Keyword(s)
coordination, project work, knowledge work, technical work, open source software, lateral authority, communities of practice, community project, technical community, community forms
Project forms of organizing are theorized to rely upon horizontal as opposed to vertical lines of authority, but few have examined how this shift affects progression-how people advance in an organization. We argue that progression without hierarchy unfolds when people assume lateral authority over project tasks without managing people. With a longitudinal study of a mature, collectively managed open source software project, we predict the individual behaviors that enable progression to lateral authority roles at two different stages. Although technical contributions are initially important, coordination work is more critical at a subsequent stage. We then explore how lateral authority roles affect subsequent behavior-after gaining authority, individuals spend significantly more time coordinating project work. Our research shows how people progress to the center as opposed to up a hierarchy, and how progression differs by stage and specifies the theoretical relationship between lateral authority roles and the coordination of project work.
© 2011 INFORMS
Volume
22
Journal Pages
961–979
Journal Article
Research Policy 39 (6): 699–709
2016 Highly cited paper (Web of Knowledge)
Linus Dahlander, David M. Gann (2010)
Subject(s)
Technology, R&D management
Keyword(s)
appropriability; complementary assets; openness; innovation; open innovation; review; content analysis
This paper is motivated by a desire to clarify the definition of 'openness' as currently used in the literature on open innovation, and to re-conceptualize the idea for future research on the topic. We combine bibliographic analysis of all papers on the topic published in Thomson's ISI Web of Knowledge (ISI) with a systematic content analysis of the field to develop a deeper understanding of earlier work. Our review indicates two inbound processes: sourcing and acquiring, and two outbound processes, revealing and selling. We analyze the advantages and disadvantages of these different forms of openness. The paper concludes with implications for theory and practice, charting several promising areas for future research.
With permission of Elsevier
As of May/June 2016, this highly cited paper received enough citations to place it in the top 1% of the academic field of Social Sciences, general based on a highly cited threshold for the field and publication year. – Data from Essential Science Indicators℠
Volume
39
Journal Pages
699–709
Journal Article
Long Range Planning 41 (6): 629–649
Linus Dahlander, Mats G. Magnusson (2008)
Subject(s)
Technology, R&D management
Keyword(s)
case studies; communities of practice; organizations; research and development; Scandinavia; technology-led strategy
Relying on four in-depth case studies of firms involved with open source software, we investigate how firms make use of open source communities, and how that use is associated with their business models. Three themes - accessing, aligning and assimilating - are inductively developed for how the firms relate to the external knowledge created in the communities. For each theme, we make an argument about the tactics associated with each theme and their positive and negative consequences. The findings are related to the literature on the open and distributed nature of innovation, and various theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.
With permission of Elsevier
Volume
41
Journal Pages
629–649
Subject(s)
Technology, R&D management
Keyword(s)
Communities; commons; innovation; science; open source software
Volume
16
Journal Pages
913–943
Journal Article
European Planning Studies 15 (6): 727–751
Johan Brink, Linus Dahlander, Maureen McKelvey (2007)
Subject(s)
Economics, politics and business environment
Keyword(s)
regional development; specialization; biotechnology
Volume
15
Journal Pages
727–751
Journal Article
Research Policy 35 (8): 1243–1259
Linus Dahlander, Martin W. Wallin (2006)
Subject(s)
Technology, R&D management
Keyword(s)
complementary assets; open innovation; free and open source software; social network theory
Since Teece's seminal paper explaining who were the gainers from technological innovation, increased globalization and the information and communication technology revolution have brought newways for firms to organize and appropriate from innovation. A new more open model of innovation suggests that firms can benefit from sources of innovation that stem from outside the firm. The central theme of this paper is how firms try to unlock communities as complementary assets. These communities exist outside firm boundaries beyond ownership or hierarchical control. Because of practices developed by communities to protect their work, firms need to assign individuals to work in these communities in order to gain access to developments and, to an extent, influence the direction of the community. Using network analysis we show that some software firms sponsor individuals to act strategically within a free and open source software (FOSS) community. Firm sponsored individuals interact with more individuals than interact with them, and also they seek to interact with central individuals in the community. However, we can see differences in how individuals interact, depending on whether their affiliation is with a dedicated FOSS firm or an incumbent in the software industry. Apparently, some firm managers believe they need 'a man on the inside' to be able to gain access to communities.
With permission of Elsevier
Volume
35
Journal Pages
1243–1259
Journal Article
Technology Analysis and Strategic Management 17 (4): 409–431
Linus Dahlander, Maureen Mckelvey (2005)
Subject(s)
Technology, R&D management
Keyword(s)
relations; collaboration occurrence; spatial distribution; innovation; biotechnology; networks
Volume
17
Journal Pages
409–431
Journal Article
Economics of Innovation and New Technology 14 (7): 617–635
Linus Dahlander, Maureen Mckelvey (2005)
Subject(s)
Technology, R&D management
Keyword(s)
opportunity cost; motivation; diffusion; knowledge development; public goods; open source software
Volume
14
Journal Pages
617–635
Journal Article
International Journal of Innovation Management 9 (3): 259–285
Subject(s)
Technology, R&D management
Keyword(s)
appropriating returns; appropriability regimes; private-collective innovation; open source software.
Volume
9
Journal Pages
259–285
Journal Article
Research Policy 34 (4): 481–493
Linus Dahlander, Mats G. Magnusson (2005)
Subject(s)
Technology, R&D management
Keyword(s)
communities; relationships; open source software
This paper deals with the relationships between firms and communities in open source software (OSS). A particular feature of OSS is that important resources are not directly controlled by firms, but partly reside within communities that co-exist with the firms. Despite this, firms explicitly try to utilize the resources within these communities in order to create and appropriate value. Consequently, the relationships that firms have to these communities influence their way of doing business. Based on case studies of Nordic OSS firms, a typology consisting of symbiotic, commensalistic, and parasitic approaches to handle the firm-community relationship is developed. Depending on the chosen approach, firms encounter different managerial issues and also use different operational means of subtle control. While firms relying on a symbiotic approach have greater possibility to influence the community through subtle means of control, they are also confronted with more challenging managerial issues.
With permission of Elsevier
Volume
34
Journal Pages
481–493