Session 254

Conversations about Knowledge

Track I

Date: Monday, September 22, 2014


Time: 16:30 – 17:45

Common Ground

Room: Glasgow


  • Johann Peter Murmann, University of New South Wales

Title: Comments on the Knowledge and Innovation Discourse


  • JC Spender, Kozminski University

Abstract: Many claim knowledge and innovation are the new keys to success in the networked economy. But, frankly, we are not really sure about what either knowledge or innovation mean. As a result, much of the knowledge and innovation discourse is viciously tautological and empty. The paper takes off from Hayek's influential 1937 and 1945 papers to consider Knight's and Coase's earlier intuitions about the economic nature of knowledge. The conclusion is that it is not useful to think of firms as possessing knowledge objects. Rather it may be better to think of them as languages within which innovative knowledge claims can be made and enacted.

Title: Knowledge Creation and Use in Elite Management Journals


  • Scott Johnson, Oklahoma State University
  • Timothy Hart, University of Tulsa

Abstract: When scholars write articles, they do so within the particular socially constructed norms of academic knowledge communities. Scholars, and the journals in which they publish, have become increasingly specialized over time. This specialization affects the degree to which scholars craft articles that build primarily upon knowledge that is familiar to a focal audience and that which is novel. We examine how this integration of familiar and novel knowledge within communities affects the future usefulness of articles. We do so by examining the impact of articles published between 1990 and 2003 in six top-tier management. We measure the impact of each article in its own journal, as well as its impact within the broader social science community in general.

Title: Knowledge-Based Evolution and Firm-Specific Resources


  • Stefano Miraglia, University of Cambridge
  • Andrew Davies, University College London
  • Andrea Prencipe, LUISS Guido Carli University

Abstract: We report the results of a grounded theory investigation aiming to understand how organizations acquire, develop, and alter idiosyncratic resources. The study integrates evolutionary and resource/knowledge based approaches, and extends them in several ways. First, it brings the evolutionary approach below the level of the firm to attain a deeper and more complete understanding of the micro, firm- and industry-level activities that generate the firm’s specific resources. Second, it overcomes the routine-centric view by identifying in organizational knowledge the elemental genetic material of organizations that undergoes similar patterns of evolutionary change independently of the specific type of asset in which it is embedded. Finally, it explores the common grounds for the evolution of three types of assets – artifacts, routines, and individuals – and identifies in the interplay between substantive knowledge and metaknowledge a fundamental but largely unexplored activity of knowledge creation.

Title: Paradox Research in Management Science: The First 25 Years and the Next 25 Years


  • Jonathan Schad, University of Geneva
  • Marianne Lewis, University of Cincinnati
  • Sebastian Raisch, University of Geneva
  • Wendy Smith, University of Delaware

Abstract: We review 25 years of paradox research in the management domain. Content analysis highlights six research themes, which have received strongly varying research attention. Our review suggests that the field has increasingly simplified the complex, often messy phenomena of paradox. While greater simplicity renders phenomena understandable and testable, oversimplifying complex realities can foster reductionist and incomplete theories. Hence, theory building has dual needs: simplicity (parsimony and pragmatism) and complexity (goodness of fit and completeness). We therefore suggest a future research agenda to build a meta-theory of paradox that returns to the field’s rich roots in philosophy and psychology to tap into the greater complexity of paradox. This research agenda leverages the potential of paradox in a great variety of research streams in the management domain.

Title: The Birth of Knowledge: New Innovations without Recombination


  • Tian Chen, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Changhyun Kim, Singapore Management University
  • Kevin Miceli, Michigan State University

Abstract: Knowledge based theories have assumed that new innovations are recombinations of prior innovations. In uncertain environments, organizations will use past solutions as a familiar base to create innovations to solve new problems. But prior research has shown that not all innovations have predecessors. Instead, these pioneering technologies are revolutionary seeds from which new knowledge and innovations can build-of. Comparing these technologies to a matched sample, we seek to understand how the discovery process of pioneering technologies is different from that of incremental solutions. We theorize that the three factors that influence the creation are the history of the inventors, the culture of the firm, and the competitiveness of the industry. We will test these theories using patent data from 2000 to 2006.

Title: Toward a Complexity-Science View of Intellectual Capital Dynamics


  • Maria Paz Salmador, Autonomous University of Madrid
  • Bill McKelvey, University of California-Los Angeles

Abstract: The value of companies has been increasingly shifting from tangible to intangible Intellectual Capital (IC) assets. This paper proposes that once intangibility and social networking effects are added, the growth and value of IC assets have a high probability of showing nonlinear dynamics and Pareto and Power Law (PL) distributions that are dominated by extreme events, i.e., companies out at the stochastic frontier, which are at the end of a long-tailed Pareto distribution. We propose that the use of Power Laws as indicators is a method of finding out how self-organizing and open to competition and change an industry is. IC industries show more obvious PL industry distributions and we present preliminary evidence.

All Sessions in Track I...

Sun: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 278: Routines: Theoretical and Empirical Advancements and Avenues for Future Research
Sun: 09:30 – 10:45
Session 463: Big Data: Revolutionizing Innovation and Competition
Sun: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 464: Foundations Session: A conversation with Michael Tushman on Leadership, Innovation and Strategic Change
Sun: 15:45 – 17:00
Session 270: Innovation in MNCs and Global Networks
Session 275: Open Innovation: Outcomes and antecedents
Sun: 17:15 – 18:30
Session 605: Knowledge and Innovation IG Business Meeting
Mon: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 260: IPRs, Appropriability and Innovation
Session 274: Incumbents, Radical Innovations and Disruptive Technologies
Mon: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 276: Organizational Learning
Session 277: Learning From Others
Session 372: The Challenges of Global Operations: Managing R&D and Complexity
Session 423: Alliances and Innovation Performance
Mon: 14:45 – 16:00
Session 265: Learning, Search, Slack: The behavioral theory revisited
Session 269: Knowledge Flows: Transfer, sharing and replication
Mon: 16:30 – 17:45
Session 254: Conversations about Knowledge
Session 257: Spin offs, Venture Capital and Entrepreneurship
Tue: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 259: Institutionalizing Innovation: Norms, status and legitimacy issues
Session 273: From Internal Resources to Customer Needs
Session 383: Globalization of R&D: Implications for Learning and Innovation
Tue: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 267: The Role of Individuals in Innovation
Session 272: Research and Development: Antecedents and outcomes
Session 361: Creativity and Innovation
Session 469: M&As and Innovation
Tue: 15:30 – 16:45
Session 262: Networks of Innovators
Session 263: Innovation Models in Emerging Economies
Tue: 17:15 – 18:30
Session 255: Exploration and Exploitation
Session 256: Organizing for Open Innovation
Session 261: Practices and Processes for Innovation

Strategic Management Society