David Michael Gann

David Michael Gann
University of Oxford | OX · Saïd Business School

BSc, MSc, PhD

About

144
Publications
169,116
Reads
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11,343
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2003 - present
Imperial College London
Position
  • Vice President, Development and Innovation
September 1983 - December 2002
University of Sussex
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (144)
Article
Full-text available
The search for new business ideas-and models-is hit-or-miss at most firms. Tackling the problem systematically, of course, will improve your odds of success. Traditional ways of framing this search examine competencies, customer needs, and shifts in the landscape. This article proposes adding a new IT-based framework. It involves asking, How can da...
Article
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In this paper, we examine how and why organizational learning is affected by virtualization technologies. The literature on organizational learning has identified its many constraints, and the influence of information technologies on overcoming these restraints has also received attention. Little research, however, has addressed how organizational...
Article
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In industrial sectors such as consulting, advertising, film-making, software, architecture, engineering and construction, most individual businesses are project-based firms in other words, their activities tend to be organized through the delivery of projects aimed at meeting the highly differentiated and customized needs of clients. These firms de...
Article
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This study uses responses from 107 multinational firms to reveal CEO perceptions of the drivers of strategic flexibility during business model innovation. While the positive effect of creative culture is confirmed, partner reliance reduces strategic flexibility during business model innovation. Further, structural change is disaggregated into effor...
Article
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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 th...
Article
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We investigate patterns in platform ecosystem emergence. We find that the processes of ecosystem emergence—value discovery (designing and establishing an ecosystem value proposition and individual value offerings), collective governance (regulation of participation), platform resourcing (resource acquisition for set-up and scale-up), and contextual...
Chapter
This chapter explores how order emerges from chaos in China’s innovation machine. It emphasizes how innovation is emergent, evolutionary, and complex and cannot be centrally planned and controlled. Innovation involves experimentation, the initial growth of which requires some protection, but the scale and scope of which can be rapidly amplified in...
Chapter
This chapter explains the development and significance of China’s mega supply chains and their position in the global division of labour. It explains the importance of modularity, standardization, and complementarity in supply chains. It analyses how efficiencies and resilience are achieved and balanced in supply chains and the importance of platfo...
Chapter
This chapter sets the context of China’s innovation machine. It introduces its characteristics, including massive numbers of innovators embedded in China’s manufacturing and supply chains that offer efficiency, flexibility, and resilience; the emergence of the digital economy; and pragmatic government policies that have seen the nation progress fro...
Chapter
China has one of the most advanced digital economies in the world. This chapter analyses the rise of China’s digital economy and the transformational effect of digital innovation on consumers and throughout China’s economy and society. The ‘platform of platforms’ created by leading firms is critical in China’s digital infrastructure, and the user d...
Chapter
This chapter analyses the different institutional logics surrounding China’s innovation machine, including the ‘visible hand’ of the state and ‘invisible hand’ of the market. The idea of innovation in China resulting from centralized decisions in government is shown to be a myth; instead, it results from the interaction of initial bottom-up innovat...
Chapter
This chapter shows how much China caught up in the global innovation race, using international indices of innovation performance, and data on R&D expenditures, higher education, scientific outputs, and patents. Frameworks such as ‘windows of opportunity’ are used to explore how China catches up in innovation and is changing policies from importing...
Book
China’s extraordinary economic development is explained in large part by the way it innovates. This book explains how it innovates, which has important implications not only for China but also for the rest of the world. Contrary to widely held views, China’s innovation machine is not created and controlled by an all-powerful government. Instead, it...
Chapter
This chapter examines the growth of technology entrepreneurship in China. Compared to other professions such as public service or academia, entrepreneurship was not regarded highly in Chinese culture and was banned in the Mao era as ‘walking on the road of capitalism’. It has now become a key element of China’s innovation machine, and being an entr...
Chapter
This chapter demonstrates the importance of manufacturing in China’s innovation machine. It explains the history of China’s industrialization and how it overcame early challenges to become the ‘world’s factory’. It argues that China has since progressed to become the ‘world’s workshop’, with the capability and capacity to translating complex design...
Article
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This paper sheds fresh light on our 2010 paper How Open Is Innovation by taking into consideration notable developments in innovation over the last decade. The original paper developed four types of openness: sourcing, acquiring, selling, and revealing. Reflecting on important technological, organizational, and societal changes in the past decade,...
Chapter
This chapter examines the close relationships between philanthropy and innovation. A case study of philanthropy improving eyesight in Africa is provided. The crucial impact of philanthropy on science and universities is discussed. A case study of how philanthropy fundamentally changed Queensland University is provided. The intimate relationship bet...
Chapter
This chapter defines philanthropy and explains why it is so important and controversial. It explains its connections with innovation and entrepreneurship. Philanthropy is defined by its function, form and source. A brief history of philanthropy is provided, including in the USA, UK, China and Germany. The extent of philanthropic giving is described...
Chapter
This chapter analyses the governance of philanthropy: how philanthropic giving is managed and structured. It describes the difficulties in giving effectively and efficiently. The central role of, and challenges faced by, foundations are outlined. A case study of philanthropy improving children’s numeracy in Africa is provided. Corporate philanthrop...
Chapter
This chapter explores the motivations and personalities of philanthropists, analysing the question of why they give. Numerous examples of wealthy donors are discussed. A novel analysis of the Giving Pledge is provided. The importance of religion is considered. The debate over the importance of tax incentives for encouraging philanthropy is outlined...
Chapter
This chapter reflects on the controversies and challenges of philanthropy. It addresses the issues of the application of new technologies to philanthropy, such as AI, blockchains and cryptocurrencies. It considers new metrics and tools for assessing the impact of philanthropy. The importance of government and regulation is discussed. The manner in...
Book
“Much of the adventure in science is supported by philanthropy. This book explains the important connections between philanthropy, innovation and entrepreneurship.” —Professor Stephen Caddick, Director of Innovation, Wellcome Trust. “At its most effective, philanthropy needs to be risk-taking, entrepreneurial and catalytic. This book clearly demons...
Article
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This paper analyzes the strategies by which Huawei, one of China’s few privately-owned multinational firms, responded to various windows of opportunity as technology, policy and demand changed during the evolution of the telecommunication industry between the late 1980s and 2014. Based on a historical longitudinal analysis, our in-depth case study...
Article
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Using Huawei as an example, this paper analyses the catch-up process of latecomers from emerging markets during their transition towards global technological frontiers. We designed innovative indicators using USPTO patent data and used them to measure Huawei's catch-up in an established and an emerging technology field. We measure overall innovatio...
Article
Although real options generally occur within portfolios, most valuation approaches based on either option pricing or decision analysis alone focus on single well-defined options. In this paper we present a new approach for modelling and approximating the value of portfolios of interdependent real options using both influence diagrams and simulation...
Chapter
‘Thomas Edison’s organizational genius’ uses examples of Thomas Edison’s work to show how he pioneered a highly structured way of organizing innovation. He developed the phonograph, electric light bulb, and electrical power distribution, and improved the telephone, telegraph, and motion picture technology, as well as founding numerous companies, in...
Chapter
‘London’s wobbly bridge: learning from failure’ considers the ways in which much progress in science, engineering, and innovation is built upon failure. It is because of risks and uncertainties that there is so much failure in innovation; however failures provide valuable opportunities for future improvements. Innovation encourages organizational a...
Chapter
Innovation usually involves the combination of ideas derived from many different places. Innovation is also affected by wider social, cultural, political, and economic factors. These include contributions made by cities and regions, government policies, and the ‘systems of innovation’ organizations belong and contribute to. ‘Stephanie Kwolek’s new...
Chapter
‘Josiah Wedgwood: the world’s greatest innovator’ looks at the important contribution made by a Staffordshire potter to an improved quality of life and work in the society in which he lived. Josiah Wedgwood (1730–95) was a product innovator, constantly searching for innovation in the materials he used and design forms of his pottery, seeking out co...
Chapter
‘Joseph Schumpeter’s gales of creative destruction’ shows how innovation is creative and beneficial—bringing new industries, wealth, and employment—and also destructive of some established firms, many products and jobs, and the dreams of failed entrepreneurs. Innovation is essential for competitive survival. Most innovations are incremental improve...
Chapter
The challenges and opportunities for innovation are immense. As well as creating new sources of wealth, innovation is essential if we are to cope with climate change, provide better water and food, improve health and education, and produce energy sustainably. The keys to future innovativeness lie in an organization’s ability to foster creativity an...
Article
The £14·8 billion Crossrail project to deliver the Elizabeth line east–west railway across London has pioneered the development of a systematic programme approach to innovation. Previous papers have focused on the early stages of setting up Crossrail’s innovation programme – known as Innovate18 – and implementing it as a credible component of the d...
Article
One challenge for firms seeking to develop new services is to understand the conditions likely to affect the rates of adoption. Understanding relative degrees of ‘adoption readiness’ provides innovators with information to choose market segments and indicates opportunities to influence adoption environments. However, there is a little research into...
Article
Whereas existing approaches and empirical studies of dynamic capabilities focus on the strategic innovation activities of firms (i.e., permanent organizations executing multiple projects and programs), this article identifies how certain types of dynamic capabilities are required to deliver large, complex, and risky projects involving multiple part...
Article
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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...
Article
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This paper describes how the £14·8 billion Crossrail project in London, UK developed and implemented an innovation strategy to support the delivery of the project. The strategy was designed to encourage the supply chain to develop and apply genuinely beneficial new products, processes and services − then to ensure these were shared throughout the p...
Conference Paper
Massive capital investment is required into both existing and new urban infrastructures in order to address the historically unprecedented challenges faced by many cities around the world. However, traditional methods of appraisal and evaluation are widely regarded as inadequate since they do not correctly take into account the various sources of u...
Article
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Editor's note: This editorial is part of a series written by editors and co-authored with a senior executive, thought leader, or scholar from a different field to explore new content areas and grand challenges with the goal of expanding the scope, interestingness, and relevance of the work presented in the Academy of Management Journal. The princip...
Conference Paper
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To date, only a handful of studies have attempted to investigate changes in the interactions between Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and travel behaviour over time, due to the lack of suitable datasets as well as the rapidly evolving characteristics of the ICT sector. This shortcoming is addressed in this paper by developing a metho...
Article
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Despite considerable efforts to encourage the creation and growth of clusters, there is little systematic attempt to assess their performance. In particular, we have little understanding of whether and how cluster creation initiatives generate an ‘innovation premium’; that is, levels of innovation outputs beyond what would have occurred in the clus...
Article
The ‘variance hypothesis’ predicts that external search breadth will lead to innovation outcomes, but time for search is fixed and cultivating breadth takes time. How does individuals’ external search breadth affect innovation outcomes? We match survey data with complete patent records, to examine the search behaviors of elite experts at one of the...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Digital money has been claimed to have the potential to provide major economic and social benefits, however there is little research into the readiness of countries to adopt digital money. Defined as 'currency exchange by electronic means', we conceptualize digital money as a socio-technical system, and propose a Digital Money Readiness Index. This...
Article
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The use of the term platform has proliferated in management research. However, theoretical work on the concept has lagged behind. We present a systematic review of the platform literature, identifying four distinct streams: organizational platforms, product family platforms, market intermediary platforms, and platform ecosystems. Each of these stre...
Conference Paper
The domain of inquiry of this research is the collection, organization, integration, distribution and consumption of knowledge derived from urban open data, and how it can be best offered to application cities' stakeholders through a software middleware. We argue that the extensive investigation proposed in this research will contribute to a growin...
Article
This paper explores the management of innovation in project-based firms. Our research indicates that the traditional boundary between manufacturing and services is becoming obsolete as new forms of manufacturing emerge to supply physical products packaged together with intangible services. Many complex products are now designed, produced and operat...
Article
This paper suggests that the innovation process has intensified as a result of the application of new digital technologies. These technologies that simulate, model and integrate, intensify the innovation process through facilitating economy of effort and definiteness of aim. Of all the many analytical lenses used to examine innovation, the most val...
Article
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Many solutions to the problems confronting cities involve the integration of systems of systems. The complexity of integrating diverse systems requires approaches that are adaptive and collaborative. This paper argues that these approaches can valuably draw on a range of emerging technologies, such as virtual representations, using the massive incr...
Article
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There is increasing recognition by researchers, businesses, and policymakers of the value of integrating the systems of systems of which cities are comprised. It is less clear how this can be achieved, in practice, from a technical and organizational standpoint. This paper is concerned with one element of this integration, namely, the integration o...
Article
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This paper addresses the impact of building regulations on constraints and drivers for innovation. It seeks to clarify whether a supposed shift from prescriptive to performance-based regulations has improved the environment for technical innovation in energy efficient housing in Britain. We argue that when ‘performance-based’ building regulations a...
Article
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This paper aims to contribute to understanding of how organizations respond to risk and uncertainty by combining and balancing routines and innovation. It shows how approaches to risk and uncertainty are shaped by the contractual framework in large multi-party projects. The paper addresses a gap in the literature on how risk and uncertainty is mana...
Article
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Megaprojects require investment of $1bn or more to build infrastructure, usually involving a complex system of production consisting of discrete, routine, and highvolume repetitive processes. Many of these processes can be progressively standardized and replicated to improve overall productive performance. This article presents the findings of rese...
Article
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While construction is often seen as a low-technology sector, it has witnessed substantial changes in practices, processes, technology and performance over the past 20 years. Understanding the sources of these changes is important for innovation strategy and policy to improve performance within the sector, and because it produces the capital goods—b...
Article
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This paper addresses the relationships between creativity, innovation and organization by drawing on theories of play and examining their significance for the use of new innovation technologies in IBM. It contends that by doing so it deepens our understanding of the emerging role of technology in facilitating innovation in the under-researched serv...
Article
Interorganizational projects can provide a vehicle for innovation, despite the professional and organizational barriers that confront this form of organizing. The case of fire engineering shows how such projects use simulation technology as a boundary object to foster innovation in a new organizational field. Engineers use simulation technology to...
Article
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The paper focuses on the use of modelling and simulation technology in the design and development of engineering projects. Using case studies, the authors examine the experiences of engineers and designers working with these tools. The paper provides insights into how this technology is reshaping the way engineers work and solve problems. Engineeri...
Article
A new set of technologies is emerging that enables firms to innovate more rapidly, efficiently and accurately than ever before. This 'Innovation Technology' (IvT) includes eScience, virtual reality, simulation and modelling techniques, and rapid prototyping. Indeed, it is possible that it will have as profound an impact on economic growth and socia...
Article
Project-based professional service organisations supply tailored, one-off projects to individual clients. Specific types of client relationships and the non-routine, creative nature of work combine to make management of these businesses particularly demanding. A common challenge is managing resources across a fluctuating workload. It is usually ass...
Article
Full-text available
Project-based firms face particular difficulties in managing innovation. This paper builds on the literature on concepts of project-based organisations to develop an approach to innovation management linking work acquisition, execution and learning. The conceptual framework is expressed in diagrammatic form, providing a succinct representation of t...
Article
As with all new ideas, the concept of Open Innovation requires extensive empirical investigation, testing and development. This paper analyzes Procter and Gamble's 'Connect and Develop' strategy as a case study of the major organizational and technological changes associated with open innovation. It argues that although some of the organizational c...
Article
This chapter explores the impact of innovation technologies such as simulation, modelling, and rapid prototyping on engineering practice. Innovation technologies help redefine the role of engineers in the innovation process, creating a new division of innovative labour both with and across organizations. This chapter also explores the boundaries of...
Article
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Abstract. Analysis of human adaptation to climate change should be based on realistic models of adaptive behaviour at the level of organisations and individuals. The paper sets out a framework for analysing adaptation to the direct and indirect impacts of climate change in business organisations with new evidence presented from empirical research i...
Article
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This paper examines how over the past decade BAA - a major clients and project management organisation implemented a strategic programme of capability building to improve the management of projects at Heathrow airport. These range from the routine capital projects to a one-off mega-project - Terminal 5 (T5). The paper concentrates on the learning g...
Article
Project-based professional service organisations supply tailored, one-off projects to individual clients. Specific types of client relationships and the non-routine, creative nature of work combine to make management of these businesses particularly demanding. A common challenge is managing resources across a fluctuating workload. It is usually ass...
Article
Full-text available
It has recently been suggested that the future of the construction industry lies in adopting a new business model based on the concept of integrated solutions. Integrated solutions are combinations of products and services that address a customer's unique requirements throughout the life cycle, from development and design to systems integration, op...
Article
This paper extends theoretical and empirical debates on knowledge transfer practices in geographically dispersed project teams using a range of communications media. It presents quantitative data comparing work interactions between dispersed and co-located teams in five international, project-based firms. It shows that contrary to conventional wisd...
Article
This paper examines how suppliers of complex capital goods are moving into the provision of integrated solutions – unique combinations of products and services that address a customer’s specific business problems. Integrated solutions providers need to develop or acquire new capabilities as they shift from being product- or service-centric to custo...
Article
Many businesses organise activities as projects when they need to coordinate loose networks of individuals and firms in order to complete specific, discrete tasks. Some use research and development (R&D) and technical support functions for problem-solving on projects. Yet firms working in this mode rarely have the opportunity to translate lessons f...