Project

TBRP: Theory Building Research Programme

Goal: www.tbrp.aau.dk - TBRP serves as a platform that brings together international scholars passionate about theory building and theorising. TBRP is also a lovely hub that facilitates cross-disciplinary training and research, as well as much needed conceptual and methodological pluralism.

Methods: Ethnography, Grounded Theory, Theory Building, Substantive coding, Case study, Theoretical coding, Theory of Science

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Nikhilesh Dholakia
added an update
Blog post "What is Grounded Theory?", from the blog site at Hanken b-school, in Helsinki, Finland...
 
Nikhilesh Dholakia
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A paper of interest... full text available at RG:
 
Romeo V. Turcan
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PhD students are welcome to apply for the PhD course on 'Narratives and Discourse Analysis'.
Visit the course page to learn about the course, how to apply and register...
 
Romeo V. Turcan
added a research item
Fintech is an “untilled field” in which the relation between Fintechs and incumbents is yet to be understood. This paper aims to explore this relationship and advance its theoretical and practical understanding. It further contributes toward Fintech paradigm and research domain emergence that both to date remain yet elusive. This paper adopted a multiple-case study strategy for the purpose of theory building. Seven players from the Fintech ecosystem in Quebec (Canada) were selected, representing financial institutions, Fintech start-ups and Quebec’s financial cluster. Primary data was collected via in-depth interviews with ten respondents at the level of vice presidents, Managers, directors, chief executive officers and founders, and unobtrusive data – in the form of running records, mass-media news reports, presentations and proceedings from Fintech events. Data analysis was informed by grounded theory methods and techniques. Grounded in data, this paper puts forward a typology of “comfort zoning” and its four types: nimbling, imperiling, cocooning and discomforting. Following the tenets of the grounded theory, four criteria are used to evaluate the emergent theory: fit, relevance, workability and modifiability. It is expected the interpretation and adoption of comfort zoning typology will be challenged, modified and enhanced by Fintech researchers and practitioners. The comfort zoning typology would aid practitioners in their efforts to define and refine the domain of Fintech, problematize it and eventually enhance the relationship between Fintechs. This paper fulfills an identified need to explore the relationship between Fintechs and incumbents and advance the theoretical and practical understanding of this relationship.
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added a research item
Action research has a very limited track record in marketing. We take an applied and practical approach and begin with a review of action research as a method, then turn to a more focused review of action research in marketing contexts, discussing the plausible constraints and advantages. Based on these reviews, we offer a conceptual framework and several application areas for marketing action research. We summarize case study examples from three market locations that have used action research as a method of inquiry to illustrate and encourage researchers and practitioners to further integrate action research in their research endeavors. We conclude with discussions on future research directions.
Romeo V. Turcan
added 2 research items
Authentic leadership is a relatively new phenomenon (see 4.3) and its definition, theoretical, conceptual and empirical evidence are still being contested. Especially in today’s liquid world that is punctuated by numerous authentic leadership crises in all areas of our daily lives such as politics, social, business, science, technology, ethnics, environment and sustainability, health and education. One way to mitigate such crises in today’s liquid times, inter alia, is to acknowledge there is an international need for a quantum increase in authentic leaders. Our Handbook contributes to this agenda.
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added an update
A must -read piece for researchers in this project (and for others):
Article What Theory Is and Can Be: Forms of Theorizing in Organizati...
 
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added an update
Great paper, a model, for those working on theory-building/theorizing issues... in projects under the TBRP umbrella...
Article Composing markets: A framework of intentionality in market-shaping
 
Romeo V. Turcan
added an update
“If you don’t go, you’re missing out on history.” (content creators)
"Overnight, it became a meme."
"By the weekend of the event, TikTok videos with the hashtag #adrianskickback had attracted nearly 280 million views."
"People were posting about flying in from around the country for the event."
"on Friday night, the night before the kickback, around 1,000 people showed up to Huntington Beach looking for a party. The police quickly shut it down, but Mr. Hernandez and Mr. Lopez no longer felt in control."
 
Romeo V. Turcan
added a research item
Understanding how and why bubbles occur as well as whether these could be anticipated, managed, or even prevented is equally important as to know how to recover from them. To address these questions, a model of bubble emergence is put forward. The model builds on two fundamental commonalities that are identified to exist between the Internet and housing market bubbles: uncertainty and sentiments. The iteration between uncertainty and sentiments leads to the emergence of the third commonality: residue. The residue is the difference between the actors' overall sentiment about exaggerated future prospects of a new venture (newness) and intended outcomes of that new venture (newness); the higher the residue, the higher the likelihood of the bubble emergence; as residue increases, the likelihood of bubble burst increases. One question that arises is whether one can manage the hype, hence the residue. In this, it is maintained all boils down to the role pricing plays vis-à-vis the emergence of a new venture (newness) and its perceived value. Being in the midst of the global economic crisis provides us with a unique opportunity to refine the proposed model, especially by understanding its temporal and contextual boundaries.
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added an update
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added an update
TBRP work that Romeo V. Turcan .. and I... have been doing has pointed to historical as well as contemporary instances (and causes/processes) of runaway sentiments and asset bubbles:
The 2020-21 pandemic has made the runaway sentiments go berserk... affecting all manners of "assets"...
 
Romeo V. Turcan
added an update
Another way toward an eventful bubble burst: GameStop Stock Soars as Reddit Investors Take On Wall St. https://nyti.ms/3a7PVuV
 
Nikhilesh Dholakia
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Many researchers (especially with TBRP and LNETN affiliations) use qualitative research methods. Here is advice on how to compose and write up the results of such studies:
 
Nikhilesh Dholakia
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To all ESRs in LNETN project of TBRP... On the USA side, the partner is the University of Rhode Island (URI). On a selective basis, if you need expertise or help in the following areas, please contact me, and I will try to put you in touch with the relevant expert (all at University of Rhode Island, or URI):
[Note: Contact URI faculty for important issues only, very selectively]
Norbert Mundorf .... Communication Studies, Technology, Behavior Change
Ian Reyes .... Communications, Technology and Social Theory
Ruby R Dholakia .... Technology, Household, Organizations & Markets
Hillary A. Leonard ... Consumer Culture, Qualitative Methods
Nikhilesh Dholakia (me)... Innovation Strategy, Technology, Social Theory
 
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added an update
Link:
View from TBRP:
While not a rigorous analytical approach, we reporduce a long quote (below) because this analyst actually attempts to spell out how "runaway sentiments" often work.
Quote:
Bubbles....tend to topple under their own weight as all investors finally hop in, short sellers cover, and the “last buyer has bought (or bought massive amounts of weekly calls),” [analyst David Einhorn] wrote.
“The decline starts and the psychology shifts from greed to complacency to worry to panic,” Einhorn said.
Einhorn pointed to 10 signs that backed up his bubble call. These include, he wrote:
  • an IPO mania;
  • extraordinary valuations and new metrics for valuations;
  • a huge market concentration in a single sector and a few stocks;
  • a second tier of stocks that most people haven’t heard of at S&P 500-type market capitalizations;
  • the more fanciful and distant the narrative, it seems the better the stock performs;
  • outperformance of companies suspected of fraud based on the consensus belief that there is no enforcement risk, without which crime pays;
  • outsized reaction to economically irrelevant stock splits;
  • increased participation of retail investors, who appear focused on the best-performing names;
  • incredible trading volumes in speculative instruments like weekly call options and worthless common stock; and
  • a parabolic ascent toward a top.
 
Romeo V. Turcan
added a research item
This paper employs analytic autoethnography within a previous life in an organization and within social science to explore the emergence of new forms and ways of organizing in a new venture that was launched as a branch in an emerging market by an international non-for-profit organization. It responds to extant scarcity of knowledge about internal organization of entrepreneurial ventures as most of research about internal organization of firms comes from the research on large established organizations. In the early stage of new venture emergence, entrepreneurs shall be aware of the interplay between: understanding the new venture socio-politically and cognitively through unsophisticated uncertainty; timing of acquiring socio-political and cognitive legitimacy through legitimation temporaling; shared and non-shared understanding of the value (problem) of the new venture through disguised and true value theorizing; dependent and independent organization through diversifying funding sources; and headquarters and branch visions and missions through dominant logic crisis.
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added an update
Through the help of TBRP researcher Deleted Profile .... we came across this paper, on the sociology of bubbles:
Of course, we want folks to (re)visit the work on bubbles that came our of TBRP, coauthored by Romeo V. Turcan ... and me:
 
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added an update
Link:
Comments:
The link above is a mere sample of similar observations and data points, appearing with increasing frequency, about the prices of tech stocks and people's behaviors towards such stocks. Since histories of asset bubbles, even painful and ruinous ones, seem to be bent upon repeating... all we can do is point to some of the works that have examined causes and consequences of bubbles:
Deleted publication
 
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added an update
Irrational-Exuberance 2.0: Bubbles that don't burst easily?
Comment:
'Runaway Sentiments' ... under some conditions... may keep on running, and running...
Link:
Excerpts:
[Jonathan] Bell [of Stanhope Capital] pointed out that the so-called “big five” tech stocks already represent around 20% of the U.S. stock market, and given how big the U.S. market is globally, the tech giants amount to 12% of the MSCI World Index.
“You’ve got exuberance on just a very small number of stocks. That’s certainly bubble territory,” Bell added.
“I would be saying to people that this is a bubble-type territory, but it doesn’t mean that it is going to deflate now. What we have seen in the last week or so is only an unwinding of the rise of the previous two weeks,” Stanhope Capital’s Bell said.
....
“These stocks are very stretched to the upside”... “The wind direction just has to change,” [Steve] Massocca [of Wedbush] said.
 
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added an update
News Link:
Quote from News Link:
Being independent, I [writer and financial analyst Nigam Arora] have been able to call a spade a spade — the stock market is in a bubble but the bubble is likely to get bigger. This call is based on macro and fundamentals.
Relevant Research from TBRP:
 
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added an update
Romeo V. Turcan
added an update
Apply now for EU funded support to undertake cutting edge PhD research within an EU-funded Innovative Training Network (ITN) under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) - Legitimation of Newness and Its Impact on EU Agenda for Change (LNETN).
 
Romeo V. Turcan
added 3 research items
This study aims to develop understanding of non-traditional knowledge transfer (KT) activities inside universities. Grounded theory research is undertaken in four universities in the United Kingdom and one in Australia. Coding of the data reveals 26 constructs, which are presented as a conceptual model of knowledge transfer. A number of high leverage enhancements to KT systems are hypothesised; that extensive KT is impossible without comprehensive integration into existing systems, that exponentially increasing KT system complexity requires innovative infrastructure, and finally, that entrepreneurialism may only be fostered through the opportunity for individuals to act entrepreneurially.
The main purpose of the paper is to conceptualize the interrelationships between FinTech innovations and the banking sector. Since the presence of online banking has been rapidly evolving in the past years, this paper will provide a specific focus on that promising area of technological developments. To address the purpose of this research, multiple case study methodology is adopted. The companies and respondents are purposefully selected from the Canadian and Danish banking sector. Secondary and primary data in form of semi-structured interviews was collected and analyzed. The findings are discussed following a conceptual framework that consists of four dimensions: (1) Banking sector transformation including public policies and partnerships; (2) Fintech strategic and operational organizational planning; (3) Fintech innovative services in banking and Fintech adoption; and (4) market implementation. Implications for practice and academia are discussed.
This paper aims to contribute towards the advancement of an efficient architecture of a single market for knowledge through the development of an integrative model of knowledge transfer. Within this aim, several points of departure can be singled out. One, the article builds on the call of the European Commission to improve the European market for KT between research institutions and industry. Two, various barriers exist that hinder efficient KT in Europe, especially in transition economies that recently joined the EU where the issues of restructuring higher education, building trust between business and academia, and implementing the respective legislature are enduring. The research objectives were to explore (i) the process of knowledge transfer in universities, including the nature of tensions, obstacles and incentives, (ii) the relationships between key stakeholders in the KT market and (iii) the meaning/reality that is construed as a result of these relationships. To address the above research objectives, grounded theory research was undertaken in four universities in the UK and one in Australia. Coding of the data revealed thirteen constructs, which became the building blocks of the emergent integrative model of knowledge transfer. In an attempt to bring it to a higher level of generalizability, the integrative model of KT is further conceptualized from a ‘sociology of markets’ perspective resulting in an emergent architecture of a single market for knowledge. Future research is called for to test and validate the emergent theories.
Romeo V. Turcan
added a research item
While the problem of legitimacy and legitimation has gained an increasing amount of attention in organizational studies and among business practitioners in general, our understanding of legitimation in the context of early and rapid internationalization remains unsystematic, fragmented and lacking coherence. This hinders cumulative and progressive advancement of our knowledge on the topic. In response to this, the current literature review organizes and synthesizes extant research on legitimacy and legitimation in international entrepreneurship to build a more comprehensive understanding of legitimation strategies and underlying activities that enable legitimation of early and rapidly internationalizing ventures. We achieve this by examining the whole body of international entrepreneurship journal articles, consisting of 978 papers that published over a 30-year period since the inception of international entrepreneurship as a distinct research domain in 1989. Based on the principles of ontological grouping, we categorize and discuss the legitimation activities that emerged during the analysis of the extant literature into four distinct groups. We then discuss the emergent findings in light of current debates in international entrepreneurship and its parent fields, and open up avenues for further research on the topic.
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added a research item
With growth in social media, mobile communications, and location-based services, online transactional spaces are evolving in complex, multidimensional ways. We extend existing ways of doing online ethnography into new directions – to help organizations facing such environments in employing ethnographic methods in adaptive ways. Online transaction and consumption spaces are evolving to become multifaceted, complex, and multimedia spaces. Approaches for online social ethnography need to evolve also. Starting with an evolutionary typology of online consumption and transaction spaces, the paper reviews the existing literatures on online ethnography and identifies the challenges and opportunities to evolve ethnographic approaches. The paper argues that online ethnography should take advantage of the opportunities offered by Web 2.0 and the imminent Web 3.0, and address the challenges it faces. Specifically, the paper proposes new directions for future evolution of online ethnographic methods. The key contributions of this paper are: (1) An evolutional typology of online consumption spaces, (2) A review of existing online ethnographic methods from the perspective of fast-transforming online environments, (3) Proposing of new directions for online ethnographic methods.
Romeo V. Turcan
added a research item
Through business model theoretical lenses, we explore the impact of de-internationalization on firms and their industries and challenges in re-configuring their business models and re-thinking their value propositions in response to de-internationalization. This is a conceptual paper. We put forward a multilevel framework to advance our understanding of this intersection.
Romeo V. Turcan
added an update
Keynes' on panics revived: "Entrants to that contest would choose the most attractive faces from a batch of photographs—with prizes awarded not to those who picked the most attractive by some external standard, but instead to those who chose the faces picked by the greatest number of othercontestants. The outcomes of such a contest did not necessarily depend on the “fundamentals”—that is, individual views regarding the faces. Instead, contestants would be trying to deduce what other contestants would be taking into account about what others were also thinking."
 
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added an update
One of the observations from past and ongoing TBRP work is that bubbles are likely more frequent, more intense....
If there is a new tech bubble... Romeo V. Turcan ... and I are still watching the trends.... it would be quite different than the 1999-2000 'dotcom' tech bubble... see quote below...
Quote: Microsoft and Apple, now worth about $2.1 trillion combined, equal nearly the entire $2.2 trillion market cap of all the companies in the Russell 2000 (RUT) small cap index...
 
Romeo V. Turcan
added a research item
As technological innovations are evolving and globalizing, traditional financial organizations are facing continuously changing patterns, though incentives for financial technology – Fintech – engagement has been rather uncommon in previous decades. This phenomenon conjectures radical transformations within the global financial industry, where Fintech is expected to gain a central position within a decade. Within this scope, we investigate the impact of Fintech on financial ecosystems in the context of the financial ecosystem in Quebec (Canada), employing a multiple-case study research. Primary data was collected at the level of top management and founders via in-depth interviews. Data analysis was informed by grounded theory methods and techniques. Constant iteration between open and theoretical coding led to the discovery of a core variable, comfort zoning. The method of constructing typologies by reduction was employed, generating four types of comfort zoning: nimbling; imperilling; cocooning; and discomforting. Findings on how the diffusion of Fintech innovations affects the financial ecosystem are embedded within the players’ interactions, as openness of Fintechs and financial institutions towards each other holds a central position, creating a mutually supportive, bulletproof ecosystem. Implications for practice and policy as well as suggestions for future international business research are discussed.
Romeo V. Turcan
added a research item
Through business model theoretical lenses, we explore challenges universities face in their pursuit of advanced internationalization into foreign markets. This is a conceptual paper. Based on theoretical and empirical insights we conjecture that advanced internationalization of universities is unethical, calling for a revision of business model theory to incorporate ethics.
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added an update
Quotes:
… the crypto’s most conspicuous historical analogy is the dot-com bubble of the early 2000-s – and quite understandably so. There is almost irresistible temptation to draw parallels between the burst of the booming market that emerged around early applications of a disruptive communication technology, and the highly volatile market that emerged around the blockchain ecosystem.
……
Indeed, the dot-com bubble and the hypothetical crypto bubble share many striking commonalities, from powerful waves of irrational exuberance fueling their explosive growth to grandiose disruptive promise of their underlying technologies to trend lines describing the dynamics of their capitalization.
……
One thing to bear in mind is a number of important features that are still different between the two sets of circumstances. The most obvious one to look at is the size of the market, even though the relevance of this metric is debatable: whereas the Nasdaq Composite index amounted to six trillion dollars on its brightest day, the crypto market’s high-water mark is around half a trillion. At least we can rest assured that the damage to the overall economy in the case of collapse would be less dramatic than eighteen years ago.
……
A more consequential variable might be the pace at which the markets move. According to the same analysis by Morgan Stanley, in blockchain industry things happen 15 times faster than in the early internet sector.
……
According to a radical viewpoint, nearly every market is a bubble, and a market’s progression is just a sequence of inflations and pops. The general sentiment among crypto stakeholders seems to be that the price drop is unavoidable at some point, and many of the less viable projects will have to go. Further still, even the stock market frenzy around potentially disruptive technologies might be viewed as an unlikely means of accomplishing a greater good, opening up the floodgates of capital for industries would otherwise seem too novel and risky: “Nothing important has ever been built without irrational exuberance.”
Link:
 
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added an update
The Coming ‘Everything Bubble’?
After the Dotcom Bubble of 2000 and the Housing Bubble of 2008, the U.S. economy is now headed for the Everything Bubble. This coming bubble, according to this analyst, consists of the artificially bloated wealth of the top few deciles of the American households. This bubble-wealth comes from owning stocks and shares that have shot up way past any reasonable level (as well as housing prices, in some locations), in terms of valuations. The crash – when this bubble bursts – will be devastating, precisely because prices of almost all assets will collapse.
Link:
 
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added a research item
Purpose – Drawing inspiration from the 1910 book Finanzkapital by Rudolf Hilferding, this paper seeks to explore the nature of financial capital in the early twenty‐first century from a political‐economic and culture theory perspective. It aims to offer suggestions for transcending the crises‐prone contemporary economic systems. Design/methodology/approach – The paper reconceptualises the notions of Finanzkapital in the contemporary context, drawing selective evidence from current and twentieth century economic and business history. Findings – The nature of contemporaneous Finanzkapital is elaborated by presenting seven “theses” that probe the nature of Finanzkapital prior to, during, and after the Great Recession of 2007‐9. Originality/value – Through succinct articulation of the major characteristics of contemporary Finanzkapital, the paper suggests some ways to resist and transcend politico‐economic and business systems based on massive but quicksand‐like foundations of financial capital.
Romeo V. Turcan
added an update
DBA VIVA: Congratulations to Carsten Wehrmann of Tchibo GmbH who successfully defended his DBA thesis at University of Gloucestershire, UK.
Supervised by: @Romeo V. Turcan (main) and @Elke Pioch (second)
The examination committee: Emeritus Professor Hamid Moini of University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (external) and Dr Xiaoling Hu of University of Goucestershire (internal).
 
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added an update
Too Big to Fail.. Too Glib to Illuminate
The author of this NYT commentary on the 10-year anniversary of the 2007-2008 financial crisis is the award-winning author of the book Too Big to Fail. In this commentary, he brings in a variety of scholarly viewpoints on the causes and aftermath of such crises. But he fails to get to the core issue of how and why Finanzkapital – driven by the in-built accumulation imperative – would inevitably stumble into new crises. Unless well-informed people, such as this commentator, come to terms with the fundamental nature of Finanzkapital, there is not much hope of extricating our global economy and society from the webs of crises.
 
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added an update
The journal RAE from Brazil brought out a special issue relevant to theory building in Sep-2017. Here is the introduction to that special issue, by Maria Jose Tonelli and her colleague:
 
Romeo V. Turcan
added 2 research items
Turcan addresses one of the enduring questions in sociology of knowledge: how is it possible that subjective meanings become objective facticities? Turcan adopts this question to understand the entrepreneurship phenomenon, more specifically, how new business or venture ideas and new sectors or industries (as subjective meanings) are legitimated and institutionalized (become socially established as reality). The author builds on Berger and Luckmann’s work and suggests an alternative order objectivation of meaning to understand the entrepreneurship phenomenon. Turcan conjectures considering legitimation as a first-order objectivation of meaning, whereas institutionalization constitutes a second-order objectivation of meaning when researching entrepreneurship. Turcan introduces the legitimation typology to frame the discussion around the process of creation, legitimation, and institutionalization of newness. The author concludes the chapter by proposing a grand theory of legitimation.
Turcan and Fraser introduce the reader to the handbook. It is the first attempt to discuss and advance entrepreneurship field from multi-disciplinary perspectives. The authors invited original contributions from authors, who are experts in their own fields, to provide state-of-the-art insights from their own discipline and explore how these insights might help generate new areas for research, new theories and concepts, and new questions for policy debates—all aimed to advance the entrepreneurship field in the years to come. Turcan and Fraser consider this collection of original chapters in the handbook as a catalyst for an inter-, cross-, and multi-disciplinary dialogue between myriad of perspectives from humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, medical sciences, and technology and production sciences, and entrepreneurship.
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added an update
In my writings, some independently and others in collaboration with Romeo V. Turcan and Anil Pandya, the phenomena and processes of finance-driven inflation (and then bursting) of bubbles have been discussed.
In all cases – dotcom, subprime, and more – Finanzkapital needs a category in which money can be poured in, to create and inflate a bubble. Of course, from the Finanzkapital angle, the search is always on for such bubble-categories.
Well, the latest such category, according to this commentator, writing for the New York Times, is the petroleum-fracking industry. As she describes it, there are all the elements of creating speculative bubbles – a popular public rhetoric, highly risky investments, quick and lucrative early returns, then diminishing (and, as this commentator implies, collapsing) returns.
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[Long Excerpt]
It’s all a bit reminiscent of the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s, when internet companies were valued on the number of eyeballs they attracted, not on the profits they were likely to make. As long as investors were willing to believe that profits were coming, it all worked — until it didn’t.
These days, the rhetoric of “energy independence,” meaning an America that no longer depends on anyone else for its oil, not even Saudi Arabia or OPEC, is in perfect harmony with “Make America Great Again.” But rhetoric doesn’t produce profits, and most things that are economically unsustainable, from money-losing dot-coms to subprime mortgages, eventually come to a bitter end.
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Link:
 
Romeo V. Turcan
added a research item
This paper explores how new product concepts emerge and how development teams adapt, modify these concepts that emerge in the context of uncertainty. Specifically, it studies how cross-functional product development teams elaborate and define new product concepts under uncertainty that are based on fundamentally new technologies within a globally operating In-Vitro Diagnostics corporation. An inductive single-case study design with two embedded cases within an In-Vitro Diagnostics Corporation is employed to study this phenomenon. A wide range of primary and secondary data was collected. Data collection and analysis within and across the embedded cases were informed by grounded theory methods and techniques. Data analysis led to the emergence of scoping as a core variable to explain the emergence of new product concepts under uncertainty. It builds on contextual and temporaling sub-core variables, each having two dimensions, respectively: resource efficacy and context interpreting efficacy, and exploring and normalizing.
Romeo V. Turcan
added 3 research items
The paper focuses on legitimation and legitimation strategies applied by companies. Following the process of systematic review, we analyse empirical studies exploring legitimation and legitimation strategies from different theoretical perspectives. Using the key findings by reconnoitering and comparing the theoretical background, approaches, methodologies and findings of these empirical studies, we outline potential directions for research in the legitimation strategies of firms engaged in international business operations.
This paper explores external and internal critical incidents that shape the emergence of new forms and ways of organizing in a new venture that was launched in an emerging market by an international new non-for-profit organization. The paper responds to extant criticism that most of the knowledge about the internal organization of firms comes from the research on large established organizations and that the research aimed to understand internal organization of entrepreneurial ventures is scarce. Theoretically the paper is grounded within legitimation and dynamic capability theories of the firm. Although the research on legitimation of INVs is emerging, it is yet to form a central line of enquiry in the context of such new, international entrepreneurial ventures. This paper aims to contribute to this development. Autoethnography is employed as an approach to address the above questions and concerns. The author of this paper was hired as CEO in September 2005 by INV-NGO to start-up, grow and lead its branch in an emerging market. The events and incidents occurred between 2005 and 2009. The approach of narrating organization is employed to present, analyze and interpret the data. A number of theoretical insights, conjectures emerged as a result of the analysis of new forms and ways of organizing at personal, venture, and industry levels through the lenses of legitimation and dynamic capability theories of the firm.
Romeo V. Turcan
added a research item
In this paper I discuss the phenomenon of legitimation introducing a number of factors that contribute to legitimation of artifacts and behavior. These include: uncertainty, latent and manifest functions and ignorance. The combination of these factors highlight the major concerns artifacts and/or behaviors have within their own structures suggesting four types of legitimation. Together with their internal and external dimensions, the proposed four types of legitimation contribute to the development of a grand theory of legitimation.
Romeo V. Turcan
added a research item
This paper introduces and discusses the concept of turning points from the ontological, epistemological, and methodological perspectives, applying it to the de-internationalization phenomenon to exemplify its deployment. As a concept that adds to the variance and complexity of the international business and management field, the turning point is seen as a valuable unit of analysis within the research field. It is expected that this paper will encourage a dynamic scholarly conversation about the concept of turning point and how it can aid international business researchers in the development of a generalizable international business and management theory.
Romeo V. Turcan
added a research item
Through business model theoretical lenses, we explore in this paper issues and challenges universities face in their pursuit of advanced internationalization entries into foreign markets. The context of this paper is defined by universities from developed countries entering developing or emerging countries via foreign direct investment entry modes, such as joint ventures, acquisitions, green field or brown field investments. This is a theoretical paper. We draw on a number of sources of data to conceptualise issues and challenges universities face in their pursuit of advanced internationalization entries into foreign markets. First, we build on university autonomy, international business and business model theories to conceptualise the phenomenon of interest. Second, we analyse publicly available data, anecdotal evidence where the phenomenon we study is explicitly observable. The above theoretical as well as empirical insights led us to conjecture that advanced internationalization of universities is unethical. We see our conjecture as a warning for those universities that wish to pursue advance internationalisation business model into developing countries. As current noise from the field suggests, neither our conjecture nor the above insights will however refrain universities from developed countries to continue ‘jumping and riding the bandwagon’ of advanced internationalization into the emerging, developing countries. In this case, our theoretical and empirical insights could offer number pointers to consider before deciding to pursue advanced internationalisation as well as to aid decision makers in designing a respective advanced internationalisation business model.
Romeo V. Turcan
added a research item
This is a Teaching Note (product number: 8B17M008) for the "Cembrit Holding A/S: At the Crossroads" case (product number - 9B17M008) published by Ivey Publishing.
Laufer Romain
added 2 research items
The development of art marketing as a new field of management occurs in a context of great confusion as to what constitutes the very definition of art, one aspect of this confusion being nothing else but the confusion between art and marketing itself. This confusion leads to conflicts between those who consider that art should be defined by a clear aesthetic criterion and those who accept the absence of such a criterion as a legitimate consequence of the principle of freedom which applies both to the creation of the artist and to the taste of the public. This state of confusion does not seem to be experienced in the same way in France where it has tended to be considered as a symptom of crisis in the world of art and in the United States where it has raised as a dominant force in contemporary art. Hence the confusion of art and marketing varies as a function of time (as shown by the emergence of a new field of management) and of space (as shown by the comparison of the French and American cases). It will be proposed that it is possible to account for these historical fluctuation thanks to an institutional approach based on the notion of system of legitimacy. We shall propose the essentially dynamic institutional foundations of modernity leading to the proliferation of innovations which consequences are ever more difficult to anticipate as a reason why, in America, philosophers coming from the analytic tradition found it meaningful to address questions such as “What is art” (Arthur Danto) or “When is there art” (Nelson Goodman”) expressing the need to go beyond pragmatism as expressed by John Dewey’s Art as Experience to promote a positive attitude towards contemporary art, while, in France confusion between art and marketing has been commonly considered negatively as the sign of the triumph of the most radical form of rhetoric, i.e. sophism.
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added an update
ISMD-2018 in Moldova is now accepting submissions:
Several tracks offer good theory-building opportunities. Some examples:
Track 1: Late-globalization, Neo-globalization in Post-Brexit, Trumponomics era
Chair: Nikhilesh Dholakia, University of Rhode Island
Track 3: Critical Perspectives of (Post) Development in the Age of Markets
Chair: Fuat Fırat, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Track 4: De-globalization and de-internationalization
Chairs: Michael McDermott, Lancaster University and Romeo V. Turcan, Aalborg University
MGDR, the journal from ISMD, is very open to review theory-building papers that deal with globalization, development and markets:
We hope to see several submissions to ISMD-2018; and selected strong papers sent to MGDR.

 
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added 2 research items
Since 1940, marketing theory has undergone two full transformational turns – managerial and broadening – but a third turn, radical-postmodern, is unfinished. Unready for radical-postmodern renewal, marketing theory revels in self-fuelling spirals of incrementalism. A postcolonial approach – with an ideological reversal that put consumers in the driving seat – may be the way to break the siege of incrementalism.
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added a research item
Drawing inspiration from the 1910 book Finanzkapital by Rudolf Hilferding, this paper explores the nature of financial capital in early 21 st century from a political-economic and culture theory perspective. It offers suggestions for transcending the crises-prone contemporary economic systems. The paper reconceptualises the notions of Finanzkapital in the contemporary context, drawing selective evidence from current and 20 th century economic and business history. The nature of contemporaneous Finanzkapital is elaborated by presenting seven 'theses' that probe the nature of Finanzkapital prior to, during, and after the Great Recession of 2007-9. Through succinct articulation of the major characteristics of contemporary Finanzkapital, the paper suggests some ways to resist and transcend politico-economic and business systems based on massive but quicksand-like foundations of financial capital.
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added a research item
Modern history has been punctuated by bubbles – instances where (for a while) hype outpaces reasonable expectations by wide, and rising, margins. In a broader sense, bubbles are not merely financial phenomena but are market-cultural phenomena, entailing interactions of marketing hype and buyer expectations. This paper is part of an ongoing research stream to develop an interdisciplinary meta-theory of bubbles, relevant to the contemporary era of globalization and rapid, technology-aided communication flows. To develop a more general and multidisciplinary conceptual framework for understanding bubbles, we have ongoing projects looking at bubbles of various types: technological, financial, and cultural. This paper focuses on a particular cultural field where relatively small bubbles may form. Movies represent a good arena to examine cultural bubbles on a scale that is not daunting, and where the hype-hope-hit dynamics can be observed more frequently than in most other settings. We approach this study from a grounded empirical as well as a theoretical angle.
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added a research item
Purpose: Bubbles - technology, stock market, housing, and more - have punctuated modern economic history with some regularity, and seem to be happening with greater frequency in recent periods. Part of the authors' larger work on a meta-theory of bubbles, this paper aims to compare and contrast bubbles in the fields of entertainment, technology, commodities, housing, and stock markets. It seeks to offer a typology of bubbles. Design/methodology/approach: Using the literature on bubbles and related socioeconomic phenomena, and experience-based insights, the paper compares and contrasts bubbles in different fields, to derive inductively a typology of bubbles. Findings: The paper finds six main types of bubbles, ranging from relatively harmless transient and playful bubbles for some movies at one end, to socially dangerous, contagious, irrational and punctured bubbles at the other end, for stock markets or real estate. Practical implications: Understanding the dimensions that lead to bubbles can provide policymakers with some early intervention tools - to prevent dangerous bubbles. Social implications: The insights into dimensions and processes of bubble formation presented provide society with a way to judge actors (businesses, public policymakers) and institutions in terms of their roles in creating or managing bubbles. Originality/value: The main contribution here is the development of two sets of dimensions - the immediate asset-linked dimensions and somewhat removed but even more powerful meta-dimensions - that contribute to the formation or collapse of bubbles.
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added 9 research items
In this chapter, we put forward our grand theory of bubbles that reflects pervasive irrationality, of individuals and markets and builds on three transcending constructs that explain the formation of bubbles regardless of the asset types. These are sentiment-guiding theory, sentiment, and newness of assets. One of our central insights is that during the stage of rapid bubble inflation, there is a tendency to discard sentiment-guiding theories rather than sentiments themselves. To help theorize the emergence of bubbles further, we turn to the concept of turning points, and also introduce a number of constructs such as ignorant belief toward a new asset, subjective probabilities, and illusionary certainty of negotiated mix. We argue in this chapter inter alia that ignorance and illusion of skill are phenomena present not only at the level of individuals, but also at the level of industries, and various private and public institutions for the society as a whole.
In this chapter, we pull together various building blocks of Chapters 2–5 and present an overall model of bubble formation, with special focus on the contagious, irrational, and punctured bubbles of the type that have taken massive economic and social tolls in the twentieth century and that continue to threaten the economic and social well-being of people the world over in the twenty-first century. To illustrate our model of bubble formation, for example how theories behind sentiments were changed in order to justify sticky sentiments, we draw on examples from the dotcom bubble in the United Kingdom and from Nordic Europe—Iceland. To provide a stronger visualization of the model of bubble emergence, we invoke the concept of value-pricing thermometer and introduce our adapted version of the bubble thermometer. To exemplify the bubble thermometer, we explore social processes that attempt to build up movie hype, and their aftermath, and relate such exploration to our emerging interdisciplinary theory of bubbles.
In this chapter we propose a simple yet robust typology of bubbles. Six bubble types are identified and profiled in terms of asset-linked dimensions, and the context-spanning meta-dimensions. These types are transient or playful bubble, inflating bubble, deflating bubble, contagious bubble, irrational bubble, and punctured bubble. While small, playful bubbles are not particularly harmful to overall society or economy where they occur, the large technology and financial bubbles have not only devastating economic impacts but also corrosive social impacts as people lose not only their savings or abodes but also faith in the institutions, private and public, that they have come to trust as protectors of their interests. To illustrate and discuss properties and indicators of these types of bubbles, we developed vignettes that present short overviews of movie, social media, gold, dotcom, and housing bubbles.
Laufer Romain
added a project reference
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added an update
The online journal MGDR and its parent organization ISMD are very excited about the forthcoming ISMD-2018 conference in Moldova:
Conference Link: http://ismd2018.utm.md/
If interested, folks following this project or interested in TBRP in general are encouraged to start a dialogue at the conference website.
Here is a small sampling of some of the tracks, with links to TBRP, being planned at ISMD-2018 in Moldova:
Track 1: Late-globalization, Neo-globalization in Post-Brexit, Trumponomics era
Brexit and the Trump electoral triumph – two major political phenomena of 2016 – are intersecting with the shifting course of globalization. The ISMD online journal MGDR featured some of these issues in a 2017 special issue titled “The Globalization Hiccup”. This track invites papers analyzing and interpreting these late-global and/or neo-global phenomena, especially from the developing-transitioning country perspectives.
Track 10: Bubbles, runaway sentiments and collective behavior
While asset bubbles are seen largely as financial matters, there is evidence that interacting consumer and investor sentiments – individual and collective – shape such bubbles. This track seeks papers that analyze and interpret processes that lead to runaway sentiments, in bubble build up as well as bubble burst and collapse. In particular, the track seeks papers that explore such sentiment-dynamics in globally interconnected settings.
 
Mike Saren
added a research item
To date, the discourse about service dominant (S-D) logic has been largely theoretical, with the main focus on exploring the foundations for an integrating general theory of markets and marketing. Little attention has been given to the role of theorizing, and how empirical evidence can be used to inform the theoretical development. This paper explores the bridging role of middle range theory in this process. First S-D logic is examined as a foundation for general theory. This leads to a discussion about the use of middle range theory to link general theory and empirical findings. The following sections examine the role that contemporary marketing practices (CMP) research plays in providing a bridge between S-D logic and empirical evidence. The paper concludes by considering implications for further research.
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added an update
One of the long-term projects of TBRP is to study the social, cultural, political and institutional processes leading to runaway sentiments and asset bubble formation -- and the personal individual impacts of such processes. The late 2017 and early 2018 period seems to be emerging as a particularly difficult period to study... when everything seems to entering 'bubble' territory, simultaneously.
Related link:
In 2017-2018, is the “everything bubble” forming, and getting ready for a burst? This ex-Lehman person thinks so:
 
Romeo V. Turcan
added a research item
In this inaugural lecture I discuss how we – as Business School, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities and University – can enhance our interdisciplinary research, teaching and knowledge transfer endeavour. This lecture builds on the current challenges in these three areas and inter alia discusses their impact on the AAU PBL model. As the title suggests the lecture has to major components: Sociology of Knowledge and Becoming Context-Free. What the title does not explicitly state, but what glues these two together – and what happens to be my passion – is the notion of ‘newness’. Through my lecture I will argue that ‘becoming context-free’ in pursuit of ‘newness’ is essential in our efforts to enhance our inter-disciplinary research and teaching, innovate our PBL model, excel in knowledge transfer – all aimed at enriching social impact of our academic endeavour. Clearly this is not the only way, but it will definitely contribute to our holistic - interdisciplinary research, teaching and knowledge transfer - academic efforts.
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added an update
Breaking News: A team led by Romeo V. Turcan will host the ISMD-2018 Conference (ISMD is the parent organization of the journal MGDR -- please search 'MGDR journal' to access its content) at the Technical University of Moldova (TUM), July 4- to 6, in Chișinău , the capital of Moldova.
There is a plan to organize one or more special session(s) on Theory Building (in the context of globalization, markets, development) at ISMD-2018.
We request all reading this update message to: (a) Submit paper and session proposals for ISMD-2018; (b) Inform your extensive professional network about the ISMD-2018 venue and dates.
We look forward to a good turnout in Moldova in July 2018.
 
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added an update
Starting from about May-2018 (and earlier, in some instances), people affiliated with TBRP at Aalborg University are aiming to organize or contribute to a number of international meetings:
  • Likely offering of the TBRP theory building doctoral course
  • Exploration of extension of TBRP theory building course to: (a) junior faculty; (b) Asian locations
  • TBRP-oriented sessions at the IBC-2018 conference of Aalborg University
  • TBRP-oriented sessions at the ISMD-2018 conference, most likely at an East European location
  • Contact Romeo V. Turcan for further information on these and other plans
 
Romeo V. Turcan
added 4 research items
Turcan and Gulieva deepen our theoretical understanding of the process of university internationalisation by exploring the relationship between university internationalisation and university autonomy. They conjecture that the process of university internationalisation and its sustainability are determined by the structure and exercise of university autonomy settings at home and in the host countries, and that the process itself cannot be successfully achieved and maintained without changes in the autonomy settings. The key question the authors ask is to what degree universities, in embracing new, dissimilar, and sometimes conflicting dimensions of the financial, legal, organisational, staffing, and academic autonomy of the host country, are compromising key aspects of their own autonomy and core mission?
In this paper, we explore how, why and which structures are consequential to the organization of technology entrepreneurship. Technology entrepreneurship is a relatively unexplored field of research; yet body of research in this promising area of scholarly enquiry, both theoretically and empirically is emerging. Inspired by elements of the Grounded Theory research methods for data collection and data analysis we explore (i) the process of technology entrepreneurship at different levels: university, industry, and government, including the nature of tensions, obstacles and incentives, (ii) the relationships between key stakeholders from these three levels, and (iii) the meaning/reality that is construed by these stakeholders as a result of these relationships. The research was undertaken in four universities in the UK and one in Australia. Coding of the data revealed thirteen constructs, which are presented as an integrative model of technology entrepreneurship. From the emergent model of technology entrepreneurship we move to a higher level of theorizing and develop a framework of the organization of technology entrepreneurship.
In this paper we focus on de-internationalization of universities, aiming to advance our theoretical understanding of university international activities. Internationalization has become an indispensable part of universities’ mission statements and strategic plans. It is practiced in different forms and requires various approaches. Alongside student and staff mobility, universities get also actively involved in cross-border activities, such as licensing, joint ventures and green field investments. These cross-border activities are not without pitfalls however. A large number of universities withdraw from international markets and such cases raise concerns about sustainability of university internationalization. Despite this disconcerting evidence, the research in this area is lacking. To explore how and why university de-internationalize, we employed the concept of de-internationalization as a theoretical lens and reviewed and analyzed available unobtrusive data such as running records as well as episodic and private records. A number of de-internationalization factors emerged: low student enrolment, wrong assumptions, bandwagon effect, staff immobility, lack of adaptability, brand identity, and funding issues. We call for future research in this substantive area, conjecturing that international activity of university and its sustainability is dependent on university institutional autonomy settings at home and in host countries.
Romeo V. Turcan
added an update
Few places available to the TBRP PhD course on "THE PROCESS OF THEORIZING AND THEORY BUILDING IN MANAGEMENT RESEARCH".
Extended deadline for application: March 15, 2017.
The course will take place in May at Aalborg University. Full information about the course: http://www.tbrp.aau.dk/phd-course/
 
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added an update
The "Theory Building Research Program" (TBRP) at Aalborg University, managed by Romeo V. Turcan , has a number of main research areas and themes.
One of them is "Bubbles and Runaway Sentiments", which Romeo and I collaborate in, with the support of others. Our argument has been that bubble indicators entail of course economic factors but also social-sentiment factors.
We recently came across this short, punchy, rather simple financial analyst report that looks at very high-level macro indicators, prior to the 2000 #dotcom bubble (on which Anil Pandya and Nikhilesh Dholakia wrote some papers) and now, circa 2017. It shows, in these macro terms, in USA, a situation that is far more precarious than the pre-dotcom bubble period.
 
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added an update
Roots of applied social science theories can sometimes be traced back by a few millennia... See the works by Laufer Romain (Professor Romain Laufer of HEC-Paris) that trace the connections of current marketing concepts and theories to the age of (and writings of) Sophists in ancient times.
 
Romeo V. Turcan
added a research item
This ethnographic research explores the process of business model design in the context of an NGO internationalizing to an emerging market. It contributes to the business model literature by investigating how this NGO - targeting multiple key stakeholders - was experimenting (1) with value proposition; (2) creating the value/promise; and (3) delivering the value. Theoretically the paper is grounded in the dynamic capability view of the firm providing venues for future research and implications for policy and practice.
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added an update
Romeo V. Turcan and I believe that, in social sciences, and especially applied social sciences, we need to build theories with strong multidisciplinary perspectives. It is particularly important not to chase the "impossible dream of taming ambiguity" via artificial exclusive privileging of fields that seek only precision and strict logic [Sure, these are important, but not exclusively so]...
So, here is a quote (about economics) that is worth pondering about...
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Robert Skidelsky “Economists in Denial”
Quote:
“…efforts to incorporate radical uncertainty into economic models, valiant though they are, suffer from the impossible dream of taming ambiguity with math and… with computer science… Keynes, for his part, didn’t think this way at all. He wanted an economics that would give full scope for judgment, enriched not only by mathematics and statistics, but also by ethics, philosophy, politics, and history – subjects dropped from contemporary economists’ training, leaving a mathematical and computational skeleton. To offer meaningful descriptions of the world, economists, he often said, must be well educated.”
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Nikhilesh Dholakia
added an update
The contents of the book "Toward a Metatheory of Economic Bubbles", authored by Nikhilesh Dholakia and Romeo V. Turcan, are now available in disaggregate, chapter-by-chapter form, via the publisher:
This book represents an example of theory building in a multidisciplinary field of interest.
 
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added an update
Aras Özgün, Nikhilesh Dholakia and Deniz Atik have written the paper “Marketisation and Foucault”, which is forthcoming in a journal. The paper presents a sociologically informed approach to theorizing, and at least the first step in the theory-building process. The authors are not sure of the journal’s access policies, post-publication. The authors would be happy to share pre-publication copy with those interested in this publication.
 
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added 4 research items
In general, it has been recognized in Japan that the university plays three distinct but interrelated roles: education and teaching, research and scholarship, and contribution to regional revitalization. While the first two roles have received considerable attention in Japan, relatively little attention has been given to the third role of the university: the contribution of the university to the revitalization of the region in which the university is located.
Nikhilesh Dholakia
added an update
TBRP is tentatively planning the following in the near future: (1) An article based on the Late Globalization project of TBRP, expected early 2017, in the Open Access online journal MGDR: http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/mgdr/ (2) A course on theory building methods, in early June 2017, in USA (3) Working papers and possibly published papers, based on the Late Globalization work at TBRP, in 2017. Please write to Romeo V. Turcan or Nikhilesh Dholakia if you would like more specifics or working copies.
 
Romeo V. Turcan
added a project goal
www.tbrp.aau.dk - TBRP serves as a platform that brings together international scholars passionate about theory building and theorising. TBRP is also a lovely hub that facilitates cross-disciplinary training and research, as well as much needed conceptual and methodological pluralism.