Biases in the selection stage of bottom-up strategy formulation

ArticleinStrategic Management Journal 34(7):782-799 · July 2013with 232 Reads 
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Abstract
We propose that the failure to adopt an idea or innovation can arise from an in-group bias among employees within an organizational subunit that leads the subunit's members to undervalue systematically ideas associated with members of the organization outside their subunit. Such biases in internal selection processes can stymie organizational adaptation and therefore depress the performance of the firm. Analyzing data on innovation proposals inside a large, multinational consumer goods firm, we find that evaluators are biased in favor of ideas submitted by individuals that work in the same division and facility as they do, particularly when they belong to small or high-status subunits.

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  • ... Integrating these two propositions, the dual-identity literature argues that any potential negative consequences of strong group identification can be compensated by strong organizational identification (Gaertner et al., 1999;Gaertner, Dovidio, & Bachman, 1996). Accordingly, achieving both strong group and organizational identification is considered a "best practice" both in the management literature and practice (Erickson, 2010;Gratton & Erickson, 2007;Reitzig & Sorenson, 2013). ...
    ... These behaviors may orient team members toward perceiving intergroup relations in "us-versus-them" terms (Pettigrew & Tropp, 2006;van Knippenberg, 2003) and may reduce attention to the superordinate strategic priorities that teams ought to share (the "bigger picture"). This behavior has been observed in several strategy process studies (e.g., Balogun, 2006;Balogun & Johnson, 2005;Reitzig & Sorenson, 2013). For example, in a longitudinal, ethnographic study of strategy implementation, Balogun (2006: 37) explains, "Middle manager diaries contained extensive entries on the development of a 'them and us situation' between the Core division and the other two divisions. ...
    ... There has been a clear tendency in management research and practice to view identification as a positive influence (Erickson, 2010;Gratton & Erickson, 2007;Reitzig & Sorenson, 2013). This is not surprising given the large body of work highlighting the positive influence of group identification on group dynamics. ...
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    Implementing strategy demands an organizationwide effort, where teams should not operate in isolation. A challenge many organizations face in implementing their strategy is eradicating silo thinking and creating shared understanding of strategy between interdependent teams—that is, intergroup strategic consensus. However, strategy process research is silent on how such intergroup strategic consensus can emerge. Drawing on social identity theory, we offer a lens to understand what influences the degree of intergroup strategic consensus. We unveil a tension between organizational and group identification such that organizational identification enhances intergroup strategic consensus, whereas group identification reduces it. Moreover, we hypothesize that high group identification crowds out positive effects of organizational identification on intergroup strategic consensus. Data from 451 intergroup relationships between 92 teams within a service organization support these hypotheses. We replicate our results using 191 intergroup relationships between 37 teams from another organization. These results allow us to develop an understanding of intergroup strategic consensus, expand the conversation in strategy process research to between-team interdependencies, and challenge the assumption in management literature and practice that higher identification is always desirable.
  • ... In sum, we apply a social network perspective (Perry-Smith, 2006;Pappas et al., 2007) on the variation-selection-retention (V-S-R) model of the strategy process (Burgelman, 1991;Zollo et al., 2002;Reitzig et al., 2013) to conceptualize the varying effectiveness of openness. Specifically the framework captures how opening strategy through broader inclusion impact individuals' embeddedness in social network structure (network size, structural holes), and the characteristics of their social relationships (strength of ties) and thereby affect strategizing from idea generation, initiative selection to integration and implementation. ...
    ... Hence, an effective strategy process involves ongoing strategic activities such as the creation and identification of new strategic ideas and opportunities, the selection and transformation of ideas into initiatives, and the dissemination and communication of knowledge to create acceptance, establish integration and provide guidance (Floyd et al., 2000). The variation-selection-retention (V-S-R) framework informed by the evolutionary perspective of intra-organizational ecology theory (Campbell, 1965;Burgelman, 1991) therefore proposes that the strategy process comprises three interrelated elements characterized by different activities: generating the necessary range of new strategic ideas (variation), selecting the most appropriate ones through evaluation and legitimization processes (selection), and behavioral processes that encompass the absorption of new approaches into the existing set of routines for execution (retention) (Burgelman, 1991;Floyd et al., 1999;Zollo et al., 2002;Pappas et al., 2007;Reitzig et al., 2013). Each of these elements involves different social processes and successions of social interactions inherent in activities such a knowledge sharing, decision-making, information transfer, integration and adaption (Pappas et al., 2007). ...
    ... But as the process of selecting and deciding on ideas is typically dominated by a relatively small group of experts within firms, this brings significant biases to evaluation (Reitzig et al., 2013). ...
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    Purpose: While strategy was traditionally perceived as exclusive, and limited to small groups within organizations, recently a shift toward greater openness through inclusion of a larger number and variety of actors is emerging. The purpose of this paper is to adopt a social network perspective to develop a theoretical framework on how this increased openness has a varying impact in the different phases of the strategy process. Design/methodology/approach: The author suggests that the strategy process is shaped through social interactions between individuals. Specifically the author conceptualizes how introducing openness affects individuals’ structural and relational characteristics, which impact generating new strategic ideas (variation), and selecting (selection), and integrating them into the existing set of routines (retention). Findings: The framework shows that benefits and costs of increased openness balance differently. While substantial benefits may be realized in the idea generation phase, costs may outweigh the benefits in the selection and retention phase. Practical implications: Based on the framework, implications can be drawn on how openness should be introduced in the different phases of the strategy process. Specifically the author discusses appropriate open strategy tools based on social technologies, which organizations can use to benefit from openness in the different stages. Originality/value: Open strategy is a newly emerging phenomenon, which seems to fundamentally change the strategist’s work. More open, inclusive ways of strategizing offer new benefits but also create costs in the strategy process. This paper deepens the theoretical understanding of the consequences of openness in the strategy process.
  • ... For example, conceptual work on CEO overconfidence has wondered whether the same CEOs may make less trait-dependent decisions in less-intense task environments (Hambrick, Finkelstein, & Mooney, 2005) or whether becoming the CEO leads to overconfidence biases in the first place. And with respect to the ideation process, both Reitzig and Sorenson (2013), and Criscuolo, Alexy, Sharapov, and Salter (2019) show that idea evaluators display varying biases conditional on the original source of the idea. ...
    ... Relatedly, we view our account as a complementary explanation for idea-related biases reported in the literature. For example, Reitzig and Sorenson (2013) document how middle managers' identity concerns lead them to be biased favorably in their evaluation of ideas from their unit. To their account, we add how it may also be managers' role identity (which is likely more salient when they see ideas from their own subunit, but not from others), rather than their group identity, which leads them to make overly optimistic value forecasts. ...
    ... Second, we contribute to the innovation literature on value assessments and value predictions of inventions (Criscuolo et al., 2019;Ge, Huang, & Png, 2016;Reitzig & Sorenson, 2013). ...
  • ... Embora essa perspectiva da média gerência tenha sido devidamente analisada na revisão de literatura proposta por Wooldridge, Schmid e Floyd (2008), tal linha de estudos continuou a avançar e contribuir com o conhecimento a respeito da influência de tais agentes sobre a estratégia nas organizações (Ahearne, Lam, & Kraus, 2014;Balogun, Bartunek, & Do, 2015;Canales, 2013;Guo, Huy, & Xiao, 2017;Heyden, Fourné, Koene, Werkman, & Ansari, 2017;Mirabeau & Maguire, 2014;Reitzig & Sorenson, 2013;Vuori & Huy, 2016). ...
    ... Não se pode esquecer de certos vieses na atuação desses gestores intermediários em processos de empreendedorismo corporativo. Por exemplo, é notório que avaliadores da média gerência podem favorecer inciativas estratégicas que tiveram origem em suas áreas ou subunidades na estrutura organizacional (Reitzig & Sorenson, 2013). Aspectos como a orientação estratégica da empresa, janelas de oportunidade e disponibilidade de recursos também podem influenciar a atenção da média gerência, fazendo com que tais indivíduos privilegiem oportunidades que estão mais distantes, ou mais próximas, do status quo atual da organização (Ren & Guo, 2011). ...
    ... Cabe salientar a existência de limitações comuns a tais estudos. Por exemplo, boa parte das pesquisas são aplicadas em apenas uma organização, ou em poucas organizações de um mesmo setor, dificultando a generalização dos resultados para outros contextos (De Clercq et al., 2011;Lechner & Floyd, 2012;Mirabeau & Maguire, 2014;Reitzig & Sorenson, 2013). Características importantes sobre as iniciativas estratégicas investigadas nos estudos também são desconsideradas, como a sua qualidade (De Clercq et al., 2011) e formalização (Lechner & Floyd, 2012). ...
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    Resumo Embora exista uma crescente literatura que destaca o papel de indivíduos da média gerência na estratégia, já se passaram cerca de 10 anos desde que ela foi revisada. Este artigo tem o objetivo de analisar essa literatura e sugerir oportunidades futuras. Para tal, foi conduzida uma revisão narrativa envolvendo 63 trabalhos publicados desde 1970, cada qual classificado de acordo com as suas questões de pesquisa, principais variáveis e correntes teóricas. Tais informações foram a base para uma análise de conteúdo por meio da qual foi possível identificar uma nova tipologia com seis categorias centrais de estudos. As categorias descrevem diferentes tipos de envolvimento da média gerência na estratégia, indicando maior diversidade de possíveis caminhos teóricos, metodológicos e contextuais sobre o tema.
  • ... Previous online ideation studies have analyzed various aspects of the decision-making process that are essential for whether a decision is made intuitively or reflectively. They found essential sources of issue-irrelevant information, such as personal distance to authors (Reitzig and Sorenson 2013), a large pool of idea submissions, referred to as crowding (Piezunka and Dahlander 2015), and diverse aspects of community reactions (Magnusson, Wästlund, and Netz 2014;Gatzweiler, Blazevic, and Piller 2017). Overall, literature shows that issue-irrelevant aspects may persuade evaluators towards intuitive decisions and can be expressed in different ways through ideas. ...
    ... The results support the core argument that content scarcity shifts evaluators' decision-making process to intuitive decisions based on issue-irrelevant information. The study contributes to current research in several ways: First, it contributes to a rather new stream in ideation literature about evaluators' biases and ideators' persuasive behavior by introducing content scarcity (Reitzig and Sorenson 2013;Piezunka and Dahlander 2015;Criscuolo et al. 2017). It thereby offers an explanation for crowdsourcing literature's contradictory findings on the impact of issue-irrelevant information on idea selection (Di Gangi and Wasko 2009;Jensen, Hienerth, and Lettl 2014;Piezunka and Dahlander 2015;Recker, Malsbender, and Kohlborn 2016). ...
    ... In such cases, evaluators simply lack time to evaluate reflectively. The similarities between the ideator and the evaluator, such as their age, gender, and language, or their organizational, hierarchical and structural distance, are intuitive aspects that evaluators might then reasonably use to substitute reflective decision making (Reitzig and Sorenson 2013;Antons et al. 2017;Criscuolo et al. 2017;Schweisfurth, Zaggl, and Schöttl 2017;Beretta 2019). Probably for that reason, Beretta (2019) also controls for the ideators' anonymity, which can be regarded as a decisive factor in many of the ideator dimension's persuasive aspects (Hovland, Janis, and Kelly 1953). ...
    Article
    Organizations increasingly use corporate online ideation platforms to foster individual innovativeness. Recent research, however, has shown the downside of such contests—the selection of ideas is not entirely rational. Analyzing the impact of content scarcity, which occurs when ideators provide very little issue‐relevant information when submitting ideas, contributes to this new literature stream. The main argument is that evaluators increasingly rely on heuristics based on issue‐irrelevant information when content scarcity obstructs reflective decision making. The Default‐Interventionist model of decision making in combination with the Yale Attitude Change Approach allows to examine the mechanisms evaluators apply when content scarcity occurs. The hypotheses are tested on an extensive dataset of 3,025 ideas. The results show that content scarcity affects the evaluators’ decision‐making process by preventing them from intervening their first intuitive decision. The scarcer the content of the submitted idea, the stronger the persuasiveness of issue‐irrelevant aspects that affect idea selection: aspects of the ideator, message, and community. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
  • ... By addressing these research questions, this study contributes to research on firm-internal ideation contests. While most studies about online ideation concentrate on external crowdsourcing, relatively few studies investigate firm-internal idea competitions (Beretta, Bj€ ork, and Magnusson, 2017;Bj€ ork and Magnusson, 2009;Reitzig and Sorenson, 2013). Although many mechanisms are similar, those who participate in firminternal contests might interact differently compared to anonymous participants in open crowdsourcing competitions, because the former are colleagues and can share more sensitive information in their idea descriptions and comments. ...
    ... For reasons of confidentiality, collaboration behavior among firm-internal participants can differ in nature from interaction in public crowdsourcing settings. The current study therefore contributes to the much smaller stream of research on firminternal idea competitions (Bj€ ork and Magnusson, 2009;Bj€ ork et al., 2011;Reitzig and Sorenson, 2013) and aims to investigate the influence that different characteristics of user feedback have on idea quality. The investigation is conceptually based on the theory of organizational knowledge networks. ...
    ... Geographical location is also a dummy that distinguishes authors who are based in the firm's home country from authors who are based in other countries. This variable aimed at controlling for cultural differences and geographical proximity during the ideation process, which can impact evaluators during their assessment of idea quality (Reitzig and Sorenson, 2013). ...
    Article
    Social media technologies, which enable interactive feedback during idea generation, can complement existing modes of knowledge exchange in innovation management. Especially large, multinational companies use internal online idea competitions to promote intra-organizational knowledge exchange. Although current studies mainly focus on idea generation through crowdsourcing, little attention has been paid to the effect of online interaction between contributors on idea quality. Building on the organizational knowledge networks theory, this study examines online feedback activities, their contribution to knowledge exchange, and hence, how they increase idea quality. The authors identify three feedback characteristics of online idea generation presumed to affect idea quality: (1) the diversity of commentators (feedback diversity), (2) the extent to which feedback is elaborate and constructive (feedback constructiveness), and (3) the degree of facilitator interaction during idea discussion (feedback integration). This study also investigates how the idea authors' own feedback behavior moderates the relationships between feedback characteristics and idea quality. The results show that all three feedback characteristics relate independently and positively to idea quality. Author feedback shows a positive interaction effect with feedback diversity and a negative interaction effect with feedback constructiveness. The findings suggest that online feedback in idea competitions constitutes an important knowledge exchange process for idea generation. Companies that want to profit from firm-internal idea competitions should actively support online collaboration—for example, through facilitators. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
  • ... The top-down way means that firm leaders direct what to learn, who to learn, and who to teach, featured by task-related training (Dierickx and Cool, 1989). The bottom-up way means that the employees contribute their ideas and expertise to firm operations and send their knowledge toward the firm leaders on their own initiatives, featured by employee participation (Reitzig and Sorenson, 2013). We argue that both kinds of the deployment practices improve employees' human capital and inspire them to apply their human capital and facilitate learning and knowledge sharing among employees (Amabile, 1988;Leonard-Barton, 1992). ...
    ... Employees are immersed in the daily details of particular technologies, products, and markets (Nonaka, 1994) and are in the best position to detect any specific aspects of the firm's operation that can be improved to better serve customers (Burgelman, 1983;Burgelman and Grove, 1996). Welcoming employee participation can encourage more ideas for innovation (Løvås and Ghoshal, 2000;Reitzig and Sorenson, 2013). Such participation can make explicit some implicit knowledge or know-how possessed by employees, contributing to organizational knowledge collection and subsequently to firm innovation (Hall, 1992;Zhou et al., 2008). ...
    ... However, in highly centralized firms, employees' participation tends to be guided to unproductive arenas and is less likely to lead to innovation. Ideas generated from frontline employees through the bottom-up approach may be systemically undervalued by managers (Reitzig and Sorenson, 2013). Based on these arguments, we propose, Hypothesis 3b. ...
    Article
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    We study how firms across different countries and regions deploy human capital for innovation. Based on survey data from 304 manufacturing firms across 13 economies, we find that both task-related training and employee participation improve firm innovation in terms of the commercial success of new product development and the percentage of firm revenue from newly developed products. More importantly, the effects of training on innovation are stronger when firms have a high (rather than low) centralization of authority and when firms are located in fast- (rather than slow-) growing economies; in contrast, the effects of employee participation remain the same across levels of firm centralization and rates of growth in the economy. Our findings contribute to the research on the deployment of human capital in an international context and offer practical implications for global managers.
  • ... Whereas the open innovation paradigm has emphasized the role that external individuals outside the boundaries of firms play in innovation generation and development (Bogers et al., 2017;Piezunka and Dahlander, 2015;Bayus, 2013;Dahlander and Magnusson, 2005;Di Gangi et al., 2010;O'Mahony and Lakhani, 2011), internal crowdsourcing emphasizes employees as the main source of ideation and innovation (Malhotra et al., 2017). Especially in large organizations, internal crowdsourcing can be used as a fruitful means to leverage the innovation potential of employees, allowing them to collectively contribute with their ideas and knowledge (Bjelland and Wood, 2008;Kijkuit and van den Ende, 2010;Bayus, 2013;Reitzig and Sorenson, 2013;Malhotra et al., 2017). ...
    ... Moreover, for employees participating in internal crowdsourcing activities, the expectation from colleagues and managers to actively contribute with ideas and feedback arguably competes with the need to perform other work activities, and thus creates a potential attention problem. Seen through the lens of attention theory, it becomes possible to explain why certain ideas and innovations are more likely to be successful in internal crowdsourcing in terms of patterns of attention allocation in crowdsourcing sessions (Zhu et al., 2017;Reitzig and Sorenson, 2013;Afuah and Tucci, 2012;Jeppesen and Lakhani, 2010). As the basic aim of internal crowdsourcing is to generate innovation ideas in an effective and efficient way, an improved understanding of factors influencing the survival of ideas is of value for both innovation research and practice. ...
    ... Research has shown that idea success is related to how employees allocate their attention to certain ideas in the crowd. In particular, the number of comments and suggestions may be interpreted by employees as a signal of the high potential that ideas have in the crowd (Reitzig and Sorenson, 2013). A study conducted by (Di Gangi and Wasko, 2009) found that ideas that received more votes were more likely to be implemented by the company. ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    This paper analyzes how the distribution and structure of employees’ attention influence idea survival in an organizational internal crowdsourcing session. Data from an online internal crowdsourcing session carried out within a multinational company with headquarters in Sweden were used to explore how idea attention influenced idea survival. Our findings indicate that the positive relationship between attention allocation and idea survival is mediated by idea appreciation, i.e. positive comments and suggestions that employees provide in response to ideas. In addition, we find that competition for attention negatively moderates the relationship between idea attention and positive comments. Finally, our results indicate that ideas are more likely to survive if they are submitted earlier in the crowdsourcing process and when the elapsed time since previously posted ideas in the session is longer. This study provides organizers of internal crowdsourcing sessions with new insights about factors influencing idea survival and about potential systematic biases in idea selection due to timing and competition between ideas. This paper contributes to the literature highlighting the relevance of attention-based theory in the context of crowd-based creativity and innovation management.
  • ... In order to ensure the selection of ideas with the greatest potential, the evaluators need to make reflective instead of intuitive decisions. Decisive for whether a reflective process is initiated at all within evaluators is, on the one hand, its cognitive capacity, such as motivation and expertise (Reitzig and Sorenson 2013;Criscuolo et al. 2017), as well as cognitive strain, such as the time available for evaluation (Piezunka and Dahlander 2015;Criscuolo et al. 2017). On the other hand, also the available information about the ideas plays a significant role (Di Gangi, Wasko, and Hooker 2010;Evans 2011;Young et al. 2012;Beretta 2019). ...
    ... Especially the idea selection is a major challenge, as many factors like the evaluators' lack of motivation (Reitzig and Sorenson 2013), time (Piezunka and Dahlander 2015;Criscuolo et al. 2017), and expertise (Criscuolo et al. 2017) can negatively affect it. The less potential the selected ideas have, the more limited the incubator is in its promotion possibilities. ...
    ... The results support the core argument that content scarcity shifts evaluators' decision-making process to intuitive decisions based on issue-irrelevant information. The study contributes to current research in several ways: First, it contributes to a rather new stream in ideation literature about evaluators' biases and ideators' persuasive behavior by introducing content scarcity (Reitzig and Sorenson 2013;Piezunka and Dahlander 2015;Criscuolo et al. 2017). It thereby offers an explanation for crowdsourcing literature's contradictory findings on the impact of issue-irrelevant information on idea selection (Di Gangi and Wasko 2009;Jensen, Hienerth, and Lettl 2014;Piezunka and Dahlander 2015;Recker, Malsbender, and Kohlborn 2016). ...
    Book
    Companies in a wide range of industries increasingly build corporate incubators to meet the growing challenge of exploration and innovation while remaining efficient and productive on existing products. Particularly important for these incubators is ensuring and maintaining the relationship with the hosting company without compromising the incubator’s exploration capabilities, which is a particular challenge, owing to the structural separation of the two entities. As a result, incubators try not only to achieve the highest possible benefit for the hosting company through a wide variety of objectives and strategies, but also through a combination of different activities, which has led to a myriad of different incubation concepts. In addition to the promotion of business model innovations and the maximization of revenues, the activities mainly serve the exchange of knowledge and values, as well as the promotion of innovation behavior and the hosting company’s innovation culture and climate. All these activities are of the greatest relevance for the success of corporate incubators, but they involve many risks, causing a large number of corporate incubators to shut down or restructure continuously. In particular, researchers have, thus far, hardly investigated the activities directly aimed at the hosting company, such as knowledge and value exchange, the stimulation of innovation behavior, and the improvement of the innovation culture and climate. Especially lacking is a comprehensive classification of corporate incubators according to their different goals and strategies, such that scholars can compare them from a research perspective. It is not clear how incubators can find and promote ideas and select those with the most potential. In this context, there has been insufficient research into innovation platforms in particular how to stimulate innovation behavior. Moreover, it is not clear how a cultural change in the hosting company could materialize if its supervisors do not support it. This dissertation contributes to close these research gaps by analyzing corporate incubators’ most essential activities from a postpositivist perspective. Using three different data sets on individual, group, and incubator level including platform, longitudinal, multi-level, as well as quantitative and qualitative data, this dissertation contributes to the understanding of, first, what constitutes corporate incubators and their performance, second, how corporate incubators affect employees’ motivational processes and their subsequent innovative behavior, third, how corporate incubators can support idea generation and reflective idea selection processes, and fourth, how corporate incubators contribute to a behavioral change of innovation climate. This dissertation’s overall findings, moreover, lead to a generic model of centralized incubation. Its effects on various other research areas with similar incubation processes are discussed.
  • ... We also analyzed the ideas affiliation to each other with a network analysis in order to account for distance of ideas (Piezunka and Dahlander 2015). The results support our core argument that content scarcity shifts the decision-making process of evaluators to intuitive decisions based on issue-irrelevant information which contributes to a major issue in recent ideation research that tries to identify, when and why evaluation committees decide non-reflectively (Reitzig and Sorenson 2013;Piezunka and Dahlander 2015;Criscuolo et al. 2017). This study thus contributes to the research on persuasion and the decision-making process with the novel focus on content scarcity. ...
    ... While reputation represents how other members of the platform -and evaluators especially -view ideators, the status can be understood as a counterpart for reputation, as we define it as how ideators articulate and express their ideas, based on how they see themselves socially positioned in the network. The heuristic information of this dimension allows the inference on characteristics of the ideator, which play an important role on the strength of the default intuitive response of evaluators (Reitzig and Sorenson 2013), considering the Interventionist Model (Thompson, Prowse Turner, and Pennycook 2011). For this, the accessibility of this heuristic information strongly influences the feeling of rightness of the intuitive response and thus strengthens it in comparison with the reflective response (Evans 2011;Thompson 2012). ...
    ... These feeling can be induced by the charismatic promotion of ideators that use positive language and show exuberant conviction to their ideas (Macmillan and Narasimha 1987;Pham and Avnet 2004;Parhankangas and Ehrlich 2014). Therefore, promoting ideas with a positive tone increases attention to these ideas (Reitzig and Sorenson 2013). The two-sided assessment of an idea is the trait of a message to communicate positive and negative attributes of an idea within the idea description. ...
    Conference Paper
    In order to foster individual innovativeness, organizations increasingly use corporate online ideation platforms. Recent research also shows the downside of such contests as idea selection is not fully rational. We contribute to this new stream in literature by analyzing the effect of content scarcity, which occurs when ideators provide only little issue-relevant information when submitting ideas. Our core argumentation is that evaluators tend to focus on available information, shifting to heuristic information that allows intuitive decisions only, when content scarcity makes a reflective decision difficult. Therefore, we use the default-interventionists model of decision-making in combination with then Yale Attitude Change Approach in order to examine the mechanisms within the evaluator that appear when content scarcity occurs. We test our hypotheses on an extensive dataset of 3,313 ideas. Results show that content scarcity affects the decision-making process of the evaluators as it prevents them questioning their first intuitive decision. The more the content of the submitted idea is scarce, the stronger persuasive, content-irrelevant aspects of the ideator, message and community become for idea selection.
  • ... Whereas MMs are often expected to represent sub-unit interests and have more blind spots regarding distant organizational units (Reitzig and Sorenson, 2013;Ren and Guo, 2011), TMs' formal authority, access to resources, and external networks may help legitimize execution by rolling out change from an organizational-wide perspective, reducing concerns of unit-specific favoritism (Day, 1994). ...
    ... MMs often adopt a process-orientation when executing planned change due to their intra-organizational focus (Reitzig and Sorenson, 2013;Vuori and Huy, 2016). Because of the proximity, employees will more likely feel that they are in a position to provide input and thus increase their sense of participation, which has been linked to favorable attitudes (Van Dyne and LePine, 1998). ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    In this study we integrate insights from ‘top-down' and ‘bottom-up' traditions in organizational change research to understand employees' varying dispositions to support change. We distinguish between change initiation and change execution roles and identify four possible role configurations in which top managers (TMs) and middle managers (MMs) can feature in change. We contend that both TMs and MMs can play change initiation and/or change execution roles, TMs and MMs have different strengths and limitations for taking on different change roles, and their relative strengths and limitations are compounded or attenuated based on the specific configuration of change roles. We subsequently hypothesize employee support for change in relation to different TM-MM change role configurations. Our findings show that change initiated by TMs does not engender above-average level of employee support. However, change initiated by MMs engenders above-average level of employee support, and even more so, if TMs handle the change execution.
  • ... Accepted Article the panel should reduce potential idea selection biases (Reitzig and Sorenson 2013). It should also be noted that the innovation program at Enco is an independent unit in the company evaluated on the basis of its ability to identify and execute ideas that lie outside the scope of the current business strategy. ...
    ... However, the program also has informal characteristics in that idea generation is voluntary (i.e., it is not part of anyone's job description to come up with ideas) and teams are self-formed (cf. Reitzig and Sorenson 2013). When companies leverage complementary approaches to encourage innovation with even less or no formal structures, possibly more stark behavior concerning team formation processes could be observed from idea generators. ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    The advantages of working with a team to develop an idea are well established but surprisingly little is known about why some idea generators ignore these advantages by developing their ideas alone. To answer this question, we study two important trade-offs. First, working with a team provides access to additional resources but also leads to increased coordination costs. Second, sharing the risks and costs of developing an idea necessitates sharing the potential rewards of a successful idea. We use unique data on idea generators and their submission of ideas to an innovation program in a large European company between 1996 and 2008 to show how the two different trade-offs affect the decision of idea generators to collaborate with a team. Organizations usually form teams to develop and execute innovative ideas. When people have the choice, however, will they also form a team or will they develop ideas alone? By studying idea generators and their voluntary submissions of breakthrough ideas to an innovation program, we find that the success rate is much higher for team ideas. Although teamwork has important benefits, idea generators will often develop incremental ideas alone and only accept increased coordination costs for developing radical ideas—this is even more so when they have prior team experiences. Moreover, only when idea generators were successful before and—even more so—when they developed that idea alone, will they be more open to sharing the rewards and risks of developing another idea with a team.
  • ... Similarly, the attention-based view has made an important contribution to our understanding of the role that attention plays in strategy processes (Ocasio, 1997;Ocasio andJoseph, 2005, 2008) and how the attention focus of the organization can be influenced through different types of discourses (Ocasio, Laamanen, and Vaara, Forthcoming). While already the early research on the interplay of action and cognition in the internal corporate venturing process (Burgelman, 1984(Burgelman, , 1988 showed that strategy-making can be understood as a multi-level social learning process, research on behavioral strategy has deepened the understanding of how biases and managerial cognition relate to learning processes (e.g., Gavetti, 2012;Laureiro-Martinez, 2014;Reitzig and Sorenson, 2013). Finally, organizational emotions have also been found to play a role in how strategy is developed and implemented (Hodgkinson and Healey, 2011;Vuori and Huy, 2015). ...
    ... Research on cognition has been traditionally an important part of strategy process research -as well as related streams such as microfoundations (Felin and Foss, 2005) or behavioral strategy (Gavetti, 2012;Reitzig and Sorenson, 2013). This tradition has been shown, for example, in the research on framing contests (e.g., Kaplan, 2008;Kaplan and Henderson, 2005) and in the attention-based view (Ocasio, 1997;Ocasio andJoseph, 2005, 2008). ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    Research Summary: Building on our review of the strategy process and practice research, we identify three ways to see the relationships between the two research traditions: complementary , critical, and combinatory views. We adopt in this special issue the combinatory view, in which activities and processes are seen as closely intertwined aspects of the same phenomena. It is this view that we argue offers both strategy practice and strategy process scholars some of the greatest opportunities for joint research going forward. We develop a combinatory framework for understanding strategy processes and practices (SAPP) and based on that call for more research on (a) temporality, (b) actors and agency, (c) cognition and emotionality, (d) materiality and tools, (e) structures and systems, and (f) language and meaning. K E Y W O R D S SAP, SAPP, strategy practice, strategy process, strategy-as-practice
  • ... Notably, we did not limit our sample to R&D staff (see also Janssen, 2005;Ng and Feldman, 2012;Reitzig and Sorenson, 2013;Yuan and Woodman, 2010). This acknowledges a view put forward in the creativity research (e.g. ...
    ... Ng and Feldman, 2012) and the innovation research (e.g. Reitzig and Sorenson, 2013), whereby innovative ideas can originate anywhere in the firm, for instance, from frontline employees (Stock, 2015), service workers (Madjar and Ortiz-Walters, 2008), factory workers (Axtell et al., 2000), and individuals across functions who develop ideas in their leisure time (Davis et al., 2013). Ideas need not pertain to the technical core, but can also involve new applications and markets (Yoo et al., 2012). ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    Innovation occurs when knowledge about unmet customer needs intersects with knowledge about technological solutions. Both knowledge types are often located outside the firm and need to be absorbed in order for innovation to occur. While there has been extensive research into absorptive capacity for solution knowledge, a necessary complement - absorptive capacity for new customer needs - has been neglected. In an individual-level study of 864 employees from a home appliance firm, we show that need absorptive capacity is theoretically and empirically distinct from solution absorptive capacity, and that both are positively associated with employee innovativeness. Interestingly, we find asymmetric extra-domain effects: prior solution knowledge is positively related to need absorptive capacity (cross-pollination effect), while prior need knowledge is negatively related to solution absorptive capacity (attenuation effect). We contrast the cognitive underpinnings of the two absorptive capacity types, contributing to emerging scholarly thinking on the domain-specificity and micro foundations of absorptive capacity.
  • ... On the one hand, the central focus of creativity research is on studying the conditions that help people to generate new ideas (Amabile, 1988;George, 2007). On the other hand, research on idea implementation concentrates on unpacking whose ideas are selected and subsequently implemented (Baer, 2012;Reitzig & Sorenson, 2013) and not on how the initial idea can be further improved. Both literature streams hardly focus on the ideas themselves, let alone how ideas can and should be further developed and improved after they have been generated (Kornish & Ulrich, 2014) . ...
    ... When it comes to the evaluation of new ideas, researchers have started to document that people in different roles (i.e., idea generators versus managers) have different strengths and weaknesses with respect to predicting the outcome of an idea (Berg, 2016). Others have highlighted that idea evaluation is a subjective process where, for instance, several in-group biases affect whether or not an idea is selected for implementation (Reitzig & Sorenson, 2013). One way to address the difficulties and challenges of idea selection, we argue, is to pay more attention to improving ideas before they are evaluated. ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    The creative sense of new ideas is often not realized due to a dearth of thoughtful consideration of how to brand these ideas meaningful after their inception. What happens between idea generation and implementation—during what we call the idea development phase—has often been overlooked. To support idea creators in successfully materializing their “adolescent” ideas, we suggest a theory about diverse activities that idea creators can utilize to specify, further progress, or improve an idea in the phase of idea development process. Inspired by adolescence development learning, our model reveals the different physiological, psychological, and emotional developments that help to take ideas forward after they have been generated. The study contributes to the literature on creativity and innovation by more closely considering what happens to ideas in their development phase and by revealing how ideas can be improved so that the realistic and best one is selected for execution.
  • ... As TMs have a 'big picture' overview of how different sub-units interlink throughout the organization's value chain, they can interpret performance-feedback from rollout activities holistically and adjust the execution swiftly as information becomes available (Lee and Puranam, 2015). Whereas MMs are often expected to represent sub-unit interests and have more blind spots regarding distant organizational units (Reitzig and Sorenson, 2013;Ren and Guo, 2011), TMs' formal authority, access to resources, and external networks may help legitimize execution by rolling out change from an organizational-wide perspective, reducing concerns of unit-specific favoritism (Day, 1994). ...
    ... MMs often adopt a process-orientation when executing planned change due to their intra-organizational focus (Reitzig and Sorenson, 2013;Vuori and Huy, 2016). Because of the proximity, employees will more likely feel that they are in a position to provide input and thus increase their sense of participation, which has been linked to favorable attitudes (Van Dyne and LePine, 1998). ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    In this study we integrate insights from ‘top-down' and ‘bottom-up' traditions in organizational change research to understand employees' varying dispositions to support change. We distinguish between change initiation and change execution roles and identify four possible role configurations in which top managers (TMs) and middle managers (MMs) can feature in change. We contend that both TMs and MMs can play change initiation and/or change execution roles, TMs and MMs have different strengths and limitations for taking on different change roles, and their relative strengths and limitations are compounded or attenuated based on the specific configuration of change roles. We subsequently hypothesize employee support for change in relation to different TM-MM change role configurations. Our findings show that change initiated by TMs does not engender above-average level of employee support. However, change initiated by MMs engenders above-average level of employee support, and even more so, if TMs handle the change execution.
  • ... Yet, organizations do not necessarily select the best ideas, because novel ideas may deviate from existing ideas in the organization (Berg, 2016) and the selection may suffer from evaluator bias (Reitzig, 2011). E.g. idea evaluators over-or undervalue ideas due to biases rooted in cognition (Moreau, Lehmann, & Markman, 2001), role (Berg, 2016), social categorization (Elsbach & Kramer, 2003), or subunit favoritism (Reitzig & Sorenson, 2013). Another factor which has so far received little attention but may bias evaluation of ideas in organizations is the social similarity of the idea evaluator and the idea creator. ...
    ... Upon completion, we hope our project will contribute to research focusing on biases affecting idea selection in organization (Berg, 2016; Elsbach & Kramer, 2003; Reitzig & Sorenson, 2013) and on our ...
  • ... Mere exposure to others leads people to associate certain individuals with positive feelings and higher quality ideas (Zajonc, 1968). Indeed, Reitzig and Sorenson (2013) find that selectors are biased in favor of ideas submitted by individuals working in their same division and facility. We thus define panel-applicant shared location as the existence of at least one panel member who shares a location with the person originating the project under evaluation. ...
    ... Finally, while we theorize that panel members tend to support novel projects originating from co-located individuals, the findings support the opposite direction conclusion. In the evaluation of grant proposals, Boudreau et al. (2016) find that selectors give systematically lower scores to grants closer to their own intellectual home, and Reitzig and Sorenson (2013) study of a particular company finds that people appreciate ideas from the same department. Our main effects replicate this point within organizations; however, more importantly, we shifted the attention to how panel-applicant shared location moderates the effect of novelty on the share of a requested funding received by a project. ...
    Article
    Building on a unique, multi-source, and multi-method study of R&D projects in a leading professional service firm, we develop the argument that organizations are more likely to fund projects with intermediate levels of novelty. That is, some project novelty increases the share of requested funds received, but too much novelty is difficult to appreciate and is selected against. While prior research has considered the characteristics of the individuals generating project ideas, we shift the focus to panel selectors and explore how they shape the evaluation of novelty. We theorize that a high panel workload reduces panel preference for novelty in selection, whereas a diversity of panel expertise and a shared location between panel and applicant increase preference for novelty. We explore the implications of these findings for theories of innovation search, organizational selection, and managerial practice.
  • ... On the one hand, the central focus of creativity research is on studying the conditions that help people to generate new ideas (Amabile, 1988;George, 2007). On the other hand, research on idea implementation concentrates on unpacking whose ideas are selected and subsequently implemented (Baer, 2012;Reitzig & Sorenson, 2013) and not on how the initial idea can be further improved. Both literature streams hardly focus on the ideas themselves, let alone how ideas can and should be further developed and improved after they have been generated (Kornish & Ulrich, 2014) . ...
    ... When it comes to the evaluation of new ideas, researchers have started to document that people in different roles (i.e., idea generators versus managers) have different strengths and weaknesses with respect to predicting the outcome of an idea (Berg, 2016). Others have highlighted that idea evaluation is a subjective process where, for instance, several in-group biases affect whether or not an idea is selected for implementation (Reitzig & Sorenson, 2013). One way to address the difficulties and challenges of idea selection, we argue, is to pay more attention to improving ideas before they are evaluated. ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    The creative sense of new ideas is often not realized due to a dearth of thoughtful consideration of how to brand these ideas meaningful after their inception. What happens between idea generation and implementation—during what we call the idea development phase—has often been overlooked. To support idea creators in successfully materializing their “adolescent” ideas, we suggest a theory about diverse activities that idea creators can utilize to specify, further progress, or improve an idea in the phase of idea development process. Inspired by adolescence development learning, our model reveals the different physiological, psychological, and emotional developments that help to take ideas forward after they have been generated. The study contributes to the literature on creativity and innovation by more closely considering what happens to ideas in their development phase and by revealing how ideas can be improved so that the realistic and best one is selected for execution. Keywords: idea generation, adolescence, idea development, creativity, idea implementation
  • ... Whereas MMs are often expected to represent sub-unit interests and have more blind spots regarding distant organizational units (Reitzig and Sorenson, 2013;Ren and Guo, 2011), TMs' formal authority, access to resources, and external networks may help legitimize execution by rolling out change from an organizational-wide perspective, reducing concerns of unit-specific favoritism (Day, 1994). ...
    ... MMs often adopt a process-orientation when executing planned change due to their intra-organizational focus (Reitzig and Sorenson, 2013;Vuori and Huy, 2016). Because of the proximity, employees will more likely feel that they are in a position to provide input and thus increase their sense of participation, which has been linked to favorable attitudes (Van Dyne and LePine, 1998). ...
    Article
    With the blurring distinction between strategic and tactical roles, it is becoming increasingly evident that joint influence of top and middle management on change is important. In this study we look at role involvement, i.e. change initiation and change management, of the aforementioned actors. We contend that that these distinctive, yet interdependent, behaviors associated with different roles played by these actors serve as an important mechanism that connects organizational change processes to employee support for change. We develop and test hypotheses based on survey data from 1,795 respondents in 468 organizations undergoing change. Our results suggest that change initiated by middle managers and managed by top management engenders the strongest degree of employee support for change –although this was the least common form of role involvement observed. These findings suggest a positive impact of change initiatives that are expected to be sensitive to operational realities of employees, paired with the legitimacy of top management.
  • ... Similarly, the attention-based view has made an important contribution to our understanding of the role that attention plays in strategy processes (Ocasio, 1997;Ocasio & Joseph, 2005 and how the attention focus of the organization can be influenced through different types of discourses (Ocasio, Laamanen, & Vaara, 2018). While already the early research on the interplay of action and cognition in the internal corporate venturing process (Burgelman, 1984(Burgelman, , 1988 showed that strategy-making can be understood as a multilevel social learning process, research on behavioral strategy has deepened the understanding of how biases and managerial cognition relate to learning processes (e.g., Gavetti, 2012;Laureiro-Martinez, 2014;Reitzig & Sorenson, 2013). Finally, organizational emotions have also been found to play a role in how strategy is developed and implemented (Hodgkinson & Healey, 2011;Vuori & Huy, 2016). ...
    ... Research on cognition has been traditionally an important part of strategy process research-as well as related streams such as microfoundations (Felin & Foss, 2005) or behavioral strategy (Gavetti, 2012;Reitzig & Sorenson, 2013). This tradition has been shown, for example, in the research on framing contests (e.g., Kaplan, 2008;Kaplan & Henderson, 2005) and in the attention-based view (Ocasio, 1997;Ocasio & Joseph, 2005. ...
  • ... Incidental truncation, in turn, may not only result from a firm-specific appropriability strategy, but also from biases of agents tasked with determining which ideas to put forward for patenting. Here, research across a variety of domains, including the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) patent examiners, has shown how agents purposively or unconsciously adjust their selection processes depending on factors such as the novelty of ideas, their links or personal similarity to the inventors, or inventors' track record (see, e.g., Boudreau, Guinan, Lakhani, & Riedl, 2016;DiPrete & Eirich, 2006;Ferguson & Carnabuci, 2017;Franke et al., 2006;Goldin & Rouse, 2000;Merton, 1973;Reitzig & Sorenson, 2013). ...
    ... Finally, approaches embedding patent data into rich case narratives to endogenize patenting as an outcome of firm-internal strategy or behavioral norms hold great potential in our view (e.g., Bhaskarabhatla & Hegde, 2014). Following this pathway, future work may well identify additional internal processes, which are exogeneous to invention quality but pivotal to the patenting outcome beyond known ones such as time pressure (Balasubramanian et al., 2018), evaluator workload (Frakes & Wasserman, 2017;Galasso & Schankerman, 2015), or evaluators' ties to the inventor (Reitzig & Sorenson, 2013). Such work will be instrumental to improving our understanding of what is really going on inside firms: similar to the search literature (Maggitti, Smith, & Katila, 2013), we know much more about the inputs to and outcomes of firms' patenting decision-making process, but very little about this decision-making process itself. ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    Research summary Patent data is a valued source of information for strategy research. However, patent‐based studies may suffer from sample selection bias given that patents result from within‐firm selection processes and hence do not represent the full population of inventions. We assess how incidental and non‐incidental data truncation resulting from firm‐level and inventor‐level selection processes may result in sample selection bias using a quasi‐replication approach, drawing on rich qualitative data and a novel, proprietary dataset of all 40,000 invention disclosures within a large multinational firm. We find that accounting for selection both reaffirms and challenges past work, and discuss the implications of our findings for work on the microfoundations of exploratory innovation activities and for strategy research drawing on patent data. Managerial summary Much of what is known about innovation in general, and in particular about what makes inventors prolific, comes from studies that use patent data. However, many ideas are never patented, meaning that these studies may not really be talking about ideas or inventions, but only about patents. In this paper, we examine the question of whether patent data can accurately be used to represent inventions by using data on all inventions generated within a large multinational firm to explore how and to what degree the selection processes behind firms’ patenting decisions may lead to important differences between the two. We find that accounting for selection changes many previously given managerial implications; for example, we show how junior inventors may often not get the credit they deserve.
  • ... What is suggested by the literature on the different forms of recognition is the existence of evaluative bias in the selection processes: such malfunction has been detected, for instance, in the so-called "Matthew effect" in science, which shows how recognition for scientific work tends to be skewed in favor of established scientists [Merton 1968]. In a recent research in a large and multinational firm, Reitzig and Sorenson [2012] found that in the process of evaluation of innovation proposals the selectors tended to favor ideas submitted by individuals working in the same division and facility. ...
  • ... We further capture whether the patent engineer has previously evaluated inventions developed by any member of the focal team of inventors. During our sample period, all patent engineers knew the identity of the inventors, and knowing inventors' track record may affect patent engineers' evaluation (Menon & Blount, 2003;Reitzig & Sorenson, 2013). We distinguished between assessment of prior patented inventions (evaluation of prior patented inventions) and of prior inventions not patented (evaluation of prior failed inventions). ...
    Article
    Patent data has provided a valued source of information in many areas of strategy research. However, as patents are the result of within-firm selection, patent-based studies may suffer from sample selection bias. We draw on rich, qualitative data and a novel and proprietary dataset of around 40,000 invention disclosures within one firm, only some of which were patented, to explore the magnitude of this issue. After studying how firm-internal selection may lead to patentable inventions being shelved, kept secret, or rejected, we replicate two prominent patent-based studies focusing on the distribution of inventive outcomes and on inventor experience and creativity. We find that controlling for selection may both challenge as well as reaffirm past work, and discuss implications for past and future research.
  • ... Second, CMOs must be wary of sub-group favoritism and biases in the range of bottom-up initiatives they encourage and select (Reitzig & Sorenson, 2013). The temptation for CMOs will be to gravitate to ideas that make immediate intuitive sense to them, discount ideas from members in more distant organizational sub-units, and favor ideas that confirm their prior beliefs. ...
    Article
    We advance the premise that to navigate crisis, rather than reactively cutting costs by culling middle management, top managers can benefit from enabling radical change initiatives by middle managers. Contextualizing this idea to the marketing function and the COVID-19 crisis, we ask: How can Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) support marketing middle managers (MMMs) in initiating radical change in crisis situations? We take the position that marketing managers' distinctive functional influence on radical change is in driving product and service innovations that are new-to-the-firm. We then argue that crisis situations present an opportunity for top and middle managers to rethink assumptions about ‘who does what’ in radical change initiatives from the marketing function, focusing on the underemphasized possibility of MMMs initiating change and CMOs implementing. Building on recent findings on ‘change role reversal’, we unpack the notion that change initiatives may be most effective when middle managers initiate, while top managers implement. This unconventional change route would see CMOs taking a deliberate and supportive back seat in navigating crisis, while MMMs take the wheel in driving radical change initiatives. We identify duties and hurdles to a change role reversal— approach faced by MMMs throughout three stages of innovation-enabled radical change proposed by Burgelman (1991; variation-selection-retention) and chart corresponding roles that CMOs can play to support MMMs: advisor, judge, and guardian. Three tangible final questions addressed to CMOs guide managerial applications, while considerations outside scope are also discussed.
  • ... However, there are good reasons to collect the frontline information directly from the individual sources of experiential insights because middle and line managers tend to filter the information that is passed on to top management influenced by conscious or subconscious biases (Dutton, 1993). Accordingly, Reitzig and Sorenson (2013) identify the existence of in-group biases where middle managers identify psychologically with certain parts of the organization and (unconsciously) favor projects from those particular subgroups. This means that mid-level managers liaising between the frontline and top management in many cases communicate biased information skewed in favor of their own subunit focus. ...
    Conference Paper
    Full-text available
    Effective strategy-making in turbulent industries needs current insights that can inform ongoing decisions around adaptive strategic moves. Frontline employees involved in the daily business transactions are the first to see the subtle changes not otherwise observed by top managers. Top management with dominant logics anchored in previous business contexts usually receive updated information from performance reports for prior periods. All the while, we discern a human inclination linked to the position of power where managers subconsciously discard updated information from frontline employees. We present an experiment to investigate these effects and discuss the implications for strategic response capabilities among firms.
  • ... If partners have a background in distant scientific fields, the results of the joint projects may be new and creative. However, the project outcomes might be viewed as being unrelated to the existing knowledge base, novel and radical ideas might be filtered out before the potential benefits can be received, or responsible team leaders may be biased and favor internal concepts instead of potentially superior external ideas (Reitzig and Sorenson, 2013). This "not invented here" syndrome (Katz and Allen, 1982) will magnify if the partners are geographically distant to each other. ...
    Article
    Exploring new technological opportunities and reacting to environmental changes are key factors for firm perfor- mance. Collaborating with external partners, especially universities, is considered to be a powerful engine of technological development. However, there are several barriers associated with university–industry collaboration (UIC), such as divergent cultures and competing objectives. Previous studies show rather mixed effects regarding the purported benefits of UIC, and empirical evidence on the effects of UIC on technological newness of innova- tion is lacking. This study investigates whether and under which conditions UIC enhances the recombination of extant knowledge across technologies and facilitates the implementation of novel technologies at the firm level. The paper is based on the resource based view of the firm and analyzes the interaction between collaboration diversity and UIC intensity. This longitudinal analysis examines joint publications and the patent data of 318 technology-oriented companies from the S&P 500 Index in the years 1985–2007. This study focuses on technolog- ical newness as the dependent variable, defined as the extent to which new technology fields are discovered as a result of either exploration of completely new technologies or the novel combination of existing technology fields. Results show that UIC has a significant positive effect on technological newness, with a time lag of two years. The effect follows an inverted U-shaped pattern in UIC portfolios with high diversity, and a U-shaped pattern when diversity is low.
  • ... Even if novelty makes it out of that selection process and starts to grow it may still not reach the step of form formation (de Jong, von Hippel, Gault, Kuusisto, & Raasch, 2015). Some novelty that grows may just be treated as incremental product change (Marino, Aversa, Mesquita, & Anand, 2015), while other novelty that grows may be hindered by regulation (Dodgson, Hughes, Foster, & Metcalfe, 2011;Rauch & Schleicher, 2015), market rejection (Carpentier & Suret, 2015), or non-optimal oriented diffusion mechanisms (Greve & Seidel, 2015;Kim & Lyon, 2015;Reitzig & Sorenson, 2013). While some novelty that grows and ultimately fails is studied, much novelty is entirely missed by the survival bias built into historical research. ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    In social theory, emergence is the process of novelty (1) creation, (2) growth, and (3) formation into a recognizable social object, process, or structure. Emergence is recognized as important for the existence of novel features of society such as new organizations, new practices, or new relations between actors. In this introduction to the volume on emergence, we introduce a framework for examining emergence processes and theories that have been applied or can be applied to each of the three stages. We also review each volume chapter and discuss their relation to each other. Finally, we make suggestions on the future of research on social emergence processes.
  • ... Hence, the manner of usage, target markets (Aghdaie and Alimardani, 2015), and groups or even business models (Casadesus-Masanell and Heilbron, 2015), are already in people's heads before the project starts. On the one hand, these determinations can provide a good foundation for first evaluations of the innovative idea and later on give guidelines for the development itself (Reitzig and Sorenson, 2013). On the other hand, these cognitive biases can hinder necessary changes in the project as targets have already become manifest in people's heads (Shih and Susanto, 2011). ...
    Article
    Purpose This study attempts to create new insights into innovation management through the integration of innovation management processes and sustainable, iterative circles. Through the exploration of the use of sustainable, iterative circles in a manufacturing environment, this paper explores their role in facilitating customer-focused innovation practices. Other supporting antecedences for innovative behavior are reviewed, and their combined effect upon delivering cost-effective product developments are assessed. Design/methodology/approach Data were collected through semi-structured interviews in manufacturing organizations from the automotive industry. Interviews were conducted with senior functional managers to interpret the application of sustainable, iterative development circles. Analysis of the data was undertaken via thematic analysis based upon pertinent and emergent themes. Findings Sustainable, iterative development circles overcame the inherent path-dependency of traditional linear development approaches, whereas, traditional approaches structure the involvement of key business functions, iterative circles facilitate more flexible approaches to product development that more closely met the requirements of the customer, especially when those requirements are in a state of flux. Practical implications This iterative, customer-centric approach to product development reflects the increasingly dynamic market environments in which manufacturing organizations operate. Using this approach helps to focus the organization’s attention upon customer requirements rather than the challenges of adhering to the rigid dogma of a chosen development methodology. Originality/value This study proposes a new approach toward the development of innovations in manufacturing organizations utilizing the sustainable, iterative circles, and therefore, contrasts with the traditional, linear development methodologies that are usually employed.
  • ... SMOs would also provide an interesting context to study strategy. Research on strategy has sometimes been skeptical about the success of bottom-up strategy formulation due to, for example, in-group biases within organizational subunits (Reitzig and Sorenson 2013). Can such bottom-up strategy formulation lead to bold enough decisions, like entering a new market? ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    The bureaucratic organizational structure has been recently challenged by a number of organizations that claim to offer employee emancipation and autonomy through self-management, self-organizing, or “holacracy.” To facilitate theorizing about such organizational-level self-management, I examine it as an ideal type of organizational form, comparing it to two more established organizational forms, Weberian bureaucracy and Mintzberg’s adhocracy. More particularly, building on the four universal problems every organization needs to solve—two of which I divide into two sub-problems—I utilize a framework of six fundamental problems of organizing—task division, task allocation, rewarding desired behavior, eliminating freeriding, providing direction, and ensuring coordination—to demonstrate how these three forms of organizing have found different solutions to them. The radically decentralized model of authority at the heart of self-managing organizations is shown to lead to solutions to these problems that are based on peer-based accountability and rewarding, transparency of key information, and bottom-up emergent processes where employees have the authority and responsibility to identify necessary tasks and ensure that they get done. It is concluded that the self-managing organization indeed is a novel form of organizing that can better explain certain real-life organizational outliers than the existing paradigms of organizing. It is argued to be especially viable in industries where interdependence between units is low, outputs are highly tailored, and employee expertise and motivation are high. Accordingly, research on such organizations can offer several new insights relevant to both the practice and theory of organization design.
  • ... Está asociada la percepción entonces a la influencia que sobre el comportamiento de los directivos y gerentes tienen los procesos cognitivos simplificadores del pensamiento y por tanto, en la toma de decisiones y en las acciones estratégicas (Arnott, 2006;Keil et al., 2007;Zapata y Canet, 2009;Pissaris et al., 2010;Reitzig y Sorenson, 2013;Dekel y Schurr, 2014;Otuteye y Siddiquee, 2015;Cristofaro, 2017). Entendido esto a través de la escuela cognitiva de la organización que busca explicar y distinguir entre la realidad y la Escala de medición de la percepción gerencial y directiva del entorno empresarial Zapata, Gerardo y Hernández, Aymara_____________________________________________ percepción del individuo, que definitivamente influirá sobre las decisiones empresariales (Yanes, 2004;Zapata y Canet, 2009). ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    The study of the perception of the environment has been a central theme in the literature of organization theory, due to the importance it has to define its processes, forms of management and organizational structures that they adopt. This work aims to design and propose a measurement scale to assess management and managerial perception of the environment in medium-sized companies. We considered a set of theoretical, empirical and methodological contributions that allowed to identify the domain of the construct object of study and its indicators. Presenting the results of one of the variables studied in the mediumsized companies of the Lara state, Venezuela, with methodology of a quantitative nature. We examined the psychometric properties of the measurement scale, supported by different statistical tests. The results show that the psychometric properties of the scale are adequate according to the parameters of the literature, so it is a useful reference for future research. In conclusion, there is a need for researchers to use multivariate statistical methods to assess the relevance and effectiveness of data collection instruments in order to ensure both methodological rigor and the quality of analysis and interpretation of results.
  • ... Our paper also has important implications for the emerging research on organizations that broaden participation in organizational decision-making (Mack & Szulanski, 2017;Piezunka, Aggarwal & Posen, 2018;Reitzig & Sorenson, 2013;Turco, 2016). While broadening participation in organizational decision-making helps organizational leadership to increase the quantity and diversity of information that is available to them when making decisions, they also face the challenge that a substantial set of organizational members who have engaged on an organizational decision often experience that the organizational leadership choose an alternative that deviates from the one they suggested. ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    When organizations crowdsource ideas, they select only a small share of the ideas that contributors submit for implementation. If a contributor submits an idea to an organization for the first time (i.e., is a newcomer), and the organization does not select the idea, this may negatively affect the newcomer’s relationship with the organization and willingness to submit ideas to the organization in future. We suggest that organizations can increase newcomers’ willingness to submit further ideas by providing a thus far understudied form of feedback: rejections. Though counterintuitive, we suggest that rejections encourage newcomers to bond with an organization. Rejections signal contributors that an organization is interested in receiving their ideas and developing relationships with them. To test our theory, we examine the crowdsourcing of 70,159 organizations that received ideas from 1,336,154 contributors. Using text analysis, we examine differences in how rejections are written to disentangle the mechanisms through which rejections affect contributors’ willingness to continue to interact with an organization. We find that receiving a rejection positively impacts newcomers’ willingness to submit ideas in future. This effect is stronger if the rejection includes an explanation and is particularly pronounced if the explanation matches the original idea in terms of linguistic style.
  • ... Distintas investigaciones orientadas hacia diferentes áreas de la teoría y el estudio de las organizaciones han señalado la influencia de los sesgos cognitivos sobre el comportamiento y la actuación de sus directivos, gerentes o líderes. Por ejemplo, en los procesos de formulación estratégica (Schwenk, 1984(Schwenk, ,1988Duhaime & Schwenk, 1985;Mintzberg et al. 1998;Bukszar, 1999;Keil et al., 2007;Reitzig & Sorenson, 2013), entrada a nuevos mercados e internacionalización de la empresa ( omas et al., 2007), inicios de nuevos negocios y emprendimiento (Busenitz & Barney, 1997;Simon et al., 1999;Bryant, 2007;Kannadhasan et al., 2014), ciclo de vida y supervivencia de la empresa (Vidar & Lechner, 2013), establecimiento de alianzas estratégicas (Menguzzato & Urra, 2004;Kumar y Nathwani, 2012), contabilidad y control de gestión (López et al., 2016), en los trabajos de auditoría (Knapp & Knapp, 2012), en las decisiones de inversión (Alcalá, 2014;Useche, 2014;Otuteye & Siddiquee, 2015, Jain, Jain & Jain, 2015, gestión del conocimiento (Canter, Hammond & Youngs, 2013), marketing (Gurău, 2015, valoración de riesgos en la adopción de decisiones estratégicas (Krueger & Dickson, 1994;Busenitz, 1999), equipos de alto nivel de gestión intercultural (Strutton & Carter, 2013), análisis de riesgos (Kannadhasan et al., 2014;Montibeller & Von Winterfeldt, 2015) y en el diseño organizativo (Zapata & Canet, 2009;Zapata et al., 2015), entre otras investigaciones. ...
    Article
    El presente trabajo tiene como propósito realizar una revisión de la literatura a fin de integrar planteamientos provenientes de dos corrientes del pensamiento de la teoría de la organización en un modelo de capacidades dinámicas. Por una parte, la perspectiva teórica de capacidades dinámicas que trata de explicar las respuestas estratégicas de la empresa frente a los requerimientos de un entorno cambiante y competitivo mediante la renovación, la integración y la reconfiguración de sus recursos y capacidades. Y por otra parte, la escuela cognitiva de la organización que estudia los procesos mentales de los gerentes y directivos vinculados con las actividades de toma de decisiones. Ambas corrientes, han sido abordadas de manera muy importante por la comunidad académica-científica dentro del ámbito de las organizaciones, de cuyas revisiones y reflexiones surge como resultado en este trabajo un modelo y una proposición general que plantea la relación entre la cognición de quienes dirigen a la organización y sus capacidades dinámicas.
  • ... This double-layered familiarity should not only help to attract more attention from the broader network of scientists (Sorenson and Fleming, 2004), but it should also help people who search the crowded marketplace for ideas for something that they find useful. Past research showed that social connections play a vital role in the selection of ideas (Hofstetter et al., 2018;Reitzig and Sorenson, 2013). To that end, high social connectivity of a co-authorship team can serve as an additional filter that people might apply when searching for ideas. ...
  • ... Recent studies have worked toward developing a behavioral theory of strategy, explicitly building on March (1991) (e.g. Reitzig and Sorenson, 2013;Tuncdogan et al., 2015). Nevertheless, there is room for further research on how behavioral tendencies of managers, such as the risk propensity of executives (e.g., Buckley et al., 2017) relate to a firm's ability to explore versus exploit. ...
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  • ... Distintas investigaciones orientadas hacia diferentes áreas de la teoría y el estudio de las organizaciones han señalado la influencia de los sesgos cognitivos sobre el comportamiento y la actuación de sus directivos, gerentes o líderes. Por ejemplo, en los procesos de formulación estratégica (Schwenk, 1984(Schwenk, ,1988Duhaime & Schwenk, 1985;Mintzberg et al. 1998;Bukszar, 1999;Keil et al., 2007;Reitzig & Sorenson, 2013), entrada a nuevos mercados e internacionalización de la empresa ( omas et al., 2007), inicios de nuevos negocios y emprendimiento (Busenitz & Barney, 1997;Simon et al., 1999;Bryant, 2007;Kannadhasan et al., 2014), ciclo de vida y supervivencia de la empresa (Vidar & Lechner, 2013), establecimiento de alianzas estratégicas (Menguzzato & Urra, 2004;Kumar y Nathwani, 2012), contabilidad y control de gestión (López et al., 2016), en los trabajos de auditoría (Knapp & Knapp, 2012), en las decisiones de inversión (Alcalá, 2014;Useche, 2014;Otuteye & Siddiquee, 2015, Jain, Jain & Jain, 2015, gestión del conocimiento (Canter, Hammond & Youngs, 2013), marketing (Gurău, 2015, valoración de riesgos en la adopción de decisiones estratégicas (Krueger & Dickson, 1994;Busenitz, 1999), equipos de alto nivel de gestión intercultural (Strutton & Carter, 2013), análisis de riesgos (Kannadhasan et al., 2014;Montibeller & Von Winterfeldt, 2015) y en el diseño organizativo (Zapata & Canet, 2009;Zapata et al., 2015), entre otras investigaciones. ...
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  • ... Sorenson's work has also attended to innovation processes in large firms. A paper with Markus Reitzig studied innovation proposals inside a multinational consumer goods firm, finding that evaluators of such proposals are biased in favor of ideas submitted by individuals that work in the same division and facility (Reitzig and Sorenson 2013). Recently, Natividad and Sorenson (2015) also showed how adverse effects experienced by one line of business can affect other lines of business in divisionalized firms. ...
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  • ... To begin to look beyond the fairly gloomy picture painted by this body of evidence, it is useful to recognize that much of the experimental literature on hidden profiles relies on small groups of 3 to 4 individuals that do not have much of a differentiated influence structureall group members have comparable, and typically shallow connections to each other (San Martin et al., 2015). Studies in naturally occurring settings and in contexts where groups gain experience of interacting with each other indicate that the closeness and strength of the relationship between group members increases with interaction and communication frequency (Hansen, 1999;Reitzig and Sorenson, 2013), resulting in greater expertise recognition (Littlepage, Robison, and Reddington, 1997) and knowledge transfer (Reagans and McEvily, 2003). These effects are amplified the closer the group members are in terms of sharing a similar vision and can draw upon similar norms and attitudes (e.g., Inkpen and Tsang, 2005), which is feasible in naturalistic settings where ties are the result of mutual selection. ...
  • ... There is also a psychology literature explaining how "power" can limit the receptiveness of leaders (Blader and Chen, 2012). And various articles and books describing how (otherwise intelligent) executives make "stupid" decisions due to overconfidence and overreliance on their own belief structure or "dominant logic" (Reitzig and Maciejovsky, 2014;Reitzig and Sorenson, 2013). ...
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    "Perhaps the simplest… of the notions concerning determinants of positive attraction is that of propinquity." Essentially the proposition of propinquity says: Other things equal, people are most likely to be attracted toward those in closest contact with them. In general, as frequency of interaction between 2 or more persons increases, the degree of their liking for one another increases. A number of general statements relating to interpersonal attraction are considered including propositions of complementarity and perceived similarity. An original investigation of male transfer students to the University of Michigan all of whom were strangers to each other before sharing a student house is discussed. 18 references. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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    The literature on top-down strategy implementation has overlooked social-emotional factors. The results of a three-year field study of a large technology firm show how top executives who favor an affect neutral task approach can inadvertently activate middle managers' organization-related social identities, such as length of time working for the company (newcomers versus veterans) and language spoken by senior executives (English versus French), generating group-focus emotions. These emotions prompt middle managers—even those elevated to powerful positions by top executives—to support or covertly dismiss a particular strategic initiative even when their immediate personal interests are not directly under threat. This study contributes to the strategy implementation literature by linking senior executives' actions and middle managers' social identities, group-focus emotions, and resulting behaviors to strategy implementation outcomes. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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    In this paper, we build on a detailed case study and the theories of evolution in social and cultural systems and intraorganizational ecology to develop a model of strategy as guided evolution. Its primary distinctions from earlier models of organizational and intraorganizational ecology lie in (i) the incorporation of an important—yet realistic—role of top management in shaping the direction and outcomes of the evolutionary processes within firms, and (ii) the incorporation of human and social capital as a critical unit of selection within such processes. We describe the model and discuss the evolutionary and ecological processes associated with it. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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    Capitalizing on the Bower-Burgelman process model of strategy making in a large, complex organization, we investigate the multilevel managerial activities that lead firms facing similar new business opportunities to respond with different strategic commitments. Our field-based data provide evidence on (I) the role of ‘corporate contexts’ that reflects top managers' crude strategic intent in shaping strategic initiatives of business-unit managers; (2) the critical influence of early business development results on increasing or decreasing middle managers' enthusiasm to the new businesses and top managers' confidence in these middle managers in a resource allocation; (3) the escalation or deescalation of a firm's strategic commitment to the new businesses as a consequence of iterations of resource allocation. We conclude that it is useful to conceptualize strategy making in a large, complex firm as an iterated process of resource allocation.
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    How do strategies form in organizations? Research into the question is necessarily shaped by the underlying conception of the term. Since strategy has almost inevitably been conceived in terms of what the leaders of an organization ‘plan’ to do in the future, strategy formation has, not surprisingly, tended to be treated as an analytic process for establishing long-range goals and action plans for an organization; that is, as one of formulation followed by implementation. As important as this emphasis may be, we would argue that it is seriously limited, that the process needs to be viewed from a wider perspective so that the variety of ways in which strategies actually take shape can be considered.
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    In this study, we examine how the relationship between the level of strategic change in the pattern of resource allocation and firm performance differs between firms led by outside CEOs and those led by inside CEOs. Based on longitudinal data on the tenure histories of 193 CEOs who left office between 1993 and 1998, we find that the level of strategic change has an inverted U-shaped relationship with firm performance. As the level of change increases from slight to moderate, performance increases; as the level of change increases from moderate to great, performance declines. Further, we find that this inverted U-shaped relationship differs between firms led by outside CEOs and those led by inside CEOs. That is, both the positive effect of strategic change on firm performance when the level of change is relatively low and the negative effect of strategic change on firm performance when the level of change is relatively high are more pronounced for outside CEOs than for inside CEOs. Supplementary analyses also suggest that this difference between outside and inside CEOs exists in later years but not in the early years of CEO tenure. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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    The principal aim of this paper is to explore the impact of language on communication within large and geographically dispersed multinationals. Much of the earlier research emphasizes the importance of horizontal communication and team building as control and coordination mechanism in such organizations: yet the role of language is often forgotten. Based on an in-depth case study of one Finnish multinational, Kone and its diverse subsidiaries, it is argued that language imposes its own structure on communication flows and personal networks. Subsidiary staff with confined language skills tend to build supporting personal relationships with language mediators, while those with superior language capabilities are able to build broad contact networks within the multinational. The investigation also reveals that language is often used as an informal source of expert power in multinationals.
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    Recent advances in information technologies provide employees the freedom to work from any place and at any time. Such temporal and spatial dispersion, however, weakens the ties that bind organizations and their members. We suggest that organizational identification may be the critical glue linking virtual workers and their organizations. We explore the role that information technologies play in the creation and maintenance of a common identity among decoupled organization members.