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Research seminar with Professor Sendil Ethiraj
November 22, 2013 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Sendil Ethiraj is a Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at London Business School. Professor Ethiraj’s research is built on the basic premise that firms are bundles of interdependent choices or complex systems. He unites his interest in understanding firms-as-complex-systems with the central questions in strategy that revolve around generating and sustaining competitive advantage. His research may be partitioned into two related themes. The first focuses on how complexity affects firm strategy and the unique tradeoffs that complexity imposes. The second examines firm capabilities and why they are complex and hard-to-imitate.
Innovation management and employee mobility: A study of scientist departures following project termination
We examine how firm-level policies for managing the uncertainties of innovation – sequential investments and portfolio diversification – affect ex post R&D scientist behavior. We argue that midway project termination, a consequence of sequential investments and portfolio diversification, creates a sorting process that separates scientists who disagree with the termination decision and those who do not. The likelihood of disagreement is systematically higher in projects characterized by higher uncertainty and for scientists with higher research quality. These scientists are more likely to depart to found entrepreneurial startups following such disagreements. Using longitudinal scientist level data on pharmaceutical discoveries, we find evidence consistent with our hypotheses.