Seminar series

Joint UBC & SFU Entrepreneurship & Innovation Research Seminar Series


Dr. David R. Clough
Assistant Professor, UBC Sauder School of Business

Dr. Pek-Hooi Soh
Professor, SFU Beedie School of Business


Dr. Valentina Assenova
Assistant Professor of Management,
The Wharton School of Business

Date: Friday 5th March 2021 (10:30am-12:00pm PST)

Title: Institutions and Innovation by New Entrants: Cross-National and Firm-Level Evidence from 136 Nations

Abstract: This study evaluates the institutional determinants of firm-level innovation output. It draws on theories of institutional development to argue that historical conditions affecting preferences for inclusive institutions contributed to higher rates of innovation by new entrants. The analyses evaluate these arguments using data from 212 nations (countries and autonomous territories) over 1960-2019 and nationally-representative samples of 28,335 new entrants in 136 nations over 2004-2019. The models instrument for institutions using data on historical conditions (pathogens and natural disasters) affecting institutional development. The findings show that inclusive institutions facilitating startup entry, growth, and exit are first-order determinants of national and firm-level innovation by new entrants. At a national level, these institutions contributed to 33% higher rates of new entry, 102% higher scientific and technical knowledge production, 3.34% higher rates of patent applications, 205% higher value of high-technology products, and 313% higher receipts for intellectual property use. At a firm level, these institutions contributed to 27.64% higher rates of new product introductions, 11.50% higher rates of new process development, and 5.67% higher rates of R&D spending by new entrants.

Dr. Benjamin Hallen
Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship,
University of Washington

Date: Friday 26th March 2021 (10:30am-12:00pm PDT)

Title: How do Executives Quickly Learn New Skills and Capabilities? A Study of Entrepreneurs Learning Crowdfunding


Dr. Navid Asgari
Associate Professor of Strategy and Statistics,
Fordham University

Date: Friday 16th April 2021 (10:30am-12:00pm PDT)

Title: Divestment of Relational Assets Following Acquisitions: Evidence from the Bio-Pharmaceutical Industry

Abstract: We examine whether acquisitions affect the divestment of firms’ relational assets. Using data from the biopharmaceutical industry and a matched case-control research design, we find that alliances are more likely to be terminated following acquisitions compared to alliances not subject to acquisitions. This higher termination likelihood is driven by acquisitions where the acquirer's alliance management capacity is strained and by alliances inherited from targets. The inherited alliance effect is attenuated by the target’s partner’s common connections with the acquirer but amplified by the target’s partner’s unique connections outside the merging firms’ alliance portfolios. These findings are consistent with our relational view-based theorizing on the post-acquisition challenges of retaining relational assets and contribute to corporate strategy scholarship on alliances and acquisitions.

Dr. Matt Beane
Assistant Professor, Technology Management Program,
University of California, Santa Barbara

Date: Friday 7th May 2021 (10:30am-12:00pm PDT)

Title: Sensitivity Theory: Explaining How Workers in Deskilled Jobs Advance within an Organization

Abstract: Millions work in deskilled jobs, and prior research suggests that advancing out of these jobs within an organization is different and more difficult than advancing out of normal jobs. Through our two year, nationwide, multi-sited ethnographic study of AI-enabled robotics in e-commerce and parcel warehousing, we both reveal the profound challenges to internal advancement out of actively deskilled jobs and the systematic ways in which a small minority of workers managed to do so, in spite of these challenges. In particular, we show that workers advance by capitalizing on a “sensitivity”: an attunement to a domain of organizational operations, experienced as some combination of fascination and irritation and enacted through small attempts to understand or address related problems. This was necessary but not sufficient for advancement, and the remainder of sensitivity theory accounts for the practices and organizational conditions that allow workers in deskilled jobs to develop sensitivity-related skills, add value in their organization and advance into jobs that are not deskilled. These dynamics were more pronounced when work-proximate automation was less reliable. Beyond explaining how individuals advance in organizational conditions that militate against it, sensitivity theory helps us predict individual career trajectories, the talent-related dynamics of automation and deskilling, and better understand the diversity of work-related human capability.