Shaker Zahra at Missouri, Friday 19 October

Hibbs/Middlebush Speaker 2012

Shaker A. Zahra

Department Chair, Robert E. Buuck Chair of Entrepreneurship, Professor of Strategy & Organization, and the Academic Director of the Gary S. Holmes Entrepreneurship Center in the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota

“Creation of Novelty: Integrative Capability and Knowledge Conversion”

Friday, 19 October
205 Cornell Hall

Novelty is a key source of strategic heterogeneity, the foundation of competitive advantage in fast paced markets. Whether in products, processes, organizational or business models, novelty is grounded in a firm’s knowledge, which is often abstract and cannot be readily used to create novelty. This makes it essential for companies to translate (“convert”) this knowledge into more concrete concepts that they integrate to generate novelty. In this study, I empirically illustrate the powerful effect of having an organizational-wide integrative capability on converting the knowledge embodied in a firm’s portfolio of patents into radically new products. Preliminary analyses show that complex non-linear relationships exist between the knowledge domain breadth and unrelatedness of the patent portfolio with new product radicalness. Closeness to the state of art/science is positively related to novelty. Implications for building the knowledge conversion and integrative capabilities of the firm as well as the knowledge and capability perspectives are discussed.


Shaker A. Zahra is the Department Chair, Robert E. Buuck Chair of Entrepreneurship and Professor of Strategy & Organization in the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, where he is also the Academic Director of the Gary S. Holmes Entrepreneurship Center. He has been a visiting or guest professor at several universities around the globe. He also holds the 3TU Chair in International Entrepreneurship at the University of Twente, the Netherlands.

Professor Zahra’s research focuses on: entrepreneurship in global technology industries international entrepreneurship, and capability development. His research has appeared in leading journals that include the Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science, Journal of Management, Journal of International Business Studies), Journal of Management Studies, Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Decision Sciences, Information Systems Research, Industrial & Corporate Change, Research Policy, Human Relations, Academy of Management Learning & Education, Academy of Management Executive, and Academy of Management Perspectives, among others. Dr. Zahra has also published or (co) edited 12 books and conference proceedings.  Dr. Zahra’s research has received several grants and awards for excellent Research, Teaching and Services from national and international organizations.


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