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Title:The effect of technological complexity on innovation performance, employee entrepreneurship and mobility: three essays
Author(s):Ganco, Martin
Director of Research:Agarwal, Rajshree
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Agarwal, Rajshree
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Bercovitz, Janet E.L.; Hoetker, Glenn P.; Ziedonis, Rosemarie
Department / Program:Business Administration
Discipline:Business Administration
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Employee entrepreneurship
Employee mobility
NK model
Innovation performance
Knowledge spillovers
Abstract:Technological innovation, knowledge diffusion and employee entrepreneurship and mobility are closely related phenomena. Multiple literature streams in strategy, entrepreneurship and technology management focus on explaining them. However, relatively little is known about the micro-level variation in technological tasks as their driver. To improve our understanding of the role technology plays in these phenomena, I examine how the complexity of the technological problems that employees solve affects innovation performance and employees’ choices about entrepreneurship and mobility. In essay 1 I examine whether modeling the innovative process as an iterative and adaptive search of boundedly rational agents is a valid approach. I develop a novel measure of technological complexity and empirically analyze how technological complexity affects innovation performance. In essay 2 I develop a model connecting attributes of technological tasks with the probability of idea rejection within incumbent firms. I show that rejection of profitable ideas within incumbent firms may occur without asymmetric information, incomplete contracts or resource constraints. In essay 3 I look at how technological complexity affects decisions to engage in employee entrepreneurship and mobility within the context of the U.S. semiconductor industry. The dissertation highlights a new driver of innovation patterns, knowledge flows and employee entrepreneurship and mobility with implications for firm performance and competitive dynamics.
Issue Date:2010-05-19
Rights Information:Copyright 2010 Martin Ganco
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-05-19
Date Deposited:May 2010

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