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Going Off-Piste: The Role of Status in Launching Unsponsored R&D Projects

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Title: Going Off-Piste: The Role of Status in Launching Unsponsored R&D Projects
Authors: Alexy, O
Criscuolo, P
Salter, A
Sharapov, D
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Many established organizations rely on unsponsored R&D projects to sustain and support corporate renewal. These ideas that emerge from dark corners of the organization are often the result of inventors’ proactive creative efforts. Yet, little is known about the origins of these creative efforts, and what drives individuals to decide for or against engagement in such behavior. Building on the notion of middle-status conformity, we argue for the existence of a curvilinear (U-shaped) relationship between inventors’ status and their participation in autonomous inventive efforts. We argue that this effect is further moderated by factors influencing the salience of existing status-granting institutions, specifically the novelty of the technological domain of the invention, the competitive position of the wider organization, and the inventors’ geographic location. Using a unique dataset of invention disclosures from a global technology-based firm, we find general support for our hypotheses. We propose implications for theories of innovation, networks, and status that add to our understanding of proactive forms of creative effort.
Issue Date: 30-Nov-2016
Date of Acceptance: 5-May-2016
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/60153
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.5465/AMBPP.2016.259
ISSN: 0065-0668
Publisher: Academy of Management
Journal / Book Title: Academy of Management Proceedings
Volume: 2016
Issue: 1
Copyright Statement: © 2017 Academy of Management.
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: 13860
Online Publication Date: 2016-11-30
Appears in Collections:Imperial College Business School