Research Interests

Management of Innovation and Technology, Corporate Strategy, Strategic Human Capital, and Academic Entrepreneurship

Working papers

Pro-innovation policies and organizational myopia: Evidence from China

with Daxin Sun (Nanjing University) and Shaker Zahra (University of Minnesota)

Under review at Academy of Management Journal.

This study examines how government pro-innovation policies, specifically high-tech enterprise certifications, affect the innovation search strategies of Chinese manufacturing listed firms. Certified firms enjoy benefits such as gains in reputation, tax deductions, and exclusive financial subsidies. We find that while certifications are intended to foster breakthrough innovation, they may paradoxically steer firms towards incremental improvements, potentially leading to organizational myopia. We attribute this finding to the need for firms to preserve their reputation and demonstrate consistent technological advancement as prerequisites for maintaining their certification. This necessity for consistency inadvertently biases firms towards prioritizing exploitative innovation – refining existing technologies – over the pursuit of riskier and uncertain exploratory efforts. Furthermore, our results show that the effect of certifications on exploration is moderated by firm performance relative to aspirations. Firms that do not meet or exceed their aspirations are less affected by the negative implications of certification on exploratory innovation, as performance deviations trigger search behaviors that lean towards the exploration of novel technological domains.

Mobility constraints, interfirm collaboration, and the dual role of knowledge centrality

with Sina Khoshsokhan and Jeffrey Reuer (University of Colorado Boulder)

Nominee for Best Paper Prize at the 42nd SMS Annual Conference (2022)

Nominee for Research Methods Paper Prize at the 42nd SMS Annual Conference (2022)

Finalist for Best Paper Award at the 42nd SMS Annual Conference (2022 - Strategic Human Capital Interest Group).

Working paper.

This paper investigates how constraints on employee mobility affect the joint development of technologies by firms. Specifically, we focus on collaborative activities that lead to shared intellectual property (IP) rights. To obtain exogenous variation in mobility patterns, we exploit a natural experiment provided by the adoption/rejection of the inevitable disclosure doctrine (IDD) by different U.S. state courts. Building on the concepts of portable human and social capital, we propose that mobility constraints will negatively impact the extent to which firms successfully identify and pursue opportunities that result in jointly owned IP. Employing a difference-in-differences (DiD) analysis in a matched sample of treated and control firms, we find support for this hypothesis. This negative effect is weaker for firms that are embedded in technology clusters. We also find that, in the presence of mobility constraints, firms central in the knowledge network experience a sharper decrease in the number of co-patents. Yet, our results also show that centrally positioned firms are more likely to leverage local knowledge externalities that emerge in clusters to identify and pursue collaborations. We conceptualize this ambivalent effect as “the dual role of knowledge centrality.” 

Selected work in progress

Beyond the Closed Doors: Uncovering the Impact of Lab Closures on Corporate Technological Integration

with Raphael Martins (University of Sussex)

Work in progress.

This paper examines the impact of R&D divestment decisions, particularly the closure of corporate labs, on the routines of knowledge workers and the firm's ability to retain and utilize the knowledge produced by inventors who have been displaced as a result. We employ a difference-in-differences (DiD) approach to compare technologies created by inventors in closed labs with similar inventions conceived within the firm by inventors stationed in labs that have continued operations. Building on the knowledge based view, we propose that lab closures lead to disruptions in the organizational and social contexts that are deeply embedded in the firm's and inventors' routines. Our results reveal a significant decline in the firm's reliance on knowledge created by inventors of closed labs post-closure. This negative impact is amplified for inventors who have established numerous connections with other inventors within the firm. This effect is only observed for relationships with inventors external to the lab; popularity within the closed lab does not appear to affect the extent to which an inventor's technologies are incorporated in the firm's subsequent inventions.

I can stay, but I will never be one of you. Mobility constraints and the dissemination of knowledge post acquisition

Solo authored

Work in progress.

This paper examines how constraints on mobility affect the post-acquisition dissemination of knowledge between employees from the acquirer and acquired firms. Considering that mobility constraints can “force” acquired employees to unwillingly stay in the acquired firm, I propose that the rate at which acquirers’ and acquired employees exchange knowledge decreases in the presence of mobility barriers, leading ultimately to poorer acquisition performance in such contexts. Preliminary results support this idea.

Published Papers

International Publications

Asija, A., Moreira, S., Ringov, D., & Soares, T. J. (2023)*. Fragmentation of Technology Ownership and Acquisition Strategy of Firms. British Journal of Management, forthcoming. 

* Co-authors listed in alphabetical order

Soares, T. J., & Torkomian, A. L. V. (2021). TTO’s staff and technology transfer: Examining the effect of employees’ individual capabilities. Technovation, 102, 102213.

Soares, T. J., Torkomian, A. L. V., & Nagano, M. S. (2020). University regulations, regional development and technology transfer: The case of Brazil. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 158, 120129.

Moreira, S., & Soares, T. J. (2020)*. Academic spill-ins or spill-outs? Examining knowledge spillovers of university patents. Industrial and Corporate Change, 29(5), 1145–1165.

* Co-authors listed in alphabetical order

Peer-reviewed Publications in Brazil

G. P. Moreira, Frederico; V. Torkomian, Ana Lúcia; J. C. C. Soares, Thiago. Exploration and Firms’ Innovative Performance - How Does This Relationship Work? Revista Brasileira de Gestão de Negócios, v. 18, p. 392-415, 2016.