Session 235


Track I

Date: Monday, October 8, 2012


Time: 09:30 – 10:45

Common Ground

Room: Terrace 2


  • Maurizio Zollo, Bocconi University

Title: Does Experience Help or Hinder Performance?: A Study of Hollywwod Film Producers


  • Jamal Shamsie, Michigan State University
  • Donald Conlon, Michigan State University

Abstract: Research on the resource-based perspective has begun to focus on the ability of managers to extract greater value from the resources that they work with. Empirical studies have tied this ability, above all, to the experience that managers have accumuated. In this paper, we show that experience can both help and hinder managerial teams in their ability to work with different resources. Experience can allow managers to develop routines which provide them with better coordination, greater control and less cognitive effort. However, experience can also make it harder for them to adjust to the specific needs of each assignment or project. We draw on Hollywood producers to show that more experience does not necessarily allow them to obtain better performance from various resources.

Title: Does Size Matter? Organizational Size and the Efficacy of Experiential Learning


  • Hart Posen, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Dirk Martignoni, University of Zurich
  • Daniel Levinthal, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract: Boundedly rational organizations that engage in experiential learning must allocate scarce resources to both exploitation and exploration. Moreover, benefits from experiential learning are known to come at the cost of myopia. We consider the implications of relaxing an organization’s resource constraint – by increasing the number of agents in the organization to make possible parallel learning. Employing a computational model, we find three stylized facts about larger, less constrained, organizations: they explore less than smaller organizations, they are less likely to discover the very best alternative, and they exhibit superior performance on average, even though their chosen alternatives may not be the very best. Thus, parallel search in larger organizations may amplify myopia, and on some metrics, reduces the efficacy of experiential learning.

Title: Learning from Failure: An Empirical Examination in the Pharmaceutical Industry


  • Rajat Khanna, Tulane University
  • Atul Nerkar, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Abstract: The pursuit of competitive advantage has been the focus of most if not all strategy scholars. Patents have been considered a key resource that at a minimum deter if not prevent competition from entering technological areas. That said recent research has shown that many firms give up patents. We use a behavioral approach to strategy to explain this anomaly in firm behavior. We suggest that firms learn from the patents that they give up which in turn contributes to improving their productivity and performance. We test the presence of this learning from failure in pharmaceutical industry. Our results support a behavioral approach to decision making in the R&D strategy of firms.

Title: Routines or Rules-of-Thumb: The role of Adaptive Learning in the Evolution of Organizational Knowledge


  • Maciej Workiewicz, ESSEC Business School
  • Vikas Aggarwal, INSEAD

Abstract: Routines, rules of thumb and heuristics have been points of focus in the organizational literature, particularly as determinants of organizational performance. We know very little, however, about what drives the evolution of organizational knowledge, and what may cause different forms of knowledge to coexist. We utilize a simulation model to explore how a simple adaptive learning process leads to the evolution of different types of knowledge as a function of the organization’s task environment. We then test how different types of learning heuristics impact organizational knowledge and fit.

Title: The Influence of Capital City Clusters on Knowledge Acquisition and Transfer


  • Aldas Kriauciunas, Purdue University
  • Will Mitchell, University of Toronto

Abstract: Within the agglomeration literature, an overlooked question relates to the benefits and drawbacks of locating within the capital city of a country. Using a unique data set, we address that issue by comparing firms within the capital city and outside the capital city for four Central and East European countries regarding their ability to acquire and transfer knowledge. Our findings indicate that while firms in capital cities are more effective in acquiring knowledge, they are less adept at transferring knowledge within the firm. These results shed light on an overlooked cluster type and also contribute to the knowledge-based view by better understanding knowledge management routines.

Title: The Power and Limits of Modularity: A Simulation Model


  • Christina Fang, New York University
  • Ji-hyun Kim, Yonsei University

Abstract: Recent advances in research on modularity have emphasized the power of modularity. In this paper, we ask: what are the possible contingency factors and under what conditions (when and how) will the modularity argument hold or break down? To study the power and limits of modularity, we build a simulation model that standardizes the key building blocks of modularity, incorporating alternative decision making structures, attention allocation routines, possibility of mismatch between reality and representation, different payoff conditions, evaluation errors and alternative search rules. We find that the power of modularity thesis is quite robust to several alternative specifications. To our surprise, we also find that the effects of some mechanisms are more nuanced than previously believed.

All Sessions in Track I...

Sun: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 274: Knowledge Foundations: A Conversation with Robert Grant about the Knowledge Based View
Sun: 09:30 – 10:45
Session 273: Big Data, Knowledge and Innovation
Sun: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 275: The Changing Nature of Innovation in Emerging Economies
Sun: 15:15 – 16:30
Session 225: Intellectual Property Rights
Session 229: Structure and Innovation
Mon: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 223: Individuals, Teams and Innovation
Session 242: R&D
Mon: 09:30 – 10:45
Session 140: Knowledge Management & Knowledge Structures: Who knows?
Session 226: Technology
Session 235: Learning
Mon: 13:30 – 14:45
Session 222: Integrating Knowledge about Knowledge Integration
Session 227: Knowledge Transfer and Replication
Mon: 16:30 – 17:45
Session 224: Absorptive Capacity
Session 236: Innovation and Performance
Tue: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 230: Ties, Networks, and Innovation
Session 237: Open Innovation
Tue: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 228: Exploration
Session 231: Alliance and Transfer
Tue: 14:15 – 15:30
Session 234: Incumbent Response to Foreign Entry and to Disruptive Innovation
Session 240: Capabilities
Tue: 15:45 – 17:00
Session 233: Structure and Transfer
Session 243: Entrepreneurs, Ventures, and Innovation
Tue: 17:30 – 18:45
Session 232: Innovation and Transfer
Session 239: Ambidexterity / Exploration and Exploitation
Session 244: Knowledge Management

Strategic Management Society