Distinguished Scholar Series

2015 Speakers

Maryann Feldman

"The Economic Value of Local Social Networks"

By Maryann Feldman, Heninger Distinguished Professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

Friday, April 3, from 1-3 p.m. in McClelland Hall Room 208A

Join us for lunch and a lecture with Maryann Feldman, the Heninger Distinguished Professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of North Carolina. Her research and teaching interests focus on the areas of innovation, the commercialization of academic research and the factors that promote technological change and economic growth. Dr. Feldman was the winner of the 2013 Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research, awarded by the Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum and the Research Institute of Industrial Economics, for her contributions to the study of the geography of innovation and the role of entrepreneurial activity in the formation of regional industry clusters. 

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Abstract: The idea that local social capital yields economic benefits is fundamental to theories of agglomeration, and central to claims about the virtues of cities. However, this claim has not been evaluated using methods that permit more confident statements about causality. This paper examines what happens to firms that become affiliated with a highly-connected local individual or “dealmaker.” We adopt a quasi-experimental approach, combining difference-in-differences and propensity score matching to address selection and identification challenges. The results indicate that firms who link to highly-connected local dealmakers are rewarded with substantial gains in employment and sales when compared to a control group.

Learn more: Maryann Feldman Bio




Jason Owen-Smith

What do Research Universities Do? How Academic Discovery Creates Public Value.

By Jason Owen-Smith, University of Michigan Professor of Sociology and Barger Leadership Institute Professor of Organizational Studies

Friday, Feb. 13, from noon-2 p.m. in McClelland Hall 128

Join us for lunch and a lecture with Jason Owen-Smith, a sociologist who examines how science, commerce, and the law cohere and conflict in contemporary societies and economies. Together with collaborators, Jason works on projects that examine the dynamics of high-technology industries, the public value of the research university, and the network organization of surgical care. He seeks to understand how organizations, institutions, and networks can maintain the status quo while generating novelty through social transformations, scientific discoveries, and technological breakthroughs. 

Abstract: In 2012, the U.S. Federal Government spent $209 for each man, woman, and child in America to support fundamental research conducted on university campuses. In the wake of the great recession of 2008, politicians are increasing pressure on universities and funders to justify that public investment in relatively narrow and short term economic terms. This talk presents the framework argument of an in-progress book, which details a sociological, network-based argument for the public value of discovery and training conducted on the campuses of U.S. research universities. These institutions are key sources of knowledge and skill, institutional anchors for regional and national economies, and network hubs connecting almost every part of contemporary society.  

Learn more: Jason Owen-Smith Bio and CV


Past Speakers


January 31 2014

Brian Uzzi
Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

Atypical Combinations in Scientific Impact 

About the talk: Often purported but rarely tested is the claim that science is spurred on when atypical ideas are united, inspiring fresh thinking to problems. Yet, many scientific ideas and innovations intentionally build in convention, rather than remove it.   Similarly, the adage, an “idea ahead of its time” reflects the riskiness of ideas that embody knowledge far from conventional beliefs.  From this viewpoint, the relationship between atypical knowledge and conventional knowledge is critical to the link between innovativeness and impact.  However, little is known about the composition of this supposed balance.  Here, we analyzed all 17.9 million research papers in the web of science, circa 1945–2005 using a methodology that characterizes each paper’s conventional and novel combinations of prior work.  We find that the premium often expressed for papers with novelty is at odds with the reality that most scientific work typically draws on highly conventional, familiar mixtures of knowledge.  Especially virtuous combinations are not characterized by novelty or conventionality alone.  Rather, the highest impact papers interject novelty into otherwise unusually conventional combinations of prior work, and remarkably, are twice as likely to top the citation distribution.  Finally, teams are more likely than solo scientists to interject novel combinations into their papers, suggesting that the exceptionalism of teams is an ability to incorporate novelty.  Finally, these empirical regularities are largely universal, appearing across fields and decades, suggesting fundamental rules about creativity in science.  At root, our work suggests that creativity in science appears to be a phenomenon of two extremes.  At one extreme is conventionality and at the other is novelty.  Curiously, advancing to the frontier of science appears best served not by efforts along one boundary or the other but with efforts that reach toward both frontiers.

About the speaker: Brian Uzzi is a globally recognized scientist, teacher, consultant and speaker on leadership, social networks, and new media. He holds the Richard L. Thomas Distinguished Professor of Leadership at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. He also co-directs NICO, the Northwestern University Institute on Complex Systems, is the faculty director of the Kellogg Architectures of Collaboration Initiative (KACI) and holds professorships in Sociology and the McCormick School of Engineering. He has lectured and advised companies and governments around the world and been on the faculties of INSEAD, University of Chicago, and Harvard University. In 2007-2008, he was on the faculty of the University of California at Berkeley where he was the Warren E. and Carol Spieker Professor of Leadership. Additional information on Professor Uzzi may be found at http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/faculty/uzzi/htm/

October 23, 2013

Lynda M. Applegate
Harvard Business School

Catalyzing Game Changing Innovation 

Lynda M. Applegate is the Sarofim-Rock Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. We can learn a great deal from studying the stories of how visionary entrepreneurs have been able to link need with know-how and people with resources to create new industry segments and new business models that transform how we work, play, and learn. In the tech world we quickly think of Jeff Bezos at Amazon and Steve Jobs at Apple. In retailing we think of Jeff Bezos, again, and Howard Schultz at Starbucks. This session presents what we have learned from studying how entrepreneurs and the innovation catalysts who support them navigate the innovation lifecycle as they launch and grow innovative businesses that change the world. At the end of the session, I will spend time talking about Entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School and will leave time for interactive discussion.


February 5, 2013

Roger Geiger 
The Pennsylvania State University

The Past and Present of the Innovative University

Roger Geiger, Distinguished Professor, The Pennsylvania State University. Professor Geiger is the leading historian of the American research university and its historical and contemporary role in economic development. He is the author of numerous books, including Tapping the Riches of Science: Universities and Economic Development (with Creso Sá); Knowledge and Money: American Research Universities and the Paradox of the Marketplace; To Advance Knowledge: The Growth of American Research Universities, 1900-1940;Research and Relevant Knowledge: The American Research Universities since World War II; and The Future of the American Public Research University.

October 22, 2012

J. Peter Murmann
Australian School of Business

The Co-development of Industrial Sectors and Academic Disciplines 

J. Peter Murmann is the Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Academic Director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Australian School of Business, and R. Graham Whaling Visiting Professor, The Wharton School. Professor Murmann is the Schumpeter Prize-winning author of Knowledge and Competitive Advantage: The Co-evolution of Firms, Technology, and National Institutions. (Download: murmanncodevelopment.pdf)



March 2, 2012

Eileen Fischer
York University

Frustrated Fatshionistas: Toward an Understanding of Consumer Quests for Inclusion in Mainstream Markets

While prior research has studied consumers who oppose mainstream marketing practices, we lack insight into why and how consumers may mobilize to seek greater inclusion in and more choice from mainstream markets. We conduct a qualitative study of consumers who demand more choice in plus-sized clothing from mainstream fashion marketers: the Fatshionistas. Drawing in part on the work of Bourdieu, and in part on the institutional theory and the notion of institutional logics, we offer insights into the field level factors that trigger consumers to seek greater legitimacy in a market in which they feel marginalized, and we identify three kinds of institutional tactics that consumers use in such cases. In addition, our findings highlight the diverse market change dynamics that are likely to occur when consumers are more versus less legitimate in the eyes of mainstream marketers, and in instances where the changes consumers seek are more versus less consistent with extant logics and practices in the marketplace

November 18, 2011 

Michael Lounsbury
University of Alberta

Michael Lounsbury from the University of Alberta will be our speaker and this will be in conjunction with the Sociology Department. Mike will talk on institutional logics and relate this to innovation.

September 23, 2011

Kathleen Eisenhardt
Stanford University

Catalyzing Strategies and Efficient Tie Formation: How Entrepreneurial Firms Obtain Investment Ties

Although network ties are crucial for firm performance, the strategies by which executives actually form ties are relatively unexplored. In this study, we introduce a new construct, tie formation efficiency, and clarify its importance for superior network outcomes. Building on fieldwork in 9 Internet security ventures seeking investment ties, we unexpectedly identify two equifinal paths for how executives form ties efficiently. One relies on existing strong direct ties and is only available to privileged firms. The other relies on a second new concept, catalyzing strategy, by which executives advantageously shape opportunities and inducements to form ties, and is available to many firms. Overall, we add insights to the network and signaling literatures, and to the nascent literature on how strategic action, especially by low-power actors such as entrepreneurs, shapes critical network outcomes.

September 16, 2011

Monte Shaffer and Len Jessup
University of Arizona

In this presentation, we provide an overview of the Patent Rank algorithm and describe how it is an improvement over the traditional Trajtenberg (1990) forward-citation-count measure. We then describe a generalized Patent Rank model that accounts for various weighting schema and temporal constraints. Utilizing a marginal-structural (ms) Patent Rank model, we empirically test the fundaments of entrepreneurial innovation from an Austrian perspective: the identification of Schumpeterian shocks and Kirznerian competition. We then describe how observation of a patent's value can become prediction. Using a marginal-combined (mc) Patent Rank model and a few years of data, we can model, using nonlinear growth, the patent's expected lifetime value. We apply this prediction model to identify important patent innovations from IP portfolios, using IBM as an example. Finally, we will discuss the need for the patent data center (contiguous, clean data) to address the most meaningful question: can we observe the patent portfolios of firms using Patent Rank to create a financial investment strategy? (Download: assessing_diffusion_of_radical_innovation.pdf)


February 12, 2011

Emmanuel Lazega
University of Paris – Dauphine

Networks and Controversies: The Influence of Normative Choices on the Dynamics of Advice Networks among Judges at the Commercial Court of Paris 

Emmanuel Lazega is Professor of sociology at the University of Paris – Dauphine. He is a senior member of the Institut Universitaire de France, director of the Observatory of Intra- and Inter-Organizational Networks, and director of the Research Master in Sociology at Dauphine. His current research projects include studies of networks of judges at the Commercial Court of Paris and networks of scientists in the field of French cancer research. He is a member of the Topic Team of the European Science Foundation in charge of network analysis at the « Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences » Program. He is also co-editor of the Revue Française de Sociologie and member of the editorial boards of Social Networks and International Sociology. He was Wiarda Chair Professor at the Faculty of Law, Utrecht University, in 2003-2004. He is the author of several books, both substantive (The Collegial Phenomenon : The Social Mechanisms of Cooperation Among Peers in a Corporate Law Partnership, Oxford University Press; Conventions and Structures in Economic Organization: Markets, Networks, and Hierarchies, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing; Micropolitics of Knowledge, New York, Aldine-de Gruyter) and methodological (Réseaux sociaux et structures relationnelles, Presses Universitaires de France).


Michael Katz

April 28, 2010

Michael Katz
Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley

Product Differentiation through Exclusivity

Gerard HobergApril 9, 2010

Gerard Hoberg 
University of Maryland

Are Strategic Disclosure and Underpricing Decisions Influenced by Liability Risk?

David Pingry March 5, 2010 

David Pingry
The University of Arizona, MIS Department

Software Patents: The Good, The Bad, and The Messy

Uday KarmarkarFebruary 26, 2010

Uday Karmarkar
UCLA Anderson School

Service Industrialization and the Information Economy

Neil FligsteinFebruary 12, 2010 

Neil Fligstein
University of California, Berkeley

The Anatomy of the Mortgage Securitization Crisis

Neil Fligstein is the Class of 1939 Chancellor's Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Calfornia. He is also the Director of the Center for Culture, Organization, and Politics at the Institute of Industrial Relations. His main research interests lie in the fields of economic sociology, organizational theory, political sociology, and the sociology of work. He has been interested in developing and using a sociological view of how new social institutions emerge, remain stable, and are transformed to study a wide variety of seemingly disparate phenomena including the history of the large American corporation and the construction of a European legal and political system. He has used this framework to create a more general view of how markets and states are mutually constitutive and applied this framework to trying to make sense of how global markets work. He is the author of five books and numerous published papers. He is currently working on three projects.

Jeffrey ReuerNovember 6, 2009

Jeffrey Reuer
Purdue University



Robert Merges

May 1, 2009

Robert Merges
School of Law, UC Berkeley

Virtue and Economic Value: IP Theory and Patent Trolls

Arvids Ziedonis April 24, 2009

Arvids Ziedonis
School of Business, University of Michigan

Growth and Deferral Options under Sequential Innovation: Evidence from the Semiconductor Industry

Josh Lerner April 10, 2009

Josh Lerner
Jacob H. Schiff Professor of Investment Banking Harvard Business School

Pierre Azoulay March 27, 2009

Pierre Azoulay
Sloan School of Management, MIT

Superstar Extinction

March 6, 2009

Arti Rai
School of Law, Duke University

University Software Patenting and Litigation: A First Examination

February 5, 2009 

Marie Thursby
School of Management, Georgia Institute of Technology

University-Industry Spillovers: The Nexus of Federally Funded Research and Industrial Consulting

January 23, 2009 

Rosemarie Ziedonis
School of Business, University of Michigan

University-Industry Spillovers: The Nexus of Federally Funded Research and Industrial Consulting

December 5, 2008

Scott Stern
Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

Patents, Papers and Secrecy: Contracting over the Disclosure of Scientific and Commercial Knowledge

November 21, 2008

Thomas Hellman
Sauder School of Management, University of British Columbia

How Do Founders Split Equity?

October 24, 2008

Ashish Arora
Fuqua School of Business at Duke University

Securing Their Future? Entry and Survival in the Information Security Industry and Markets for Technology


April 4, 2008

Iain Cockburn
School of Management, Boston University

Patents, Thickets, and Entry in Software

February 29, 2008

Jason Owen Smith
Department of Sociology, University of Michigan

Know when to fold 'em: Multiple Networks, Market uncertainty and IPO Withdrawals

December 7, 2007

Soong Moon Kang
Department of Management Science and Innovation, University College London

Social Networks, Asymmetric Information and Venture Capital in the US Semiconductor Industry

November 30, 2007

David Adelman
Rogers College of Law, Univeristy of Arizona

Patent Metrics: The Mismeasure of Innovation in the Biotech Patent Debate

November 2, 2007

Yael Hochberg
Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

Networking as a Barrier to Entry and the Competitive Supply of Venture Capital

October 26, 2007

Darian Ibrahaim
Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona

The (Not So) Puzzling Behavior of Angel Investor