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Zeng, sharon   managing creativity in small worlds
Zeng, sharon   managing creativity in small worlds
Zeng, sharon   managing creativity in small worlds
Zeng, sharon   managing creativity in small worlds
Zeng, sharon   managing creativity in small worlds
Zeng, sharon   managing creativity in small worlds
Zeng, sharon   managing creativity in small worlds
Zeng, sharon   managing creativity in small worlds
Zeng, sharon   managing creativity in small worlds
Zeng, sharon   managing creativity in small worlds
Zeng, sharon   managing creativity in small worlds
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Zeng, sharon managing creativity in small worlds

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  • 1. “Managing Creativity in Small Worlds” LEE FLEMING, MATT MARX CALIFORNIA MANAGEMENT REVIEW, 2006 SHARON ZENG
  • 2. RESEARCH QUESTION How does extended collaborative networks influence creativity through information flow and knowledge transfer? Why is this question important? 1.  Inform policy-makers on how to encourage innovation. 2.  Determine whether firms should maintain traditional closed “silos” of information or share information. 3.  Learn to harness power of collaboration to improve business.
  • 3. PREVIOUS LITERATURE VS. CURRENT PAPER Previous Literature: •  Little analysis done on large-scale collaboration network because of difficult in collecting and analyzing million data points. •  Information and personnel flow have increased dramatically in recent years due to new technologies, which significantly alters collaboration network.
  • 4. DATA SOURCE & DESCRIPTION • Data from patents issued from 1975 to 1999 • 2M+ unique inventors and patent co-authors used • Across all industries in United States •  In-depth focus on Silicon Valley and Boston regions •  Weighted in favor of industries that use patents frequently (i.e. farm machinery vs. fashion designs)
  • 5. EXAMPLE OF DATA POINT 3 1 2
  • 6. POTENTIAL SHORTCOMINGS OF DATA • Creativity may not be accurately gauged by number of patents, because not all innovations are patented or copyrighted. (i.e. open-source computer languages) • Citations are often added by patent office, even if patentee did not include in application, so “importance” of invention may be inaccurately measured.
  • 7. RESULTS: MORE INVENTORS IN CLUSTERS
  • 8. RESULTS: INVENTORS ARE MORE MOBILE The proportion of inventors that are patenting with two different assignees (firms) within seven-year period is increasing, indicating increasing mobility of inventors.
  • 9. RESULTS: IDENTIFYING GATEKEEPERS gatekeeper - technical professionals who span organizational boundaries, accelerating the process of invention by contributing to and capitalizing on inter- firm “spillovers” of technical knowledge
  • 10. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS 1.  More inventors are collaborating, hence enlarging collaboration network and increasing number of connections. 2.  Inventors are more mobile than before, interacting with multiple firms and teams rather than one (i.e. more people serving as bridges between clusters) 3.  Inventors that are mobile with large diverse connections can be identified in the network model as gatekeepers, who are believed to increase the inflow of knowledge into a firm.
  • 11. SHORTCOMINGS & SUGGESTIONS 1.  Provide more robust analysis of network. Examples: Measure clustering coefficient and shortest path within a region’s collaboration cluster. 2.  More empirical evidence on the value of gatekeepers. Example: Collect data on whether firm’s patenting rates increase when a firm hires more gatekeepers. 3.  Use another measure of creativity besides number of patents. Examples: Measure number of start-up companies founded, number of unique products designed, etc...

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