Category: Uncategorized

Yesterday I had to opportunity to give a small course on Markets & Competition to 27 international scientists with excellent entrepreneurial ideas and the intention to startup a business. It was really great to interact with the participants after the session. What an inspiring crowd!

The course was in the context of the IECT international Summer School on Entrepreneurship in Tirol.  The program is a perfect blend of lectures, courses, workshops, and mentoring sessions to help the participants turning their ideas into reality. The IECT Summer School shows that when different actors in the regional eco-system play together and use international linkages great impact can be achieved.

The Summer School is developed in partnership with the University of Cambridge  and the European Forum Alpbach. It is hosted by the Werkstätte Wattens  and sponsored by the Standortagentur Tirol  and the regional chamber of commerce. National and international cooperation partners support the Summer School: Falling Walls Lab (, TEC Alpbach Technology Symposion, Global Incubator Network, ICONS , Spectrum, Management Center Innsbruck.

Open Innovation Research: How Robust are the Results?

Today I have had the pleasure to present some of our (Galia, Laursen, Salter and my) recent research at the Open and User Innnovation Conference here in Innsbruck. Here are the slides.

Many fields of strategic management are subject to an important degree of model uncertainty. This is because the true model, and therefore the selection of appropriate explanatory variables, is essentially unknown. Drawing on the literature on the determinants of innovation, and by analyzing innovation survey data for France, Germany and the UK, we conduct a large-scale robustness study using the Bayesian averaging approach of classical estimators. Our method tests a wide range of determinants of innovation suggested in the prior literature, and establishes a robust set of findings on the variables which shape the introduction of new to the firm and new to the world innovations. We provide some implications for innovation research, and explore the potential application of our approach to other domains of research in strategic management.

The discussion at Q&A session after the presentation mainly touched some methodological issues. And most importantly the question arose what this research means for young PhD students. The discussion then touched upon the rise of Bayesian methods in strategic management research and the potential fear younger researchers have towards new (and seemingly more complex) methodologies. My suggestion would be: do not be afraid, read some of the methodological background to the methodologies and do not be afraid to employ the methodologies. Ask for help, turn to the applied econometrician who you have in the department. Just be brave and try out new methods.

You Cannot Fail Your Way to Success

Recently, I have had the pleasure to have an interview with Stephan Strzyzowski, the editor-in-chief of  the Austrian business magazine DIE WIRTSCHAFT. The interview was about failure as a part of the innovation process and how companies and startups can prepare for or respond to failure.

Please find the interview here.


Innovation & Failure

The Austrian Federal Economic Chamber invited me to speak at the bi-annual MIT Europe Conference in Vienna about ‘Innovation & Failure: The Basis for Building the Future’. This was a nice occasion to build a story around my research with Sören Petersen (formerly with the Technical University in Berlin, now with Google in Dublin).

In short: In the presentation I highlight that future challenges innovative solutions. Although innovation activities have the potential for failure, failure is a great opportunity for learning. To some degree – up to a certain point – innovation performance improves with increasing failure rates. The negative side effect of failure, however, is that it causes negative emotions and those might hamper the learning effect. Organizations can only learn from failures when they are able to handle those negative emotions.

Here is a video of the full presentation.



The Tools I Use

The set-up interviews on really spark my curiosity to find out what hardware and software is used by others. For me it is a continuous inspiration and a valuable source of information to see what others use and read about their workflow.

So I decided to briefly share my set-up and my workflow here.

For quantitative analysis I generally use R and Stata. My workflow might involve both. Sometime I use R for data preparation and subsequently switch to Stata for the econometric analysis. Sometimes I use Stata for data preparation and then I export the data to R for analysis. Occasionally I use Excel or Access for data manipulation. The fabulous RStudio makes coding in R a real pleasure. For network analyses I either employ the R-package sna or I use Gephi.

Generally I use MS Word for writing. This is determined by my co-authors rather than by my personal preferences which clearly lean towards LaTeX. I recently switched to Sublime Text 3 and to Skim for previewing the pdf documents. This is a brilliant and really speedy combination. For my presentations I tend to rely on MS Powerpoint. However, I have recently experimented with HTML5 presentations through RStudio – very light weight and promising.

I manage the papers I read cite through Mendeley with an excellent and automatic export of bibtex-files.

I collect ideas, photos, notes etc with Evernote. For brainstorming and mind-mapping I use XMind.

I upload my course material on a MCI’s SAKAI platform. My site and my blog are based on WordPress, the papercite plugin takes care of my publication list and the references.

For questions or suggestions just send me a message.

How Robust are the Results?

Today I have the pleasure to present some of our (Galia, Laursen, Salter and my) recent research. Here is briefly what it is about:


As stated by Hubbard, Vetter and Little (1998: 251): “The goal of science is empirical generalization, or knowledge development leading to some degree of understanding.” However, in many fields of science, the integrity of the pertinent empirical literatures are open to question because of what Rosenthal (1979) dubbed the “file drawer problem,” which implies that journals may be dominated by papers reporting results that are Type I errors (erroneous rejections of the null hypothesis), while the null outcome remain in the file drawers of researchers. In the top five journals of strategic management research, Goldfarb and King (2016) report that between 24 to 40 percent of the findings are likely the result of chance rather than a reflection of true relationships.

Replication studies can help reduce this problem by establishing a set of robust empirical results (Bettis, 2012). In addition, even if we assume away the “file drawer problem”, statistical tests by nature produce Type I errors. The result is that in strategic management general and in open innovation research in particular, we know too little about which results are empirically generalizable, and hence whether they potentially add to our understanding. In many cases, however, researchers work on similar data sets and use similar or identical dependent variables, so that in principle, the robust (and not so robust) results could be extracted, while controlling for a host of other factors. When such general datasets are available, large scale replication studies can be conducted. By large-scale replication studies, we mean studies where different independent variables are included in a single empirical model with the same dependent variable. However, in these large scale replications as in most empirical applications, the “true model”, and therefore, the appropriate selection of explanatory variables, is essentially unknown, which leads to a phenomenon described as “model uncertainty” (Chatfield, 1995). Disregarding model uncertainty results in too small standard errors and too strong confidence in the statistical findings (Raftery, 1995). Additionally, it is model uncertainty that fundamentally facilitates the “file drawer problem”.

Continue Reading..

Innovation Might not Work – Failure

Last week we had a great session at a conference in Vienna. It was about failure. Interestingly the Austrian daily Der Standard extensively covered the session well. Find the online version of the article here. The open discussion of failure seems to be something that attracts media attention, particularly when you can show that failure presents a valuable opportunity for learning.

So we decided to have a comparable session at the Researchers Night (Lange Nacht der Forschung) on April 22.



Online Education as a Game Changer in Higher Education?

The adoption of technology in higher education and teaching is constantly shifting the traditional modes of education. Technology helps to deliver content more swiftly, it facilitates distant learners to interact and to collaborate, it allows for faster processes in and around the classroom. Although we have already witnessed that technology enabled simulations have the potential to transform learning and teaching experiences we cannot estimate how virtual reality will allow for completely unprecedented learning and teaching experiences. Additionally, technology is disruptive as a promoter for new business models which un-bundle and possibly re-bundle components that are typically integrated in holistic approach of traditional higher education.

Technology and subsequently technology enabled new entrants are and will be challenging higher education. They will profoundly affect the competitiveness of traditional higher education institutions.

Based on its strategic orientation as an Entrepreneurial University the Management Center Innsbruck actively engages in research into the competitiveness of higher education institutions.

We see the option of technology and online education as a potentially important channel of higher education that can have the effect of a disruptive game changer.

In the current publication project ‘The Disruptive Power of Online Education’ we are focusing on challenges and new business models with respect to online education in higher education institutions.

The editorial board of the publication consists of Andreas Altmann (Rector of the MCI), Bernd Ebersberger (MCI Research, Development & Entrepreneurship), Claudia Mössenlechner (MCI Learning Solutions).

Find more information in the Call for Contributions.

Patenting and Standardization

Over the last year I had the pleasure to co-supervise the PhD dissertation of Sören Simon Petersen. Sören collected four of his marvelous papers into his cumulative dissertation, where he analyzes the antecedents and the consequences of patenting and standardization activities in firms. He excellently defended his dissertation.


Universities for the Kids of Digital Natives

Last week Daniela Mathis a journalist from the daily DIE PRESSE asked a couple of interesting questions about the structure and the role of universities in the year 2048. My responses are in this post. Some of my ideas went into a kind of summary article today. Here.