My research applies dynamic social network analysis to study innovation. Zooming on the antecedents of innovation, I explore how individual and group characteristics affect the evolution of relationships in innovating teams, and how this dynamics affects important group outcomes such as team performance. This research steam contributes to innovation literature, emphasizing that individuals and their interactions matter for organizational performance.
Zooming out, I look on the consequences of innovation and investigate how emergent technologies impact traditional institutions. Applying complexity lens, dynamic analysis of social networks and semantic network analysis, I study how new technologies propagate through society, taking massive open online courses and nanotechnology as examples. I am interested in how motivation and actions of various stakeholders result in systemic change, and ultimately adoption - or rejection - of new technology. This research stream extends organizational theory by focusing on the interplay between new technologies and institutional arrangements.
To shed light on these phenomena, I apply a broad repertoire of methods, from stochastic actor-based modeling, to social network analysis, to natural language processing.
Social Network Dynamics
Although we realize the importance of the generation of fundamental and new technological knowledge (technological innovations), we think that an often neglected determinant of innovation is the managerial and organization capacity to recognize this knowledge, assimilate it, and apply it to commercial ends (Cohen and Levinthal, 1990; Van den Bosch et al. 2003). We define these managerial and organizational innovations as novel managerial capabilities and new organizing principles for using the existing knowledge-base to carry out combinations that are new to the firm and the industry. Managerial and organizational innovations are thus innovations that have a more significant impact on the relationships between the constituting technologies and knowledge components, than on the technologies themselves (Henderson and Clark, 1990). Many strategy scholars applying an evolutionary perspective (Grant, 1996; Kogut and Zander, 1992; Nelson and Winter, 1982) argue that these managerial innovations are limited to deploying and extending existing capabilities rather than constantly recreating new capabilities. However, firms such as Microsoft, Honda, and Benetton were able to continuously recreate new managerial capabilities and novel organizational forms in various competitive rounds resulting from their management's extensive absorptive capacity and learning ability. These managerial capabilities and organizing principles opened up new sources of innovations and productivity growth resulting in competitive advantage. There is great unanimity among strategy scholars that the need for these new managerial capabilities and organizing principles in hyper competitive environments is even greater than ever (Pettigrew et al., 2003). Expanding worldwide competition, fragmenting markets, and emerging technologies force established firms to renew themselves continuously by transforming stagnant businesses and creating new sources of wealth through new combinations of resources (Guth and Ginsburg, 1990) and new knowledge integration patterns (de Boer et al 1999). According to Porter (1996), downsizing, restructuring, reengineering, and benchmarking often only improve operational effectiveness, but do not provide strategic advantage. Likewise, Hamel and Prahalad (1994) contended that instead of `more of the same' or `try harder' approaches ("How to be better"), firms should fundamentally reconsider their core activities ("How to be different"). Not a static strategy, but strategy innovation and industry transformation are much more important (Volberda, 2003). The position of the Netherlands in the Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum regarding innovativeness and productivity growth is disappointing. The Dutch degraded from the top-10. This could have serious consequences for the international competitive advantage of firms and organizations in the Netherlands. At present, the primary focus of government and business in the Netherlands is on efficiency and exploitation instead of innovation and strategic renewal. Such a focus will not result in a fundamental improvement of our innovation capacity (March 1991; Van den Bosch and Volberda, 2003; Volberda and Van den Bosch, 2004). This raises important problems. This research project contributes to these problems by investigating as research question “How do managerial and organizational determinants of innovative organizations contribute to sustained competitive advantage of Dutch firms?
- Time frame
- 2007 -
Work in Progress
E. Dolgova & M.C. Schippers (2017). The co-evolution of perceptions of competence and friendship: The effect of self-monitoring personality. Organization Science, R&R (2).
B. Schrempf & E. Dolgova (2015). Nano-technology in Ireland – an analysis of patent co-classification network. In D.G. Assimakopoulos, K. Pandza & I. Oshri (Eds.), Managing Emergent Technologies for Socio-Economic Impact (Series on Science, Technologies, Innovation and Entrepreneurship). Edward Elgar
Professional Publications (2)
E. Schootstra, D. Deichmann & E. Dolgova (2017). Can 10 minutes of meditation make you more creative? Harvard Business Review.
E. Dolgova (2013). The case of Siemens TechnoWeb: Using online social network as a tool to foster organizational learning. Open Innovation Bayer Industry Event: Cologne, Germany.
E. Dolgova, W. Van Olffen, Frans, A.J. Van Den Bosch & H.W. Volberda (2010). The Interaction between Personality, Social Network Position and Involvement in Innovation Process. Organization Science Winter Conference: Steamboat Springs, Colorado, USA (2010, februari 3 - 2010, februari 7).
Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3062 PA Rotterdam
3000 DR Rotterdam