PhD Defence: Stimulating Firm Innovativeness



Innovation is seen as the golden key in unlocking firms’ growth potential. In his PhD dissertation entitled <link erim doctoral_programme phd_in_management current_phd_projects _blank>Stimulating Firm Innovativeness: Probing the Interrelations between Managerial and Organizational Determinants, Oli Radu Mihalache finds that firms’ innovation can be greatly increased through offshoring of services, but too much can cause harm. He shows how leadership and sourcing of resources can hamper or enhance innovation competitiveness.

His findings suggest that companies that offshore their activities often improve their product and service offer. However, too much offshoring can have a negative effect on company results. Mr Mihalache also looks at management teams and discovers that those sharing leadership tasks provide higher levels of both improved and new product offerings. Finally, he also finds that there is more innovation in companies that have processes in place for effectively channelling minority voices and dissent.

The research will be of interest to business leaders and policy makers. Not only does it contribute significantly to the debate on whether offshoring increases a firm’s ability to compete, it also shows how innovation arises from a diversity of viewpoints, in tune with other management research. Mr Mihalache’s recommendation is that firms should continually monitor their innovation efforts to establish the health or harm of their strategy with respect to innovation.

Oli Radu Mihalache defended his dissertation on 4 June 2012. His promoters were <link people justin-jansen _blank>Professor Justin Jansen, <link people frans-a-j-van-den-bosch _blank>Professor Frans Van Den Bosch, and <link people henk-volberda _blank>Professor Henk Volberda. Other members of the Doctoral Committee were Professor Fariborz Damanpour, Professor Arie Lewin, and Dr Jatinder Sidhu.

About Oli Mihalache



Oli Radu Mihalache (Romania, 1983) started his PhD trajectory in the Department of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship at RSM in September 2009 after graduating cum laude from the master degree in business research (MPhil) from the same university. Prior to studying in the Netherlands, Oli obtained a Bachelor of Commerce (with high distinction) from the University of Toronto and worked for several financial institutions in Canada. His current research interests revolve around how firms can enhance innovation.

His research has been published or is forthcoming in Strategic Management Journal and as a book chapter. In addition, Oli regularly presents his research at international conferences such as Academy of Management, Strategic Management Society, and Academy of International Business.

Abstract of Stimulating Firm Innovativeness: Probing the Interrelations between Managerial and Organizational Determinants



Innovation is the engine of sustained organisational performance and is central to organisations’ competitive advantage. This thesis aims to further the understanding of how firms can stimulate two types of innovation outcomes: i) product and service innovation, and ii) management innovation. To this end, this thesis analyses how managerial and organisational factors and their interrelations inhibit or enable these two types of innovation. Research findings indicate that offshoring is an important mechanism that can stimulate the introduction of new products and services; however, over-offshoring poses the risk of reducing firms’ innovativeness. Furthermore, this research suggests that when members of the top management team (TMT) share the task of leadership firms can achieve higher levels of both exploratory and exploitative innovation. Also, findings indicate that TMT learning processes (i.e., processes that systematically challenge the status-quo) can stimulate firms’ management innovation.