PhD Defence: Pengfei Wang
In his dissertation ‘Innovation, Status, and Networks’, ERIM’s Pengfei Wang investigated how innovation strategy, status, and network structure jointly affect the performance and behavioral propensity of firms
Pengfei Wang defended his dissertation in the Senate Hall at Erasmus University Rotterdam on Thursday, 1 September 2016 at 15:30. His supervisor was Prof. Justin Jansen and his co-supervisor was Prof. Vareska van de Vrande. Other members of the Doctoral Committee were Prof. Taco Reus (RSM), Prof. Geert Duysters (Tilburg University), Prof. Kled Laursen (Copenhagen Business School)
Pengfei Wang (1985) obtained his master degree in Entrepreneurship from Zhejiang University, China, in 2011, and bachelor degree in Management Science from School of Management and Chu Kechen Honors College in 2008. In 2011, he started his PhD in the Department of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), working together with Prof. Justin Jansen and Prof. Vareska van de Vrande. As part of his PhD trajectory, he also spent three months as a visiting scholar at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Pengfei’s general research interests center around innovation and entrepreneurship, network, and status. In particular, he investigates how exploration/exploitation, status and network interact in multiple contexts. He has expertise in qualitative research methods including network analysis and multi-level analysis. His studies have been published in the Journal of International Management and under review with top-tier journals. Pengfei currently works as a post-doctor researcher at RSM, with the support of NWO VIDI grant.
Pengfei currently works as a post-doctor researcher at RSM, with the support of NWO VIDI grant.
In this dissertation, I investigate how innovation strategy, status, and network structure jointly affect the performance and behavioral propensity of firms. In particular, I combine theories on exploration and exploitation, innovation, networks, and the status-based perspective to investigate (1) how exploration interacts with status to affect the performance of high-tech firms; (2) how exploration and exploitation shape partner selection for strategic alliance; (3) how the exploration or exploitation of an invention determines its value in technology markets, and what effect team characteristics have on that value; and (4) how competition networks affect firm performance directly, and how collaboration and competition networks interplay.
The findings from the four empirical studies show that status is an important factor in terms of how exploration and exploitation affect a firm's performance and its propensity to act in certain ways. The message for practice is that high-status firms should be wary of the signaling effect of status, and should never underrate the importance of quality and novelty. Analysis at the invention level shows that the balance between exploration and exploitation in an invention determines its value in technology markets and the likelihood that it will become a technological breakthrough. Finally, my dissertation also contributes to network theory by drawing attention to competition networks, whose effects haven't been given sufficient consideration. For managers, it suggests that, in order to create competitive advantage, firms should focus on their positions in both collaboration and competition networks.
Photos: Chris Gorzeman / Capital Images