Publications

You can also find my articles on my Google Scholar profile.

Creativity at the Knowledge Frontier: The Impact of Specialization in Fast- and Slow-paced Domains

Co-author(s): Florenta Teodoridis (USC), Michael Bikard (LBS)

Published in Administrative Science Quarterly, 2018

Using the impact of the Soviet Union’s collapse on the performance of theoretical mathematicians as a natural experiment, we attempt to resolve the controversy in prior research on whether specialists or generalists have superior creative performance. While many have highlighted generalists’ advantage due to access to a wider set of knowledge components, others have underlined the benefits that specialists can derive from their deep expertise. We argue that this disagreement might be partly driven by the fact that the pace of change in a knowledge domain shapes the relative return from being a specialist or a generalist… Read more

Recommended citation: Teodoridis, F., Bikard, M., Vakili, K. (2018). "Creativity at the Knowledge Frontier: The Impact of Specialization in Fast-and Slow-paced Domains." Administrative Science Quarterly. DOI:10.1177/0001839218793384.

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0001839218793384

When Collaboration Bridges Institutions: The Impact of University-Industry Collaboration on Academic Productivity

Co-author(s): Florenta Teodoridis (USC), Michael Bikard (LBS)

Published in Organization Science, 2018

Prior research suggests that academic scientists who collaborate with firms may experience lower publication rates in their collaborative lines of work due to industry’s insistence on IP protection through patenting or secrecy. The main empirical challenge of examining the effect of industry collaboration on scientific productivity is that research projects that involve industry collaborators may be qualitatively different from those that do not. Hence, any difference in subsequent output of academic scientists who collaborate with industry may be driven by differences in the nature of research projects that attract industry collaborators. To address this issue, we exploit the occurrence of simultaneous discoveries where multiple scientists make roughly the same discovery around the same time. Following a simultaneous discovery, we compare the follow-on research output of academic scientists who collaborated with industry on the discovery with that of academic scientists who did not. We find that academic scientists who collaborated with industry produce more follow-on publications and fewer follow-on patents on their collaborative research lines than their academic peers who did not collaborate with industry. Our results suggest… Read more

Recommended citation: Bikard, M., Vakili, K., Teodoridis, F., (Forthcoming). "When Collaboration Bridges Institutions: The Impact of University-Industry Collaboration on Academic Productivity" Organization Science.

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2883365

High on Creativity: The Impact of Social Liberalization Policies on Innovation

Co-author(s): Laurina Zhang (Georgia Tech)

Published in Strategic Management Journal, 2018

We use a large-sample inductive approach to explore the impact of two social liberalization policies (legalization of same-sex civil unions and medical marijuana) and one anti-liberalization policy (passage of abortion restrictions) on innovation. First, we show that liberalization policies increase state-level patenting while the anti-liberalization policy reduces patenting. Next, we examine three possible mechanisms that could explain the findings. The results suggest… Read more

Recommended citation: Vakili, K., Zhang, L. (2018). "High on Creativity: The Impact of Social Liberalization Policies on Innovation." Strategic Management Journal. DOI: 10.1002/smj.2778.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/smj.2778/abstract

Collaborative Promotion of Technology Standards and the Impact on Innovation, Industry Structure, and Organizational Capabilities: Evidence from Modern Patent Pools

Published in Organization Science, 2016

This study explores the impact of modern patent pools—inter-organizational collaborative arrangements for promoting the adoption of technology standards—on the rate of follow-on innovations based on pooled technologies, the vertical structure of associated industries, and organizational capabilities of noncollaborating firms. On one hand, the formation of modern pools can boost follow-on innovation by lowering the search, negotiation, and licensing costs associated with pooled standards. On the other hand, modern pools may decrease the incentives to invest in follow-on innovations because of cannibalization risks and grant-back provisions. To the extent that modern pools succeed in establishing a dominant standard, their collaborative nature and their reliance on markets for technology can reduce technological uncertainty and appropriation hazards, hence triggering vertical disintegration in related industries. Moreover, by establishing a dominant standard, modern pools can effectively diminish the relative importance of integrative capabilities inside firms. Employing a combination of empirical strategies, I show… Read more

Recommended citation: Vakili, K. (2016). "Collaborative Promotion of Technology Standards and the Impact on Innovation, Industry Structure, and Organizational Capabilities: Evidence from Modern Patent Pools." Organization Science. 27(6): 1504-1524.

https://pubsonline.informs.org/doi/abs/10.1287/orsc.2016.1098

Health Care’s Grand Challenge: Stimulating Basic Science on Diseases that Primarily Afflict the Poor

Co-author(s): Anita M. McGahan (UofT)

Published in Academy of Management Journal, 2016

Perhaps the most compelling Grand Challenge in health care is addressing diseases that primarily afflict the poor. Policies and practices conceived in high-income countries for improving the lives of patients in low-income countries have been criticized as ineffective or harmful. We examine the impact of one such policy, the World Trade Organization’s 1994 Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), which was partly justified by a claim that patents and other intellectual property protections would improve the availability of drugs for “neglected diseases” such as malaria and tuberculosis. There is little evidence associating TRIPS with clinical trials, patents, or trade-in drugs for these diseases. One explanation for this is that basic science is required as a prerequisite to drug development. We theorize, test for, and find evidence that TRIPS encouraged the time-consuming and complex development of managerial institutions required for basic science on neglected diseases. The results indicate… Read more

Recommended citation: Vakili, K., McGahan, A. M. (2016). "Health Care’s Grand Challenge: Stimulating Basic Science on Diseases that Primarily Afflict the Poor." Academy of Management Journal. 59(6): 1917-1939.

http://amj.aom.org/content/59/6/1917.short

The Double-Edged Sword of Recombination in Breakthrough Innovation

Co-author(s): Sarah Kaplan (UofT)

Published in Strategic Management Journal, 2015

We explore the double-edged sword of recombination in generating breakthrough innovation: recombination of distant or diverse knowledge is needed because knowledge in a narrow domain might trigger myopia, but recombination can be counterproductive when local search is needed to identify anomalies. We take into account how creativity shapes both the cognitive novelty of the idea and the subsequent realization of economic value. We develop a text-based measure of novel ideas in patents using topic modeling to identify those patents that originate new topics in a body of knowledge. We find that… Read more

Recommended citation: Kaplan, S., Vakili, K. (2015). "The Double-Edged Sword of Recombination in Breakthrough Innovation." Strategic Management Journal. 36(10): 1435-1457.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/smj.2294/abstract

Progress in Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research in the United States between 2001 and 2010

Co-author(s): Anita M. McGahan (UofT), Rahim Rezaie (UofT), Will Mitchell (UofT), Abdallah S. Daar (UofT)

Published in PLoS ONE, 2015

On August 9th, 2001, the federal government of the United States announced a policy restricting federal funds available for research on human embryonic stem cell (hESCs) out of concern for the “vast ethical mine fields” associated with the creation of embryos for research purposes. Until the policy was repealed on March 9th, 2009, no U.S. federal funds were available for research on hESCs extracted after August 9, 2001, and only limited federal funds were available for research on a subset of hESC lines that had previously been extracted. This paper analyzes how the 2001 U.S. federal funding restrictions influenced the quantity and geography of peer-reviewed journal publications on hESC. The primary finding is that the 2001 policy did not have a significant aggregate effect on hESC research in the U.S… Read more

Recommended citation: Vakili, K., McGahan, A. M., Rezaie, R., Mitchell, W., Daar, A. S. (2015). "Progress in Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research in the United States between 2001 and 2010." PLoS ONE. 10(3): e0120052.

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0120052