My research (here’s the c.v.!) focuses on the ways that firms’ strategies and organizational structures interact to affect their performance – in particular, their ability to access and exploit technological capabilities. Recent research has also focused on the external competitive implications of firms’ internal organization decisions. Current projects include a study of competitive dynamics, and the development of capabilities, in the laser printer industry. For a change of pace, in my latest project I am studying transatlantic shipping from Liverpool in the 18th and 19th centuries, notably 1) the role of asset ownership in aligning incentives of ship captains and ship owners and 2) the role of social ties, particularly to high-status ship owners, in leading Liverpool merchants to enter the slave trade in the face of an increasing stigma against that trade.
My work has appeared in Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, International Journal of Industrial Organization, Journal of Economics and Management Strategy, Journal of Law and Economics, Management Science, Research Policy, Social Science Research, Strategic Management Journal, and Strategic Organization, among other venues.
Most of my research is the result of collaborative effort. Co-authors include David C. Mowery of UC-Berkeley and Joanne E. Oxley of University of Toronto (for research on the interaction between alliance choices and technological capabilities); Joel A.C. Baum of University of Toronto (for research on the competitive dynamics of alliances and networks); Anita M. McGahan of University of Toronto (for research on the evolution of innovative behavior and the market valuation of intellectual property), Jackson A. Nickerson of Washington University in St. Louis (for any and all research on strategy, organization, and performance in the trucking industry), John de Figueiredo of Duke University (for research on competitive dynamics in the laser printer industry, as well as on university lobbying to obtain “earmarked” research funds from the U.S. government), and Nicholas S. Argyres of Washngton University in St. Louis on the relationship between a firm’s internal organization of its R&D function and the nature of innovative activities that it undertakes. And I have recently begun to collaborate with Paul Ingram of Columbia University on the above-mentioned research project concerning Liverpool transatlantic shipping in the 18th and 19th centuries.
As part of my research, I have developed a concordance between the patent classification system and the SIC system, at the four-digit SIC level. I have posted the concordance, and relevant documentation, for interested scholars here. Just be sure to spell my name right in your references when you use it!