Lori Rosenkopf

Lori Rosenkopf
  • Simon and Midge Palley Professor
  • Professor of Management

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    3018 SH-DH
    3620 Locust Walk
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

Research Interests: innovation diffusion, learning in interorganizational networks, technological and organizational evolution

Links: CV, Talk Video: at Wharton Global Forum


Lori Rosenkopf is the Simon and Midge Palley Professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her Ph. D in Management of Organizations from Columbia University after working as a systems engineer for Eastman Kodak and AT&T Bell Laboratories. Prior to that, Lori earned her B.S. in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering from Cornell University and her M.S in Operations Research from Stanford University.

Since joining the faculty in 1993, Lori has taught courses for undergraduates, MBAs, and doctoral students, as well as for executive education and online participants. She received the Hauck Award for distinguished teaching in the undergraduate program. Lori served two terms as the Vice Dean and Director of the Wharton Undergraduate Division from 2013-2019, where her accomplishments included introducing the new Wharton undergraduate curriculum, elevating alternative curricular and career pathways, and growing diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Lori’s research examines technological communities and social networks across several high-tech industries. She analyzes how and when knowledge may flow between technical professionals and between firms, mapping these flows in order to estimate when people, firms, and technologies are likely to learn, move, and succeed. Her research has been published in leading journals including Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Management Science, Organization Science, and Strategic Management Journal. Lori has also served as a Senior Editor for the journal Organization Science and as a consultant for the National Academy of Sciences, and she has been elected a member of the Macro-Organizational Behavior Society and also to a term as the Chair of the Technology and Innovation Management Division of the Academy of Management.

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  • Ram Ranganathan, Anindya Ghosh, Lori Rosenkopf (2018), Competition-cooperation interplay during multi-firm technology coordination: The effect of firm heterogeneity on conflict and consensus in a technology standards organization, Strategic Management Journal, 39:3193-3221.

  • A. Ghosh, R. Ranganathan, Lori Rosenkopf (2016), The impact of context and model choice on the determinants of strategic alliance formation: Evidence from a staged replication study, Strategic Management Journal, 37:2204-2221.

  • A. Ghosh and Lori Rosenkopf (2015), Shrouded in structure: Challenges and opportunities for a friction-based view of network research, Organization Science, 26:622-631.

  • R. Ranganathan and Lori Rosenkopf (2014), Do ties really bind? The effect of knowledge and commercialization networks on opposition to standards, Academy of Management Journal, 57:515-540.

  • G. Dokko, A. Nigam, Lori Rosenkopf (2012), Keeping steady as she goes: A negotiated order perspective on technological evolution, Organization Studies, 33:681-703.

    Abstract: A central idea in the theory of technology cycles is that social and political mechanisms are most important during the selection of a dominant design, and that eras of incremental change are socially uninteresting periods in which innovation is driven by technological momentum and elaboration of the dominant design. In this essay, we overturn the ontological assumption that social order is inherently stable, drawing on Anselm Strauss’s concept of negotiated order to analyze the persistence of a dominant design as a social accomplishment: an outcome of ongoing processes that reinforce or challenge a socially negotiated order. Thus, we shift focus from battles over standards to periods of normal innovation. We extend the technology cycles model to explain social dynamics in periods of incremental change, and to make predictions specifying how contextual conditions in standards-setting organizations affect social interaction, leading to reinforcement or challenge to a socio-technical order.

  • D. Lavie, J. Kang, Lori Rosenkopf (2011), Balancing exploration and exploitation within and across domains: Evaluation of performance implications in alliance portfolios, Organization Science, 22:1517-1538.

    Abstract: Organizational research advocates that firms balance exploration and exploitation, yet it acknowledges inherent challenges in reconciling these opposing activities. To overcome these challenges, such research suggests that firms establish organizational separation between exploring and exploiting units or engage in temporal separation whereby they oscillate between exploration and exploitation over time. Nevertheless, these approaches entail resource allocation trade-offs and conflicting organizational routines, which may undermine organizational performance as firms seek to balance exploration and exploitation within a discrete field of organizational activity (i.e., domain). We posit that firms can overcome such impediments and enhance their performance if they explore in one domain while exploiting in another. Studying the alliance portfolios of software firms, we demonstrate that firms do not typically benefit from balancing exploration and exploitation within the function domain (technology versus marketing and production alliances) and structure domain (new versus prior partners). Nevertheless, firms that balance exploration and exploitation across these domains by engaging in research and development alliances while collaborating with their prior partners, or alternatively, by forming marketing and production alliances while seeking new partners, gain in profits and market value. Moreover, we reveal that increases in firm size that exacerbate resource allocation trade-offs and routine rigidity reinforce the benefits of balance across domains and the costs of balance within domains. Our domain separation approach offers new insights into how firms can benefit from balancing exploration and exploitation. What matters is not simply whether firms balance exploration and exploitation in their alliance formation decisions but the means by which they achieve such balance.

  • Lori Rosenkopf and Patia McGrath (2011), Advancing the Conceptualization and Operationalization of Novelty in Organizational Research, Organization Science, 22:1297-1311.

    Abstract: The construct of novelty is an important primitive for theories of organization learning, strategic change, and innovation. The organizational pursuit of novelty is generally theorized as necessary for long-term organizational adaptation and survival yet variance increasing in the short term. We argue that the recent explosion of studies of exploration and exploitation tend to conceptualize and operationalize novelty quite narrowly. In contrast, we treat novelty as a multidimensional construct and discuss implications of this approach for future research.

  • G. Dokko and Lori Rosenkopf (2010), Social Capital for Hire? Mobility of Technical Professionals and Firm Influence in Wireless Standard Committees, Organization Science, 21:677-695.

    Abstract: The movement of personnel between firms has been shown to have important implications for firms, yet there has been little direct investigation of the underlying mechanisms. We propose that in addition to their human capital, mobile individuals carry social capital, affecting the outcomes of the firms they join and leave by altering the patterns of interaction between firms. In this study, we examine how job mobility affects firm influence in a technical standards setting committee for U.S. wireless telecommunications. We hypothesize and find that hiring individuals who are richer in social capital increases firm influence in technical standards setting committees by increasing the hiring firm’s social capital. We also find the benefits of hiring social capital are attenuated when an interfirm relationship is maintained by multiple individuals. In contrast, we find that the loss of personnel does not affect a firm’s social capital or influence over standards directly but that it does have an effect on firm social capital and influence contingent on changes in the firm’s business strategy. In advancing these arguments, we address the broader question of individuals as carriers of social capital and the conditions under which interpersonal connections are appropriable by firms.

  • S. P. Upham, Lori Rosenkopf, L. Ungar (2010), Innovating knowledge communities: An analysis of group collaboration and competition in science and technology, Scientometrics, 83:525-554.

    Abstract: A useful level of analysis for the study of innovation may be what we call ‘‘knowledge communities’’—intellectually cohesive, organic inter-organizational forms. Formal organizations like firms are excellent at promoting cooperation, but knowledge communities are superior at fostering collaboration—the most important process in innovation. Rather than focusing on what encourages performance in formal organizations, we study what characteristics encourage aggregate superior performance in informal knowledge communities in computer science. Specifically, we explore the way knowledge communities both draw on past knowledge, as seen in citations, and use rhetoric, as found in writing, to seek a basis for differential success. We find that when using knowledge successful knowledge communities draw from a broad range of sources and are extremely flexible in changing and adapting. In marked contrast, when using rhetoric successful knowledge communities tend to use very similar vocabularies and language that does not move or adapt over time and is not unique or esoteric compared to the vocabulary of other communities. A better understanding of how inter-organizational collaborative network structures encourage innovation is important to understanding what drives innovation and how to promote it.

  • S. P. Upham, Lori Rosenkopf, L. Ungar (2010), Positioning knowledge: Schools of thought and new knowledge creation, Scientometrics, 83:555-581.

    Abstract: Cohesive intellectual communities called ‘‘schools of thought’’ can provide powerful benefits to those developing new knowledge, but can also constrain them. We examine how developers of new knowledge position themselves within and between schools of thought, and how this affects their impact. Looking at the micro and macro fields of management publications from 1956 to 2002 with an extensive dataset of 113,000? articles from 41 top journals, we explore the dynamics of knowledge positioning for management scholars. We find that it is significantly beneficial for new knowledge to be a part of a school of thought, and that within a school of thought new knowledge has more impact if it is in the intellectual semi-periphery of the school.


Past Courses


    We all spend much of our lives in organizations. Most of us are born in organizations, educated in organizations, and work in organizations. Organizations emerge because individuals can't (or don't want to) accomplish their goals alone. Management is the art and science of helping individuals achieve their goals together. Managers in an organization determine where their organization is going and how it gets there. More formally, managers formulate strategies and implement those strategies. This course provides a framework for understanding the opportunities and challenges involved in formulating and implementing strategies by taking a "system" view of organizations,which means that we examine multiple aspects of how managers address their environments, strategy, structure, culture, tasks, people, and outputs, and how managerial decisions made in these various domains interrelate. The course will help you to understand and analyze how managers can formulate and implement strategies effectively. It will be particularly valuable if you are interested in management consulting, investment analysis, or entrepreneurship - but it will help you to better understand and be a more effective contributor to any organizations you join, whether they are large, established firms or startups. This course must be taken for a grade.


    Academics, students and practitioners alike are fascinated by the culture of tech sector - its people, practices, and organization. In this course we explore this sector using a combination of research papers, press coverage, and practitioner involvement. Each class session will be devoted to discussion of a single research article, during which we will be joined via state-of-the-art videoconferencing by a Wharton alum from the tech sector whose expertise is relevant to the paper topic. Therefore, the learning objectives half-credit course are to: 1) understand the managerial, organizational, and regional institutions that characterize the tech sector, with particular emphasis on the case of Silicon Valley 2)Bridge research and practice by critical analysis of academic research papers in conjunction with practitioner input 3) Forge connections with tech sector practitioners, particularly with our west coast alumni base.


    Designed for students with a serious interest in entrepreneurship, this course will provide you with an advanced theoretical foundation and a set of practicaltools for the management of startups and entrepreneurial teams in fast-changing and innovative environments. Building on the skills of MGMT 801, every class session is built around an experience where you have to put learning into practice, including the award-winning Looking Glass entrepreneurial simulation, role-playing exercises, and a variety of other games and simulations. The goal is to constantly challenge you to deal with entrepreneurial or innovative experiences, as you learn to navigate complex and changing environments on the fly, applying what you learned to a variety of scenarios. MGMT 802 is built to be challenging and will require a desire to deal with ambiguous and shifting circumstances. Format: Lectures, discussion, interim reports, class participation, readings report, and presentations, and an innovation assessment in PowerPoint format.


    MGMT 811 focuses on the theoretical, strategic, analytics, and practical issues of acquiring a business. Topics include: locating a business, due diligence, reviewing and analyzing data, valuation, raising capital/financing the deal, structuring the acquisition, letters of intent, contracts/asset purchase agreements, and integrating the target. Format: The class consists of lectures, in-class discussions of caseletts, assigned readings, homework problems, and a group or individual project.


    This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the methodological approaches we commonly think of as qualitative, with special emphasis on ethnography, semi- structured interviews, case studies, content analysis, and mixed-methods research. The course will cover the basic techniques for collecting, interpreting, and analyzing qualitative (i.e. non-numerical) data. In the spring quarter, the course will operate on two interrelated dimensions, one focused on the theoretical approaches to various types of qualitative research, the other focused on the practical techniques of data collection, such as identifying key informants, selecting respondents, collecting field notes and conducting interviews. In the fall semester, the course will operate on two interrelated dimensions, one focused on the theoretical approaches on building arguments and theory from qualitative data, the other focused on the practical techniques of data collection, such as analyzing data, writing, and presenting findings. Note: This class is part of a two-part sequence which focuses on qualitative data collection and analysis. The first of this course, offered in the Spring, focuses on data collection and the second half of the course, offered the following Fall, will focus on qualitative data analysis. Each course is seven weeks long. Students may take either class independently or consecutively.


    This course explores network models and their applications to organizational phenomena. By examining the structure of relations among actors, network approaches seek to explain variations in beliefs, behaviors, and outcomes. The beauty of network analysis is its underlying mathematical nature - network ideas and measures, in some cases, apply equally well at micro and macro levels of analysis. Therefore, we read and discuss articles both at the micro level (where the network actors are individuals within organizations) and at the macro level (where the network actors are organizations within larger communities) that utilize antecedents or consequences of network constructs such as small worlds, cohesion, structural equivalence, centrality, and autonomy. We begin by examining the classic problem of contagion of information and behaviors across networks, and follow by considering the various underlying models of network structure that might underlie contagion and other processes The next two sessions address a variety of mechanisms by which an actor's position in a network affects its behavior or performance. Then, the following two sessions address antecedents of network ties via the topics of network evolution and network activation. We close with a "grab bag" session of articles chosen to match class interests.


    Organizations are ubiquitous, and so is organization. This half-semester course explores organization theory (OT) from the 1960s through the end of the 20th century. We will examine the proliferation of organizational theories during this time period (such as contingency theory, resource dependence theory, ecological theory, and institutional theory) and understand how each theory attempts to relate structure and action over varying levels of analysis. We will determine one or two additional schools to add once we discuss your exposure in other management classes to other potential topics such as behavioral decision theory, sense-making and cognition, organizational economics, corporate governance, social networks, and the like.


    This is an introductory doctoral seminar on research methods in management. We examine basic issues involved in conducting empirical research for publication in scholarly management journals. We start by discussing the framing of research questions, theory development, the initial choices involved in research design, and basic concerns in empirical testing. We then consider these issues in the context of different modes of empirical research (including experimental, survey, qualitative, archival, and simulation). We discuss readings that address the underlying fundamentals of these modes as well studies that illustrate how management scholars have used them in their work, separately and in combination.


    WH 101 is the first step of the Leadership Journey at Wharton. The course is designed to fuel students' unique interests in academic, research, and professional pursuits; to raise awareness of the complexity of business; and to increase understanding of the interrelatedness of business disciplines. Students will also acquire greater awareness of their strengths and leadership potential as members of the Wharton community and as future professionals. Students will come to appreciate that leadership is an act and best developed through study, feedback from trusted colleagues and peers, and stretch experiences that stimulate growth and development. Students will also begin to hone skills essential to the pursuit of personal, academic, and professional goals: thinking creatively, analyzing problems, applying what you have learned, and reflecting on learnings. A case-analysis project will engage students with the community through helping local agencies examine business challenges that they face. This course is for Wharton students only.


    WIEP features short-term courses that focus on various industries and feature visits to businesses, lectures, extracurricular activities, and networking opportunities with alumni. Students must apply online: https://undergrad-inside.wharton.upenn.edu/wiep/


    This seminar takes place over two semesters and provides students with the skills to perform their own research under the guidance of a Wharton faculty member. At the conclusion of the fall semester, students will produce a thesis proposal including literature review, significance of the research, methodology, and exploratory data if relevant. Throughout the fall semester faculty guests from a range of disciplines will present on their research in class, highlighting aspects that are relevant to the work students are engaging in at that point. During the second semester, students will collect and analyze data and write up the results in close collaboration with their faculty mentor. At the end of the spring semester, each student will present their research in a video presentation. Throughout the course, students will work individually, in small groups, and under the mentorship of a Wharton faculty member. The goal is to becomes capable independent researchers who incorporate feedback and critical (self-) analysis to take their research to the next level.

Awards and Honors

  • Elected member (one of 100), Macro-Organizational Behavior Society (MOBS), 2008
  • Best Management Paper Award, SDA Bocconi, 2007
  • David Hauck Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching, 2006
  • Finalist, Best Paper Award, Organization and Management Theory Division of the Academy of Management, 2003
  • Best Paper Award, Technology and Innovation Management Division of Administrative Sciences Association of Canada / International Federation of Scholarly Associations of Management, 2000
  • Junior Faculty Research Awards, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, 1994-1995
  • Finalist, Best Dissertation Proposal Competition, TIMS College on Organization, 1992
  • Columbia/Sloan Workshop Fellowship, Columbia Law School, 1992-1993
  • Center for the Social Sciences Fellowship, Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, 1990-1991
  • Best Paper Award, Organization and Management Theory Division of the Academy of Management, 1990
  • American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business Fellowship, 1988-1989


Latest Research

Ram Ranganathan, Anindya Ghosh, Lori Rosenkopf (2018), Competition-cooperation interplay during multi-firm technology coordination: The effect of firm heterogeneity on conflict and consensus in a technology standards organization, Strategic Management Journal, 39:3193-3221.
All Research

In the News

The Headquarters Checklist: How Do Companies Pick a Location?

Amazon’s search for a second headquarters has cities competing in a high-profile dog and pony show. But what qualities do companies actually look for? And what could it mean for the city that “wins”?

Knowledge @ Wharton - 2017/10/24
All News

Awards and Honors

Elected member (one of 100), Macro-Organizational Behavior Society (MOBS) 2008
All Awards