Sarath Balachandran is a PhD candidate at Wharton. His research interests center on the question of how firms leverage their external relationships to support their innovation efforts. His work has examined how the institutional environment shapes the way firms associate with each other, as well as the innovation related benefits they can accrue from these relationships. In his dissertation, he examines how incumbent firms in an industry influence the innovative activities of entrepreneurial firms through their venture capital investments. Prior to joining the doctoral program at Wharton, Sarath worked for Unilever at a manufacturing facility in Atlanta and subsequently at the company’s corporate headquarters in London. He has a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Tech and a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from RV College of Engineering.
Sarath Balachandran and Exequiel Hernandez (2017), Networks and Innovation: Accounting for Structural and Institutional Sources of Recombination in Brokerage Triads, Organization Science, forthcoming.
Abstract: Research linking interorganizational networks to innovation has focused on spanning structural boundaries as a means of knowledge recombination. Increasingly, firms also partner across institutional boundaries (countries, industries, technologies) in their search for new knowledge. When both structural and institutional separation affect knowledge recombination, aggregate characterizations of ego network attributes mask distinct recombination processes that lead to distinct types of innovation outcomes. We address this issue by focusing on triads as the locus of recombination in networks. We partition firms’ networks into three configurations of open triads—foreign, domestic, and mixed—based on the distribution of the broker and its partners across or within institutional boundaries. We argue that each configuration embodies distinct recombination processes, with foreign triads offering high access to novel knowledge, domestic triads facilitating relatively efficient knowledge integration, and mixed triads balancing the two. We apply this approach to a global R&D alliance network in the biotechnology industry, using countries as institutional boundaries. The results show that domestic triads affect innovation volume (i.e. the productivity of innovation) more strongly than mixed or foreign triads. In contrast, foreign triads have a greater impact on innovation radicalness (i.e. the path breaking nature of the innovation) than mixed or domestic triads. The findings suggest that different brokerage configurations embody unique recombination processes, leading to distinct innovation outcomes. Our research provides a deeper understanding of how networks and institutions jointly influence distinct aspects of innovation.
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.