Imperial College London

ProfessorPaolaCriscuolo

Business School

Professor of Innovation Management
 
 
 
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Contact

 

+44 (0)20 7594 1582p.criscuolo Website

 
 
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Location

 

275Business School BuildingSouth Kensington Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
to

28 results found

Capponi G, Criscuolo P, Martinelli A, Nuvolari Aet al., 2019, Profiting from Innovation: Evidence from a survey of Queen's Awards winners, Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, ISSN: 0954-349X

Based on a survey of firms that received the Queen’s Award for Innovation, we investigate the use and perceived effectiveness of different appropriability strategies in the context of breakthrough innovations. We find that firms consistently combine formal and informal intellectual property to prevent imitation, and that their strategies can vary over time according to the phase of development of the innovation. Our results are consistent also with the growing body of evidence showing that in several economic contexts informal appropriability mechanisms are more effective than patents.

Journal article

Criscuolo P, Alexy O, Sharapov D, Salter Aet al., 2019, Lifting the veil: using a quasi-replication approach to assess sample selection bias in patent-based studies, Strategic Management Journal, Vol: 40, Pages: 230-252, ISSN: 0143-2095

Research summaryPatent data is a valued source of information for strategy research. However, patent‐based studies may suffer from sample selection bias given that patents result from within‐firm selection processes and hence do not represent the full population of inventions. We assess how incidental and nonincidental data truncation resulting from firm‐level and inventor‐level selection processes may result in sample selection bias using a quasi‐replication approach, drawing on rich qualitative data and a novel, proprietary dataset of all 40,000 invention disclosures within a large multinational firm. We find that accounting for selection both reaffirms and challenges past work, and discuss the implications of our findings for work on the microfoundations of exploratory innovation activities and for strategy research drawing on patent data.Managerial summaryMuch of what is known about innovation in general, and in particular about what makes inventors prolific, comes from studies that use patent data. However, many ideas are never patented, meaning that these studies may not in reality talk about ideas or inventions, but only about patents. In this paper, we examine the question of whether patent data can accurately be used to represent inventions by using data on all inventions generated within a large multinational firm to explore how and to what degree the selection processes behind firms' patenting decisions may lead to important differences between the two. We find that accounting for selection changes many previously given managerial implications; for example, we show how junior inventors may often not get the credit they deserve.

Journal article

Ter Wal ALJ, Criscuolo P, McEvily B, Salter Aet al., 2018, The relative value of the division versus duplication of network ties for innovation performance, Academy of Management Proceedings, Publisher: Academy of Management

Exploiting a unique setting of R&D technologists and managers in a large multinational who are “partnered-up” in their pursuit of innovation, this paper explores under what circumstances technologists and managers benefit from duplicating network ties to the same groups in the organization as their partner, or from dividing the network with their partner by each interacting with different groups. Introducing the concept of network duplication – the extent to which two individuals are tied to the same functional groups inside an organization – this paper aims to build and test a theory of the division versus duplication of networks. It advances our understanding of second-order social capital and its role in the interpretation and influencing aspects of the innovation process by shedding light on how network duplication affects technologists’ and managers’ innovation performance. It finds that the merits of a division versus duplication-of- networks approach are contingent on the mutual interdependence of managers and technologists.

Conference paper

Criscuolo P, Laursen K, Reichstein T, Salter Aet al., 2017, Winning combinations: search strategies and innovativeness in the UK, Industry and Innovation, Vol: 25, Pages: 115-143, ISSN: 1366-2716

Searching for the most rewarding sources of innovative ideas remains a key challenge in management of technological innovation. Yet, little is known about which combinations of internal and external knowledge sources are triggers for innovation. Extending theories about searching for innovation, we examine the effectiveness of different combinations of knowledge sources for achieving innovative performance. We suggest that combinations involving integrative search strategies – combining internal and external knowledge – are the most likely to generate product and process innovation. In this context, we present the idea that cognitively distant knowledge sources are helpful for innovation only when used in conjunction with knowledge sources that are closer to the focal firm. We also find important differences between product and process innovation, with the former associated with broader searches than the latter. Using a large-scale pooled sample of UK firms, we find overall support for our conjectures, particularly in terms of product innovation.

Journal article

Criscuolo P, Dahlander L, Groshjean T, Salter Aet al., 2017, The biases that keep good R&D projects from getting funded, Harvard Business Review

Journal article

ter Wal ALJ, Criscuolo P, Salter A, 2017, Making a marriage of materials: The role of gatekeepers and shepherds in the absorption of external knowledge and innovation performance, Research Policy, Vol: 46, Pages: 1039-1054, ISSN: 0048-7333

Through interviews and a large-scale survey of R&D scientists and engineers, this paper explores individuals’ attempts to absorb external knowledge, focusing on their efforts to identify and assimilate external knowledge and promote its utilization. Extant research does not explicitly address whether individuals should better specialize in certain absorption efforts or rather work as generalists dedicated to a range of efforts. We suggest that assimilation efforts increase the value of individuals’ efforts at external search and at promoting the utilization of external knowledge, which culminates in two main absorption roles that can help individuals achieve greater innovation performance. We argue that gatekeepers who combine external search with assimilation effort help to achieve innovation by contributing to building potential absorptive capacity, while shepherds who combine assimilation with utilization effort aid innovation by building realized absorptive capacity. We find support for these predictions and discuss the implications for research and managerial practice in open innovation.

Journal article

Criscuolo P, Dahlander L, Grohsjean T, Salter Aet al., 2016, Evaluating novelty: the role of panels in the selection of R&D projects, Academy of Management Journal, Vol: 60, Pages: 433-460, ISSN: 1535-3990

Building on a unique, multi-source, and multi-method study of R&D projects in a leadingprofessional service firm, we develop the argument that organizations are more likely to fundprojects with intermediate levels of novelty. That is, some project novelty increases the share ofrequested funds received, but too much novelty is difficult to appreciate and is selected against.While prior research has considered the characteristics of the individuals generating projectideas, we shift the focus to panel selectors and explore how they shape the evaluation of novelty.We theorize that a high panel workload reduces panel preference for novelty in selection,whereas a diversity of panel expertise and a shared location between panel and applicant increasepreference for novelty. We explore the implications of these findings for theories of innovationsearch, organizational selection, and managerial practice.

Journal article

Haas M, Criscuolo P, George G, 2015, Which problems to solve? Attention allocation and online knowledge sharing in organizations, Academy of Management Journal, Vol: 58, Pages: 680-711, ISSN: 0001-4273

Why do individuals allocate attention to specific problems in organizations? Viewing online knowledge sharing as a matching process between knowledge providers and problems, we examine attention allocation in the context of an online community within which knowledge providers respond to problems posted by other organization members. We argue that knowledge providers are more likely to allocate attention to solving problems that more closely match their expertise, but that decisions to allocate attention are also influenced by problem characteristics such as length, breadth, and novelty, as well as by problem crowding. Analyzing 1,251 realized matches and 12,510 nonrealized matches among knowledge providers and problems posted over a 32-month period on an online discussion forum within a global engineering firm, we find evidence to support our claim that attention allocation is driven by the features of a particular provider–problem match, thereby shifting the discourse from knowledge provider–seeker relationships to knowledge provider–problem matches. The implications for theories of knowledge sharing, matching processes, and managerial attention are discussed.

Journal article

Salter A, Criscuolo P, Ter Wal ALJ, 2014, Coping with Open Innovation: Responding to the Challenges of External Engagement in R&D, California Management Review, Vol: 56, Pages: 77-94, ISSN: 0008-1256

Open innovation often requires wholesale changes to the nature of R&D. However, academic research and managerial practice have paid little attention to the challenges that individuals face in the daily pursuit of open innovation. As a result, there is little understanding of how individuals cope with open innovation, and which organizational practices can support them in this role. Drawing on the experiences of R&D professionals, this article identifies four specific challenges and coping strategies of individuals engaged in open innovation. It proposes a range of open innovation practices that organizations can implement to better equip their staff to undertake effective external engagement.

Journal article

Criscuolo P, Salter A, Ter Wal A, 2014, Going underground. Bootlegging and individual innovative performance, Organization Science, Vol: 25, Pages: 1287-1305, ISSN: 1047-7039

In order to develop innovations in large, mature organizations, individuals often have to resort to underground, “bootleg” research and development (R&D) activities that have no formal organizational support. In doing so, these individuals attempt to achieve greater autonomy over the direction of their R&D efforts and to escape the constraints of organizational accountability. Drawing on theories of proactive creativity and innovation, we argue that these underground R&D efforts help individuals to develop innovations based on exploration of uncharted territory and delayed assessment of embryonic ideas. After carefully assessing the direction of causality, we find that individuals’ bootleg efforts are associated with achievement of high levels of innovative performance. Further, we show that the costs and benefits of bootlegging for innovation are contingent on the emphasis on the enforcement of organizational norms in the individual’s work environment, arguing – and demonstrating empirically – that the benefits of an individual’s bootlegging efforts are enhanced in work units with high levels of innovative performance, and which include members also engaged in bootlegging. However, during periods of organizational change involving formalization of the R&D process, individuals who increase their bootlegging activities are less likely to innovate. We explore the implications of these findings for our understanding of proactive and deviant creativity.

Journal article

Salter A, Ter Wal AJL, Criscuolo P, Alexy Oet al., 2014, Open for Ideation: Individual-Level Openness and Idea Generation in R&D, Journal of Product Innovation Management

Organizations are increasingly encouraging their scientists and engineers to source knowledge externally. However, it is unclear how the openness of individuals to external sources of knowledge affects their ideation performance, that is, their ability to develop new, useful innovative ideas for their organization, and which factors might moderate this process. Drawing on theories of combinatorial search, and using a sample of 329 R&D scientists and engineers working in a large organization, we demonstrate that individuals’ openness to external sources of knowledge iscurvilinearly related to their ideation performance. Openness provides benefits such as alertness and variety which contribute to ideation up to the point where increasing integration and approval costs cause negative returns to set in. We also examine how the R&D time horizon, ties to senior managers, and the breadth of individual knowledge moderate the costs and benefits of openness to individuals. We explore the implications of these findings for managerial practice.

Journal article

Alexy O, Criscuolo P, Salter A, 2012, Managing unsolicited ideas for R&D, California Management Review, Vol: 54, Pages: 116-139, ISSN: 0008-1256

Journal article

Criscuolo P, Nicolaou N, Salter A, 2012, The elixir (or burden) of youth? Exploring differences in innovation between start-ups and established firms, Research Policy, Vol: 14, Pages: 319-333

Despite the widely acknowledged role of start-ups in economic development, little is known about theirinnovative activities compared with those of established firms. Drawing on a sample of 12,209 UK firms,we differentiate between services and manufacturing firms and, using a matching estimator approach,demonstrate that start-ups differ significantly from established firms in their innovation activities. Wefind that in services, being a start-up increases the likelihood of product innovations. However, in manufacturing,we find no significant differences in the likelihood of product innovation between start-ups andestablished firms. When examining the returns to innovation, we find that start-ups have a significantadvantage both in services and in manufacturing. We explore the implications of these results for theoryand policy.

Journal article

Criscuolo P, 2009, Inter-firm reverse technology transfer: the home country effect of R&D internationalization, INDUSTRIAL AND CORPORATE CHANGE, Vol: 18, Pages: 869-899, ISSN: 0960-6491

Journal article

Alexy O, Criscuolo P, Salter A, 2009, Does IP Strategy Have to Cripple Open Innovation?, MIT SLOAN MANAGEMENT REVIEW, Vol: 51, Pages: 71-77, ISSN: 1532-9194

Journal article

Criscuolo P, Verspagen B, 2008, Does it matter where patent citations come from? Inventor vs. examiner citations in European patents, RESEARCH POLICY, Vol: 37, Pages: 1892-1908, ISSN: 0048-7333

Journal article

Criscuolo P, Verspagen B, 2008, Does it matter where patent citations come from? Inventor vs. examiner citations in European patents, Vol: 37, Pages: 1892-1908

This paper addresses the question of whether patent citations are useful indicators of technology flows. We exploit the distinction between citations added by inventors and patent examiners. We use information from the search reports of European Patent Office patent examiners to construct our dataset of patenting activity in Europe and the US, and apply various econometric models to investigate what determines the probability that a citation is added by the inventor rather than the examiner. Contrary to previous work which uses US Patent and Trademark Office data, we find that geographical distance is a factor that strongly diminishes the probability of knowledge flows. We find other significant effects of such factors as cognitive distance, time and strategic factors on citing behaviour.

Journal article

Criscuolo P, Rajneesh N, 2007, Using multi-hub structures for international R&D: organisational inertia and the challenges of implementation, Management International Review, Pages: 639-660

Journal article

Paola Criscuolo, Ammon Salter, Tony Sheehan, 2007, Making knowledge visible: Using expert yellow pages to map capabilities in professional services firms, Research Policy, Vol: Available online 18 October 2007

Journal article

Criscuolo P, 2006, The 'home advantage' effect and patent families. A comparison of OECD triadic patents, the USPTO and the EPO, Scientometrics, Vol: 66, Pages: 23-41

Journal article

Criscuolo P, 2006, The 'home advantage' effect and patent families. A comparison of OECD triadic patents, the USPTO and the EPO, 8th International Conference on Science and Technology Indicators, Publisher: SPRINGER, Pages: 23-41, ISSN: 0138-9130

Conference paper

Criscuolo P, 2005, On the road again: Researcher mobility inside the R&D network, RESEARCH POLICY, Vol: 34, Pages: 1350-1365, ISSN: 0048-7333

Journal article

Criscuolo P, Narula R, Verspagen B, 2005, Role of home and host country innovation systems in r&d internationalisation: a patent citation analysis, Economics of Innovation & New Technology, Vol: 14, Pages: 417-433, ISSN: 1043-8599

Journal article

Brusoni S, Criscuolo P, Geuna A, 2005, The knowledge bases of the world's largest pharmaceutical groups: what do patent citations to non-patent literature reveal?, Economics of Innovation & New Technology, Vol: 14, Pages: 395-416, ISSN: 1043-8599

Journal article

Criscuolo P, 2005, The 'home advantage' effect and patent families: a comparison of OECD triadic patents, the USPTO and the EPO, 10th International Conference of the International-Society-for-Scientometrics-and-Informetrics, Publisher: KAROLINSKA UNIV PRESS AB, Pages: 479-489

Conference paper

Criscuolo P, Narula R, Verspagen B, 2005, Role of home and host country innovation systems in r&d internationalisation: a patent citation analysis, Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Vol: 14, Pages: 417-433

This paper has three novelties. First, we argue that any given R&D facility's capacity to exploit and/or augment technological competences is a function not just of its own resources, but the efficiency with which it can utilise complementary resources associated with the relevant local innovation system. Just as asset-augmenting activities require proximity to the economic units (and thus the innovation system) from which they seek to learn, asset-exploiting activities draw from the parent's technological resources as well as from the other assets of the home location's innovation system. Furthermore, we argue that most firms tend to undertake both asset exploiting and augmenting activities simultaneously. Second, we use patent citation data from the European Patent Office to quantify the relative asset augmenting vs. exploiting character of foreign-located R&D. Third, we do so for European MNEs located in the US, as well as US MNEs located in Europe. Our results indicate that both EU (US) affiliates in the US (EU) rely extensively on home region knowledge sources, although they appear to exploit the host country knowledge base as well.

Journal article

Brusoni S, Criscuolo P, Geuna A, 2005, The knowledge bases of the world's largest pharmaceutical groups: what do patent citations to non-patent literature reveal?, Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Vol: 14, Pages: 395-415

This article examines the knowledge bases of the world's largest pharmaceutical groups by sales. It builds upon the concepts of knowledge specialisation and knowledge integration as the relevant dimensions along which knowledge bases can be mapped. The former is studied developing indicators of breadth. Breadth is measured by analysing the evolution of specialisation by scientific field over time. It hints at the widening range of bodies of scientific and technological knowledge relevant to firms' innovative activities. Knowledge integration is studied developing indicators of depth. Depth is measured by analysing the evolution of integration across different typologies of research. It hints at the complex, non-linear interdependencies that link the scientific and technological domains. We develop the analysis on the strength of an original database of 33,127 European Patent Office patents and 41,931 citations to 'non-patent document' (of which 19,494 were identified as scientific articles included in the ISI databases) of the 30 largest pharmaceuticals groups during the period 1990-1997. The groups studied seem to have incrementally increased the breadth of their knowledge bases, moving towards the fields proper to the new biopharmaceutical research trajectory. At the same time, some of the groups studied exhibit remarkable depth in knowledge integration in particular fields such as biotechnology, biochemical research and neurosciences.

Journal article

Criscuolo P, Narula R, 2005, Using Multi-hub Structures for international R&D Organizational Inertia and the Challenges of Implementation

Over the last decade or so, multinational enterprises (MNEs) have shifted from centralised hub structures to multi-hub structures. While these new structures provide greater potential for crossfertilization of technologies and access to location-specific competences, promoting effective knowledge transfer within an MNE – especially in their R&D activities - presents significant managerial challenges. Using evidence collected on the R&D activities of MNEs in the pharmaceutical sector, this paper analyses the challenges associated with complexities of promoting and integrating knowledge flows in the face of inter-unit geographical, organizational and technological distance. MNEs are faced with organizational inertia that hinders efficient lateral communication and inter-unit knowledge transfer, and the evidence suggests that while socialization mechanisms help overcoming some of these bottlenecks, there remain a number of obstacles in optimising knowledge flows in physically and technologically dispersed R&D facilities

Working paper

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