I&E Conversation 2018: New Organizational Forms as Enablers of Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Exploring Their Impacts

Date: 9th & 10th July 2018

Venue: The British Academy, 10 – 11 Carlton House Terrace, St James’s, London SW1Y 5AH

Organising committee: Mike Wright, Jaemin Lee and Christian Hampel

Find out more about the I & E Conversation in 2015, 2016 and 2017

The fourth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conversation was held on 9-10 July at the British Academy organised by Christian Hampel, Jaemin Lee and Mike Wright. The theme of this year’s Conversation was “new organizational forms as enablers of innovation and entrepreneurship”. It showcased the department’s research in this area and welcomed expert scholars from across Europe and the U.S. for cutting-edge debate, discussion and knowledge-sharing.

The Conversation was organised into 6 sessions across the two days. Altogether 10 papers were presented, 8 of which were from external presenters coming from as far afield as the University of Colorado Boulder and Stanford. Each paper had a designated discussant to offer ideas for developing the paper and generate debate among the audience.

The conference was opened by the Dean of Imperial College Business School, Francisco Veloso who shared how the School’s strategy centres around innovation and entrepreneurship. Jeffrey York from the University of Colorado Boulder got the first session underway with a paper about the strategic consequences of hybrid organising in the context of the U.S. green building supply industry. Stefan Haefliger from the City University of London then presented a paper examining the emergence of collaboration among fintech start-ups residing in the Level 39 hub.

In the second session, Pinar Ozcan from the University of Warwick presented her work about platformification strategies in banking, identifying distinct challenges among established banks and fintech start-ups. VU Amsterdam’s Israel Drori then presented his co-authored work with Dovev Lavie that explores the emergence of the nanotechnology ecosystem in Israel.

Work by Riitta Katila from Stanford revealed how video game developers approached the strategic dilemma of whether to be a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond. In the same session, Clemson University’s Christina Kyprianou offered a typology of different value creation processes in the sharing economy. Day One concluded with qualitative work from Bart Clarysse on the surprising multi-level identity dynamics in a Swiss fintech firm.

After a successful conference dinner, delegates returned to the British Academy for Day Two, which opened with a paper from the University of Georgia’s Susan Cohen on the learning effectiveness of accelerator programs, discussed by EPFL’s Christopher Tucci who is visiting I&E. Fei Qin from the University of Bath then presented a paper that is co-authored with Imperial’s Mike Wright. This work suggested several mechanisms by which accelerator programs can speed up venture development. The final session of the conference welcomed back former I&E researcher Oliver Alexy to present his work on the crowd-based Hyperloop Transportation Technologies as a new type of organisation design for innovation.
The conference was wrapped up by Mike Wright, who pointed out several interesting themes that emerged during the conference. The setting of the British Academy fostered interesting conversation and debate among participants, ensuring that the annual Innovation & Entrepreneurship Conversation remains a valuable forum for sharing ideas and building community engagement.