Imperial College London


Business School

Associate Professor of Innovation,Entrepreneurship& Strategy



+44 (0)20 7594 5479dmitry.sharapov CV




287Business School BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Publication Type

14 results found

Sharapov D, Ross J-M, 2023, Whom should a leader imitate? Using rivalry-based imitation to manage strategic risk in changing environments, Strategic Management Journal, Vol: 44, Pages: 311-342, ISSN: 0143-2095

We study the performance implications of dynamic environments for a leader’s rivalry-based imitation efforts in a setting with multiple rivals. We disentangle competitive interactions from environmental changes to show that a leader’s simple rules to either imitate the closest rival in terms of attributes (her neighbor) or the closest rival in terms of rank (her challenger) can help to maintain the performance gap to her competitors. Using a computational model and an empirical test, we find that environmental changes alter the tradeoffs between imitation accuracy and the responsiveness to threats from distant rivals. Consequently, when environmental changes are infrequent and minor, neighbor imitation is more effective in maintaining the lead, whereas challenger imitation prevails as environmental changes become more frequent and substantial.

Journal article

Uzunca B, Sharapov D, Tee R, 2022, Governance rigidity, industry evolution, and value capture in platform ecosystems, Research Policy, Vol: 51, Pages: 1-15, ISSN: 0048-7333

Existing work has shown how, in platform ecosystems, firms can capture above-average rents by controlling hard-to-replace segments. However, initial conditions can have a lasting effect on a platform owner's ability to capture value as the ecosystem in which it operates evolves. We develop a theoretical framework that first considers the role of bargaining power and industry life cycle stage, showing how these shape initial governance arrangements and the platform owner's subsequent ability to capture value based on the rigidity of these arrangements. We then develop propositions, focusing on contingencies that moderate this degree of governance rigidity in platform ecosystems. Our framework helps understand the combined effects of initial conditions and governance rigidity as key drivers of a platform owner's ability to capture rents. Once we consider these dynamics, controlling a hard-to-replace segment may neither be sufficient nor necessary to obtain a large share of the value created by an ecosystem.

Journal article


Journal article

Sharapov D, Kattuman P, Rodriguez D, Velazquez FJet al., 2021, Using the Shapley value approach to variance decomposition in strategy research: Diversification, internationalization, and corporate group effects on affiliate profitability, Strategic Management Journal, Vol: 42, Pages: 608-623, ISSN: 0143-2095

Research SummaryVariance decomposition methods allow strategy scholars to identify key sources of heterogeneity in firm performance. However, most extant approaches produce estimates that depend on the order in which sources are considered, the ways they are nested, and which sources are treated as fixed or random effects. In this paper, we propose the use of an axiomatically justified, unique, and effective solution to this limitation: the “Shapley Value” approach. We show its effectiveness compared to extant methods using both simulated and real data, and use it to explore how the importance of business group effects varies with group diversification and internationalization in a large, representative sample of European firms. We thus demonstrate the method's superior accuracy and its usefulness in asking and answering new questions.Managerial SummaryA key contribution of strategic management research to managerial practice is identifying drivers of firm performance that operate at firm, corporation, industry, and national levels. A branch of this research measures the relative importance of factors at these different levels in producing variation in firm performance, thus helping top managers focus efforts on aspects of their businesses most likely to yield performance differences. However, estimates produced by extant methods are sensitive to method used, and to modeling choices made. This paper proposes the use of the “Shapley Value” approach, which is free from such sensitivity, shows its effectiveness compared to extant methods, and uses it to explore how the importance of factors at the level of the business group varies with group diversification and internationalization.

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

Sharapov D, 2018, Complementor strategies in smartphone application markets, Academy of Management Proceedings, ISSN: 2151-6561

Journal article

Thomas LDW, Sharapov D, Autio E, 2018, Linking entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystems: the case of AppCampus, ENTREPRENEURIAL ECOSYSTEMS AND THE DIFFUSION OF STARTUPS, Editors: Carayannis, Dagnino, Alvarez, Faraci, Publisher: EDWARD ELGAR PUBLISHING LTD, Pages: 35-64, ISBN: 978-1-78471-005-7

Book chapter

Alexy O, Criscuolo P, Salter A, Sharapov Det al., 2016, Going Off-Piste: The Role of Status in Launching Unsponsored R&D Projects, Academy of Management Proceedings, Vol: 2016, ISSN: 0065-0668

Many established organizations rely on unsponsored R&D projects to sustain and support corporate renewal. These ideas that emerge from dark corners of the organization are often the result of inventors’ proactive creative efforts. Yet, little is known about the origins of these creative efforts, and what drives individuals to decide for or against engagement in such behavior. Building on the notion of middle-status conformity, we argue for the existence of a curvilinear (U-shaped) relationship between inventors’ status and their participation in autonomous inventive efforts. We argue that this effect is further moderated by factors influencing the salience of existing status-granting institutions, specifically the novelty of the technological domain of the invention, the competitive position of the wider organization, and the inventors’ geographic location. Using a unique dataset of invention disclosures from a global technology-based firm, we find general support for our hypotheses. We propose implications for theories of innovation, networks, and status that add to our understanding of proactive forms of creative effort.

Journal article

Sivonen P, Borella P, Thomas LDW, Sharapov Det al., 2015, How an accelerator can catalyse your ecosystem, The European Business Review, ISSN: 1754-5501

Many industries from IT to car manufacturing, robotic and biotechnology, competition is moving from the product level to the ecosystem level. The creation of an ecosystem by a rival and the consequent shift to ecosystem competition can be quite challenging for product-focused incumbent organisations who may find that they have a challenge to establish the reputation and legitimacy of their own new ecosystem. This article discusses the ways and means an incumbent organisation can adopt and mobilise their own ecosystem.

Journal article

Bock AJ, Eisengerich AB, Sharapov D, George Get al., 2015, Innovation and Leadership: When Does CMO Leadership Improve Performance From Innovation?, SAGE OPEN, Vol: 5, ISSN: 2158-2440

Journal article

Ross J-M, Sharapov D, 2015, When the leader follows: avoiding dethronement through imitation, Academy of Management Journal, Vol: 58, Pages: 658-679, ISSN: 0001-4273

When is imitation of follower actions an effective competitive strategy for a leader? Building on prior work in competitive dynamics from the Austrian School perspective, we propose that imitation can be an effective means of staying ahead, even in the absence of mimetic social pressures. This is because the leader’s imitation of follower actions represents equilibrating moves to maintain the status quo in reaction to the disequilibrating actions that the follower undertakes to catch up with the leader. Furthermore, reduction of difference in competitive positioning between leader and follower serves the same purpose, and both imitation strategies are complementary. These effects of ‘action imitation’ and ‘positioning imitation’, we argue, are moderated by the degree of environmental uncertainty, by the extent of the leader’s initial advantage, and by the difference between leader and follower capabilities. Our theoretical arguments are supported by an analysis of data on head-to-head boat races from the America’s Cup World Series. By developing mechanisms which take endogenous and exogenous contingencies of competitive interactions into account, this paper advances competitive dynamics as a predictive theory of performance outcomes.

Journal article

Sharapov D, Ross J, 2015, Whom should a leader imitate in multiple competitor settings? A contingency perspective, Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings, Vol: 2015, ISSN: 2151-6561

Can a leader’s imitation of her rivals lead to superior performance in multiple-competitor settings, and, if so, which rival should be the focus of her imitative efforts? Building on prior work on the performance consequences of imitation strategies from competitive dynamics and neo-computational scholars, this paper examines the effectiveness of different imitation strategies pursued by a leader in multiple-competitor settings subject to exogenous environmental shocks. Findings from an NK simulation model of a three-competitor setting suggest that a leader’s imitation of either the rival closest to her in terms of performance to date (her challenger) or of the rival closest to her in terms of position on the landscape (her neighbor) can both outperform an independent search strategy in all environments apart from those in which large changes frequently occur. This is because an imitative leader may benefit from ratcheting dynamics that occur as a result of their focal rival being forced into distant search by the leader’s imitative behavior, leaving the leader with the opportunity to make productive minor changes to their rival’s configuration. The effectiveness of the challenger- imitation strategy relative to one of neighbor-imitation is found to decrease with increasing magnitude of environmental changes, and to increase with their increasing frequency. We proceed to evaluate the external validity of these findings using fine- grained data on multiple-competitor (fleet) sailing races from the America’s Cup World Series 2011-2013, and find support for the propositions emerging from the simulation results.

Journal article

Fiss PC, Sharapov D, Cronqvist L, 2013, Opposites attract? Opportunities and challenges for integrating large-N QCA and econometric analysis, Political Research Quarterly, Vol: 66, Pages: 191-198, ISSN: 1065-9129

Journal article

Kattuman PA, Rodriguez D, Sharapov D, Velazquez FJet al., 2011, REVISITING PROFITABILITY: FIRM, BUSINESS GROUP, INDUSTRY AND COUNTRY EFFECTS., Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings, Vol: 8, Pages: 1-6, ISSN: 2151-6561

Journal article

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