Imperial College London

Dr Jan-Michael Ross

Business School

Associate Professor of Strategy
 
 
 
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Contact

 

+44 (0)20 7594 5105jan.ross Website

 
 
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Location

 

283Business School BuildingSouth Kensington Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
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18 results found

Fini R, Perkmann M, Ross J-M, 2021, Attention to exploration: the effect of academic entrepreneurship on the production of scientific knowledge, Organization Science, Pages: 1-21, ISSN: 1047-7039

We study how becoming an entrepreneur affects an academic scientist’s research. We propose that entrepreneurship will shift scientists’ attention away from intra-disciplinary research questions and toward new bodies of knowledge relevant for downstream technology development. This will propel scientists to engage in exploration, meaning they work on topics new to them. In turn, this shift toward exploration will enhance the impact of the entrepreneurial scientist’s subsequent research, as concepts and models from other bodies of knowledge are combined in novel ways. Entrepreneurship leads to more impactful research, mediated by exploration. Using panel data on the full population of scientists at a large research university, we find support for this argument. Our study is novel in that it identifies a shift of attention as the mechanism underpinning the beneficial spill-over effects from founding a venture on the production of public science. A key implication of our study is that commercial work by academics can drive fundamental advances in science.

Journal article

Sharapov D, Ross J-M, 2019, Whom should a leader imitate? Using rivalry-based imitation to manage strategic risk in changing environments, Strategic Management Journal, Vol: 2019, Pages: 1-32, ISSN: 0143-2095

We study the performance implications of dynamic environments for aleader’s rivalry-based imitation efforts in a setting with multiple rivals. We disentanglecompetitive interactions from environmental changes to show that a leader’s simple rules toeither imitate the closest rival in terms of attributes (her neighbor) or the closest rival in terms ofrank (her challenger) can help to maintain the performance gap to her competitors. Using acomputational 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 ismore effective in maintaining the lead, whereas challenger imitation prevails as environmentalchanges become more frequent and substantial.

Journal article

Ross J, Fisch JH, 2018, How to Launch Products in Uncertain Markets, MIT Sloan Management Review, Vol: 60, Pages: 61-64, ISSN: 1532-9194

Journal article

Ross J-M, Fisch JH, Varga E, 2018, Unlocking the value of real options: how firm-specific learning conditions affect R&D investments under uncertainty, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Vol: 12, Pages: 335-353, ISSN: 1932-4391

Research SummaryWhy do some firms increase R&D investments in the face of uncertainty, while others do not? Contrary to common wisdom, this study posits that uncertainty prompts firms to invest in R&D. The value to invest under uncertainty is, however, bounded by a firm's learning conditions (i.e., human capital, relatedness of innovation activities, and industry maturity). An empirical test on a cross‐industry panel of 551 business divisions of manufacturing firms reveals how organization‐environment interactions determine the firm‐specific value to invest in learning prior to full‐scale commercialization. The insights help to bridge real options theory and the learning literature.Managerial SummaryUncertainty about the market environment makes investment decisions in R&D and the commercialization of new products a challenge: should firms “wait and see” until uncertainty resolves to avoid the risk of betting on the wrong product or commit further resources regardless? Our analysis suggests that manufacturing firms often take a mixed approach (“act and see”). While deferring investments in the commercialization of new products, they undertake further R&D to inform decision making by insights that would otherwise be unavailable. However, we find that the benefit of such practice depends on the learning conditions of the individual firm. What is risky for firms with disadvantages in human capital and technology development is value enhancing for firms with good foundations for learning through R&D.

Journal article

Perkmann M, Fini R, Ross J, Salter A, Silvestri C, Tartari Vet al., 2015, Accounting for universities’ impact: using augmented data to measure academic engagement and commercialization by academic scientists, Research Evaluation, Vol: 24, Pages: 380-391, ISSN: 1471-5449

We present an approach that aims to comprehensively account for scientists’ academic engagement and commercialization activities. While previous research has pointed to the economic and social impact of these activities, it has also been hampered by the difficulties of accurately quantifying them. Our approach complements university administrative records with data retrieved from external sources and surveys to quantify academic consulting, patenting, and academic entrepreneurship. This allows us to accurately account for ‘independent’ activity, i.e., academic engagement and commercialization outside the formal university channels and often not recorded by universities. We illustrate this approach with data for 10,000 scientists at Imperial College London. Results indicate that conventional approaches systematically underestimate the extent of academic scientists’ impact-relevant activities by not accounting for independent activities. However, with the exception of consulting, we find no significant differences between individuals involved in supported (university-recorded) and independent activity, respectively. Our study contributes to work concerned with developing appropriate and accurate research metrics for demonstrating the public value of science.

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

Perkmann M, Fini R, Ross J-M, Salter A, Silvestri C, Tartari Vet al., 2015, Accounting for Impact at Imperial College London: A Report on the Activities and Outputs by Imperial Academics Relevant for Economic and Social Impact

We report findings of a study of academic engagement and commercialisation at Imperial College London. We detail the extent of collaboration with industry, consulting, patenting and entrepreneurship by Imperial academics, as well as individuals’ motivations and perceived barriers to engagement. The data stems from archival records held by the College, complemented by external databases, and a survey conducted among all academic staff in 2013.

Report

Fisch JH, Ross J-M, 2014, Timing product replacements under uncertainty – The importance of material-price fluctuations for the success of products that are based on new materials, Journal of Product Innovation Management, Vol: 31, Pages: 1076-1088, ISSN: 0737-6782

Being first-to-market with new products is one of the most enduring pieces of strategic advice handed to managers. This view also emphasizes the importance of launching new products that are based on new materials as soon as possible. However, when the input costs of products that embody new materials are uncertain due to volatile material prices, the advantage of being an early mover comes along with the risk of paying unexpectedly high material prices. Real-option theory suggests delaying material substitution under uncertainty even if the new material enables superior product performance. Firms who have created the flexibility to switch between alternative inputs can benefit from responding to opportunities or threats that arise from changes in the environment. The current study formalizes this logic in a switching-option model and tests it on a sample of material substitution projects from the manufacturing sector. Our findings shed light on how input-cost fluctuations influence the timing-performance relationship and bring into question the common advice to launch new products as soon as possible. Instead, our results suggest that firms who align the timing of market launch to trends and fluctuations of material prices improve their competitive positions. These insights suggest novel ways for new product development (NPD) managers how to successfully use external information at the back-end of the NPD process and how to compete in an era defined by volatile material prices and technological change.

Journal article

Fisch JH, Ross J-M, 2014, Timing the start of material substitution projects: Creating switching options under volatile material prices, Journal of Product Innovation Management, Vol: 31, Pages: 567-583, ISSN: 0737-6782

Firms developing new products often face the challenge of making investment decisions under uncertain input-cost conditions due to the price volatilities of the materials they use. These decisions need to be made long before the final products are launched on the market. Therefore, firms who invest in the opportunity to switch materials in a timely manner will have the flexibility to react to material price changes and realize competitive advantages. However, volatile material prices may also cause a firm to delay investment. Using real-options reasoning, this article studies the influence of input-cost fluctuations on the timing decision to start new product development (NPD) and thus create the follow-on opportunity to later replace an existing product. A model that combines waiting and switching options to derive influencing factors of the flexibility value which triggers the investment is developed and tested on a sample of material substitution projects from manufacturing firms. The results show how price uncertainty of the new and the old material, their joint price development, the expected project duration, and competitive preemption are related to the propensity to delay the start of NPD. The findings provide new insights on how timing in adopting materials can be used to hedge exposure to volatile material prices. The insights are relevant for adopters and producers of new materials, as well as for policy makers who strive for supporting the diffusion of new materials.

Journal article

Fisch JH, Ross J-M, 2014, Timing decisions in new product development for international markets: A review and directions for empirical research, Marketing ZFP - Journal of Research and Management, Vol: 36, Pages: 151-159

Choosing the “right” time is a broadly accepted success factor in new product development. However, the inconsistency of empirical findings on the timing of projects suggests that the range of relevant influencing factors is wider than expected. What factors do firms consider when they start the development of a new product and what shapes the decision to launch a new product on the market? In this paper, we summarise empirical and conceptual work on these timing decisions. Wepropose research consider the influencing factors as a necessary prior step before studies recommend a certain timing for new product development.

Journal article

Ross J, 2013, Entwicklungsstart und Markteinführung von neuen Produkten unter schwankenden Werkstoffpreisen, Publisher: OPUS Augsburg

Book

Fisch JH, Gleich W, Ross J-M, 2011, Nutzung von Grössenvorteilen im internationalen LKW-Geschäft durch Gleichteilekonzepte – Strategische und operative Herausforderungen bei Daimler Trucks, Fallstudien zum Internationalen Management, Editors: Zentes, Swoboda, Morschett, Publisher: Gabler Verlag, Pages: 147-167, ISBN: 978-3834929679

Book chapter

Benyaa Y, Ross J-M, Starnecker A, 2009, “Innovatives Niedersachsen” – Innovationskampagne eines Wirtschafts- und Innovationsstandorts, Fallstudien zum Innovationsmanagement, Editors: Fisch, Ross, Pages: 69-92

Book chapter

Fabritz MF, Hustedt C, Ross J-M, 2009, SkySails – Zugdrachen als innovatives Windantriebssystem in der Schifffahrt, Fallstudien zum Innovationsmanagement, Editors: Fisch, Ross, Pages: 163-185

Book chapter

Bartsch K, Ross J-M, 2009, CargoLifter – Ein Misserfolg mit schlummerndem Technologiepotential?, Fallstudien zum Innovationsmanagement, Editors: Fisch, Ross, Publisher: Gabler Verlag, Pages: 27-50

Book chapter

Fisch JH, Ross J-M, 2009, Fallstudien zum Innovationsmanagement – Methodengestützte Lösung von Problemen aus der Unternehmenspraxis, Publisher: Gabler Verlag, ISBN: 978-3834910479

Book

Fisch JH, Ross J-M, 2008, Umsetzung einer Gleichteile-Strategie zwischen den internationalen Konzernmarken von Daimler Trucks, Fallstudien zum Internationalen Management, Editors: Zentes, Swoboda, Morschett, Pages: 207-224

Book chapter

Fisch JH, Ross J-M, 2008, Optionen der Internationalisierung offenhalten oder neue eröffnen - Panelstudie über den Markteintrittszeitpunkt deutscher Investoren im Ausland, Ausländische Direktinvestitionen. Neuere Entwicklungen, Entscheidungsinstrumente und führungsrelevante Folgen, Editors: Moser, Pages: 39-53

Book chapter

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