Stuck in the Middle: Decomposing the Status-Innovation Nexus

Adam Cobb, McComb School of Business, and Tyler Wry, Assistant Professor of Management

Abstract: This study explores the link between status and innovation. While extant studies have tended to treat status as uni-dimensional and static, evidence suggests that it may be multifaceted and dynamic. Taking individual inventors as the primary level of analysis, the project decomposes status into different associative (e.g. where the inventor was trained) and achieved dimensions (e.g. her professional standing in the field). The plan is to investigate how various dimensions of status independently and interactively affect an inventor’s innovative behavior as measured in the novelty of the patents he/she takes out. By considering status as a multi-dimensional construct, the research can provide a more in-depth exploration of where innovation is likely to occur and to what affect–both for the innovation and for the career trajectory of the inventor.