Research Priorities

The Mack Institute for Innovation Management advances knowledge in four main areas relating to innovation. Within each of these areas, key subtopics — each posed as a pressing question needing attention — reflect the strategic interests of our corporate partners. These four research priorities establish our scope, provide a blueprint for our conference topics and research funding, and spark industry-academic dialogue.

Innovation Opportunities and Risks

  • How do emerging technology-based industries differ from established industries? How do they emerge and evolve?
  • What explains patterns of competitive entry, shakeout, and survival in these industries? Are these patterns different in emerging versus developed economies?
  • How can customer insights best be used to guide the search for opportunities?

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Strategies for Innovation

  • What distinguishes growth leaders from laggards?
  • When should firms pursue an embryonic technology on their own, versus acquire or partner with other firms, or actively watch and wait?
  • What strategies and tools can help assess and contain risk from moves into adjacencies and white spaces?
  • How do winning firms bring their innovations to market ahead of their rivals?
  • Do emerging market multinationals provide any new strategies or are strategy differences a reflection of the stage of their evolution?

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Evolving and Leading for Innovation

  • What new forms of organization and business models are enabled by advances in technology and enhanced globalization?
  • How do best practice firms act on opportunities and threats sooner than their rivals?
  • How do firms use innovation networks and webs of alliances to draw on innovation resources beyond their boundaries? What capabilities are needed to manage and motivate partners?
  • What metrics are needed to identify weak links in the innovation process, allocate innovation resources, and hold managers accountable?
  • What is the contribution of culture and leadership to successful innovation? Do successful leadership and organizational models differ across geographies or by national origin of firms?

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Capturing Economic Value from Innovation Investments

  • How do firms make wise bets on long-term innovation projects when prospects are distant and uncertain yet costs are likely to be incurred?
  • What is the right balance of risk and return in innovation portfolios? How should resources be allocated and projects be prioritized and selected?
  • How do firms preserve and capture the value of their intellectual property?
  • Will similar approaches be effective in emerging markets as in developed markets?

Explore research related to capturing economic value from innovation.