50 YEARS OF EXTRAORDINARY BUSINESS EDUCATION DISCOVER CASS AT 50

News & Events

Scale, Scope and Firm Boundaries in Technology-Based Industries: Novel Reflections and Directions for Future Research

Research Workshop

February 25 - 26, 2016

Cass Business School, City University London

Organizer: Dr. Elena Novelli, Cass Business School, ESRC Future Research Leaders Fellow

Event funded by the ESRC Future Research Leaders Grant

#scaleandscope

In the last few decades technological change has led to a substantial reduction in the costs of transacting and to a massive increase in connectivity and reach, stimulating a parallel reconfiguration in the architecture of many industries. Firms have been exhibiting very divergent diversification and integration patterns. Some firms have been expanding their scope considerably (e.g. Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Apple) sometimes in vertical and sometimes in complementary or horizontal directions; others have been expanding in some directions (e.g. horizontal), but contracting in others (e.g. vertical). Some firms have even emerged as “virtual corporations”.


These patterns raise many questions that revitalize the lively debate on the knowledge and market boundaries of technology-based firms and the trade-offs that different scale and scope configurations impose to them:

  • Is internal innovation still a feasible strategy in today’s complex technological and product environment? To what extent can knowledge be effectively acquired through external sources and what are the costs of using this strategy for firms’ economic and innovative performance?
  • To what extent has technological change really reduced within-firm coordination costs and hence expanded the optimal scope of the firm? Under what conditions, instead, does technology reduce transaction costs across markets even more than within firms, so that the optimal scope of the firm is now reduced?
  • Which organizational forms and related business models are likely to be the most successful in the current environment and which industry configurations are likely to emerge in equilibrium?
    This workshop will bring together leading scholars that have contributed to research on knowledge and market boundaries of firms for the purpose of stimulating an interactive discussion on the topic and reflecting on new avenues for future research.

Agenda

February 25th. 6.00pm - 8.30 pm. Pre-workshop Event

Scale and Scope: How Important Are a Company Size and Its Business Scope to Succeed in Today’s Business and Technological Environment?

Panel event with Prof. Gautam Ahuja, Harvey C. Fruehauf Professor of Business Administration, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan; Olivier Garel, Head of Ventures, Unilever Ventures; Prof. Gianvito Lanzolla, Professor of Strategic Leadership, Head of the Faculty of Management, Cass Business School; Xavier Louis, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer, Peak; Dr. Elena Novelli(chair), Senior Lecturer in Management, Cass Business School; Andy Muldoon, CEO, PowaWeb, Powa Technologies; Ashish Saxena, Global Head of Marketing and Sales, LiquiForm Group, Amcor.

The event was introduced by Prof. Marianne Lewis, Professor of Management and Dean of Cass Business School, and followed by a wine reception.

February 26th. 9.00 am - 5.00 pm. Research Workshop

Scale, Scope and Firm Boundaries in Technology-Based Industries: Novel Reflections and Directions for Future Research

0915 Welcome and introduction

Gianvito Lanzolla, Cass Business School, Head of the Faculty of Management, Project Mentor
Gautam Ahuja, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, Project Mentor
Elena Novelli, Cass Business School, ESRC Future Research Leaders Fellow

0945 Session 1: The knowledge boundaries of firms 

Chair: Stefan Haefliger, Cass Business School
Keld Laursen, Copenhagen Business School
Gary Dushnitsky, London Business School
Dovev Lavie, Technion
Paola Criscuolo, Imperial College Business School
Carliss Baldwin, Harvard Business School

1100 Coffee break

1130 Session 2: Firm Scope, competition and performance

Chair: Gianvito Lanzolla, Cass Business School
Lourdes Sosa, London School of Economics
Bart Clarysse, Imperial College Business School
Stefano Brusoni, ETH Zurich
Jerker Denrell, Warwick Business School

1245 Lunch

1400 Session 3: Organizational structure and firm boundaries

Chair: Costas Andriopoulos, Cass Business School
Nicholas Argyres, Olin Business School
Aseem Kaul, Carlson School of Management
Evan Rawley, Columbia Business School
Erkko Autio, Imperial College Business School
Martin Kilduff, University College London School of Management

1515 Coffee break

1545 Panel debate: Scale, Scope and Firm Boundaries : Reflections and Novel Research directions

Chair: Elena Novelli, Cass Business School
Gautam Ahuja, Ross School of Business
Nicholas Argyres, Olin Business School
Carliss Baldwin, Harvard Business School
Marianne Lewis, Cass Business School, Dean

Wrap-up and Conclusions

1700 Wine reception