Susan K. Cohen

Associate Professor of Business Administration

 

Organizations and Entrepreneurship
Office: 
252 Mervis Hall
Phone: 
412-648-1707

Degrees

PhD in Strategic Management, University of Minnesota, 1998
BS in Management Information Systems, Clarkson University, 1986

MBA Courses Recently Taught

Commercializing New Technologies
Leading Organizations to Innovate Smarter
Competing in Emerging Economies
Strategic Management

Profile

I worked in the software industry, for Accenture and Intersolv as a consultant and product development manager, before returning to graduate school at U of MN.   

The research I undertake reflects my deep curiosity about whether, when, and how we might design infinitely innovative organizations.  Predominant theoretical paradigms suggest that this ideal is unattainable.  I seek to advance understanding of when and how firms circumvent barriers to innovation.  To date, I have examined how a firm’s innovation strategy, characteristics of its knowledge and alliance networks, organizational problem solving architectures, and technological standards strategy, as well as a firm’s executive leadership, start-up founder orientation, and competitive pressures such as imitation and substitution, affect firm performance outcomes, including patenting, new product introduction, profitability, adaptation and survival.  

Refereed Publications

Innovation Search Dynamics in New Domains:  An Exploratory Study of Academic Founders' Search for Funding in the Biotechnology Industry. with Natasha Munshi.  forthcoming in Technological Forecasting and Social Change.  2017 (available online Jan 2017 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2016.12.018)

Firm heterogeneity in complex problem solving: A knowledge-based look at inventionwith Turanay Caner and Frits Pil.  Strategic Management Journal. Available online December 2016 (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/smj.2615/abstract)

Stock of downstream complementary as a catalyst for product innovation during technological change in the US machine tool industry. with Raja Roy.  June 2017.  Strategic Management Journal, 38(6): 1253-1267.

With whom do technology sponsors partner during technology battles? Social networking strategies for unproven (and proven) technologies, with Tsuhsiang (Sean) Hsu, Kristina Dahlin, Organization Science.  2016. 27(4): 846-872.

Converting inventions into breakthrough innovations: The role of exploitation alliance network knowledge heterogeneity, with Turanay Caner, Journal of Engineering and Technology Management. 2016, 40(April-June): 29-44.

Disruption in the US machine tool industry: The role of inhouse users and pre-disruption component experience in firm response, with Raja Roy. Research Policy. 2015, 44(8): 1555-1565.

Public policies in a regulated entrepreneurial setting. with Alfred Marcus. Business and Politics. 2015, 17(2): 221-251.

Information sharing strategies in a standards contest: The case of 2G wireless communication.  with Jodi Potter.  Journal of High Technology Management Research. Sept. 2010, 21(2): 108-121. 

Niche width revisited: organizational scope, behavior, and performance.  with Olav Sorenson, Charlotte Ren, and Raja Roy.  Strategic Management Journal, 2006, 27: 915-936. 

Modularity: Implications for imitation, innovation, and sustained competitive advantage.  with Frits Pil.  Academy of Management Review, 2006, 31(4): 995-1001.

Product- line expansion and resource cannibalization.  with Peter W. Roberts. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2005, 57(1): 49-70. 

The global acquisition, protection, and leverage of scientific and technological competences with Kathleen Eisenhardt and John Prescott. Strategic Management Journal, 2004, 25(8-9, August-September Special Issue): 713-722.  

The persistence of knowledge-based advantage: an empirical test for product performance and technological knowledge. with Bala Chakravarthy. Strategic Management Journal, 2002, 23(4): 285-306.  

Avoiding competence substitution through knowledge sharing.  with Shobha Das and Kevin McCabe. Academy of Management Review, 2000, 25(2): 1-18.

Grants and Editorial Positions

Grant from the Center for Healthcare Management at University of Pittsburgh, for Improving Pharmaceutical R&D Productivity through Open Innovation, 2016-2017 ($7000)

Grant for research on Enabling Breakthroughs through Open Innovation, and to create a new experiential learning course on Global Venturing and Entrepreneurship, January 2013-December, 2014, $100,000 from the PPG Foundation.

Global Academic Partnership grant, $20,000 to organize a conference pairing academics with executives.  The conference: Global Collaboration for Technological Innovation was held in 2011.  At the request of our corporate and academic participants, we convened a second conference in 2012: Accelerating R&D through Global Open Innovation, and again in 2013: Leading Organizations to Innovate Smarter, with the gracious financial support of our corporate sponsors: Bayer, Alcoa, PPG, Westinghouse, Braskem.

Co-editor, with John E. Prescott (University of Pittsburgh) and Kathleen Eisenhardt (Stanford University) for a Special Issue of Strategic Management Journal on ‘The Global Acquisition, Protection, and Leveraging of Technological Competencies’, Volume 25, August-September, 2004

National Science Foundation, for A Longitudinal Study of the Effects of Absorptive Capacity and Alliance Networks on Innovation in the Global Pharmaceutical Industry, 2003. ($7,500)

National Science Foundation, grant to support the project: A Longitudinal Study of the Effects of Absorptive Capacity and Alliance Networks on Innovation in the Global Pharmaceutical Industry, 2002. ($69,754)

Small Grants / Junior Faculty Grants program, University of Pittsburgh, to examine how the breadth and depth of a firm’s absorptive capacity interact with its network position and attributes of its alliance structure to affect its innovation performance, 2002. ($13,818)

National Science Foundation, grant to support the project: Incumbent Resurgence Strategies: Evidence from the Machine Tool Industry, 1975-1995, 2001. ($59,772)

Small Grants / Junior Faculty Grants program, University of Pittsburgh, to support a series of projects on R&D alliances, network structures, and the value of a firm’s intellectual capital, 2001. ($10,363)

International Business Center grant, Katz Graduate School of Business, to support research on incumbent resurgence strategies in the machine tool industry, 1975-1995, 2001. ($3000)

Institute on Industrial Competitiveness, Katz Graduate School of Business, to support research on incumbent resurgence strategies in the machine tool industry, 1975-1995, 2001. ($2500)

Carnegie Bosch Institute grant to organize a conference on global R&D, received October, 2000. ($50,000)

International Business Center, ($5000) and the Institute on Industrial Competitiveness, ($5000) Katz Graduate School of Business to support the conference on global R&D; received January, 2001. 

Center for Innovation Management Studies Grant, jointly awarded by the National Science Foundation, Lehigh University, and a corporate advisory board, with Bala Chakravarthy and KK Sinha, 1996-1998, ($10,000).

Editorial Board of Journal of Management, since 2007.

Ad Hoc Reviewer for Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Management, Research Policy, Organization Science, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation