Professor Gianvito Lanzolla, Cass Business School
In this paper we develop a systematic integrative framework that predicts the likely scope of open innovation’s search and recombination mechanisms vis-à-vis digitisation of the innovation function. Overall, our analyses show that potential “inertial” effects of digitisation (i.e. activities set into motion) on the scope of search and recombination are far from being unidirectional and unambiguous because digitisation engenders changes in the micro-mechanisms of absorptive capacity and innovation governance that are at the core of search and recombination’s scope. First, we show that digitisation might, on one hand, increase formal control and centralisation in the governance of the innovation process. On the other hand, digitisation might also enable informal and distributed governance of the innovation process. Second, we show that an organisation’s absorptive capacity might – via digitisation and connectivity – enable more formalised knowledge, better understanding of the linkages among pieces of knowledge and better communication flows. On the other hand, the net effect of digitisation might be an increase in complexity, new tacit knowledge, and new communication silos. Finally, digitisation may change the distribution of skills in the innovation function. Our analysis (and current events) shows that companies are equipping themselves with more and more digital skills. The addition of digital skills to the organisation adds to the diversity of the organisation, which may increase absorptive capacity. However, there might be an “imbalance” between the digital and legacy skills in both directions, each with their own impact on the innovation process. Our resulting integrative framework predicts that, depending on the relative balance of the forces enacted by digitisation, the actual scope of Open Innovation’s search and recombination mechanisms vis-à-vis digitisation might lead firms to more incremental innovation in core or peripheral components, or to architectural innovation. Building on these mechanisms, we develop managerial implication for product development.
Gianvito Lanzolla is Professor of Strategy at Cass Business School, City, University of London, which he joined in April 2006. From January 2016, he has been serving as Dean of the Faculty of Management, the largest faculty at Cass (80 academics). Gianvito is the Founding Director of the Cass’s Digital Leadership Research Centre (DLRC). Before joining Cass, Gianvito was a Research Fellow on the faculty of the London Business School (2004-2006). Over the years, he has had several visiting appointments at leading business schools including the London Business School, Hyderabad’s Indian School of Business, University of Bologna and Berlin’s ESMT. Since January 2016, Gianvito is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts (RSA).
Gianvito studies the impact of technological and institutional change on competitive dynamics, firm strategy and firm organisation. His articles have appeared in leading outlets including: Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Production and Operations Management, Long Range Planning, Journal of Management, Business Strategy Review, Business History and Harvard Business Review. Gianvito’s research has won several academic prizes and has been widely featured in the business media such as Financial Times, The Economist, CNBC, CCTV, Wall Street Journal – and in policy papers such as ITU. Gianvito is currently editor of two special issues (in California Management Review and Academy of Management Discoveries) focused on the strategic and organisational implications of digital transformation.
Gianvito has directed and delivered several executive development programmes and has contributed as an advisor to many boards and executive leadership teams around the world. Recent corporate engagements include: Apple, Gazprom, Syngenta, European Club Association, Schott, Beazley, BBC, IBM, the UAE’s Prime Minister Office, Abu Dhabi Ports Authority, Microsoft, Mizuho, Zurich, KION, Axel Springer, Vailant and Vodafone. He has also delivered more than 100 keynotes speeches to corporate and policy audiences.
An accomplished executive instructor, Gianvito teaches “Strategic Leadership”, “Diversification and Growth”, and “Leading Digital Transformation” to Executive and full-time MBA students, both in Cass’s London and Dubai campuses. In 2013, he launched the Digital Innovation in Action MBA programme, the most successful MBA elective in the school. He has yearly been awarded several teaching excellence prizes including the 2015 City University’s Award for Teaching and Learning Excellence, the 2012 City University’s Student Voice Award and the 2009 and 2007 Cass Business School’s Award for Teaching and Learning Excellence.
Gianvito holds an MSc in mechanical engineering (Dean’s list) and a PhD in strategic management. Before joining academia, he was the founder and managing director of “e-change Srl”, an e-business transformation provider which in 2002 he sold to a leading software company.
Room W2.01 (Cambridge Judge Business School)
14 May 2019
Start Time: 14:30
End Time: 16:00