News from IØT

Marta Morais-Storz successful defence of PhD thesis

«Innovation and the role of problem formulation: capitalizing on the potential of collective intellect for value creation»

Supervisor: Professor Alf Steinar Sætre

Marta Morais-Storz successful defence of PhD thesis

«Innovation and the role of problem formulation: capitalizing on the potential of collective intellect for value creation»

Supervisor: Professor Alf Steinar Sætre

 

We congratulate Marta Angelica Oliveira Morais-Storz with successful defense of her PhD, 26th of October 2018.

The title of the thesis is:

«Innovation and the role of problem formulation: capitalizing on the potential of collective intellect for value creation»

The Faculty of Economics and Management has appointed the following committee to evaluate the thesis:

  • Professor Emeritus Andrew Van de Ven, University of Minnesota
  • Professor Linda Lai, BI Norwegian Business School
  • Professor Endre Sjøvold, Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management, NTNU


Professor Endre Sjøvold has administered the committee’s work.

The candidate’s main supervisor has been Professor Alf Steinar Sætre, Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management, NTNU. Co-supervisor has been Professor Amy C. Edmondson, Harvard Business School.

The trial lecture was on the following topic:
«Problem formulation in management innovation and innovation management»

 

Summary of the thesis

The fundamental research question of this dissertation is: “How does problem formulation engender innovation, and what processes lead to formulating problems such that innovative solutions thrive?”  A basic premise underlying this research question is that how we interpret the stimuli that drives action—how we formulate problems, opportunities, unmet needs or desires—determines the actions that we take, and that the actions that we take today shape our future and define who we are in that future. This is as true for an individual as it is for an organization or for society in general. Our interpretations, however, have limitations due to various biases and constraints that arise from assumptions that are shaped by both experience and lore, and tend to give primacy to the status quo.  All knowledge is therefore derived from and based on these assumptions, that although are certainly useful when it comes to solving well defined problems of an unambiguous nature, they can be hindrances in the context of novelty. In this dissertation, problem formulation is conceptualized as a team level mechanism to overcome these hindrances. By studying various facets of this phenomena, empirically and conceptually, this dissertation aims to (1) clarify how and why it unfolds, (2) make explicit what it entails relative to specific boundary conditions, and (3) measure its significance to innovative outcomes.

The primary implication of the findings contained in this dissertation is that how we formulate problems holds the promise of increasing the odds of success by engendering innovative solutions. In addition, in the context of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, problem formulation—as characterized by forward-looking, open and dialectic dialogue, where assumptions are surfaced, challenged, and revised—must be a deliberate practice. Finally, although certainly effortful (costly and arduous), problem formulation also holds the promise of instigating the transcendence of our own expectations by serving as a mechanism for tapping into the underexploited collective intellect of people. When the benefit to society is concerned, it is my belief that this resource is well worth the effort and cost of accessing it.

Kine Berild Norheim successful defence of PhD thesis

«Drivers of innovation and strategic resilience in and between firms:
The role of absorptive capacity, psychological safety and innovation capabilities»

Supervisor: Professor Alf Steinar Sætre

Kine Berild Norheim successful defence of PhD thesis

«Drivers of innovation and strategic resilience in and between firms:
The role of absorptive capacity, psychological safety and innovation capabilities»

Supervisor: Professor Alf Steinar Sætre

 

We congratulate Kine Berild Norheim with successful defense of her PhD, 22nd of October 2018.

The title of the thesis is:

«Drivers of innovation and strategic resilience in and between firms:
The role of absorptive capacity, psychological safety and innovation capabilities»

The Faculty of Economics and Management has appointed the following committee to evaluate the thesis:

  • Professor Emeritus Andrew Van de Ven, University of Minnesota
  • Associate Professor Lise Lillebrygfjeld Halse, Molde University College
  • Professor Elsebeth Holmen, Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management, NTNU

Professor Elsebeth Holmen has administered the committee’s work.

The candidate’s main supervisor has been Professor Alf Steinar Sætre, Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management, NTNU. Co-supervisors have been Professor Øivind Strand, Department of International Business, NTNU and Professor Hans Petter Hildre, Department of Ocean Operations and Civil Engineering, NTNU.

The trial lecture was on the following topic:

«How shared culture affects value co-creation in business networks»

 

Summary of the thesis

The focal point of the articles in this dissertation is on building innovative capabilities in and between firms in industry clusters in Norway. Top management teams and their members and has been the target group for both the conceptual and empirical studies. This dissertation contains three articles, and the concept of absorptive capacity is consistent for all three studies.


Paper one, “Innovation and metamorphosis towards strategic resilience”, is a conceptual study exploring the role of resilience to overcome environmental turmoil alongside uncertainty and complexity with the aim of finding a route that may help firms develop strategic resilience.


Paper two, «Absorptive capacity in an inter-organizational context: evidence from firms in an industry cluster in Norway», investigates how or if a sense of shared identity between firms in an industry cluster enable innovation capabilities, through the lens of firm absorptive capacity.


The most central contribution of paper three, «The mediating role of absorptive capacity on the relationship between top management team members’ psychological safety and organizational innovativeness», is the exploration of the relationship between team psychological safety and absorptive capacity.


For a firm to be able to build a positive organizational legacy and its strategic resilience, absorptive capacity is key, as we demonstrate in paper one. We propose inter-organizational relationships and a sense of shared identity as strategical key resources for the building a firm's absorptive capacity, as it assists knowledge sharing and facilitates the exploitation of that acquired knowledge. We validate this in paper 2. To empower (especially the internal aspects of) absorptive capacity, building team psychological safety is vital, as shown in paper 3. Common to all three studies is the focus on top management teams and top management team members and they all include a perspective of absorptive capacity. The studies all aim to improve knowledge about how to increase innovation capabilities and strategic resilience of firms.   In sum, the findings in the papers adds to a discussion on how firms may act to increase their innovation capabilities by facilitating the development of absorptive capacity and psychological safety.

Lars Ivar Hagfors successful defence of PhD thesis

«Essays on electricity price modelling»

Supervisor: Professor Stein-Erik Fleten

Lars Ivar Hagfors successful defence of PhD thesis

«Essays on electricity price modelling»

Supervisor: Professor Stein-Erik Fleten

 

We congratulate Lars Ivar Hagfors with successful defense of his PhD, 17th October 2018.

The title of the thesis is:

«Essays on electricity price modelling»

The Faculty of Economics and Management has appointed the following committee to evaluate the thesis:

  • Assistant Professor Katarzyna Maciejowska, Wrocław University of Technology, Poland
  • Professor Jonas Andersson, NHH Norwegian School of Economics, Norway
  • Associate Professor Khine Kyaw, NTNU

Associate Professor Khine Kyaw at the NTNU Business School has administered the committee’s work.

The candidate’s main supervisor has been Professor Stein-Erik Fleten, NTNU. Co-supervisors have been Professor Sjur Westgaard, NTNU, Associate Professor Verena Hagspiel, NTNU, and Senior Researcher Kristin Linnerud, CICERO Center for International Climate Research.

The trial lecture was on the following topic:

«Recent advances in electricity price modelling»

 

Summary of the thesis

This doctoral thesis consists of 6 separate research essays. The essays all use various econometric modelling techniques to examine different aspects of the move towards cleaner energy in Europe, from an economic point of view. In doing this, this thesis makes contributions in two different fields. First, within the field of electricity price modelling. Every essay that is included in this thesis involves some form of electricity price modelling. Most notable is the use of quantile regression models. Here we develop a method where we look at the variations of the coefficients themselves across different quantiles and time periods in order to identify the main fundamental drivers behind extreme prices. Other modelling techniques are also applied, where appropriate. Second, within the field of real options, where we extend the literature by developing a real options model to choose between two different locations for a transmission asset, as well as a real options model to determine the economic value of investing in a large scale battery storage. These are applications in technologies that tie directly into the role of dampening the negative market effects caused by intermittent renewable energy.

In the first essay we develop a model using quantile regressions to examine the effect of various price drivers on the price distribution in the UK electricity market. Using this method, we are able to show how the sensitivity towards different fundamental factors change across quantiles and time of day. We also demonstrate how this framework can be used to perform a scenario analysis, by introducing shocks to one fundamental variable at a time, ceteris paribus, we can model how the price could be expected to react.

In the second essay we take the method we developed in the first paper and apply it to the German electricity market. We specifically focus the analysis on the renewable energy sources, wind power and photovoltaic, in order to learn how the market reacts to the introduction of the new renewable energy sources. We find some evidence that negative prices can be atrributed to the introduction of wind power.

In the third essay we look more closely at the positive and negative price spikes found in the German electricity market. We develop models to predict the probability of extreme price occurrences in the German day-ahead electricity market, primarily in order to determine the effect the different fundamental variables have on this probability. The main findings are that positive spikes are most closely related to high demand, low supply and high prices the previous day. Negative spikes, on the other hand, are related to low demand and high wind power production levels.

The fourth essay aims to model the EPEX and Nord Pool electricity markets using our quantile regression framework, in order to contrast and compare the effects of the various price drivers between the two markets. This is motivated by the plans to construct the NordLink cable, connecting the two markets. Our main findings indicates that the two markets behave very differently. This supports the hypothesis that connecting the two markets could both be economically viable and also be beneficial in order to reduce the spikes and volatility in the German market due to the differences in characteristics.

The fifth essay develops a real options model to evaluate two mutually exclusive transmission cable projects. The two alternatives being considered are a cable connecting Norway and the UK and a cable connecting Norway and Germany. This builds on the conclusions from essays 1-4, which together leads to a hypothesis that such a transmission cable is beneficial.

In the sixth essay we develop a real options model to evaluate the profitability of investing in a large scale battery bank. Having demonstrated the high volatility in the EPEX in previous essays, this technology would be one way of mitigating that problem while also potentially making a trading profit by buying low and selling high. While our numbers specifically relate to a particular battery technology, the same framework could also easily be applied to pump storage or similar Projects.

Caroline Yeng-Ting Cheng successful defence of PhD thesis

«Relationship and Networking Strategy Tools: What are they and how do managers use them in practice?»

Supervisor: Professor Elsebeth Holmen

Caroline Yeng-Ting Cheng successful defence of PhD thesis

«Relationship and Networking Strategy Tools: What are they and how do managers use them in practice?»

Supervisor: Professor Elsebeth Holmen

 

We congratulate Caroline Yeng-Ting Cheng with successful defense of her PhD, 21st of June 2018.

The title of the thesis is:

«Relationship and Networking Strategy Tools: What are they and how do managers use them in practice?»

The Faculty of Economics and Management has appointed the following committee to evaluate the thesis:

  • Professor Christina Öberg, Örebro University, Sweden
  • Assistant Professor Andrea Perna, Marche Polytechnic University, Italy
  • Professor Poul Houman Andersen, Aalborg University and NTNU

Adjunct Professor Poul Houman Andersen at the Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management, NTNU, has administered the committee’s work.

The candidate’s main supervisor has been Professor Elsebeth Holmen, NTNU. Co-supervisor has been Professor Debbie Harrison, BI Norwegian Business School.

The trial lecture was on the following topic:

«How does the IMP perspective shape strategizers’ work?»

 

Summary of the thesis

This dissertation examines the topic of tools for strategizing in business relationships and networks. Previous studies in the Industrial Marketing and Purchasing (IMP) approach to strategizing as well as selected strategy tool studies from Strategy-as-Practice (SaP) have provided valuable insights on this topic. The term ‘strategy tools’ covers a set of concepts, methods, models, techniques, frameworks and methodologies that structure or influence strategic activity. While IMP studies have started to embrace strategizing and SaP has made the position clear that tools are important practices that deserve empirical attention, the topic of tools for strategizing in business relationships and networks remains underexplored in IMP in two respects. First, too little conceptual attention has been given to tools for strategizing in business relationships and networks, despite the recognition that tools are helpful to assist managers to move beyond cognitive boundaries. Second, too little empirical attention has been given to tools for strategizing in business relationships and networks, despite tools being a significant part of managerial life as an empirical phenomenon.

The purpose of this PhD thesis is to provide a starting point to address ‘strategy tools’, conceptually and empirically, within the IMP approach to strategizing focusing on two questions: (1) Which types of tools for strategizing in business relationships have been conceptualized and discussed in the IMP literature, and (2) How do managers use tools when strategizing in business relationships? To examine these questions, this dissertation employs a manual qualitative content analysis approach to systematically review literature and build a conceptual framework. Regarding practices as a set of tools in the IMP approach to strategizing, a multiple embedded case study design investigating tool uses in 16 buyer and seller relationships using the qualitative research interview method was employed to conduct the field research.

The thesis contributes to literature on the IMP approach to strategizing in five ways. First, the term ‘relationship and networking strategy tools’ (RNSTs) has been put forth as a distinct concept to encompass tools relevant for strategizing in business relationships and networks. Second, a fine-tuned conceptual framework of RNSTs with four commonalities and six differing dimensions to structure and stimulate discussions concerning tools for strategizing in business relationships and networks has been developed. Third, an initial IMP strategy toolbox, which more clearly outlines the IMP approach to strategizing using tools, is presented. Fourth, this thesis also contributes by suggesting a six-part typology of interactive strategizing categories where two additional strategizing configurations to the literature are being discussed. Finally, taking a broader perspective, this thesis has also taken steps to broaden the interpretation of strategy tool uses by proposing a ‘tools-in-interaction’ matrix, which discusses an additional dimension further to the thinking of strategy tool uses in systematic and experimental ways - that of using tools proactively and reactively in interactive contexts.

Keywords: strategy tools, interaction, business relationships, strategizing, Strategy-as-Practice

Mieko Igarashi successful defence of PhD thesis

«Towards more effective green public procurement: Empirical and conceptual studies of environmental criteria in decision-making and information processing»

Supervisor: Professor Luitzen de Boer

Mieko Igarashi successful defence of PhD thesis

«Towards more effective green public procurement: Empirical and conceptual studies of environmental criteria in decision-making and information processing»

Supervisor: Professor Luitzen de Boer

 

We congratulate Mieko Igarashi with successful defense of her PhD, 17th August 2018.

The title of the thesis is:

«Towards more effective green public procurement : Empirical and conceptual studies of environmental criteria in decision-making and information processing»

The Faculty of Economics and Management has appointed the following committee to evaluate the thesis:

  • Professor Michael Eßig, Bundeswehr University Munich, Germany
  • University Lecturer Anne-Maria Holma, University of Vaasa, Finland
  • Associate Professor Elli Verhulst, NTNU

Associate Professor Elli Verhulst at the Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management, NTNU, has administered the committee’s work.

The candidate’s main supervisor has been Professor Luitzen de Boer, Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management, NTNU. Co-supervisors have been Professor Annik Magerholm Fet, NTNU, and Dr. Ottar Michelsen, NTNU.

The trial lecture was on the following topic:

«Public procurement of innovative services within Europe»

 

Summary of the thesis

This dissertation examines Norway’s green public procurement (GPP), or in other words, environmentally responsible procurement by public agencies, as decision-making and information processing. Public agencies in every country are major consumers with a financial spending varying from 10% to 20% of the GDP. GPP has been gaining the attentions and anticipations by governments as a policy instrument, as well as a technical tool, aiming for sustainable consumption and production. Public procurement is a complex process with the legal framework and strict procedure, GPP seems to have further increased its complexity because of the additional consideration of environmental aspects in the procurement process. However, existing literature fails to examine relevant aspects. First, how decisions are made in practice, more precisely, how environmental criteria are chosen by buyers. Second, few studies have investigated GPP as an interaction between buyers and suppliers. Furthermore, the literature in public procurement has been experiencing low theoretical grounding.

This dissertation aims to develop a deep understanding of GPP and provide insights into more effective GPP.

RQ1. What aspects of complexity do buyers face with GPP?

RQ2. How are environmental considerations incorporated into the procurement process?

RQ3. What political and practical insights can we gain for more effective GPP, based on the current practices and issues?

To investigate these questions, this research employs various methodologies; building two conceptual frameworks, one by systematic literature review and the other by document analyses, confirming the existing concepts in decision-making by interviews and a survey, and modifying an existing theoretical model in organizational learning, with focus on information processing, by interviews.

The findings extend the current knowledge of GPP. Buyers face multiple forms of complexities especially in formulating and evaluating tender documents. Most of the time, their decision-making is not comprehensive, analytic, rational, but is subject to heuristics. Interaction of buyer’s and supplier’s absorptive capabilities could determine the outcomes of GPP. Lastly, policy-makers and practitioners would benefit from this research, which provides the insights into more effective GPP based on behavioural decision-making and information processing.

Ingrid Lunde Ohna successful defence of PhD thesis

«Inclusive innovation, business models and institutional strategies: On private sector engagement in the agricultural sector in Tanzania»

Supervisor: Professor Alf Steinar Sætre

Ingrid Lunde Ohna successful defence of PhD thesis

«Inclusive innovation, business models and institutional strategies: On private sector engagement in the agricultural sector in Tanzania»

Supervisor: Professor Alf Steinar Sætre

 

We congratulate Ingrid Lunde Ohna with successful defense of her PhD, 23rd of February 2018.

The title of the thesis is:

«Inclusive innovation, business models and institutional strategies: On private sector engagement in the agricultural sector in Tanzania»

The Faculty of Economics and Management has appointed the following committee to evaluate the thesis:

  • Professor Emeritus Andrew Van de Ven, University of Minnesota, USA
  • Associate Professor Siri Jakobsen, NORD University
  • Professor Elsebeth Holmen, NTNU

Professor Elsebeth Holmen, Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management, NTNU, has administered the committee’s work.

The candidate’s main supervisor has been Professor Alf Steinar Sætre, Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management, NTNU. Co-supervisor has been Professor Endre Sjøvold, Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management, NTNU.

The trial lecture was on the following topic:

«Shared value creation in emerging vs. developed markets – Implications for theory, policy and practice»

 

Summary of the thesis

The agricultural sector in Tanzania is characterized by many smallholder farmers and challenges related to infrastructure and market development. Barriers for market development affect farmers and businesses alike. Working for increased collaboration between public, private and civil society to reduce costs and disenfranchisement of smallholder farmers a cross-sector goal. The main purpose of this dissertation is to understand how private sector engagement work to mitigate institutional cost and enable inclusive growth. Three analytical frameworks are given special attention to discuss this. They include public-private collaboration, business model innovation, and value chain initiatives. This dissertation consists of three papers. The data for the papers was collected through a qualitative fieldwork using semi-structured interviews and participant observation.

Paper one is a conceptual article exploring how previous research have dealt with public-private collaboration as a solution to reduce institutional costs and contribute to institutional and inclusive change. By combining research that focus on public-private partnerships and inclusive innovation, we develop a theoretical model emphasizing goal complementarity to incorporate institutional complexity. Paper two, is an empirical paper dealing with business model innovation and institutional strategies. We show how different kinds of institutional strategies complement and reinforce the development of an inclusive business model in these markets.  Paper three, investigates how value chain initiatives can contribute to inclusion of smallholder farmers to markets and enable product upgrade of agricultural produce. Through a multi-case analysis from three different value chain initiatives in rice and coffee in a district in Tanzania, we find that knowledge transfer and incentivizing smallholder farmers to invest in product upgrade are affected by how the different initiatives deals with farmer organization.

 Together the findings in the papers contribute to a discussion on how private sector can, through reframing of constraints, business model innovation and creating access to knowledge and markets can contribute to inclusive growth for private sector, the smallholder farmers and the agricultural sector in Tanzania. These findings can be utilized to increase our understanding of private sector engagement in markets with large institutional cost and how to mitigate these.

Erik Andreas Saether successful defence of PhD thesis

«The impact of employees’ self-determined motivation types on individual creativity and innovative work behavior»

Supervisor: Professor Alf Steinar Sætre

Erik Andreas Saether successful defence of PhD thesis

«The impact of employees’ self-determined motivation types on individual creativity and innovative work behavior»

Supervisor: Professor Alf Steinar Sætre

 

We congratulate Erik Andreas Saether with successful defense of his PhD, 21st of February 2018.

The title of the thesis is:

«The impact of employees’ self-determined motivation types on individual creativity and innovative work behavior»

The Faculty of Economics and Management has appointed the following committee to evaluate the thesis:

  • Professor Emeritus Andrew Van de Ven, University of Minnesota, USA
  • Associate Professor Christina Nerstad, Oslo Metropolitan University
  • Professor Øystein Moen, NTNU

Professor Øystein Moen, Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management, NTNU, has administered the committee’s work. Dr Roger Klev has been appointed as new committee administrator in Associate Professor Christina Nerstad’s absence.

The candidate’s main supervisor has been Professor Alf Steinar Sætre, Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management, NTNU. Co-supervisor has been Associate Professor J. Richard Harrison, University of Texas.

The trial lecture was on the following topic:

«What motivates us to go to work every day?»

 

Summary of the thesis

This dissertation investigates the following overarching question: How do motivation types – as outlined by self-determination theory (SDT) – affect individuals' creativity and innovative work behavior (IWB) in organizations, and what are some factors that may influence those relationships? For practice, this is a relevant question since managers are concerned with how to successfully motivate their employees. After all, motivation determines what an individual will do. Furthermore, employees – who are at the heart of organizations – are drivers of creativity that can result in innovative processes, procedures, products, and services which ultimately benefit organizations' performance, competitive advantage, and survival.

In order to successfully support employees' motivation and foster their creativity and IWB, it is necessary to identify types of motivation that relate to them. As posited by SDT, the autonomous forms of motivation – intrinsic motivation and identified motivation – can be beneficial to creativity and IWB. Thus, in addition to investigating these motivations' effects on individual creativity and IWB, it is also helpful to determine the effects of contextual factors, including elements of person-environment fit, personality, and rewards.

The research in this dissertation aims to investigate these issues using primarily survey data from employees in multinational organizations. In addition, data from a behavioral experiment conducted with Amazon Mechanical Turk is also used in one of the studies. The dissertation is comprised of three full articles and a research note.

Ultimately, the findings from these studies contribute to a better understanding of how individual motivation relates to creativity and IWB, and what effects some other factors have on those relationships. The research in the dissertation supports the notion that autonomous motivation types are indeed superior to controlled forms of motivation in relation to creativity-dependent behaviors, but it also shows that rewards with fair assessment procedures can help increase intrinsic motivation, and ultimately creativity. Furthermore, person-organization fit is helpful in fostering both autonomous motivation types and, indirectly, IWB, while extraversion is a personality trait that influences supervisors' ratings of creativity of employees with similar levels of identified motivation. Practical implications and future research directions are discussed.

Pernille Merethe Sire Seljom successful defence of PhD thesis

«Stochastic modelling of short-term uncertainty in long-term energy models: Applied to TIMES models of Scandinavia»

Supervisor: Professor Asgeir Tomasgard

Pernille Merethe Sire Seljom successful defence of PhD thesis

«Stochastic modelling of short-term uncertainty in long-term energy models: Applied to TIMES models of Scandinavia»

Supervisor: Professor Asgeir Tomasgard

 

We congratulate Pernille Merethe Sire Seljom with successful defense of her PhD, 30th of November 2017

The title of the thesis is:

«Stochastic modelling of short-term uncertainty in long-term energy models: Applied to TIMES models of Scandinavia»

The Faculty of Economics and Management has appointed the following committee to evaluate the thesis:

  • Professor Nadia Maïzi, MINES ParisTech, France
  • Professor Erik Ahlgren, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
  • Professor Henrik Andersson, NTNU

Professor Henrik Andersson at the Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management, NTNU, has administered the committee’s work.

The candidate’s main supervisor has been Professor Asgeir Tomasgard, NTNU. Co-supervisor has been Professor Stein-Erik Fleten, NTNU.

The trial lecture was on the following topic:

«Using robust optimization to deal with uncertainty in short-term planning for energy systems – Theory and applications»

 

Summary of the thesis

Long-term energy system models can be used to understand the complexity of the energy system and can thus provide reasonable insights to decision makers. In energy systems with a large share of renewables and a high degree of electrification, these models needs to consider the short-term uncertainty of energy generation and energy consumption to value flexibility properly. This thesis uses Stochastic Programming to consider short-term uncertainty in long-term energy models, and applies this approach to TIMES models of Scandinavia. A correct evaluation of flexibility is particularly important for Scandinavia, since the region has large hydro reservoirs, a lot of wind power and exchange capacity to European countries with ambitious climate targets.

This thesis demonstrates that a stochastic representation of short-term uncertainty gives different investments compared to a traditional and simplified deterministic approach. This is because a stochastic approach provides investment decisions that are valid for a range of operational situations, whereas the deterministic investments are only based on an average operational situation. The thesis uses a stochastic modelling of the short-term uncertainty of renewable electricity generation, heat demand and external electricity prices. The uncertainty is represented by a set of possible realisations, named scenarios, which are based on historical observations. The thesis strives to use scenarios that provide model solutions of high quality.

This thesis describes and demonstrates the stochastic methodology. Further, the methodology is applied to analyses of the Scandinavian energy system; in a study on the impact of policy actions and energy prices on the cost-optimal development of the energy system in Norway and Sweden, and in a study on the impact of Zero Energy Buildings in the Scandinavian energy system. These analyses illustrate the value of using a stochastic methodology, but do not indicate the quality of the model results. This is included in the last part of the thesis, which presents and demonstrates methodologies that can evaluate the quality of the stochastic model solution.

Marius Tuft Mathisen successful defence of PhD thesis

«The Growth of Research-Based Spin-Offs: Unleashing the Value of Academic Entrepreneurship»

Supervisor: Professor Øystein Widding

Marius Tuft Mathisen successful defence of PhD thesis

«The Growth of Research-Based Spin-Offs: Unleashing the Value of Academic Entrepreneurship»

Supervisor: Professor Øystein Widding

 

We congratulate Marius Tuft Mathisen with successful defense of his PhD, 22nd of August 2017

The title of the thesis is:

«The Growth of Research-Based Spin-Offs: Unleashing the Value of Academic Entrepreneurship»

The Faculty of Economics and Management has appointed the following committee to evaluate the thesis:

  • Professor Claire Leitch, Lancaster University, United Kingdom
  • Professor Karl Wennberg, Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden
  • Associate Professor Øyvind Bjørgum, NTNU

Associate Professor Øyvind Bjørgum at the Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management, NTNU, has administered the committee’s work.

The candidate’s main supervisor has been Professor Øystein Widding, NTNU. Co-supervisor has been Professor Einar Rasmussen, Nord University.

The trial lecture was on the following topic:

«The role of universities in technology transfer: Past, present and future challenges»

 

Summary of the thesis

Research-based spin-off companies (RBSOs) are considered to be a source of significant wealth creation, and an important mechanism for transferring scientific knowledge, technologies, and inventions from universities to industry. However, most existing research into RBSOs pay limited attention to the growth and outcomes of these firms. Further, some studies claim that most RBSOs remain small, achieve negligible growth, and deliver limited economic impact. Our knowledge into the growth and impact of such ventures remains fragmented and lack robust theoretical foundations. This motivates the dissertation’s overall research question: “How do research-based spin-offs develop, grow, and perform?”

This dissertation pursues two objectives. From a practical perspective, it aims to elucidate how RBSOs transform scientific research into commercial products. From a theoretical perspective, it seeks to increase our conceptual understanding of how RBSOs grow. The research question is addressed through five research papers and an overarching cover essay. The empirical research follows a mixed method approach which combine both quantitative and qualitative research designs. A comprehensive database was developed which longitudinally track the national population of all Norwegian RBSOs established in the 1999-2011 period. The unique database comprises 373 RBSOs, and was developed by integrating a range of high-quality archival data sources with manually coded data. A multiple case study of nine trade sales in the RBSO population was also conducted.

The research results advance new insights into the complex and heterogeneous growth processes, mechanisms, and outcomes that RBSOs pursue to overcome technological, market, and organizational uncertainty. The research demonstrates that growth follow highly skewed distributions, and that successful commercialization need long time to materialize. Further, growth is shown to be primarily discontinuous and shaped by firm breakthroughs. Finally, the dissertation shows that trade sales is a frequent venture outcome, which has been largely ignored in the existing literature. Results points to the tendency of promising firms to be acquired while still being small and unprofitable. Hence, trade sales can be understood as a distinct mechanism of growth used by RBSOs to fulfil commercialization processes.

Besides theoretical development, the dissertation provides a number of important implications for entrepreneurs, public research organizations and policymakers.

Nhien Nguyen successful defence of PhD thesis

«Learning from failure in organizational innovation activities: Easier said than done»

Supervisor: Professor Alf Steinar Sætre

Nhien Nguyen successful defence of PhD thesis

«Learning from failure in organizational innovation activities: Easier said than done»

Supervisor: Professor Alf Steinar Sætre

 

We congratulate Nhien Nguyen with successful defense of her PhD, 16th of June 2017

The title of the thesis is:

«Learning from failure in organizational innovation activities: Easier said than done»

The Faculty of Economics and Management has appointed the following committee to evaluate the thesis:

  • Senior Lecturer Tatiana Andreeva, Maynooth University School of Business, Ireland
  • Associate Professor Thomas Hoholm, BI Norwegian Business School, Norway
  • Associate Professor Endre Sjøvold, NTNU

Associate Professor Endre Sjøvold at the Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management, NTNU, has administered the committee’s work.

The trial lecture was on the following topic:

«The link between organizational learning and innovation management: Why learning from failure is particularly important»

The candidate’s main supervisor has been Professor Alf Steinar Sætre, NTNU. The candidate’s co-supervisor has been Professor J. Richard Harrison, the University of Texas at Dallas.

 

Summary of the thesis

This dissertation examines the topic of learning from failure in the context of organizational innovation activities. The motivation for this work comes from the observation that many firms fail to reap the benefits of learning from failure when innovating whereas some others do learn from failure. Since innovation starts with new ideas that require experiments which may lead to either failure or success, learning from failure might seem natural in innovation activities. Yet it does not always happen in practice.

The literature on organizational innovation management has provided valuable insights on this topic, especially with regards to technological innovation, but it remains underexplored in several respects. First, there is a lack of studies on the failure of management innovations that respond to adaptation and change. Second, there is a need for an overarching framework explaining the phenomenon of firms failing to learn from failure at multiple levels of analysis. Third, more empirical and conceptual studies are needed to explore or compare successful and unsuccessful post-failure learning in order to understand the characteristics of an effective learning process.

This PhD thesis addresses these shortcomings of the current literature by focusing on three questions: (1) Why does a management innovation fail in the context of adaptation to change? (2) Why do many organizations fail to learn from failure in innovation activities? (3) How do some organizations learn effectively from innovation failures? To examine these questions, the dissertation employs a mix of research methodologies, from building a conceptual framework to conducting field research and systematically reviewing literature. These methodologies all relate to multiple levels: individual, group and organizational.

Altogether, the dissertation contributes to the literature of innovation management and strategy by refining our understanding of the multifaceted nature of innovation and learning from failure in innovation activities at multiple levels of analysis.