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Research Lecture: Heather Haveman

Friday, May 4, 2018 - 12:00pm to 3:00pm

Location: 

Phelps 1410

Availability: 

Open to the Public

Lecturer/Speaker(s): 

Heather Haveman, Professor of Sociology and Business at the University of California, Berkeley

Title: The Political Economy of Innovation in China ​

Abstract: Firms in emerging economies like China must innovate to switch from copying products invented in advanced economies to creating innovative products themselves. But innovation is impeded when formal political-economic institutions are weak, as is common in emerging economies. To overcome weak formal institutions and foster innovation, some scholars argue that firms can use political connections. Other scholars argue instead that political connections impede, rather than foster, innovation. To test these opposing arguments, we focus on a common form of political connection: having former state officials serve as CEO or Chairman, the most powerful corporate positions. In addition to testing the main hypotheses, we assess two important regional contingencies: the strength of market development and rule of law. And we probe two causal mechanisms: the amount and effectiveness of R&D spending. Analysis of panel data on listed firms in China reveals that political connections impede innovation, especially when market institutions are well developed, due to ineffective R&D spending. But political connections do not affect how much firms spend on R&D. These findings indicate that it is politically connected executives’ lack of experience with innovation, rather than any tendency to avoid investing in R&D, that hampers innovation. 

Biography: Heather A. Haveman is Professor of Sociology and Business at the University of California, Berkeley.  She received a BA and MBA from the University of Toronto, and a PhD from UC Berkeley.  Before coming to Berkeley in 2006, she taught at Duke (1990-94), Cornell (1994-99), and Columbia (1998-2007).  She studies how organizations, industries, and employees’ careers evolve, and the impact of organizations on their employees and society at large.  Her work combines insights from institutionalism, organizational demography, social movements, economic geography, micro economics, and social history.  It has appeared in many journals, including the Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Organization Science, Law and Society Review, and Sociological Science, as well as in several edited books.  Her book, Magazines and the Making of America:  Modernization, Community, and Print Culture 1741-1860, was published by Princeton University Press in 2015.

 

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The Technology Management Program Dean’s Research Lecture Series is the premier event that brings accomplished and inspiring professors to campus to explore topics related to the field of technology management and organizations. The lecture series provide a forum for the academic community to learn from and engage in conversations with outstanding scholars on cutting-edge research findings.

Each quarter will feature several preeminent speakers. Lectures will last approximately one hour and take place in the TMP Executive Learning Center, Phelps Hall 1410. Lunch is provided for all guests who RSVP.

Attendees are required to register prior to the event for lunch and space reservation. For more information, contact Amanda Higham via email or by phone at 805-893-7577.