Our work focuses on a strategy we label "specialization in generality", which consists in investing in general resources (that is, assets that can be usefully applied to several different markets) and trading with other firms (rather than with final customers) the services/products deriving from such resources. IDEO, a leading design company, is the quintessential example of a company pursuing this strategy: it invested in procedural knowledge general enough to produce new ideas in several different fields, and offered design services to several famous companies (such as Apple, AT&T, Samsung, Philips, and Baxter International) operating in completely different downstream markets. But when does a specialization in generality strategy emerge? And is such strategy sustainable in the long-term? Our papers address these questions. In particular, the first paper (Specializing in generality: firm strategies when intermediate markets work), clarifies the supply and demand conditions inducing companies to adopt a specialization in generality strategy. The second paper (Specializing in general purpose technology as a firm long-term strategy) shows that specializing in generality might actually represent a viable strategy even in the long-run.
Conti, R., Gambardella, A. & Novelli, E. (2018). Specializing in generality: firm strategies when intermediate markets work. Organization Science.
Conti, R., Gambardella, A. & Novelli, E. (2018). Specializing in general purpose technologies as a firm long-term strategy. Industrial and Corporate Change.
The paper focuses on creative leadership (leading creative individuals) and examines the leadership style of a group of choreographers. Amongst the 2 main types, some choreographers are sole creators (directive leaders) and their decision to not seek dancers input is based upon their perspective, the particular project they are working on, or their personal preference. In contrast, other choreographers solicit and incorporate the input of dancers (integrative leaders) and they value dancers' input in three different ways; occasional, iterative, and continuous. These results allow researchers and practitioners to better understand creative leadership and can be applied to other areas where creative individuals are managed.
Abecassis-Moedas, C. & Gilson, L. (2018). Drivers and levels of creative leadership: an examination of choreographers as directive and integrative leaders. Innovation: Organization & Management, 20(2), 122-138.
In this paper we investigate how a social enterprise which is part of a social movement can adapt over time its communication strategy to appeal to its customers while remaining consistent with the values and beliefs of the social movement it is part of. We address this issue through a seven-year case study of Addiopizzo Travel, Sicilian social enterprise that attempts to eliminate extortion payments to the Mafia by providing tourism services to support businesses that defy this extortion.
Lee, M., Ramus, T., & Vaccaro, A. (2018). From Protest to Product: Strategic Frame Brokerage in a Commercial Social Movement Organization. Academy of Management Journal.