Technologies for Exploration and the Pursuit of Innovation: Three Essays on Strategic Knowledge Creation and Schumpeterian Competition

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Strategic knowledge creation
Technologies for exploration
Schumpeterian competition
Dynamic capabilities
Management control systems

Schumpeter introduced a new perspective on the nature of competition in market economies–one dominated by innovation and the dynamics of 'creative destruction'. In so doing, he opened up new perspectives on the nature of competition itself. At a more macro-level, the Schumpeterian perspective focuses on the role of innovation in transforming existing industries and markets and constructing new ones and shaping the competitive battles between firms. But perhaps even more importantly, where older models primarily focused on competition in product or factor markets, the Schumpeterian perspective forces consideration of the processes involved in invention, discovery, and capability creation; processes that underlie innovation and the dynamics of creative destruction. From this perspective, competition in markets is complemented by activities focused on knowledge creation and capability creation. For firms, knowledge creation becomes a strategic end unto itself; for scholars, the phenomena of knowledge creation comes center stage in the fields of strategy, entrepreneurship, and innovation. The essays presented here are focused on a set of technologies for exploration and innovation that underwrite Schumpeterian competition. The first essay proposes a theory of strategic domain pioneering that seeks to explain how organizations can develop new domains of scientific, engineering, and/or technological knowledge for strategic ends. The second essay examines how management control systems influence the construction of new organizational capabilities by influencing the outputs of an organization‟s dynamic capabilities. The third essay examines how management control systems influence the pursuit of exploration- and exploitation-related activities at the organizational level of analysis. The focus of all three is on the fundamental processes of knowledge creation that underwrite the process of innovation and capability creation at the core of Schumpeterian competition–processes at the very core of the fields of strategy, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

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Senior supervisor: 
Ian McCarthy
Beedie School of Business Faculty: Segal Graduate School
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.