Elisa Operti (ESSEC) will present a paper co-authored with Amit Kumar (ESSEC) titled: "Missed chances and unfulfilled hopes: why do firms make errors when selecting technological opportunities?"
Why do firms sometimes dismiss high-quality technological opportunities and retain low-quality ones? We propose that the social and geographical locus where an opportunity originated affects the likelihood of error (omission or commission) in its selection. Inventors embedded in cohesive networks or positioned in core locations can shape the shared cognitive frames, which decision-makers use to assess technological opportunities. Hence, the opportunities they generate are often selected, even if they are of lower quality. In contrast, inventors that span boundaries are less capable of influencing the shared frames used to evaluate technologies. Thus, the technological opportunities they generate are likely to be dismissed. Our results, based on data on the mobile phone and personal development agenda industry between 1990 and 2010, corroborate our hypotheses.