Dissertation Abstracts

Co-Creating Strategy and Culture in New Technology Regimes on the Internet: How New Digital Entrepreneurs affect Mature Incumbents in the Fashion Industry

Author: Petkova, Iva , iop2101@columbia.edu
Department: Sociology
University: Columbia University, USA
Supervisor: David Stark
Year of completion: 2014
Language of dissertation: English

Keywords: organizations , internet , fashion , innovation
Areas of Research: Organization , Communication, Knowledge and Culture , Science and Technology


One of the least understood aspects of knowledge management in organizations research and innovation is to explain how new technology paradigms facilitate the creation and adoption of new regimes and business practice of innovation by old and new firms. When innovation regimes are started up by cohesive communities of collaborators, born-online and born-global, the relationship is even less understood. My research explores how some of the largest fashion-technology start-ups on the Internet create and spread new technology and practice in digital marketing and e-commerce to vertically integrated, transnational fashion industry leaders. My dissertation bridges innovation and economic sociology with international business and strategic management to explain how Ron Burt’s “good ideas” are actually generated and meaningfully reapplied by new entrants in the organizational practice of established incumbent fashion firms from Europe and the US. The fashion industry is an extreme case-study offering an ideal context to investigate these emergent processes, revealing the dynamic relationship between innovation and change. The research posits that executives in established organizations in this context can manage the tension between challenge and opportunity of adopting disruptive practice by learning to manage collaboratively the parts of their value chains that are most affected by the entrepreneurial creativity of new peers.

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