Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship Graduate Student Grants

The Institute for the Social Sciences awarded grants to Cornell graduate students undertaking field research related to the Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship Project. The following scholars have received funding:

2014 Johnson (JGSM) Ph.D. Candidate portraits. Arkangel Cordero Aburto, Johnson Graduate School of Management
Leviathan’s Lost Grip: Informal Political Institutional Actors and Multinational Enterprise (MNE) Entry Rates
This study (with Wes Sine and Olga Khessina) posits that inadequate provision of public order constitutes an extreme type of formal institutional failure, one that is often filled by informal political actors. The study develops a theoretical framework on how government failure to impose public order, and the ensuing competitive dynamics among informal political actors seeking to exercise this role, affect multinational enterprise location strategy. The framework is tested in the context of multinational enterprises entering into Mexico in the period 2000 to 2006. The empirical results support the theoretical predictions. The findings are relevant for the theory and practice of international business, current research on the impact of subnational institutions on organizations, and neo-institutional theory.
 Jae Cho Jae B. Cho, City and Regional Planning, AAP
Social Capital and Regional Entrepreneurial Activity
Accounting for roughly two-thirds of all new jobs, entrepreneurship is a burgeoning topic in planning scholarship, especially within the context of current economic and policy conditions. Yet regional rates of entrepreneurship vary quite significantly for the continental U.S., which concerns policy makers and planners to consider the question of why entrepreneurship rates differ at the regional level. Using data from the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity and other census data to measure regional rates of entrepreneurship and creative data sources to measure social capital at the regional level, the hypothesis that community social emmbeddedness positively affects entrepreneurship rates is tested. The goal is to suggest feasible economic development strategies that foster entrepreneurship at the regional level.  Jae was named a Kauffman dissertation fellow in 2016.
Ryan Motus Ryan Coles, Organizational Behavior, ILR
Conflict, Change, and Entrepreneurship in the Middle East
Jordan is an Arab country surrounded by conflict (Syrian Civil war to the North, the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict to the West, and the Iraq War/ISIS to the East). The conflicts of surrounding areas have caused major population shifts within Jordan. Currently, one third of the population in Jordan are refugees from Syria (1.4 million), Iraq (500,000), and Palestinian (1.5 million). Working with several Jordanian affiliates we are gathering and analyzing data to better understand how these conflict induced population shifts are shaping entrepreneurship in the country, and in order to better understand the social institutions (family, religion, etc.) which facilitate entrepreneurship amid the social changes.
dokshin_picture Fedor Dokshin, Sociology
Fuel for Debate: Spatial and Ideological Dynamics of Political Mobilization for and against Hydraulic Fracturing
I examine the sources and consequences of popular mobilization against emerging technologies. Recent research increasingly recognizes the important role social movements play in shaping the emergence of new industries. In particular, my research focuses on the opposition movement to hydraulic fracturing technology, which is behind an unfolding drilling boom in the United States. Using statistical methods and text analytic techniques, I examine the changing character of opposition, with special focus on the shifting spatial and ideological bases of opposition.
Our daily life is saturated with statistics, but it was not until the twentieth century that people started to accept statistics as legitimate sources of information. My research asks how and why statistics as a scientific/technological innovation gets diffused to world society. Specifically, I examine two fundamental institutional dimensions: “width” (visibility) and “depth” (embeddedness). To address the question of depth, I conduct cross-national analysis by using event history and diffusion modeling approaches; to answer the question of depth, I employ historical sociological approaches to analyze the case of Taiwan.
 katz, josh Josh Henry Katz, Organizational Behavior, ILR
The word entrepreneuer gets thrown around a lot, but the research definition and the colloquial meaning may be quite different. We are seeking to understand not only what this simple label can mean for potential investors, but also how the descriptor might affect behavior of entrepreneurs themselves.
unnamed Ningzi Li, Sociology
Global attention to business management has been moving from western contexts to eastern ones because of economic development in Asian countries. In this trend, scholars have noticed the unfitness between management theories based on western contexts and realities in eastern countries. Particular management models, such Keiretsu in Japan and Chaebol in Korea, have been widely studied as a result. In this project, we (co-authored with professor David Strang) want to investigate the creation, establishment, and diffusion of particular management models in China’s rapid economic growth. We are now looking at state shareholding in large companies and network building in business groups as well as the evolution of these models in institutional changes.
Yisook Lim Yisook Lim, Organizational Behavior, ILR
Family firms, namely those that are owned and managed by families, contribute significantly to both developed and developing economies; they account for a majority of businesses worldwide. In spite of their importance in economies, however, family firms have been relatively under-examined and is still in the debate in the entrepreneurship literature. Notwithstanding their importance in reality, the relative ignorance in previous literature limits our complete understanding of entrepreneurship. As a response to these calls, my research will link family firms to the study of entrepreneurship by investigating the formation process of family entrepreneurial teams and their distinctive behavioral characteristics.
enongo Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo, Science and Technology Studies
My specific area of research falls under the umbrella of sound studies, an interdisciplinary field in which the study of sound is used as a means to understand social, technological, and cultural developments as well as to access particular aspects of human experience. Sound studies scholars are interested in topics like the emergence of particular types of listening practices (and therefore new types of listeners); the historical, cultural and political coproduction of sound innovations such as the phonograph, the radio, and musical instruments; and the implications of sound usage as it emerges in medical contexts, pedagogy, warfare, and entertainment. My research topic focuses on the politics of what I term “community studios” – fixed and mobile sites that exist to provide “underserved” communities with access to free and low cost professional music recording equipment, services, and education. I am very interested in the ways that the institutional status of such spaces as both studios and community resources informs the norms and daily technical practices of engineers, producers, and local artists as well as the ways it informs their assumptions about certain production values like fidelity and quality.
macmillen_crp James Macmillen, City and Regional Planning
Urban Futurity and the Preservation of Detroit Sound
This research brings together work on American urbanism with the sound studies literature. Detroit is the birthplace of two world-famous musical genres, Motown and Techno, yet preserving this rich legacy has been a difficult task amidst severe economic decline. Through interview and ethnographic material, we trace how efforts to conserve Detroit’s sonic heritage engage with wider conversations about the city’s postindustrial future. (Co-authored with Professor Trevor J. Pinch, Science and Technology Studies)
Thomas Mann Thomas Mann, Psychology
Do some ideas just feel more creative and worthwhile when a creative person proposes them? Where do our spontaneous impressions of the creativity of a person or idea come from, and how much do these reactions add momentum to a new innovation? The success of entrepreneurs surely depends on the first impressions consumers have of them and their products. Research suggests that such impressions can shape the later reactions of decision makers at explicit and automatic levels, both of which can uniquely predict behavior. In his ISS-funded research, Thomas seeks to understand how exposure to entrepreneurs and their products can lead to automatic impressions of creativity, which may impact subsequent interest in new innovations from the same entrepreneur. Additionally, he is interested in how automatic reactions to entrepreneurs and innovations change over time as one learns more information about both, and how these automatic reactions might differ in interesting and important ways from our more explicit, conscious judgments.
 Owen Marshall Owen Marshall, Science and Technology Studies
This project looks at how creative practices of digital correction among recording professionals produce the recorded voices we encounter every day. It considers the ways that innovation in signal processing technology and speech-hearing science helps to shape, and is in turn shaped by, these practices. His fieldwork comprises an ethnography of audio engineers and a social history of interdisciplinary research on voice, signal and emotion. By attending to the various ways the voice has been socio-technically accomplished – e.g., as scientific object, technological model, artistic medium, diagnostic standard, and commercial property – he’s trying to better understand the economies of signal, affect, and artifact through which sound recordings circulate.
Abdullah Shahid Abdullah Shahid, Sociology
Product and Information Innovations in Financial Markets: Role of Lawyers
From structuring deals and performing due diligence to advising stakeholders on their rights and responsibilities, lawyers guide financial transactions. However, little is understood about how lawyers shape innovations in these transactions. We use the context of the U.S. mortgage and asset backed securities to examine how lawyers develop product and information innovations. Besides informing the innovation and entrepreneurship literature, the inquiry can help shed light on the role lawyers play  in pricing assets (through information innovations) and contribute to accounting and finance literature on corporate disclosure, information asymmetry and market inefficiency.
 Joon_Sohn crop Joon Woo Sohn, Organizational Behavior, ILR
How do Entrepreneurs Become Investors?
Although many entrepreneurs engage in investing activities, either as venture capitalists or as angel investors, literature on entrepreneurship has overlooked why these entrepreneurs choose to expand their careers as investors. Using an extensive aluni survey, we attempt to demonstrate what led entrepreneurs to expand their career boundaries by engaging in different types of investing (venture capital versus angel investor). This project is with CIE Team Leader Diane Burton.