November 2010 Roundtable & Advisory Meeting

Selected Faculty Research Presentations

Highlights of selected faculty research projects will be presented and the potential business implications discussed.

November Roundtable and Advisory Meeting

  • Tuesday, November 16, 2010
  • Babbio Center, Stevens Institute of Technology,
  • Hoboken, NJ
  • 11:00 AM-4:30 PM

Selected Faculty Research Presentations


The next Howe School Alliance Roundtable meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 16th.  Highlights of selected faculty research projects will be presented and the potential business implications discussed. Abstracts of the presentations are below.

The Roundtable will be preceded by a brief HSATM Advisory Board meeting and a light luncheon. Roundtable meeting attendees are encouraged to come for the luncheon and to attend the Advisory Board meeting.

The Advisory Board meeting will take place from 12:00 -1:30, and the Roundtable meeting from 1:30-4:30.  Lunch will be served from 11:00-12:00. The Agenda for the day is attached.  The meetings will take place in room 430 of the Babbio Center, River Street between Fifth and Sixth Streets, Hoboken, NJ. Dress code is business casual.  If you plan to attend and have not already registered, please notify Sharen Glennon or 201-216-5381, and indicate whether you intend to have lunch.  Thank you.

Professor Peter Koen

Breakthrough Innovation: Why It Is So Difficult for Large and Successful Incumbent Firms

What are the best practices associated with breakthrough projects involving new business models?  This talk will summarize results from a Stevens Institute and Industrial Research Institute research project focused on better understanding why successful companies have difficulty being successful in breakthrough projects -- in particular, breakthroughs outside of the sustaining businesses.

The research involves case studies wherein one very successful and one less successful new business model project are paired within the same company.  Early results indicate that one of the reasons for the failed projects was a lack of "ambidextrous" leadership practices.  Leaders in the failed cases made decisions based on well-honed practices used for low uncertainty sustaining projects which proved inapplicable to high uncertainty, disruptive projects.  A second cause of failure was the use of incorrect assumptions about unmet customer and/or consumer needs.  The failure to properly understand customer needs came about despite significant efforts at enhancing customer intimacy.

Ultimately, the lack of success was rooted in the company's reliance on leveraging their current business model.  In contrast, the successful projects involved new value chains where the traditional business model could not be leveraged.


Professor Peter Dominick

Individual Differences, Multisource Feedback and Leadership Development

This presentation will summarize results from three related projects examining the role that individual differences play in how people provide and use multisource feedback (MSF) for leadership development.  The first study examined how specific aspects of personality might influence improvement in MSF ratings over time.  In three studies, using three different and well-established measures of personality and three MSF instruments, we found little or no evidence to support hypotheses that personality is systematically related to improvement following receipt of multisource feedback.

The second study examined how affective (mood) diversity within a team influences individuals' ratings of fellow team members' behaviors.  We found that members of a team who are similar with regard to positive and negative affectivity, as captured by the personality traits extraversion and neuroticism respectively, receive higher MSF peer ratings.

The talk will conclude with a discussion of a third project examining a different approach to individual differences.  This approach focuses on how basic social-cognitive beliefs that underlie human learning across a diverse set of activities (e.g. attitudes and beliefs about goals) can play a role in how people approach development and use MSF assessment tools.


Professor Germán Creamer

A New Tool for Improving Decision-making in Corporate Governance and in New Technology Adoption

Boosting, a data analysis method, is a potentially useful approach to improve decision-making.  We will illustrate the applicability of this approach in two areas: to define a data-driven balanced scorecard to improve corporate governance, and to help in making new technology adoption choices.

Boosting generates alternating decision trees that capture non-linear relationships.  In the first illustration, the approach is used to clarify and analyze the non-linear relationships between corporate governance variables and firm performance.  The second illustration demonstrates application of the approach to evaluate the effect of technical and economic variables on the decision to invest in new technology.

We also propose an algorithm to build a representative decision tree based on cross-validation experiments.  The representative tree selects the most important indicators for the board balanced scorecard.  Finally, we propose a partially automated strategic planning system for generating balanced scorecards.