March 30, 2014

CFP: Business and Economic Impacts of 3D Printing

On June 3, Frank Piller and I will be hosting a half-day research workshop in Aachen entitled “The Business and Economic Impacts of 3D Printing”.

The idea of the workshop is to have innovation researchers consider the implications that 3D printing have for innovation, manufacturing and the nature of the firm. While 3D printing originated in the 1980s as a rapid prototyping tool, today it is intersecting with other topics such as open source (aka open design) communities, online data repositories, and manufacturing-as-a-service business models.

In this workshop we are hoping to bring academics from engineering, economics and management to discuss current and future research projects, with an emphasis on developmental feedback..The sessions will also include conversations with industry leaders about current challenges for the 3D printing industry.

The workshop will be held June 3 from 12:00-6:00 p.m. at RWTH Aachen University, followed by a reception and dinner. It is cosponsored by RWTH and the Keck Graduate Institute. We are also expecting researchers from Cambridge and Technische Universität München, and welcome participants from other schools.

Researchers interested in presenting should e-mail Frank Piller or Joel West by April 15. Please include the title, a 200-300 word abstract, the authors and the name of the presenter. Space is limited, but those interested in attending without presenting (including co-authors) should also e-mail by April 15.

March 25, 2014

New Frontiers in Open Innovation

Production started last week on our latest book on open innovation, entitled New Frontiers in Open Innovation. Oxford University Press will begin printing the book in September, and the publication date (retail availability) is scheduled for October.

As with the 2006 book — Open Innovation: Researching a New Paradigm — the 2014 book was organized and edited by Henry Chesbrough, Wim Vanhaverbeke and myself. It is in some ways a sequel to the earlier book: an academic book that tries to capture the state of the art of open innovation research.

Unlike in 2006, today there has been a considerable body of research that was already published. Many of the chapters in the book review the prior research in a variety of areas, including open innovation with SMEs, MNCs, intermediaries, nonprofits, and consumers.

A total of 23 authors contributed 15 chapters:
  • Ferrie Aalders, Philips Research
  • Kazuhiro Asakawa, Keio University
  • Caroline Bishop, IXC
  • Marcel Bogers, Southern Denmark University
  • Sabine Brunswicker, Fraunhofer Institute
  • Henry Chesbrough, UC Berkeley
  • Jens Frøslev Christensen, Copenhagen Business School
  • Myriam Cloodt, Eindhoven University of Technology
  • Alberto Di Minin, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna
  • Jingshu Du, Vlerick Business School and Hasselt University
  • Roya Ghafele, Edinburgh University
  • Sang Ji Kim, Seoul National University
  • Bart Leten, University of Leuven and Vlerick Business School
  • Tim Minshall, University of Cambridge
  • Letizia Mortara, University of Cambridge
  • Frank Piller, RWTH Aachen
  • Nadine Roijakkers, Maastricht University
  • Jaeyong Song, Seoul National University
  • Vareska van de Vrande, Rotterdam School of Management
  • Wim Vanhaverbeke, University of Hasselt
  • Joel West, Keck Graduate Institute
  • Christopher S. Winter, New Venture Partners
  • Andy Zynga, NineSigma
In 2006, our forward was by written by David Teece. This time, the forward (“Open Innovation and Knowledge Creation”) was written by Ikujiro Nonaka, the famed author of The Knowledge-Creating Company.

The final chapter (by Vanhaverbeke et al) offers the most comprehensive taxonomic review I’ve seen of the open innovation research. Our final chapter from 2006 has more than 150 citations. I’m hoping that Wim’s chapter is even more useful to future OI scholars.

We are hoping to make the chapters available to researchers in the next month or two. I’l post again — and comment on specific chapters — when these chapters are available.

Update October 29: We now have a website with more info on the book.

March 16, 2014

The Top Innovation Journals

Most American business schools draw a distinction between general and specialty (or “field”) journals for specialties such as innovation. The best of the former are dubbed “A” journals, and at many “Top 25” schools, the only publications that count towards tenure are the “A” pubs.

In Canada and other places outside the U.S., the only journals that count are the 45 journals used by the Financial Times b-school rankings It includes the standard "A" journals in management, marketing, accounting and finance, and adds the three top managerial journals, two entrepreneurial journals and a few other less obvious journals. (No innovation journals are included).

All of these rankings are based on citation metrics, on the presumption that the more oft-cited articles are “better”, “more important” or at least more influential. The expert in this field is Anne-Wil Harzing (who has studied such metrics, makes ranking software and has spent 15 years integrating the various journal ranking lists). Here are some thoughts about different measures that might identify the “top” innovation journals.

Ranking of Innovation Journals

When writing my own work, working with co-authors, or mentoring junior scholars, I often ask (or am asked): where is the “best” place to publish this paper? Since my work — like those who care to ask my opinion — is almost entirely about innovation, the question is on finding the “best” innovation journal.

Fortunately, Tek Thongpapanl has provided hard data about innovation-related journals, using citations from articles published in leading innovation journals (Linton & Thongpapanl, 2004; Thongpapanl, 2012). To deal with the problem of coercive citations — where editors of lesser journals demand citations to their journal as a condition of publication — he provides rankings with and without journal self-citations.

His studies suggest two top journals for innovation management: Research Policy and the Journal of Product Innovation Management.† The next tier are more difficult to define, but the most recent study suggests (in alphabetical order) Industrial & Corporate Change, R&D Management and Technovation. (Both studies ranked highly Research-Technology Management, a journal that tends to publish more firsthand managerial papers than academic studies.)

† I'm not saying this because I have articles coming out in both this year. I would have said this in January 2012 when I received a preprint of Thongpapanl (2012).

Journal Citation Reports

Another source of rankings are the Journal Citation Reports, published by Thomson. I used 2012 data to search for Business, Finance, Economics, Information Science, Management and Sociology journals.

From the top 100 journals (sorted by 5-year impact factor), below are selected FT, innovation, entrepreneurship and strategy journals. (Journals marked * are part of the FT 45; innovation journals in bold.)

1. Academy of Management Review*
2. Journal of Economic Literature
3. Academy of Management Journal*
4. Quarterly Journal of Economics*
5. Journal of Management
6. Administrative Science Quarterly*
7. MIS Quarterly*
12. Strategic Management Journal*
13. Journal of Finance*
16. Journal of Marketing*
20. Organization Science*
30. Journal of Management Studies*
32. Research Policy
35. American Economic Review*
39. Org Behavior and Human Decision Processes*
45. Journal of Business Venturing*
54. Information Systems Research*
55. Strategic Organization
62. Journal of Marketing Research*
65. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice*
67. Technovation
74. Organization Studies*
80. Journal of Product Innovation Management
82. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal
85. Management Science*

In other words, Research Policy is equivalent to AER, Technovation to Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice and JPIM to Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal (and ahead of what many consider the gold standard, Management Science).

The next highest innovation journals are R&D Management (156) and Industrial and Corporate Change (162), roughly equivalent to two leading specialty journals, Human Resource Management (155) and Small Business Economics (157). Rounding out the top 250 are the Journal of Technology Transfer (206) and IEEE Transactions in Engineering Management (218).

Unlike Tek’s measures, these do not include corrections for self-citations, so the rankings of journals with high self-citation rates should be taken with a grain of salt.

Ranking by h5-index

A final metric are the Google Scholar Metrics, a family of tools based on the Google index of journals, conference, working papers and monographs. The latest metrics “are currently based on our index as it was in July 2013.”

In particular, it offers metrics based on the Hirsch h-index. As Google explains
The h-index of a publication is the largest number h such that at least h articles in that publication were cited at least h times each. For example, a publication with five articles cited by, respectively, 17, 9, 6, 3, and 2, has the h-index of 3.

h5-index is the h-index for articles published in the last 5 complete years. It is the largest number h such that h articles published in 2008-2012 have at least h citations each.
Harzing and Daniel Baker discuss the merits of the h- and h5-index.

Based on the 2008-2012 data, Google has compiled a list of the top innovation and entrepreneurship journals:

Top publications - Entrepreneurship & Innovation

1.Research Policy73
2.Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice52
3.Journal of Business Venturing51
5.Small Business Economics46
6.Journal of Product Innovation Management39
7.Journal of Small Business Management35
8.R&D Management34
9.The Journal of Technology Transfer31
10.International Small Business Journal27
11.Journal of Intellectual Capital26
12.International Entrepreneurship and
Management Journal
13.Entrepreneurship and Regional Development25
14.Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal23
15.Technology Analysis & Strategic
16.Economics of Innovation and New
17.European Journal of Innovation Management22
18.International Journal of Innovation
19.Industry and Innovation21
20.International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research21
Dates and citation counts are estimated and are determined automatically by a computer program.
If you compare this to the overall list of “Business, Economics and Management” journals, it produces a stunning conclusion. With an h5-value of 73, Research Policy ranks after 8 finance and economics journals (including AER, J. Finance, J. Financial Economics and QJE). However, it ranks ahead of all strategy and other management journals, including SMJ, AMJ, MISQ, Management Science, J. Marketing and Organization Science.

What does this mean? It means that Research Policy — unknown to most tenure committees — has more high-impact articles than but a handful of the “A” journals that count for tenure at most schools.


My friends and colleagues in innovation, entrepreneurship and other specialties can be divided into three categories

  1. Those who play the “A” game, either because they believe in it or because they feel they can’t beat the system.
  2. Those who reject the whole journal ranking game as being an imperfect proxy for research quality, and argue for direct measures of article quality (such as article citations).
  3. Those who believe the current “A” system undervalues quality research in so-called “B” journals, and thus want to use the rules of journal and article “quality” to gain greater recognition for good work published elsewhere.
If asked by a junior scholar what to do, I would point out the strong interaction effect between his/her choice of publishing strategy and the sort of employers they select (or that select them).


Linton, Jonathan D., and Narongsak Tek Thongpapanl. "Ranking the Technology Innovation Management Journals." Journal of Product Innovation Management 21, no. 2 (2004): 123-139. doi: 10.1111/j.0737-6782.2004.00062.x

Thongpapanl, Narongsak Tek. "The changing landscape of technology and innovation management: An updated ranking of journals in the field." Technovation 32, no. 5 (2012): 257-271. doi: 10.1016/j.technovation.2012.01.001