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Seminar – Keeping an Industry Alive: The Role of Tinkerers in Maintaining a Legacy Technology

12:00 - 13:30

Dr Rene Wiedner, Cambridge Judge Business School

How is an industry kept alive following a substantial and sustained drop in consumer demand? Existing explanations focus on firms successfully repositioning themselves and their products by pursuing differentiation strategies, on demand-driven revivals, and on the role of governments in propping up outdated technologies. However, based on a qualitative study of developments in the global vinyl record manufacturing industry between 1990 and 2010, I find that technology enthusiasts (or ‘tinkerers’) may play a critical role in maintaining a technology that most end-consumers and suppliers regard as obsolete. They do so by disseminating resources from a hitherto concentrated corporate domain to a dispersed, amateur domain, which involves ‘scavenging’, ‘tinkering’, developing relationships with industry old-timers and outsiders, and supporting other tinkerers by sharing resources. Depending on the timing of these activities and supportive infrastructure, tinkerers may successfully plug emerging gaps in deteriorating supply chains by repairing and rebuilding a legacy technology, as well as contribute to innovation and stimulate interest in the technology. These findings, obtained via a practice lens that examines how technology is performed, enhance our understanding of the role of stakeholders beyond incumbent firms and product consumers in shaping legacy technologies and associated industries. They also raise awareness of potentially vibrant developments in industries that strategy scholars may prematurely associate with obsolescence.



Enterprise Tuesday – Spotting Future Trends and Driving Disruption

18:00 - 21:00

With guest panellist Mads Faurholt, Managing and Founding Partner, Nova Founders Capital; Author of Entrepreneur: Building Your Business from Start to Success

Some entrepreneurs spot opportunities pertaining to current needs and trends while others go further by creating opportunities regarding future needs and challenges. When successful, the latter may disrupt whole industries or even give rise to new ones.

In this session, we are going to consider the (co-)creation of new opportunities, how entrepreneurs can engage in such action and drive disruption.



Seminar – Welfare Effects of R&D Support Policies

13:00 - 14:00

Professor Otto Toivanen, Aalto University Business School

We conduct a welfare analysis of R&D subsidies and tax credits using a model of innovation policy incorporating externalities, limited R&D participation and financial market imperfections.

We estimate the model using R&D project level data from Finland. The optimal R&D tax credit rate (0.24) is lower than the average R&D subsidy rate (0.36).

The intensive, not the extensive margin of R&D is important for policy. Tax credits and subsidies increase R&D investments and spillovers compared to laissez-faire but to levels below the first best. R&D support policies don’t improve welfare.