Final Doctoral Oral Examination
Suneel Ghei (DBA Candidate)
Date: July 8th at 9:00 AM (MT)
Co-Supervisor: Dr. Anshuman Khare and Dr. Dwight Thomas
Title of Dissertation: Modeling Absorptive Capacity for Open Innovation in the Software Industry
This final oral examination will be held using Microsoft Teams. Students and members of the faculty are invited to attend. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
In today’s fast paced world of rapid innovation software companies face constant challenges to keep up with their competitors and meet the changing needs of their clients by continuing to drive solutions to the needs of their clients and their markets. Large software companies have the ability to invest in research and development to build innovative products, but small and medium companies need to be able to innovation efficiently due to their relative lack of resources. At the same time, small and medium companies are key to the innovation cycle, often times making the leading-edge discoveries that large companies lack the speed and nimbleness to achieve. Without the resources to take time and develop ideas internally, it is key these companies find innovation ideas from any source available. Thus, it is key that these small and medium software companies be able to effectively find, internalize and exploit innovations. This is called Absorptive Capacity and ensuring that these small and medium companies can effectively innovate and compete with large firms is the motivation for our study.
The key to successfully innovating using external ideas and knowledge is for them to:
- Find the right innovation
- Understand and absorb the knowledge
- Exploit the innovation to drive success
This is defined as Absorptive Capacity and finding strategies to maximize absorptive capacity is the key to successful innovation for these firms. Thus, our study will focus on finding the most effective absorptive capacity strategies for small and medium sized Canadian software firms.
Our study focused on available literature on both Open Innovation and Absorptive Capacity in greater detail in an effort to understand the details of how Absorptive Capacity is measured, and what determines success in absorptive capacity. Based on the available literature, the key elements that define how firms can choose the most optimal strategies for absorptive capacity are:
- Type of Innovation the Firm is Engaged In
- Breadth of the Search for External Knowledge
- Depth of the Search for Knowledge
- Partnering strategy
- Strategies used to bring in the knowledge
- Strategies used to share the knowledge horizontal
We then interviewed 54 small and medium sized Canadian software firms, ranging from 1 employee to 170 employees, that were engaged in bringing in outside ideas and knowledge into their firm as part of their innovation process. The interview covered how they found the outside knowledge and how they internalized the knowledge. Results were classified based on the variables above.
The data from the interview process showed some key relationships between the variables that resulted in the following outcomes:
- Firms Doing Radical Innovation Use External Solutions
- Firms Doing Incremental Innovation Work in House
- Centralized R&D Organizations Prefer Finding Solutions Not Knowledge
- Custom Development Firms Source Innovations and Integrate
- Product Based Firms Source and Share Ideas and Build in House
As per our original objective, these outcomes offer an opportunity to recommend absorptive capacity strategies to firms based on their Product, Innovation Type and R&D Organization. This will help these firms enhance their ability to absorb knowledge and build innovations based on them, and successfully enhance their futures and their ability to compete against larger firms. In addition, the study also offered opportunities for further study around enhancing the open source software framework, improving research and development credits and creation of a marketplace for software solutions.
This further research has the potential to identify opportunities to further enhance the ability of small and medium software firms to innovate using outside knowledge, and thus make them more effective and efficient. With over 35,000 software related businesses in Canada, this would improve the innovation capability in the industry and help drive better products out to other industries.
AU's 2020 Three Minute Thesis (3MT ®) competition
On June 2, 2020, 19 graduate students battled it out head-to-head in AU's 7th annual Three Minute Thesis Competition. We are excited to announce our top three winners:
- 3rd place and winner of $250 - Gia Lam (Master of Counselling Program)
- 2nd place and winner of $500 - Audrey Susin (Master of Business Program)
- 1st place and winner of $1000 - Brittany Hollett (Master of Nursing Program)
FGS would like to thank our student competitors, our judges, and the Research Centre for sponsoring the prize money for our top three.
Brittany will go on to represent AU at the Western Regional Virtual Competition this fall! Good luck Brittany!
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Governor General’s Gold Medal Award Winner
Congratulations to Norine Wark
Doctor of Education in Distance Education (EdD) Student, on receiving the 2019 Governor General’s Gold Medal Award. This award is to recognize the outstanding performance of a graduate student in an academic institution. The award takes into account overall academic excellence through coursework, research, awards and distinctions. Norine accepted the award and gave the student address on June 7, 2019 at Athabasca University’s annual convocation.
Check out Norine’s story on the Hub.
Canadian Graduate Scholarship – Master’s (CGS-M) Winners
The Faculty of Graduate Studies is pleased to announce Athabasca University’s winners of the Canadian Graduate Scholarship (Masters), who have been awarded $17,500.00 over 12 months. Congratulations and good luck in your continued studies.
Cari Borenko Hoffmann
Is a Master of Health Studies (MHS) student in the Faculty of Health Disciplines and has received an award from the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) for her research titled “Advance Care Planning and The Law”
Check out Cari's story on the Hub.
Is a Master of Science in Information Systems (MScIS) student in the Faculty of Science and Technology and has received an award from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) for her research titled “Design, Development and Evaluation of a Lifestyle-integrated Learning Support Tool”
Check out Tamara's story on the Hub.