• Dark Open Innovation in a Criminal Organizational Context: the Case of Madoff’s Ponzi Fraud

      Manning, Paul; Stokes, Peter; Visser, Max; Rowland, Caroline A.; Tarba, Shlomo Y.; University of Chester; De Montfort University; Radboud University; University of Central Lancashire; University of Birmingham (Emerald, 2018-06-11)
      his paper investigates the processes of open innovation in the context of a fraudulent organization and, using the infamous Bernie L. Madoff Investment Securities (BLMIS) fraud case, introduces and elaborates upon the concept of dark open innovation. The paper’s conceptual framework is drawn from social capital theory, which is grounded on the socio-economics of Bourdieu, Coleman and Putnam and is employed in order to make sense of the processes that occur within dark open innovation. Given the self-evident access issues, this paper is necessarily based on archival and secondary sources taken from the court records of Madoff v New York—including victim impact statements, the defendant’s Plea Allocution, and academic and journalistic commentaries—which enable the identification of the processes involved in dark open innovation. Significantly, this paper also represents an important inter-disciplinary collaboration between academic scholars variously informed by business and history subject domains. Although almost invariably cast as a positive process, innovation can also be evidenced as a negative or dark force. This is particularly relevant in open innovation contexts, which often call for the creation of extended trust and close relationships. This paper outlines a case of dark open innovation. A key implication of this study is that organizational innovation is not automatically synonymous with human flourishing or progress. This paper challenges the automatic assumption of innovation being positive and introduces the notion of dark open innovation. Although this is accomplished by means of an in-depth single case, the findings have the potential to resonate in a wide spectrum of situations. Innovation is a concept that applies across a range of organization and management domains. Criminals also innovate; thus, the paper provides valuable insights into the organizational innovation processes especially involved in relation to dark open innovation contexts. It is important to develop and fully understand the possible wider meanings of innovation and also to recognise that innovation—particularly dark open innovation—does not always create progress. The Caveat Emptor warning is still relevant. The paper introduces the novel notion of dark open innovation.
    • The relationship between employee propensity to innovate and their decision to create a company

      Hancock, Connie; Hormiga, Esther; Jaume, Valls-Pasola; University of Chester; University of Barcelona
      The main objective of this paper is to analyze the relationship between the decision by employees’ to initiate a new venture, whilst continuing in employment. Based on survey data collected from employees working for a public organization, we provide evidence that an analysis of individuals’ propensity to innovate, provides an insight into entrepreneurial intention which increases in probability where there is a lower opportunity cost. This study contributes to the growing empirical literature on entrepreneurial intentions which currently lacks focus on employed potential entrepreneurs.
    • The condition of smallness; how what it means to be small deters firms from getting bigger

      Anderson, Alistair; Ullah, Farid; University of Chester (Emerald, 2014-12-12)
      Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine and explain why most small firms remain small. A new conceptual framework – the condition of smallness – is proposed. Design/methodology/approach – A critical examination of the literature about the nature of being a small firm is first conducted. Employing an inductive analysis of responses from a survey of 2,521 small business owners about employment regulation, the nature and effects of smallness is examined. Findings – It was found that owners' choice making combines with perceptions about their resources to produce a condition of smallness. The condition of smallness is conceptualised as the circularity perceptions, attitudes and consequent practices that reflect lack of knowledge, time and capability. It is argued that this condition of smallness inhibits growth to create a wicked problem that explains why most small firms don't grow. Research limitations/implications – This work is largely conceptual, albeit the argument is grounded in, and illustrated by, empirical data. The findings may not be generalisable beyond this paper's data sets, but may be generalisable conceptually. Originality/value – The focus of much scholarly work has been on growth firms. Yet the typical small firm is excluded so that the issues of smallness are often overlooked. This paper, therefore contributes to understanding why small firms don't grow.