I am interested in better understanding the mechanisms that enable the introduction, innovation, and diffusion of information-based initiatives. In my future research, I plan to analyze the role of organizational entrepreneurs in developing and promoting these strategies. In my dissertation research, I have spoken with a number individuals who were involved in the creation of different eco-label and rating programs, which illuminated the critical role that particular personalities play in the emergence of new forms of management and governance. How do these entrepreneurs operate within existing institutions to create new programs that rely on the provision of information, as opposed to regulations, technologies, and markets? Once established, how do they establish a level of “bureaucratic autonomy” within their organizations that enables them to continue to innovate?
In my future research, I am interested in assessing how these “information entrepreneurs” may be both similar and different to other types of organizational entrepreneurs, and how they may constitute a new source and type of innovation. I will conduct this research using data from my database of over 240 information-based initiatives to identify the program characteristics of the most successful information-based startups. I will then explore those attributes in more depth in a series of interviews with a sample of these organizational entrepreneurs from a range of different contexts, and elicit their opinions about the most important factors influencing their success.