Beall Center Innovation Research Grants


Innovation Grant Award Program 


The Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship awards grants to select faculty members, researchers, and scholars to provide aid in the efforts of research in innovation.




In June 2013, The Don Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Innovation Research Grant Selection Committee announced the following winning projects for 2013-14:

1. Recipients: John L. Graham, Professor Emeritus; William Hernández Requejo, Lecturer; and
Lynda Lawrence Salinger, Lecturer.
Award: Research grant of $5,000
Project Title: “Inventive Negotiation

: Traditionally Americans have tended toward a competitive, zero-sum approach to negotiations. Alternatively, all business schools teach a second, better approach: integrative bargaining, wherein negotiators exchange information about needs and preferences toward building win-win solutions. However, both approaches emphasize transactions, not long-term commercial relationships. Inventive Negotiation combines the best practices of integrative negotiation with those of innovation processes. Here, the goals transcend mere profitable transactions and result in long-term, mutually beneficial human relationships. We define inventive negotiations as those that produce outcomes unanticipated by either negotiation party and that are developed though a dialogue utilizing innovation processes. The focus of this research will be long interviews with executives to elicit their stories about their own inventive negotiations and their opinions about the antecedents that make inventive negotiations possible.

2. Recipient: Vidyanand Choudhary, Merage School of Business, UCI
Award: Research grant of $4,000
Project Title: “Role of Competition and Risk in Incentivizing Innovation


Background: Investments in R&D and development of new process and technology are inherently risky and lead to lower marginal costs only when they are successful. The literature in Economics has examined the problem of investments in R&D and innovation as well as the impact of industry concentration on firms' incentive to invest in R&D. This project will study the impact of two key factors on the amount of investment in cost-reducing innovation: (i) the level of risk as reflected in the likelihood of success in achieving targeted cost reductions and (ii) the intensity of competition within the industry. Through economics based, game theory models the following research questions will be addressed: (a) What is the relationship between the level of risk and the amount of investment in cost reducing innovation? (b) What is the impact of risk on the return from such investments? (c) What is the impact of the intensity of competition on the amount of investment in cost reducing innovation? (d) Does the form of competition affect the relationships? Is leader-follower competition different from competition between firms that attempt simultaneous innovation?

3. Recipient:  Joanna L. Y. Ho, Professor
Award: Research grant of $7,000
Project Title:  “Can Innovative Firms Enhance Their Financial Performance by Using Corporate Social Responsibility Practices?”


Background: While companies are investing in corporate social responsibility (CSR) for social good, they are also concerned about financial returns from such investment. The purpose of this study is to explore whether firms receive better financial returns by engaging in CSR activities based on their innovation orientation. Following prior studies, CSR will be measured in the following seven areas: community, corporate governance, diversity, employee relations, environment, human rights and product. It is expected that a database will be created to merge across data sources. The data will analyzed and the hypotheses empirically tested, then the results will be reported.




In June 2012, The Don Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Innovation Research Grant Selection Committee announced the following winning projects for 2012-13


1. Recipients: David Hirshleifer, Full Professor, Po-Hsuan Hsu, and Dongmei Li
Project Title: "Don't Hide Your Light Under a Bushel: Innovative Diversity and Stock Returns"


2. Recipients: Claudia Bird Schoonhoven, Professor of Organization and Strategy and Yan Gong, Assistant Professor of Strategy
Project Title: "Creating Innovative Capabilities in de Novo and Young Entrepreneurial Firms: A Comparison of Chinese and U.S. Firms"


3. Recipients: Lucile Faurel, Qin Li, Devin Shanthikumar and Siew Hong Teoh

Project Title: "CEO Pay and Innovation Efficiency"




In 2011, The Don Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Innovation Research Grant Selection Committee announced the following winning projects for 2011-12:


1. Recipient: Chistine Beckman, Faculty Director
Project Title: “Innovation and Interaction Layering using Mobile Communication Technology”


Background: Starting from the perspective that people are actively engaged in ‘interaction layering,’ or the layering a physical and temporal space with multiple, often conflicting, interactions through the use of mobile communication technologies, this study will explore the social dynamics of technologically-mediated communication and document the innovative uses of technology that benefit individuals and support organizational needs. To this end, this research will involve ethnographic investigation into everyday communications in the workplace and in the home, and experimentation with social and technological interventions geared toward generating new patterns of interaction.


2. Recipient: Zhang, Yu & Gong, Yan

Award: Don Beall Center Innovation Research Grants, UC Irvine. ($7,500).
Project Title:
“Capital Market Pressure, Firm Innovation, and Performance” 




In May 2010, The Don Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Innovation Research Grant Selection Committee announced the following winning projects for 2010-11:

1. Recipient: David Hirshleifer, Full Professor and Siew Hong Teoh, Full Professor
Project Title: "Are Overconfident CEOs Better Innovators"
2. Recipient: Jone Pearce, Full Professor
Project Title: Reclaiming Forbidden Medicine: Interest Groups, Collective Identity, and the Emergence of a New Organizational Field
3. Recipient: Denis Trapido, Assistant Professor
Project Title: "Differentiation from Mentors as a Determinant of Creativity and Career Success"




In June 2009 under the leadership of Kaye Schoonhoven, The Don Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Innovation Grant Selection Committee announced the following Innovation Grants for 2009-10:

1. Recipient: Dr. Joanna Ho, Professor

Award: Research grant of $13,750

Project Title: "Are Family Firms Less Likely to Sacrifice Innovation Activities for Earnings Management"

Background: This study will examine whether managerial myopia, proxied by the reduction of research and development spending, differ between family and non-family firms. A family firm is a firm where members of the founding family continue to hold positions in top management are on the board or are majority stockholders.  Previous studies have shown that family firms play an important role in the US economy.  Specifically, family firms account for approximately one third of the S&P 500 index firms and 46% of the S&P 1500 index firms. In addition, family firms are in a broad array, i.e., 72% of the SIC codes in the S&P500. Also, the study will review whether managerial myopia differs among family firms with different types of CEOs (i.e., founder, descendent and professional manager).

2. Recipient: Dr. Yan Gong, Assistant Professor

Award: Research grant of $13,750

Project Title: “Learning from Others in Emergent Industries" 


Background: This study will investigate how firms learn from one another in emerging industries. Previous research has documented the importance of such vicarious learning for technology diffusion. Yet findings apply to established industries. It so far is unclear how vicarious learning unfolds if a lack of industry order challenges the identification of suitable learning targets. Using the solar photovoltaic cell industry as research context, this project will develop and test a model of vicarious learning under uncertainty. Data will be collected through surveys administered at solar power conferences. Findings will advance theory and be relevant for policymakers seeking widespread diffusion of PV cell technologies.

3. Recipient: Shivendu Shivendu, Assistant Professor

Award: Planning grant of $2,500

Project Title: "Sources of Innovation in IT in India"


Background: India continues to be an enigmatic story. While at one extreme, it is a nuclear and space power and increasingly becoming a top player in certain key high technology sectors-such as information technology (IT), biotechnology and IT-enabled services (ITES), at the opposite extreme India continues to be a subsistence economy, with 46% illiteracy rates for women, 60% population engaged in agriculture, 25% population living below national poverty line and merely $800 average per capita income in 2007. Given this dualistic performance, its natural to ask what factors led to spectacular growth in IT related sectors and why they have not been replicated with the same success in other economic sectors. In order to answer this question, this research focuses on identifying the factors that explain the success story in software sector and its implications for other sectors.


External Research Projects

Professor Obstfeld received a $322,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study organizational innovation. Entitled “Brokerage, Social Networks, Knowledge-Based Innovation,” it is sponsored by the Innovation and Organizational Change, Sociology, and Law and Social Science directorates of the NSF.



In June 2008, The Don Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Innovation Grant Selection Committee announced the following awards for 2008-09:

1. Recipient: Dr. Claudia Bird Schoonhoven, Professor

Award: Research grant of $13,866.84

Project Title: "From Nanotechnology Innovation to the Creation of New Firms"

Background: It is well understood that technological breakthroughs enable the development of new innovative products typically created by new firms. However scholars have seldom had the opportunity to study the emergence of a new set of firms organized around a given a technological breakthrough as it unfolds over time. This study will investigate the emergence of the nanotechnology community of entrepreneurs and firms. Referred to as a technological community, scholarly interest in the conditions under which new industries and communities are created is growing. However scant empirical research exists, as only a handful of large scale, longitudinal, community studies have been conducted. What is missing is systematic knowledge about how technological communities of firms emerge over time, from conception of the basic technology through the founding of new firms by entrepreneurs who in turn develop innovative new products. To understand the mechanisms by which technological communities emerge, this study will focus on the emerging community of firms relying on nano-science to produce innovative products.

2. Recipient: Dr. Ashley Wang, Assistant Professor and Dr. Lu Zheng, Associate Professor

Award: Research grant of $15,000

Project Title: “Hedge Fund Distinctiveness Index and Performance" 

Background: Investors pay high fees to hedge funds for their unique investment ideas and strategies. When an investment idea becomes known to a large number of investors, the abnormal return from the strategy is likely to be competed away. As a result, hedge funds trade with great secrecy and protect their ideas by all means. For investors, knowing how innovative their funds are is very important but extremely difficult because of the opaque nature of hedge fund operations. Moreover, the rapid growth of the hedge fund industry has resulted in a huge number of funds with a wide range of strategies and fund managers with diverse backgrounds. Given the diversity, some funds have more innovative ideas than others. In this project, we intend to construct a measure of how much a fund’s investment strategy differs from its peers based on its historical returns. We hypothesize that the more distinctive a fund’s investment strategy is, the more innovative and skilled is the fund manager.