School of Engineering
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W.M. Keck Professor and Professor of Management Science and Engineering
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe question that drives Prof. Katila's research is how technology-based firms with significant resources can stay innovative. Her work lies at the intersection of the fields of technology, innovation, and strategy and focuses on strategies that enable organizations to discover, develop and commercialize technologies. She combines theory with longitudinal large-sample data (e.g., robotics, biomedical, platform and multi-industry datasets), background fieldwork, and state-of-the-art quantitative methods. The ultimate objective is to understand what makes technology-based firms successful.
To answer this question, Prof. Katila conducts two interrelated streams of research. She studies (1) strategies that help firms leverage their existing resources (leverage stream), and (2) strategies through which firms can acquire new resources (acquisition stream) to create innovation. Her early contributions were firm centric while recent contributions focus on innovation in the context of competitive interaction and ecosystems.
Professor Katila's work has appeared in the Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, Organization Science, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Strategy Science, Strategic Management Journal, Research Policy and other outlets. In her work, supported by the National Science Foundation, Katila examines how firms create new products successfully. Focusing on the robotics and medical device industries, she investigates how different search approaches, such as the exploitation of existing knowledge and the exploration for new knowledge, influence the kinds of new products that technology-intensive firms introduce.